Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Action Baby Carriers (SSC) review

Since 2013, Andrea Govender and her husband have been the brains behind Action Baby Carriers. These are an American-made soft structured canvas carrier with a lightly padded waist, lightly padded/webbing straps that aren't hard on the pocket - $98US for a standard size and $114 for a toddler. They sent me one of each size to try and I've enjoyed having Audrey and the dolls rock around - I even tried a little bit of tandem action, and the flatter padded straps were BRILLIANT.

Andrea's got an excellent eye for style and the carriers are cleanly designed using modern fabrics. 

It's lovely to see a wide range of choices which are fashionable without practicing appropriation or questionable labelling. I especially like the way you can check out the construction of the carrier in this neat mockup - 

You can see that the straps pass all the way through the body of the carrier - so when you tighten, you are actually cinching the diameter of the carrier and pulling your child closer, not just pulling on the stitching or the edge of the body panel.

 This is especially nice when carrying smaller babies who still need to be carefully positioned and have their spine well supported to avoid slumping, and REALLY helps with a heavier child to pull their weight closer to your core so they can't lean away. 

They sent me one of each size to try and I've enjoyed having Audrey and the dolls rock around - even a little bit of tandem action! We went on a rather epic night walk - around two hours, plenty of pavement pounding, and no complaints here. 

Regardless of size, each carrier features a simple sleep hood, safety chest strap, and verrrrrry comfortable crossable straight straps (especially good for petite or narrow-shouldered carers). I found these especially great for a longthy walk and staying supportive with 14kgs in a front carry. 

These will suit a wide range of bodies - hip belts adjust from 28 inches to 52 inches, and shoulder straps cinch down to a total 17 inches (more petite than a Tula), which meant I could actually achieve a snug back carry, something I can't manage in all SSC. 

The waistband is supportive and i could get a snug fit without being crazy wide and uncomfortable to sit in (4 inches wide). Toddler was a very comfortable seat for my 14kg/32lb nearly 3yo, and the leg padding was nice without being another massive chunk on the carrier. I think the toddler size will prove supportive and easily capable right up to it's 45lb/20kg limit. (Andrea recommends the toddler for children not younger than 18mo, and not less than 15lbs.)

Just for fun, I tried the standard size out with Audrey and although her support wasn't knee to knee (and please remember that's not strictly necessary beyond approximately 12 months of age) she didn't complain and I was still comfortable. The body was obviously a little short but we compensated with the sleep hood ;) with my 8kg (18lb) Demi doll this was very easy, and the construction of this carrier (go back and look at those transparent pics) mean this works very well (I prefer to hold off on SSC till 4mo) without the need for an insert. 
Verdict? Great carrier at an amazingly good price point. Very pleased with adjustability and I've had the chance to see it with a wide variety of body types at a recent meet. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Garden of Eden - handwoven and divine

A large box arrived and we tore into it excitedly... YES! Handwoven gorgeousness, in cool ocean tones and a  solemn black weft. 4m of cotton plain-weave with excellent selvedges and blunt  tapers. Garden of Eden, well played.

This has been simply lovely. I've only used it with Audrey thus far (turning 3 in 3 months, 14kg/32lbs) so it's had a decent workout. As a FWCC tub it's great. Enough cush to sit very comfortably for an hour while walking, fine enough to get that sleek second-skin feeling that is the mark of a great wrap job. After another wash, it fluffed up some more and then settled back to drapey, fluid and malleable. 

We rocked a robins front carry- again, easy to get the top pass to slide smoothly and really fit snugly- strand by strand and and bit by bit. Enough texture in the plainweave to lock nicely, but nothing that prevents you from adjusting well. While I came across a couple of thread changes, I was looking carefully, and there has been great attention to detail in the creation of this wrap, consistent to the feedback I've sought from other Garden of Eden owners. 

Here's the embarrassing part of the story: my husband is currently working all hours so after dinner Audrey and I went on a night walk (well, you can see who did the actual "walking"!) anyway, this DH was comfortable enough that she snuggled right down... 
And fell asleep. So deeply that we skipped our whole bedtime routine, including the usual toilet trip. Yup. She was so asleep she didn't wake up to do a wee like usual and I ended up with a wet back (ewwwww). However, after two hours of lugging her around, that was my only discomfort! 

We love it. Not an inch of sag, glorious support and comfortable cush. Compares VERY well to my permastash Uppymama Iris storm, more sturdy in feel than solstice studios. Weighs in at approx  295gsm and has been christened "sea rainbow" in this house ;) get your name on Devorah's custom list now.