Baby carriers are an essential tool for traveling with babies and toddlers. Many destinations simply aren’t meant for the SUV-style strollers so many American parents have back home. If you want to ride the subway in many major cities with a baby or hike with a toddler in a national park, a carrier is a must-have.
There are so many excellent carriers on the market these days, but the challenge for traveling parents is always space. I was therefore quite intrigued to discover the Bitybean ultra-compact baby carrier when Bitybean reached out with a sample for me to review. I wondered how I had not yet heard of it! It was definitely worthy of an independent test.
The Bitybean exceeded my expectations and has now become a regular fixture in my diaper bag, even when I’m not traveling. While I knew I was going to be happy with the compact size, I didn’t expect to find it quite so comfortable, especially when carrying a 19 month old. My husband and I both really put the Bitybean carrier through its paces, taking it along on our spring break family roadtrip through the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Phoenix. It was our carrier of choice for several easy hikes, a few shopping excursions, and even a Major League baseball game. I never had any back or shoulder issues while carrying my 23 pound son, and he seemed quite comfortable in the Bitybean the entire time.
The Bitybean baby carrier carrier can be used with infants 3 months and up (there is a special mesh insert for infants for extra-security), from 8 to 40 pounds. It is made of a very thin nylon material with wide shoulder straps. It can be used as a front carrier with the baby facing inward as well as backpack-style. It retails for $59.95 on Amazon and Bitybean’s site. There are a few extra accessories available including a sleeping hood, an infant fleece liner, and a waist belt extender.
What Worked with the Bitybean Carrier
- The size: the Bitybean carrier is the smallest baby carrier on the market I’ve seen, hands down. No more having to engage in the internal debate of “do I bring my carrier or don’t I.” It’s so small that you can just throw it in your diaper bag, forget about it, and have it when you need it.
- The lightweight fabric: I tested the Bitybean in the Arizona heat and it worked like a champ. Often my son and I are both sweaty after walking around in warm weather when I have him in a carrier, but we had significantly less overheating with the Bitybean.
- The colors: Let’s face it: we all love a little fashion with our baby gear. The Bitybean comes in four cute and gender-neutral colors, including lime green, carrot orange, sand grey, and sky blue.
- The price: Most carriers start at $100 these days and go up from there. The Bitybean carrier sells for $59 so it is a comparative steal. It is also worth purchasing as a second carrier for travel even if you choose to invest in a more expensive larger carrier as well.
- The ease of use: I found I could put on the Bitybean, grab my toddler, and strap him into it all in about 20-30 seconds. Having something that is so quick and easy to use is essential for travel when you often don’t have time to wait.
What Didn’t Work with the Bitybean Carrier
- The thin waist strap: The only slight fault of any significance I can find with the Bitybean carrier is the thin nylon waste strap. It is not as wide as the shoulder straps, and thus doesn’t distribute the baby’s weight quite as well as it otherwise might along the adult’s hips. While I was still quite comfortable carrying my 23 pound 19 month old for extended periods, I don’t think the carrier distributes quite enough weight on the waist to make it feasible to use for longer periods of time as he gets significantly bigger and approaches the 40 pound weight limit.
- The carry bag: On my first few uses, I had a lot of trouble getting the carrier rolled up in a compact fashion to fit back in the carry bag. After a little experimentation, I’m now able to make it work with no problem. Of course, I’ve now discovered that Bitybean has a demo video to address just this issue so you don’t have to learn by experimentation as I did.
The Bottom Line
Bitybean has made a product that is necessary for travel that is 1) more compact; 2) at the right price; and 3) works well without a substantial trade-off in quality. Very few travel-sized products are able to accomplish all those feats. As a result, the Bitybean carrier is an excellent buy.
In fact, I was so happy with this product that I decided it was worthy of my very first foray into video blogging so you could see it in action. Check out the video review below:
After seeing this carrier in action and hearing my positive review, I’m guessing a few of you probably want a Bitybean carrier for yourself! I’m happy to share that the kind folks at Bitybean are giving one away to my readers. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Bitybean provided me with a free product for review purposes and is also providing the carrier offered in the reader giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.