We have already published quite a comprehensive review of the Kokon Chick carrier (in which you can find all the information about ˈwho, what, when and whereˈ of this brand); however, it is actually this classical version of Kokon that we tested with Emilka more thoroughly than any other carrier. The first time we tried it was about a year ago, when Emilka was 6 months old – just for a few moments, at a babywearing meet-up (we borrowed it from our dear Jana)… I was not very excited about it that time, even though it already fit us quite well. What can I say, a little 6-month-old in a carrier, me being primarily wrap-inclined; the need to stick the legs of the wearie through the hole between the extender and the back panel, neck-breaking tightening of the one-directional buckles of the crossed shoulder straps… It is possible that my ‘unaffection’ towards Kokon was caused by the fact I was not used to babywearing in a carrier by that time.
About 4 months later we gave Kokon another chance – it was exactly the same carrier with giraffes, i.e. Jana’s Kokon that we tested for the second time. And, there was a complete turn-around in my feelings; I thought Kokon was just terrific and if it was not for the absence of the bidirectional buckles, I would have probably bought one of my own.
Emilka was 16 months old when we tested Kokon for the last time – this time it was a different model, provided by the Czech distributor (to whom we want to thank for the opportunity). Emilka got bigger and heavier in the meantime, of course and therefore, my excitement about Kokon faded a little bit. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
According to the distributor, the carrier is recommended for children from 65 to 104-105 cm of height. Bravo, three times bravo! Finally, someone who recommends a carrier according to the height of the baby! And moreover, the recommendation is quite realistic. In her 6 months of age, Emilka was about 65 cm tall (long ;)), maybe even a little less, and in her 10 and 16 months of age she was still somewhere in the middle of the recommended range. What I must stress out is that even in her 16 months of age/cca 74 cm of height we did not need to use the extenders. Even though 104 cm is, in my opinion, a little bold statement about the maximum height of the wearie, I certainly do not think that it is out of reality (however, I think there are few children measuring 104 cm that would like to be worn in a carrier voluntarily).
As I have already written, I was very excited about Kokon after our winter testing. The wide shoulder straps were very comfortable for me and the soft waist belt felt just fine with Emilka weighing 7 kilos. Six months and 2 more kilograms later it was not that good after all… The shoulder straps were still great and certainly able to hold up to much more than 9 kg (however; the neck-breaking manipulation with the one-directional buckles when you need to tighten the straps backwards, that is something I would not get used to in any carrier), but the waist belt is not that toddler-worthy. I felt Emilka’s weight in my back and hips quite a lot after a longer walk – to be honest, the more my daughter weights, the more I prefer tough waist belts. And as far as the babywearing on the back goes, it is very comfortable with the wide shoulder straps (just as in any carrier with this type of the shoulder straps).
What I really appreciate about Kokon is how simple the adjusting is – basically, you do not need to adjust it at all, although it is a ‘real’ adjustable, ‘growing’ carrier. The height of the back panel is regulated just by how deep the pocket you seat the baby in and you do not need to adjust its width at all – you just do or do not use the extenders – these are in a fixed position and they look similar to the Aloe carrier’s extenders which we reviewed some time ago. However, in my opinion, the Kokon’s extenders work much better that Aloe’s. If there is no need to use the extenders yet in Aloe, they are hidden under the knees of the wearie – and if you need them, you just pull them out, under the wearie’s thighs. In Kokon, the extenders are shorter than the back panel and therefore, if you wear a smaller baby in it, you need to stick his/her legs into a hole between the extender and the back panel when seating him/her into the carrier. The extender (thanks to being shorted than the back panel) then supports the knees of the wearie perfectly – this does not happen in Aloe at all, in my opinion. The position of the baby in the carrier is fine, but I would be happier if the knees were a bit higher; I kinda feel that the baby sits a bit ‘flatly’ in the back panel’s pocket. The cooling vent pocket (which you can roll down and hide under the bum of the wearie after unzipping it) is a great feature and would certainly come to use during the hot summer days! Also, in my opinion, it is much more aesthetic than some ‘summer versions’ of certain carriers in which a part of the back panel is made of mesh. All thumbs up to the detachable hood!
I wrote quite a lot about my consonance with the classical Kokon’s design in the Kokon Chick review – to be honest, more dissonance than consonance… Infantile patterns are something that will always be there, when talking about any stuff for childcare, but Kokon is, pardon me, infantile in a not very tasteful Russian manner (and the patterns that are not infantile look like cut from the granny’s drapes).
Bottom line – a very well-designed carrier which is (despite being a ‘growing’ type of a carrier) very easy to adjust to your baby’s size. For me, the comfort was not ideal with 9 kilograms of weight because of the soft waist belt, which is, however, a very individual thing – just as the looks of the carrier.