Reviewed by: Amelia
Price (MSRP): $59
Best Use: Multi Use
Where to Buy: Bitybean Website
Testing Location: Yellowstone National Park and Surrounding Areas
Testing Environment: All conditions
The Bitybean ultra compact baby carrier is THE smallest baby carrier I have found out there that still remains comfortable for both the child and the wearer. It is about the size of a Nalgene water bottle and weighs only 8 ounces.
The Bitybean is recommended for children 3 months AND at least 8 pounds up to 40 pounds and 3 years of age. Because of her excellent head control, I did have L in it briefly before 3 months just to see how she did. She was safe (I checked plenty), but definitely more comfortable once she hit that 3 month age mark. Alternatively, our very small, 25 pound 3 year old is honestly not ideal in it. The seat of the carrier is more narrow, and while this is great for smaller babies, it means that he isn’t getting a complete ergonomic hold that goes from knee to knee. HE always says he is fine and comfortable, but I don’t feel like I could wear him in it for a long stretch of time. That said, the Bitybean is intended as a back-up carrier – not necessarily something you would wear all day long. It is a perk of the carrier – small and ready for when you need to be comfortably hands-free.
Bitybean makes it clear on their site that the carrier is NOT intended for rigorous activity (jogging, etc.) BUT, it is a GREAT carrier to throw in your backpack for a back-up even while hiking or backpacking (because the straps have such a slim profile.)
Because of the fact that the waist straps are thinner and smaller, I am not crazy about wearing it for long periods of time in a back carry. The waist strap digs in on the front. However, I HAVE worn it many times hiking when I need to throw our 3 tired 3-year-old on my back and already have L on my front. It’s a great one for “doubling-up”.
I also have to note that Bitybean now carries a Sleep/Shade hood for $15.95. I am someone who finds a hood imperative for the comfort of the baby/kid, but I love that this one is removable if you personally have no need for it. It is stretchy and soft and works for both kids. It can attach at two different points on the carrier to allow for a smaller or larger hood. For L, I use it on the lower (and therefore small) setting; for P the one that is higher and makes the hood bigger. The only thing I noticed is that since I am short(er)-waisted, for me to reach back and snap the hood onto the shoulder straps, I really have to reach. Almost to the point that if someone else is there to help me, I’ll ask for help. It’s simply just placement of the snap on the shoulder strap – even adding an extra receiving snap to the carrier a little further down (closer to the carrier) would help immensely.
– Something to be able to keep in your purse/car/bag/pack to pull out for a quick carry
– Wearing in non-chlorinated water for short amounts of time (material is quick-dry)
– A back-up carrier
– Children aged ~3 months – 2 years (30 pounds and 3 years, depending on the child, is pushing it, in our opinion. However, this REALLY depends on the size of the kid)
What I love:
– Super lightweight and small so it really can just be thrown in anywhere for when I need a carrier
– The hood is detachable, but does a good job keeping babies shaded and supported when sleeping (note: the hood does NOT fit in the case when packed up)
– It’s great for hotter weather because it is so lightweight and breathes well
– It can be used in water (non-chlorinated)
– It is surprisingly comfortable, especially for front-carries
What I am not so crazy about:
– To cut down on the weight of the carrier, the waist straps is really very thin and isn’t comfortable to wear for extended periods of time (especially in a back carry) – however, that is NOT the intention of the carrier anyway
– I really struggle to snap the hood onto the shoulder straps
– The safety strap (see image below) is great to have and complies with regulations, but it is a bit annoying and just gets in our way (I don’t think it is necessary)
Jessica over at Biddle and Bop has a great video on how to put on and adjust the carrier. I highly recommend it.
The Bottom Line:
The Bitybean is a great carrier for having stashed away to pull out when you really need an extra carrier. While I wouldn’t recommend it for most 3 year olds (simply because of the width of the seat), it’s great for babies 3 months – ~ 2 years (depending on the size of the child.) It is very adjustable and works for most sizes of wearers (the waist strap extends to 46″ inches and cinches down to a women’s size 0.) A waist extender is also available for sale.
I love that you can wear it in the water, it keeps Baby cool in the hot months and is great for doubling up on hikes or when I have to wear two kids at a time (which happens often when we are out hiking.)
Finally, at less than $60 (plus hood), it’s a very affordable option for hands-free parenting!
Q- You mentioned a few times “non-chlorinated water” specifically, but in the frequently asked questions on their site they say any splashing is okay? I’m getting this for my 4 month old for the summer with two bigger kids also and want to make sure I’m not causing major damage if wearing it while supervising their water play, as well as being able to wear durung salt or fresh water adventures.
A- I agree that splashing in a chlorinated pool would be totally fine. Chlorine just breaks down fabrics so fast, so I wouldn’t submerge routinely. However, as far as I can tell, salt or fresh water is just fine! I would say if in salt, just rinse it off afterwards.
Q- I’m looking for a lightweight carrier to take my twins on short 1 hr hikes this summer. Was the double carry ‘easy’ to do by yourself? Would you recommend putting baby on back first or front first?
A- Yes – it’s not too bad, but having help always makes it easier. I put the child on front first (in the Bitybean or something similar) and then the back carrier on second. It’s sometimes easier if the carrier on the back is not a super lightweight one and is a little more substantial just getting it on.
Bitybean generously provided us this carrier in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here.
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