I received this item at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions remain my own.
Right around the 4-month mark, Huckleberry began staying awake on hikes. At first just for short periods, and only on some hikes, but now he remains awake for at least an hour if not longer on every hike. And he is getting SO curious about his surroundings. He uses his arms and legs to push out from my chest as far as he can, and simply looks. He follows the sounds of birds, he watches other hikers, he stares straight up at the sky. He is not happy when his views are disrupted by the straps of a carrier, a nap hood, his Maman’s body. What a little trail baby he is!
It very quickly became evident to Trail Dad and me that we needed a different carrier, one that would allow him to face out and really interact with the nature we hope he will fall in love with. We want to keep our hikes as enjoyable for him as possible so that he’ll grow up adoring the outdoors as much as we do. However, finding a good, rugged, versatile carrier, with a forward facing option that doesn’t make us fear hip dysplasia, is not easy to come by, until we learned about the MiaMily HIPSTER.
The HIPSTER is a multifaceted baby carrier that allows you to safely and comfortably carry your baby in 9 different ways. NINE different ways! Not all of these ways are great for babywearing on the trail, but since we received our HIPSTER, we haven’t actually put it away. We’ve worn it on the trails, at the cottage, around the apartment, to and from the car, at the grocery store and more! It is so quick and easy to put it on and to get Huckleberry in and out of it. And after the initial learning curve, it is very easy to adjust and to find that sweet spot of optimal comfort so that you can wear your baby for longer periods of time.
Now, check out all of these awesome features and read on for the quick and dirty about why we love this unique carrier!
The Star of the Show: The MiaMily HIPSTER featuring…
- Extender belt for waists up to 59 inch/150 cm.
- Single-shoulder carrier top with rotating buckle, shoulder pad and adjustable strap.
- Zippered detachable front pocket layer that creates 2 pockets (also found on double shoulder carrier top).
- Mesh vent when pocket is detached.
- Double security buckles and zipper to attach carrier top to seat base (also found on double shoulder carrier top).
- Teething pads that wrap around straps and attach with Velcro.
- Snap-on head cover (fits well in pocket when not in use).
- Double-shoulder carrier top with padded adjustable straps and chest buckle.
- Unique 3D hip seat. The hip seat base is intentionally built wide enough so that your baby’s hips rest in a healthy position, where his/her legs are lifted and supported at hip level and not hanging or dangling, thus allowing safe forward facing carry. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute has tested and approved the HIPSTER as a hip healthy product.
- Buckle and elastic safety catch.
- Side pocket, perfect for a cell phone.
- Waist band with Velcro that fits up to 43 inches/110 cm.
- Foldable travel bag that is stored inside its own pocket.
What we love about our MiaMily HIPSTER:
- Huckleberry LOVES it! The reason we sought out this carrier was because Huckleberry wasn’t always happy while awake in our other carriers, but he kicks his legs and flaps his arms and squeals with delight when facing out in the HIPSTER.
- It is simple to use! It takes a matter of seconds to get the hip seat secured on your waist, and only a handful more to get Baby strapped into the double- or single-shoulder carrier. And thanks to the little seat, you don’t have to juggle Baby and the carrier while putting it on or taking it off, Baby can just sit there with your hand on his back while you put your arms through the straps. The seat also makes it so easy to switch from facing out to in when Huckleberry gets tired, I’ve even successfully kept him asleep while doing so!
- It feels so secure! The seat really helps to make it feel like Huckleberry isn’t going to slip or slide out of the carrier. And the tall body supports him really well.
- It is easy to get a good fit! The Velcro on the belt maintains a good fit while you tighten the strap, and keeps it from coming loose over time. The shoulder straps are easy to adjust on the go. And if you have a wiggly little gaffer facing forward, and you find the carrier is pulling on your shoulders a bit, we’ve found that unclipping and crossing the straps (which you will need help for) distributes the weight across your back instead of on your shoulders. However you wear it, it is very easy to switch between users and stay comfy on the trail.
- It handles rain & dirt well! I’ve worn in out in the rain a few times and it repelled most of the water and dried quickly afterwards. I’ve also laid it in the dirt while resting on the trail, or hanging out at the cottage, and it’s easy to dust off, or wash if necessary. The rugged fabric and neutral colours also make it Dad-friendly, which is very appealing to Bookworm the Trail Dad.
- It comes with teething pads & a bag! This is not the case with a lot of carriers but is a huge perk for us. Huckleberry is teething like a demon and drooling all over the place and we appreciate the Velcro teething pads. The bag also holds more than just the carrier. We’ve tossed in a few diapers, a change of clothes and a few toys for a day out. Now available with the Kickstarter campaign (see below) is a front drool pad that we are definitely going to snatch up!
- It is SO versatile! I mean, how many other carriers can boast of 9 different ways to carry? But, I’ve found a 10th use for this incredible babywearing device! The hip seat makes a great nursing pillow that I’ve employed while sitting and standing, so handy with a heavy baby.
- It will last from infancy through toddlerhood! The HIPSTER is suitable for infants as young as 3 months (or once they have head control) up to 3 years (40 lbs.). And, as part of the Kickstarter campaign, there is now an infant insert available.
- There are instruction videos! To get the most out of your MiaMily HIPSTER, be sure to watch the tutorial videos available on their site.
- MiaMily gives back! Their slogan is “Change the world, one baby at a time”. For each carrier purchased, a can of formula is donated to an orphanage. And if that isn’t enough, the formula donated is sourced locally from vendors near each orphanage so that the community benefits even more and so that the formula complements local dietary needs. How cool is that?!
What we would change if we could:
- The shoulder straps can dig in a bit, especially in the armpit region. This tended to happen more when we first started using the carrier, and is happening less now as we’ve overcome the learning curve associated with using a new carrier. We also figured out that we can criss-cross the straps and avoid it entirely. And it may also be addressed with the longer straps that the MiaMily HIPSTER Plus will have.
- The pockets are small. We have small cell phones, so the cell phone pouch works for us. And you can fit a small snack or a hat into the pocket. But trying to jam bulky car keys in is not pretty, and don’t even think about packing a change of clothes or a diaper and wipes. However, this is also addressed with the MiaMily HIPSTER Plus as the seat will open for storage. And, it’s pretty neat that the pockets zip off to create a mesh window so Baby doesn’t overheat.
Do you want to give your curious trail baby the gift of a comfy forward facing carrier for all of your hiking adventures? Then head to MiaMily.com and purchase a HIPSTER today for only $129 USD!
Do you want all of the features of the HIPSTER Plus and some added early bird specials, like a discount, a front drool pad or infant insert? Check out MiaMily’s campaign on Kickstarter before June 2nd to pledge and save! They are only $7,000 away from unlocking the Blue Denim colour!
Where will your MiaMily HIPSTER take you?
Do you have a curious trail baby who loves to see everything around them? How do you keep your little hikers happy on the trail? I would love to hear about it in the comment section below.
And now, thanks to the generosity of MiaMily, you can enter a giveaway to win your very own MiaMily HIPSTER Baby Carrier!!!