Mei Tais (Asian-inspired baby carriers)
A mei tai (pronounced may-tie) is a baby sling made from a panel of fabric with a tied waistband and tied shoulder straps. Mei tais are made in a wide variety of fabric designs, some very colourful, and can be used to carry a child of any age comfortably on the front or back. Many mei tais come in infant size, toddler size and even pre-school size, so wearing an older child is just as easy as babywearing!
Popular brands of mei tai are Babyhawk, Freehand, Kozy Carrier, Napsack, Catbird, Ellaroo, Girasol Mysol, DidyTai, Hop-Tye, Maya Tie, BBTai, Melkaj, Simply Mei Tai, Monkey Mei Tai, and many many others.
The half-buckle is a variant on the mei tai. It has a buckled waist like a soft structured carrier, but tied shoulder straps.
A podaegi is like a mei tai without a waistband. The shoulder straps secure the bottom of the panel in place under the baby's bum. The lack of waistband makes it useful during pregnancy (a mei tai waistband can also be tied high to avoid a bump!).
Off-the-shelf half buckles are made by Storchenwiege, but most half-buckles and podaegis are handmade by small businesses such as Opitai, Softai, Ocah, Kitten Creations, HuXling and Kimimela, among many others.