During the last autumn, our local babywearing group had the opportunity to test the wrap-conversion KiBi carrier – basically a legendary and still very popular carrier manufactured in the Czech Republic which Linda and I are very fond of (it was actually Linda’s very first carrier). We often recommend it to the babywearing beginners as an affordable, durable and long-term solution of their problem if they are looking for an adjustable carrier that will fit really “until the end”.
KiBi EVO is not an alternative version of the “old” KiBi but it replaced it completely. If you wish to buy the old version, from now on you can get only a second-hand one or probably some pieces forgotten in some e-shops. So what is different? The most obvious difference is the waist belt – its shape is different (is is not straight as in the old version but a little bit convex) and, in particular, it is SOFT. This was quite a frequent complaint from those who did not find KiBi comfortable – that the hard waist belt pressures their hips. Moreover, as you can read on the KiBi’s website, the new waist belt (same as the shoulder straps) is made of high-tech foam and therefore there should be no pressure on the waist/hips whatsoever and the shoulder straps should be more supportive. And of course, one cannot bend a soft waist belt (well, you certainly can but it will go back to its initial shape again, in contrast to the old hard waist belt that had the tendency to bend permanently if the carrier was maladjusted). Another little detail that really pleased me is the detachable chest buckle (as the stubborn carrier cross-head I shout hurray three times!). Otherwise, it is still the good old KiBi you can use from approximately 4 months until your little one goes to preschool.
Comparison of waist belts of the old model of KiBi (upper) and KiBi EVO (lower).
Let me recapitulate what is so unique about KiBi among the adjustable carriers – the cut of the back panel allows it to be elonged and widened into truly enormous dimensions while it is still possible to position a 4-months-old squish in it quite comfortably (the system of the horizontal regulation comprises of studs – in EVO, there is one pair more compared to the old version, so it is possible to narrow the back panel even more; vertical regulation stayed the same – the unique KiBi’s hooks and loops one cannot find in any other carrier). I must repeat it one more time – KiBi is a really, really, REALLY big carrier that will fit even some 4-year-olds! No compromise when it comes to the length of the back panel, no need to have any special extenders made for the carrier that was supposed to be okay “until the end” according to the manufacturer but in fact, ehm, is not.
I love hard waist belts and the more my child weighs, the more I prefer them. The versions of KiBi, however, came to us for testing in the opposite order than I would wish, i.e. the hard waist belt for the lighter wearie, the soft one for the heavier one. And boy, Emilka has grown so much since last autumn! She was “a really tiny kid” for such a long time and now, being 2 years old, she has suddenly become “a fairly normal kid” – even I must admit that nowadays babywearing is not that easy peasy as it used to be just a few months ago (moreover, I feel like it happened almost overnight – well, I must face it, my tiny baby is not a baby anymore but a grown-up little lady already 🙂 ). Hmmm, the soft waist belt is not my favourite thing in the world but thanks to its overall volume (if I wanted to liken it to something – it is similar to the VeKa carrier’s chunky waist belt) it supported even the heavy toddler just fine.
Thickness of the waist belt – “old” KiBi.
Thickness of the waist belt – KiBi EVO.
As to the shoulder straps, I must say that I did not notice the change of the materials of the padding and the comfort while wearing the carrier was about the same as in the older version – i.e. really uncomfortable when wearing the shoulder straps straight, but quite fine when wearing them crossed. Regarding the crossing of the shoulder straps, I am jumping 10 metres high with joy – the chest buckle is detachable (!!!). However, not to be overexcited, the shoulder strap buckles are again only one-directional, i.e. you need to tighten the shoulder straps backwards when wearing them crossed which is something I hate to do. What can I do, I once got used to the bidirectional buckles and I will probably never come to terms with this “one-directionality”.
Detachable chest buckle.
We are nearing the end – do you wish to read a verdict, if the EVO model is better than the old KiBi? Nothing like that. If it was up to me, I would choose different features from both carriers to create the “perfect KiBi”. However, this does not change a thing about the fact that, old version or new version, KiBi is still the same great, legendary, Czech-made adjustable carrier that I will not hesitate to recommend!
We are very thankful for the opportunity to test the EVO version!