Type: Soft Structured Carrier
Size: One size
Color: Purple (Friday), Black (Weekday), Brown (Weekend)
Retail Price: $130
The Beco Gemini is in all of our lending libraries, and is one of the most popular carriers we have.
Personally, I am a pretty big fan of this carrier. I was given one as a gift when my oldest was born, and one of the things I particularly love about this carrier is that it doesn't require an infant insert.
My first son was born at the beginning of a really bad winter, and it was nice to have one less layer to keep track of when we were out and about. I am also very narrow-shouldered, and I found that criss-crossing the straps on my back when carrying my son on my front was not only easier to do on my own (I always have trouble reaching those chest clips on my own) but also more comfortable in terms of where the straps fell on my shoulders.
Both of my sons also found the Gemini to be comfortable. I've mostly worn them on my front facing in and on my back, but it was nice to know that if I ever was somewhere it made more sense to have a kid facing out, or on my hip, those were both options. My younger son likes the Gemini so much he tries to devour it every time he's in it, so I've found suck pads helpful to keep the carrier itself dry.
One of the oft-heard criticisms of the Gemini is that it's quickly outgrown. It is fairly narrow, as soft-structured carriers go, but I think your mileage will definitely vary depending on your own kid's growth rate. While many kids seem to outgrow the Gemini around 12 months, my older son, a peanut of a kid, was comfortable in it until he was over 18 months old. My younger son is bigger (currently, at 6 months, the size his brother was at a year) so we may not get quite so far, but for now it's working really well for us.
Another tricky part of all Beco carriers is the two-handed buckle system. That definitely takes some getting used to, but by the time my older son was a toddler, it was definitely a blessing rather than a curse, because when, on occasion, he would try to unbuckle himself he wasn't able to. I also found that even with fairly small hands,
eventually got the hang of doing the buckles one-handed myself.
Overall, I really like the Gemini. It isn't a birth-to-preschool carrier, really, but I can't really think of a soft-structured carrier that is, and it does very well for smaller babies and toddlers.