Considering buying a carrier? Read this Carifit+ Review first.
At the end of February, the Carifit+ was launched. A new baby carrier aimed at active parents claiming to revolutionise baby-wearing in an increasingly crowded market of carriers.
Bold but welcome claims
Anyone with at least one child under their belt will know that the quest for a truly hands free carrier is a bit of a unicorn. We have grown used to compromise, be it style, comfort or ease of use. The Carifit+ seems to tick all the boxes. It even comes with a 12 month fitness app subscription, deserving of a review of its own. So does the Carifit + live it up to expectations?
Disclosure: Myself and my baby have attended Carifit classes and were asked to appear in some of the publicity shots for this product. This is an honest review that is independent of any sponsorship. This post contains affiliate links and an exclusive reader discount.
In a rush? Use code ‘mumtra10’ for 10% off the Carifit+
Crafted by a baby wearing community
The Carifit + is the brainchild of Vern Hill, postnatal fitness expert and his Brand Carifit. From modest beginnings delivering baby wearing group exercise classes at South-West London Slice Studios, to scaling an international digital membership program, it seems the Carifit + has been a long standing goal for founder Vern Hill. A father of two himself with an extensive background in fitness – this man knows a thing or two about wearing babies.
With live classes putting new mothers through their paces as well as the digital platform, he has had the perfect testing ground to create a first class product. His creation also benefits from years of exposure to the very specific needs of the new parent. The result is an intuitively designed carrier made with comfort, safety and wellbeing at its core.
How does it feel?
In a word, light. Made from a cool mesh breathable fabric, this soft structured carrier has a distinctly and unsurprising sporty feel. Engineered to bend and flex, the material is able to expand and contract with both mum and baby’s changing shapes. The Carifit+ seems to acknowledge, unlike carriers before, that postpartum is a journey of flux for both new mum and baby that requires a carrier to adapt along each step of the journey.
Whilst it is a structured carrier, the Carifit+ has all the advantages of a wrap carrier/ baby sling – it is soft against baby’s skin and offers a firm close hold. Baby is not restricted by the stiff panelling of other popular structured carriers. However at the same time Carifit+ offers assurance that baby is safely in place.
Forget baby slipping down into vacuous spaces – this carrier fits like a glove, moulding around the contours of both bodies and holding you both securely skin to skin.
Is the Carifit+ safe for a newborn?
Without hesitation – yes. And without an insert to boot.
Carifit+ is marketed at newborn to 24+ months of age. I’ve tested many carriers that make the ‘suitable for newborns’ claim, and have been disappointed. The Carifit+ plus does not disappoint. The elasticity of the carrier and the fold down neck piece allow new borns to be held tightly in position meaning no slippage and full visibility of baby’s face and airways.
Can the Carifit+ be used outward facing?
From around 6 months babies can be worn outward facing. My 10 month old loves this option as she looks to the world around her for stimulus. This is where I really appreciate the expandable groin piece which has three settings and allows me to create more space for her hanging legs. There is also a neck support which protects baby’s head in-facing but can equally be folded down once baby has learnt good head control or wants to be front facing.
Is the Carifit+ the best baby carrier for exercise?
The tight hold and uniquely supportive back panel of this carrier make it ideal for a full body workout. Having been tested in house in Carifit’s live studio classes, you can be assured that this carrier has been subjected to every variation of squat, lunge and shoulder press imaginable. I particularly love how light my 10 month old feels while I exercise. Unlike other carriers there is no cumulative strain on my shoulders as the back panel design distributes the load of the baby’s weight evenly. This allows me to focus solely on my exercise goals and maintaining good form, making for effective workouts that are not only safe for her but also for me.
Is the Carifit+ just for ‘gym bunnies’?
No. The official line is that this carrier is aimed at ‘active parents’ but truly this is just a great carrier for anyone who wants to wear their baby comfortably and safely allowing them to do other things. As Carifit also points out keeping baby close during your daily workout is also a great way to promote bonding.
The ethos for the carifit brand is rooted heavily in making new parents stronger through functional exercise so that they are more physically able to to go about the day to day business of parenting. The carifit+ is really just an extension of this.
Whether you are busily cleaning the house, working at a standing desk or out and about, potentially holding hands with older children, this carrier offers reliability and comfort.
The carrier even features a phone pouch at the rear, an ideal feature for walks along the beach, hikes and workouts alike.
Is it easy to put on?
Very. Carifit seem to have really tuned in to one of the major pain points experienced by baby wearers – the awkwardness and potential danger to baby whilst strapping oneself up.
I have owned my fair share of carriers over 4 babies.
I found ring slings way too complicated, fussy and I was just plain inconsistent at getting it right. The ergobaby 360 model which clips at the center of the back, required warming up my shoulders in itself to do , whilst momentarily squashing baby as I arched my back in an attempt to reach the clips behind.
The Artipoppe goes some way to resolving this with crossover straps that clip within easy reach at the sides. What makes all of these option the more prohibitive is that you need one hand to hold your baby in place to prevent them falling. Not easy. And clearly with lots of potential for error.
The Carifit+ really sets itself apart by listening to these safety considerations and concerns mothers have. The Carifit+ features an over the head design. Once you have clipped the panel around your waist, you then pull the body of the carrier over your head as if you were putting on a halterneck top. Once over the head, baby is largely safe enough for you to use both hands to secure the buckles at either side, confident that baby is being held in and not susceptible to fall.
Sports Luxe? Athleisure? – how do does it look?
It’s hard to find fault with the functionality of this carrier which is unsurprising as its creation will have been informed and vetted by an army of the brands’ loyal clientelle before hitting the shelves. But the question still remains – does it look any good?
The look of the carrier is as you would expect quite sporty. The racer back means it has instant gym credibility and the light grey mesh reminds me of my Nike Fly knits. Like those Nikes, the Carifit+ is effortlessly cool. This is a great looking carrier for shared use by mum and dad.
The only downside is that it is currently only available in grey but that no doubt will change at some point.
Carifit+ VS Artipoppe?
Up until having a Carifit+, I have loved using my Artipoppe. The two carriers are like chalk and cheese. The Artipoppe, with its many different luxury fabrics and looks to choose from, clearly favours style over all else. The Carifit+ is designed with comfort, safety and functionality at the forefront….it happens to look pretty good too.
I will say however that in the early months of wearing my baby, the Artipoppe for all its bells and whistles simply was not the best choice. At times it felt like when you go out in expensive, ill-fitting heels only to end up carrying them and walking home barefoot. I would look uncomfortable, forever rearranging the baby in the carrier and irritably adjusting the shoulder straps. Bad posture and a frown is never a good look. The best option would have been the Carifit+ in those days when she was so tiny.
If you only intend to buy one carrier and expect to use it often, over long periods of time or for exercise, I would recommend the Carifit+ over any other on the market.
Is it a sustainable product?
Yes. Each Carifit+ repurposes 30 x500ml plastic bottles. Additionally these carriers are made to last and machine washable. With care they can be used and used again.
Is it expensive?
However the price is inclusive of a 12 month subscription to the Carift app (£119 on its own). This is a one stop portal of information, support and physical training. Use it to workout along with other mums in their live Carifit workouts from the comfort of your living room or listen to physios, sleep specialists, mental health experts and other wellbeing professionals.
Topics such as Diastasis Recti (separation of core muscles), pelvic floor dysfunction and postpartum depression are all discussed in a candid and reassuring way, empowering new mums to seek further advice form a health care provider where necessary.
Like having a personal trainer in your back pocket, you can create a personalized exercise program in app according to your aims, fitness level and stage of postpartum recovery. I particuarly love the recipes in the nutrition area . There are also copious fitting guides and set up tutorials to quickly adapt you and your baby to your new piece of kit.
It’s overwhelming how much thought and attention has gone into the nurture and empowerment of new mums with the creation of this carrier and its app. I love the holistic approach that runs throughout this brand, the emphasis on wellbeing over weight loss and the welcoming sense of active community and reassurance that the app offers.
The carifit+ (inclusive of the app) is overall great value and aside from being a carrier offers a plethora of wellbeing benefits. It would make the perfect present for a new or expecting mum.
Suggested Further Reading: Life Hacks: Best apps for Busy Mums (2023)