I am sure that the most of at least a little bit experienced Czech babywearers have already met the Russian carriers Kokon, or specifically the classical model of Kokon. Similarly as their compatriots Aloe carriers, their construction is very specific and they also have many fans, as well as there are a lot of those whom the carrier does not fit. I am among the first group – we tested the classical ˈadjustableˈ Kokon with Emilka last winter, and if we had not owned another two carriers by that time, I would have probably bought one myself.

I have not found much information about Kokon in Czech – just what the Czech distributor’s website says; the official website of the manufacturer is only in Russian. I honestly do not have the nerves to put random paragraphs of text written in Cyrillic into Google translator and then try to guess something out of the robot translation. I will only mention that the founder of Kokon is a Russian mom and babywearing counselor Olga Kovaleva and her husband Sergej. Fun fact, there is no ˈKokonˈ in the country of its origin – this is a name under which it is advertised in the Czech Republic. Its native Russian name is Gusljonok (or Guslenok) which means ˈGooseˈ – which is in the manufacturer’s logo after all. I fully understand why it was renamed for the Czech market – ˈGooseˈ in Czech (ˈHusaˈ) does not sound very appealing as a name of a babycarrier and the original Russian name Gusljonok is a little bit complicated to pronounce. In Czech, ˈKokonˈ means ˈcocoonˈ which is quite fitting for a carrier’s name, in my opinion.

The classical Kokons’ design is very distinctive and playful – sometimes maybe a little too wild for my taste and in somewhat ˈEastern-Europeanˈ style – which is not my style, duh. Of course, it is possible to find more elegant designs in the brand’s portfolio but they are certainly in minority. Therefore, I was excited about the simple design of the Chick carrier, in beautiful blue colours, from the very first moment!

The construction of Chick is totally unique, different than its older brother, the ˈclassicalˈ Kokon. The back pannel is formed by two triangles with elastic bands on their sides and therefore the position of the baby is very similar to the position in a wrap in a cross carry (which has become my favorite carry, recently). The system of adjusting of the width of the ˈback panelˈ is similar to Monilu Uni or the original adjustable Lenka Carrier – the fabric of the back panel forms a ˈtunnelˈ around the waist belt and unlike the two above mentioned carriers it is fastened by buttons and an elastic band with holes (you can find something similar on some trousers with adjustable waist). I really liked this ˈvariationˈ of the adjusting system, mainly because of the absence of Velcro. I was a bit afraid that the buttons would press on my stomach but I did not feel them while carrying at all, in the end. The waist belt is soft and quite narrow – honestly, I would prefer it to be wider. The shoulder straps ale ˈflatˈ, thin and wide same as on the ˈclassicalˈ version of Kokon but it is only possible to cross the straps while wearing (OK with me) and the buckles are situated on the waist belt, i.e. under the legs of the wearie.

According to the distributor, the carrier is suitable for babies from 55 cm/6-7 weeks up to 86 cm. As far as the minimum age/size goes, I am kind of okayish with it, at least concerning the position of the legs – however when we tried to install a few-months-old baby in the Chick during one of our babywearing meet-ups, the position was fine, but there was excess of the fabric on the sides of the ˈback panelˈ, which at least did not look very aesthetic. Moreover, since the ˈback panelˈ imitates the front cross carry, it is also necessary to secure the head of the baby somehow. The manufacturer’s solution was to include a detachable hood with a little pillow that you can install behind the neck of the wearie – not the best solution in my opinion; I would rather wait for the baby to hold his/her head up on his/her own before putting him/her into Chick. The maximum recommended size seems adequate – Emilka is size 74 at the moment (or the moment of the testing and the photoshoot) and there was still plenty of space for growing. However, I have a kind of a philosophical problem with this – wearing a child that measures 86 centimeters in front can be, let’s be honest, a bit technically problematic and the 86cm child him/herself may not agree with it (and it is not possible to use Chick on the back because of the ˈcross-onlyˈ shoulder straps).

Anyway, we had quite a good time with Emilka while wearing Chick – the position of the wearie is very good, the legs are probably in the best ˈM-positionˈ I have ever seen in a carrier. But, I have a problem with the elastic bands on the sides of the back panel triangles – they are very firm; so firm that Emilka actually had problems sticking her arms out of the carrier – I had to help her because when she had her arms inside and wanted to look around, she had to bend her head and back backwards. Moreover, Emilka still likes to cuddle, from time to time she hides her arms inside the wrap/carrier back again and snuggles inside – in Chick, she was not able to do this on her own, I had to help her again.

Concerning the wearer’s comfort – as I said I would prefer the waist belt to be wider, it cut into my hips at first a little, but during wearing it kind of ˈsettledˈ and I did not feel a thing in the end. Chick’s wide shoulder straps are great and super-comfortable in my opinion and I would certainly be able to carry a much heavier child in it. Unfortunately, there is a problem quite a lot of carriers with the possibility to cross the shoulder straps have – absence of the bidirectional buckles! For me, this is absolutely illogical, on a ˈcross-onlyˈ carrier! Tying the buckles backwards is very difficult and in case of Chick it even demanded help of a third person; moreover, it irritates me to the bone that I have to estimate how much I should tie the strap every time I use the carrier and take good care I tie it evenly on both sides!

Note for the ˈnon-crossingˈ babywearing world: if the carrier possesses the bidirectional buckles, I always adjust the rear part of it into a ˈfixedˈ position that I subsequently do not change at all. Then, when I wear the carrier, I only adjust the front part by tying it to its maximum – i.e. in the logical direction, to the front, and by this maneuver (= not touching the position of the rear part of the buckle and tying only the front part) I ensure that the shoulder straps are always and every time of the same length.

Conclusion… The concept of the carrier with this type of the back panel and flat ˈcross-onlyˈ shoulder straps is great in my opinion. So great that I would consider buying it for a smaller baby myself – but under two conditions – 1) there should be some kind of regulation of the sides of the back panel triangles so that bigger babies are not in fact ˈtrappedˈ inside the carrier, and 2) a real game-changer for me – the bidirectional buckles!

My thanks for the opportunity to test the carrier go to the group Nosíme děti (i.e. We wear our babies).