Friday, March 14, 2008

pikkolo™ Coming Soon!

I received my sample pikkolo™ soft structured carrier from Catbird Baby the other day and finally had a chance to test drive it on a hike yesterday. Here's my review:

Overall... what a great carrier! I was really skeptical that the unpadded waistbelt would be comfortable but in fact I think I might prefer it to a padded waistbelt now. The downside of a padded waistbelt (and maybe this is just me) is that it pushes the top of my pants down. I didn't have this issue at all with the unpadded waistbelt, and I really liked how un-bulky it is. And it didn't dig in to my middle at all, even though it seems like it should.

Another thing I LOVE is the memory foam shoulder straps - what a dream! The straps are designed to cross in the back when used for a front carrier but when using as a back carrier it comes with a removeable chest beltto cinch the straps together in front. The chest belt is a bit awkward and doesn't attach to the shoulder straps so would be easily lost, but I believe this is a feature that will be improved in future releases.

I personally don't find the pikkolo™ as pretty as the Beco, but the patterns are neutral and muted enough to appeal to those who don't want a solid color carrier but don't want something that clashes with their outfit or won't be worn by Dad. The pikkolo™ fabric is much stiffer and canvas-like, although I have read that with washing it softens up nicely and it's probably a more durable carrier fabric overall.

Another very cool feature of the pikkolo™ (which I don't get to test as my youngest is 2.5 years old) is a cinching mechanism on the carrier body to make it narrower. This allows for carrying very young babies without an separate insert. It also allows for a comfortable forward facing front carry, which is very handy and not do-able with any other soft structured carrier I don't think (but I wouldn't recommend it once your baby is over 20 pounds as it will throw off your center of gravity and kill your back).

So, I will be carrying the pikkolo™ in addition to the Beco and should be getting my first shipment in mid-April. Please feel free to contact me to get added to an interest list.

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