Another day, another carrier, except today was the day that American Airlines’ entire computer system crashed right as we boarded our Chicago bound flight from Phoenix. Here I was, Atticus strapped to me in the Beco Soleil, Alyssa gripping my hand ever so tightly and our captain making an announcement about their computer system “crashing.” Lesson for the wise, don’t say the word “crashing” on an airplane. Luckily, mass hysteria didn’t erupt, but a slightly unnerved squishy mommy was going to need another cocktail.
As we sat on the Tarmac, we waited, Atticus squirmed and we waited some more. Our four hour trip quickly turned into over two hours on the Tarmac, before the captain allowed us to get off the plane and settle in for another two hours at Phoenix’s very boring airport.
Prior to deplaning, Alyssa and I joked that we should get up and give the bored and restless passengers a Babywearing lesson as we were the only ones traveling with a carrier. You could see the envy in the other moms eyes, and little did they know I happened to be wearing one of the newest carriers on the market.
So lets see, where to begin? The Soleil is Beco’s brand spankin’ new carrier that features; padded straps, their signature safety lock buckles,dual adjustable shoulder straps (DASS), a darted seat;padding at babies knees, a pocket at the waist perfect for stowing an ID and credit card and toy/key chain rings.
(Katie from Beco can show you the Soleil in The Babywearing Lounge at MommyCon)
The DASS system brings baby close to you. I really dig this feature for two reasons; I have not had to adjust it since we first put the carrier on and it makes Atticus feel lighter. I have never tried another carrier with this feature, and it’s nice to be able to adjust how high and low baby sits in relation to your face.
The Soleil is a welcome addition to the Babywearing market and I’m going to tell you why I really like, scratch that, love this carrier.
This is a really good looking carrier. We all know that I love Babywearing, but the average fashionista isn’t always so keen on wearing so many buckles. I usually tell her to try a wrap conversion or a wrap, but lets be honest, they can be intimidating and drive the more mainstream mom away.
What all SSCs have going against them are the buckles and webbing. Webbing hasn’t screamed fashion forward since the 90’s and even then, the goth inspired webbed and buckled trends weren’t overly popular. While the Soleil still has plenty of buckles and webbing, somehow they are muted compared to the overall design of the carrier.
Beco uses really great prints that are proprietary to their carriers. The shape of the carrier is a huge plus. Some SSC’s have a really boxy shape, and the curves of the Soleil are not only comfortable for baby to sit in, but extremely flattering for mom. Also, the extra wide waist band (in comparison to let’s say the Gemini) does wonders for eliminating the dreaded muffin top. Dare I say that the carrier is actually flattering from behind? Yes, I just called an SSC flattering, you can quote me.
Beco also makes their carriers with cotton (huge plus for the organic variation) and the foam they use is flame retardant FREE! My baby chews on the straps no matter what I do and it makes me a lot happier knowing he isn’t ingesting cancer causing toxins.
With every great thing, there will be some negatives. dun dun dun. It’s not small enough! Darn you small waist. When i back carry I like to wear the carrier on my natural waist, unfortunately with a 24″ waist, this carrier “floats” on me. While short term carrying is fine, back carries for an extended amount of time will not be as comfy for someone with a smaller build.
Second downfall of the carrier is the price of the carry all bag. I love that the bag snaps to the underhood, has a buckle at the base for added protection, and when not in use, you can store the carrier in it, but for over $40, it’s not worth it. There is a super fine line between the bag staying snapped on, and coming unsnapped. I guess that should probably serve as a signal to me that I carry too much crap.
While its sister carrier, the Gemini, can be used from birth, the Soleil does require an infant insert which is sold separately. If you truly only want one carrier (do people like that really exist?) this would be a terrific option since you can utilize the infant insert until roughly 14 lbs and then ditch it and use the carrier up until 45 lbs. I tested it with a four year old and felt it was very supportive, Atticus is just shy of 30 lbs at 32.5″ tall and felt as weightless as a 30 lbs kid can get. The best thing the Soleil has going for it is the width of the seat allows kids to really grow into the carrier.
Since the carrier can expand to 60″ at the waist, it is a terrific option for larger parents or those that want a carrier for mom and dad. I also think that the carrier looks great on guys despite being so flattering for women. This really cannot be said for all carriers.
Here are the carrier measurements and stats.
body 16″ wide x 17″ tall
shoulder straps 23″ (can be adjusted up to 21″ LONGER for a total of 42″)
padded waist belt 28″ (can be adjusted up to 60″)
weight capacity of the carrier: 7 – 45 lbs (3.2 – 20.4kg)
weight of the carrier: 1.5 lbs
I think it’s pretty clear that this carrier rocks. It is comfortable for extended periods of time, case in point an eight hour airport adventure. It’s a really attractive carrier, and on top of it all, Atticus enjoys his rides in the Soleil. Now that I’ve shared my love for the carrier with you, i would love you to win one! Enter below using the rafflecopter widget.
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