I do love half buckle carriers and these do seem to be getting more love from the babywearing world lately. More manufacturers, both big and small, are adding this type of carrier to their range. Neko ones are about to hit the market and Mamaruga, well loved for their Zen carrier, have developed one to add to their stable.
These are a bit of a halfway house between wraps and buckles. They allow for the individual fit allowed by wrapping but with the security and ease of having a waistband and panel. Some come with wrap straps so can very much behave like a wrap carrier , allowing you to encorporate fancy finishes into your carrying.
I was lucky enough to have this Wrapahula in North Yorkshire Moors made for me. It has a glorious blanket like quality to it and is amazingly supportive. Half buckles are certainly one of the most comfortable of carriers I have tried.
Straps on half buckles vary. Some are straight, others wrap straps and some like the Tula a combination of both. The Tula also has PFAs to help you get the perfect fit. One thing to check is that the straps are long enough for you to use in the way you wish.
A big advantage of a half buckle is that this type of carrier will last a long time. Several have adjustable panels which will fit babes from 1-2 months up to 3 years of age, and they offer a flexibility of use so that they can suit your child whatever their stage of development. All offer front and back carrying positions.
Another advantage of a half buckle is that they can be adjusted to fit different shape and size of parents- there is no compromise re fit if the people carrying are different sizes which is certainly a bonus.
These carriers are soft and light so are brilliant to use in warmer months. They pack away neatly and take up less space than many full buckles. They are generally made of wrap fabric so mould well and actually become softer and more comfortable with use.
Of course being made of wrap fabric allows you to select a beautiful carrier as well, with fabric that appeals to your personality. This Didyclick is made from the EBW2019 fabric so is a bit of a keeper for me.
Some have addition features- the Mamaruga can be converted to use as a Pod and the Didyclick can be used for hip carries. The Fidella and Limas both come in 2 sizes offering an even greater coverage range. All feature great sleepy hoods.
The downsides can be those wrap straps, there is a lot of fabric to manipulate when first putting on which can be a challenge in wet and muddy situations. I find adding a couple of loose knots before starting can stop ends dragging on the floor until needed.
They aren’t the cheapest carriers on the block. Several of them are German brands and so may also attract greater costs re postage if buying new. Perhaps because there are less of them around the prices tend to be higher, you are looking at spending over a hundred pounds to buy one- which is probably a good reason to hire one from the library and check if they are really right for you first. If you weigh their cost againgst only needing one carrier they can still be good value for money if this is the carrier that you love and will use regularly.