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The ERGO Performance and The Original ERGObaby Carrier: A Side-by-side Comparison

I bought my Original Ergo about a month before the Ergo Performance made it's debut. All of a sudden the Performance was the "it" new thing and I was wondering if I'd missed out. I loved my Ergo, but would I be happier with the Performance? When Kate offered to lend me the Performance so I could compare the two, I jumped at the opportunity.

ERGObaby Carriers are:

Products to make babywearing safe, easy and comfortable – a HandsFree System with an all-in-one baby carrier that can be used in the front, back and hip position, infant to toddler.

For more info see Kate's Review of the ERGO Performance or my blog about The Original ERGObaby Carrier.

Side-by-side Comparison

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Size, Shape and Weight

Size and Shape: The Performance has a slimmer fit with contoured shoulder straps and a curved waistband. The Performance feels slimmer and closer fitting and I like how the shoulder straps curve along my shoulder blades when using the front carry. However, I prefer the waistband on the Original. I like wearing the waistband low on my hips, possibly lower than recommended, I'm not sure. When I do this with the Performance, the curve of the waistband hits the top of my thighs when I walk, which I find uncomfortable.

The Performance can be extended to 5 inches longer in the waist (to 48") and the shoulder straps are longer, fitting heights to 6'5".

Weight: The Performance is a third lighter than the Original and I can feel this when I hold one in each hand, but not when wearing them. Both carriers are a comfortable, essentially unnoticeable, weight.

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The shoulder straps on the Performance have a thinner foam to "provide cushion without the bulk." The straps are less bulky, but I find them less comfortable too. If I could make one suggestion to the makers of the Ergo it would be to make the Performance shoulder straps more like the Original.


The Performance is undoubtedly cooler than the Original. We walk along the beach in humid Florida and it gets hot. I could feel a significant difference with the Performance. I was still chest to chest (or back) with my little thermonuclear reactor, so it wasn't completely cool, but it is a noticeable difference.

Pockets and Features

Sleeping Hood: both Ergos have attached hoods. The Performance hood is a soft, fuzzy material and has a zip-close pocket. The Original hood is the same soft cotton as the lining of the carrier and stuffs in a pocket (no zipper).

Storage: both Ergos have a vertical zip pocket on the front that is the perfect size for a cell phone, keys, or a small wallet.

Overall Look

The Performance has a sleeker, sportier look and comes in grey and the spring green pictured. I can see it fitting in well with REI attire and hiking boots and the sport materials may stand up better to the elements. The Original has a nice look too and several color options. I think it looks sporty enough for any outdoorsy family and comfy enough for anyone.

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Both the Ergo Performance and the Original Ergo are outstanding carriers and I would be happy with either one. I just put both on again to take photos and I can't decide which one Kate is getting back. (Just kidding Kate.)

Shop! Both styles of Ergo can be purchased at or Amazonfor $105 to $120.

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