Category Archives: Carriers

Top Tips for Carrying in Winter

The Winter Solstice may have passed & the days are getting longer, but there’s still an icy nip in the air. A question regularly asked by babywearing mums is “What is the best way to carry in the cold?”
As with all things there is no single right answer so we talked to our models and photographers, as well as some babywearing experts, to see what they do when the days turn chilly.

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What’s The Difference? Coorie & Cairis Carriers

Lots of our customers have been asking about some of the differences between the Coorie and Cairis carriers. Below is a comparison of the unique elements to each carrier.

Both carriers have been inspired by the traditional Mei-Tai. The main difference between them is the waist belt and shoulder straps. The Cairis has a padded waist belt with a buckle fastening and padded shoulder straps. The Coorie has a pleated waist belt with a ring fastening and carefully pleated shoulder straps with light padding. Both Carriers have been hand crafted in Scotland by highly skilled seamstresses. Read on for more details and info to help you choose.

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Coorie on the left. Cairis on the right

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Coorie on Tourie & New System to Purchase

In preparation of our new listing system for selling our Coories, we decided to send it on tour! See below for some feedback from the families who had a go, and read on to find out what’s new and how you can purchase one of your own.

What’s New?

We’ve made a few tweaks to the Coorie body panel after receiving feedback from customers.
Previous Dimensions:
Baby Panel: 38cm (15″) wide (at base) x 41cm (16″) high.
Toddler Panel: 50cm (19.5″) wide (at base) x 42cm (16.5″) high.

New Dimensions:
Baby Panel: 44cm (17.5″) wide (at base) x 28cm (15″) high.
Toddler Panel: 49.5cm (19.5″) wide x 43cm (17″) high.

We’ve replaced the buttons for the hood with a simple tie so that you can still roll it up, creating that stylish look and holding it in place with ease.

How To Buy:

1. The Coorie will be made to order from specific Oscha fabric which will be previewed on Facebook before the ‘slots’ become available.

2. We will state how many slots will be available (approx. 2- 6 for each style) and time of the listing, so that you can purchase your slot on the website when they go live.

3. Prices: Baby £268 | Toddler £279

4. We will aim to ship orders within 2 weeks of the purchase date.

5. Our aim is to have approximately 2 listings each month with different Oscha fabric.

As always, our Coorie carriers will be handmade in our workshop in Scotland by our team of highly skilled seamstresses.

What’s Coming Up?
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*NEW* Toddler Cairis

This week we are excited to launch our toddler sized Cairis. A development from the Baby Cairis it is specially designed to carry your bigger children. Suitable from approximately 2 – 5 years the Cairis will be comfortable for toddlers through to pre-school age.

SN-Amera Diana carrying her 3 year old daughter.

The special features of the toddler Cairis include:
– Padded waist band that goes all the way around your middle for increased lumber support, which adds structure to the carrier yet adapts to the wearer.
– Straps flare to 1/2 wrap width giving a wider area for support for bigger children (the Baby has a more gentle flare of 1/3 wrap width keeping the Carrier light and easy to use for smaller children)
– Leg padding for your the child’s comfort
– Seat darts provide a contoured shape for childs comfort and easy positioning

The Toddler Cairis contains some of our most successful features from the baby Cairis, which we have had great feedback on from our customers; such as our unique Strata-linea® Waistband (patent pending). This provides elegance & comfort by preventing webbing digging into your waist, as well as giving support.
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Hip-Healthy Baby Slings

The International Hip Dysplasia Institute acknowledges Oscha Woven Wraps, Ring Slings, Baby Cairis and Coorie as “hip-healthy” baby carriers (when used as directed). This means that our slings provide the correct support to your child’s hips, which encourages the normal hip joint development that is especially important during the child’s first 6 months.

IHDI Logo

Woven Wrap, Ring Sling, Cairis, Corrie

Woven Wrap, Ring Sling, Cairis, Corrie

The IHDI has reviewed the Oscha products that are suitable for babies under 6 months as the risk of hip dysplasia or dislocation is greatest in the first few months of life.  By six months of age, most babies have nearly doubled in size, the hips are more developed and the ligaments are stronger, so are less susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.

IHDI supports proper babywearing with the hips in the M-position as a method to encourage healthy hip development. Our Coorie and Todder Cairis also hold the hips in this position as recommended by the IHDI but as these products are for use with older babies, they are not eligible to be tested for ‘hip healthy’ positioning.

Infographic

A little information about healthy hip positioning:

If you would like to read more about Hip Dysplasia and baby carriers, you may want to read Dr Rosie Knowles blog post about ‘Busting some Hip- Healthy Myths’. Rosie is a qualified GP and an experienced Sling Consultant. http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/healthy-hips-busting-some-myths/ she explores Hip Dysplasia in detail and recommends different styles of carriers for healthy hips.

You can explore the International Hip Dysplasia website to read more about hip healthy positioning and the research around preventing hip dysplasia here http://hipdysplasia.org/

Cairis Review – Lauren and Simon

We sent one of our Cairis carriers to a family who were just beginning to explore babywearing with their first child. We asked Lauren how she got on trying it out with her son. They received one of the first completed carriers 7 months ago just as he was born.

What were your first impressions of the Oscha Cairis?
The fabric- quality and design- were absolutely beautiful, and the sling as whole, extremely attractive; it had a real ‘wow’ factor (subsequently reflected in the number of comments I received when I wore it out and about). The accompanying instructions were very clear

How easy did you find using it and putting it on at the beginning? Were you used to using any other baby slings or woven wraps?
I had never used a sling or woven wrap before and found the Cairis very easy to use. We followed the instructions step-by-step and had the carrier in use within five minutes.

You can see how easy it is to use the Cairis with a new born by viewing our instructional video.

Do you find it comfortable to wear for long periods?
It is very comfortable to wear. When my baby was very young I commonly wore it for up to 6 hours. I am quite petite and it adapted very well to my size. Likewise, my son was a particularly small baby, and I loved how the sling could be adapted for him.

When do you tend to wear your baby in the Cairis?
Around the house, out shopping, running errands (particularly when using public transport). When Owen was younger (and the weather was nicer) I used it out on long country walks.

Is it easy to transport when you are out and about and your child is being carried?
Yes- I use the bag that came with it. It folds down well so it very convenient to transport.

How happy do you think your child is in the sling? Is it a good height for them to see out?
He’s always been very happy in the sling. I regularly use it to comfort him when he’s distressed and almost instantly calms. It is a good height for him to see out.

Do you prefer to use it on your back, front or both?
I’ve only recently starting using it on the back, and I now prefer it as it’s easier to go about tasks, and now he’s heavier, it is more comfortable for longer periods.

How easy do you find adjusting the size when sharing it with your partner?
With a little bit of practise, very easy.

Over all, how happy are you with the appearance and functionality of the carrier?
Very happy. Given I had never used a sling before, I wanted something easy to use, and the Cairis was certainly that; I felt confident using it almost immediately. A real advantage for us was being able to adapt the sling, using the cinch, for when our son was first born; he was of a relatively low birth weight so he would have been too small for mainstream carriers. It was lovely wearing something so attractive, and I constantly received compliments on the carrier when using it.

Will you continue to use the Cairis?
Yes

Do you have any other comments?
Receiving the sling instantly changed the way I went about the day. My son loved being in the carrier, and I would wear it for large chunks of the day; I knew he was happy, and I could talk to him as I went about activities. Because it is so convenient to use, it made it so much easier for my husband and I to go out- using for example public transport or out on long walks in the countryside. He would either sleep, or watch what was going on around him.

 

Cairis Review – Rosie Knowles

We asked Rosie Knowles from Sheffield Sling Surgery to review our new, half buckle, soft structured carrier.
Rosie is a family doctor based in Sheffield, UK and has been carrying her children for seven years; she is a Sling consultant and a certified babywearing consultant instructor.

Top-Image-for-Rosie-Review

Harriet trying out the Oscha Cairis with Rosie

It’s been a privilege to work with Oscha on the development of their new soft structured carriers. The Coorie ring-tai is a fabulous carrier, amazingly comfortable with painstaking attention to detail. The new baby Cairis half-buckle is a simpler soft structured carrier, once again made from Oscha wrap fabric, designed for use with children between 7 and 15lb. It is handmade in Scotland with the same loving care and with focus on comfort for both parent and child.

What is a Half-Buckle?
A half-buckle is a mei tai with a buckled waistband and long straps that can be wound around the body to distribute the weight of the child.

The waistband of the Cairis is minimalist, to avoid bulkiness for a younger baby, and to prevent any digginess around the hips for an adult. There is no padding in the very central section of the waist, with light, soft padding at the corners of the panel that moulds nicely around your contours. This light padding carries on into a long “tongue” of fabric which ensures that the side-positioned buckle doesn’t dig in. The webbing moves smoothly and is easy to tighten.

Tightening-the-waist-band

This minimalist style makes it easy to “cinch” the waistband to make it narrower for a younger child. Oscha provide a ruched semi-elastic strap that can be tied around the base of the panel, making it both shorter and narrower. This will ensure that a small baby’s legs are not over-spread and the panel isn’t too tall.

cynch

The Cairis has lightly padded shoulder straps that fan out into wrap straps that are about a quarter of the width of the full wrap. The angle of the straps has been carefully chosen to keep them resting on the flat of the shoulder, rather than riding too high towards the neck. This, combined with the breadth of the curved top panel, helps to avoid any feeling of constriction or restriction of view for baby. The padded straps are sewn in such a way to allow moulding and they stay in place well rather than sliding around (due to the grip of the fabric). The wrap straps are easy to tighten snugly and aren’t too bulky around baby’s knee. The little extra width keeps the bunching for the leg passes comfortable, and they can be spread a little for some extra seat support. The fact that the straps are not super wide is helpful to avoid getting tangled up in excess fabric and it would be easy to use this in windy weather, for example.

Straps

The panel is lovely and floppy, which allows for a good degree of snug fit, which you often don’t get with more structured panels, and allows adjustability for a range of sizes of child. There is no bulky padding at the sides, but the double thickness of the soft wrap means that it is still comfy around the legs. The top half of the panel has a little bit of very soft floppy padding that adds a little support around the upper body and neck. It has a fully removable hood that can be ruched up along the two fabric runners at the side, and can be attached to the panel and the straps by a clever system of loops and poppers that add plenty of adjustability.

Hood

How does it feel?
It feels lovely, as it is so lightweight and soft. It is very easy to use, being very simple without too much fabric to feel swamped by. The light padding to the waistband means it is mouldable and comfortable with no digging around my middle. The straps were a good width for me; not too wide and I was able to keep them central on my shoulders. The knot is easy to make as the straps are not at all bulky, and as they are fairly narrow compared to something like the Coorie, I felt more comfy when I took the time to spread the width around my side, and for heavier babies, to have them spread across baby’s bottom for extra lift. The panel is quite tall, but as it is so soft and lightweight it is very easy to allow it to fold down over the waistband slightly to reduce its height. Being double thickness, it doesn’t sag.

I had to take a little care with hip scooting into a back carry to ensure the long waistband tongue remained in place, but it was lovely to have the padding rather than webbing across my front. It was fairly easy to spread the wrap straps across baby’s bottom for extra lift due to their reduced width; this would be preferable for a heavy baby/small toddler. I found knotted finishes more useful than knotless, as the straps didn’t have the bulk and heaviness required for the friction-dependent knotless finishes like the Tibetan. To be honest, the padded straps were robust and supportive enough with no sliding around not to need this kind of finish.

The body panel is made of two layers of wrap fabric and is rectangular, 38 cm (15in) at the base of the panel where it meets the waistband and about 45cm high from the waistband to the top of the gentle curve. The top half of the panel has some light padding across the full width to add a little support. The hood is adjustable (by runners of fabric at the two sides), it rolls up and can be secured with cute little poppers.

The padded section of the shoulder straps is medium width – 8 cm wide and the padded part before the straps flare out into half the width of the wrap is 47 cm. The total length of the straps is about 215 cm. The wrap strap width is about 18cm.

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It has been carefully and thoughtfully handmade with very neat stitching and hemming. There is appropriate sinkage at the shoulders with sturdy box stitching visible on the outside, and the panel feels well sunk into the waistband and the shoulder straps are the same. The hood loops are very sturdily sewn. I have not seen the internal structure of the carrier but it has passed all the relevant safety standards.

Summary
I really like this baby buckle tai. Much of the comfort and all the style of an Oscha wrap in a simple and easy to use package, that is suitable from birth. I’d be most happy to have this in my library and would have used one for my own children on the days when wrapping just wasn’t practical.

Oscha Coorie – Review

We asked Dr Rosie Knowles to review our first Soft Structured Carrier. As a sling consultant and the wonderful woman behind Sheffield Sling Surgery, she has many years of experience carrying her own two children and helping others to carry theirs. Here is what she and the testers from Sheffield Sling Surgery had to say.

Top-Image-for-review

Oscha Slings needs no introduction; they are famous around the world for their high quality, beautiful and supportive wraps and ring slings. They pride themselves on their conscientious approach to their business, using only premium cottons and the finest, British & Italian yarns from ethical sources.

Over the last few years they have painstakingly applied this same rigorous attention to detail to developing a range of soft-structured carriers;  and sent me their new Coorie ring-tai toddler carrier for review.

“Coorie” is a Scottish word meaning to nestle or snuggle, often followed by the word “doun”. To “coorie doun” is a perfect description of what the testing children did when they tried the carrier out for me; they snuggled down!

The Coorie toddler carrier is made from Oscha wrap fabric, and is designed to be used for children between 25lb and 45lb.

What is a Ring-Tai?
A ring-tai is a mei-tai with a waistband that is secured by two rings – the rings are fixed onto one side of the waistband and the long end of the waistband tie is fed through both rings and then back again, like a belt, and pulled snug. 

Coorie-waist

The Coorie waist band being tightened. Made from Oscha Stewart tartan fabric.

The Coorie Ring-Tai
Oscha use their highland pleating technique in their ring sling shoulders and have used a similar fold with the Coorie waistband. It is very intricately designed and sewn from a full width of wrap fabric that has been pleated and then secured into place. This folding provides a high degree of mouldability and support without the need for foam padding in the central part of the waistband that attaches to the main back panel. The waistband stretches on the diagonal and is floppy and soft to touch with no rigidity. There is a little bit of gentle padding in the “tongue” of the waistband beneath the rings at the side to ensure no digging, and the full width of the wrap flares out from the other edge of the waistband. This width allows plenty of adjustment of the free half of the waistband, and can be tightened in increments, just like a ring sling, to ensure optimum fit across the wearer’s body. There’s a huge amount of work behind this design that seems so very obvious and simple! The rings are shiny, not matte, and smaller in size than the rings of the ring slings. 

Coorie-flat

An image of the Oscha Coorie laid out, showing the waist band and straps.

How does it feel?
The carrier is visually very appealing, being made with wrap fabric (my tester was made with the Zhuilin Dawn cotton wrap) and many of those who used it commented on how pretty it was.

The waistband is very comfortable indeed! It takes a little getting used to as I haven’t used many ring waists before; I found it easiest to do up on the front and then shift the carrier around to the correct place and then apply the finishing adjustments with one hand while holding the waistband flat against me to ensure a snug fit. It is worth taking a little effort to ensure an excellent fit by tightening in increments. The rings are smaller in size than those on ring slings, which makes the fabric a little harder to thread through than ring slings, but once done it is secure with no slip.

Sling library testers

Images from Sheffield Sling Surgery of the Oscha Coorie being tested.

I really appreciated the soft mould-ability of the pleated waistband. As it isn’t padded, it moves much more flexibly and doesn’t fold over in uncomfortable ways or dig in over the iliac crest. In front carries, I liked the feel of the wide soft wrap fabric in my lumbar region rather than a buckle, and in back carries it was lovely to be able to avoid muffin top by spreading the fabric widely! The rings do not dig in at all due to the little padded tongue.

I found it easy to put on for front carries, as the wrap fabric moves and glides nicely into place around my child. The straps weren’t too wide and were able to sit on the centre of my shoulders without riding up into my neck. Normally I prefer wrap straps on soft structured carriers to allow spread on my shoulders but these felt lovely and light and the grip of the wrap helped them to stay put. The padded part of the straps flared out early enough in their length so that I (a size 10-12) could spread them across my side and over baby’s body. In back carries with a small toddler, the padded part of the shoulder wasn’t too long; I was able to spread the fabric over the knee pits nicely. The half width straps are light and easy to manoeuvre, and the knot is quick and simple to make with no stiffness (this is partly due to the softness of the wrap used to make this tester, but all wraps will break in with use!)

Sling library testers.2

Images from Sheffield Sling Surgery of the Oscha Coorie being tested.

Back carries were very comfy, as the waistband works very well. The carrier is quite tall so some smaller toddlers felt they weren’t quite able to get their arms out; but we rectified this by allowing the panel to fold down over the waistband slightly to reduce its height. This also had the effect of reducing the width knee to knee a little (due to the trapezium shape) which meant a better fit for them too!

The soft fabric with the leg padding meant it felt comfy for the children who tried it, many fell asleep; and it fitted a wide range of ages due to the spreadable part of the straps. It feels airy yet strong when it is on, and the spine is well supported. The panel, being double thickness, doesn’t sag, even though it feels light and soft.

The adjustable hood is simple to use in front carries; it only has two length settings. Getting the hood up in back carries is harder! It rolls away easily into a supportive neck cushion if required, the fabric-covered buttons are easy to slip into the buttonholes. The buttons are sewn into the panel and feel secure rather than flimsy, but I’ll watch with interest to see how they hold up with repeated use (so far so good).

A few of my library visitors tried it out and feedback was great, the waistband was a hit, and everyone enjoyed the straps too, even the die-hard wrap-strap fans. People liked the idea of being able to buy a very beautiful ring-tai off the peg; especially considering how very comfortable they found it.

The technical aspects of the Oscha Coorie Toddler
The fitted waistband measures 13.5cm deep by 63cm long (to the end of the rings), and the free waistband is 95 cm long, allowing for a wide range of wearer sizes. The narrowest width is probably about 56cm in circumference (closed to the snuggest) and the widest with enough length (10cm beyond the rings) for easy securing is probably 120cm. I think this could be a little longer; a size 14/16 woman has about 20cm left. For future runs I’d suggest having the option of a longer waist-strap. -Depending on demand, we are happy to develop a longer waist strap in the future.

The body panel is made of two layers of wrap fabric and shaped. There are seams at the base of the panel but these aren’t seat darts as they don’t form a “bucket” like some other carriers, so the panel is flat. There is some soft leg padding. The panel is a trapezium shape, being 47.5 cm wide at the base and narrows to 32 cm at the top between the shoulder straps, with the length of the panel being 41 cm. The hood is adjustable (by runners of fabric at the two sides), it rolls up and can be secured with cute little buttons. It has little poppered loops that feed through corresponding loops on the shoulder straps.Most models do not have poppers.

The shoulder straps are also carefully pleated with a small amount of padding inside the strap, to add to their cushy feel. The padded section is medium width – 8.5 cm wide and the padded part before the straps flare out into half the width of the wrap is 40 cm. The total length of the straps is about 220 cm.

It has been carefully and thoughtfully handmade with very neat stitching and hemming. There is appropriate sinkage at the shoulders with sturdy stitching visible on the outside, and the panel feels well sunk into the waistband. I have not seen the internal structure of the carrier but it has passed all the relevant safety standards.

Effects of washing
I must admit to a certain trepidation when washing the Coorie; would I need to spend a lot of time rearranging the pleats? I was very pleased to find that everything kept its shape very well; the pleats remained sharply folded and snapped back into perfect placement with simply holding the waistband or straps with a little tension to smooth out any slack. 

Summary
I and the families who have been trying out this carrier have all thoroughly enjoyed using it. Everyone has found it easy to use, and very comfortable. Even those who love wrap strapped carriers found the straps sat nicely on their shoulders and were more comfy than typical thicker padded straps; this is due to the angling from the body panel and the mould-ability. Everyone loved the waistband, how soft it felt, how little it dug in and how supportive it felt. I am sure this will be a popular option for those who would love to have an Oscha wrap in a soft-structured-carrier format!

Coorie-Kaumi-Pic

An official Oscha photo of the Coorie in action made from Kasumi Kaua’i fabric.

Oscha Carrier Design & Development

It’s exciting times here at Oscha as our carrier development reaches it’s final stages and we prepare for the launch! In the pipeline for nearly 3 years, here Zoe talks about the inspiration and development behind our three bespoke carrier designs, beginning with the Coorie.

Andrea-top-image

Andrea working on the finishing touches of the Coorie design.

I began my baby carrying days mostly using soft structured carriers, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to wrap when it seemed like so much more hassle! However, eventually, after I had twins, I really got into wraps. I appreciated the perfectly snug, tailored fit you could achieve as well as the support; both of which were essential for my little premature babies with low muscle tone. I loved how there was nothing stiff to dig in and all parts of the wrap looked pretty, elegant even, front or back, with swishy tails hanging off to the side. I also loved the fact that, even in a simple ruck, there was no digging into my abdomen. These issues were something I’d just taken for granted with SSCs and didn’t know that there could be alternatives.

There’s no denying that SSCs can be very handy and wrapping isn’t for everyone, there were lots of times when I would opt to use one. So I started to think about how to solve the issues I was finding: combining the ease and function of an SSC with the beauty and softness of a wrap, and especially preventing digging in at the waist.

Design-Image

It’s been a long journey, with lots of very helpful testers along the way! Susan Ansell, of Show Me Slings was the first to spend a lot of time with me, talking through her experiences as a Sling Consultant in Edinburgh, the pros and cons of the different carriers she offered. I visited our local sling meet and a few of lovely ladies there tried carriers on and took them away for further testing. Rosie of Sheffield Sling Surgery has been absolutely invaluable, with a pool of slinging parents visiting every week, she’s provided masses of feedback on our various prototypes.

There’s been a number of sleepless nights whilst I tried to puzzle out how to make the features work and I’ve worked closely with our in-house tailor and designer, Andrea, over the last 2 and a half years, with countless prototypes! We’ve ended up with 3 different carriers, each of them with slightly different features, but each offering the beauty of a wrap, the ease of a carrier and an elegant waist band.

The Oscha Coorie
The first to launch is the ‘Coorie’. We began with the idea that we wanted to form a waistband without any padding, using only the width of the fabric so that it would mould like a wrap and have elegant swishy tails. We re-purposed our Highland Pleat ring sling shoulder style to gather in the waist at the back but still allow for adjustability and moulding to the wearers waist. The pleats then flare out to form a broad band that is threaded through the rings. This means that the waist is encircled by a wide, mouldable, naturally padded band of fabric, ensuring that the child’s weight is distributed broadly and any digging or discomfort from narrow waistband areas are prevented.

Waist.colour

“I LOVE the waist, best waist ever. It looks beautiful in this width and with the pleating. I love the sling ring finish as it really works well with the whole elegant aesthetic. I thought it was very figure flattering too.” – Nicola K

The sling ring closing system means that the waist is also highly adjustable, not just along the length, but also across the width. We did concede to one small area of padding! Just under the rings, to make sure there was no pressure.

“The waist was also really comfortable and took a lot of the weight of my carryee’s. I love how the width meant that I could start with the waist band right around the top of my hips and have it really stay there. The width of the wrap material with the sling rings felt very secure. I carried Ted who is a very solid, dense 1yr old but also carried my long 3.5 year old in it too. Jazzy told me that she was very comfortable.” Nicola K

Padding-and-ButtonsThe carrier body is shaped to provide an excellent seat for your child and comes with leg padding to prevent digging. The hood rolls away and is secured by two cute fabric covered buttons. The rolled hood also offers extra padding and neck support.

“I really love the ring waist, it is wide but not bulky and this makes it very supportive.  It moulds around my hips and waist really well, and I like that the padding extends under the rings so they don’t dig in at all.  I find the carrier comfortable and supportive for my toddler and preschooler, and I like that the straps are long enough to Tie Tibetan, or bring back around to the back to tie under the child’s bum when used in a back carry  .  It is also a very attractive carrier which is always a bonus!”Leigh E

The Oscha Highland Pleat Shoulder Straps mirror the elegant pleatwork of the waistband, and we have added a small amount of padding to offer extra cushioning for carrying heavier children. The straps then flare out so they can be spread to give enhanced support where it is needed most.

Straps Manufacturing

“The Coorie is very comfortable … In terms of comfort and style it is a true success!” – Virginie M

Coorie

The Coorie will be available on our website later this week in baby and toddler sizes. We’ll share more information about our other 2 carriers soon.