Monday, August 22, 2016

Soul Tai Review

             Hey folks! Being the parent of one child can be chaotic enough. Add in another one (or two or five!) and you pretty much need a free set of hands. Someone is going to constantly be asking for something or needing this or that. That's why, now that I have two children, I have learned firsthand why so many parents are fond of babywearing nowadays. Not only does it free up your hands, but you still get to keep your little ones close without feeling like you're neglecting anybody! (Or anything, for that matter. I'm sure plenty of you out there have done household chores while babywearing!)
             For all of these reasons and more, it is easy to fall in love with babywearing. It also goes without saying that safety and comfort are of utmost importance when choosing the right baby carrier for you and your little one, as well as quality. That's why I'm excited to share with you today my review of a carrier from Soul Slings that gets check marks next to all three of those things!
            As you may have read in previous babywearing reviews/posts, I have an affinity for mei tais. It goes without saying that I was more than happy to try the Soul Tai out recently. For those of you who are into specs, here are a few from Soul Sling's website:

*Weight recommendation: 7 -18 kg (15-40 lb) approx
*Fibre: Woven cotton panel with pure sturdy woven cotton base and straps
*Straps: Hybrid (centrally padded) wrap straps
*Tested for: ASTM F2236-14
*Sizing: 88" waist
*80" shoulder length
*12" width strap at the shoulders
*Soul Tai panel is 16" tall at tallest point to top of the waist band and 15" wide at the top of the waist band measured with soft tape. 
             Before I go into details, my initial impression?...
(Please tell me I'm not the only one who's seen "How To Train Your Dragon 2" a hundred times.)

             Seriously, though, I couldn't believe how comfortable this carrier was right from the get-go! I did wash it first, because I am OCD like that, but it's not as if it were “well-loved” and worn in yet. Here's what else I liked about the Soul Tai:

*Extra long shoulder straps compared to the Mei Tai Baby (MTB) that I previously reviewed. As I've mentioned before, I'm a bigger girl and these straps actually reach around to my back again!

Our maiden voyage to *shocker* Rural King. She likes it, I swear! (The carrier, that is. ;) )

*Since they are hybrid shoulder straps and flare out to wrap width, they are SOOO much more comfortable than any other baby carrier I have tried. I'm stubborn and put off trying them out this way for awhile and regret it. They seriously make all of the difference in the comfort to weight distribution ratio.

*The central padding on the shoulder straps is nice and cushy as well (another thing the Mei Tai Baby lacks). They are more like soft-structured carrier straps, which was a nice change.

*I'm still not certain if it's just because the carrier is still new and not “broken in” much, but I have been pleasantly surprised that the wrap straps stay folded in place under the regular part of the straps if you want them too, if that makes sense. I was worried at first that I would be constantly battling them to stay in place while I was trying to get the shoulder straps adjusted. (Not that that's been an issue anyway since I like having them flared out!)

*The Soul Sling has been much easier and comfier for me to fold the seat smaller for Little Bit than the MTB. She likes sitting higher than I feel like most babies her age do and I like that I have the versatility of being able to fold the seat at all (compared to a SSC where you're pretty much stuck with one size) and really get a custom fit.

*It's easy to get baby positioned well with little or no effort.

*Love, love, LOVE that this comes with a nap hood built in!...Even though we've only been able to use it once, really, without Little Bit throwing a full on fit. At least the option is there, right?

*Overall the Soul Tai seems very sturdy and well-made; very strong stitching.

*I have to admit that I was expecting something thinner for some reason, being that this particular mei tai is made of cotton. However, it's still pretty breathable. (I was worried about this since we're trying it out in the middle of summer and we both get hot easily!) We used this at the county fair a couple of times, even with the hood up once in 85 degree + weather, and neither one of us got too hot. Ripley got a little warm with the hood up, but I honestly think that had more to do with the fact that she had her face buried in my chest while sleeping. (Does anyone else have babies that try to smother themselves while sleeping in baby carriers?!)

*As much as I think Ripley and I would both like it, I have not been adventurous enough to try back carrying out very many times. However, after only practicing a few times, I think I was close to where I needed it to be for safety reasons, baby size, and comfort for me, for what it's worth. Back carries seem tricky in any type of carrier! Soul Sling's does have a video on their YouTube channel on how to do a back carry with the Soul Tai. (P.s. You can also do hip carries.)

Our first time with hubby's help. Not bad, but she could have been a little higher.

*There are several fabric types and tons of beautiful prints to choose from!

*Depending on the type of fabric and print, Soul Tais currently range from $52.00 to $86.00, making them an economical choice as well!

Only took me a little over an hour to get her to go to sleep walking around my in-laws house one night. Sheesh...

What I had issues with:

*My biggest issue with the Soul Sling is that, since I'm actually able to tie the shoulder straps around my back, I have a hard time getting it off by myself. I get the knots mixed up and usually end up choosing the wrong one to untie first. (Don't worry. I've not had any mishaps dropping her or anything!) That being said, through my local babywearing group, I have discovered that there are all sorts of “fancy” finishes I can do with the tails so that they do not get mixed up or in the way, so I guess I need to start practicing some of those!

*This isn't exactly an issue, but I'm not really sure how the nap hood is supposed to be secured to the loops. There are two strings and two loops on each side, so I'm guessing this is so there are multiple ways you can tie it depending on preference and how far up or down baby sits in the carrier.

             Never fear! If mei tais aren't your bag, Soul Slings also offers woven wraps, ring slings, and full buckle carriers in both standard and toddler sizes. With beautiful fabrics, affordable prices, and a variety of carrier types to choose from, you are sure to find one you love! (P.s. Did I forget to mention they ship WORLDWIDE TOO?! If you are in the U.S., you can also purchase Soul Sling carriers from Dearest Diapers, 5 Minute Recess, and more.) Be sure to stay up-to-date with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
             Before you run off, be sure to head over to the giveaway page for a chance to win your own Soul Tai in Peace on Blue! (Open worldwide)

Mixed Bag Mama was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.
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  1. I had a carrier like this for my baby and loved it. She is a toddler now and refuses to be carried in it. I miss those days of carrying her around everywhere in her baby wrap! Thank you for joining the Family Joy Link Party!!

    1. Maybe you will have another baby in the future to snuggle? :D I didn't really do the whole babywearing thing with my first and I don't think she would have went for it, so I enjoy the snuggles with #2. :)

  2. I love the straps on this carrier! I love how you can change the width to help distribute the weight. Very smart!

  3. Love babywearing, only started with my son as a way to have my hands free with a new baby and a toddler all at once but we both (husband and i) love baby wearing so much that we carry the three year old too!

  4. extremely comfy!! I love it too!!

  5. extremely comfy!! I love it too!!

  6. Tried once and it is comfy!

  7. Thanks for the great review! I have a soul linen ring sling that I love, and I can't wait to try more soul carriers!

  8. Thank you so much for your review! I've been very curious about the soul products after trying a ring sling. This may have to be on the list!

  9. Thank you so much for your review! I've been very curious about the soul products after trying a ring sling. This may have to be on the list!

  10. I've been dying for one of these carriers. I think they look beautiful and practical at the same time and I've heard many good things about this companies products.

  11. I think its beautiful, and I have been curious about the soul tai. Time to get one.

  12. this is so beautiful! i wish i had this when my son would still fit in it!

  13. Thank you for the review! I've been interested in a Soul Tai for awhile, but haven't taken the plunge yet. It looks so comfortable and is really pretty, too!

  14. love the colors.. i've always wanted to try this type of carrier

  15. I love the colors and like that the materials are thicker!! Means is will hold up longer and carry heavier weights!! I have never tried this style so Im sure there is a learning curve but it sounds great!!

  16. I checked out their website. SERIOUS options. Color, style, material. Crazy how many choices there are to wear a baby, right? I think all of them are beautiful.

  17. Thanks for this review. This looks like a great option for our 8mo old!

  18. This is pretty! I like wraps but sometimes having a mei tei is just more convenient.

  19. This is pretty! I like wraps but sometimes having a mei tei is just more convenient.

  20. This looks neat! I have a Moby wrap and a Tula SSC, but haven't tried a mei tei style. I like how it combines the best of both, as each style has pros & cons.

  21. I have never used a Mei Tai, but this is gorgeous! I also love that it's more of a "wrap tai", which seems more supportive.

  22. I love the straps on this carrier! I love how you can change the width.

  23. This is a lovely, soft-looking carrier. I've tried some carriers in the past that were too stiff and uncomfortable for baby.

  24. I have an secondhand ergo. But I love the idea of the soul tai. It's just hard to find a carrier or wrap that would also work for my husband as well.

  25. I would love to try this! It is beautiful!!

  26. So beautiful! They are such works of art

  27. Very informative review. I have been very intimated with any babywearing wraps mainly because I do not feel secure doing the ties myself. However, what really interested me with this mei tai is their shoulder straps!!! They do look like the ones you get in SSC. I also like the hood part. This mei tai seems to be a really good one and if I do get the courage to try one, this would be the first one, i will try. Thanks!!!

  28. Wow! I'd love to wear my baby again but they are so heavy right now - they are just doing my back. lol! What a beautiful soul tai! I am so glad that people are wearing their baby now-a-day. It really is lovely and a great review too.

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost . My apology for taking me so long to comment. xx

  29. Those straps are so unique! I am definitely intrigued: they combine the best of both wrap and ssc worlds! I will have to see if my local group has one of these to try out - thanks for the review!

  30. Those straps are so unique! I am definitely intrigued: they combine the best of both wrap and ssc worlds! I will have to see if my local group has one of these to try out - thanks for the review!

  31. My son and dil are expecting their 1st December 19th. They want to use a baby carrier and this one seems to fit the bill(so to speak). I will pass the link on to them

  32. Material looks like it would be so comfortable