I think the Manduca is the most famous baby carrier in Germany. It can be found almost at every flea market somewhere and is still much recommended by parents and midwives. I have also worn for a long time with the Manduca. So here are finally my experiences with the Manduca in the test report.
Information about the baby carrier and the manufacturer Manduca
Actually, Manduca is just a brand name that belongs to the company Windelkinder. The company was founded in 2002 and has now also adopted Manduca as its company name. So, the Manduca baby carrier is one of the carriers that have been on the market for a relatively long time.
Meanwhile, this model is called Manduca First to better distinguish it from the new model, Manduca XT. On the website manduca.de I can read that the connection of the needs of parents and children with babywearing is a goal of the company. Manduca is also very well known and widely used in the international market.
Manduca now also produces other baby carriers such as the Manduca Duo and the Manduca Twist. The former I have also had in the test and describe it in my review Manduca Duo
The Manduca is one of the full-buckle carriers, as the waist belt and straps are closed with buckles. The manufacturer simply states that it can be used for children from 3.5kg to 20kg. Experience shows that it fits some newborns well from size 50, if the bar is tied. The width of the bar then fits approximately up to size 74/80, with the use of the bar extension ExTend even significantly longer.
Depending on the model, the price of the carrier is between 119€ and 139€. This puts it in the middle price range for baby carriers. It is available through almost all baby specialty stores, as well as various online stores and Amazon. As a supplement for the carrying aid, the manufacturer has developed SizeIt, Ellipse, ZipIn and ExTend, which I will discuss in more detail later.
The abdominal belt of the carrier is conically shaped, so in the middle a little wider than on the sides. It has firm padding and closes with a three-point buckle. The web width is not adjustable in the carrier itself. There is an integrated newborn insert inside by the back section. However, with this insert, the bar width is too narrow for almost all newborns. There is also the risk that the baby's feet slip under the waist belt, which is why I do not recommend using the newborn insert. Manduca has instead later developed the SizeIt, which can be used externally to tie off the bar. Later, the bar can be enlarged with the help of ExTend, which was also developed subsequently.
The back can be lengthened with the opening of the zipper. I usually do this already with newborns, because the back part becomes significantly shorter due to bar tying. To provide even better lateral support and rounding of the back, there is the ellipse here as an insert, which is slightly narrower at the sides. ZipIn is usually a colorful insert, which, however, only serves as a "gap filler". At the top of the back part is a small pocket in which the headrest is located. This can be attached to the straps with elastic bands.
The straps are well padded and have three adjustment options. On the one hand, the Manduca has padding buckles at the base of the straps, on the other hand, the length of the straps can be changed in the lower area with two straps. The direction of pull is opposite, so that when wearing in front of the belly mainly the front strap can be pulled, for back carrying vice versa. The straps are closed with buckles, so that the carrier can also be used with crossed straps. At the level of the buckle is still a light padding sewn to the back part to reduce the pressure. The straps can only be attached to the center of the back part. The connecting buckle is adjustable in height.
I have now been able to test the carrier extensively, both with my own children and with parents in babywearing sessions. With newborns, I would recommend always tying off the bar using the SizeIt so that the fabric sits in the back of the child's knee and there is no overspreading. This also shortens the back piece and is then usually a good fit even with lengthening.
Sometimes the bar reduction makes the distance between the knee and the buckle attachment very small and could press. Here you have to look individually whether the bar reducer can perhaps be pushed even deeper. The ellipse as an addition I find not always necessary. By attaching the buckles to the back part, there is a slightly increased pressure on the back of the baby, which is not quite optimal. However, this is significantly reduced by the darts on the back part.
With the bar extension ExTend I could use the Manduca with my son even good at Gr.98. Overall, this results in a very long service life. From the wearing comfort I feel the carrier on the back much more comfortable than in front of the belly. Before the belly bothered me the buckles of the straps under the arms. If I crossed the straps, this was significantly better.
Many parents from my babywearing consultations, especially the women, also prefer to wear the straps crossed. Some care must be taken not to put too much pressure on the breasts of nursing mothers, as this creates the risk of milk engorgement. In terms of comfort, parents felt very differently about the Manduca. Many slender parents tended to prefer other carriers.
According to the manufacturer, the carrier can be washed at 30 degrees. I have always washed it by hand, with no problems.
Conclusion about the Manduca First
The Manduca baby carrier is quite recommendable, although I would always add the SizeIt as a supplement, so that a good Anhock-Spreiz-Haltung can arise. With this addition, it then fits many newborns already well.
For larger children, the ExTend also makes sense, because thereby the stretcher can be used again significantly longer without having to buy a completely new stretcher. As with all carriers, comfort is a matter of opinion, so I would recommend testing before buying.
If you want to make your Manduca First more ergonomic, you can find the mentioned extensions at natuerlich-familie.de.
In the meantime, thanks to Manduca, who provided me with the baby carrier, I was also able to test the Manduca XT extensively. I describe my experiences with it in the test of the Manduca XT.
*Thisis a link with an affiliate ID, so you get a discount on your first purchase and I get a small commission.