If you are travelling a lot with kids, you will soon encounter the question of how they can keep up with you. Luckily, there are a lot of possibilities. Apart from simply carrying the kid your arm – which you know is not that simple anymore after some time – there exists a large number of carriers.
One of the best one for babies and small kids are baby slings, but these are sometimes complicated to use and so many parents use other “ready to use” carriers. As soon as the kids master the art of walking, they will love to explore the world on they own feet. Nevertheless they will still enjoy being carried and often this is the only way to travel with them independently.
In a previous article I already wrote about back carriers that offer great comfort for both the parents and the kid and are used to carry your kid wherever you want. Although these systems are designed for travelling with your kid, they have one drawback: Often back carriers are not the lightest and smallest products to take with you, so as long as the kid sits in it and you are walking they are great. However, in situations where you would like to more often take the kid out, stop, let the kid walk a bit and take it back in, these carriers can become quite cumbersome.
For that reason we rarely used our back carrier when we went to the city or for short trips. But what do you do if the small one needs a rest anyway (and does not like to sit in a stroller)? Right, you take it on your shoulders. You probably see many fathers and mothers carrying their kids this way. But be assured, they will most likely complain about back and neck pain afterwards. So you can choose: Carrying a big back carrier or harm your body. But why not to use the best from both choices? How about a carrier that is light and small? So I started looking for this and indeed found what sounded like the perfect solution: The MiniMeis shoulder carrier, suitable for kids from 6 months till 5 years, small, light, foldable and still highest comfort, thats what the product promises. So I decided to give it a try and test this carrier on our trip through the Balkan.
The MiniMeis shoulder carrier
Our trip brought us through Austria, Slovenia and Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, with lots of stops in between and short day trips. Of course we took our back carrier with us as well, but Zofia is already a great walker she often wanted to walk on her own, which ment we would have to carry the carrier empty sometimes and put it on and off often. And for this it was simply too big and heavy. On the other hand, perfect conditions to test the MiniMeis shoulder carrier, as it is so small that we could simply put it is a small bag when not being used.
We got our MiniMeis shoulder carrier from Babyton. Although I found this product only short time before our trip started, it arrived on time thanks to the quick sending of the shop. It arrived save and properly packed, I definitively recommend buying at this shop.
Before I write more about our experience with the carrier, here the most important features:
- for kids from 6 months till 5 years
- highest comfort with back rest for the kid
- comfortable and natural sitting position of the kid
- high safety thanks to belts and leg straps for both, carrier and kid
- measures folded: ca. 40 x 8 x 33 cm
- measures unfolded: ca. 73 x 8 x 40 cm
- weight: under 1,5 kg
- material frame: stainless steel
- material: 100% Polyester
The MiniMeis carrier was developed for 5 years by highly motivated fathers from Norway. The raw data of their result sound promising, but how does it look in reality?
- Is the MiniMeis suitable for travelling?
- Does it offer the comfort it promises?
- How does the kid feel and what about neck and back after a day of carrying?
I must say, I was fascinated from the beginning. In particular the small size and light weight impressed me. Folded, the MiniMeis is not much bigger than two regular DIN A4 pages (40 x 33 cm) and with a thickness of just 8 cm and a weight of under 1,5 kg really thin and light (compare the 80 x 43 x 34 cm and 3,5 kg of our back carrier, Deuter Kid Comfort 3). Therefore we could store the carrier wherever in the car, it even matched in the side pocket of our suitcase. When unfolded, the carrier becomes approx. twice as big and you can immediately recognize the kid’s back rest and the construction to put on your shoulder. That the carrier not only looks stable but actually is stable is due to the continuous stainless steel frame.
Putting the carrier on is simple, but as it is with all products of this kind, you should get used to it beforehand and adjust all the straps to fit your body. The MiniMeis comes with a few straps for safety: One under your shoulder and one in front of your chest. Even the back part of the carrier can be adjusted in height to fit your needs and guarantee highest comfort. Once you adjusted everything, you are ready to put the kid in. Here there are two possibilities, depending on the age of the child:
1) With older kids you do the same as if you wouldn’t be using any carrier. Simply lift the kid, over your head and down into the carrier. The legs of the kid can be fixed using the leg straps and for more safety the kid has its own belt in front of its stomach. I was really impressed by how less you feel the carrier itself on your shoulders and at the same time how huge the difference in comfort is, in contrast to the child just on shoulders. The weight is equally distributed and it simply feels good. Forget about annoying swinging legs and enjoy the freedom you have, as you can still use both hands for whatever you are doing. It also feels safer due to the belts and on top of that, you can walk straight as you would do without any child on your shoulder.
2) If you have a smaller kid there are additional shoulder straps for the child for stabilization and to prevent it from falling to the sides. In this case it is easier to first sit and fix the kid into the MiniMeis and then put the carrier with child in it onto your shoulders.
So far about handling and usage, but what about the comfort of the kid? I was convinced, but more importantly, would Zofia say the same?
Luckily, she was on my side. She said it feels good and much better than without carrier. She has a proper seat and back rest and at the same time can still almost freely move and look around and enjoy the view. Compared to the back carrier she said that the comfort was similar, in fact here she liked even more that she can move more freely.
On our trip we could properly test the MiniMeis shoulder carrier and we can promise you that it wont be missing on any of our following trips. Even after longer periods of carrying it felt good, independent on the terrain we were walking on. After walking through mountains in Austria, climbing fortresses in Slovenia or through the Old Town of Sarajevo, Zofia loved it and felt safe and so did I, having both hands free for taking pictures or anything else. And if she wanted to walk, we could simply carry the MiniMeis in a bag or even store it under the stroller.
And for all of you who think they would miss the additional storage that back carriers usually often: You can still wear a regular backpack, even with the MiniMeis and kid on you shoulders.Feel free to share: