When most people find out we make more than one style of Onbuhimo, their next question is usually, “What is the difference?” Here we hope to answer that question! 

Onbu vs. Onbuhimo

Onbu – verb, the act of carrying on the back

Onbuhimo – Noun, back carrying strap; baby carrier

A Brief History of the Onbuhimo

In Japan, it has been the custom for centuries to wear a baby on their backs while they work and go through life. This was their way of parenting; having their little one high on their back allowing them to observe the work and adult interaction. They would be worn under their kimono using the flat strap or the “himo” to support the baby. This turned into the Japanese making the Onbuhimo carriers; a panel of fabric with fabric loops on the bottom and longer straps at the top. In current times, this style is known as a loop onbuhimo. In recent years the carrier has been modernized and adapted to 3 different styles; Ring Onbuhimo, Buckle Onbuhimo, and Reverse Onbuhimo.

The Buckle Onbuhimo

This is the most popular style of Onbuhimo, and what you may hear referred to as a “regular” or “normal” Onbuhimo.

It is made of a body panel, and shoulder straps with webbing and ladder locks, or buckles, to tighten and adjust. Then a chest strap to secure it on your shoulders. 

 The Reverse Onbuhimo

The Reverse style is made of a body panel, Short shoulder straps with double rings, and longer bottom wrap straps.

The bottom wrap straps are threaded through the rings on the shoulders, completing the shoulder straps. The extra length of straps can then be tied in a multitude of ways for different looks, and support needs.

Which is More Supportive?

This is very subjective and mostly based on personal preference. Once you find your sweet spot in either style, they can both be worn comfortably for long periods of time. The Reverse style however, with long straps, if tied off in certain ways is more forgiving if you didn’t get your sweet spot exactly.

Remember an Onbuhimo is considered a more advanced carrier. It will take most people wearing and adjusting several times before finding their sweet spot. Also, because it has no waist belt, it uses different muscles than a traditional Soft Structure Carrier (SSC). Many find they need to build up their muscles, wearing for shorter times over several days to find their most comfortable spot.

How Long Does It Take to Put on?

Since this carrier does take some practice, at first both styles will take longer to put on than traditional SSCs. Once you have mastered the carrier, however, they both can be extremely quick to put on!

The buckle style definitely is the quicker to put on of the two options.

The time it takes to don the reverse style depends on how long the bottom straps are and what kind of tie off you do. With short or medium length bottom straps, doing an easy tie off, the reverse is almost as fast as a buckle. A reverse with long straps, or a more complicated tie off with take a bit longer to secure.

All in all, we are more than happy to talk you through what you need your carrier to do and would love to help guide you in what will fit your needs best. Feel free to contact us using the “Contact Us” button below in the footer or reach out to us via Facebook.