Farewell, Mayflower HC Baby Carrier, We Hardly Knew Ye

Way back in June of 2012, Mayflower Research and Consulting, LLC announced the rollout of something they had made a few prototypes of for friends and family; a “tactical baby carrier”. At that time, I snapped one up, despite the fact I had no baby (aside from my twenty pound lump of furry puppy, who just so happened to fit perfectly inside said carrier).

Mayflower HC Baby Carrier in Desert MARPAT
Mayflower HC Baby Carrier in Desert MARPAT

For those unfamiliar with Mayflower RC, they are known for making high quality, low-weight nylon gear for military applications; namely, plate carriers, MOLLE pouches, load-carrying equipment, and the like, with a focus on minimizing the weight for the intended user, who would generally already be tasked with carrying significant loads over distance, and in harsh conditions. You can’t easily reduce the weight of required ammunition, ballistic plates, protective gear, or electronic equipment, so any weight you can trim off the total load out for a Marine, soldier, seaman, or airman really counts.

MARPAT baby carrier Mayflower tag
MARPAT baby carrier Mayflower tag

Making such gear also requires attention to durability. When lives are on the line, failure of the stitching or plastic hardware holding something together is crucial; Mayflower have proven themselves time and time again, with the strong evidence of being so often selected by the most elite units of the US armed forces as the gear of choice. They know they can count on Mayflower’s offerings to stand up to serious punishment, and they trust it. Unlike a number of cheap, non-US manufacturers, Mayflower gear generally just doesn’t break down.

ITW hardware on the baby carrier
ITW hardware on the baby carrier

Strangely, a few short months later, Mayflower announced they would be discontinuing the manufacture of their baby carrier, citing “ambiguous US restrictions governing anything to do with children” and the potential for frivolous law suits. This is ironic (using the actual definition of “irony”, rather than the post-modern “I don’t know what this word means, but it sounds good in my sentence” definition), in that Mayflower gear can and is trusted to protect people under much more dire threat of bodily harm, yet potentially could have been sued out of existence back in the States by people protecting babies from much less grave potential threats.

Facebook discontinuation notice from Mayflower HC
Facebook discontinuation notice from Mayflower RC

It is sad, in a way, that those who may well have been interested in a rather awesome baby carrier in some variety of camouflage or military color, will never have the chance to pick one up, forced forever to wear black, teal, pink, or white ones, with no ability to attach additional pouches to hold bottles, diapers, or baby wipes, due to the lack of MOLLE webbing on their “Baby Bjorn” carriers. But I’m glad I picked one up when I did, and I hereby promise not to sue Mayflower RC if I manage to misuse mine, and drop any potential baby I might manage to spawn.

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