Reviewed by: Amelia
Price (MSRP): $179+
Best Use: Day Hiking
Where to Buy: The Natural Baby Co
Testing Location: Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas
Testing Environment: All conditions
**This review has been updated in 2016 as I reach for it continually with my 4th baby as a newborn**
The EmeiBaby carrier is a one-of-a-kind combination of soft structured carrier and ring sling. It allows the convenience of a SSC with the adjustability and comfort of a ring sling. Because you can adjust the size of the main part of the carrier with the rings, it means you have a perfect fit for all sizes of baby, no infant insert needed.
While the carrier itself can be a little intimidating at first, it’s worth the few minutes it takes to familiarize yourself with how it works. And, unlike a ring sling that has to be adjusted each time to get baby in and out, once the EmeiBaby is adjusted, you are set until the child grows or you wear a different child.
Because of the fact that no infant insert is needed and it is nice and floppy (thanks to the ring sling part of it), this it the most structured carrier I have seen that remains streamlined and non-bulky. Infant inserts are great, but they do leave gaps (which can be dangerous due to falling or poor positioning) or require extra bulk. The advantage to wraps and ring slings is a perfect and comfy fit – the disadvantage is they have a steeper learning curve for wearers and aren’t as convenient as soft structured carriers. The EmeiBaby combines the best of both worlds.
The EmeiBaby comes in two different sizes:
– Baby Size: Newborns, babies and toddlers from 3 kg (6.6 lbs) up to 18 kg (33 lbs). <– the size we have
– Toddler plus Size: From 1 – 3 year (max. 18 kg / 39,6 lbs)
The carrier fits wearers from sizes XXS – XXL. The waist belt has a maximum circumference of 55inches and a minium of 25 inches (there is an extender available also).
What I love:
– Very comfortable
-Perfect for newborn wearing
– There is an option for a narrow seat (great for small babies) or a wider seat (by simply tying straps to extend the seat).
– Knee to knee support and a deep seat every time
– Easy to adjust for both baby and wearer for the ultimate in comfort
– Beautiful and unique colors (due to the woven portion)
– Comfortable straps for me (both shoulder and waistband)
– Quality construction I can count on to last for years
– Not only can you adjust the straps and the body of the carrier, but there are also bands at Baby’s neck you can adjust for more support
– The hood size is adequate for support and protection (from sun, etc.)
What I am not so crazy about:
– It DOES take a few minutes to figure it out at first. The EmeiBaby site has some great videos (shown below) to help with the process. It’s not nearly as complicated as wrapping and not nearly as involved as getting used to a ring sling (plus better support for all-day wearing.)
– The Baby size only goes up to 33 pounds. That is, in most cases, about a 3 year old. Granted, this is usually the age most kids refuse to be worn as much, but if you have a larger child than that, they need to be in the Toddler Plus size (which allows up to 40 pounds.) It’s definitely a lower weight limit than most other soft structured carriers. Again, not an issue for most families, but definitely something to take into consideration.
– Because of the fact that it has a woven portion in it, the carrier is more expensive than others. However, if you take into consideration the fact that no infant insert is needed, it makes it more reasonable. Compare it to wraps and other ring slings and it’s a steal!
– There are no pockets. I missed having even just a small one in the waistband for my keys, etc.
Tips for use:
– Adjust the carrier with baby on the front first. Then move them to a back carry if needed/wanted. It’s near impossible to adjust the carrier when the child is on your back by yourself.
– When putting it on, tuck the extra carrier fabric (the woven part) into the waistband so that Baby is sitting in the “sling” itself
– Adjustments can happen by the rings and on the straps to shorten them and bring Baby closer to you (“kissable close”).
– The extra fabric needs to be tucked into and tied up (using the included straps) for safety and comfort.
Where to find them in the U.S.:
The Natural Baby Co. in Bozeman, MT (and online) sells them for $179.99. This is my favorite baby store – hands down. Tell them I sent you! There are some other online shops that sell them, but for a higher price.
The Bottom Line:
While this isn’t the carrier for wearing larger toddlers or children, it is an excellent carrier for a good fit every time without an infant insert. The initial wearing takes a little practice, but is nothing to be intimidated about. It’s comfortable for both the wearer and the child AND combines the best of two worlds (the comfort of a ring sling/wrap and the convenience of a soft structured carrier.). The Emeibaby Baby size works best with children aged newborn – 3 years old (or 33 pounds).
Q- Which carrier do you prefer, the Emeibaby or Tula? I’m looking for something comfortable on my back. I also have an extremely active toddler I need to be able to pick up while carrying my baby. I currently have an ergo which works well but I am looking for something more comfortable on my back.
A-Both are great carriers, but the Emeibaby definitely takes a bit more adjusting. I personally prefer the simplicity of the Tula or Boba or Onya, especially for bigger kids!
Emeibaby generously provided us this this carrier (per our request) in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.
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