Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Baby Carrier Review

I wrote this on the plane back from Israel...then lost it. Today, when cleaning off my desk (woo hoo, Flylady!) I found it. Since it is still relevant I'm typing it up and leaving in all the Israel trip references.

After much deliberation and mind changing I ended up bringing four carriers to Israel.
All of the carriers were favorites at home because of comfort. The Calyx, Connecta and NHT were also favorites because of their ease of use and you can't deny that a well-tied Ulli looks great.

After various trips out and about, through airports, on an airplane, hiking the hilly streets on Jerusalem and trekking atop Metsada I've come up with some new thoughts about each of these carriers.

Ulli Once broken in, this German wrap is uber comfortable. I wasn't much of a wrap user in the past. I used it a few times but it always took me forever to get tied up, felt like it was slipping and if it wasn't tied perfectly seemed to get uncomfortable quickly. I used it a couple times at home right before the trip in a back wrap cross carry so I was able to do that fairly fast. It looks wonderful all wrapped up (did I mention that?) and I just adore Ulli's colors. I still had some slipping, but it isn't 100% broken in yet so that might change. This is what I wore Batya and Chaya in when we visited Metsada.

Connecta I bought this carrier a couple years ago because it is solarveil and the light fabric is wonderful for Southern California summers. I use it often at home because of its "popability" which is a HUGE plus with toddlers. I used the Connecta at the airport and it was a lifesaver when the airline checked our stroller through instead of gate checking as requesting. I didn't use it as much in Israel, though, because this was what Batya vomited in and I had to wash it a couple times. When I finally got it cleaned up and back in use, I found it a bit uncomfortable. The webbing of the straps kept getting bunchy and I'm not certain if it might be because of the weight of the girls. I did use it on the return flight and even wore Batya on the plane to get her down for a nap.

Calyx Still a favorite carrier of mine and one I highly recommend. Ayelet wore it once and also commented on the comfort. Unfortunately there is a lack of popability. As I mentioned, I need something I can get the girls in and out of easily when we are out and about. I wonder if it can be used without the seat? Anyone know? (I foresee a trip to The Babywearer.) Unfortunately I do have to mention the hood. I hate this thing. Really, really hate it. This does hamper wearing the Calyx because if I think one of the girls will sleep I need to take a carrier with a hood that I can actually use. Did I mention how much I hate the hood?

Nurslings Hemp Tai I love this mei tai! This is super comfy! I wore this on a long walk to the Israel Museum and had a chance to try out a few different ties. (Including a make-shift onbuhimo. Did I mention I forgot to pack an obuhimo?) I ended up sticking with a standard twist because the shoulder straps are so darn long. Even after washing I had to go after the ends with some stain soap. This is an expensive carrier and there is a wait for it, but it is definitely worth it!

When we left Los Angeles, I would have rated the carriers (mainly for ease of us):
  1. Connecta
  2. Calyx
  3. NHT
  4. Ulli
Today I would rate them:
  1. Calyx (despite the hood)
  2. Ulli
  3. NHT
  4. Connecta