Linda’s View:

I promised you a review of the non-adjustable Be Lenka carrier, specifically its middle size, some time this summer. I must admit I forgot about it and because it is the time of the New Year’s resolutions, I have to make amends.

Nowadays, most mums want a carrier that could be used from birth to at least 5 years of age and the non-adjustable carriers are becoming less and less popular. I say it all the time – what a pity! The non-adjustable carriers will always fit the baby the best and will be the most comfortable both for you and your wearie. You do not have to be afraid that it would fit only for a month or so. Of course, it is individual and it depends on how fast the baby grows, but usually you would need only two carriers throughout your babywearing years. This could also be an advantage from the economical point of view – you buy one, you sell the other; you can combine it with a wrap, etc. Considering the non-adjustable carriers are usually much cheaper than the adjustable ones, there is no need for further discussion.

OK, this is the end of me lobbing for this type of carriers; let’s take a look at this specific one. I also have to compare it to the adjustable model of Be Lenka carriers, Lenka 4ever (you can find its review here and here).

We tested it with my husband in the Tatra Mountains, so it was a true ˈstress testˈ. We wore it for several hours for several days, both in front and on the back.

There is no need to adjust nearly anything on this carrier, simply because it is a non-adjustable model. 😀 Well, except for the length of the waist belt and the shoulder straps.

The waist belt is tougher than in the 4ever version, sewn through in a different manner and has a different shape – this is quite logical, because the absence of the horizontal adjusting of the back panel enables making the waist belt tougher – and therefore providing better support for heavier wearies. I like this type of waist belts; I think anyone with a bigger child will appreciate it, too.

The shoulder straps are straight (not of the ˈbananaˈ shape as in case of the ergonomic shoulder straps of Lenka 4ever) and it is possible to order a carrier with bidirectional buckles which enable to cross the shoulder straps, too.

The carrier we tested was made of the Be Lenka Krajka Jeans wrap which is a really beautiful and pleasant piece that suits also daddies, as you can see in the pictures.

I am a well-known nagger when it comes to carriers and there have been only a few of them that I liked – the more I was surprised that the wearing was very comfortable in this one – my shoulders and back were not sore at all. Helenka weighed about 10 kg about that time, in 17 months of age, wearing size 86. The carrier fit her just right (we also tried the Toddler size and it was still quite wide between her knees). The manufacturer declares that the Middlesize is suitable for children from 12 months to 2,5 years (size 86 to 98). Considering babies do not grow that fast by that age, I can agree with that.

Bottom line – it is a very comfortable carrier for bigger children for the wearers who do not want to bother with any unnecessary adjusting, or those who want to change a wrap for a carrier.

For the sake of completeness, I will add that the smaller size of the non-adjustable Be Lenka carrier is called Standard (from 3 to 14 months) and the bigger size is called Toddler (from 18 months to 3,5 years).

If you like this carrier and would like to buy one, you can find it in our e-shop in the light blue colour for a very reasonable price:

Lenka’s View:

I will also nag a little bit about the current trend of everyone wanting only adjustable carriers. Babywearing is no longer a hobby of strange ˈbio-mothersˈand it is becoming more and more popular in general. And nowadays, in the era of fast food, fast fashion and fast everything, everyone is looking for the easiest, fastest and also the cheapest solution possible – speaking from my experience, 90 per cent of mums who want to babywear come to us in search of a carrier for their baby; they are afraid of wraps, they are not skillful enough to tie a wrap, they want something quick and easy, etc. And 90 per cent of these 90 per cent of mums want an adjustable carrier, “if possible, from birth and so that it fits as long as possible”. My sarcastic self calls this “from minus 6 months to the high school graduation”. 😉

Linda wrote everything about the benefits of the non-adjustable carriers – that they actually do fit for a long time and that it can be, in fact, cheaper than buying an adjustable one. But, it is also important to realize that any adjustable carrier is sort of a compromise – at least at the beginning and at the end of your babywearing years (mainly at the end, I will explain below). It is true that today’s offer of adjustable carriers in the Czech Republic is not longer KiBi and only KiBi and that there are some carriers in which even a 2-month-old fits quite fine (however, a well-built 2-month-old) – for example, the above-mentioned Lenka 4ever or the Polish Kavka (and no, a real adjustable carrier suitable from birth until the end of the baby wearing years does not exist :D).  In any case, these little babies do not fit into the most of the carriers declared “from 2 months”, “from 5 kg” or “from 55 cm” very well… It is possible to carry them, but it is not ideal, there is too much fabric, mainly on the sides of the carrier – but as I said, it is always more or less a compromise. Then, there is a period through which the carrier fits fine both to you and to your wearie. And then, with a toddler, the back panel is usually shorter than it should be or the carrier becomes uncomfortable for you, because its construction is not built for carrying 10, 12 or 15 kilograms. Moreover, there are many components on the adjustable carrier that one cannot find on a non-adjustable one, of course – because one needs to adjust it somehow. 😉 And the more components (or, as I say, annoying thingies), the higher the probability that something would break, fall off, hinder or pinch…

Now, let’s talk about the Lenka Middlesize carrier. The waist belt, as Linda mentioned, is different than in the adjustable Lenka 4ever. It is tougher (however, I would still describe it as ˈsoftˈ), sewn through in a different manner, less prone to bend in the upper part in my opinion and my experience, mainly when carrying a heavier load. The shoulder straps are not ˈbanana-shapedˈand therefore it is possible to buy a version with the possibility to cross the shoulder straps – simply said, it is not ˈyes or noˈas in the case of Lenka 4ever in which you must decide if you want or do not want to cross the shoulder straps when buying one. Anyway, the non-adjustable version is my favourite in both aspects – the waist belt and the shoulder straps.

Emilka weighed about 8,5 kg and measured about 74 centimetres in her 15 months of age and the Middlesize fit her very well by that time. Therefore, in my opinion, the recommendation of 86 centimetres as the minimum size is a little bit too cautious. I am sure that this carrier would be OK for us until the end of our babywearing years and that we would not need to upgrade to the Toddler version at all. As far as my comfort goes, I do not really feel much difference between the Middlesize and the adjustable model – or better said, if I was able to cross the shoulder straps in the Middlesize version, it would definitely be more comfortable for me. But I am a stubborn carrier crosshead. 😉

Regarding the looks of the carrier, I must agree with Linda – this is a perfect unisex carrier – blue for boys, lace for girls; the soft blue colour surely cannot offend any babywearing daddy.

To sum up, this is definitely the best carrier in Be Lenka’s portfolio in my point of view. It is a great shame that the non-adjustable carriers are slowly retreating from the babywearing world.