I had only tried other SSC's (soft structured carriers) a handful of times, and the one attempt at a 2 SSC tandem will always make the word "whale" come to mind. I've always been a wrapper at heart, having started at 3 weeks with DIY Stretchies and only making it through with my DIY wrap for the following 16 months, you could see why I would be a little biased.
When this was sent to us, I was excited at the chance to try something new. I tried it on and got to know it a little for the first day or 2. By day 3, I decided it was time to put it to the test, so we took it on one of our babywearing treks. I CAN NOT BELIEVE how comfy and snuggly we were! Bulky was the last word I would have used to describe us. This carrier is the closest I've come to feeling the same "oneness" that I get with a wrap.
The safety straps that clip my front panel to the backpack strap on the SIDE reminds me of a MEI TAI (MT), which has always been a favorite carrier option.If my baby gets squirmy up there, I don't have to worry about her slipping out of the sides! And it snuggles her close to me. On top of that, when she does finally find the sleepy dust and wants to lay her head down, the carrier COMES with a chest clip suck pad, so I don't have to worry about her bumping her head.
The front panel also is floppy like a MT, which makes it perfect for a smaller baby who needs that added support for their curved spines (i.e. sibling wearing). It tucks INTO itself so you can be prepare to tandem at ANY given moment. Even more so, to help keep up with the 2 pieces (because the 2 panels do COMPLETELY separate!), you can fold it up and PUT IT IN THE BACK PACK!!! (I saved the best part for last!)
Going back to day 3... Getting ready for our walk I put 6 diapers, wipes, and a water bottle in the backpack panel! (Talk about hands free!) I also took a scarf and my phone. For the first time in over a year, i LITERALLY did NOT have to carry A THING! On top of that, I've been going on 2.5+ mile walks with the girls for over a year! I have NEVER been able to bring water with me! And when I got hot, I was able to put my scarf away, and I have a handy pocket for my phone up front! (Since we all know that leggings and pockets aren't friends!)
When I first got this carrier, I was able to comfortably use it the "standard way" (buckling the 2 panels waist bands together to create one waistband), but I was also in the process of making our lifestyles more healthier and natural. I lost 5 lbs in less than 4 weeks (yay!), but that also meant that the carrier was starting to slide down my waist. This was an EASY fix because now I just buckle the waistbands separately, and it does NOT feel any more bulky than before. (And Daddy can still wear the girls if he wants with the SAME carrier! This carrier is VERY accommodating!) Even though we CAN NOT EACH wear one baby with this carrier, having the option to IMMEDIATELY pop my front baby in is a plus! Because there have been times when Daddy's baby has wanted to come to me. And it is impossible to get a second wrap/MT on the front with my back baby already on!
The only reason I did not give this carrier a 5 is because there are a few minor things that can would be better to accomodate. For ex: the water bottle holders are specifically designed to insulate baby bottles, which is AWESOME, but, that makes it tough to get my water bottle back in. BUT, I just stuck it in the front pocket of the backpack, which has a water resistant lining. And I'm NEVER going to complain about having 2 extra bottles on hand! (Like I said MINOR things)!!
Over the Christmas holidays (2014), I entered a contest to win a carrier for this blog. What better way to start building a stash to share with others and still ball on my twin budget? (Remember that I got by with only my DIY wraps for 16 mo; and daddy had a Babyhawk Mei Tai.) Even though we came in a close second, the pay it forward karma still came around. Stuff 4 Multiples gifted one to the Anklebiter Adventures Free Lending Library and one to blog so that we could share it with others like we initially intended!
*Twinmommy101 WAS NOT compensated for this review.*
LOOK HOW EASY IT IS TO USE THE TWINGAROO!