Web: CatBirdBaby.com

Price: $130.

Weight Range: 8 to 40 lbs.

Comments: Maker Catbird Baby started off with a terrific version of a mei tai (aka meh dai, mei dai) carrier, but then expanded into a soft carrier with buckles. They took their meh dai know how and addressed the biggest complaint about those carriers: the looooong straps. The result is the Pikkolo, a soft structured front carrier that can be used front and rear facing, on the back and on the hip like a meh dai.

The Pikkolo comes with an attached hood, memory foam straps, chest strap to use in the piggyback position and instruction booklet. Catbird Baby also added “no rub” pads under the buckles and elastic security straps to corral extra strap lengths. And the Pikkolo doesn’t require a separate infant insert to fit your 8-pound infant. Yeah!

The only bummer: the Pikkolo is available in one size (sort of a “medium”). Catbird Baby recommends their original meh dai if you are very petite or large.

We met recently with Catbird Baby and asked them to tell us what makes their Pikkolo better than other, similar carriers. They told us they don’t use any velcro so you won’t disturb your sleeping baby with that loud ripping sound when you take the carrier off. Their flexible waist band is another plus because it allows you to carry your baby higher on your body—especially important for newborns and moms who’ve had a c-section.

Reader feedback on the Pikkolo has been very positive—the hybrid style of a soft carrier with meh dai-like options makes it a favorite. We complained last time that Catbird Baby didn’t have videos showing how to use their carrier. Great news: they now have six separate videos on their site!

Rating: A