This JoNo Baby Mei Tai is a half buckle, meaning there that it buckles around the waist and then has shoulder straps that you tie. The one I have is the Standard Mei Tai, it can be used from birth onwards, maximum weight is 20kg. It is very adjustable, cinches from knee to knee, down the sides and across the babies neck. It has two hoods, a flat one and a pixie hood, both are reversible and removable. The flat hood can be used for head/neck support and the pixie hood for warmth. The pixie hood also cinches to help keep it on babies head. The way the Mei Tai cinches to keep baby knee to knee is quite novel and the first carrier I’ve seen do do it this way. It uses velcro. This makes the carrier very easy to cinch in and out and it holds very well, once it’s right it stays right!
They come in a variety of colours, the one I have is black with green straps. The straps and one side of each of the hoods is corduroy and very soft. The buckle straps are also colour matched to the green of the carrier which is a nice touch. This is a great looking carrier, the back panel is nice and big too, it goes high up babies back and is very supportive. The waist buckle is a safety one so it won’t accidentally open on you, which is always a plus! It also has little elastics on the buckle straps to keep them tidy.
The instruction manual that comes with this carrier recommends that the shoulder straps are crossed under the bum and tied at the back. I found that when that was done it caused the waist strap to get very tight and pinch a bit, so I tied it around the front under the bum and it was perfect. Both my partner, Katie, and I tried this carrier. Katie is quite small and I’m quite broad, so we got a good all round perspective. I have worn this for long periods and almost every day since I got it and I found the shoulder straps were a bit narrow for me, they were not as comfortable as some other carriers. They didn’t dig or cause pain but I would like them a bit wider. On Katie however they were perfect. The Mei Tai carried my little fellas 10kg weight nicely, spread it across my shoulders and hip evenly.
I can struggle a bit with back carries, my little fella is a wriggler and not a huge fan of being on the back. I used the ‘hip shuffle’ method of getting him round to my back and it was very easy and quick to get him tied in. The JoNo comes with a separate chest strap that is a simple band of corduroy that velcros on. It was the most comfortable back carry I have tried, the little man even fell asleep for about an hour up there while I did some jobs and had a cup of tea! The chest strap was great, I find a lot of them can pinch and poke me, especially if they have a buckle, but this one was perfect. The only downside is that the chest strap is a separate piece of material that there is no storage pocket for and it does not attach to the carrier when not in use. I have left it at home by accident and then been limited to front carries which was a bit of a pain. We removed the pixie hood for back carries and just used the flat one for head support when he fell asleep. It can be pulled up and attached quite easily and provided great support.
All in all, the JoNo Standard Mei Tai is a great carrier, easily switched between people with no adjustment. It looks fantastic, I especially love the pixie hood and the corduroy. It’s really good quality and being so adjustable and having a weight limit of 20kg it should last a long time. The only downsides I could find were, personally I prefer the straps a little wider, and there’s nowhere to attach/store the chest strap.
You can find these JoNo Baby Mei Tais for sale here. JoNo are also on Facebook. From September 2015 Bump to Beyond will be the Irish stockists for JoNo Baby. You can find them on Facebook here. The Bump to Beyond website can be found here.