Diva Milano Essenza Mei Tai Menta | Wrap Conversion Mei Tai WCMT | Review

This carrier is:

  • Diva Milano brand.
  • Mei Tai (an Asian-style carrier).
  • Wrap conversion mei tai (WCMT), meaning sewn from a woven wrap.
  • Manufacturer made (the same manufacturer who weaves and sells the woven wraps, sews and sells these carriers).
  • 100% cotton.
  • “Essenza” is the name of the wrap pattern and fabric, as named by the manufacturer.
  • “Menta” is the name of the color.
  • This is the older Diva Milano Essenza mei tai, which measures slightly smaller, has a hood without reach ties, and has plastic toggles to attach the hood ties. The newer Essenza mei tais have a slightly larger body panel, reach ties on the hood, and metal rings to attach the hood ties. They fit and feel very similar, with minor changes.

Words I would use to describe this carrier:

  • textured
  • soft
  • adjustable
  • elegant
  • bouncy
  • diagonal stretch
  • comfortable

We would be thrilled if you would add YOUR OWN review of this carrier! Reader reviews located at the end of the post near the comments section.

With my second child, I used mei tais almost exclusively for his first six months of life. Of all the brands I tried, the Diva Milano was the best mei tai for a newborn.

The body panel is the smallest of all the mei tais I tried, and the cinching mechanisms allow it to become even smaller, for a tiny newborn. The body panel cinches both top and bottom – less common even for adjustable mei tais. The top cinch ends up providing head support for a floppy newborn. I did need to fold / roll the waist up and away from my body, when he was first born, to shorten the body panel for his height.

It was the only carrier I tried with my newborn, where I did not feel the need to support his newborn head when he fell asleep. The top cinch provided excellent head support, whether he was awake or asleep.

I have posted about the Diva Milano mei tai before, with other colors, and my son at different ages.

FABRIC

The fabric has significant diagonal stretch, making it bouncy and forgiving on the shoulders.  It is not stretchy like a Moby Wrap, but has a bounce to the weave that reminds me of hemp or wool blend wraps. The fabric is still remarkable supportive, considering the wide wrap straps are unpadded.

It comes in a wide range of colors, all stunning, vibrant and elegant. I noticed no fading or color change after several trips through the washer.

The fabric is medium thickness to thin (the newer models are slightly thicker than the older models). It is soft to the touch, though not as ultra soft as the softest things I’ve owned (such as Didymos Lisca). It has some texture and grip to it from the pattern of the weave.

The fabric is thin and neither too grippy or too slippery.  It is sturdy for how thin it, and has just the right amount of diagonal stretch.

The pattern is elegant, with a paisley or baroque type of design. It is woven from two different colored threads – with the “wrong” or reverse side of the fabric showing the reverse pattern. This is visible only in the shoulder straps, which are a single layer of fabric. In these photos, I wore the carrier inside-out (reverse) so as to show the interior contrasting thread color on the shoulder straps.

All of the Essenza mei tais I’ve tried have had the same thickness and feel to the fabric – simple the color is different. Recently, Diva Milano has released mei tais with a stripe pattern, which I have not tried yet.

The fabric is breathable and light for hot weather.

EXPERIENCE

I found it quite comfortable on the shoulders. Personally, I prefer mei tais with unpadded straps for a front carry. I find this distributes weight as evenly as possible across my shoulders and back. For back carries, I prefer padded or hybrid mei tai straps, or a buckle carry. This is generally speaking. I have used wrap strap mei tais such as Diva Milano or Didymos Didytai, for a very high back carry with an infant (not a carry recommended for new wearers).

The Diva Milano mei tais are currently not sold within the United States. They are often found for sale on second-hand baby carrier sites on Facebook.

SIZING

Best for newborn through about one year old, perhaps eighteen months.

Body panel is one of the smallest, which means it fits an infant better, and a toddler not as well. However, as you can see in these photos, my eighteen month old (average weight and height) still fits well in this carrier. At his age, I prefer to back carry him in a buckle carrier, but we were comfortable in this for a short period of time.

Diva Milano changed the body panel in 2014. The original Essenza mei tai was approximately 14×14 inches, and the newer ones approximately 15×15 inches.

MEASUREMENTS

The following measurements apply to the older models. Please see my review of Berry for measurements of the newer models.

BODY PANEL

Cinches at base and top of body panel, elastic on sides of body panel. Attached hood not removable.

Body Panel Width – 14″ wide old model (prior to 2014), 15″ wide new model, cinches to 5″ wide at base and 6″ wide at top of panel

Body Panel Height – 14″ tall old model, 15″ tall new model

WAISTBAND

Unstructured, no defined waist, double layer of fabric throughout, thin fabric, thin straps, can get diggy over longer periods of time (especially if shoulder straps not adequately tightened).

Waist Band Height – 3″ tall / wide

Waist Band Length – 34″ from where body panel ends, to end of one side (making a total of 82″ of waist from end to end)

SHOULDER STRAPS

Single layer of fabric, unpadded wrap strap style shoulders, box pleat attachment to body panel. Reverse color of pattern visible on each side of the shoulder strap.

Shoulder Strap Width – 8.5″

Shoulder Strap Length – 83″ long from shoulder to short taper, 87″ long from shoulder to long taper

HOOD

Hood Style – double layer, flat (not cinching)

Hood Height – 8.5″

Hood Width – 9″ wide at base tapers to 12″ wide at top

 

We would be thrilled if you would add YOUR OWN review of this carrier! Reader reviews located at the end of the post near the comments section.

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One thought on “Diva Milano Essenza Mei Tai Menta | Wrap Conversion Mei Tai WCMT | Review

  1. Oh dear, now I shall be ISO one of these! Looks beautiful and I appreciate your detailed review!

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