kokadi AQUA Tai Tai Baby Carrier | Water Mei Tai | Diorite Stars | Review

This carrier is:

  • kokadi brand (sometimes abbreviated KKD)
  • Mei Tai (an Asian-style carrier).
  • Manufacturer made (the same manufacturer who makes the fabric also sews it into and sells the mei tai carrier)
  • 82% polyester, 8% polyamid, 10% elastan
  • Diorite Stars is the name of this color and pattern.

Words I would use to describe this carrier:

  • bouncy
  • stretchy
  • supportive
  • comfortable
  • smooth
  • silky

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.

OVERVIEW

Kokadi makes the only mei tai style carrier, designed for water use, at least as of this writing. The fabric is so unique from any other carrier (water or otherwise) which I’ve tried. It is thick and supportive, yet stretchy and bouncy. Even when worn snugly, the fabric had a fun bounce – I could have bopped up and down with baby following suit! The thickness made it a bit hot for me to wear, compared to other water carrier fabrics. The straps were long enough to fit a variety of users. The fabric is very quick to dry, and doesn’t feel overly heavy or bulky when wet.

Water ring slings tend to be the most popular water carrier types, generally speaking. For someone wanting more support and better weight distribution than a one-shouldered ring sling carry, a water SSC or water Mei Tai is a better choice. There are also a few brands of water wraps.

It is hopefully common sense that water carriers are to be used in a water activity where a caregiver would otherwise be able to hold a baby in arms. If one wouldn’t hold a baby in the arms while water skiing, putting baby in a water carrier while water skiing would be an equally poor choice! Care should be taken to keep a constant view of baby’s face and mouth. It may be easier to unwittingly get baby’s face get too close to the water, when baby is in a carrier, compared to being held in-arms.

I live in (hot) south Texas, and we visit all manner of water sources in the summer. Chlorinated pools, saltwater pools, lakes, rivers, and beaches. I have found a water carrier to be invaluable in giving my arms a break, restraining an otherwise super squirmy infant while wading in shallow water, and giving me a free hand to help an older child.

Natural fiber carriers such as cotton or linen, can potentially be damaged by highly-chlorinated water, especially those found in waterparks. Fibers like polyester or nylon hold up much better to chlorinated water, and will be durable for several seasons, given a quick rinse back at home in normal water. For natural (non chlorinated) water sources, a water carrier may not be as necessary, since a standard fabric carrier wouldn’t be ruined by the chlorine. However, a water carrier is still quite useful due to their lightweight fabrics and quick-drying material. Water carriers are also typically cheaper than regular carriers, so caregivers may worry less about “something” happening to the carrier while in a wet location.

EXPERIENCE

Although I do enjoy wearing mei tai carriers under normal circumstances, I felt that in a water environment, taking the time to deal with long mei tai straps was cumbersome. Being on-the-go and outdoors, for me, often means a sandy beach or a muddy river shore. Dragging long mei tai straps around on the dirty ground, while wrapping a squirmy, slippery baby up, wasn’t my preference for a water carrier type. I personally prefer a water ring sling (especially the Zanytoes Splash) or a water buckle carrier (especially the Connecta Solar), for water carriers. The body panel size of this Aqua carrier is suited to about 6-18 months, in my opinion. For a baby younger than that, I would personally choose a water wrap. For a child older than that, a water carrier might not be necessary.

For me a water carrier is a summer must-have. Water use usually means bags of sunblock, bug spray, snacks, water bottles, towels, fresh clothing, and who knows what else. I love being able to throw a toddler in a ring sling or on my back in a water SSC, so my hands are free to schlep our gear. While wading in shallow water, I enjoy carrying a slippery baby in a water carrier, so my hands are somewhat available to help my older child. By far my favorite use for a water carrier, is toting baby to and from the water location, while my hands carry our stuff.

MANUFACTURER DESCRIPTION

“With the new innovative kokadi water products it is possible to wear your baby also in the water. Your baby and you can enjoy the water and have a lot of fun together.

“Benefits for you and and your baby: Safety holding. You have your hands free to hold on the hand rail. No slipping out of the hands. Support of the neck and the perfect position of the hip of your baby. Usable for newborns (please look for the water temperature also for additives in the water! This product is not a help for swimming!!!). Easy to handle. Fast drying.

MANUFACTURER SPECIFICATIONS

Width of panel: 42 cm, not adjustable
Size of the back part: 34 cm
Wear: apron and non apron
Double seamed
Material: 82% polyester, 8% polyamid, 10% elastan
Weight about 220 g/m², heavy quality
Capacity: 15kg
Protection UV 20

FIT AND SIZING

kokadi’s website states this carrier may be used with a newborn. Personally, I would use a water wrap with a newborn, rather than this mei tai. This mei tai body panel is too large for a newborn, without modification such as rolling the waist and cinching up the body panel with a ribbon. These type of modifications could potentially not have an ideal fit for a tiny and floppy newborn. Since we are talking about water wearing, having a baby quite secure and fitting properly, is of even greater importance than out-of-water wearing. Also, modifying a mei tai in this manner can be cumbersome. When wearing around water, it is easier to have a carrier which is simple to use, and quick to get on and off properly.

In these photos, my son is eight months old, wearing 12 month size pants.

BODY PANEL

The body panel is flat with a slight contour. There is no padding or internal layer, so it is simply two layers of fabric stitched together. There are darts on the sides of the panel, rather than seat darts. Since there is no structured waistband, part of the waist may end up being used to increase the height of the body panel. There is no built-in mechanism to size the body panel up or down.

17″ wide at legs-out area

14″ tall to technical top of waistband

19″ tall from top of body panel to bottom of waistband

WAISTBAND

The waistband is two layers of fabric stitched together. There is no defined or structured waist area, so part of the waist area may end up combining with the body panel area, for deeper seating of a taller child. Part of the body panel is stitched on top of the waist area, creating a slightly thicker area (4 layers of fabric) at the base of the body panel. The waist belt section is quite wide, providing comfort since there is no padding. The ends are blunt, not tapered.

5″ tall

30″ strap on either side of body panel

77″ total waist from end to end including body panel

SHOULDER STRAPS

The shoulder strap is two layers of fabric stitched together. It is unpadded, but since the fabric is thick, it is nicely supportive on the shoulder. It is also quite wide for mei tai straps, which distributes weight nicely. The ends are blunt, not tapered.

4″ width

80″ length

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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