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Ergo Reviews and Comparison

By HD

Interested in an Ergo but confused about which one you want to buy?  I had the opportunity to try out 3 different Ergo styles to find out just what the differences are.

Ergo carriers are soft structured buckle carriers that are great long haul carriers (infant through toddler).  All three have sleeping hoods and the Performance and Organic both have a zipper closed pocket for carrying small items on the body of the carrier.  They come in a variety of colors (depending on the model) and are easily adjustable between multiple wearers.

Ergo carriers are easy to find, you can buy them online and through local retailers like Target and Babies R Us.  These carriers are a popular choice among both moms and dads!


Performance

The Performance is the sturdiest carrier of the three.  The shoulder straps, waist strap and body are more contoured and fit a little differently that the Sport or the Organic.  The inside of the carrier has a mesh water resistant liner that is breathable and helps pull moisture away from baby in hot weather or on long walks or hikes where the parent may become hot.

I used this carrier a few times during my older son’s soccer practice (when the temperature was in the 90’s) and did not feel as hot as I would in other soft structured carriers.

Sport

The Sport is surprising light weight and takes up less space than the other two types.  The hood on this carrier is also easily removable with buttons snaps.  It folds up a little smaller and would be great for throwing in a diaper bag.  My son also felt much lighter in this carrier than in the other two.  This carrier was great for doing things like housework and yard work because of the weight.  There is also a vent in the body of the carrier that is supposed to keep baby cooler.


Organic

The Organic is the most comfy of the three.  The fabric is a little softer and it has a bit more fabric in the body than the others.

This is just a great for anytime carrier, although not as cool as the Performance or as compact as the Sport, this was my favorite (and my son’s favorite) of the three.  This carrier just works for everything from snuggling to hiking.  I also love the vibrant prints.

If you would like to try the different Ergo styles for yourself, join us at a monthly meeting or open help hours!

*Credits on the babywearing pictures to my four-year old son.

Kinderpack Review

By B

The Kinderpack was generously donated to the library by Kindercarry. Thanks!

I tried this out with my 11-13 month old.This is a super duper comfy carrier. It is very well thought out, with some nice little touches. Our carrier is the “standard” size and it fits baby girl just right.

Kinderpacks come in a variety of sizes, from infant to preschool. You can also get custom sized straps from petite to plus sized. Info on the standard size from the KP site:

standard: 16″ h x 17″ w- ages 8mo-3 yrs : starting at 20lbs/28″ and up to 38″

standard is the choice for most people.  Please realize that the standard will fit up to 3 years old/4T.  This is the size to buy if you want to buy one carrier without having to size up later.”

Kinderpacks are made by  WAHM right here in Illinois. This is another carrier you can tell is made by a babywearing mama. It has some great features that only a babywearer would think of.

The shoulder straps adjust at both ends of the buckles. This makes it easier to get the exact fit that you want.

I love the hood. It tucks into the body. The cavity then snaps closed, creating kind of a headrest, a great idea.

Hood out:

And in:

The website has a lot of excellent info on the carriers, the ordering process, even videos on how to wear it.

I found the whole carrier somewhat thicker than other SSCs in the body area and the shoulder straps to be wider. The fabric is soft, but sturdy.

Like all SSCs, the Kinderpack is great at distributing weight to your hips. It is quick and easy to get on and off. It can be used for front, hip or back carries. It is easy to fold up compactly to carry with you. I think soft structured carriers are also easy to wear empty if baby wants to hop out and crawl around for a bit. They offer good coverage for nursing as well.

I tried my 4.5  year old in it

For a large kid in a carrier not really designed for a giant child, this was pretty comfy. Even though this is sized for a much smaller person, he still has a nice seat in this, with good positioning.

Bottom line: Kinderpacks are a very comfortable, very customizable carrier with a lot of special touches.

 

Pognae Review

By B

The Pognae was generously donated to our group by Pognae USA. Thanks! I tested it out with my 11-13 month old.

Well, this carrier, in my mind, is a best buy. Prices start at $65, much much less than a typical SSC. It can be used for front, hip and back carries. The straps are worn “rucksack style” and it has an adjustable chest belt.

These cinch down very small. They would be ideal for a very petite mama. I suspect those who find many SSCs too bulky for them would enjoy this. They don’t get as large as some carriers (but do have an extender belt, sold separately), so I would recommend them for a very petite to slightly larger than average mama or a smaller dad. I consider myself average sized and it fits me great.

The carrier comes with a belt mounted coin purse type pouch. It is just big enough to jam in an ID, some cash and an iPhone.

This would be an ideal carrier for hot weather. The straps are backed in mesh. The body of the carrier, and this is ingenious to me, zips away to reveal a mesh body panel. I’ve never seen another carrier where you have the option of the “summer” or regular panel. The regular panel rolls up and velcros underneath. It really is very very clever.

There is a tuck away hood that zips up into the body. It provides head support for a sleeping babe and also acts as a sun shade.

There is a removeable headrest for small babies that attaches to the straps. My baby didn’t need this feature, but I imagine it would support a small baby’s head quite well. For a very small baby, they recommend an infant insert (sold separately).

This is shorter bodied (14″), which makes it a good choice for a petite baby, though DD, at 14 months, fits in it fine, with room to grow. I did try my tall 4 year old in it. Height-wise, it didn’t work out at all (and it is only recommended for up to age 36 mos), but it was comfy for his weight, between 35 and 40 lbs. This isn’t the first carrier I would recommend for a preschooler, but it would do in a pinch. It’s recommended for up to 45 lbs.

I took this carrier with on a trip we took from Peoria to St Louis. I wore baby girl in it a lot around the zoo,

then for several more hours walking around downtown and in the arch. It was very comfortable and provided excellent nursing coverage.

She spent a lot of the day in this carrier and it was really supportive, particularly for the price point.


Bottom line: if you are looking for a carrier for hot weather, for a tiny person or just an unbeatable price on a soft structured carrier, consider a Pognae.

Kinderpack Review

By HD

Carrier: Kinderpack (standard size)

Reviewed with child age: 17 months

The Kinderpack is a soft- structured carrier for front and back carries. They are made in infant, standard, toddler and even preschool sizes, so you can find the right size for your family’s needs.

The waist strap buckles in the front and adjusts simply and easily. The shoulder straps are wider and have more padding than most SSCs (the straps also come in petite, standard and plus sizes). The body of the carrier is also wider than most, and results in a very comfy seat for your little one.

Fabric designs are always changing, so if you are interested, you have to keep a close eye out for the design that suits you best. 

We used the carrier for a recent trip to Wisconsin and took a couple mile long walk at a nature preserve.

Later in the day, I used the Kinderpack to tour a museum for another few miles of walking. I was surprised how light my son seemed and I felt absolutely no repercussions from carrying him such long distances.

This carrier is on my top list of favorites! Getting to spend some time with this carrier to review it has only made me want one more. And it is not just me, I asked my son to pick out a carrier to ride in at a recent BWI event. He picked the Kinderpack not just once, but twice that day! 

Kindercarry (the company who makes Kinderpack) also makes mei tai carriers. Following Kindercarry on Facebook or Twitter is a good way to stay updated on new stockings.

http://www.kindercarry.com/
http://kindercarry.bigcartel.com/

Bamberoo Mei Tai Review

By HD

 

Bamberoo Mei Tai

Reviewed with child age: 16 months

The Bamberoo MT from the BWI Peoria library has the regular style body (which is a bit more structured than many other mei tai carriers) with extra long straps. For me, extra long straps are a big bonus since I prefer to be able to tie Tibetan (adding a chest strap).

Long straps give a few more tying options and a little more to your babywearing style! Long straps can also be helpful when parents have different body sizes. 

I wore this carrier to the farmer’s market, grocery shopping and on walks. My 16 month old felt even lighter than he does in a soft structured carrier (my usual carrier) and I could easily carry him long distances. 

Using a mei tai carrier is fairly easy to learn. With my 16 month old, I use a back carry and found that after a couple of uses I had the hip scooting and the tying down pat. The tying takes a bit more time than a buckle, so I would probably use something different for quick in and out trips, but for those mid length trips, the extra time is worth the comfort. Mei tais make it easy to get just the right amount closeness in your carry and are easily adjusted.

Bamberoo carriers come in a variety of colors and patterns. They also make soft structured carriers and wrap conversions. Custom work is available. They are in high demand, so start looking for yours soon!

http://www.bamberoobaby.com/

http://hyenacart.com/stores/Bamberoo/

Tula Review

By B

I’ll be honest. I love this carrier. It fits my body just right and I love it.

A little about Tula carriers, from our correspondence with the owner, Ula, who generously sold us the carrier at cost for the library:

We are making them in Poland and every carrier is made by hand by one person from beginning to the end. It is not the same type of a production as these that make their carriers in china or india. 
We would like to remain smaller, more exclusive and appeal to people who appreciate that we have our own facility and our own employees. We are able to pay our employees double of what they used to make as seamstresses in their previous job.
I really like that. I like being a part of carriers made in fair trade conditions. I like the idea of getting a great carrier while I’m making life better for a mama like myself. That’s good stuff.
Aside from all that, Tula has some nice features. There’s a storage pouch on the waist band. It’s big enough for your phone, some cash, a key. I like that it’s on the waist instead of the body of the carrier for a couple of reasons. 1) I don’t like to smush things up against baby’s body as in a traditional pocket on the carrier. 2) I think the waist placement makes it more accessible when doing a back carry
There’s a sleep hood that is removable (snaps on and off).
They come in a lot of cute prints and are starting to do woven wrap conversions. There’s an available infant insert, but I haven’t tried it.
Something else really unique that I haven’t tried, but would like to, is the leg extensions. Tula makes an infant sized and toddler sized carrier. The carrier shown here is the infant size. My baby is between 9 and 11 months in these pics
The infant size, with a 15.5″ body, is for babies from 15 to 45 lbs. The toddler size, wider and 18″ tall,  is for children 18 months (and/or about 25 pounds) to 4+ year old. The leg extensions slip onto the infant sized carrier to enable you to carry an older child and still have knee to knee support.
The straps on this are less wide than some, but more padded, so they are still very comfortable. There is extra padding around the leg area for baby’s comfort, a nice touch. There are the handy elastic loops on the ends of the webbing to keep things looking neat (but, um, I may be too lazy to do those up often.)
The shoulder straps adjust at the back, as typical straps do, and also at the front, which is really nice for breastfeeding in the carrier. In a front carry, the straps are worn rucksack style with a chest belt. The chest belt is easy to adjust, so you can wear it lower, as I prefer, or higher.
All in all, this is a really terrific mid-priced SSC.

Tula Review

By HD

Carrier: Tula SSC


Reviewed with children age: 14 months

This Tula is a buckle soft structured carrier that can be used for front and back carries. Tula carriers are handmade in Poland and are high quality. This carrier is definitely on my favorite list! It was incredibly comfortable to wear and I love the print! It was easy to adjust and easy to use. I also really liked the pocket on the waist of the carrier (under the seat) for storing my phone and money. 

I used the carrier for many of my everyday activities such as cleaning, cooking, shopping and of course walking. My son likes to be worn while I get ready for work in the morning. These pictures were taken after a morning stroll before leaving for work. He loved looking at the squirrels, bunnies and birds! 


Come check out the Tula at the next BWI of Peoria meeting!

Colimacon et Cie Review

By B

We got the Colimacon & Cie wrap at a discount from The Blueberry Tree. (Thanks!) We used the “Surprise Me” listing to save 10%, letting Susan select the color for us. She nicely tossed swatches of all of the colors in with our order. They are all beautiful. Really, there’s nothing I would’ve been disappointed with. The solids are plain enough for dads to wear, but bright enough to not be at all boring.

We got the wrap in a 4.5 m, though they have a full range of sizes, from 2.5 to 5.5 meters. The 4.5 m length, a size 6-ish, is a versatile length. For most average sized mamas, this is their base size. If you are tall, fluffy or busty, you’d want to size up. This is the size I would use for a front wrap cross carry, my go to front carry, as well as multi layered back carries.

Out of the box, I’d call this wrap softish. It comes with a nice instruction book, which tells you to wash the wrap before use. I tumbled it for 10 minutes, then hung it dry. Out of the wash, it was a bit crunchy, so I set about breaking it in. There are a number of things you can do to break a wrap in. I go with the lazy gal’s way and haul the wrap around like it’s my blankie. I sit on it on the couch. I make other family members sit on it. I smush it around while I’m watching TV. I get kids to smush it around. If I’m sitting down, the wrap is underneath me. I’ve even slept with wraps under my pillow, though I didn’t with this one. If you were intending to use this with a newborn, I’d advise buying it and prepping it ahead of time. Right out of the box, I don’t know that I find it newborn soft, though I’m picky about what I use with teensy ones.

When broken in, this wrap could absolutely be your one and only. If you are someone who is looking to buy one wrap, not spend a ton, be able to use it from small baby through heavy toddler and share the wrap with your spouse, I’d encourage you to try this wrap out.

One feature I noticed on this wrap that I haven’t seen before is the stitching on the edges. Each side is a different color. This would be a big help to a newbie wrapper, helping you make sure you know which end is which. I’ve seen wraps with each edge a different color, but I haven’t seen a solid color wrap that still helps you differentiate. It’s a nice feature.

Something else that I like about this wrap is how sturdy it is. This is not a wrap that you need to baby. If I owned it, I’d machine dry it (on low). It’s very hardy, not easily snaggable. This is a wrap you can use as a picnic blanket, as a hammock, that you can let your toddler drag around without worry. This is a parking lot wrap.

I tried my 36 lb 4 year old in it. While we don’t do a lot of wearing these days, I do consider this something that would be suitable to wear him in.

 

Je Porte Mon Bebe Wrap Review

By B

I’m more excited about this wrap than I’ve been about one for a while. This is so cool! Je Porte Mon Bebe is a fabulous French company. The wrap is a hybrid stretchy. It can be used for back carries safely, unlike a traditional stretchy. The name means “I carry my baby” or “I wear my baby”. Je Porte Mon Bebe is all about babywearing education. I love their philosophy:
“OUR PHILOSOPHY

Our purpose is to deliver the best wrap possible and its explanations, in order to have an easy, durable, and physiological baby carrying experience.We focus on the teaching as much as on the product R&D. Since 2005 we do weekly workshops to explain babywearing to parents in Paris. Since 2008 we have an instruction program to train health professionals and baby wearing instructors to teach wraps to parents in need. There is now a JPMBB workshop network across France and Belgium. We’re a pretty hardcore and unconventional company, very close to our users, and users ourselves. We’re dedicated 24/7 to babywearing with no compromise. As a company, we focus on putting sense in the product and in the commercial transaction. We consider the buying as a beginning between us and the user, not the end of the story. Our ultimate goal is a correct and physiological use of the wrap and an increase of the user’s parental trust.”

Their site  and many of their amazing instructional videos are in English as well as French. They have the absolute best, most thorough, easy to understand videos that I have seen. Hands down. And, guys, I’ve seen a lot of instructional videos.

The wrap is 5 m long, 70 cm in width, which is wider than a lot of wraps. This is part of what makes it secure for back carries. (Most stretchy wraps are NOT safe for back carries. If you have an older stretchy wrap, the manual may show how to do a back carry, but these are no longer recommended and are not safe. Hybrid stetchies are safe for back carries.)

The wraps come in an array of solid colors, with a contrasting pocket in the center. They are gender neutral, but not boring, very stylish. The fabric is a cotton spandex blend, made specifically for JPMBB. It stretches in all directions, but is very dense, the same density as a woven wrap. What does that mean? This is another part of why it’s safe for back carries. Though the wrap is stretchy, the density means that it’s hard for the baby or child to stretch. I’ve done some experimenting with my older child and he can’t get himself into an unsafe position, like falling off my back, even when he tries with a spotter. I feel very safe with Baby Peach  on my back. I was surprised at how comfortable it was with my 35 lb big boy. I could definitely carry him in it. He is at the maximum weight for it and I expected it to be not very comfortable.

I learned a new carry to do in this wrap, the Reverse Double Hammock, from the videos on the page.

I admit, I was a little nervous wearing such a stretchy wrap on my back, but it felt very secure, even the first time. The instructions are very easy to follow and detailed. What I really like about this wrap in that carry is how very soft and comfortable it is across my chest. I’m picky about chest belts in wraps, how they are tied and which wraps I find comfortable enough for them. The JPMBB is sooo squishy soft, it doesn’t bother my bony upper chest at all.

It’s definitely soft enough for use from birth, soft enough for even the tiniest, most sensitive baby. The density makes it strong enough for long carries, even as my baby gets heavier. I think that density and softness would make it a really good choice for a preemie. (I have no personal experience with preemies, though, so take that for what it’s worth.) There is a lot more versatility with this than with a typical stretchy wrap, in that you can do so many different carries. If you love your stretchy wrap, but your baby is getting too heavy or you want to do back carries, this is for you. If you like the versatility of a woven wrap, but find they aren’t soft and squishy enough, consider a Je Porte Mon Bebe.

The company could not have been nicer to deal with. Plus, you feel really cool getting a package from France!

 

BB Sling Review

By HD

 

Carrier: BB Sling (generously donated to us by Nova Natural)

Reviewed with children age: 12 months

This is a ring sling carrier made from the same material as a woven wrap.  The material gives extra support and you can carry a heavy child comfortably.  I used this carrier primarily with my 12 month old, but I did try my 3 year old and he also fit.

I am not a typical ring sling user, but this sling was easier than a lot of ring slings I have tried.  The fabric makes it easier to pull through and adjust the fabric to size.  The shoulder is especially comfy and spreads easily.  I also thought the fabric added sturdiness, I even slid my son to my back a few times and I normally don’t do this with a ring sling, but he was safe and secure.

For me, ring slings are great in and out carriers and I like to use them for quick trips into stores.  They are easy to fold up and stick in a large purse or diaper bag.  I also really liked this carrier for getting ready for work in the morning.  My little guy enjoyed being carried as I rushed around to find all of my things and get myself ready!