Up to now, I have known the Mexican brand Indajani as a manufacturer of low-cost hand-woven wraps which did not particularly attract my interest – their patterns, colour palette or carrying attributes are not really my thing. Certainly, it is a laudable project from the socio-economic point of view; Indajani employs men and women from the agricultural areas on the south of Mexico, who weave wraps using traditional techniques on foot-pedal looms or waist looms. Except these bits of information, I digged up only the fact that the brand was founded in 2015, at least that is what Slingofest.com says.
By the way, in Zapotec language – do not ask me what the Zapotec is 😉 – indajani means “water that is born”. When speaking about the name, could anyone speaking Zapotec (or at least Spanish) tell us, how to pronounce Indajani?
Anyway, the bare existence of an Indajani carrier was a surprise for me. An adjustable carrier with such an exotic origin? And moreover, with probably super-bio-eco-fairtrade origin as well? (not that I am against these initiatives – on the contrary, but sometimes the eco-fair products must be forgiven smaller or bigger flaws just for their eco-fairness, to be honest…) Well, my expectations were not immense.
And boom! This REALLY is a wonderful carrier! Nicely sewn from a cotton wrap prone to lumps (which is probably a feature of all Indajani wraps I have met so far), the shoulder straps are of good quality, the buckles are solid – apparently from the same supplier as those for the manufacturers of Manduca – the buckle on the waist belt has the same security system, and one can take off the chest belt in the same way as one does on Manduca carrier (which is quite funny when you realize that you cannot cross the shoulder straps on Indajani, but so be it). The system of adjusting the width of the back panel by using detachable extenders is very simple but also totally ingenious, indeed. Using straps for the vertical regulation of the height of the back panel is not very aesthetic but certainly functional and user-friendly (surely better than a system with cords and disappearing knots). Firstly, I was truly confused by the front buckle on the shoulder strap – it is turned conversely, you do not tighten it downwards but upwards. I appreciated this illogical system when I carried my baby on my back – suddenly, the buckle is in the right direction – when oneˈs nosy baby loosens the strap, it is easier to fasten it again without the need to put the baby down.
The waist belt seems to be inspired by Manduca as well – tough, relatively narrow, but unlike Manduca less formed, which I did not appreciate a lot – when having Emilka in the front, it pressed my hip bones unpleasantly. Firstly, the shoulder straps, or more precisely their padding, quite startled me – it seemed tough and insufficient… however, it was not that uncomfortable in the end, especially when I had Emilka on my back and the waist belt had nowhere to press (moreover, it is very positive that it can be adjusted for very slim wearers) and carried the most of Emilkaˈs weight. I usually do not like to carry her on my back in a carrier, but in case of Indajani I was delighted – the waist belt held tight under my boobs (surely, my well-shaped belly fat is to praise as well 🙂 ), Emilka was pretty high and I did not have the feeling that she wobbled from side to side as it usually happens in other carriers – the back panel nicely embraced her, nothing overlapped (which cannot be said about many other carriers, unfortunately).
As regards the appearance – practical yet a bit poopy colour is not really my thing (the more surprised I was when I found out that the wrap BeendaWood itself looks really nice in the carry!); moreover, the lumps on Indajani wraps bother me quite a lot – it just does not look good.
I know that I have already said it, but I must repeat it, because I have never written this yet – this is a REALLY good adjustable carrier! The system of width extenders – I am simply stunned, I wish I had it on my own adjustable carrier (if I had or desired one 😉 ). I am not exactly sure about the minimum age limit of 3-4 months – it would be more about the actual size of the baby, but I am afraid whether the back panel could be shortened enough vertically – for the baby not to be submerged in the carrier. The maximum limit of 104 centimetres looks unreal to me in view of assumed comfort (or better discomfort) of the carrier – the padding of the shoulder straps could definitely be better if you intend to carry a pre-schooler.
It seems to me that wrap conversions just go through the roof recently – more and more traditional manufacturers of wraps start to make wrap conversion carriers as well. In case of Indajani, I was not only suprised, I was shocked indeed, and immediately signed up for testing.
The manufacturer states that the carrier is suitable for children from 3-4 months to the size of 104. Well, letˈs straight admit that the range is really huge – almost unbelievably, I would say. When looking on the promo photos for the first time, I have noticed a fairly original system of width adjusting, which I was very curious about. The variety of colour is not really my cup of tea (I am not a natural type, I prefer vivid colours and interesting patterns), but otherwise the carrier looked very promising.
After I unwrapped the package, the wow effect did not come – the colour really was nothing for me, the shoulder straps were pretty narrow and padded but quite hard to touch at the same time, the waist belt was very little padded for my taste, kind of flat. I instantly began to examine the system of width adjusting – the extenders are fastened by press studs with two positions to choose, actually! Well done! It is a really interesting system and functional as well, in my opinion. The height regulation of the back panel using straps with buckles is one of the most functional (and my favourite) solution. The hood is fixed without the possibly to detach … anyway, letˈs test it with the baby! 🙂
There has been a little hiccup at the very beginning – I tried to fasten the waist belt, but unfortunately I am too clumsy to be able to pull the belt with both of my hands (towards opposite sides) … therefore I had to take it off, fasten one side of the belt up to the buckle, put it back on and fasten the other … uff. I adjusted the extenders to maximum in advance, so Štěpán beautifully fitted in the carrier – I would even say there was still some place for his growth. The shoulder straps did not seem very comfortable at first, however, when I fastened them, they nicely fitted – without slipping or pressure. We went for a shopping walk with the carrier, taking roughly 50 minutes. After that time, my shoulders were still all right. However, the waist belt did not manage the weight of 12 kg well – it started to press my body already after 20 minutes or so – I was very glad to put it off after we returned home. For the second day, the plan was to try the carrier on my back, but the tropical heat affected my son as well as me, therefore we were not able to force ourselves out – shame, hopefully we will have second chance some day in the future.
Final evaluation? The carrier truly is adjustable, although I do not like the minimum age limit of 3 months. On the other hand, the maximum limit of usage seems to be quite real – my two-years-old with long legs had some extra space for growth, that is why I suppose the carrier could be OK with us until his 3rd birthday or so. The position of the baby in the carrier was exemplary, as well as the comfort for the baby (Štěpán did not complain at least J); the comfort for the wearer was fifty-fifty – shoulder straps all right, waist belt comfortable until 9-10 kg.
We thank the group Nosíme děti (i.e. We carry our babies) for the opportunity to test the carrier!