The Bottom Line
- Long straps fit a variety of sizes and shapes for parents and babies.
- Shoulder straps are nicely padded and comfortable.
- Thicker headrest portion provides good head and neck support.
- Attractive and customizeable.
- Machine washable.
- There's a bit of a learning curve for mei tai baby carriers.
- At $80-$100, the BabyHawk Mei Tai is more expensive than some other soft baby carriers.
- The headrest and padded straps make it a little bulky when folded or rolled for storage.
- Asian-style mei tai baby carrier.
- Baby can be worn on your front or back, with several strap positions for comfort.
- Available in regular and XL for parents, in a variety of fabrics.
- Accommodates babies up to 40 lbs. A ToddlerHawk is also available with a little more room for toddlers 18 months and up.
- Outside pockets and toy rings, plus reversible carriers, are also available.
Guide Review - BabyHawk Mei Tai Baby Carrier Review
In terms of parent comfort, BabyHawk has done a fantastic job with the Mei Tai baby carrier. The top straps are very wide, and they're padded for quite a long way from where they meet the front carrier portion. There's enough padding to wrap all the way over your shoulders, even if you're very tall, so the main weight-bearing areas of the carrier won't dig in. The bottom straps are long enough to fit up to a women's size 22, so there's enough room for most parents to tie the bottom securely but comfortably. If you need a little more room, a larger size is available with about 12 additional inches of straps.
For baby, the carrier portion of the BabyHawk Mei Tai is also generously sized. It's perfect for tiny babies who want to snuggle into a little nest, but also works nicely for older babies who want arms and legs free plus a great view of the world. There's enough fabric there to give great support without overwhelming. The lightly padded headrest gives some extra support, too, and the top of it can be folded down if you don't need it to be quite so tall.
You can wear your baby on your front or your back with the BabyHawk Mei Tai. Learning to put the Mei Tai on can be a little challenging if you haven't used this baby carrier style before. It will take a bit of practice, especially if you're going to wear baby on your back. It might be helpful to have a second pair of hands available the first few times you attempt a back carry.
The BabyHawk Mei Tai is a little bit thicker than most unpadded and totally unstructured slings or mei tais. Those padded straps, long tails and headrest definitely add to the comfort, but when it comes time to stuff the baby carrier in your diaper bag, you'll certainly notice the difference. It folds or rolls bigger than an unpadded ring sling, but smaller than a fully structured front-pack baby carrier. After it's washed a few times (it's machine-washable!), the less stiff fabric folds a little smaller still.
The construction seems very durable. I like that there are double rows of stitching at every seam on the BabyHawk Mei Tai. It's still a good idea to check regularly for tears or seams that are coming undone, but the double seams should give a bit of extra security. This baby carrier feels quite sturdy.
For $80-100, you can order a pre-made BabyHawk Mei Tai, or you can custom order from tons of different fabrics, including some Dad-friendly options. You can also add a pocket or toy ring, or choose various size options for the perfect fit.