We’re big fans of Mountain Buggy’s all-terrain strollers. So when the New Zealand-based gear company announced it was introducing its first-ever baby carrier, we perked up. Supporting four ergonomic carrying modes, the Mountain Buggy juno can be worn on the front, face-in (0-24 months, 7.7-26.9 lbs); on the front, face-out (6-18 months, 14.3-24 lbs); on the hip (6-24 months, 14.3-26.9 lbs); and on the back (6-48 months, 14.3-44 pounds). To accommodate newborns, the carrier comes with an adjustable infant insert that provides padded head, neck, and spine support. The juno is made with Okeo-tex certified fabrics, free of toxic chemicals, and conveniently folds up into a bitty little bundle that you can easily stash in a carry-on bag or under the stroller.
The StrollerTraffic Scouts spent the month of July test-driving the new juno. If you follow them on Instagram, you would have seen them out and about wearing the juno—strolling rose gardens in LA, walking the beach in Maine, scaling Mount Constitution, in babywearing barre class, back-carrying their toddlers, and even handing the juno off to dads, aunts, and Grandpas for hands-free snuggles. For a recap, just search IG by hashtag #MBjuno.
No matter where they wore their babies, the Scouts agreed that the juno is soft, comfy, and secure. They appreciated its fashionably sensible colors—black, sand, charcoal, navy/nautical—and gave bonus points for discreet side pockets (“big enough for the iPhone 6,” says Natalia Cherubini of Los Angeles), handy magnetic sternum strap closure, protective hood with stow-away pocket, and elastic loops to tuck away dangling straps (“I personally don’t like walking around feeling like I have strings hanging all over the place, and I like that MB thought of that,” says Christine White of New York City). But by far, the Scouts’ favorite feature was the hands through connectivity pouch, which is basically a set of pockets in the front of the carrier that enable you to slip your hands in for a comfortable rest and closer snuggle. “We really felt a connection with our kids, different from just carrying them,” says Jackie Siska of Seattle. “I can imagine that it’s very useful to have a place to keep your hands and your baby’s back warm in colder weather.” And speaking of colder weather, the Scouts unanimously agreed the juno is best saved for cooler temps. As with all soft structured carriers, babywearing generates a lot of heat for both parent and child. Mountain Buggy has a great tip for staying cool: when skin to skin isn’t an option, slip a soft gel cooler pack into the hands-through pouch. Genius.
The Scouts had mixed reviews on the canvas tightening straps. Some felt they were tough to pull tight; others, like Carla Tracy of Portland, Maine, appreciated the secure adjustment: “Once I fit the carrier on me, there was no adjusting it again and again, wear after wear—compared to others I have tried, where the fit would eventually slip and need to be pulled tighter again. This felt secure and comfortable even after hours of wearing.” It’s helpful to remember to pull the straps at a 45-degree angle, one at a time, and to use your free hand to lift your child upward under their seat while you pull—alleviating the strain on the strap and allowing it to pull through more smoothly. The straps are made from 100 percent cotton and will eventually soften and pull through the buckle teeth more smoothly (while maintaining their non-slip safety feature). Many of the Scouts with older toddlers also suggested watching the instructional video before trying the back carry position.
“It’s soft, very versatile, extremely well-crafted, and durable. We’re big fans.” — Stephanie Benavidez, Chicago
“An outstanding carrier.” — Carla Tracy, Portland, Maine
“All in all, Juno gets an A from New Orleans.” — Anne Mason, New Orleans
“We love the Juno—it’s a modern, sexy carrier that’s just awesome through and through.” — Nara Walker, Los Angeles
“Our daughter seemed to be very comfortable in the juno and we like that we’ll be able to use it for years to come.” — Becky Olson, Chicago
“Overall, we love our Juno and it definitely has become our new carrier of choice.” — Christine White, New York City
“Would I recommend this carrier? Heck yes! In fact, I already have!” — Brianna Dale, Lexington, Kentucky
$179.99 at Buy Buy Baby