Can You Hike In it? Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid Kristen

You know your favorite cotton t-shirt, all soft and comfy? The one with just enough stretch, but still keeps it’s shape. That’s what a Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid is like. I have talked about how I became a Brand Ambassador before, but realized I have never actually reviewed a Stretch-Hybrid. I take them hiking all the time and somehow never actually wrote a post! Until now.

Manufacturer: Wrapsody Baby
Colorway: Kristen
Color: Purple, blue, light blue, green, light green and white
Pattern: block horizontal sections, dandelions 
Size: 8 (6 yrds)
Materials: 100% cotton
Weave: Plain, jersey 

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My friends son, pic posted with permission. Shows how the the different colors help you learn the parts of the wrap.

This colorway is meant for teaching. The center of the wrap is block of purple, so you have a better visual of the center of the wrap (where to place baby). There are two different color tails—blue and green—so you can see which one you are working with and not get confuse as you wrap them around you. And the dandelions make it easy to distinguish the rails from one another. The wrap is named after Kristen DeRocha, the owner of HotSlings and one of the pioneers for modern babywearing in America.

Before I delve into the review, I want to say more about these wraps in general. First of all, these are hybrids, not a standard stretchy wrap. This means they are suitable for front, hip and back carries as well as single layer carries. True stretchy wraps are only suitable for three-layer front and hip carries. Stretch-Hybrids stretch in one direction, as oppose to stretchy wraps that stretch both directions (hence why you need multiple layers to give enough support).  They are tested up to 35 lbs so they can go well into toddlerhood and beyond.

Also, other than colorway, most Stretch-Hybrids are the same. Same stretchiness, same support, and same look. Once you decide you like the way it wraps, there is no need to worry the next one will feel different. This also makes it very easy to fall down the rabbit hole and buy every one you can get yours hands on, fortunately or unfortunately.

I have taken hybrids on several hikes before. They are my go-to wraps when I just grab one off the shelf and go. This wrap actually went on two very awesome hikes. The first was a the Walk With Wrapsody hike I co-hosted with fellow brand ambassador Myste (check out her blog).

13490848_1548062708553310_94824937897031869_oLocation: Hyland Forest Park
Distance:  1.34 miles
Trail Type:  Dirt and tanbark 
Weather: Sunny and warm 
Trail Conditions: Clear trail,  a few mud patches, and slightly busy

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This lovely nature park is nestle in the south of Beaverton. It features a few miles of easy trails that most walking toddlers can easily handle. There is a nature play area in the middle that I have not yet explored yet, too.

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We started off letting the big kids hike ahead of us, so I used Kristen to to wrap my belly (Full Body Support Belly Wrap). I love hybrids for belly wrapping, just enough give to get it tight but not so much that it sags over time.

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Then towards the end of the hike, Myste’s daughter decided she wanted an uppy so I handed Myste Kristen. She did a basic Ruck over the Front Wrap Cross Carry she had her youngest daughter in on the front. Tandem wearing for the win! The wrap very easily supported her toddler and she had no issues getting her up.

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Next I took the wrap on a shorter hike of sorts. We went berry picking at West Union Gardens with my mom. We ended up walking over a mile through the berry fields.IMG_5750

I love this place, nice clear bushes and they only use organic spray when they really need it. Jack started off walking so he could eat all the berries he wanted. It was fun to explain to him how to pick a good berry and watch his face when he got a sour one.

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Then he realized he could eat berries faster if he got an uppy. I did a Wiggleproof Back Carry and added a Chest Belt.

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It took a bit to get it tight enough with a wiggly toddler begging for more berries though.

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I am pretty sure everyone else in the field thought I didn’t know what I was doing, but I want to see them wrap 8 months pregnant with a rambunctious toddler!

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Jack was happy on my back eating berries (he kept sticking his hand over my shoulder when he wanted another). He stayed up for 30 minutes and I was very comfortable. No pressure on my bump at all.

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And just the other day I put Jack up in a Ruck Tied Tibetan while I was cleaning around the house and then walked him over the park after. Very comfortable the whole time.

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The key feature of the wrap is texture—that soft and stretchy jersey feel. It molds very easy to any body shape and baby size. It glides easily while wrapping without any big bulky knots. However due to the slight stretch, it can take a bit more time to get all the slack out. When I hear people complain hybrids are diggy, the first thing I look for is the hidden slack. You need to make sure your carry is tight and there are no pressure points. Once tightened properly though, oh man they are a supportive dream. Another draw back in the length. In order for the wrap to be accessible to wearers of all sizes and skill levels, they come in one standard long length (about a size 8 in woven wraps).

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This is great for when you are learning and doing multiple layer carries like a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry. Or if you are plus size, no need to struggle with a wrap that is too small. But if you are short like me, you end up with A LOT of extra tail. This isn’t totally a bad thing though, I get to do some fun finishes.

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Can you hike in a Wrapsody Baby Stretch-Hybrid? Yes! This wrap is light-weight enough to work in all weather scenarios. It fits over winter layers easily and cool enough for summer heat. It’s supportive enough for most trails types, especially with reinforcing passes on harder trails. Suitable for newborn to preschool as well. And if Kristen is not your cup of tea, try one of the many other colorways. My husband loves Nammy, while I am partial to Brishen.

 

 

Can You Hike In It: Tiny Tiger Everlasting Gobstopper 

You know that feeling when you finally get your hands on something you pined away for? That glorious, satisfying feeling when you touch it and everything you imagined? This was my feeling when I opened the box and pulled out this wrap. Tiny Tiger Everlasting Gobstopper came out when I started really getting into babywearing and I wanted it the minute I saw it. Sadly, at the time I couldn’t afford it and then it sold out when I could. I thought it would always just be a dream. So, you can imagine my excitement when I got the chance to have it visit!

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Manufacturer: Tiny Tiger Baby

Colorway: Everlasting Gobstopper
Color: Purple, blue, green, yellow, and red
Pattern: Small stripes
Size: 6
Materials: 100% cotton
Weave: Plain 
Release date: February 2015

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This wrap showed up back in February when I was suffering from very bad first trimeter hyperemesis, so it took it me while to get enough use out of it to review. We first took it on a stroll through our cute little downtown. Jack loved having an uppy in the bookstore to grab everything possible off the shelves.

IMG_2113I did a basic Ruck. It was easy to make a seat with a wiggly toddler. And held nicely despite his bouncing around to grab books.

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I finally–two months later–got to take it out on a trail!  We went to a great local park, Rood Bridge Park. It has wide, paved trails great for strollers or curious toddlers.  Plus some dirt trail with a tiny bit of incline in the back.

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There is a lots of shade, plus several water features like creeks and ponds. Jack loves the big open fields and the playground. I am pretty sure he is well behaved on the trail so he gets plenty of time to play after. IMG_2999

Location: Rood Bridge Park
Distance:  1.21 miles
Trail Type:  Paved concrete, gravel, and dirt 
Weather: Sunny and warm 
Trail Conditions: Clear trail, slightly busyIMG_3038

Jack was getting impatient to get to the back part of the park where the frog pond is, so I gave him an uppy to get him there faster. I did a quick (and pretty sloppy now that I see the pictures), Ruck again. IMG_2997

The grip on this handwoven is so good that the carry held well even while not properly tightened.

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After some major bridge exploring, Jack said he wanted to go to the playground. So up he went in a Secure High Back Carry. Once again, it was a bit sloppy because he was impatient, but he still very secure due to the grippiness.

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I did a ring finish instead of a knot, mainly because I was starting to get a baby bump and didn’t want the added pressure on my waist. It threaded through the ring nicely and held great.

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The key feature of the wrap is the handwoven texture. It is very grippy, no issues locking down a seat on a wiggly toddler. That being said, I prefer a little more glide on my wraps, so it was tad (a very tiny tad) too grippy for me. But overall, I was not disappointed in this wrap. The stripe pattern is very fun and looks amazing in person. It’s got that classic bandage-feel wrapping quality.  I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to play it for a few months.

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Can you hike in a Tiny Tiger Everlasting Gobstopper? Yes, this is a wrap that will not fail you (even with a wiggling toddler) on the trail. The grippiness may be a bit intimidating for new wrappers, but once you get the hang of wrapping, it should not be an issue. The all cotton blend should not get too hot or cold, so I would recommend this for all seasons.  I wish I had a squish to try a Semi-Front Wrap Cross Carry when it was here, I bet it would have held up like a champ on a good hike.

Can You Hike In It: Firespiral Anemone Twilight Tourbillion?

One night, I had a grumpy toddler who refused to go to sleep without nursing and I was too exhausted to fight him. I decided the only way to keep both of our sanity was to tear open the fluff mail that arrived earlier and take him on a walk in the cool night air. I took out the Firespiral Anemone Twilight Tourbillion and got Jack up quickly without really checking it out first.

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I started in a Back Torso Carry with a Ring Finish, so comfy and weightless when tightened properly! It threaded through the ring easily and held in place without much adjusting.IMG_3237

Then Jack complained he couldn’t tuck his arms in so I switched to Double Hammock Ruckless Ring Finish. He was out in a minute once I switched. Gotta love sleepy dust!

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As I walked back to my house, I finally had time to check out the wrap. The weave is very intricate, mesmerizing really. It’s like staring into a distant galaxy. Based on looks, I expected it to be a lot heavier. But it’s a nice medium feeling, not to thick at all.

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Manufacturer: Firespiral 
Colorway: Anemone Twilight Tourbillion
Color: Pink, purple, blue, and navy
Pattern: Circles and spirals 
Size: 6
Materials: 100% cotton
Weave: Jacquard
Release date: December 2015

I normally suck at wrap transfers, usually waking up Jack as soon as I untie. I don’t know if it was luck or how soft the weave is, but Jack stayed out for once!

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A few days later, we took it for a hike at one of our favorite parks. Tualatin Hills Nature Park is very popular, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it empty really. It’s close to Nike headquarters so it’s popular with runners. And the trails are wide and well maintained, making it great for families of all ages.

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Location: Tualatin Hills Nature Park
Distance:  1.55 miles
Trail Type:  Paved concrete
Weather: Sunny and warm 
Trail Conditions: Clear trail, slightly busyIMG_3277

We usually start at the parking lot and walk to the MAX train towards the rear of the park (Jack loves trains) and back. This park is mostly shaded with tree cover, so it’s great in all weather. My mom joined us since it was such a lovely morning. Jack was so happy to hike with grandma that it took awhile to convince him he wanted an uppy. He wanted to run over all the bridges and check every single body of water for frogs. This route is great for toddlers, so much to see and learn.IMG_3293

Just as I was about to give up hope, he asked to go on my back so he could pretend to be airplane. I did a Ruck Tied Tibetan. I was surprised how easy it was to make a nice seat with a bouncing toddler. IMG_3288Just enough grip to support his weight, but not so much I couldn’t easily thread the Tibetan Finish.  IMG_3290Everything held even when he demanded I was a jet plane and had to “run”. I didn’t actually run, more bounced quickly side to side as we walked.

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The next day there was more sleep fighting so I stuck Jack in a Coolest Hip Cross Carry and rocked him to sleep. Despite being sort of long for this carry, the wrap did great. The slip knot was easy to thread and held great with 24 pounds of toddler in it.IMG_3402

I found it very easy to spread knee-to-knee, even on a giant toddler. This carry really shows off the different colors in the pattern.

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Then we took the wrap on one last adventure before sending it on it’s way. We went to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, a wonderful Oregon tradition. Jack quickly tired his little legs out running up and down the rows and rows of tulips. I put him in a Ruck to walk him over to the food stands to get some lunch. IMG_3446

On the way I noticed several rows of tulips that matched the colors of the wrap. I had to stop for some photos, how could I not?

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The key features of this wrap are the pattern and the medium thickness. Like I said, the pattern and colors are truly stunning. There is no bad side to this wrap, the reserve pink is just as intricate as the navy side. And depending on the carry and where you tie, you can highlight different patterns, making it feel like an ever-changing carrier. And the medium weave gives it just enough grip to hold a bouncing child, but not so much that it’s hard to work with it.

Can you hike in a FireSpiral Anemone Twilight Tourbillion? Yes, this wrap great for wrappees of all ages and wrappers of any skill level. I think it would hold up just as great on a harder trail hikes as it did in a stroll around the neighborhood. That being said, the dark colors and all cotton composition can get pretty warm easily. It was only 80 degrees on our park adventure, and Jack and I both got toasty standing in the sun with him on my back. So I would not recommend this warm weather hiking.

 

 

 

Can You Hike In It? Kokadi Arielle Eclipse 

I’ve always been a big fan of Kokadi designs. Unique patterns, colors, and themes. My DISO was their Kurma and I cried when it arrived in the mail. That being said, they tend to be too soft for my taste. I like more grip to a wrap. I’ve also heard they are really prone to snags. So I tend to shy away from them.

However, the Arielle Eclipse is a totally different story. As soon as I pulled it out of the package, I was impressed with the thickness. Soft, but thicker than the average Kokadi. And the pattern did not disappoint. A modern scale/shell pattern. I was excited to test it out, but when it arrived I was still dealing with Hyperemesis, so it sadly sat around for awhile before I was well enough to try it.

Manufacturer: Kokadi
Colorway: Arielle Eclipse
Color: black and nude
Pattern: Shells
Size: Size 6
Materials: 68% Cotton, 32% Bamboo/Bamboo-viscose
Weave: Jacquard
Release date: November 2015

 


First I used it for a wrap nap at a Babywearing International of Portland playdate. Jack fell asleep as soon as I got the Ruck with a Ring Finish tied. Clearly someone loaded it with sleepy dust! It threaded nicely through the ring, and didn’t slid around.

 It also went to the park across the street from us one day. I can honestly say it was the easiest to tie and most supportive Robin’s Hip Carry ever. I didn’t even need to spread the shoulder out to make it more comfortable.

 Then one day I felt great and the weather was pretty nice, so we headed out for a family hike. We picked the Rock Creek Trail, easy but some interesting stuff to look at along the way.

Location: Rock Creek Trail
Distance:  4.5
Trail Type:  Paved, concrete, wood boardwalk
Weather: Overcast, light showers then sunshine
Trail Conditions: Some debris on trail from a recent storm, muddy, but overall well-kept. A bit crowded as it a popular trail.

 We started out trying to get Jack to ride his bike, but he thought the umbrella was more fun. The trails are so wide and even, it was easy for him to walk so distracted.

 There is a bird sanctuary in the middle, which Jack loved. We saw a hawk, stellar jay, and two woodpeckers.

 A quarter of the way in Jack decided he wanted an uppy. I started with Jordan’s Back Carry, but Jack some how popped one of the passes down. It wasn’t until I took a photo did I notice.

 It wasn’t uncomfortable at all, no digging or straining my back. But it bugged me to not have it right.

So I switched to a Ruck Tied Tibetan. And took a picture while we continued walking to make sure the seat was right!

 

Very comfortable still and wonderful grip. The seat held well while I was bouncing Jack to sleep on the way back.

Since he was asleep, we decided to walk to the shopping center down the road for lunch. It stayed very comfortable the whole 30 minute walk. Plus I felt so pretty, the pattern and colors are perfect for an suburban/urban setting. It was nice to feel pretty after several weeks of feeling like crap.

After lunch and a little shopping, Michael wore Jack back to the car. We started in a Ruck Tied Tibetan (Michael ties up his tails regardless of a knotless finish), but the top rail was a bit loose and I could foresee Jack popping the seat quickly.

 So we switched to a Wiggleproof Carry Tied Tibetan instead. Jack couldn’t pop it, even when he started to bounce saying daddy was a horsey.  This is when I fell in love with the grip of this wrap.

I asked Michael how he liked the wrap, he said “Fine. I like the colors a lot.” I asked if it felt comfortable, was it digging anywhere? He said nope. If he didn’t like it, he would have simply said “I don’t like it”. Seriously, man of few words.

 The key feature of this wrap is the texture. It’s soft like your standard Kokadi, but thick enough to support a giant sleeping toddler comfortably. I really credit this to the bamboo. In general bamboo is amazing in almost any wrap, but it really makes a difference with Kokadi’s design.

So, can you hike in a Kokadi Arielle Eclipse? Yes. I would really recommend this wrap for almost any hike and almost any age of child. It’s soft enough for a snuggly newborn nap, but supportive enough for a longer hike to a waterfall with a toddler.

Can You Hike In It: Baby-Doo Rouge

I was so excited when this carrier arrived in Januray, but shortly  after hyperemsis hit me like the plague and I was not well enough to take it on a hike. It sadly sat on a shelf for a month. We did take it OMSI one day, but it was only a quick uppy to get him to the parking lot.
Carrier Info:

Manufacturer: Baby-Doo USA
Colorway: Rouge
Color: Red, white, and orange
Pattern: Stripes
Size: Medium, 4.4 meters, short size 5
Materials: 100% Cotton
Weave: Diamond
Release date: 2014

But one day I was well enough to take it a joint Babywearing International of Portland and Hike It Baby joint event. I helped fit people in carriers and then we go on a walk to see how they like them. We met at one of my favorite local parks, Noble Woods Park. It’s a lovely little park with both nice paved and unpaved trails. When we arrived, Jack wanted to play around with the other toddlers so I didn’t put him up right away. Then once everyone was ready to hike, I realized that someone needed to stay behind to watch the carriers. Everyone else went on the South Loop while we stayed at the picnic area.

Hike Details:

Location:  Noble Woods Park, South Loop Picnic Area
Distance: ~1 mile
Trail Type:  Paved trails, grass
Weather: 50*, cloudy
Trail Conditions: Muddy, wet but well maintained

Jack decided it was time for some milk so up he went. We strolled around the grassy area while he nursed. Rouge did very nicely in a Front Wrap Cross Carry with a toddler. I especially liked how the little bit of grip. Very helpful to keep the seat while when Jack was leaning to the side trying to get my boob out while I was tying.

I cannot find the picture when I put Jack in a RRRR for some reason (Google likes to eat my photos), but once everyone returned from the first loop I switched him to my back (for a few minutes, then he wanted down to play with his friends again).  It was pretty easy to make a good seat, but due to the slight gripiness, it was a little hard to tighten the reinforcing pass at first. This might be a little intimidating for a novice wrapper.  But it held nicely, when Jack started bouncing up and down to be let down.

IMG_1754The key feature of the wrap is texture from the weave. It’s very soft, but has a nice subtle grip. The diamond weaver also gives it such rich colors. It would be a lovely addition to any wrap collection. And it’s a very budget friendly wrap, retailing for under $100.

Can you hike in a Baby-Doo Rouge? Yes, it’s a lovely light-weight but grippy wrap, perfect for hikes and walks in warm to cool weather. I wish I could have taken it out on steeper trail, really test how the grip holds up. Just didn’t work out right now.