Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Tag: soulslings

#Review – Linen Full Buckle Carrier by Soul

I don’t call myself a seasoned babywearer. I have found my comfort in certain types of carriers and some are a total fail (read: Wraps) for me. But that is the beauty of baby-wearing, it is capable of providing solutions for every person, to suit their needs, their babies and personal comfort, budgets and so on.  Soft structured or full buckled carriers had found their place in my heart for their quick “wearability” and ease of use. I discovered Meh Dais by way of a travelling carrier program and we had a love-hate relationship with ring slings. I was in my happy place with baby-wearing.

Then one morning, I woke up and with half opened eyes, saw a message from Soul, asking if I would like to try one of their carriers and review it. Would I?? When Soul knocks at your door (or Facebook page) you only say YES! They wanted to send me a 100% Linen Full Buckle carrier and I quickly chose the colour I wanted and the very next afternoon it was in my hands. Wow. Blown over with their promptness and speed of response.

What I knew about Soul before they approached me was that they are an Indian company founded by Chinmayie Bhat and her husband. They make various types of high quality and efficient carriers and have a loyal base of customers spread across India and the world.

Every Soul carrier is designed, developed, hand-made, checked and shipped directly from the Soul Studio in Bangalore. (Source: soulslings.com) 

What I did not know before my tryst with Soul began by way of this review was that they have an excellent team in place which is super responsive, efficient, friendly, understanding and helpful… I shall stop here for want of more adjectives because I do need to review a carrier here. But most importantly I think my view of Soul changed forever because I got to experience how wonderful the entire team is and how the values of Soul reflects in every single member of the team and the community they have managed to build by way of their baby carriers.

My Soul Full Buckle carrier arrived in a small cardboard box. I was amazed that a carrier (and a Soul snuggly) fit in this box. But it did. That is how slim and trim the carrier is when folded up. The carrier itself came inside a cloth bag with the Soul label on it. I love such cloth bags and have used them for many things around the house including to store vegetables in the fridge. The cardboard box too has been re-purposed to store #babyT’s books and toys. I think it is truly admirable that companies go the extra mile to avoid plastic and use reusable and eco-friendly materials to package their products.

From manufacturing to packing, we strive to maintain earth-friendly practices as much as we can. We now use only cloth bags and cardboard boxes for packaging right now avoiding plastic as much as we can. (Source: Soulslings.com)

My first impressions about the 100% Linen Full Buckle carrier was that it was extremely light weight, the purple of the linen fabric had a beautiful shimmer to it, which I have never managed to capture well with my phone camera, but it is just gorgeous to see. The body panel is really, really thin and the buckles are smooth like butter. All the adjusters like the PFAs – Perfect Fit Adjustors, the back/chest strap and the waist belt, are gentle and yet sturdy.

I have used this carrier for well over three months now and it is like second skin for us. We have perfected the settings and know just where to tug and pull and fold to get the perfect fit and it all comes together in a matter of seconds. But I will admit here that when I began using the Linen Full Buckle carrier I was having some trouble getting off to a good start with it. But I learned soon enough that it was due to the legacy from the other brand full buckle carrier which I was using. Every baby carrier system has some unique features and it is only a matter of time before you find your comfort with the one you have in hand. If I can use an analogy – it is a bit like driving or riding a bike. You have the skill and have perfected it but when you are handed a new brand of bike, you need to spend a few minutes or a few rides to get a good hold of driving it. What did help me was the YouTube videos by Soul to get the perfect fit and you can view this here too.

It is a very comprehensive yet simple way to show how you can get a good fit and find comfort for yourself and baby when baby-wearing. What I did learn from this video was that it is important to “Tighten up” in order to get a snug fit which really helps baby become weightless and therefore effortless for you. <3

Getting a really snug fit helps make the baby feel weightless and baby-wearing effortless for you.

From a usage perspective I am bowled over by Soul’s 100% Linen Full Buckle carrier. It is light, breathable and perfect for Indian weather conditions. I got to use this in the unusually pleasant February in Mumbai this year to the furnacey heat of April & now May. Both #babyT and I are comfortable in it even when worn for long duration. Linen has me fully converted and I am impressed not only by how sturdy the fabric is but also how light and airy it is.

Many other baby carriers have a canvas inner to make them sturdy and that’s what make them so sweaty, clammy and generally painful to wear baby in. Our Soul Linen Full Buckle is only LINEN through and through and so you can imagine how delightfully pleasant it is. Add to this a soft waist-belt and shoulder straps which are only lightly padded means that they don’t dig in to your skin and leave sweaty patches which rub against your clothes and as a result irritate you.  In fact I must admit when I put on the carrier for the first time ever I had my doubts as to how successfully I would be able to carry a growing toddler and if they would support his weight, but turns out they did the job mighty well.

Even my husband who is a reluctant baby-wearer because of how hot and clammy baby wearing can get was impressed by how the linen body panel weaves itself around the wearer’s body and how weightless the wearee feels. I have to wage wars now in order to win my chance at baby-wearing #babyT these days as daddy insists I find my freedom and leave the baby-wearing to him. 🙂 He also finds that the natural M position of baby legs when wearing comes more naturally in a linen carrier as the back panel is so thin and moulds itself well around baby’s body.

A deep seat and the natural M position of baby’s legs

And we love back carries in our Soul Linen Full Buckle. I started back carrying #babyT just before he turned one in my other brand full buckle carrier and in that first moment I was kicking myself for starting so late. Back carries are awesome, really awesome and so wonderful for both baby and you. It gives them a new perspective to the world and is truly, 100% hands free for you  the baby-wearer.

Back carrying in our Soul Linen Full Buckle (mom hair, don’t care) 🙂

However it can be a bit difficult to back carry if you are not a seasoned baby-wearer or baby is not yet standing up and climbing on to your back. So always make sure you are on a surface which will protect baby in case of a slip or ensure you enlist the help of someone who can support baby while you get the back carry on.  Do remember that back carrying may require slightly different adjustments of the PFAs and the shoulder straps etc. This is because baby’s body is more up close to your back as opposed to your front where your breasts and tummy come in between. 🙂 Also tying the waist straps slightly higher and thus getting a higher seat for baby is more comfortable for them and you don’t have the fear of them spilling out and off (although that doesn’t really happen in a full buckle carrier) Once again tightening up will help get a snug fit and mean more comfort for both of you. But trust me on this, once you have tasted back carry you will only want to back carry.

To summarise, what I really loved about the Soul 100% Linen Full Buckle carrier is:

  1. Incredibly light and airy linen body panel
  2. Contoured body panel to give a better fit for baby
  3. Soft cushion at the thigh area for added comfort for babies
  4. PFAs can be loosened to help discreet breastfeeding when baby is in the carrier
  5. How tiny it is when folded up and so easy to carry on the go

    Fits perfectly into my hand bag

  6. The shimmer that the fabric has is truly gorgeous in person.

What I wish for: I am not a solids person. I love vibrant and floral patterns and prints. Can Linen be made in prints? Please Soul?

My ratings for Soul’s Linen Full Buckle carrier:

  • Ease of use: 5/5
    After the initial hiccups, once we understood how to get a good fit we were really quick to get up and down in the carrier.
  • Appearance: 4/5
    I love all the colours that the Linen carriers are available in but I am still campaigning for linen with prints.
  • Value for money: 4/5
    A little steep at Rs. 8550/- But this is one carrier which will last you from the time baby is 7 kgs till 18 kgs, that is well into toddlerhood. So it does seem to be a worthwhile investment.
  • Comfort: 5/5
    It is summer friendly. It is India weather friendly. That is a major win for me.

I am mighty glad that Soul chose me and my blog to review their product. It has added so much comfort and happiness in our lives by way of the Linen carrier. Also it has opened up my life to a plethora of other baby-wearing options too such as their Onbuhimo which is a new release and a beautiful carrier and also their beautiful accessories like the Soul Snuggly blanket (have you read my review of the Snuggly yet?) and their Tote bags. Above all I got introduced to a wonderful community of Soul users and fans and some of them are now close friends. This is what I love about mommying and sharing the same passion and joy for a brand which does so much more than just make a product.

** Disclaimer: I was sent the Full Buckle Carrier by Soul for an honest review. I have used the carrier extensively over a period of 3 months and shared my feedback here. **

Snuggly Wuggly Blankies: We love our #SoulSlings Snuggly

Raise your hands if you received a baby blanket as a gift from all the friends and family who came visiting. And now keep your hands raised if your little one outgrew that blanket in a few months or if it was either too hot or too cold or too ‘synthetic feeling’ for you to use. Yep my hands are raised too! #BabyT’s first year for me has been pretty much about the Eternal Search for the Perfect Blanket. Sounds like a movie title, no? Well it certainly has had all the makings of a good drama – surprise, shock, love and disappointment and some exhilaration. 🙂

Once #BabyT outgrew his muslin swaddles/ blankets, around 8 months onwards, I felt the need for a new baby blanket – one that would be perfect for day naps (no AC, warm Octobers in Mumbai) and keep him warm all night (AC on all night, baby hates anything on his body) And all of us moms and caregivers know that baby blankets go so much beyond just “blankets”. They also become play mats, nursing covers, sun shades in the car (Mumbai has a no shaded car window ruleK) and so many other avatars.

Precious Naptime

At a time like this Soul Snuggly walked into our lives. I had been eyeing the gorgeous prints and colours on the Soul website but was really unsure of how their jacquard fabric would fare in the perennially hot Mumbai weather and also mainly because I never could decide on which of the pretty designs to select and hit ‘Add to cart’ on. Soul sent me one for trial and review and I am so glad the universe conspired and brought me what I was looking for.

What’s a Soul Snuggly?

Soul Snuggly blankets are made from the same fabric that is used to make Soul’s wraps and other baby carriers. More details about the Soul Snuggly:

  • Sized at 45” * 48” – perfect for smaller babies and toddlers alike.
  • They are 100% cotton and therefore contain only all natural fibres.
  • The dyes used are baby-safe dyes
  • They are dense jacquard weave patterns which makes them delightful to look at and are strong and sturdy, yet become softer with each wash.
  • Easy to care for
  • So much choice: the Snuggly is available in 10 jacquard patterns, 6 Ikat weaves and 4 linen varieties. And more keep getting added to the stock regularly. 🙂

We chose the Maze Blues Soul Snuggly. And #babyT and our Snuggly have been inseparable since. This is a #nofilter pic.

The gorgeousness that is the Maze Blues Snuggly

After using them for over 2 months, count a sort of wintry January/ February and an already hot March, we have grown to love our Soul Snuggly. What we love about it is:

  • Just right for Mumbai winters – warm without being too sweaty, is breathable.
  • Perfect for nights when we leave the AC on all night.
  • Summer friendly – it got as high as 35* in early March and we found our Snuggly was perfectly breathable and did not discomfort #babyT
  • BabyT is a blanket “Kicker-off’er” – nothing stays on his body and he’s been that way since his newborn days. No caps, no socks, no heavy blankets, no fleece blankets for sure. But, the Soul Snuggly stays. That is a certificate in itself.
  • Gives two looks in one – Our Maze blues is prominently blue on one side and black on the other.
  • Very versatile – park mat, nursing cover, car window blinds on sunny car rides, cuddly time with books.

    ParkLife with Soul Snuggly

  • Great on #babyT’s sensitive skin. Fleece blankets which are so commonly used for babies, were a nightmare for us. It gave babyT rashes and dried his skin up a lot. We hunted far and wide for 100% cotton, but many of those blankets did not live up to the natural claim. Soul Snuggly however has been the best experience in terms of its promise of being all natural and safe.
  • Value for money: Soul Snuggly blankets are priced at Rs. 750 for the Jacquards and Rs. 950 for the newly launched Ikat and Linen baby blankets. Complete value for money considering you can use them from the newborn stage to toddlerhood (2-3 years) and even more.

What we love even more are the newly launched Summer Snugglies – they are blankets in the Ikat and Linen range of fabrics that Soul has. I got mine free during the offer they had on purchase of the Onbuhimo carrier. And they have become our go to blankets for day naps. They are also great for post bath wraps when #babyT steps out (or sprints out) of the bathroom. They dry so fast that I can reuse them as his blanket in the time he dresses up, feeds and slips into slumber land post his bath routine.

Soul Snuggly – Ikat Eclipse

Although I’ve had my Ikat Snuggly only for a week and so not had many opportunities to use it, but this range could easily be used for a stroller cover, crib sheet, swaddle. They would also make great gifts for baby showers and newborns.

If there is one recommendation I could make about the Soul Snuggly is that if it could be slightly bigger. I have a roller baby and at times he tends to roll out of the blanket. I could always get the Soul Shawls which are the same beautiful fabric and designs in a 80” * 40” size, but that would be an adult size (read: Me) and I don’t intend to share. J

Have you used the Soul Snuggly blanket for your wee ones? Tell me what did you love about it and what has been your favourite design?

© 2017 Mommying BabyT

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑