Review by: Nicole, VBE
Nicole’s Beco Gemini Review
Near the end of my pregnancy with my second child, I started really looking forward to trying different carriers that weren’t readily available when my toddler was an infant. The Beco Soleil had become one of our favorite pieces from our lending library. There were a few quirks we weren’t wild about, but once it was adjusted properly it fit the two of us like a glove.
So naturally, I was super stoked to try one of the library’s two Beco Geminis once new baby arrived. The Gemini is a really versatile carrier. The bottom snaps down to accommodate small babies without an infant insert, or to allow an older infant with good head control to face forward for short amounts of time. As baby grows, you make a simple snap adjustment, no rethreading through a waist strap, and you’re on your way.
Another fun thing about the Gemini is that it comes in some really cute prints, and its a pretty economical carrier, retailing at $130, but its not rare to find them on the swap for under $80. Beco has also partnered with the wrap company Tekhni to make semi-wrap conversions. Since I’ve always liked Tekhni, I had my eyes on one of these “Bekhni”‘s, if my tester from the library panned out.
Something we say a lot is that SSC’s (soft structured, or ” buckle” carriers) are like jeans. They all fit everyone’s body a little differently. Just because you and your bestie may be the same size, you each will have subtle differences in your body proportions and posture. Which may lead to one of you absolutely falling in love with a carrier, while it rubs the other under the armpits in an annoying way.
Two things I disliked about this carrier, and about all Beco’s in general really. The first, is they have three point security buckles. This does mean that it would be insanely hard for an errant toddler to reach up and undo your buckle, however it also means that you need two hands to take the carrier off. My issue with this is that my babies don’t like being set down. Like ever. And usually the reason I’m removing them from a carrier is because they are on the verge of losing it. So setting them down causes the whole situation to escalate.
The second thing, is the direction that you have to pull the straps in order to tighten. They are single adjusters aiming from the body panel to under the arms. It is just a very awkward angle to get a good fit on.
The Gemini is a fairly thick carrier, with cushy padding throughout the entire body of the carrier. This makes it fairly rigid as opposed to its Soleil counterpart, which has a double layer of canvas that molds to the baby’s form. My 12lb. eight week old couldn’t quite get comfortable in it any of the times that we tried. It was very easy to nurse in by simply letting out the shoulder straps a bit, latch baby on, and retighten when I was finished. There is also a fold down head support that is perfect for when baby falls asleep.. It snaps down to the front of the carrier when not in use, and has buckles to fasten it to the shoulder straps when you do want to use it. This carrier also allows you to cross the straps in a front carry (and also to perform a hip carry, if you were son inclined). This was nice for me, since because of the shape of my shoulders the shoulder straps made these little points that couldn’t be adjusted away.
I also tried my 30 lb. Two and a half year old in the carrier, mostly just because she was within the 7-35lb weight limit. We tried forward facing just to be silly. It was very uncomfortable for both of us, but we got a few giggles out of it. Then I adjusted the panel to widen it, and tried a back carry. She was far from knee to knee, which isn’t important for development at this stage, but it can definitely help with comfort. The thick cushy shoulder padding was really nice for someone of her weight.
Overall this is a great carrier. Most of the things that I didn’t like about it were just personal preference, I would absolutely recommend this carrier to someone wanting to use an SSC with a young infant, or to someone who would like the forward facing option. While I wouldn’t call it “toddlerworthy”, it certainly did the job and I would absolutely use this with my toddler if I was in a pinch.