The padding on the shoulder straps of the KiBi is specific to its length, which is much shorter compared to other carriers on the market.
There are basically two reasons for this:
- The shoulder straps can be tightened by smaller mothers.
If the padding is too long, smaller/more tiny mothers would not be able to tighten the straps to their liking (the padding would prevent them from tightening) and pull their baby closer to them. This would put their centre of gravity far away from their body and they would have to balance and balance the baby's weight with their back. This would manifest itself later in back pain.
- The KiBi is designed more for bigger/older babies due to its size, so there is a certain assumption that they will be worn primarily on back for most of the wearing period.
And it is when worn on the back that the length of the padding plays a big role.
When wearing on the back, it is desirable to be able to carry the small child high up so that they can see over your shoulder. This is achieved (in addition to tightening the waist belt as high as possible) by shortening the shoulder straps.
So the baby is not low, your centre of gravity is higher and closer to your body - the baby's weight is not pulling on you, so you don't tend to balance the force and be bent over.
In the EVO 2 and IN models, the shoulder straps are extended by 10 cm in the front unpadded part (the GIF above shows the EVO model without this extension, otherwise the padding could be moved even further).
This allows to lovers of front-wearing to slide the padding more towards the back, even for bigger children. This also changes the slope/guidance of the straps, so they don't cut into the armpits (you can help this by adding a second chest strap, which also helps distribute the heavier weight over a larger area of the back).
It's entirely up to you where you choose to place the shoulder strap padding - only you know where it's most comfortable for you. It's also possible that as baby grows, you may prefer a different placement.
However, in our experience, we generally recommend padding more on the back, with a slight dip at the top of the shoulders.
This is because when worn, the pressure on the shoulders is not directly perpendicular down, but slightly oblique. So realistically you would have some of the padding on the front of the shoulders unused and conversely you might miss it on the back.
At the same time, if you have the shoulder straps too tight in the front, the straps will most likely (depending on your body shape, of course) lead to the armpits where they can cut you due to the lack of padding.