Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Infantino Union Review

Amanda & Fox Comfy and Cozy in the Union
Let me start by saying that this is NOT a sponsored post. I have no relationship with Infantino and they have no idea that I am writing this review. (Although when it is done I am TOTALLY going to send it to them and see if they'll let me give one away. Cross your fingers, k?) I bought the carrier on my own in the interest of my passion for affordable and accessible babywearing. I've recommended it in the past based on the price and reviews by others, but prefer to recommend things I've tried myself.

ANYWAY.

The Infantino Union is an affordable Soft Structured Carrier, available at major retailers and online at Amazon for around $30. Which is unheard of for an ergonomically correct carrier with buckles. (At the time of writing, it is on sale for $23.99!) Typically, soft structured carriers are known for being relatively quick and easy to use, ergonomic, versatile, comfortable, sturdy, and....expensive.

Enter the Union.

The Union offers many features of higher-end brands at a fraction of the cost. It is highly adjustable for wearers of many shapes and sizes, from petite to plus-sized. My lovely model Amanda called her husband to rush over to our local babywearing meetup to see if it fit him. It did. He's a big burly biker dude with an always relevant sweet ginger beard. At 6'3" and about 260 pounds, it's the only SSC he's tried that he could use without an extender. The adjustments are relatively easy to make, and I could even reach the chest/back clip in a front carry, although those who suffer from T-Rex Arm Syndrome may have some trouble accomplishing that feat without a helper.

Just about knee-to-knee on 16 month old Fox

The outer material is a sturdy nylon, the inner fabric is soft and the entire body is lightly padded. This lends itself to a cushy ride for the kiddo, but does mean that it doesn't breath as well as carriers made from natural fibers and might get a bit warm. The padding on the shoulder straps is sufficient to not aggravate my notoriously picky shoulders, though not as cushy as carriers thrice the price, which is to be expected. The design makes for a nice, deep seat that will support babies and smaller toddlers in the ideal knee-to-knee position, though it will safely carry bigger toddlers (listed weight limit is 40 pounds) with relatively good positioning.

They really were looking over there,
I did not steal a page from the JCPenny Photo Studio manual.
Overall, this a sturdy, comfortable carrier with a lot of bang for the buck. It lacks a sleeping hood and is not the coolest or most breathable option, but is sturdy enough to take a serious beating. It is an excellent option for babywearers on a tight budget or would make a great back-up or car carrier for those of the "babywearing stash" persuasion. It also makes for an excellent "Daddy Carrier" if you've got a dude in your life who thinks wraps or slings aren't manly enough. (Mine loves to rock a ring sling, but your mileage may vary.) While I drank the woven wrap Kool-Aid when Canon came along, the Union was not noticeably less comfortable than the variety of buckle carriers I used when Delilah was wee, and was easier to adjust than several of them.

Now that I've tried it for myself, I can comfortably recommend the Infantino Union as an all-purpose carrier at a great price.

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