In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Nalakai Ring Sling Review

Easy to use, comfortable sling to wear and sit in
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $65 List | $60 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to use, comfortable to wear, cozy for baby, lower price
Cons:  Hang to dry
Manufacturer:   Nalakai
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Dec 19, 2019
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 15
  • Child Comfort - 25% 8
  • Parent Comfort - 35% 9
  • Ease of Use - 30% 9
  • Ease Of Cleaning - 10% 7

The Skinny

The Nalakai Ring Sling is a straightforward baby carrier that works as it should without hiccups or complicated wrapping or strap adjustments. This bamboo and linen fabric sling is simple in design and can be put on using only on hand. Most users can put a baby in the sling and make adjustments by themselves and the soft fabric and width or the sling make for a comfortable fit for almost any body type. This sling has enough fabric to accommodate user of different sizes making it an ideal design for dads and moms to share. The slight stretch to the material and softness are perfect for baby comfort and the on-the-go adjustability means quick changes are possible to increase comfort for the wearer and the passenger. We love this sling and definitely recommend it to friends looking for a simple carrier solution for bonding or freedom of movement.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Nalakai Ring Sling
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Value Award 
Price $65.00 List
$59.90 at Amazon - 8% off
$95.00 List
$94.95 at Amazon
$190.00 List
$149.02 at Amazon - 22% off
$159.00 List
$179.00 at Amazon
$50.00 List
$49.94 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy to use, comfortable to wear, cozy for baby, lower priceComfortable, easy to adjust, pocketEasy to put on, super comfortable to wear, cozy for kidsComfortable to wear, machine wash and dry, cozyBudget-friendly, easy wrap, machine wash and dry
Cons Hang to dryHang to dry, rough fabricLong drying time, lots of buckles and straps, expensivePrice, harder to adjust on the goSize specific, no adjustability
Bottom Line Easy to use, comfortable sling to wear and sit inEasy to wear and adjust with comfort for baby but the fabric could be softerMost comfortable to wear with a cozy seat and easy attachmentComfortable carrier for parents and baby, but it's harder to use and expensiveInexpensive, easy to use, wrap style without the wrap hassle
Rating Categories Nalakai Ring Sling Maya Wrap... BabyBjorn One Tula Free-to-Grow Baby K'tan Original
Child Comfort (25%)
10
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8
10
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8
10
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7
10
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7
10
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7
Parent Comfort (35%)
10
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9
10
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9
10
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10
10
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9
10
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7
Ease Of Use (30%)
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9
10
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9
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7
10
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6
10
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7
Ease Of Cleaning (10%)
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7
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9
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9
Specs Nalakai Ring Sling Maya Wrap... BabyBjorn One Tula Free-to-Grow Baby K'tan Original
Min/Max Weight 8 - 35 lbs 8 - 35 lbs 8 - 33 lbs 7 - 45 lbs 8 - 35 lbs
Carry Positions Facing In (8 - 35 lbs)
Hip Carry (8 - 35 lbs *BGL recommends Head/Neck/Torso Control)
Facing In (0 - 3 mo)
Facing Out (3 - 6 mo)
Hip Carry (6 mo - 35 lbs)
Facing In (0 - 36 mo./33 lbs)
Facing Out (5 - 15 mo./26 lbs)
Back Carry (12 - 36 mo./33 lbs)
Facing In (7 - 45 lbs)
Back Carry (Head/Neck/Torso Control - 45 lbs)
Kangaroo Position (8 - 35 lbs)
Hug Position (8 - 35 lbs)
Adventure Position (8 - 35 lbs)
Explore Position (8 - 35 lbs)
Hip Position (8 - 35 lbs)
Weight 0.9 lbs sm 0.92
lg 1.16 lbs
2.26 lbs 1.25 lbs sm 0.89
lg 1.04 lbs
Packable Size Small Small Large Medium Small
Fabric 58% Bamboo
42% Linen
Cotton, Polyester Cotton, Polyester, PU Foam 100% Cotton 100% Cotton
Hood No No No Yes No
Storage Options Pocket on the tail Zippered pocket on tail None Velcro pouch on waist belt Pouch on the belt.
Other Features & Notable None None Adjustable Seat Width,
Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Class 1
Adjustable Seat Width, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Class 1 Azo Dye-free
Included Accessories None None None None None
Care Instructions Machine wash cold, hang dry. Machine wash cold, hang dry. Machine wash warm, hang dry. Machine wash cold, tumble dry low. Machine wash cold, tumble dry low.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Pura Vida means "pure life" and the natural lifestyle was the inspiration for the Pura Vida slings. The simplicity of the ring sling is what makes slings better in the mind of Pura Vida than other kinds of carriers and the straightforward design and use helps keep little ones close and comforted and parents free to do other things.

Performance Comparison



The Nalakai offers soft  stretchy support for little ones with a simple design that both supports and conforms to their body and movement with little restraint.
The Nalakai offers soft, stretchy support for little ones with a simple design that both supports and conforms to their body and movement with little restraint.

Baby's Comfort


The design of the ring sling makes it one of the comfiest for baby.


The fabric of the sling is soft and somewhat stretchy to help offer support and conformability to the child. The large swath of fabric can move and adjust to the seat size of your baby and support them from the bottom to the top despite the lack of padding and structure.

Pulling the Nalakai extra fabric through the ring can bring your little one closer to your face for comfortable bonding and increased closeness.
Pulling the Nalakai extra fabric through the ring can bring your little one closer to your face for comfortable bonding and increased closeness.

You can pull the extra fabric through the ring to bring your baby closer to your face increasing bonding and feelings of support for little ones. As your baby grows, the hip carry gives more freedom for little legs and helps support their bottom for comfortable side carrying. We also like that you can raise the fabric up to support the child's upper back and head should they fall asleep.

The wide swath of fabric on the Nalakai makes it comfortable for the wearer and adjustments for comfort are easy even with a child in the sling.
The wide swath of fabric on the Nalakai makes it comfortable for the wearer and adjustments for comfort are easy even with a child in the sling.

Parent's Comfort


The sling-style carrier has a wide strip of bamboo and linen fabric that wraps around your shoulder in a cross-body configuration that is very comfortable for the wearer.


The material is soft and conforms to your shape and manages to be comfortable even without padding or structure. The ring design allows you to raise or lower little ones to change the weight distribution on your body for on the go comfort adjustments. Even when the fabric is pulled tight, the snugness is comfortable and the fabric is breathable.

Most users can place their child in the Nalakai sling without assistance.
Most users can place their child in the Nalakai sling without assistance.

Ease of Use


This sling is really easy to use with a simple design that only requires a single hand to put on.


The Nalakai is the easiest option in the review to use and the lack of straps and connectors and adjustments make it the easiest to learn and adjust on the fly.

Spreading the fabric on the Nalakai provides a good spot for placing your child's bottom for initial placement into the carrier. You can make finer adjustments once your baby is in the sling.

All you need to do is pull your head and one arm through the opening, widen the sling fabric (above left) and place the child's bottom on the fabric for support (above right). Further adjustments can happen once your little one is in the seat. Most users can execute this by themselves which is a boon over styles that require two hands or a helper.

The Nalakai has a simple pocket on the pull end of the fabric to keep baby's favorite things close at hand.
The Nalakai has a simple pocket on the pull end of the fabric to keep baby's favorite things close at hand.

The Nalakai has a small pocket on the pull side of the sling fabric good for teethers, pacifiers, burp cloth or other small items you might need close at hand. While it will hold a smartphone or keys, the open-top design could result in dropping or losing heavy items.

The Nalakai is machine washable but must be hung to dry which impacted its overall ease of cleaning score.
The Nalakai is machine washable but must be hung to dry which impacted its overall ease of cleaning score.

Ease of Cleaning


The Nalakai is machine washable but you need to hang the fabric to dry.


While we wish the sling could go in the dryer we appreciate the machine wash capability and the thinner fabric and lack of padding makes the line dry time shorter than much of the competition. Spit up and accidental soiling are fairly easy to clean on the go and dry quickly compared to the competition.

Manufacturer Video




Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz