Making your own carrier is the start of a glorious and frustrating process. So many questions arise about what options do you choose, do I want single or dual adjust buckle… Don’t worry, not matter what options you choose, you will end up with a great carrier that will help keep your little one close.
Buckles or Ladder Locks?
This is truly a personal preference. Ladder locks kind of “lock” your carrier into a ruck style carry regardless of front or back carry. Ladder locks are a very secure way of crafting your carrier because you do not have to worry about the accidental release of a buckle.
Buckles allow you to do several different styles of carries, like hip carries and cross-strapped front carries that ladder locks limitations do not allow. If you choose to do a standard front carry you can also buckle your chest strap together then fling, or gracefully place your shoulder straps over your head, then buckle your arm straps. By having the chest strap buckle already buckled you don’t have to worry about the dreaded t-rex arm issues that hinder being able to buckle your chest strap by yourself. If you get dual adjust buckles (pros and con below), you can also have flexibility to what side of the carrier the buckle is placed.
Tension locks vs Ladder locks
Aren’t they the same thing?!? Technically, yes. Ladder locks are a style of tension lock, and in the buckle world they are called “curved tension locks”. However, that doesn’t have the same flow as “ladder lock” that the baby-wearing world has coined to this little tension lock. But for sake of confusion I will call them ladder locks and tension locks.
Tension locks: Mainly used for PFAs or doll carriers due to their limited flexibility of the “golden zone of adjustment.” Tension locks like to be adjusted, by the webbing being pulled in line with of the tension lock. If you pull the webbing at any other angle it will be very difficult to adjust. Tension locks have “teeth” on them to help hold the webbing in place. Tension locks are used as PFAs for Kinderpacks.
Ladder locks: Are used by several carrier manufacturers. Ladder locks adjust easier if the webbing is pulled at a 45 degree angle. The webbing is held in place due to the “ladder” style angled bars that make up the lock, so no “teeth” are needed. Ladder locks are utilized on Tulas, Bamberoos, and several other mainstream carriers.
Dual Adjust or Single Adjust?!?
For the waist:
Single Adjust buckles can either be attached on top of the waist band (option A) or attached with a small loop of webbing coming out of the end of the waist band (Option B). Since the buckle is sewn into place it cannot be moved, thus why it is normally placed on top of the waistband so the foam protects your body from the buckle pushing against it.
Dual Adjust buckles are attached by webbing coming out of both ends of the carrier (option B). Since the buckle can “float” in either direction on the webbing, it allows you to place the buckle anywhere you would like. The most popular spot with a dual adjust buckle is the middle of the back in a back carry, or on your tummy in front, however, it can be worn anywhere.
For the Arms:
Single Adjust buckles, like in the waist, can only be attached to a single point and cannot be adjusted once sewn on. The pattern calls for the female end of the buckle to be attached to the arm strap, but it can technically be place on either the arm strap or the body of the carrier (with modification to the pattern).
Dual Adjust buckles require some adjustment to the pattern by attaching webbing to the end of the arm strap so that there is webbing for the buckle to adjust. Dual Adjust buckles allow you to move the buckle to either the arm strap or the body of the carrier, depending on if you are doing a front carry or back carry. By being able adjust the buckle’s location it makes it so you can more easily attach the buckles. Dual adjust buckles also add length to the straps, so that needs to be taken into consideration when choosing strap lengths and use of PFAs.
I have not performed weight testing on any of the parts and webbing, however, the manufacturer of the product has provided me with their test results. Final testing should be done by the customer, per ourterms and conditions.