If you are having trouble deciding between the Beco Gemini and the Beco Butterfly II, then this post is for you. First off, you are not alone! I get asked about the differences all the time. And I know how hard it is to choose from pictures and written descriptions! If you are local to us in Napa, CA, or have another baby carrier store near you, I really recommend trying them both on and deciding for yourself. But, for those of you online who don’t have a babywearing store or group near you, here are some tips from my personal experience selling these carriers in-person and online. If you are more of a chart person, please also check out my handy comparison chart comparing all our buckle carriers.
The Beco Butterfly II came first. This carrier has a wide, unpadded body, a padded waistband and padded shoulder straps that must be worn back-pack style, whether on the front or the back. It has a removable, soft cloth sleeping hood. The Butterfly’s unique feature is it’s internal safety harness, which is a y-shaped piece of material that secures the baby into the carrier. This fabric comes between you and your baby, and allows you to put the baby in the carrier before putting the carrier on. This feature is great for new babywearers or for people who feel nervous about baby’s safety in the carrier. It also makes it a breeze to put baby on your back (no balancing!) and allows you to pass baby on to another wearer without removing baby from the carrier (great for sleeping babies!). The Butterfly II allows for wearing baby on the front (facing in) and wearing baby on the back.
The Beco Gemini debuted in August 2010 and was an instant success. The Gemini has a lightly padded body, which is slightly contoured to make the carrier a bit sleeker in appearance than the Butterfly. It has a padded waistbelt as well. There is no separate sleeping hood – rather the back of the carrier flips up or down to create a sleeping rest for baby’s head. This can also provide extra back support for taller kids. The straps of the Gemini are padded and can be worn back-pack style or crossed in back (which many people find more comfortable when wearing baby on their back). The base of the Gemini can be snapped in or out to accommodate infants or forward facing positions. The Gemini does not have the safety harness feature. The Gemini allows for wearing baby on the front (facing in or out) and wearing baby on the back. It can also be used as a hip carrier in a pinch.
Which carrier will fit my body type better?
For most people, you can’t go wrong with either carrier. However, people with very petite bodies will find that the Butterfly II is a better fit for them. The Gemini fits well in the front carry, but very petite people may have trouble getting the carrier sufficiently snug for a comfortable back carry.
Both the Gemini and the Butterfly fit tall and plus-sized people equally well.
Which carrier will work better for my baby?
In my experience, babies love almost any carrier that you feel comfortable wearing! That being said:
- The Gemini has a lower weight range (7 lbs) and there is no fabric between you and the baby. This makes it a great choice for newborns and very small babies.
- The Butterfly has a higher weight capacity so if you plan to wear both a newborn and a toddler over 35 lbs, the Butterfly is a better choice for you.
- If you are wearing only a toddler over 35, I recommend an ERGO baby carrier (I find the safety harness on the Butterfly to be a bit of a bother with older kids and their big shoes!)
- If your baby is absolutely, positively insistent on facing out, the Gemini is for you.
- If your baby wants to get up and down all the time, either carrier will work for you. The Gemini is easier to get on and off, but the Butterfly is easier to put baby in and out of without taking off the carrier.
- Most new babywearers find the Gemini a bit easier to learn. The Butterfly II is a bit more intimidating out of the box.
- People who feel nervous about putting baby on their back adore the Butterfly. It makes back carries super easy.
- For hot climates, the Butterfly has a slight edge because it is not padded.
- The Gemini is easier to nurse in, since there is no fabric between you and the baby. Nursing is done is an upright position in either of these carriers.
- At $129, the Gemini is slightly less expensive than the Butterfly, which is $139.