We have already published an article about the Sestrice brand, a Slovakian wrap and carrier manufacturer, particularly about the wrap Slncia Lollipop. Today, we are going to talk about their carriers. Sestrice (an expression in Slovakian meaning ˈsistersˈ) produce adjustable carriers in two sizes: Sestrice Carrier from 3 to 18 months (up to 80 cm) and Sestrice Carrier Plus (for children over 80 cm up to 3-4 years).
Thanks to the FB group Nosíme děti (i.e. We Wear Our Babies), we had the opportunity to test both sizes of the carriers.
I was intrigued by both carriers at first sight thanks to their obvious quality of materials, sewing and several original components. Especially the back buckle fastened by a magnet with the ˈSestriceˈlogo – this is a wonderful detail; solid waist belt buckle or the adjusting straps with a ˈloopˈon the back panel.
I did my homework thoroughly – prior to writing this article, I searched the Sestrice website through by through and aside from several interesting details, I found out one quite surprising thing – the waist belt is perforated! As you can read yourself, the waist belt has nearly 200 holes in it that ensure better breathability in hot weather. Most of us certainly know the feeling when you put of the carrier and you have a wet spot on your belly – this carrier intends to change the game in this! However, I cannot confirm if this really works because we did not test the carriers in really hot temperatures and one cannot see the holes in the waist belt, because it is obviously covered by a wrap. 🙂
Concerning the testing of the carrier – the waist belt is relatively narrow, tough and a little bit curved in its lower part, which I really like and I can say that this waist belt is one of the most comfortable ones for me. It did not press anywhere, I barely knew about it when wearing the carrier. The shoulder straps are pleasantly padded and also very comfortable. At first, I was excited about the ˈrailsˈ to which the back buckle is attached; however, I suppose they were not worn enough yet and they did not slide ideally on the rail so I could not use this component the way I was so intrigued about.
What I really like about this carrier are the above mentioned adjusting straps with the ˈloopsˈ. You can use this gadget in situations when your toddler decides to put his/her arms out of the carrier – you just pull the straps by the loops and the child will not be strangled in his/her armpits. Fast and effective.
Another thing I was pleasantly surprised about is that every carrier possesses a tag that indicates the month and the year it was manufactured and the size of the carrier! Thank you! I have no idea why most of the manufacturers have such a problem putting a similar tag on their carriers! All the experienced wearers could confirm that it is sometimes very difficult and troublesome to find one’s way in the pile of carriers during the big babywearing meet-ups, to distinguish all the different versions and sizes.
I must not forget to mention the colorful straps that match the wrap – farewell, boring black!
The only thing I am not that happy about is that Sestrice sew their carriers only of their own wraps – what a pity! And of course, their price is not among the cheapest.
I must also point out Sestrice’s instructional videos, particularly this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=jCRdjILoVyI – ‘Common babywearing mistakes and how to set them right’. It shows very nicely how to resolve different problems with adjusting of the carrier. I believe that despite thinking that you ˈknow it allˈ when it comes to adjusting a carrier, you would find at least one detail you were not aware of previously. 🙂
As far as the sizes of the Carrier and Carrier Plus go – the smaller size, Carrier, was almost too small for 18-months-old Helenka. She weighs about 10 kilograms and measures 82 centimetres and this is exactly the maximum recommended size/age of the carrier. There was barely enough fabric between her knees and the back panel was almost too short with her arms out. However, she is not very fond of being carried anymore so I think I could say bye-bye to babywearing with this size of the carrier without needing to buy the bigger size. Clever.
If your wearie is willing to cooperate longer than Helenka, you could use the bigger Carrier Plus – of course, you do not need to wait until 18 months to use it because the age/size you can use both of the Carriers overlap. The bigger one fit Helenka perfectly, there was no slack or lack of fabric anywhere. Satisfied by 100 per cent.
To summarize it – a very comfortable carrier of great quality that is worth every invested Euro. If my kid was willing to be carried a bit more, I would definitely buy this one! Anyway, I hope we would meet again one day, maybe with a new wearie! This is a carrier number one for me, at the moment!
Yup, Linda literally did her homework – it was me who assigned it to her, to write the historic/technical introduction this time. Therefore, I have half the work now, as I also had while testing because we tried only the smaller size of the carrier with Emilka and put on the bigger one only for the photos.
I have already praised the Sestrice Carrier in the report from the Big Babywearing Degustation in Brno where I had the honour to try it for the first time earlier this year. Well, it was love at the second sight and second wearing, too! After my recent (repeated) encounter with Zumbucca and Bimbi, I have a quite strong feeling that despite the fact that our brothers Slovaks do not outnumber Czechs in the quantity of carrier manufacturers yet, they are a giant leap ahead when it comes to the quality and design – and Sestrice Carrier is the ˈSaganˈ of this racing field nowadays.
At first sight, anybody can see that this is a carrier Ferrari. The sewing is perfect, the materials are of great quality and it is obvious that every little detail was thoroughly thought of.
I will start from the top. I just LOVE the ˈJˈ shaped shoulder straps! They are not straight as in most of other carriers, but their bend in their lower part and copy the line of the shoulders and back down to the armpits – therefore, the padding does not wrinkle and the shoulder straps look, well, just perfect! And the main thing – they were super-comfortable even for me, stubborn carrier crosshead! In this case, I do not lack the possibility to cross the shoulder straps – if it was possible, the straps would not be ˈJˈ shaped and that would be such a pity. 😉
However, I actually have something to nag about – about the shoulder strap protectors. I am sure the intention was laudable and the idea to make the inner layer of the protector out of the terry cloth is good… but only if the protectors were not that big and loose and held in their place, without turning, twisting or traveling up and down…
The back buckle must have come straight from the future! I struggle with these things on almost every carrier – to be able to pull it low enough, with the baby on (that means on my back without looking at it), to be able to fasten and undo it easily and not to dislocate my elbow joints while doing it. And all of this is possible in case of Sestrice! However, as Linda already mentioned, the ˈrailsˈ were not probably worn enough yet, so the manipulation with the back buckle was not that easy as I imagined. On the other hand, it held tight in its place. 😉 The system of fastening by a magnet? Sent straight from the carrier heaven, I suppose! It is simply divine!
The back panel of the smaller carrier fit Emilka, who measured approximately 74 centrimetres and weighed about 9 kilograms in her 16 months, just enough both in the vertical and horizontal direction (but not ˈbarely enoughˈ as in case of Helenka, mainly concerning the height of the panel). I think we would be able to use the smaller size throughout most of our babywearing years; however, considering Emilka is much more willing to be carried than Helenka, I am quite sure we would put the Plus carrier to use, too. As you can see in the photos, we could even start with the bigger version – there was a little too much fabric between Emilka’s knees than I would imagine, but as far as the height of the back panel goes, I did not even need to shorten it to the minimum. Its adjusting is easy and intuitive; the regulation of its width with straps is one my favorites among the adjusting systems. Concerning the vertical adjusting of the back panel, I also must applaud to the presence of the ˈloopsˈ on the straps, same as Linda – they really make the manipulation with these straps much easier – simply said, these little details are those that define the real user comfort.
My enthusiasm does not go away even in the lowest part of the carrier – I am thrilled that Sestrice are not afraid of hard waist belts! The waist belt hard as can be, when rightly shaped, adjusted and placed, just cannot be uncomfortable… No no, do not be afraid, this is a standardly hard waist belt – and nearly perfect in my opinion! I have to say ˈnearlyˈ, because I would personally prefer the waist buckle to be bidirectional and therefore placed in the middle of the back (but this is only my own personal vice 😉 ).
And the cherry on the top of this delicious cake – the TWO-FOLD waist belt strap! Although all the straps on the carrier are firm, of good quality and do not have tendency to loosen in the buckles at all (and yes, they are colorful and MATCH the wrap!!!), this ˈtwo-foldnessˈ makes the waist belt strap even more firm and compensates for the lack of the additional safety buckle – strap just hold tight in its place and does not loosen even without it.
The only thing I am a little bit sad about is that Sestrice use only their own wraps – while I understand that this way the quality control is better and that it sustains the uniformity of their design, on the other hand it narrows the range of choice quite a lot for those who are not fond of the gentle pastel colorway and folklore style of Sestrice.
Concerning the photos of the Carrier Plus… Well, here you can see how the nearing ˈbaby-wearing retirementˈ might look like…! 😀