A super-soft baby carrier made from stretchy fabric, the Mamaruga Zensling is perfect for newborns to 2 years+. Made by family-run, eco-conscious brand Mamaruga, this is one of our new favourites!
What’s the best baby carrier for a newborn?
I’m asked this a lot. Stretchy wraps are often our top recommendation for baby’s first months. But what if you want something you can just click in and go? Something super quick, without any tying? And that’ll last longer?
Over the last year or two, we’ve seen The Rise Of The Adjustable Carrier. Ergobaby bought us the Adapt and then the Omni 360; BabyBjorn gave us the Carrier One; Tula launched the Free To Grow; Lenny Lamb’s Lenny Up, the Soul Anoona… and plenty more. All are advertised as suitable from newborn but in most cases you won’t achieve an optimum fit until baby is a few weeks, or even a month or two old, as the body panels are generally a little too tall and / or too wide for the smallest babies.
That’s why we fell head over heels in love with the brilliant Izmi Baby Carrier. The body panel cinches down to fit tiny babies and lasts until around 12 months . I’ve fitted little ones from just 5.5lbs comfortably, meaning it really can be used from day one.
And now we have the Zensling. Another superb newborn baby carrier – but this time, made of stretchy fabric.
Putting on the Mamaruga Zensling feels like slipping into a comfy pair of tracksuit bottoms and snuggling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate. What’s not to love?
Here’s the lowdown:
THE MAMARUGA ZENSLING IS PERFECT FROM NEWBORN TO TODDLER
The Mamaruga Zensling is weight-tested from 6.5lbs. The soft, stretchy fabric body panel can be scrunched in width ways (and miraculously stays in place by itself). The height can be reduced by pulling gently on two integrated straps on the front of the body panel. This makes the panel very small, able to safely support babies even a little less than this weight.
The carrier moulds around the whole of baby’s body, cuddling them into you (and usually lulling them to sleep).
The downside to small-panelled carrier tends is that babies have generally outgrown them by 12-18 months. Stretchy wraps tend to last until about 3-6months+. Not so the Zensling!
Its official upper weight limit is 20kg (44lbs), and we can safely say this will last you until baby is 18-24 months. Possibly longer, if they are happy to ride with their arms out of the top of the carrier, and depending on their height and weight. The panel also extends tall and wide enough to support, for short periods, my very tall 2 year old.
Adjusting the Zensling to fit your growing baby really is easy. The eco-conscious folk at Mamaruga have made instructions available online rather than in print. But it’s pretty straightforwards, especially if you’ve used any other buckled carrier before, so you won’t need to expend too much brain power learning how to use it.
MAMARUGA HAS MADE THIS CARRIER MARSHMALLOWY SOFT
The Zensling is SO very soft. It’s made from 96% cotton, 4% lycra, with lightweight polyester padding. At a little under 800g it’s not as lightweight as our favourite stretchy wraps or an Izmi Baby Carrier, but is lighter and packs down smaller than an Ergobaby, BabyBjorn Carrier One and most other buckled carriers.
With lightly padded shoulder straps and soft, barely-padded waistband, this is a snug and streamlined carrier. It’s great to wear round the house, or under your coat when out and about, without the bulkiness you get with a lot of more structured carriers.
WEAR THE ZENLSING ON YOUR FRONT, BACK OR HIP
The Zensling offers all the usual carrying positions. It’s not to be used for front facing outwards, but most babies (from 4 months+ only please, folks) are happy to have their arms-out as a non-restrictive alternative to facing-out.
When carrying baby on your front, it’s best to cross the straps over your back (in an ‘X’ position). You can theoretically wear the straps rucksack style, using the accessory straps it comes with to secure the shoulder straps in place, but it’s more fiddly and unlikely to be as comfy or easy to do up.
You can spread the straps over your shoulders, which looks nice. But due to way the straps are lighted padded and stitched, this doesnt spread the weight out in the same way as a wrap or meh dai would. Not that you really need any additional weight distribution – it’s so darn comfy anyway.
It makes a lovely back carrier, especially for petite parents who find it hard to get a high or tight enough fit with other buckled or structured carriers. The Zensling is not marketed as a hip carrier, but it is possible to wear it on your hip like most other buckled carriers. And if you want a more off-centred position that enables babies aged 4-5 months+ to look around, the then flexible waistband and shoulder straps also make it quite easy scoot whole carrier around to your hip, once baby is placed securely in.
UNDER THE HOOD
The Zenlsling’s integrated hood offers a nice colour contrast. It lies flat against the body panel so doesn’t get in the way when you’re putting the carrier on.
If you want to hood up when baby is asleep or wants some protection from the elements, you simply knot the two little fabric ties onto the loops on the carrier’s padded shoulders. Easy peasy.
MONOCHROME TO MULTICOLOUR
Mamaruga, a company who began by making woven wraps, has an amazing eye for colour. Zenslings comes in understated blacks and greys, alongside bright designs like the summer sunshine inspired Teal-Yellow.
And the downsides? Well, not everyone will love the stretchy fabric. If you want more structured support for a larger baby, you may want to look at other brands and models. The adjustable webbing on the waistband and shoulder straps is a little shorter than other more well known brands. So while this will be a great fit for petite wearers who may struggle to get other buckled carriers tight enough (especially when back carrying), it may not extend enough to comfortably fit broader wearers.
But overall, we reckon the Zensling is set to be a winning carrier for lots of families in 2018.
The Mamaruga Zensling is available to buy online now priced £84.99 to £89.99. We ship worldwide with FREE delivery to the UK.
Want to try before you buy? Zenslings are available to buy and to hire from our London Boutique.
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