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Infantino Sash Mei Tai Review

Best Value Award
Price:   $35.00 List
Pros:  Price,quality, ergonomic, easy to use
Cons:  No support for newborns & toddler back carry, 2 ties
Bottom line:  Easy quick-tie & comfortable for both parents
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Infantino

The Skinny

The Infantino Sash Mei Tai won our Best-Value award due to its combination of low-price and great performance. We consider it an easy grab-and-go carrier that holds baby securely. While we weren't too impressed with the company's other carrier, the Infantino Swift Classic, thankfully, they got it right with their Sash Mei Tai - a simple, soft structured, mei tai style carrier. The material is sturdy, the support is great, and it's a cinch to use. Plus, where price is concerned, it almost can't be beat.


RELATED REVIEW: The Quest for the Best Baby Carrier


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Adrian Hogel & Juliet Spurrier, MD

Last Updated:
Sunday
June 21, 2015

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The Infantino Sash is a mei-tai style carrier that consists of four long straps attatched to one central square of fabric.
The Infantino Sash is a mei-tai style carrier that consists of four long straps attatched to one central square of fabric.
The Infantino Sash Mei Tai is a simple, lightweight carrier that does most of the work for you. Like any good soft structured carrier, the Mei Tai places the weight of the baby on your hips. But instead of using clasps, the Mei Tai sash relies on being tied into place, both at the waist and the shoulders. We found it a breeze to put on since there are no buckles, clips or rings to maneuver. While it may take a bit more practice to get a sash-type carrier on, the benefit is that you can tie it to fit you perfectly. The fabric is soft, supportive and durable and the whole thing can be thrown in the wash for easy cleaning. One of our favorite features about this carrier is that it has basic, yet helpful instruction labels directly on it, so you always know which strap goes where. To top it off, it comes in super cute prints and patterns.

Performance Comparison



Baby's Safety


The Infantino Sash Mei Tai received a 7 of 10 for Baby's Safety in our testing. The wide, deep seat provides proper ergonomic support for baby's hips as it keeps baby's legs in the "frog" position. Once tied and secured properly, it is easy to maintain a clear airway, and baby's head and back are adequately supported. However, the Mei Tai didn't thrill us in the back carry position, and here's why: during our toddler tests, we just didn't find the support to be sufficient while in back carry. It seemed like it needed to be tighter, but in doing so, baby's legs would be squeezed by the ties. It also would have been nice if the shoulder straps had a chest clip-type connection over our sternum for added security while in back carry. Our infant tester also had a lot of trouble securing baby in the Mei Tai. She found herself using a hand to support the baby at all times, making her feel uneasy.
The Infantino Sash Mei Tai can accommodate babies from 8-36 pounds without the use of an infant insert  but we struggled to properly secure a newborn.
The Infantino Sash Mei Tai can accommodate babies from 8-36 pounds without the use of an infant insert, but we struggled to properly secure a newborn.

Baby's Comfort


The Mei Tai scored a 6 of 10 in this category. It has a nice, deep seat that supports baby in the proper position and gives plenty of head support. We do wish that baby could face out when worn on the front, but for the most part, facing in didn't seem to bother our little testers. It's well constructed and the material feels soft and supple against baby's skin.
At 13 inches wide  the seat of the Sash Mei Tai provides comfortable  proper support for baby's hips and spine.
At 13 inches wide, the seat of the Sash Mei Tai provides comfortable, proper support for baby's hips and spine.

Parent's Comfort


For a basic carrier, the Mei Tai was really comfortable, scoring a 7 of 10 in our testing. We didn't get overly hot and putting it on in public was a lot less hassle than the Moby Wrap Modern or Boba 4G wraps. The shoulder straps are wide and nicely padded, and most of the weight is distributed to the hips. Because you can customize the fit of this carrier, it is especially great for plus-sized moms and for use by multiple wearers who vary in size.
The criss-crossed padded shoulder straps of the Mei Tai provides good support and comfort for parents.
The criss-crossed padded shoulder straps of the Mei Tai provides good support and comfort for parents.

Ease of Use


There is a learning curve to properly typing the Infantino Sash Mei Tai  but once you get the hang of it  it's a cinch.
There is a learning curve to properly typing the Infantino Sash Mei Tai, but once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch.
Although easier to use than the classic wrap-style carriers, it was more difficult than many of the other soft structured carriers, and thus received a 6 of 10 for Ease of Use. The Sash Mei Tai comes with clear instructions and we had baby wrapped up in it in no time. As stated previously, we love that there are simple instructions printed directly on the inside of the carrier for easy reference. It is similar in concept to the other soft structured carriers we reviewed, but lighter-weight and minus the buckles and added accessories. Another benefit is that it folds quite compactly, and, unlike some of the bulkier carriers, will fit easily into your diaper bag. We also like that this carrier doesn't require a bulky insert for infants. It comes with a detachable hood which came in handy, although it is sometimes difficult to snap and unsnap.

Also, some might not like all the long straps; there are four of them, resulting in two knots, and it can be a lot to deal with, especially if you are putting baby in the carrier outside and you want to avoid dragging the straps on the ground. The Mei Tai doesn't come with a storage pocket either, which is a bit of a disappointment. Another gripe? The back carry position requires assistance with both placement and exit.

Ease of Cleaning


The Mei Tai is machine washable but must be washed separately and cannot be put in the dryer. It scored a 7 of 10 in this category, losing points for the inconvenience of having to wash by itself and hang to dry.

Best Applications


Although its specifications for use are for babies from 8 to 36 pounds, we don't recommend this carrier for newborns. It just doesn't provide enough support. But we loved it for running errands, doing household chores, or even longer carries like taking the dog for a walk with an older baby or toddler.
The Sash Mei Tai has 3 different baby wearing positions: Front Carry  Hip Carry  and Back Carry
The Sash Mei Tai has 3 different baby wearing positions: Front Carry, Hip Carry, and Back Carry

Value


It's not as well made as many of the other soft structured carriers we reviewed and may not weather as well, but we still found it to be a terrific value for the money.

Conclusion


The Sash Mei Tai received the Best Value Award for many reasons. While in reality, it's simply a fabric panel with four straps attached to it, we found it to be a sturdy, versatile, easy to grab-and-go carrier that held baby securely. We like the stylish prints, and at $35, you just can't beat the price for what you get. However, it wasn't our favorite in back carry with a toddler because it didn't offer as much support as some of the other award winners like the Tula Ergonomic Baby or the Onya Baby Outback.

Other Versions and Accessories


Infantino makes a number of other models, many of which are made for use from infancy up through the toddler years. The Infantino Flip Advanced is adjustable to grow with baby and allow for inward and outward facing, as well as backpack style positions. The Infantino Up Close is designed specifically with infants in mind, with a soft stretchy material that will keep baby close and comfortable.

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Adrian Hogel & Juliet Spurrier, MD

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BabyGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: July 26, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.5)

50% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 33%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Jul 26, 2016 - 04:58am
Hasnat Zaman · Father · Dhaka
I just went through the ordeal of selecting the best baby carrier with my son, and what I learned is that it is extremely dependent on the baby. For this reason, if you do give a carrier as a gift, please save the receipt and make sure they can take it back.

That said, based on my own research, these are factors that seem to matter most when choosing a carrier:

The activity level of parents. If the carrier will mostly be used around the house, a wrap or sling is ideal because they are a much lower profile and won't get in the way while doing chores. However, if they want to wear the baby on long shopping trips or hikes, it would be better to invest in a more heavy-duty carrier. Slings don't handle long wear very well and offer little shelter from the elements.
The personality of a baby. Is the baby a "cuddler" who always wants to be snuggled up to someone, or is s/he a more independent kid who likes to sit up and look around? Mine is definitely the latter, so snuggly carriers like the Moby or Ergo didn't work for him at all. We had to choose one with a forward-facing option so he could see the world.
Age of baby. The selection of carriers for newborns is limited because of their need for head support, but at about three months you get a much wider variety of options. It might be worth waiting (or sticking with something cheap and simple like a sling) until the baby's old enough to try all the different carriers.
Climate. Some carriers have a lot of padding and can be very hot for both the parent and baby. In a warm climate, try to find one made with mesh or breathable fabrics that will let in some air. Also, if you are going to be babywearing outside a lot, make sure to have a shade to protect from sun and rain.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 4, 2016 - 01:24pm
Kolls · Philadelphia, PA
I bought this product for my first daughter, and she hated it. I did not find it comfortable and had difficulty doing any housework that required me to bend over or even bend down slightly. I tried using it at a store, but trying to juggle a wriggling baby with tying the straps tight enough around her body while in the store parking lot made me uneasy - even with my husband helping with the process.

I'd prefer a product that buckles tightly and is more secure.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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