The brand of Kol Kol is, as well as the already-tested Soul carriers, from India. Moreover, it is a similarly eco-fair-trade oriented brand based on hand-made production as Soul (missing just only the hands of single moms), starting as a small family business, driven by a search for the best carrier for one mom’s kid (this being probably the most frequent motivation of manufacturers of wraps, carriers and other babywearing goods). This time, the mom’s name was Bayiravi, whose son Advait’s first words inspired the name of the brand.

Kol Kol Standard

Lenka’s View:

Kol Kol Standard is, according to the Czech distributor of this brand (Dítě na těle), designed for kids from 4 months of age / 5,5 kg to 20 kg (the information for our group said: “to 18 months of age”). Oh, dear. However, one cannot find a model called “Standard” on the manufacturer’s website – the smaller version of their one-size carrier is called “Compact”, recommended from 7kg / 6 months of age / 70 cm to 20 kg. Oh, dear! The size of the back panel differs as well – “Standard” on Czech website measures 36 x 37 cm, “Compact” on the manufacturer’s website measures 38 x 40 cm. The question is – was a special smaller model made for the Czech market or did someone in our country measure more accurately and rename the carrier as a precaution?

By comparison, the width of the back panel of Manduca, recommended without extenders roughly until 12 months of age, is 35 cm, while the height is 42 cm. Well, it certainly depends on the particular kid, but Emilka (70 cm / 13 months of age) fits nicely into Manduca (I even use the width of this carrier to adjust the width of the back panel of adjustable carriers we test). I think the Czech measurements are more accurate, as Standard / Compact was just OK for Emilka, the height being rather short. As far as the recommendation goes – I can imagine an 18-months-old with my eyes halt shut, but 20 kg? No, certainly no. On the other hand, I quite agree with the lower limit (with regard to the actual kid’s proportions of course).

Otherwise, it is a very decent carrier. It is kind of Tula-like. The waist belt is very comfortable for me, it is a bit wider and softer than in case of Soul carriers and it is possible to shorten it considerably, which makes it suitable even for extra-slim moms (only the pocket under the wearie’s bum still goes beyond my comprehension). The shoulder straps are padded quite a lot and worn non-crossed quite comfortable for me (it is not possible to cross the shoulder straps in case of all the Kol Kol carriers). The padding is not as long as in case of Tula, which is positive for me as Tula’s padding bothers me under my arms. The adjusting is minimalist and very simple (i.e. there is almost no adjusting at all, in fact). The position of the wearie is alright – good “M-position”, embraced by the back panel. I have nothing significant to reproach the construction – the materials used look quite durable. Again, I cannot resist comparison with the Soul carriers and their shoulder straps, which are terribly soft and have a tendency to twist in the buckles (which made me mad). There is no such risk in Kol Kol carriers – the shoulder straps are firm, they do not twist in the buckles and do not slide. Only the cotton canvas used wrinkles easily, which makes it a bit unaesthetic mainly on the hoodie (you can see wrinkled carriers even on the manufacturer’s promo pictures!). The way of shortening and fastening the hoodie by studs is smart and well-functioning (only the hoodie is not detachable, which I do not like personally). One small detail is really ingenious – the straps have a loop at their ends instead of the commonly-used bending and stitching (you can see the loop in detail on the Toddler version’s picture). When you need to fasten the strap, the end will never slide into the buckle and you can easily reach it – you just pull the loop and voila 🙂

As far as the looks go – almost all our testers reproached so-to-speak lousy pattern. I am quite OK with it, but I really did not like the above-mentioned wrinkled hoodie and a really big distinct label right in the centre of it.

Kol Kol Toddler

Lenka’s View:

Originally, I did not sign up for the testing of Toddler version because I thought Emilka was too small for it. However, the carrier ended its testing route in our household, so I decided to try it after my experience with the smaller version. Surprise, surprise – Emilka fit nicely into it (although there certainly was considerable space for growth). The “Czech” size data correspond with the Indian ones this time (46 x 48 cm); however, the recommendations are different – for the Czechs from 15 months of age / 75 cm, for the Indians from 18 months of age / 81 cm (and supposedly 11 kg). Again, I have to agree with the Czech measurements more, which are strategically silent about the upper limits, which is by the Indians set until 4 years of age / 22 kg. Whoops.

Otherwise, the carriers are identical, therefore my compliments and complaints remain the same as well. The carrier underwent a dancing lesson with us and passed with flying colours. Aesthetically, the pattern is nicer for me, but silvan autumn colours are not really my cup of tea.

Linda’s View:

The only carrier of this brand we were able to test. Helenka (size 80/86, c. 9,5 kg) fit nicely into it. Similarly to the Moyo brand, I have really nothing to reproach. Simple, intuitive manipulation, decent design and mainly (!) very well-padded shoulder straps. I love it! As far as the comfort goes, it is simply perfect for me. Simply, it is a carrier I recommend without problem 🙂

Kol Kol Mei Tai

Lenka’s View:

Again, I gladly trust the Czech measurements (back panel: 40 x 38 cm), because those Indian 50 cm vertically is far from the truth. The recommendation from birth (3 kg) until 2,5 years of age (18 Czech kg, or 15 Indian kg) is not really realistic either. It’s like a broken record, isn’t it? However, Emilka (who is currently right in the middle of the recommended numbers) fit nicely into the carrier.

Kol Kol was the first mei tai made of cloth I have ever tried – it is a kind of blasphemy maybe, but there is no substantial difference from the wrap conversions for me … The tying went as well (or as badly?) as with any other mei tai. I get that it could be about practice, but I personally prefer tying a wrap or putting on a traditional buckle carrier. Mei tai does not provide me with any added babywearing value.

The waist belt is very decently padded and it cut into my body the same as Lenny Lamb wrap tai, which is completely non-padded. The length of the waist belt was just right (I did not have to wrap it around me thrice). I kind of liked the non-padded shoulder straps, there was no problem with Emilka’s weight, although I would probably not take the carrier for a whole-day trip (especially because of the waist belt cut into my body).

The Hare-Krishna colorway did not impress me much, similarly to wrinkled hoodie (same as in case of buckle models).

Kol Kol Onbuhimo

Lenka’s View:

The sole Kol Kol champion for me! Firstly, this onbuhimo is really beautiful, contrary to the buckle models it is made of wrap, which looks durable and wrinkles only minimally. Secondly, the carrier was super-comfortable for me – those Tula-like shoulder straps are fantastic! Moreover, it is possible to shorten the shoulder straps considerably. Similarly to Soul onbuhimo, I was very satisfied with Emilka’s position – very high, M-position maintained, embraced by the back panel. Although Emilka weighs two kilos less than the recommended 10 kg by the manufacturer, it was fine. In comparison with Soul, Kol Kol’s chest buckle is possible to move lower, which makes it more comfortable (no pressure or strangling). So far, Kol Kol is the best onbuhimo I have tried! I will seriously consider buying it in the future.

Verdict: Decent carriers I would certainly not speak against – on contrary, I would gladly recommend the onbuhimo. Unfortunately, the carriers’ “value for money” is not very high, in my opinion – 2,800 CZK for Standard version, 3,000 CZK for Toddler version (even 1,850 CZK for onbuhimo is not little) is compared to the brand of Tula considerably less, however, let’s admit it – Tula’s patterns are far more attractive, the material is of higher quality at the first sight, and mainly, when your child grows up, there is no problem to sell Tula for a reasonable price. I am not really sure about this in case of Kol Kol – because nobody (except the Indians themselves, of course) can tell how the carrier will look like after one or two children.