Sensimo Slings Maxima

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Sensimo Slings / heart weave

Fibre:
70% combed cotton, 30% repreve

Measurements:
562cm long, 70cm wide, 280gsm

Key words:
Supportive, cool, vibrant

 

 

I’ve always noticed that wrapping older children draws attention. The number of people who openly stare or turn their heads as they pass by (motorists included, argh!) still surprises me.

Howver, when I was testing Sensimo Maxima I knew it wasn’t just the older children passers-by were noticing. To say this wrap is vibrant is an understatement! The gorgeously saturated jewel tones pop and almost glow in the sunshine. The black weft picks out the heart weave with a nicely high contrast against all the colours in the grad.

 

 

The range of colours in the grad means that, although all colours are generally visible in wrap jobs, either the blue/green combination or dark blue/pink combination is more prominent. I really enjoyed this, choosing which set of colours would be dominant depending on my outfit (or even just my mood).

 

 

 

The grad is also brilliant for helping you learning new carries, making tightening particular areas really easy. There’s very little difference between the faces of the wrap, however, so you’ll still need to watch out for twisted passes.

 

 

 

Maxima doesn’t just make an impact with its colours – it packs a punch with its support too. Although I preferred it in multi-layer carries, it was decently supportive in single layer carries on both my front and back. It handled my young toddler’s weight with ease, and even made me respectably comfortable with my preschooler.

 

 

This heart weave is isn’t the densest I’ve ever felt, but it’s certainly not what I’d call airy – so it was with some trepidation that I wrapped my toddler in a Double Hammock on a sunny day. Preparing to head out into 27 degree heat, I was mentally calculating how I might be able to use up the length from a base +1 if I switched to a ruck. I was pleasantly surprised to find Maxima was actually moderately cool! Of course, carrying a toddler on your back in this kind of weather means you’ll always be a little sticky. However, the DH was far from the sauna-like experience I’d been expecting.  The Repreve (a polyester fibre made from recycled materials) in this blend did a great job of helping us keep cool.

 

 

 

Maxima has a lot of glide – which surprised me, because in-hand there’s also quite a bit of texture. The texture from the heart weave is definitely needed to balance out the glide, which at times tipped over into slipperiness for me. Firm knots and carefully pinning passes helped to combat this; once tied off Maxima did stay put. Perhaps because of this slipperiness, I found I needed to be precise in my wrap jobs – in a sloppier wrap job the extra fabric could move through the passes to redistribute weight in a way that wasn’t always comfy.

 

 

 

I enjoyed how sturdy Maxima felt. It’s not pull prone and I didn’t feel any need to handle it carefully. The blend is easy to care for and the colours are good at not showing dirt – this could make a great beater!

 

 

 

Maxima felt reasonably solid to me, with just enough movement to add a little give and comfort to carries. It’s moderately mouldable, and pleasantly soft. It’s probably just bulky enough that I’d veer away from using it with a tiny baby, but only just. I think the wrap’s support is maximised in multi-layer carries so I’d recommend choosing a size which allows you to do this.

 

 

 

Maxima’s greatest strengths as far a WQs go are its support and the comfort it offers in warm weather. However, I think its biggest appeal is in its colours. They’re truly vibrant, great in the sunshine and – above all – fun!

 

Liora Rae Wovens Bloom

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Liora Rae Wovens / Bloom

Fibre:
24% Egyptian cotton, 76% combed cotton

Measurements:
396cm long, 67cm wide, 289gsm

Key words:
Stretch, bounce, recoil, cush, supportive

 

I should start off with a warning. If you’re looking for a measured review, with staid language and a modest description of this wrap’s qualities, step away now. This review is not that.

Because I’m a tiny bit in love with Bloom.

 

 

I knew this was something special as soon as I pulled the wrap from its bag. Bloom has a texture unlike anything I’ve felt before. I spent a few days puzzling over its unplaceable familiarity before I realised that it reminds me of expensive tea towels…! That may not sound like a good thing, but trust me, it is. The texture is like a micro waffle, and is not rough but somehow a little coarse. It’s surprisingly pleasant in hand (I’m texture sensitive and loathe highly textured wraps), feeling reassuringly sturdy.

 

 

The other dominant in-hand feel is pure, glorious SMOOSH. I could squish Bloom in my hands all day long. In fact, I loved carries with some extra tail, because it allowed me to walk around squishing and testing the satisfyingly springy smoosh factor again and again. Did I look somewhat odd, as though I was trying to juice fabric? Probably, but I enjoyed it so much I just couldn’t help myself.

 

 

Once I’d assessed Bloom’s in-hand feel, I shook it out so I could take in the design. I normally hate large, frothy florals – they’re about as far away as you can get from my preferred geometric designs, and they almost make my skin crawl. I’m aware that’s something of an extreme reaction (!) but I’m owning up to it so you can understand why it’s unusual that I fell for Bloom. I expected the floral element of this wrap to feel pretty chintzy, but it really doesn’t. It’s oversized, and the detailing this allows for makes it look almost like a botanical illustration (which I just adore). The juxtaposition against, and interplay with the large diamond/chevron background is fascinating.

 

 

These colours are some of my favourites, so there was no chance I wasn’t going to love them. The light sage/mint and heather grey are soft, cool and complement each other beautifully. The colours have a tendency to look a little washed out in photos, rather than conveying the subtle, refined softness you experience in person. The touch of white picks out detailing, adding extra tonal depth and interest. As a finishing flourish to this lovely colourway, I found that in sunlight it has a slightly luminous quality. It’s truly, truly lovely.

 

 

Let’s step back into my journey to total adoration with Bloom. Thus far, this wrap had intrigued and then beguiled me with its in-hand feel, and seduced me with its looks. I was already feeling enthusiastic, but Bloom was about to seal the deal.

I wrapped with it.

Guys, this wrap is the stuff of my dreams. It’s got incredible stretch and recoil. I’ve previously described the bounce of thick Didymos Liscas as being like shock absorbers. Bloom is like Liscas on steroids. It really hugs you; the recovery from its stretch lends it wonderful movement without the wrap sagging one bit. If you’re ever wondering what true bounce with great recoil is, try this wrap. It exemplifies those qualities so perfectly that I could almost explode with excitement as I try to explain it to you. As I wore it, I kept picturing my son’s ball on an elastic string, which boingingings back perfectly each time it’s bounced. The bounce/recoil of Bloom is so good that it almost feels engineered.

 

 

 

The support of Bloom is pretty darn fantastic, too. I found it perfectly comfy in single layer carries, and in multi layer carries my toddler became blissfully weightless. That smoosh I couldn’t stop squishing makes for a wonderful shoulder feel. Never once did I feel a hint of digginess. In fact, the combination of support, smoosh and bounce make Bloom a fabulously forgiving wrap which handles sloppy wrap jobs gracefully.

 

 

Despite its slightly coarse texture, Bloom isn’t an overly grippy wrap. It walks the line between grip and glide rather expertly, finding a sweet spot between the two which makes second passes no worry, but holds wrap jobs and slipknots nicely in place.

 

 

To top it all off, Bloom is wonderful, easy-care cotton. As it’s not the tightest of weaves (it did acquire a few pulls during my week with it), I perhaps wouldn’t quite class it as a beater – but it’s great to know that any stains acquired will be easy to launder.

 

 

Now I’ve waxed lyrical, you probably want to hear about Bloom’s downsides. Well, whilst not dense, it’s not a thin or notably airy wrap – you might not reach for it immediately in hot weather. It’s a little pull prone. But its biggest drawback is that it might just make any other wraps you own seem redundant.

One and done? Shockingly, for this wrap collector, that suddenly seems possible…

 

Woven Bliss Romeo Wings

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Woven Bliss / Wings

Fibre:
100% combed cotton

Measurements:
506cm long, 69.5cm wide, 316gsm

Key words:
Supportive, solid, blankety, thick

 

 

When I first pulled Woven Bliss Romeo Wings from its postage bag, I thought it was going to be one of ‘those’ testers. You know, the kind of tester which, although great, is not your personally preferred wrapping qualities. The kind of tester you can objectively appreciate, but don’t feel too sad to bid farewell to.

Well, it turns out I was 50% right. True to its initial in-hand feel, Romeo Wings is thick (that’s a nope from me), blankety (still nope) and solid (nope nope nope, I love some bounce). Nothing like my ideal WQs.

But. Here’s the surprise. Once I wrapped with it, I really, really enjoyed it.

 

 

This wrap is great in front carries (FCC, FWCC, check). It handles hip carries with aplomb (reinforced Robin’s, check). Where it truly shines, however, is in a Double Hammock. This is a superb DH wrap.

 

 

So, down to the nitty gritty. Romeo is definitely a thick wrap, whether you look at the 316 gsm or substantial in-hand feel. Its dense, tight weave but pleasant softness give it a blankety feel. It’s pretty easy to work with, although mouldability is not one of its key characteristics.  I found it to wrap just a touch short, but not enough to justify sizing up.

 

 

I enjoyed Romeo’s glide/grip ratio. Second passes were relatively easy to make (a little more work than some wraps, but by no means a workout), but once tied off wrap jobs stayed put. My toddler is increasingly wriggly, and this wrap weathered his bouts of leaning and leg straightening wonderfully, keeping everything where it ought to be.

 

 

Romeo is pretty solid, with only a touch of stretch and bounce. Nevertheless, it has a great shoulder feel – not precisely cushy, but firmly comfortable. At no point was this wrap diggy (even in a slightly sloppy wrap job).

 

 

Romeo’s support is superb; it will haul your toddler with the minimum of strain for you. My toddler is still young, but was nigh on weightless in this wrap – I’m confident that it would remain gloriously comfortable with older toddlers, too. I preferred mutilayer to single layer carries, but also happily rucked with Romeo.

 

 

Its tight weave means Romeo isn’t prone to pulls. In fact, despite one face of the wrap being largely natty, I’d rate this as a good workhorse beater. Romeo feels like you could drive a truck over it, then whip it up into as perfect a DH as before the vehicular offense.

 

 

Romeo’s thickness does mean it has pretty large bunched passes. From 4-6 months old (depending on the size of your baby), this shouldn’t be an issue, but the wrap might overwhelm smaller babies. If you do want to use it with a very young baby, I’d recommend adding something like a lexi twist to take the bulk away from tiny legs.

 

 

Lastly, of course, there’s the design. A truly vivid blue is well matched with a slightly grey-toned white. The resulting cool-tone wrap feels fresh and vibrant. Romeo added a welcome pop of colour to even my most mundane outfits, sometimes even lifting my mood. The wings design has a touch of whimsy to it and varies in size and orientation, which creates nice visual variety. If you choose to wear Romeo white side out, the bright blue wings really stand out!

 

 

So, should you try Romeo Wings? Absolutely. Any thick, blankety, solid wrap which can win over this thin, airy, bounce-seeking wrapper has got to be something just a little bit special.

 

Happy Fluffy Diamond Coal

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Happy Fluffy / Diamond

Fibre:
100% linen

Measurements:
542cm long, 73.5cm wide, 289gsm

Key words:
Glide / slippery, supportive, firm, cool

 

 

Exotic blends are pretty commonplace in the babywearing world these days. Baby camel hair, lyocell, banana viscose – where these once would have drawn comment, these fibres are no longer surprising.

However, the blend of this Happy Fluffy tester is still  unusual enough to be intriguing – 100% linen. In a marketplace dominated by cotton blends, all-linen wraps are still few and far between. I had no idea what to expect from Diamond Coal!

 

 

 

I enjoyed Coal’s aesthetic. The weave is simple but elegant. From afar, the pattern appears to be large diamonds, but up close the diamonds contain detailing looking rather like fletching on an arrow. It’s appealing and proof that a weave doesn’t have to be busy or complex to be attractive.

 

 

The colours are similarly simple – dark anthracite on one face, and a light silvery grey on the other. Colours like this are always pleasantly easy to wear (no need to consider whether they’ll clash with your outfit). However, Coal’s biggest aesthetic draw is in its wonderful sheen. Linen is well known for this, and Coal’s 100% blend really showcases linen’s signature sheen. The anthracite side has a subtle sheen, but the silvery side positively glows in the sunshine. It’s beautiful and I loved it. Also typical for linen are nubs and slubs – Coal has a fair few of these, adding some character to the straightforward weave.

It’s worth noting that Coal has blunt tapers. I had ample length with this size 7 tester, but if you find yourself regularly tying in the tails for a particular size, you might want to consider sizing up with Coal.

 

 

So what about the wrapping qualities? As you might expect for all linen, this is an incredibly supportive wrap. Front, back, hip – Coal carried the weight of my toddler with ease no matter which carry I tried. It’s also very solid, with little to no stretch/bounce. On the shoulders it feels very firm and flat with no cush. With decent tightening it’s comfortable, but I suspect that sloppier carries might feel a little unforgiving or diggy.

 

 

The weave is very low texture, and combined with the linen this makes Coal a wrap with a huge amount of glide. I enjoyed the ease of making second passes with Coal, but I did find that the glide had a tendency to tip over into slipperiness. I found precise wrap jobs and tight knots to be very important for a comfortable carry – any tiny bit of slack quickly worked its way through the wrap job.

 

 

Coal is a brilliant wrap for warm weather, thanks to both weave and fibre choices. The weave is fairly airy, encouraging a little airflow (and in warm weather, every little helps!). The linen is cool to the touch and seems to remain that way when wrapped, something which is truly unusual.

 

 

Coal came to me well broken in and beautifully soft. I love the softness of broken in linen – it’s not fuzzy or smooshy, as cotton can be, but supple and silky. Coal also had truly beautiful drape and movement (it was so lovely I found myself regularly playing with the tails), making it feel elegant.

 

 

Coal is a great wrap. With fairly specific wrapping qualities, it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but those that like firm, supportive wraps with glide will really enjoy it. Sporting both a lack of bulk and superb support, this is a wrap which I have no hesitation in recommending for both newborns and toddlers.