Okay, so I spent some time last night talking with my wife, watching videos, and reading all the wonderful comments from friends on FB and from my blog readers (many thanks to all of you!). I learned. I’m sort of redefining the K’tan as a wrap, though I doubt they’d appreciate it. I say this because it’s more like the Moby than it is like the Mei Tai, which I see as being a truly different design and structure, which is what makes it more of a hybrid. So, what’s the story with the wraps?
The K’tan and the Mounawrap (thanks to flamidwyfe for telling me about this one!) are both pretty similar designs. They’re also very similar, functionally, to the Moby, just with less work involved in putting them on. Here’s my thinking. First off, if we use the Moby for any length of time, we’ll get pretty good with it, and will probably get reasonably fast at putting it on. I’m not going to count that learning curve against it, as any carrier is going to have some ramp-up time. I’m calling them a wash on that now, but we’ll see if I change my tune after dealing with them for a while. Structurally, the three carriers have slight differences, but really I don’t see them being all that different from a practical perspective. The K’tan and Mounawrap do cost more (a lot more), so that’s definitely a consideration. They’re all available in lots of cute colors, and are machine washable. Really, all three are pretty close, as far as the materials they’re made of, how they hold the baby, how you manipulate them around your body, etc. They’re more alike than they are different, I’ll say that much. But here are the specifics.
Moby sells for $45-60 on their own site (and less elsewhere), making it the cheapest of the three options by a lot. My wife even found this one, which is my very favorite design and also the cheapest I’ve seen these anywhere. Okay, but the Moby Wrap itself. What’s up with it? It’s just a big piece of fabric, so there’s not much to it. It’s machine washable and dryable, but there are no established loops or attachments or anything else. You tuck and tie and wrap it to get the loops and pockets you want. It’s going to be some work to figure it out, but I’ve seen friends use them and I think we’ll get a handle on it. Sort of like cloth diapering. So I’m not counting the Moby out of this fight.
K’tan sells from their site for $60-70, though again, I bet they’re less elsewhere. It includes the two fabric loops (permanently connected with a third fabric loop) and a sash that also converts to a storage tote for the whole shebang. So it’s functionally two pieces. There are fewer than a dozen colors/fabrics available, so their range of fabrics is the least of the three. They do have a half mesh version that’s supposed to be more breathable, so that might be nice.
Mounawrap sells from their site for $80 (goes up from there with various options), and is a little more complicated. Not very, but a little. You get two loops and a sash, but you also get a waistband that you can use in place of (or in addition to) the sash. The other cool thing is that there are tons and tons of colors available, and you can mix and match. The two fabric loops are attached with a metal clip so you can get different colors and swap them into the mix. If you like to coordinate your baby to your outfit or something, that would be a great way to go. You can also get decorative sashes with brocade panels and the like for additional expense. So if you’re big into the fashion thing, Mounawrap gives you a ton of options.
I know I mentioned it before, but the other big downside for the K’tan and Mouna are that they’re sized for the person wearing them. So if my wife wants to use one, we have to buy one in her size. If I want to use one, we have to buy one in my size. At $50+ a pop, that’s a pretty expensive proposition, especially with the Moby available for $35. The Moby will work equally well for either of us (my wife at 5’1″, me at 6’3″) so we really only need one. If we wanted to buy two so we could always have one free (while washing the other, say) we’d still be spending less than just one of the other brands. So yeah. That’s definitely a factor. I think we’re going to see if we can borrow a Moby from a friend tonight and I’ll practice tying it and carry around one of our baby’s bigger stuffed animals. I’m trying to convince my wife to let me carry the dog around, but she seems to think I’d be taking my life into my hands with a stunt like that.
Okay, so what’s the last word on these? I don’t have it. Not yet. But right now, I’m thinking the Moby seems like the biggest bang for the buck, both because of actual price and because we can both use the same one. So we’re going to check it out, practice a bit with it before the baby gets here and see if we can get a head start on that learning curve.
Next time, I’ll try to dig into the more structured carriers, but spoiler alert: Everyone I’ve talked to absolutely loves the Ergo Carrier. Even having to buy the infant insert for it, it still sounds like it’s well worth the money. Since we’ll probably be saving so much on the wrap-type carriers, maybe we can invest that into the better structured carrier? The Ergo is even machine washable, and you can get it mostly dry in the dryer, though they do recommend letting it finish drying on a line. Still, that’s a lot going for it. I’ll do more research and gte back to you on that and the other options soon.
Thanks for reading!