Babywearing is something that I could not have survived without. Many people assume I do it because it's a part of my cultural background, but the truth is: Babywearing has only recently gained momentum and attention in India- where my family is from. (For the record: I was actually born in the same hospital that I gave birth to the girls in!) The fact of the matter is that wearing is more stigmatized over there (India) and, to be honest, I've actually been privately criticized by a family member who lives there for "causing harm" to my girls by wearing them. When I saw that someone in India had stepped up to the plate and was trying to normalize babywearing for parents by not only creating a variety of gorgeous products, but making it fun and creating jobs for fellow citizens, I couldn't have had a happier feeling in my heart. Every time I wear the girls in our Anmol Baby Carriers, I not only feel a sense of connectedness with my heritage, but I feel like I am connecting my children to it as well.
I haven't had an abundance of experience with soft structured carriers (SSCs) in general, but I could tell right away that this carrier was different from the rest. It has a very similar structure to most SSCs, but the panel has the softness and conformity of a mei tai or wrap. The beautiful panel of Bhamini Khaki is made from handwoven jacquard fabric and is soft to the touch with the fine texture of the woven print. The carrier itself is made from OKEO TEX certified canvas, which means it contains no harmful substances, making it safe for you and baby. (Which is an added plus, because we all know at some point in time carrier-to-mouth contact is inevitable- ESPECIALLY with younger wearees!) One thing I love most about this carrier is that I was still able to comfortably wear my very leggy (33 inches/ 82.8 cm tall) 2.5 year old toddlers in it with no issues. The panel was still high enough to support their backs, and even though it didn't quite get to their knees, they were still in an ergonomic position and the legs out padding kept it comfortable for them! (Now that they are extremely verbal, they can tell me if they are comfortable and how it feels, and the girls each gave this carrier two thumbs up!)
The straps of this carrier are nice and cushy, without being too marshmallow-y, giving me the support and comfort I need when wearing my 25 lbs (11.34 kg) girls. Even when tandem wearing two Anmol Baby Carriers together, I did not feel extra bulky in the shoulders like I thought I would when first inspecting them. The one (and pretty much only) thing that I will say I didn't like about the carrier is that the personal fit adjuster (PFA) has more webbing/strap to adjust than it had room for adjusting. Meaning that the PFA stopped extending about halfway through it's webbing, leaving a gap between the carrier strap and the webbing. (See photo below for a visual.) For me, it was not too big of a deal since I have more of a petite frame and didn't need the strap extended. However, it did make it a tad bit excessive to have extra webbing (the black adjusting strap) hanging down over the top of the panel of the carrier when, in reality, it served no purpose to begin with. Also, I didn't like the fact that it covered the logo on the top of my panel.
The waistband is extremely comfortable, and even though it is about the same height (top to bottom of band) as other carriers, this one seemed to really smooth over the "muffin top" situation. Every time I wore our Anmol Baby SSC, I felt much slimmer in my midsection than I have with other SSCs. It is also firmly and thickly padded, which made the carrier extremely comfortable when it came to sitting on my waist. This also gave my body a super connected "oneness" feeling with my hip bones, and surprisingly the padding does not feel bulky or heavy when it is on compared to how it feels when you are holding it in your hands. One thing I noticed is that this carrier not only has the Duraflex tri-lock buckles, but it also comes with the safety elastic reinforcement loop on the waistband too. Typically you get one or the other (and you really only need one to have adequate safety reinforcement), but here you get the best of both worlds. This made quicker on-the-go ups easier because if i was in a super huge rush to get my baby up, I didn't have to worry stress about getting my buckle through the elastic first. (This came in especially handy if I did not have the time to undo the webbing that tightens the waistband. Especially when I need to get quick tandem upppies, it can be such a pain to have to unroll the webbing and put the whole buckle/strap through the safety elastic, only to have to reroll and re-secure that excess webbing strap so that it doesn't hang down creating a "tail".)
The "hidden hood" has to be one of my most favorite features of this carrier. (The other being the waistband pocket.) I'm going to be completely honest when I say that I had NO IDEA that this carrier even had a hood option until I started playing with the carrier after it arrived. I'm not the biggest fan of sleep hoods, but I can't rave enough about this one, and neither can the girls. They aren't fans of hoods either, partially because they aren't used to them and partially because they can be so restricting. In the past, even when they were sleeping in a carrier, they would wake up when I snapped a hood into place to support their heads. N actually asked me to put this hood back up after I took the photos below. (She said "I sleepy mommy. Hide me.") The hood itself is completely concealed within a pocket between the woven wrap material and the canvas at the top of the panel, and has velcro that keeps it in place. The paracord that is sewn in the side allows the hood to really conform and adjust to your baby and your wearing needs since it has the elastic stretch, setting it far apart from the snap and stay-put options most SSC hoods have. The place of the hook on the shoulder strap can be adjusted making it easy to reach, and it also makes securing the hood much easier because you don't have to fight and fiddle with snaps. (And you don't wake your baby up with the "pop" of the snap either!) Also, I totally used the hook to tote around lightweight toys/objects that the girls insisted on having but didn't want to hold the entire time they were up. M's stuffy and N's purse definitely rode around on the hooks keeping us even more hands free and able to enjoy each others company! (Don't worry! These objects were EXTREMELY lightweight. I wish I would have thought to take a photo of this in action!)
Overall, I highly recommend this carrier to anyone who is looking for a more affordable option in the SSC world. If you are wanting to get a good bang for your buck in terms of longevity in regards to the size of your baby, this standard sized carrier is a great option to consider adding to your stash! Not only do you have breathtaking patterns to choose from, but by supporting Anmol Baby Carriers, you are supporting a movement that is benefitting a company that has sought out to solely help babies and moms in a community that is just starting out with trying to normalize babywearing. (Not to mention you would be supporting your budget too!)
*Twinmommy101 was NOT compensated for this review.*