This Award-Winning Parenting Product Lets Your Little One Reach New Heights

How a shoulder-strapped bjorn went from endearing novelty to global success story in just two years.

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"I got a room at the top of the world tonight," wrote singer-songwriter Matthew Koma on his Instagram, quoting Tom Petty, when his wife, then fiancé Hilary Duff, gifted him a MiniMeis shoulder carrier in 2019. That same year, the Bjorn-like contraption was named Time Magazine's Invention of the Year. MiniMeis was having a moment.

Two years later, MiniMeis is in the hands of more than 150,000 families in more than 150 countries. MiniMeis fever is so widespread that, in the U.S. and U.K. specifically, 2 percent of newborns already have one. But what is the MiniMeis and how did it explode in popularity over the course of such a short amount of time?

Founded by three Norweigan dads including inventor Julius Winger and CEO Tarjei Johnson, MiniMeis was conceived as a solution to a common problem. Every kid wants to sit on their dad's shoulders, peering out into the world from a giant's perspective, but for the dad, carrying a small child on their back starts to hurt after a few minutes. But if those minutes could turn to hours, Winger thought, our kids could see the world from a dad's eye view for longer periods. All he had to do was find a way to reduce muscle strain.

Enter MiniMeis, a new kind of shoulder bag designed from the ground up to maximize comfort using a one-of-a-kind weight distribution system that helps mitigate fatigue. Just secure their shoulders, waist, and legs in the appropriate dedicated straps and you're clear to start your next adventure with your own mini me on top your shoulders. A cushioned seat and backrest keep your child snug in place.

To carry around the MiniMeis, however, you will need the right bag for the job. Although MiniMeis says you can fold it up and store it in just about any backpack it will fit in, likening it to a laptop, the MiniMeis backpack is custom-tailored to MiniMeis and can be added to your order for an extra $50.

You can purchase the latest version of the shoulder carrier, the MiniMeis G4, directly from the company's site for $169.

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