Minimeis G4 Shoulder Carrier review
In a nutshell
A unique, lightweight shoulder carrier that will put your baby or child right at the heart of the action on family walks in the countryside.
What we tested
- Comfort for baby
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Comfort for you
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
- Ease of use
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Lightweight, easy to fold and unfold, backpack good for storage, fun for your child
- Pricey, not an ‘everyday’ carrier, not suitable for newborns
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Children love sitting on their parent’s shoulders – and while most parents know the immense amount of joy to be had from their child’s beaming smile as they realise they are suddenly taller than everyone else, they are also acutely aware of how quickly this posture gets tiring and uncomfortable.
The MiniMeis G4 shoulder carrier seeks to solve all that thanks to its functional, but smart, design helping to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders and back. Created by three Norwegian dads, MiniMeis sets out to encourage parents to be more active with their children by creating the best carriers possible, ticking every safety box without compromising on comfort.
Danny, dad to 8-month-old Olivia, tested the MiniMeis G4 shoulder carrier on walks around the Peak District as well as trips around town. MadeForMums Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma also tested the carrier with her 20-month-old son, Myles.
What were you first impressions of the MiniMeis G4?
The quality of the shoulder carrier is apparent from the off. It arrived in bright orange packaging, made from recyclable materials, which was a reassuring start.
Inside the box, not only was there the carrier, but also a backpack, designed to be worn at the same time or used as a carry case for the G4. This was a really nice touch and something we found genuinely useful on our little hikes. MiniMeis certainly know how to build up the excitement in the opening, but it’s thankfully backed up by the quality inside. Gemma and Myles also received the MiniMeis x Gaitline Gamechanger shoes, a pair of lightweight childrens' trainers designed to coordinate with the carrier.
What’s in the box?
We took delivery of the MiniMeis G4 carrier/backpack bundle, which included:
- The MiniMeis G4 carrier
- MiniMeis backpack
- MiniMeis carrier storage bag
What additional accessories you can buy?
How does the MiniMeis G4 compare to other baby carriers?
We have used other more traditional carriers where you carry your baby on your front or back, including the BabyBjorn front carrier which we found incredibly comfortable. However, the MiniMeis G4, while still a carrier, is a completely different proposition and cannot really be compared. Designed to be worn with your baby or child high up on your shoulders, the MiniMeis G4 is more suited to hikes and family walks, rather than a quick trip to the shops. It’s also only suitable for babies who can sit up independently. If you’re looking for something to carry your newborn, you’re better off with a carrier or sling, like the ERGObaby Aura Wrap.
How easy is the MiniMeis G4 to put on with your baby?
Using the MiniMeis G4 with your baby does takes some getting used to. I was a little nervous about placing my 8-month-old girl in this carrier – not because I didn’t trust the design, but if I’m honest, it did feel quite unnatural at first.
Once I got over this initial barrier, it became second nature and just requires a little more care and attention than you would give if placing your child directly on to your shoulders.
For babies aged 6–10 months, you will need to strap them into the seat before you put it on your shoulders. Fasten the shoulder straps, waist strap and leg straps, before picking your baby up around the waist – much like you’d do if you were lifting your child onto your shoulders without a carrier – then clip yourself in.
How easy is the MiniMeis to put on with a toddler?
For older babies and children, the key is preparing the G4 carrier before placing them in it. There's a strap on the back that extends the seat area to provide enough space for larger children. Then you need to make sure the shoulder panels are done up correctly and you’re comfortable wearing it without your child in place. Then simply lift your child into the seat, push them back so they're sitting in the seat and not up around your neck, and fasten the waistband and leg harnesses.
Gemma says, "Like Danny, I felt quite nervous using the MiniMeis at first, as it feels very different to the back carriers we've been using recently (an Osprey Poco and a LittleLife Adventurer). You almost have to take a leap of faith when you first fasten your child in and let go! But once I was confident he was in the right place and nicely supported by the waist and foot straps, it was great. I did need some help from my husband to get him in: my son is tall for his age and I couldn't quite get him up on my shoulders in what felt like a safe way, but after a bit of practice we got better at it."
MiniMeis has a handy guide as well as a suite of videos to show you how to get started with the carrier.
How easy is it to take your child out?
Very. Just undo the straps and lift your child out – that’s it! I personally preferred doing this in the comfort of our home (where there are soft furnishings and a sofa to sit on), but you can easily do this out and about if you or your little one want a break. Gemma tested the carrier on a walk along the Thames and stopped a number of times to let her son walk around.
Is the MiniMeis G4 ergonomically designed?
The MiniMeis G4 provides more than enough support for your child. Olivia looked extremely happy and well supported while in it and I was very pleased Olivia was correctly positioned throughout the duration of our walks.
How comfortable is the MiniMeis G4 shoulder carrier for your baby?
Olivia loved being in the MiniMeis carrier, so we took that as a good sign she was very comfortable. On appearance, she looked very settled and supported, but as we were testing the product, we were quite rigorous with our checks before setting off and everything “felt” like it was offering firm but comfy support.
Gemma said that Myles was a bit wary of the carrier on the first try, but by the second time they took him out in it, "he absolutely loved it and refused to come out and go in his pushchair!"
How comfortable is the carrier for parents?
The MiniMeis G4 was surprisingly comfortable given that you are taking extra weight across your shoulders. Fortunately, the design tries to spread that weight evenly, with the seat hovering above your shoulders rather than placing direct pressure on them, which helps increase comfort.
Ultimately, though, you are still adding extra weight to your neck, shoulders and back, and while the MiniMeis allows you to carry your child on your shoulders for much longer than usual, there is still an upper limit.
Where that limit is depends on your own body strength, posture and sheer determination! I found the carrier (or Olivia) started becoming very noticeable after 30 minutes or so.
Gemma had similar feelings using the carrier with an older child. "We tested it for short trips a few times before tackling a much longer walk, and I really learned how important to get the straps aligned properly and fastened nice and tight. I had to take a break and readjust after about 15 minutes, but once I'd got it in a better position, I felt like my body really adjusted to the feel of it."
"My son weighs over 13kg and I don't think I'd be able to carry him in the MiniMeis for hours on end, but it's on a par with other carriers I've tried for children of this age. We often walk through quite busy areas, and the slimline design and the fact he's high up makes it really easy to get through crowds."
The MiniMeis is highly adjustable so it should fit most body shapes just fine and all the main straps are well-padded, which reduced any pinch points.
How easy is the MiniMeis G4 shoulder carrier to adjust?
This is where the MiniMeis trumps a lot of other carriers in that all the main straps are easy to reach and adjust. So, if you want to tighten or loosen any parts of the carrier while it’s on, then it is very easy to do.
Traditional backpack carriers, like the Littlelife Adventurer, require you to take it off to adjust any of the child straps, so in this instance, the MiniMeis G4 really impressed.
Can you do other things while wearing the shoulder carrier?
Not really – as a shoulder carrier, you are pretty limited to walking or hiking. Your arms are obviously still free, but your child is quite high up, and I wouldn’t recommend or use it for daily household chores, for example (although some people do this).
What age is the MiniMeis G4 shoulder carrier suitable for?
The age guide for the carrier is from 6 months to 5 years, with a maximum weight limit of 22kg. It’s important to note that the MiniMeis G4 should only be used with children who can sit up unaided.
What do you think of the MiniMeis backpack (included in the carrier and backpack bundle)?
It’s really well designed, with plenty of storage – especially given it’s also intended to store the carrier itself. There are 3 main compartments, along with a drinks pocket, the quality is excellent, and I’d be happy purchasing this as a backpack alone.
Obviously if you store the carrier in the main compartment then there’s little room for anything else, but if you carry the G4 using its in-built shoulder strap, then this frees up the backpack for food, drinks and other essentials. Perfect for hiking.
What do you think of the MiniMeis x Gaitline Gamechanger shoes?
Gemma tested the shoes and said, "Myles loved being in the carrier, but the real surprise hit was the shoes! I keep having to hide them because he wants to wear them all the time!" The lightweight, fun-coloured trainers have Gaitline's signature 'SGL technology' built in, which is said to optimise balance and coordination.
"They must be comfortable to run about in, given how much he's gravitated towards them, and they feel really lightweight and soft, so they don't add weight when he's in the carrier." Gemma does advise sizing up, though. "I got his usual size and they're a tight squeeze to get on, although they do fit once we've wiggled his feet in."
Does the MiniMeis G4 shoulder carrier feel durable?
The quality of the materials are undeniably excellent. Without testing the product long term, it is hard to say how durable it is, but it feels incredibly robust so I would not be surprised to see it lasting years. The accessories also seem high quality .
What would you have wanted to know before purchasing?
There isn’t really anything. There’s plenty of information on the website (as well as some great instructional videos) and MiniMeis has done well to keep its product simple and straightforward, so you know exactly what to expect.
Who would this product be most useful for?
It’s clear the MiniMeis is aimed at adventurous families – no surprise considering its Norwegian origins. You could use it on a walk into town, but the MiniMeis almost feels over-engineered for this. It certainly felt overkill to me, when our front carrier or pushchair would have been much easier. Gemma, however, loved it for city walks and found her older child much preferred the MiniMeis to the pushchair.
I would say it is best used out in the wild, on hikes or similar. We tried it a couple of times on our family holiday in the Peak District and it was the perfect introduction to country walking for our baby girl. So, if you’re a family that likes to enjoy the great outdoors (or you want to more often) then the MiniMeis G4 shoulder carrier is ideal.
Is the MiniMeis G4 worth the money?
The MiniMeis G4 is a simple idea, executed extremely well. Whether it’s worth the money will really depend on how much you will use it.
Price-wise, it sits in the middle of the back-carrier market (always a considered purchase), but with no other comparable shoulder carriers its uniqueness makes it stand out. If you go hiking or walking a lot with your family and you want to take your little one, it’s a no-brainer, particularly if you carry your child on your shoulders a lot already.
How does it compare to similar back carriers for babies and toddlers?
|Product name||Age suitably||Weight||Shoulder carrier?||RRP|
|MiniMeis G4 and Backpack Bundle||6 months to 5 years||1kg||Yes||£194.99|
|Bushbaby Premier Back Carrier||6 months to 4–5 years||2.5kg||No||£170|
|Littlelife Adventurer Carrier||6 months to 3 years||1.9kg||No||£119.99|
|Osprey Poco Premium Carrier||6 months to 5–6 years||1.9kg||No||£300|
Where can I buy the MiniMeis G4 Shoulder Carrier?
You can buy directly from MiniMeis.
A really original baby and child carrier, that is a dream come true for outdoorsy families who want to get their little one involved in their adventures, or those who want a lightweight, compact carrier for travel or days out. Designed as a shoulder carrier rather than a more traditional front or back carrier, it gives your baby unrivalled views when you’re out and about, but if you are after a carrier that will help lull a restless baby to sleep this isn’t the one for you. Clever design and impressive engineering, combined with high-quality materials, make this a worthwhile investment for exploring the Great Outdoors.
|Model||G4 Shoulder Carrier|
|Child age (approx)||6 months to 5 years|
|Child weight||Up to 22kg|
|Carrying positions||Shoulders – 1|