I was very excited about this testing or, in fact, re-testing! First time we tested Vekas it was spring/summer 2018 and one year later, during the summer 2019, we had the opportunity to try out the size 2 and the adjustable carrier. The first time, Emilka was tiny and light (about 70 cm/8 kg) and the second time she was already a big (and heavy 😀 ) young lady (86 cm/12 kg). Last time I fell in love with the adjustable version and was very curious how it would hold up with a much heavier load.
VeKa Size 2
Size 2 is recommended for children from 6 months up to 2,5 years of age by the manufacturer. The carrier is partially adjustable (the width of the back panel can be adjusted by cords – honestly, not my favourite solution of adjustment, whereas vertically it is unadjustable) – well, for a basically single-size carrier this range seems way too wide, mainly the minimum recommended age, because this is truly one HUGE carrier. In our local babywearing group, mums with children of different age and sizes tested the carrier and yes, I admit that there are certain 6-month-olds who can fit into this carrier – but very big 6-months-olds for their age, measuring, I estimate, at least 74 cm. Considering Emilka measured 74 cm when she was about one year old, in her 6 months she would be completely lost in this carrier. Well, this is another example why carrier manufacturers should declare recommended size, not recommended age. The upper limit seems adequate to me, or even maybe a bit cautious in case of smaller children because I can imagine carrying Emilka in this one way after her third birthday. My estimate is that the maximum size could be about 92/98 cm, as to the width – probably, as to the length of the back panel – certainly. Although I wear Emilka in front just sporadically since approximately her second birthday, I made an exception for VeKa, mainly to check the recommended size – as you can see in the photos, I could wear the waist belt very comfortably high, Emilka was sitting in a very deep pocket and despite of that the back panel reached high enough to her neck. All thumbs up for this and overall position of the wearie.
VeKa is very specific (at least at the Czech babywearing market) for it waist belt – it is soft (meaning soft but still holding its shape, not something virtually non-existing like in case of Fidella or Eli), extremely padded, wide and generally considered very comfortable. Although I love good old hard waist belts, VeKa is one of the few exceptions – this is a REALLY comfortable waist belt, even for wearing heavy toddlers.
Similarly as the waist belt, the shoulder straps are very generously padded (in the last review I called it “Rambo style”), with the possibility to wear them crossed, but unfortunately the chest buckle is not detachable. Carrier preferences change over time in almost everyone’s case – in my case, they changed, too. And with a mostly walking toddler I do not need to cross the shoulder straps at any situation – a) I wear her in front just sporadically, and b) in the sporadic moments I wear her in front it is very rare to wear her longer than 30 minutes. It means I do not longer need the possibility to cross the shoulder straps in my hypothetic ideal toddler carrier because I mostly wear my daughter on my back and in the rare situations I need to wear her in front I prefer to buckle it up fast to an endless several-hours-long comfort. In these aspects VeKa fulfilled all my wishes.
Adjustable VeKa is not a “sensu stricto” fully adjustable carrier – which is something I already commented on in the last review. It is recommended from the size 80 up to 4 years of age by the manufacturer. According to our estimate, thanks to being very easily adjustable to its minimum size, you can wear a baby wearing size 74 in it without any problems; while the upper limit seems adequate because this carrier is not only huge, it is ENORMOUS. But – if you feel that a “fully adjustable” carrier is a carrier wearable “from the beginning until the end” (i.e. from birth or 2-4 months of age until your child does not longer want to be worn), then the name of this carrier is incorrect and should be called “adjustable toddler” or something like that.
This particular carrier we tested was a bit different than the previous tester – the back panel was made of a woven wrap but the shoulder straps and the waist belt were sewn from cloth. I am personally very okay with cloth carriers, if they are cut well and the fabric is not too thin, or partial wrap conversions as in case of this VeKa – I say repeatedly I do not feel much difference as to my own comfort between a cloth carrier and a wrap conversion. But I came to realize that soft waist belts and simple cloth (mainly thin cloth) are not something that would work together well. Compare the photos of the size 2 VeKa and the adjustable one – it is quite clearly visible that the Yaro Turtle wrap (although being a rather thin piece, with the declared weight of 230 g/m²), holds the shape of the waist belt quite well but the cloth tends to bend and wrinkle much more.
Otherwise, there is not much to reproach about this carrier. I would probably appreciate if I could position the wearie a bit higher on my back – maybe I could adjust the carrier a lit bit better for the photoshoot but when I tried to shorten the shoulder straps more, I could not find a comfortable position of the chest buckle. Fortunately Emilka does not really mind if she does not have a clear view over my shoulder so we both were happy and comfortable when wearing this carrier. It is true that the sides of the back panel are a bit unanesthetically loose but the position of the wearie is A++, just as in case of the size 2 VeKa.
VeKas are certainly one of the most comfortable carriers for big and heavy children. In case someone comes to me for advice, in search of a carrier for her/his toddler and does not like hard waist belts, VeKa is the first carrier that I mention and recommend!
Hereby we want to thank the manufacturer for providing us with the carriers for testing!