Nalakai Ring Sling Review
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Nalakai Ring Sling
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|Pros||Easy to use, comfortable to wear, cozy for baby, affordable||Comfortable, easy to adjust, useful pocket||Budget-friendly, easy wrap, machine wash and dry||Machine wash and dry, comfy for baby and parents, economical||Easy to clean, comfy for baby and parent, economical|
|Cons||Hang to dry||Hang to dry, rough fabric||Size specific, no adjustability||Harder to use, lots of fabric||Hard to use, lots of extra fabric in the way|
|Bottom Line||Easy to use, comfortable sling to wear and sit in||Easy to wear and adjust with comfort for baby but the fabric could be softer||Inexpensive, easy to use, wrap style without the wrap hassle||Budget-friendly wrap that is comfortable but harder to use||Comfy option that is easy to clean but much harder to use|
|Rating Categories||Nalakai Ring Sling||Maya Wrap ComfortFi...||Baby K'tan Original||Boba Wrap||Moby Wrap Classic|
|Child Comfort (25%)|
|Parent Comfort (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Ease Of Cleaning (10%)|
|Specs||Nalakai Ring Sling||Maya Wrap ComfortFi...||Baby K'tan Original||Boba Wrap||Moby Wrap Classic|
|Min/Max Weight||8 - 35 lbs||8 - 35 lbs||8 - 35 lbs||7 - 35 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)
|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)
|Facing In (Newborn - 35 lbs)||Kangaroo Position (< 8 lbs)
Facing In (Newborn - 35 lbs)
Hip Carry (5 mo - 35 lbs)
|Weight||0.9 lbs||Sm: 0.92
Lg: 1.16 lbs
Lg: 1.04 lbs
|1.41 lbs||1.3 lbs|
|Packable Size||Small||Small||Small||Small (5.5 yards in length)||Small (5.5 meters in length)|
|Cotton, Polyester||100% Cotton||95% Cotton
|Storage Options||Pocket on the tail||Zippered pocket on the tail||Pouch on the belt.||Storage Pouch||None|
|Other Features & Notable||None||Available in two different lengths, standard and long||Azo Dye-free||None||None|
|Included Accessories||None||None||None||Storage Sack||Stuff Sack|
|Care Instructions||Machine wash cold, hang dry||Machine wash cold, hang dry||Machine wash cold, tumble dry low||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 inspired the Pura Vida slings. Eventually, the family brand changed its name to Nalakai, a combination of the family's children, Nala and Kai. The simplicity of the ring sling is what makes slings better than other kinds of carriers in the mind of Nalakai, and the straightforward design and use help keep little ones close and comforted.
The ring sling design makes it one of the comfiest for babies.
The sling's material 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.
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 to support the child's upper back and head should they fall asleep.
This 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, conforms to your shape, and can 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 you pull the fabric tight, the snugness is comfortable, and the material is breathable.
Ease of Use
The Nalakai is one of the easiest options to use in the best baby carrier group, thanks to the sling's straightforward design.
The lack of straps, connectors, and adjustments makes this option one of the easiest to learn and adjust on the fly.
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 are more complicated to adjust or require a helper.
The Nalakai has one small-sized storage pocket on the sling's tail. It's a thoughtful addition to the sling's design that's suitable for a favorite baby teether toy, 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.
Ease of Cleaning
The Nalakai is machine washable, but you must hang the fabric to dry.
While we wish the sling could go in the dryer, we appreciate the machine wash capability, the thinner fabric, and the lack of padding, which makes the line dry time shorter than much of the competition. Spit-up and accidental soiling are relatively easy to clean on the go and dry quickly compared to the competition.
Should You Buy the Nalakai Ring Sling?
The Nalakai is a quality sling that sets the bar high compared to the competition. It's infinitely adjustable, a bonus if you're sharing the carrier among different-sized wearers, accommodates newborns to toddlers, and is breastfeeding-friendly. Stash it in one of our favorite diaper bags or under your stroller, making it accessible when you're ready to shift into babywearing mode.
What Other Baby Carriers Should You Consider?
Many parents prefer soft structured carriers, and if you feel the same, we suggest looking into the BabyBjorn One. It offers a long lifespan, working for newborns to toddlers, and it's comfortable for most parents. However, if you're more of a wrap fan, we suggest the Baby K'tan Original. It's an affordable wrap-style carrier without the extra fabric, and it can offer a comfortable fit that's great during the newborn period.
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More