A colugo is an arboreal mammal that lives in Southeast Asia. Colugo is a new brand of baby gear. As much as we’d like to use this review to compare a colugo against other tree-dwelling critters in an all out gliding mammal battle royale, we’re here for a Colugo baby carrier review.
If you’d like that joke again in video form, or you just like watching your reviews, here’s our Colugo carrier video review (just keep scrolling if you prefer reading & pictures):
Baby carriers are really handy. They allow you to do all sorts of stuff with your child strapped to you. Which is great, because as you know or will soon learn, parenting is time-intensive.
Here’s John demoing just a few of the things you can do while your baby is in a carrier:
Back when we first heard about baby carriers, it seemed like offerings from Ergobaby (our review here) and Baby Bjorn were the only offerings on the market. And, while these two remain the 800 pound gorillas of the market, a number of new carriers are on the market.
We were introduced to Colugo last year when they reached out to ask if we were interested in testing their stroller (our review here) and carrier.
Editor’s note: Fathercraft is reader-supported, meaning, at no cost to you, we may earn a commission if you buy after clicking an affiliate link. Learn more. We also received free product from Colugo for this review.
Colugo is part of the new wave of “direct to consumer” companies (think Warby Parker, Casper, & Dollar Shave Club) that sell directly to you via their websites, which allows them to pass on savings. It’s a model that’s worked well for razors, mattresses, and glasses, and we think it’s perfect for the baby gear market. Why? Well, baby gear is something you need to try, with your baby, to really know if you’re going to like it. And, trying it out in the wild (or in your bathroom while you brush your teeth with a baby in the carrier) is much better than looking at it on a shelf at a big box store.
Colugo offers a 100-day in-home trial—more than enough to decide if their stuff is right for you. So, you can make the grocery store your testing ground.
Our 2019 Colugo carrier review
In early 2019, we did simultaneous testing of 5 different baby carriers to understand differences and what features are shared by the best baby carriers. The Colugo is part of a class of baby carriers called “structured carriers”, which differ from other types like slings and wraps in that they have buckles, straps, and material that has some structure to it.
The Colugo ended up being our favorite of this bunch, for a number of reasons. Let’s dive into the awesome, the wish it was different, and our final verdict.
When choosing the Colugo as our overall favorite baby carrier, we considered the full package. The Colugo was most similar to the Baby Bjorn One from a structure and mechanisms perspective, but included some extra features, and customizations that made it stand out.
Overall comfort and usability
Half the battle with baby carriers is getting them on—yourself and your baby. The Colugo allows you to separate the process of getting yourself in and comfortable and then situating your baby independently. While this does make for some extra straps, we found the process made for an easier time getting the thing (and baby) on, and a more comfortable ride overall.
A big part of putting on a carrier is the process of buckling the baby in. Colugo features magnetic buckles for the two final buckles you’ll use to put your baby in. They’re located on the front of the carrier near your armpits, have big pull tabs, and magnets to help you quickly align them when putting your baby in. It’s a clever and welcome addition to this final step of the baby carrier, which otherwise can require needing to look around a squirming baby to align buckles.
Here’s a closeup of the buckle in the closed position:
Lightweight, breathable material
As we noted in our Ergobaby 360 review, baby carriers can get hot. We liked the material Colugo selected. It was lightweight, breathable, and flexible, improving comfort and ventilation.
The Colugo carrier also weighs in at just 1.5lbs and packs down pretty nicely for travel or shoving in a diaper bag.
If the mention of pockets in a baby carrier doesn’t get you excited, you probably haven’t spent much time with one. A surprisingly small number of carriers include pockets at all, and those that do sometimes include non-functional pockets.
The Colugo’s pockets are thoughtfully designed and pretty functional (though as Calvin, our test baby, got bigger, he started to sag over the waist belt pocket, making it harder to reach).
Pockets in a carrier are really helpful if you’re just heading out for a quick jaunt—there’s no need to wear a backpack and a front pack at the same time, and nobody wants that. The Colugo’s pockets give you room for a diaper or two, wipes, keys, cell phone, and maybe a food pouch or two.
The Colugo carrier (along with nearly all Colugo products) is machine washable. And all baby stuff gets dirty, fast. So, this is a welcome feature (though not super uncommon—all 5 of the carriers we tested were.
The wish it was different
No back-carry option (yet)
As of the first version of the carrier, Colugo recommends the front-carry position only (other carriers allow for back or side carry), though we spoke with Colugo and they expect to have a version that allows other positions as of about May 2019. You can face your baby in or out in the Colugo.
Back and side carry can be nice as your child gets older and heavier, when the front carry position can start to strain your back.
When we consider the complete package:
- Magnetic buckles
- 100-day in-home trial
The Colugo is our clear choice for best baby carrier. It’s also part of our newborn essentials list, which details the items you’ll want to make parenting a newborn more awesome.
Pricing, options, & where to buy
The Colugo Carrier is $125 and available at hicolugo.com. Currently there’s just one option available in 5 different color/design options—lavender, navy, black, camo, and floral.