Hands-on Gear Review
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Price: $50 list | Available for $50 from Amazon
Pros: Simple, versatile, lightweight, easy to take along, ideal for newborns
Cons: One size does not fit all (5 sizes), not toddler friendly
Bottom line: Offers the perfect close swaddle for newborns and younger babies
The Baby K'tan landed on top when it came to "wrap" style carriers for newborns and babies under 1 year old. The K'tan comes with the claim "A wrap without all the wrapping" and we found this to be pleasantly true. After struggling with fabric a mile long and complicated how-to videos with the Moby and Boba wraps, the simplicity of the K'tan brought a welcome sigh of relief. As much as we loved it with newborns and younger babies, we didn't like this carrier for use with toddlers because it didn't provide the necessary support.
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BabyGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Baby K'tan is a wrap-style carrier that is unique in the fact that it comes "ready to wear." We compared it closely with the Moby and the Boba wraps and found it to be much more user-friendly, without losing any of the positions or baby-wearing benefits. Rather than one long piece of fabric, the K'tan consists of two attached loops that cross over your shoulders, plus a support sash that doubles as a handy storage pouch. We are thrilled with how easy it is to grab and throw in our diaper bag, and once on the go, it's easy to slip on and insert baby. Baby can look around in many of the positions, but we also love that if they fall asleep, we can just tuck their head under the fabric of the shoulder piece.
Credit: Baby K'tan
The K'tan has 6 different baby wearing positions: Kangaroo, Hug, Adventure, Explore, Hip, and Two Hip. Easy to use illustrations on getting started and videos for each type of hold are available on their website.
The K'tan received a 6 of 10 in this category. We love the soft cotton fabric that feels as cozy as your favorite t-shirt. The fabric is wide and can be stretched over your shoulders as well as baby's seat to distribute weight and offer proper support for small infants. For older babies and toddlers, it lacks in lower back support and is not ideal for carrying heavier babies for extended periods of time.
Ease of Use
Moby Wrap Original and the Boba Wrap. The K'tan folds into itself for storage/travel to become the most compact carrier we tried.
Unlike most carriers which are "one size fits all," the K'tan comes in 5 different sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL). Although they provide a sizing guide, it might be difficult to find the right size for you and your baby on the first try. If it's too small, it can be very difficult to insert baby; too large and baby will be sagging down. It could also make it difficult for dads to wear if it's sized to fit mom since it's not adjustable. Also, because the K'tan is a simple, wrap-style carrier, it doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles that some of the soft structured carriers do, such as storage pockets.
Ease of Cleaning
The K'tan can be machine washed and dried, and that's a big plus for us. It scored a 9 of 10, and tied with the Boba Wrap for being the easiest carrier to clean.
At $50, the K'tan is a bit more expensive when compared to the other wrap-style carriers we reviewed (although the price point is still much lower than most soft structured carriers). It is an outstanding baby carrier option for young infants during a time when you will likely wear your baby the most. For this reason, we believe it to be a good investment.
Other Versions and Accessories
The K'tan comes in a variety of colors, prints, and versions. If you prefer organic materials next to baby's skin, be sure to check out the 100% organic cotton Organic. The Breeze is a cotton-mesh version of the carrier that provides extra breathability, and the Active is a polyester version that is supposed to wick away sweat and block over 90% of UVA and UVB rays.
— Adrian Hogel & Juliet Spurrier, MD
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Most recent user review: December 9, 2014
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