New to the market as of November 2014, the Twingaroo Twin Baby Carrier is a tandem soft structured carrier that is rapidly gaining popularity. In a market where there are only a few competitors, the Twingaroo is holding its own with unique features. Capable of carrying two babies of equal or differing weights, this tandem soft structured carrier (SSC) has weight capacity of up to 35 pounds (15.8 kg) for both babies which is a combined weight of up to 70 pounds. When the backpack carrier is worn as a solo carrier the maximum weight is up to 45 pounds (20.4 kg). This means you can carry your heavier, older toddler on your back and your smaller baby in the front carrier. Your wearing options in tandem are as front and back carrier and as a solo carrier, the backpack carrier can be worn front or back.
The carrier is designed as a soft structured carrier featuring a backpack that can be used as a diaper bag. The bag is roomy, capable of holding 3-4 cloth all-in-one diapers, cloth wipes, two onesies, and a wet bag with ease. The sides of the backpack has two insulated beverage or bottle holders. The front carrier wears like an attachable full buckle Mei Tai and features a small pouch on the waistband for storage of the front carrier when not in use while worn tandem. The front carrier panel has an elasticized pocket for extra items you may need at hands reach while tandem wearing.
The waistband is nice and wide, allowing for even distribution of the weight across the body of the wearer. The nylon webbing in the waistband expands to fit larger waists, boasting a wide waist of up to 77 inches (196cm). The shoulder straps are wide and nicely padded with a longer padded section and a slight contour. The shoulder straps also expand to allow taller, longer torso wearers the ability to adjust for comfort. The carrier arrives with a padded velcro closure suck pad to cover the chest clip and prevent your front baby from chewing or sleeping against the buckle. For shorter and narrower waisted wearers the two carriers can be independently buckled to permit cinching to smaller sizes rather than the 38 inches when joined together. The ends of the nylon waist straps feature elastic to roll the excess strap and prevent it dangling and catching on items in the environment.
The carrier is compliant with the new Consumer Product and Safety Commission and ASTM compliance standards, having been tested by an independent laboratory. As such the mandatory safety features are present on this carrier including safety elastics for critical buckles at the waist and shoulder straps. The carrier has even been recently awarded the Cribsie Award for Best New Arrival 2014. Overall this is a feature packed carrier that allows you to be mobile with two small children or infants quickly and safely. As with any soft structured carrier, tandem or single, it is important to make sure your baby can sit unassisted so that they can reposition their heads and protect their airway from suffocation.
What I loved about this carrier
As you know, I am partial to the woven wrap and wrap conversion mei tai. I usually find that by the time I am done inspecting a soft structured carrier I could be tandem wrapped and on my way. I found that as a tandem SSC, I was more prone to pick it up and use it over my other SSCs meant for only one baby. Where this carrier really shined was for quick ups to and from the car, in and out on multiple short errands, and for wear of up to an hour where standing in line was a high possibility (think DMV or post office). I became a convert when after an especially disappointing morning, I arrived home to sleeping babies. As you well know, 45 pound of sleeping toddlers is the worst weight lifting challenge and the possibility of a successful wrap and transfer hinges on your ability to get baby up and tight quickly. I used the Twingaroo to get the sleeping babes in the house and they not only stayed asleep in the car to carrier transfer, they stayed asleep for the transfer to bed. I knew you wouldn’t believe me so I made a YouTube video to prove it. The babies love this carrier. They will pick it up and drag it to me to be worn in the house or grab it when we are headed out for a morning walk. Dad is a full foot taller than me with a narrower waist. We can both easily wear this carrier with comfort and he prefers the ease of use with the Twingaroo, opting for it when he needs to tandem over his usual combination of the ring sling and mei tai. For morning school run, quick grocery shopping, and even a long wear to the zoo, the Twingaroo continues to impress me.
What I am looking forward to seeing in the next release
As with any carrier under a year old, there is room for improvement for the Twingaroo. I love the idea of the backpack as a diaper bag and to have what you need on the go without trying to figure out how to lug another item with you and your extra 45 pounds. I am frequently tandem wearing because I am alone with my little ladies and don’t have an extra set of hands to reach into the bag. In order to effectively use the bag you must take off the carrier to get at the things in it. The first lesson I learned is to not stick your car keys and phone in that bag, if the babies fall asleep and the car is like mine and automatically locks, you are now arms full of sleeping babies to get to the keys. The pouch in the front is directly on the front baby’s back without any padding and items in there put pressure against the back, so no keys here either. You can however use the folding pouch meant for storage of the front carrier when not in use for items such as keys and phone.
The buckles for attaching the front carrier are all the same color, shape, and size. This makes for a small learning curve for the new wearer. I would love to see color coded buckles or matching safety elastics to buckles. Even simpler would be to turn the male and female ends of the buckles so that only those buckles matching would clip. The waist band is impressive in the maximum width and it is always great to see a carrier with attentions to the full-figured babywearer. I do think that the waist should adjust, while worn clipped together in tandem, should adjust down to at least a 32 inch waist. This could easily be accomplished by recessing the buckles on both sides rather than just the one side.
I would also like to see a wider seat that is maybe contoured to be larger at the bottom and work up to the narrower 14 inches. to ensure it accommodates smaller babies or those in need of a narrower seat, this section could be adjustable with snaps against the back of the panel. The addition of legs out padding and a padded headrest for the sleeping baby (also adjustable with snaps) would ensure extra head support for the smaller baby but allow the sleeper to have support for the neck. I would also like to see the panel height reduced so that less pressure is placed on the sensitive underarm area of the baby.
Overall, I would give this carrier a 4 out of 5 for ease of use, adaptability, and features.
Babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding twin Momma sharing my insights.