Updated on May 29, 2016
Mountain Buggy Juno Baby Carrier Review
I received this item in my capacity as a Mountain Buggy Juno Pilot. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Move over Tula, there’s a new baby carrier in town that deserves the spotlight! If you haven’t heard of the Mountain Buggy Juno baby carrier, I won’t be the least bit surprised. As a fairly new carrier to the market, it’s one that you are no doubt unfamiliar with. That, however, should in no way dissuade you from seeking this carrier out and, at the very least, trying it on! I wear Petit Prince a lot. By that I mean I wear him DAILY, often on more than one occasion each day, and for hours at a time. What I need in a carrier is something that’s going to be comfortable for both of us, and ergonomic for Petit Prince’s hips. What I want in a carrier is something easy to adjust, with a fully functional hood, and a look that at least borders on stylish. What I get in the Mountain Buggy Juno is all of those things and so much more! Curious about the carrier that has become my first choice? Let me take you on a little tour!
The Mountain Buggy Juno baby carrier is a soft structured carrier designed to be used from birth to about age four. It can accommodate baby from 7.7lbs (3.5kg) and up to 44lbs (20kg). There are four possible carrying positions with the Mountain Buggy Juno. As the Mountain Buggy Juno carrier is acknowledged as a “hip-healthy product” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, it is recognized as being safe for a baby’s developing hips in all four carrying modes. The first carrying position is the front facing in carry. The front facing in carry is the only position that can be used right from birth, and it is recommended for children from 0 to 24 months up to 26.9lbs (12.2kg). The second position is the front facing out carry. This front facing out carry position can be used from six months and 14.3lbs (6.5kg), and it is recommended for children from 6 to 18 months up to 24lbs (10kg). The third position is the hip carry. The hip carry can be used from six months and 14.3lbs (6.5kg), and it is recommended for children from 6 to 24 months up to 26.9lbs (12.2kg). The fourth and final position is the back carry. The back carry can be used from six months and 14.3lbs (6.5kg), and it is recommended for children from 6 to 48 months up to 44lbs (20kg).
Included with every Mountain Buggy Juno carrier is the dual mode infant insert that is used for babies from 7.7lbs (3.5kg) to 14.3lbs (6.5kg) up to six months. The seat portion of the Juno infant insert flips and snaps up for newborns, and then flips down and out for use with larger babies up to six months of age. The infant insert provides adequate head, neck, and spine support for babies that do not yet have excellent head control. It ensures not only your baby’s comfort, but also an ergonomic position. The Juno carrier itself has a lot of features that are (as far as I know) unique to the Juno. The outside of the carrier, waist belt, and shoulder straps are made out of a 100% cotton canvas material. The adjustable straps on the shoulders and waist belt are also made of 100% cotton canvas, not a nylon webbing as you might expect. Each strap also has an elastic loop attached to its end. Once you’ve tightened the straps to your liking, you simply roll or fold up the excess strap length, and turn the elastic loop around it to keep the straps from hanging loose. On the front of the carrier there’s a unique pass through panel. This panel allows you to reach your hands into and through the front of the carrier for an enhanced connection with your child. There are two wide pockets on either side of the waist belt.The inside edge of those pockets can be stretched open making the contents of the pocket easy to access.
The inside of the Mountain Buggy Juno front panel is made of a 100% breathable cotton lining. This is the same material that you’ll find inside the pass through panel. The padded shoulder straps and padded waist belt are both backed with a breathable mesh lining. Attached to the top of the front panel is a protective hood. This hood attaches to the shoulder straps of the Juno with a snap. The snap straps on the hood have three possible snap positions allowing for a customized fit. The straps on the hood are long enough to reach even when using the Juno in a back carry. On the inside of the front panel, there’s an opening for the large front pocket that extends the full depth of the front panel. This is the pocket for the Juno hood should you wish to keep it tucked away when not in use.
The chest clip of the Mountain Buggy Juno can be adjusted by sliding it along the shoulder strap runners. Once in the correct placement for the carrying position you’re using, the chest clip pulls together with a strong magnet. The buckle on the waist belt is sturdy, and once fastened, there’s an elastic safety strap that slides over the buckle.
Where the front panel meets the waist belt, the width of the carrier can be adjusted for the front facing out position. Each side of the panel can be unsnapped, folded in, and snapped into the centre. This narrower positioning of the base of the Juno is only to be used for the front facing out carrying position.
How It Works:
How can I put this… I’m in LOVE with the Mountain Buggy Juno carrier. I’m Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch IN LOVE with the Juno. I’m serious. I’ve tried a few soft structured carriers in my day, and this is my preferred type of carrier. I’ve never had the pleasure of trying a woven wrap, but I have tried ring slings, stretchy wraps, and a handful of different soft structure carrier brands. The Mountain Buggy Juno is the one I’m grabbing first these days. I’m even bringing it in and out of the car so I can use it both on the go and at home. It’s just that good. Now let me tell you precisely why I’m loving this carrier oh so much.
The Mountain Buggy Juno is SOFT. I wish there was some way for you to touch it through your screen. Truly. I’ve invited a few friends to come over and touch my Juno, and they all agree. It’s really really ridiculously soft. The cotton canvas outer isn’t rough or bumpy, and the 100% breathable cotton inner… You guys. It’s divine. Like a super cushy soft pillow of love to wrap your baby in. The softness of this carrier was the very first thing I noticed about it when I unboxed it, and is still one of my favourite things about it.
Let’s talk about that pass through panel on the front of the carrier. This is really something special. I don’t know about you, but when I’m baby wearing, I’ve almost always got my hands on my baby. Not because I need to, but because it just feels nice to make that extra connection. The Mountain Buggy Juno is all about connection. The pass through panel allows you to rub your baby’s back, tickle their little bottoms, or just have your hands closer to your baby in a way your baby can actually feel. As soon as I put the Juno on, my hands just gravitate to this pass through. As an added bonus, if your hands happen to get a bit chilly, it’s the perfect spot to warm them up!
That 100% breathable cotton inner of the Mountain Buggy Juno isn’t just all about the softness. I find that there’s a little bit of stretch in that material. That does a couple of things. First, once I get Petit Prince in the carrier, I can tug on the leg openings and stretch them outwards a bit. This allows me to get a full knee to knee support with the Juno, even as Petit Prince grows. Because you can stretch it outwards a bit as needed, it’s also not unnecessarily spread too wide for smaller babies. Once baby is no longer using an infant insert in a soft structured carrier, you still want to make sure their legs aren’t hyperextended at the knee. This can happen when the width of the front panel of the carrier is still too wide for their legs. This is not a problem with the Mountain Buggy Juno. The bit of stretch in the inner panel material allows for some customization in the width of the carrier at the base of the front panel. This prevents hyperextension at the knees while still allowing older babies to have full knee to knee support. Second, that bit of stretch translates into a bit of bounce. Yes, the Mountain Buggy Juno is very supportive for little backs, but that inner material gives just a bit of bounce to baby and Petit Prince loves it.
The Mountain Buggy Juno has not one, but TWO pockets! Each pocket is on the side of the waist belt rather than being centred as is the case on most other carriers (if they have a pocket at all). I can easily fit my cell phone and a cloth wipe (for inevitable runny noses) in one pocket, and my house/car keys in the other. Need to pack a granola bar for
yourself your preschooler? You can totally fit a granola bar (or two) in one of the pockets. There’s no deciding between snacks and your phone with the two pockets! You can carry almost all the things! I will say that when Petit Prince is in the front facing in or back carry positions his legs do cover part of the pockets. It’s not a big deal for me though; I just swing his leg up a bit and I have full access to the pockets. Just in case those pockets still aren’t enough room, there’s also the hood pocket. I know it’s supposed to be for the hood, obviously, but because it extends the full depth of the front panel, you can put SO MUCH STUFF in there! Sunglasses? Done it. Credit cards and identification? Totally done that. Super hot summer day and worried that baby’s going to be too warm? You can absolutely slide a squishy ice pack down there to keep baby cool.
Speaking of warmth, a common concern with soft structured carriers is that they may become too hot to wear in the summer months. We’ve already had a few scorching hot days here in Calgary, and I can tell you that the mesh lining of the shoulder straps made a huge difference in my comfort. When a shoulder strap is wrapped entirely in cotton canvas, it can get pretty hot under there. The mesh makes the straps significantly more breathable and I noticed right away how much cooler my shoulders felt in the Mountain Buggy Juno.
Something that I hadn’t seen in a soft structured carrier before is the cotton canvas adjustable straps. Where every other carrier I’ve seen uses a nylon webbing (you know that black bumpy strap material), the Mountain Buggy Juno uses a double layer of cotton canvas. Sometimes, baby carrier straps can rub your armpits if you’re wearing a tank top or even a really short sleeved shirt. With the Juno, what sits against you is that soft cotton canvas instead of the rough edges of a nylon webbing. I find that adjusting the chest clip up or down can usually resolve any strap rubbing, but it’s actually much less uncomfortable if it does happen with the Juno. This same double layer of cotton canvas is used for the adjustable waist belt strap too. When I first got the Juno, I will say that these cotton canvas adjustable straps were hard to tighten. It wasn’t too bad to tighten the waist belt because I could just twist the carrier around so the buckle was in front of me, tighten, and then twist it back so the carrier was centred. For the shoulder straps, however, it was really hard to adjust them with Petit Prince in the carrier. It helped to use one hand to lift his bum up a bit and then pull the straps to tighten, but they were just a little stiff at first. After a few weeks of frequent use, the straps softened up and now I have no trouble getting them tightened just how I like them. When wearing Petit Prince in a front facing in carry, I find there is enough length in the straps that I can get them tight enough without having to tighten them all the way. When I have him in a back carry, I do need the straps as tight as they can go and wish I could tighten them maybe just another inch. When doing a back carry, I wear Petit Prince quite high up on my back. This is where it is most comfortable for me, but this is likely why I have to tighten the straps all the way. As Petit Prince grows and fills up more space between my back and the carrier, I won’t need the shoulder straps to be quite so tight.
The hood on the Mountain Buggy Juno is awesome too. The outside of the hood is a cotton canvas, but the inside is that buttery soft 100% breathable cotton material. The hood is also a great size. If you’ve mastered the art of nursing while baby wearing (I have not), you can use the hood to cover if covering is your thing. I use the hood as a wind blocker, a sun shade, and a nap shade. It’s definitely large enough that Petit Prince’s whole head is covered, and the three snap positions on the straps allow you to adjust it to fit your baby perfectly. The sides of the hood have some elastic sewn in, so if you need to use the hood for head support when baby is napping, you can get it really snug. The straps on the hood are nice and long which is ideal for back carrying. If you’re wearing baby on your back without another adult around, and baby falls asleep, you’ll want to pull the hood up for some head support. The hood straps on the Juno are actually long enough to reach all by yourself. No additional reach straps required! That’s pretty great!
The magnetic closure on the chest clip is pretty unique. I know you’re probably wondering how on earth a magnet could possibly be secure enough, but it totally is. There’s actually these springy little “claws” in the female side that retract when the magnet is pulled together and then flip back out once the clip is closed. What those “claws” do, is hold that chest clip together. While you can drop the top/female side of the chest clip onto the bottom/male and it will close, you have to actually slide the bottom/male side of the chest clip down to release it. Because the magnets are so strong, you don’t have to fumble around to close the chest clip. Get them relatively close to each other and they will just pull together.
The Mountain Buggy Juno can be used in four different carrying positions, but I primarily use two of them. The front carry facing in and the back carry are the two positions that I use the most. I have no trouble getting Petit Prince into the back carry all on my own using the “Walk Like An Egyptian” method , and as he gets heavier I’m gravitating more and more to the back carry. (Scroll down for a video of how I get Petit Prince into a back carry). The Juno can also be used in a hip carry. This isn’t my favourite carry, and I’m not really sure when I would find this position to be either necessary for us or particularly useful. That being said, I do know that a lot of parents like to have the hip carry option, so it’s nice that the Juno can provide that.
The Juno can also be used in a front carry facing out. For facing out, you need to adjust the width of the carrier panel base. To do that you’ll lay the carrier down with the inside facing up. You unsnap the two snaps at the centre of the panel where the top of the waist belt meets the panel. Then you unsnap the leg openings on both sides, then fold the leg openings in and snap it to the centre snaps. Once you’ve done that on both sides, you snap the centre snaps on the mesh of the waist belt onto the inner snaps of the leg openings. The only time you’ll use the Juno with the narrower base snapped in this way is for the front carry facing out. Facing out isn’t my favourite thing to do. I find that overall, I can’t wear Petit Prince in this position for the same length of time as I can wear him facing in or on my back, and Petit Prince doesn’t seem to love it all that well. However, I do understand that some babies absolutely prefer to face out when they are being carried. The Mountain Buggy Juno not only allows for a baby to face out once they are 6 months of age, but it also ensures that baby is in a safe and ergonomic position that is approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
How about wearing larger children? The Mountain Buggy Juno can hold up to a 44lb child, and claims that it can be used to wear a child up to 48 months old (that’s age 4). Well, I just so happen to have a 32lb almost 4 year old (45 months, I think) at my disposal. Have I worn The Heir in the Juno? I have! I had him up when he wasn’t feeling well and asked to go in the carrier. This is a very rare thing around here, but I’m always keen to test the limits of a baby carrier so I never say no! You know what? It was surprisingly comfortable! I found that despite The Heir’s legs being quite long (so no knee to knee seat coverage), the Juno distributed his weight quite well. Both The Heir and I were quite comfortable in the Juno, and although I only wore him for a short time (20-30 minutes), it was totally a viable option for when kids of this age/weight get too tired to walk.
It’s true that the Mountain Buggy Juno doesn’t come in a myriad of different print options. Instead, the Juno is available in four gender neutral colours. I have the nautical colour and I love it because it has a little pop of excitement. The outside of the carrier is a nice navy blue, but the inside is a navy and white nautical stripe. That same nautical stripe is on both sides of the pass through panel, inside the hood, inside the whole carrier panel, and on the inside edges of both pockets. It’s just enough to add a little fun to the overall look without it shouting at everyone that looks at you.
- Four carrying positions: front facing in, front facing out, hip, and back
- Can accommodate babies from 7.7lbs to 44lbs (from birth to 48 months)
- Infant insert is included
- Pass through panel allows for enhanced connection with baby
- Super soft cotton canvas and 100% breathable cotton inner material
- Good sized hood with lengthy straps for reaching
- Mesh lined straps help keep the wearer cool
- Two pockets on the waist belt
- Hood pocket runs the depth of the front panel
- Inner material has some stretch allowing a customized knee to knee support
- Chest clip connects with a strong magnet making it easy to secure
- Cotton canvas adjustable straps take some time to break in
- Hood is not removable
- Pockets on the sides of the waist belt may be difficult to access in some carry positions
The Mountain Buggy Juno is a really nice comfortable carrier. I find that I can wear Petit Prince in either a front facing in or back carry for upwards of two hours without any discomfort. I’ve definitely worn him for a full three hours without feeling so much as a twinge of pain or pinching anywhere on my body. The Juno does a wonderful job of distributing baby’s weight. The softness of the Juno carrier is something else. Inside and out, it’s just so SOFT. The key feature of this carrier has to be the pass through panel. There’s something really special about being able to tickle your baby or gently rub their back as they fall asleep on the go. After all, isn’t baby wearing about connection? The Mountain Buggy Juno has become my “go to” carrier. It’s the one I want to be using whenever I can!
The Mountain Buggy Juno retails for $179.99 US ($229.99 CAD). If you’d like to order a Juno for yourself, you can find them HERE. If you’d like to learn more about the Mountain Buggy Juno carrier, you can read all about it on Mountain Buggy’s website.
How The Monarch Mommy Gets Petit Prince Into A Back Carry: