Basically it is a square of fabric with shoulder straps that cross over your back and waist straps that tie around you. These are suitable for front, back and hip carries and are very adjustable to your shape. Some can come with extra long straps so can be good for fathers to wear as well.
A basic Mei Tai has little padding and usually no hood but many companies make customised carriers so that you can order with what every additions you wish. Many can be reversible so you have a plain and a patterned side.
There are many carriers that progress from a Mei Tai towards a SSC…… having a buckle at the waist instead of a tie and extra shaping to the body.
This is a good carrier for tiny babies and easier to use than a wrap for beginners. These can be some of the cheapest carriers available as there are numerous companies making these and therefore prices can be competitive but as with all carriers the more extras that are added the higher the price tag. Before you buy one ensure that the company’s products have been safety tested. Look for items that conform to The British Safety Standard for Baby Carriers EN 13209-2-2005: British Safety Standard EN 13209-2-2005