Maya Wrap Ring Sling

Best Sling Carrier

Best Sling Carrier: Maya Wrap Review

Updated: July 6, 2016

Best Sling Carrier: Maya Wrap is a comfortable, easy-to-use sling that comes in a wide variety of fabrics. Compared with other slings, the shoulder padding on the Maya Wrap is excellent. We also liked the company’s detailed instructional videos to help first-time users.

Carriers 101

If you are a first-time parent who’s never purchased a carrier before, or a veteran parent who needs a quick refresher on what to look for in a baby carrier, click here for our Carriers 101.

How we picked a winner

We evaluate baby carriers with hands-on inspections, reviews by our readers and online feedback. We do not accept free samples from manufacturers—if we purchase a baby carrier to review, we buy it from the same sources we recommend on this site (Amazon, stores, etc). We also meet manufacturers in person at trade events and evaluate product samples and prototypes. We have been researching and writing about baby carriers since 1994. In the 90’s, carriers styles were limited to Baby Bjorn-style front carriers and ring slings. Today the options are endless with Asian style mei tais, hip carriers, backpack carriers and wraps. In this category, we reviewed dozens of front carriers to find the best one.

Maya Wrap, the brand

Maya Wrap’s owner, Susan Gmeiner, launched the company in 1996 after trying and failing to find a good front carrier for her baby. Their slings have won numerous fans for their comfort and innovative designs. Example: slings with a built-in pocket for keys or diapers, made with hand loomed cotton fabric.

Why this model

Maya Wrap has consistently been recommended to us by readers who love its flexibility and comfort. And helpful instructional videos are available on their web site and a DVD is included with your purchase. Here are a couple of sample videos; the first is on threading the sling:

Here’s one on how to put on the sling and proper positioning:

The rings are made of ¼” anodized aluminum, the fabrics are 100% cotton hand-loomed (non-toxic dyes are used) and are only made of one layer of fabric (there is padding at the shoulder area for comfort). As a result, the Maya Wrap is quite lightweight.

The Maya Wrap comes in four sizes with nearly 20 fabric options. As the photo below shows, size really relates to how much fabric is dangling after you put the tail end through the ring. So if you want less fabric, get a smaller size. Maya Wrap Sling Carrier Reader feedback on the Maya Wrap is positive—parents especially love the beautiful fabric and the light weight. Yes, the price ($70) is a bit high compared to other slings that run $40 or so. But  the overall quality and design make it worth the upgrade.

Flaws but not deal breakers

Here are the key complaints about the Maya Wrap based on reader reviews and online comments:

  • Some parents noted that it is difficult to place their babies in the Maya Wrap without some practice. Videos can help, but a minority said they just couldn’t get their babies positioned comfortably.
  • A few parents complained that their shoulders hurt after only a short time. This may be due to positioning the wrap too low near the waist rather than up higher on the torso.
  • Head support is minimal compared to other types of carriers (but similar to most slings). Remember the Maya Wrap has a starting weight of 8 lbs. Do not use if your newborn is under 8 lbs.
  • Older, larger babies aren’t easy or comfortable to carry. While the maximum weight the Maya Wrap can accommodate is 35 lbs., some parents complained that they never came near it—it was too uncomfortable with bigger kids.

Also Great

Mamma's Milk sling

$49.99* at Amazon

* Prices change daily. Shop carefully.

Unlike a standard ring sling, Mamma’s Milk uses super strong Velcro to adjust the sling into the correct position. Padding is added to the area where toddler’s legs rest and the fabric has nice stretch.

Mamma's Milk sling carrier

Also recommended

Mother’s Milk baby sling is so close in quality to the Maya Wrap (see above), we almost made our top pick a tie! Instead of a ring, Mother’s Milk uses super strong Velcro to adjust the sling into the correct position. Padding is added to the area where toddler’s legs rest and the fabric has nice stretch. Videos are available online.

We also recommend the ZoloWear sling (see below). ZoloWear’s mojo is its cool fabrics like silk brocade and breathable mesh. These designs can get pretty expensive ($60 to $125), especially the silk. Zolo slings are ring slings and they come in two styles: pleated or classic. The company’s online videos and illustrations are quite helpful.

Also Great

ZoloWear sling

$94.00* at Amazon

* Prices change daily. Shop carefully.

ZoloWear slings are ring slings and they come in two styles: pleated or classic. Fabrics include 100% cotton in solids and prints, as well as lush (and expensive) silks.

ZoloWear Ring Sling

Sling competition

The original commercially made sling was manufactured by Nojo (now part of bedding maker Crown Crafts) with the input of Dr. William Sears, an early advocate of baby wearing. After parting ways from Nojo, Sears now makes slings bearing his name with Balboa Baby. Those slings are affordable, but we aren’t fans. The Balboa Baby Slings have strap padding, but we found the sling too uncomfortable for parents when babies grew beyond 15 lbs. Readers who used these slings also complained their baby was positioned too deep in the pouch.

Other popular makers of slings include the Peanut Shell and New Native. These slings have varying degrees of adjustability.The Classic Peanut Shell comes in two sizes while the Adjustable version is one-size-fits all. New Native’s sling requires careful sizing since you can only adjust them smaller, not bigger.

A word on safety

In 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning to parents about sling use for infants under four months of age. At least 14 deaths have been associated with the use of slings in the last 20 years. Here are the CPSC’s tips for using a sling:

Premature infants and those with low birth weight (including twins or infants with breathing issues such as a cold) should not be placed in a sling.

Make sure the infant’s face is not coveredand can be seen at all times regardless what type of carrier you’re using.

Frequently check on your baby to make sure he is breathing.

Check the graphic below.This shows both the correct way (chin up, face visible, nose and mouth free) and the improper way to wear your baby.

baby slings right and wrong ways to carry


To sum it up

Our top pick for baby slings is the May Wrap. The lightly padded shoulder and lightweight cotton fabrics make this wrap comfortable for parents as well as baby. Parents also praise the handy accessory pocket, plus detailed instructional videos. Overall, the Maya Wrap is a winner.

Maya Wrap Ring Sling

Maya Wrap

Maya Wrap’s ring sling is excellent. They use lightweight, brightly colored cotton fabrics plus light shoulder padding for a comfortable fit.

$69.95* at Amazon

* Prices change daily. Shop carefully.