Coccolare is quite an unusual carrier, at least in the Czech Republic, because as far as I know no Czech (or Slovak) manufacturer offers this type of carrier. It is a “waist-belt-less” carrier, or better said, it has a “waist belt” made of the black polyester straps simply attached to the back panel with no padding whatsoever.
Aside from the basic versions, such as the tested Turkus Horizontal which is made of a simple, thin Coccolare’s original wrap with elegant diamond weave, this Polish manufacturer makes carriers for such household names like Loombera or also Kenhuru in the past. Therefore I assume there must be something interesting about these carriers what makes the popular at least in Poland.
To explain, why they are so “special” and how the “Coccolare type” carrier looks like, I attach a picture I borrowed from the official website of the manufacturer – the carrier is truly minimalist, with the straps simply attached to the back panel, in the most basic version even lacking padding under the knees (but you can buy it “extra” when ordering your own carrier). Another difference from the “classical” carriers is that when buckling it up, you put it “upside down”, i.e. the back panel is not folded of the waist belt but it hangs down your waist as a whole.
There are 4 sizes of Coccolare carriers – Standard, Standard +, Toddler and Toddler +. We tested the Toddler version which is recommended for children from 86 to 98 cm. Emilka’s height is still somewhere near the minimal recommended size, but I did not need to adjust the back panel horizontally – not saying that a bigger child (at least as to the carrier’s width) would not fit. That brings me to the question if the horizontal adjusting of the back panel is really necessary. Concerning the vertical size, I was not that happy in this case; I would certainly appreciate if it was a bit longer, at least for the purpose of babywearing on the back.
What I must praise about the carrier is that it is possible to wear the child very high on the back – all thumbs up. However, I missed the front buckle on the shoulder straps and I must say that I do not like this “system” of the chest buckle (on the wrap “loops”) at all because it has a tendency to move unintentionally. Well, and the absence of a “proper” waist belt, that is something I felt quite quickly – thanks god we tested the carrier during the winter and I wore it over my coat, otherwise the straps would probably cut me into two halves. Emilka’s 13kg were quite okay on my back for about 45 minutes and then I had to put it down and change to a “normal” carrier. The absence of the waist belt showed to be crucial for the overall comfort of wearing of this carrier – with heavier toddlers it becomes uncomfortable quite quickly.
What I liked about the carrier were some details – bidirectional waist buckle, detachable hood and the straps on the hood long enough so you can reach them comfortably in case you need to put the hood on when wearing on the back.
In the end, I must mention two undeniable advantages of this carrier – it is cheap (when talking about a new wrap conversion carrier, it is very cheap) and space-saving. In fact, testing of this carrier was a bit of a babywearing epiphany for me – if I had to choose what carrier to pack in my backpack for a trip with a mostly-walking child “just in case”, this “almost-waist-belt-less” carrier would be definitely my first choice because it is much more comfortable than an onbuhimo while being similarly space-saving!
Hereby we want to thank for the opportunity to test the carrier!