A review of a buckle carrier by a wrapper - what surprises could be in store? Here's the full review of the Kol Kol Onbuhimo, a waistless buckle carrier. [Image of a white woman wearing a white toddler on her back in a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier.]
This is a review of a buckle carrier by someone who uses wraps almost exclusively, so let's level-set on my personal carrier preferences real quick: it's not that I dislike buckle carriers. I'm a wrapper because I love wraps; I find them most comfortable for me. Buckles totally have their place, I just haven't found one that really clicks with me and I love as much as a cozy wrap.
Enter the Kol Kol Onbuhimo. Maybe it's that my baby and I are at what feels like just the right time for an onbuhimo for us - baby is 22 months, he tolerates being wrapped but prefers very fast ups, we usually wear while out more than at home, and the weather is hot right now. All wonderful conditions for onbuhimo wearing.
Manufacturer: Kol Kol Baby Carrier
Pattern and Colorway: Onbuhimo, Cobalt
Fiber: 100% handwoven cotton panel, lining, shoulders; nylon webbing
Release date: June 2017
Size tested: panel is 18" wide x 22" tall, shoulder straps measure 11" to 30", chest clip 5" to 22"
Stats of (willing) wrappee at time of test: 22 months, ~24 pounds, ~33 inches
Shoulder padding thickness: thick
Shoulder padding density: airy
Shoulder padding cush: very
Shoulder padding moldability: very
Panel floppiness/moldability: very
Panel contour: some
Panel layers: woven wrap, fabric skeleton, woven wrap
Panel knee padding width and length: 7" long, 1-1/4" wide
Panel knee padding stats (same or different than shoulders): Same
Shoulder strap adjusters one way/two ways: one way
Chest clip type: standard buckle
[Image of the back of a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier worn by a white woman and her white toddler. They're in front of a leafy green background.]
It took a wear or two for us to find our sweet spot, but once we did the three of us - my toddler, the Kol Kol, and myself - began a beautiful relationship.
I love that the onbuhimo is a simple panel and shoulder straps. The only obvious extra to the carrier I guess is the hood, which is amazingly convenient to pull up even in a back carry. It has nice long straps that are easy to reach...
[Image taken from over shoulder of a white woman wearing a white toddler on her back in a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier. She's pulling the carrier's hood up on the baby's head.]
I had assumed that I wouldn't be as to wear this carrier for long stretches of time - all that weight just sitting on my shoulders didn't seem like it had the distribution that I felt like I needed. But I assumed wrong! The shoulder straps have padding that isn't super dense but is just thick enough to have a nice cush. I haven't felt any discomfort or pressure points - the weight is distributed well across the width of the strap.
[Image taken from over shoulder of a white woman wearing a white toddler on her back in an onbuhimo carrier. The image focuses on the padding of the shoulder strap and the baby's face peaking over shoulder.]
We've mostly used this Kol Kol for back carries while out and about, but I have really loved it for front carrying too. It was quick for me to switch from a back carry to front - I loosened the PFAs (personal fit adjusters at the top of the shoulder straps) and scooted baby around front, raised the chest clip and we were good to go.
[Image of the seat of a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier worn on the caregiver's front.]
The wrap conversion panel is wonderfully floppy and moldable. Making a seat was a pleasant experience and the panel seemed to conform to my baby really well. The bottom edge of the panel didn't dig into me, and I like that the bottom edge has reinforcing fabric and stitching. It seems like the carrier would take a lot of wear really well with these extra reinforcements that I haven't seen on any other onbuhimo so far.
When I'm not wearing the carrier I like to fold it up by tucking the shoulder straps into the panel, then rolling it from the base of the panel through the hood - it ends up in a cute and compact little package that tucks into a bag.
How to roll up a Kol Kol onbuhimo for storage [Image is a collage of 6 images of a blue onbuhimo carrier spread out on grass and being rolled up. The carrier starts with shoulder straps out, then folds the straps in until the carrier is narrow. The carrier is rolled from the bottom of the panel up to the hood, then the hood straps are snapped together to keep the carrier from unrolling.]
Overall I am super impressed with the Kol Kol Onbuhimo. It's a convenient, comfortable, stylish carrier with a great price point from an ethical company.
Find more information about Kol Kol on their website, kolkolbabycarrier.com, on Instagram instagram.com/kolkolbabycarrier, their official Facebook page, facebook.com/kolkolbabycarrier, and the fan chatter group, Kol Koling! facebook.com/groups/kolkolbabycarrier.
Amy Wraps Babies and Kol Kol have partnered with my babywearing consulting page Adjoyn to offer all our followers a sweet 10% discount on all Kol Kol carriers!! Use code FORADJOYN at checkout.
Thank you to Kol Kol for sending this carrier for review! This post is not sponsored by any company or group. Adjoyn is a Kol Kol affiliate.
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Amy works to spread the joy of woven wraps by sharing inspiration and encouragement, educational resources, and always support and love in babywearing.