HUGLM Baby Carrier Review
HUGLM is a new Japanese baby carrier, on the market since 2023.
What is quite exceptional is that the band chose to let their carrier produce in Japan. We only know this from small sling brands, the Sun&Beach, and few models from Lucky Industries.
Japanese people believe in the quality of Japanese craftsmanship and often prefers products from Japan over products made in China, so this was probably a strategical move.
Together with another consultant I went to their showroom in Ikebukuro to try the carrier.
Though the company has a rental system, it isn’t available continuously and sometimes it seems hard to receive an answer from the customer service.
I tried to get in dialog with the company via Email as a babywearing professional, asking for a possibility to try the carrier (and if they plan to use consultants as promoter for their brand). However, I never got a response. Same with Baby&Me by the way.
When living in a city with a showroom, I highly recommend visiting there instead of trying to get a carrier for a home try-on.
Since the brand is new, it is also very likely that consultants in Japan don’t have the carrier. I plan to get one in 2024. If you want to try it during a consultation, please reach out if I already have one.
But now, let’s dive deeper into the actual review of the carrier!
I found out about it on Instagram and was immediately interested in this baby carrier!
It looks like a hybrid of the Ergobaby and harness systems like the Baby Björn.
Harness systems often lack the favored M-Positioning of the legs of the baby – only providing a wide seat. The wide seat is essential for the hip development but experts like to add a higher positioning of the knees too.
Ergobaby has this so I was very happy to see this too in the HUGLM.
The harness system is popular by parents because it promise to give safety while putting the baby in the carrier.
Personally, I have bigger problems with the harness system over the rucksack type, so I can really recommend to try it yourself!
The HUGLM though works either way!
You can use the harness, but you can also leave it closed and use the carrier like a rucksack type carrier like the Ergobaby.
This gives a lot of flexibility to the carrier!
What you can see when examining the HUGLM well is that the brand sets on safety!
I had the experience that it looked like they have oriented their carrier on Ergobaby and European brands, not so much American brands.
There are double safety systems like button loops around all buckles so the child will not be able to open it. But this also has a downside which I will talk about later.
The manual is very detailed and has many pictures. While many big brands set on simplicity now and „less is more“, here again the safety aspect wins and they make sure every part of their carrier is well explained.
You can find similar at the Sun&Beach but Stokke, for example, moved away from this and I already heard from many people that they liked the detailed explanations from Limas (which later became the new Stokke carrier) better.
The only thing that seems missing in the manual, and this is IMPORTANT, is that the baby should NEVER sleep in the forward facing position. I really can’t understand why they haven’t added this and I will also try to get in contact over this issue.
The HUGLM is sewn in Japan and is completely made of Polyester. The middle part is 3D knit which adapts well to the body shape of the baby. However, other than European and American new brands, they didn’t choose to recycle old plastics but produce new. If you like sustainability you can check the Flybaby or Ergobaby Aerloom.
I have written a whole article about the merits and demerits of mesh fabric. You can find it here:
Lately, every baby carrier brand tries to bring their own mesh baby carrier on the market because it is so popular. But is mesh really a good material when used for baby carriers? Today I want to answer this question! Mesh is most often made of polyester. While some...Read More
Different Carrying Options
Now let’s look a little bit deeper in the different carrying options the HUGLM offers.
Inside the manual you find instructions for front carry (belly to belly), front forward facing, and back carry. Except for back carry, you have two options: using the carrier like a rucksack which you pull over your baby, or putting the carrier on first, open the magnetic button, and let your baby slide into the carrier from the side.
You can detach the shoulderstraps which gives the opportunity to cross them, but this is not an official carry as the staff at the showroom told me. When I asked why they are detachable then, they couldn’t give me a proper answer. So I would suggest the brand thought to implement the opportunity in the carrier but decided to not listing it in the manual at the end because it is not a popular way to use them, the manual is already long, and it is probably impossible to use the magnetic button option.
Belly to Belly
The normal belly to belly front carry is very comfortable. The fit of the baby doll was very good, for newborns and for older babies too. If it really fits your baby and you is individually different!
You have the option to place the baby on your belly and lift the carrier over your baby’s back, or to put on the carrier before and put your baby in afterwards.
When forward facing, the seat is not completely supporting the bottom of your baby. Imagine sitting only with half your buttocks on a chair! The weight of the baby is pulling the balance of the person carrying forwards.
But since forward facing is no recommended carrying position anyways and if doing it, it’s only recommended for a short period of time (like 20 minutes), it is also possible to do it in the HUGLM.
Back carry now, and that’s a little sad, is a tiny bit more difficult with the HUGLM than with similar carriers like the Ergobaby.
The reasons are the previously mentioned extra security covers over the buckles and the security belt that is necessary for receiving the Japanese SG safety mark.
Putting your baby in the carrier and moving her to the back is really easy. There is no difference to other baby carriers. However, in order to get your baby back to the front to get her out of the carrier, you need to loosen the shoulderstraps a little bit. It needs some practice to find the buckles under the security blinds. But if I remember right, it was possible to remove, or at least open them. (The security belt around the baby is completely removable.) When the blinds are open or removed and the security belt not there, it shall be way easier to find the buckles!
So far, I have tried around 8 different carriers with a system where the carrier closes at the front. A so-called harness system.
Among all eight I feel that the HUGLM is most suitable for newborns! It has the best M-Positioning. For slightly bigger babies, there is only one more carrier I find satisfying in regards of the M-Position. Only from 6 months on I wouldn’t care much anymore about the M-Position (knees higher than bottom) when the carrier provides a wide seat.
If you are looking into a harness carrier, I would definitely take the HUGLM into consideration!