Reviewed by: Amelia
Price (MSRP): $149
Best Use: Day Hiking
Where to Buy: Onya Website
Testing Location: Yellowstone National Park and Surrounding Areas
Testing Environment: All conditions
The Onya NexStep Baby Carrier is Onya’s newest carrier (after the Outback and Cruiser) and boasts a very soft 100% recycled polyester twill fabric (opposed to the nylon and cotton of their other carriers respectfully.) The straps are made with the same material that car seat belts are made with and are therefore incredibly strong.
The carrier adjusts to fit most wearers and kids 15+ pounds. My biggest struggle is that my kids don’t fit well in it until they are about 9 months old. I have small babies and the seat can be a bit big to span for their little legs. That said, Onya has come out with a Baby Booster for kids 7-15 pounds (see more info on that below.)
This is my go-to carrier for hiking and adventuring, especially when I think I may need to carry P at some point.
What makes Onya Baby Carriers unique:
– Integrated Chair Harness with safety strap
– Safety tested to 75 pounds
– Very wide range to fit almost any body. Waist belt 26-56″; Straps 17-36″
– 100% recycled brushed polyester twill fabric
– Straps that can cross in back for a front hold (meaning a more comfortable carry)
– The lower part of the strap comes up from the waistband at an angle. This means better support for heavier kids and, more importantly, no under-arm rubbing (incredibly important when you are carrying around a bigger kid!)
Best functions of the Onya NexStep:
– For traveling (because of the integrated chair harness)
– For wearing bigger kids (wide seat and safety tested to a higher weight)
What I love:
– Incredibly durable and comfortable, especially for bigger kids. With a weight limit of 75 pounds (!!!!), you don’t have to worry about maxing it out.
– The hood is a generous size to allow for bigger kids and attaches easily to the shoulder straps at 4 different positions via the snaps
– The included chair harness (unique to the Onya) is a great option to have especially when traveling. As long as the child is cooperative, it attaches quickly and easily to a chair. I love that they thought, too, of the included safety strap to keep the child from kicking off a table and tumbling over their chair.
– It’s soft and durable, and made with the highest quality of fabrics, straps and buckles
– The straps are all dual-adjustable which means you get easy front and back carries AND you can do that front carry with the straps crossed.
– The hood tucks away into it’s own pocket and is kept here by hidden magnets (instead of snaps or zippers that tend to be more bulky). You have to be sure to get it tucked in correctly and those magnets engaged to keep it there, but then it will stay.
– There are two pockets – one is smaller for keys, money, etc. and the other (which is also closer to the child’s back) is great for an extra diaper (even a cloth one) or hat. The larger pocket is accessible via either side.
– A higher back so no “lean out” issues leading to the possibility to wear kids longer
– Easy nursing while wearing because of the wide panel and adjustable straps
What I am not so crazy about:
– Because of the added feature of the seat, the carrier is a little more bulky than others. Though, quite honestly, it isn’t a deal-breaker
– While the “Sand” color actually repels dirt much better than I expected, I would love to see the NexStep in some other dual-color options in the future
Onya Booster $29:
Onya just came out with the Booster that is available for use in any of their carriers (Outback, NexStep or Cruiser). It is for use with babies 7-15 pounds and allows you to just buy one carrier for your child. We like that.
While Onya recommends clipping on the waist band and then laying the booster and child on your lap for getting it on, I put L on the floor and attached her first. Primarily because it is easier to see in a photo, but also because she is a bit more wiggly at 4 months old (though still only 11 pounds.)
The booster goes on the child like a diaper and attaches to the carrier itself. This allows the baby to be boosted up so they are kissable close AND keep their legs froggied for when they are too small to hang them out while keeping their spine supported.
The booster is fairly slim and mesh so allows for pretty good airflow, but anytime you add extra material, you are going to experience a hotter baby/wearer. I think they did the best they could, but it’s still warmer than without.
That said, L loves it. She is very comfortable, supported and can see easier than using it without. Because she has such great head control, it’s not a necessity for her I don’t feel like, but it does make it much better.
The only thing I really don’t like about the system is that adding in the booster just means a couple extra steps for getting Baby on. Not great when you are in a hurry or in and out of a car seat. However, babies this age are usually ok with the little extra time.
This OnyaBaby video is very helpful for instruction on how to use the Booster.
Onya Chewies $17:
They are unique because they attach to the carrier so you can’t lose them (using the same strap that the infant Booster uses) and I think they are a must-have for Baby (especially when they are teething).
The Bottom Line:
The Onya NexStep is an incredible carrier, especially for traveling and using for outdoor pursuits. It is made of the highest quality materials, is comfortable for most kids and wearers and has special features (like the chair harness) that set it apart.
With the use of the Infant Booster, the NexStep could be the only carrier you need to buy. We highly recommend it!
Onya Baby generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.
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