Liliputi Buckle Carrier review
In a nutshell
Well-made, comfortable three-position carrier for use from newborn to 20kg with an eye-catching range of designs - but takes some practice to master getting it on
What we tested
- Comfort for baby
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Comfort for you
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Ease of use
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Infant insert included, large weight range (from newborn to 20kg), fully adjustable, organic cotton, large choice of patterns and colours, ergonomically designed
- Instructions could be clearer, plastic buckles don’t feel as well-made as other brands
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Liliputi is a family business based in Hungary and many of the products in the ranges (there are three types of slings in all – buckle carriers, stretchy wraps and traditional Oriental-style Mei Tai baby carriers) include local handiwork (appliqué features heavily).
You may not have heard of Liliputi before now, though word of mouth is bound to propel these eye-catching designs into the UK mainstream.
The choice and diversity of patterns and prints adorning the front of the sling is unique; the website displays a huge range, including the latest applique models – very ‘on trend’ this season - as well as plain versions in its Classic line (around £95).
The sling is pitted against the Baby Bjorn Carrier One (£119.99) and ERGObaby Original Carrier (£109.90) as it has similar functionality for a comparable price, while it’s slightly pricier than the Connecta Baby Carrier (£69).
Buyer’s guide to baby carriers
I tested the Liliputi Buckle Carrier on short, local trips and on longer expeditions, as we set off on a family holiday to the US.
The Liliputi Buckle Carrier is available to buy direct from Liliputi, or from Koala Slings.
What were your first impressions of the Liliputi Buckle carrier?
I tested the Elegance design from the brand’s Rainbow line and thought it looked smart, snazzy and distinct as other slings I’ve owned or tried have been plain. It seemed well-made if a bit confusing, with more belts, zips and poppers than similar slings.
How many seating options does it have and what are they?
Three – front (facing you), back and hip/side. It’s not designed to allow you to wear your baby on the front, facing out which I think is a good thing as this position places too much pressure on the users’ backs.
Front or back carrier – which should you choose?
Is the carrier ergonomic? Does it support your little one’s hips and allow your little one to sit in the ‘M’ position?
Yes, the Liliputi Buckle Carrier was designed with orthopaedic professionals to minimise strain on the adult’s body and ensure the baby sits in the optimal ‘M’ position. The fabric extenders (included) ensure even toddlers enjoy this optimal M-position seating.
Baby carriers, slings and hip dysplasia - what you need to know
Does it follow the TICKS guidelines?
When set up correctly – and in the forward and side-facing positions – the Liliputi Buckle Carrier does follow the TICKS guidelines.
Baby slings – how to wear one safely
How easy is it to put on and take off? Can you put it on and take it off by yourself?
Not easily. While I got more adept at unclipping the chest strap (which actually goes across the top of your back when baby is being worn in the forward-facing position), fastening it was far trickier (I need to work on my flexibility!) and I had to request help, especially when I was attempting to put it on over my hooded winter jacket. Trying to put it on in a cramped aeroplane aisle and load an overtired one-year-old inside the carrier was almost impossible and reduced me to a sweaty mess. I only tried out the back carry a few times as Rocco didn’t seem to enjoy this position. Here, I found the opposite; it was easy (ish) to get on and do up but getting Rocco out of the sling safely was far trickier.
How is the weight of the carrier?
I’d describe it as mid-weight; not as light as the Baby Bjorn but not as heavy as the Ergobaby.
Does one size fit all?
Yes, although for smaller adults with narrower shoulders, the most comfortable way to wear the back straps is crossed over, which makes putting it on slightly more complicated.
Is it easy to clean?
Yes, although Liliputi recommend spot cleaning to ‘preserve the carrier in a good condition’. If it requires more thorough cleaning, you can machine wash at 30 degrees with a low-speed spin, perhaps not ideal if baby vomits on the sling or in case of a nappy leak.
Is it comfortable for your little one?
Yes, extremely. Rocco loved being held snuggled against me in this sling in the front carry position. Even when his arms weren’t in the optimum position, he still seemed calm and comfortable in the sling, most of the time. He was happy to fall asleep in the sling and this proved especially useful when he was smaller, as I could pop him in and walk him around the flat on evenings he was resistant to falling asleep in his bed. However, he disliked being in the back carry position as his view was restricted and it looked like his head wasn’t properly supported.
Walking while sightseeing in New York revealed one major issue; in order to carry my stuff, I needed to wear a bag but my usual rucksack, which has two external side pockets, got in Rocco’s way. I had to be particularly careful putting on or taking off my bag so as not to swing the water bottle into Rocco’s feet and legs and I found he got irritated and wanted to kick the stuff in the pockets, which wasn’t much fun for me.
Is it comfortable for you?
Save for the above, yes, but only for longer periods with the straps crossed over my back as otherwise the straps began to slide off my shoulders, putting more strain on my lower back from the waist strap.
How does it compare to other carriers you have used?
It wasn’t as easy to put on and adjust as the Baby Bjorn, but I don’t find that sling comfortable to wear for more than ten minutes at a time, whereas this sling was comfortable for around half an hour. The comfort of this was comparable to the ErgoBaby, although I found that easier to put on that the Liliputi Buckle Carrier.
What do you think of the design?
It’s certainly clever, with integrated inserts that allow the sling to grow with your baby, from newborn to toddler. Having the body height adjustable using drawstrings is a great touch that ensures your baby won’t get ‘lost’ inside the sling. This is a well-thought-out touch that proves a great deal of thought and experience has gone into creating this carrier.
What do you think of the shoulder straps and waist belt?
While well-padded, the shoulder straps were set too wide apart for my frame and slid off, unless I wore the sling over my padded winter coat. The waist belt is stuffed with foam, making it comfortable, and it’s easy to buckle securely.
The back carry position is probably better suited to use in warmer weather, unless you’re wearing it with the specially designed Liliputi Mama coat, as baby’s head might be obscured by a regular collar and/or hood.
The Liliputi Buckle Carrier can be used from 3.5kg - would you recommend it for use from newborn?
Personally, I’d probably stick to a stretchy fabric sling for the first few months of my baby’s life. My two were born weighing well below 3.5kg so using infant inserts were not an option anyway.
The Liliputi Buckle Carrier infant insert is made from the same soft, organic cotton as the sling, fastens at the sides with slightly fiddly poppers and is held in place with Velcro. It works by raising the baby up inside the carrier, ensuring the baby’s legs are tucked inside, so there’s no reason it can’t be used from birth.
How robust/durable does it seem?
The fabric parts all seem tough enough to withstand years of wear and I’d be confident that the soft parts of the carrier would be sturdy enough to carry different babies over time. But the plastic buckles and toggles, while effective and largely easy to use, feel flimsy compared to some other slings I’ve tried and I’m not convinced they’d last as long as the cotton.
Is it compact and easy to store?
It takes a bit of practice but you can clip the straps together and fold it up small enough to store in the canvas bag provided, which makes it much easier to stow in the basket under a buggy or in a larger bag.
What do you think of the baby sleeping hood?
A clever addition that attaches securely to the carrier with a strong zip so it can’t be pulled off by small hands. Rocco didn’t like having it over his head but I can imagine it would be effective at keeping sun/light rain/wind off a baby’s head.
What’s in the box?
- Buckle carrier
- Infant insert and extensions (already attached)
- Cotton carry-bag
- Instruction booklet
I’m usually a stickler for reading and following instructions but the various buckles and straps looked easy to navigate so I tried to figure it out on instinct. This was a mistake as I needed to remove the newborn insert and seat extenders. Lesson learnt! The instruction booklet is helpful but it lacks a diagram labelling each part and the online video doesn’t explain how to set it up for older children.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the item?
Although the infant insert and older-child support extension are included, as is the snooze/shade hood, there are no pockets for things you need to reach easily, such as your phone and wallet.
Who would the product be most useful for?
Parents of a newborn who don’t want to shell out for a newborn insert and parents of older babies (six to 12 months) looking for a sling that will support their little one ergonomically until toddlerhood. Also parents who have clothes with pockets as there are none built into the sling and those who have good reach (to click the back/chest strap into place) or people around to help.
Is it good value?
Unhelpfully, the website only lists the prices in euros (124.90 plus 8 euros postage). A quick calculation reveals that this sling is £108, which is good value when you consider that both the newborn insert and the seat extenders (to increase leg support as the child grows) are included. The snooze hood is also included, as is a cotton storage bag.
But if you do want to add extras, there are plenty to choose from in the Elegance range, including a pocket belt (irritatingly there is no pocket in the sling), diaper bag, baby-wearing coat, baby shoes and booties and a baby hood and neck warmer, which is perfect for winter.
A stylish and versatile carrier that can be used from birth until the toddler years. It’s soft enough to carry baby indoors yet durable enough to withstand outdoor trips. It creates a perfectly comfortable space for your baby to see the world or take a nap yet takes some practice to wear and isn’t wholly recommended for regular back carrying.
Here are some more baby carrier options to check out…
- LittleLife Cross Country S3 back carrier
- ErgoBaby 4-position 360
- Oscha Cairis
- Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier One Outdoors
MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.
Gabrielle Nathan has been a journalist for 20 years, writing lifestyle features for publications including Red, Women’s Health, Wildflower and Condé Nast Traveller. She has been writing about parenting since 2012, the year she became a mum.
|Child age (approx)||From Birth|
|Child weight||3.5kg to 20kg|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|
|Carrying positions||Back, front and hip – 3|