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Find the best in Baby Gear at Magic Beans
Find the best in Baby Gear at Magic Beans

M1 Carrier is A1

M1 CarrierIf you’ve read my previous post, you already know how the M1 Carrier came into existence. If not, all you need to know is this: it was designed from the ground up to be better than the Baby Björn. At first glance, you might actually mistake the M1 for a Björn, but there are several features that set it apart. The M1 integrates bamboo, a lightweight, breathable fabric that is renewable and environmentally friendly. It is also super soft, dries quickly and is naturally anti-microbial. Any part of the carrier that is likely to touch a baby’s bare skin is covered with bamboo.

Like the Björn, all of the buckles were custom designed specifically for this carrier, but they’ve improved the easy-of-use on the bottom clasp and the side buckles. The interior of the carrier has undergone a total overhaul, with the addition of an integrated spinal support system. The M1 also has midsection adapters, which expand the width of the carrier up to two inches, making it much roomier for bigger babies.

The top bamboo cover (by the baby’s mouth) is removable and machine washable, and you can buy replacements to stash in your diaper bag. This piece also flips up (when the baby is facing in) for protection from the elements. The seat height adjustment is nicely done as well. Regal Lager remembered that parents frequently complained about the flap of fabric that hangs down from the bottom of the Baby Björn, the “tail” of the seat height adjustment strap. So the M1 approaches this differently. The height adjustment includes a pushbutton release, and the “tail” tucks up into the base of the carrier. In fact, virtually all of the protruding adjustment straps stow away instead of flopping around. Also, anyone who’s worn a Baby Björn on a warm day knows how hot it can get. The M1 addresses this by reducing the size of the lumbar support and tucking in a ventilating plastic frame.

So if you’re in the market for a carrier, do you buy this or the Björn? I really like the M1, although I wasn’t expecting to. I was skeptical about the motivation behind the product, but the little innovations won me over. On the other hand, the Baby Björn is practically an icon for modern parents, and it’s still an excellent product that continues to evolve and improve. And while I think the designers did a good job with the aesthetics of the M1 Carrier, I don’t think Lascal has the same innate fashion sense as Baby Björn, who has managed — against all odds — to make a baby carrier sexy.

The M1 Carrier is manufactured by Lascal and distributed in the US by Regal Lager. It can be used for babies weighing 8-30 pounds, and it comes in black with a choice of 5 accent colors. The suggested retail price is $129.99.

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