Fidella Wraps and Carriers is a German based company specializing in woven wraps, mei tais, onbuhimo, and soft structured carriers. The carriers are affordable, colorful, and the availibility of patterns and prints means there is something for everyone to love. What sets Fidella apart from other manufacturers also offering multiple carrier styles is that all the carriers are affordable wrap conversions from their full line of wraps. Priced at $120 or lower, their mei tai is the most cost effective wrap conversion on the market with options even the very high end carriers have.
History of the Mei Tai Carrier
Pronounced “may tie” the modern Mei Tai is an adaptation of a traditional Chinese baby carrier featuring a rectangular body panel and straps to tie around the waist and at the shoulders. Modern Mei Tai have incorporated a number of comfort features including padding at the waist, straps, and legs for the baby being worn. The straps can be as wide as four to fifteen inches to add additional support for the heavier baby. Traditionally the Mei Tai were tied in a torso style carry and baby was worn on the back of the caregiver. The wider, longer straps of the modern Mei Tai have given way to creative artistry and style.
The Fidella FlyTai has all the features of a high end wrap conversion Mei Tai without the strain on your babywearing budget. Converted from the same fabric as their woven wraps, the FlyTai is now sold in over twenty patterns and colors. The waist is generously padded, and wide enough to support baby’s weight as they rest on your hips. The panel is contoured in the shape of a body which allows the carrier to mold to the shape of the baby when properly tightened. The contouring enables a more secure fit with the carrier naturally curving around baby the way that a wrap would. The shoulder straps are padded with 14 inches of half inch thick padding adding cushion for the shoulders against a heavier child.
The body panel is contoured and starts with a nice wide seat. The best feature is that this is a carrier that will grow with your baby. The FlyTai is internally adjustable, a quick adjustment of the ties along the body panel allow you to cinch in the seat so that it is small enough for a smaller baby or expand it fully to fit a bigger toddler. My girls are just under three feet tall now and most of that is legs. I found the seat was wide enough to still allow them lift of their legs and the wrap straps offered extra reinforcement for lifting those long legs. The length of the body panel is also adjustable, permitting a smaller fit for the smaller baby. Truly adjustable for the smaller baby the body panel cinches in to allow good fit while expanding to full size to fit just under the shoulders of the bigger toddler.
The hood is more ornamental than functional as a sun protector or sleep hood. Cinchable to a fully collapsed position, I would envision using the hood as a head rest for the smaller baby with a washcloth rolled in and secured with the hood ties. The best feature of this carrier is really the wide, and extra long wrap straps. There is plenty of room for boosting baby’s seat and extra for fantastic finishes. We have worn quite a few different finishes and if you add in a small sling ring your options are then only limited by your imagination.
The FlyTai can be worn in the front, back or hip positions with baby facing in toward the wearer. There is no safe option for forward facing out in a mei tai. While the wrap straps are wide, only one baby can be worn in the FlyTai at a time. If seeking a tandem option I would wear two separate carriers rather than attempt to secure another child in the wrap straps. The reason is very simple, the carrier weight limits are determined by the tensile strength of the stitching at the shoulder. Using the wrap straps for any other purpose would add undue stress on the critical stitching and result in broken threads or worse.
What I loved about this carrier
Light and airy, the FlyTai combines function with beauty. The colors in each of the patterns are stunning, often with great contrast and thoughtful presentation. The padded sections are a fabulous feature. You can see in the image below that 14 inches of padding gives full coverage over my shoulders helping to mitigate any extra pressure from my baby’s weight. The pleating at the shoulder helps to fan out and cap the shoulder just right so that the top and bottom rails of the wrap straps don’t dig at the shoulders. The wide wrap straps gave full support of my baby’s bottom, even allowing a small reinforcement of the seat as it fully covered their fluffy bum giving lift and reducing pressure points on the back or shoulders.
The wrap straps were long enough to allow me artful finishes. Anything from tying Tibetan to a Sweetheart Finish and even Butterfly finishes and Mermaid finish. Limited only by your imagination and the safety of your carry, eighty inches of wrap strap leaves a good length for creativity. When adding a ring to the carry I found that the options were even wider, be on the lookout for more tutorials with fabulous FlyTai finishes.
While the hood is not functional as a sleep hood, I found that when my ladies fell asleep I could cinch the hood and roll a washcloth to add extra neck support. The design on the hood would allow for contouring around the baby’s head so I would love to see a wider, longer hood in the same shape for future releases. Outside of a woven wrap this is the only other style of carrier that allows you to carry a child from infant to toddler without investing in another carrier. Comfortable for male and female wearers alike, the mei tai is an essential carrier for your stash. When selecting a mei tai I highly recommend the FlyTai for the price point and number of features.
What I am looking forward to seeing in the next release
I would love to see the hood expanded in size to allow more function. The addition of a small section of legs out padding would be an excellent feature to increase the length of wear time. Options such as a ring waist would be an amazing feature, allowing a more snug fit and encourage fit at the natural waist to keep baby up high. I have only good things to say about the carrier as it is currently made and see anything else as an amazing improvement on an already awesome carrier.
Are you a tandem babywearer interested in how the FlyTai can be worked into your daily use? Take a peek at a cool tandem option with two FlyTai carriers for front and back. Not ready to wear your two littles front and back? Stay tuned for an upcoming video of tandem hip carry options in two FlyTai carries soon.
Babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding twin Momma sharing my insights.