Soul Slings | Soul Tai | Linen Mei Tai | Vanilla on Black Chambray | Review

 

This carrier is:

  • Soul brand.
  • Mei Tai (an Asian-style carrier).
  • 100% linen fabric (Soul produces some in cotton and others in linen, this one is linen, it is not made from a woven wrap).
  • One size (what I would call standard size, but the manufacturer currently sells only one size.
  • Fabric and carrier made in India

Words I would use to describe this carrier:

  • airy
  • breathable
  • smooth
  • sturdy
  • supportive
  • 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.

FABRIC

The fabric is 100% linen for this particular mei tai. Soul makes other mei tais in cotton. The body panel and hood are very lightweight, thin linen which I would call “handkerchief linen.” It is comparable to thin cotton muslin, except slightly rougher than cotton. The hood fabric is nearly sheer from how thin it is. The straps and inside of body panel are a sturdy, dense linen chambray. Chambray is “yarn dyed” meaning the threads are dyed prior to weaving, creating a two-toned appearance. This one is black and white, appearing charcoal grey from a slight distance. The strap fabric is not what I would call thick, but is much thicker and denser than the ecru color fabric that makes the hood and outside of the body panel. It came to me almost new, and I have used it quite a few times. The linen has softened up nicely and is not rough. While appearing rather plain in photos, it is quite lovely fabric to the natural eye. Soul states their fabric is handwoven in India by small-scale weavers, supporting the local economy.

100% linen is breathable, moisture-wicking, and ideal for hot weather. It can be thin and diggy on the shoulders. Since this has padded shoulders, that was not a factor.

SIZING

Manufactured currently in only one size, what I would call standard size based on the measurements. The manufacturer recommends them for 15-40 pounds (7-18 kg).

MANUFACTURER DESCRIPTION

The following is from the manufacturer’s website:

‘Soul Tai’ ergonomic baby carriers combine the comfort of woven wraps with ease and convenience of a structured carrier. They are based on a traditional Asian style carrier ‘Mei Tai’s, which are simple, versatile and beautiful. Soul Tais are available in 100% woven cotton and 100% premium linen. They are designed to be light weight and airy carriers which can be used even in hot and humid weather. We only use fine natural fabric so that the baby and you are always comfortable. Our cotton Soul Tais use panels of some beautiful woven textiles from around India and our linen Soul Tais will come in all those stunning colours you have loved on our ring slings! Soul Tais designed and hand made in Soul studio, Bangalore, India.

HIGHLIGHTS

Padded shoulders with wrap-style fabric on both sides of the padding. Wide straps provide comfort and support. Long strap length provides flexible sizing and length for alternate finishes. Cool, light, and breathable.

Produced in India, benefitting the local community. The company is small, family-owned, and has high manufacturing ethics. The final product is affordable, even cheap considering the quality to price point in the babywearing market.

CONSIDERATIONS

No manufacturer-made adjustments to the body panel. Mei tais can be manually adjusted and worn in different ways by the user, so this is not really a problem, just a point of contrast to other adjustable mei tais.

The unpadded fabric section of shoulder strap width was slightly more narrow than I’m used to with wide-strap mei tais. This made it more challenging to spread the reinforcing pass over baby’s bum. The fabric is also less grippy than most linen usually is, and is quite smooth. It makes it easier to wrap, but more likely to slip out of place instead of staying put, again, for example the reinforcing pass over baby’s bum.

MEASUREMENTS – BODY

Body Panel Structure – Flat without manufacturer adjustability, three layers, body panel is sewn separately from waistband, but since waist is not padded, it can allow the body panel to fit larger than its measurements, if desired. Has seat darts.

Body Panel Width – 16″ wide

Body Panel Height – 16″ tall without waistband, 21″ tall including unpadded waistband

MEASUREMENTS – WAIST

Waist Band Structure – Three layers of fabric beneath the body panel, no padding. Very floppy and flexible, and surprisingly comfortable considering it is unpadded. Long waist ties are two layers of fabric, with pointed-shaped ends rather than tapers. Inside of the waist panel has a large fabric tag with required wording. The fabric is soft and silky.

Waist Band Height – 5″ tall / wide beneath body panel

Waist Strap Height – 7.5″ wide for most of strap except pointed ends

Waist Band Length – 42″ from end of body panel to tip of strap (total of 99″ of waist from end to end)

MEASUREMENTS – SHOULDER STRAP

Shoulder Strap Structure – The shoulder straps have a unique padded/wrap design. The padded section is in the center of the width of the wrap strap, so that unpadded strap extends on both sides of the padded section. I found this quite comfortable, as the fabric could be tucked under the padded section, or pulled out to expand over the shoulder. The padding is stiff and firm, much stiffer than most padding I’ve experienced in a mei tai shoulder strap. The manufacturer instructions also to NEVER IRON the padding, as it would melt internally. After the padded section is completed, the rest of the shoulder strap is a single layer of fabric, with hems on all sides. Mine had at least three places where the raw edge was not properly tucked under the seam. The seam stitching was intact, but the frayed edge of the raw fabric showed, instead of a finished seam. It was a cosmetic, not safety issue, but worth noting since it occurred multiple times on both straps. This was not the case with the waistband, which is two layers of fabric.

Shoulder Strap Width – 12″ wide

Shoulder Strap Length – Total of 86″ long from shoulder to pointed tip, 14″ of that is padded/wrap section

MEASUREMENTS – HOOD

Hood Style – Single layer, cinching, generously-sized. The fabric is so thin it is semi-sheer. Two reach ties on each side are thinly sewn from the same fabric. The hood is seamed where attached to the body. It cinches up quite small, to be tied out of the way, as shown in my photos. It could function as a headrest or head cover.

Hood Height – 13″

Hood Width – 11″

Reach Ties – 11″

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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