NoMa Baby is one of the less notorious Slovakian manufacturers of carriers and woven wrap accessories (at least in the Czech Republic). I need to say – what a shame, right in the beginning! I have been following NoMa on Facebook for quite some time, I really like their work and therefore I was very glad I got the opportunity to test one of their carriers.
I also have one remark to start with – although I have already somewhat came to terms with this fact in the babywearing world and it does not surprise me anymore, the online existence of some brands only on Facebook does not seem adequate anymore (mainly if the manufacturer does not share much information about themselves, just like in case of NoMa). Nowadays, when the babywearing market is oversaturated and the competition between the manufacturers is enormous, existence of a proper website should be implied, if the manufacturer is serious about their business.
NoMa offers wrap conversions in 4 variants – the fully adjustable model “Adapt” and three partially adjustable models from the “Klasik” line that are numbered in a bit unfortunate manner, in my opinion – “M, S and V” standing for “malý, střední” and “velký” (meaning small, middle and large in Czech and Slovak). The tester carriers we had the opportunity to try out in our regional babywearing group were sizes “S” and “V”, i.e. middle and large – I must admit that the first thing I did when I created the sing-up form for testing was that I renamed the carriers to “size 2” and “size 3”. I am quite sure that it is confusing for the customer if the carriers are numbered “M, S, V” instead of the regular “S, M, L”, for example.
This unusual numbering is in fact the only important thing I have to reproach concerning NoMa – simply because they make great carriers! Again and again, having experience with BIMBI, Zumbucca, Sestrice or Moyo carriers, I must say that our eastern neighbours really know how to make a great carrier!
The carrier is very well sewn, meticulously, not a single stick crooked (well, I was a bit disappointed about the tag being sewn around not really nicely – maybe the only detail that nobody really cared for and that is why it instantly caught my eye). The wrap used for this carrier is subtle, durable and pleasantly soft and pliable. The “S” size (i.e. the middle size) is recommended for children from 12 months of age up to 2-2,5 years. My 2-years-old Emilka currently measures something between 80 and 85 cm and the carrier fit her perfectly; I did not need to tighten the back panel nor shorten it horizontally while she would probably have some more space to grow. The system of adjusting of the back panel by cords is not my favourite but if used, I prefer it just in the NoMa’s way – non-wrap cords (maybe it would be even a little bit better if they were made of polyester like in Rischino and not of cotton), with grommets (well, I will nag about them here a little bit – these metal grommets may become a bit of a pain in the bottom because they can get rusty over time and make stains on the wrap!). The parallel tunnels that regulate the back panel vertically are the top solution when it comes to this aspect of adjusting, in my opinion! The position of the wearie is exemplary – the back panel embraces her/him perfectly, the legs are very well supported and the knees are very high.
The wide waist belt is great! Here again, NoMa speaks my language – I would call it a “non-soft type” (because it is not the hard type of waist belt as in case of Manduca, nor foam-cushion softie as in case of Eli Handmade, nor even the practically non-existent waist belt as in case of Fidella buckle carriers). This could be a great compromise for those who cannot stand the hard waist belts and, at the same time, do not like the soft ones neither because of limited supportiveness and wearability. Even the width is great – the waist belt held in place beautifully, keeping in place it spread the load perfectly! The shoulder straps are my favourite – the “banana-shaped” ones, which are comfortable enough for me to be worn even non-crossed (to a certain extent and time limit), being padded just enough.
Regarding the looks of the carrier, the blue wrap (which is in fact blue-pink if you look very closely) is subtle and universal as I already wrote; however, the bunny is not subtle at all – it seems too infantile even to me. I have already commented on this several times before – the manufacturer should choose the tester wraps or carriers very carefully. Not only concerning the durability of the materials or quality (this is something I have nothing to reproach about when speaking about NoMa), but they should also bear in mind another aspect – the carrier should be attractive enough for the potential testers. Which is not exactly the word I would use to describe this particular bunny carrier. We had to advertise the testing of NoMa in our babywearing group quite intensely before some testers even showed up. My repeated experience is that it is mainly the matter of looks, not popularity of the particular brand or qualities of the particular wrap or carrier. If the tester carrier/wrap is beautiful and interesting, there will always be crowds willing to test it, while an otherwise-greatly-sewn and super-comfortable, but unattractive carrier will not tempt anyone to give it a try. This is such a shame in case of NoMa – because the carrier is simply great!