Didymos Prima Monochrome Hemp

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Prima

Fibre:
75% cotton, 25% hemp

Measurements:
438cm long, 67cm wide, 232 gsm

Key words:
Classy, airy, tough, mouldable

 

 

How can I break thee in? Let me count the ways…

That’s an appropriate beginning really – for, though it may not sound like it, this is the start of a love story.

 

 

When Monochrome first arrived, that’s not what I thought I’d be saying. It was nice enough to look at, but as soon as I touched it – wow, you know it’s a hemp blend. It was stiff and rough – oh, so rough. After a wash, tumble dry and steam iron, Monochrome was ready to wrap with – but nowhere near broken in.

Before you click away or write off this wrap as something you’d never want – hang in there! Remember, this is a love story…

Monochrome isn’t unpleasant to wrap with when it’s not broken in – it’s pliable enough and you can certainly get a comfy wrap job. It’s just…not special, not inspiring. But the key with hemp, I’ve learned is time. It’s patience.

 

 

Monochrome lost its stiffness reasonably quickly, becoming decently mouldable within a week, and nicely drape-y within 2 weeks. Where this wrap is stubborn is in its softness. If you’ve ever owned a really broken in hemp wrap, you know that they can be just wonderful – buttery soft and delicious. It’s a good job I knew this, because Monochrome hangs on to its hemp roughness like it’s a liferaft.

 

 

But you know what? I’m stubborn too. I wasn’t about to let a wrap beat me. So, I wrapped with it. I slept with it. I played tug o’ war with it. I tumbled it on cold. And finally, one day, I grabbed it to throw my son onto my back for the nursery run – and there it was. The softness. And right then, I started to fall for this wrap.

 

 

The hemp buttery-ness is worth waiting for. It’s soft, and delightful to handle. The drape is wonderful and the mouldability is, too – snug wrap jobs are a breeze with Monochrome.

 

 

And talking of a breeze, Monochrome is so nicely airy. This is really an inherent characteristic of the Prima weave, and I love it. Combined with its 232 gsm, I think Monochrome is going to be superb through the warmer spring and summer months.

 

 

The 25% hemp in this blend is just what’s needed to give that 232gsm weight an extra ‘oomph’ of support. Whilst I wouldn’t reach for it with my preschooler, I enjoyed this in both single and multilayer carries with my toddler. The support is of the firmer, flatter variety, but at no point did I find Monochrome diggy (even before it was properly broken in). It’s got plenty of glide, so – believe it or not – once it’s broken in, this is an easygoing wrap which doesn’t make you work for a decent wrap job. It also feels tough, hardwearing. I haven’t been afraid to work Monochrome hard or drag it through the mud, and it’s stood up to everything I’ve thrown at it. It’s just so dependable and reliable (I’ve yet to get a bad or uncomfortable wrap job with it).

 

 

 

And finally, there’s Monochrome’s aesthetic. True black, crisp white – this high contrast Prima manages to be both striking and classy. It’s easy to feel elegant in Monochrome and it would be a great black-tie event option. Yet it also goes with everything in my wardrobe and doesn’t look out of place with a tee and leggings (my standard daily look).

Monochrome, as it turns out, is a darn good wrap.

 

 

And so, as my frustration with Monochrome (why won’t you BREAK IN??) turned to love, it feels appropriate to end with lines from another love poem. This one, by E.E.Cummings, has always seemed rather appropriate for babywearing.

 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear…)

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life:which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 

Prima Monochrome Hemp is available to purchase here: https://www.didymos.com/en/Babywearing/DIDYMOS-Baby-Wrap-Sling/Prima/Baby-Wrap-Sling-Prima-Monochrome-Hemp.html

 

Didymos DidyGo Onbuhimo Zephyr

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / carrier / weave:
Didymos / DidyGo Onbuhimo / Zephyr

Fibre:
Straps and panel, 100% cotton

Measurements:
N/A

Key words:
Light, compact, easy to use, convenient

 

I’m a wrapper. I knew it from the moment I tried my first stretchy wrap. I loved it. I never even considered an alternative; I knew wrapping was for me. Wraps were all I touched for the first 7 months of my baby’s life.

When I ventured into the world of soft structured carriers (SSCs), it was to find a carrier for my husband. I tried it too, of course, but it was never as comfortable for me as my wraps. I could see the appeal and the convenience of it: but no, it wasn’t enough to win me over.

So when Didymos asked me to review their new DidyGo Onbuhimo, I was curious and excited. You see, an onbuhimo feels very different to a SSC when worn. I wondered: could this win me over, as SSCs never have?

 

 

When the onbuhimo arrived, I opened it impatiently. The first up was not quite disastrous…but it really wasn’t good. The straps dragged on my shoulders, my back ached within minutes. I was thoroughly disheartened. Then I remembered: I’m a beginner. I can grab a wrap and evaluate it quickly, because I’m experienced. But an onbuhimo? This was my first time.

I went back to basics: I watched tutorials, joined a great Facebook group recommended by a friend and read up on tips. My biggest mistake, I quickly learned, was that I’d had the carrier too low. I thought my toddler was high enough, but he wasn’t. So I tried again. And – thank goodness – it was better!

 

 

My toddler adored being so high up! He felt very secure, and this time both of us were comfortable. I enjoyed the lack of pressure around my stomach (I often ruck tied tibetan for this reason), and I can see how useful the lack of waistbelt would be when pregnant. The straps were pleasantly padded and squishy. Although we don’t need it, I love the cinchable base (which makes this adjustable for babies), and my preschooler commented on how much he liked the padding underneath his knees. I like a very snug wrap job and the onbuhimo achieved a similar feel (it’s not unlike a ruck TAS).

 

 

That said, the way the weight of my toddler loaded through the shoulder straps was still different to my woven wraps, and I did find I couldn’t carry for as long as I would in a ruck. Similarly, my husband found the weight distribution very different to his normal SSC and felt he would choose the onbuhimo for short, quick trips rather than long walks. From reading around, I gather that an onbuhimo requires you to use a different set of muscles and most wearers find their stamina builds up gradually.

 

 

Even without building up my stamina, I’ve enjoyed Didymos’ onbuhimo more than I expected. It’s so light and compact – it doesn’t take up much space in my bag, and barely adds any weight. I found it really helpful for running errands, when short ups are often required. I’d normally stash a ring sling in my bag for these occasions, but it’s actually more useful to have my toddler on my back – so the DidyGo is a great alternative. It’s so easy to put on, I found it just as fast as using a ring sling. And even better than a ring sling: my toddler couldn’t pop his seat in the onbuhimo.

 

 

So that’s the carrier: how about the wrap fabric? I’d seen photos of Zephyr and thought it looked lovely, but my word, they didn’t do it justice! This is an absolutely stunning design. I love how the segmented star design adds the impression of depth, and the way in which the stars interlock is fascinating to look at. The colours are just amazing – they’re not a traditional, primary set of rainbow colours, but neither are they pastel. Rather, they’re just ever so slightly soft or muted, with a hint of vintage colouring. I absolutely adore it.

 

 

I have been pleasantly surprised by Didymos’ onbuhimo. Although I wouldn’t currently choose it for a long hike, it’s wonderful for quick ups around the house and running errands. It’s incredibly compact and convenient, and wonderfully fast to put on. If you’re curious, I absolutely recommend giving it a go – maybe you’ll be surprised, too!

 

I’ll wrap up with a few tips for those new to onbuhimos (like me!):

  • When people say onbuhimos are designed to be worn high, they’re not kidding. Aim for your child’s shoulders to be level with your own. If you’re used to SSCs or low back carries like a Double Hammock, this will feel ridiculously high. Go with it anyway: it’ll be more comfortable that way.
  • When you put your child on your back, boost them up high and then remove their weight from the straps before tightening. This will allow you to get the straps very snug (as they need to be). I found leaning over and supporting my child’s bottom with my hand to be the easiest way to do this.
  • Join a good Facebook group and read up on tips and techniques (I highly recommend this group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/onbulove/). Learn how an onbuhimo should look when it’s positioned and tightened correctly – then, next time you use yours, look in the mirror to see if you need to change anything.

 

You can find the range of Didymos onbuhimos available to purchase here: https://www.didymos.com/en/Babywearing/Didy-Onbuhimo/

 

Marisso Caver Sky Blue

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Marisso / Caver

Fibre:
59% Egyptian cotton, 41% combed cotton

Measurements:
478cm long , 65.5cm wide, 322gsm

Key words:
Soft, supportive, workhorse

 

 

I’m thinking of a spring day. The air still isn’t all that warm, but the sun is warm enough that you can lie on the grass outside. You put your head down on the grass, and as you breathe in its fresh scent, you look straight up at the sky. It’s not the brilliant blue of summer – no, it’s that light, slightly hazy springtime blue. Fluffy, insubstantial clouds are gently drifting around, and contrails are fuzzing out to soft edges. Are you with me? Can you see it too?

 

 

 

Because that’s what this wrap looks like. That spring-fresh blue, with soft white mixed in. Sky Blue isn’t just a name for this wrap – it’s an entirely appropriate description. The soothing colourway is well paired with the design – gently curving lines make up a large design reminiscent of leaves or feathers. The design feels deliberately nebulous, leaving you space to interpret the lines for yourself (much like spotting shapes in clouds).

 

 

With its soft aesthetic, you might expect Caver Sky Blue’s wrapping qualities to follow suit. Certainly, it’s gorgeously soft – so soft, in fact, that it has an almost silky quality to it. However, that’s where the similarity ends. Because Sky Blue is a wonderfully unexpected workhorse.

 

 

 

Heavy in hand, with lovely drape, Caver Sky Blue has a moderately dense weave. It doesn’t feel like it will acquire pulls easily – it’s sturdy, robust. This does mean it’s not the most breathable wrap (I doubt I’d use it on hot days), but the trade off for this is a brilliant level of support. My toddler was so comfortable in Sky Blue. Front, back, single layer, multi-layer – every variation I tried, my toddler’s weight was well handled and my shoulders were happy.

 

 

Sky Blue has a nice little bit of stretch which made it very comfortable to wear. If I wasn’t careful when tightening my preschooler it could sometimes slip over from stretch into sag, but not many wrappers will be challenging Sky Blue with a 4 year old! Despite the silky softness of the cotton, the pattern provided a good bit of grip – overall, I found this to be very nicely balanced on the midpoint of glide/grip.

 

 

Caver Sky Blue is a really lovely wrap. If you’re looking for a bigger baby/toddler toting workhorse which still pulls off a gentle aesthetic, this could just be the all-rounder you’re looking for.