Monthly Archives: November 2015

Nona Imagine Blue Ice review


Manufacturer – Nona

Design – Imagine

Colour – Blue Ice

Blend – 100% cotton

Weight – 246gsm

Width of wrap – 68cm

Size tested – 6

Retail price of tested design and size – £59

Website – Nona woven wraps


We recently had a Nona Imagine Blue Ice wrap visit us for testing. Nona are a new Dutch woven wrap brand started by two mothers who share a love of babywearing. They aim to provide stylish and dependable wrap designs for every budget. They have several designs currently released or coming soon and I think they all meet their aim for stylish designs, in fact they remind me of a much more expensive wrap company, with the simplicity and beauty of their designs. At £59 for a size 6, they are also more in budget for most people than many of the other companies available. 


The first thing I noticed about this wrap was quite how long the tapers are! I measured them at 70cm, and having compared to several other brands, that is over twice the length of most in my collection, and three times the length of some. Taper length is a matter of personal choice, but when using the wrap I actually didn’t notice much of a difference from other wraps, although with a size 6 I didn’t do any carries that involved tying into the tapers. As far as wrapping with Imagine goes, I found it a really sturdy wrap and was plenty strong enough for 21 month old Reu, and would easily support a much larger child. It’s not the softest wrap I’ve ever used, although I would expect it to soften further with more use, but it wasn’t stiff, so it was nice and easy to wrap with and held both front and back carries very securely. The texture to the wrap helps it hold knotless finishes well with no slipping.



Overall, I think this a beautifully designed and good all round wrap. You could use it with any age child and it will certainly be supportive enough for several years worth of carrying as your child grows. It would be nice if it were a bit softer but with a little bit more use it could be lovely, as this wrap was nearly new when it came to stay so it’s hard to judge. I think these are some of the most classically beautiful of the more affordable wraps that I have seen, they have the appearance of a high end wrap without the price tag and I look forward to seeing what other designs Nona comes up with and how their company develops.



Diva Milano – Diva Essenza Lago review


Manufacturer – Diva Milano

Design – Diva Essenza

Colour – Lago

Blend – 100% cotton

Weight – 250gsm

Width of wrap – 67cm

Size tested – 6

Retail price of tested design and size – 99 Euros

Provided to me by – Diva Milano

Website – Diva Milano




A little while ago we had a Diva Essenza Lago wrap here for testing (which was then given away on the Sling Sally Facebook page). Diva Essenza is a sub brand of Diva Milano, with Essenza being of a lower price range than the standard Milano range. As you can probably tell from the company name, Diva Milano is an Italian company, and I feel that comes through in their designs as they tend to have a very classic and sophisticated look. Lago is one of the 34 different colour and blend options available in this design, with linen and bamboo blends available as well as 100% cotton. The design element has a textured raised nature to it, so and the opposite is true on the reverse to there is an obvious difference in feeling between each side. The wrap arrived in a nice box with pictures of different carries and a little viewing window so you could easily see the colour of the wrap within.



Over the time that we had Lago here we tested it with various front and back carries, and for various different occasions. It was the natural wrap of choice for a fancy event we attended to celebrate my aunt and uncle’s 60th wedding anniversary, as it’s such a beautiful and subtle design, and the colour matched my dress perfectly. It was also the obvious choice when teaching a French/Italian friend to wrap! Straight from new it was easy to use and within a short time had become lovely and soft and floppy, while still being nice and supportive for toddler Reu (about 19 months at the time of testing). It’s certainly soft enough for a newborn and is a good middle ground weight to be thin enough to easily wrap round a small baby, while still having the thickness and strength to comfortably carry an active toddler. The grippiness provided by the textured ‘back’ side and design held knotless finishes well, although did provide a little more friction than I’d have liked when tying knots. It didn’t however impede me when I was carrying out a double hammock with saltwater finish, which involves several spread and bunched passes close together, so the grippiness is not too much.



Overall, I really liked Lago. The design would go with any outfit or occasion, and with the amount of colours on offer there’s bound to be at least one you like. If you can only have one wrap but want something that would work just as well on the school run as at a wedding, and that can take you from newborn to toddler, then this could be the wrap for you.




Daiesu Sakura Spring review


Manufacturer – Daiesu

Design – Sakura

Colour – Spring

Blend – 75% cotton, 25% linen

Weight – 270gsm

Width of wrap – 66cm

Size tested – 6

Retail price of tested design and size – 385 MYR (approx £58 at time of review)

Provided to me by – Daiesu

Website – Daiesu


Daiesu Sakura Spring (there is a Sakura colourway for each season), stayed with us for a couple of weeks testing recently. Spring is a really lovely bright pink and orange design, and certainly brought some cheer to our days. The tester wrap had been travelling for a while before visiting us and arrived (in a lovely sturdy Daiesu tote bag), feeling really soft and floppy. I didn’t realise it was a linen blend until I researched the wrap, as it was so soft and easy to wrap with. I can’t say if it required much breaking in as I’m not sure how many people it visited before me, but I can say that with some use it becomes beautifully soft, as was the other Daiesu wrap I’ve tried – Jigsaw Mustard which you can read the review for here.



During our time with Sakura spring we tried it out in a few different front and back carries. As mentioned earlier, it was really nice to wrap with as there was no stiffness to it at all. It wrapped around 21 month old Reu and I really well and supported his weight easily, but would be equally nice to wrap a smaller baby with thanks to the softness and the way in which it moulds around so well. In one of the carries (a ruck), the shoulders felt a little diggy but that was rectified by sandwiching the shoulder straps, which is not an unusual requirement for me when carrying a toddler. At 66cm wide, Sakura is roughly in the middle of common wrap widths and I found it a good width to wrap with, as there was enough to form a good seat without having a lot of fabric bunched up.




Overall, we enjoyed our time testing Sakura Spring. It’s a really nice design and the colours are very vibrant and cheerful. The wrap was lovely and soft and really easy to use, and Daiesu are also very good value for money wraps with a variety of eye catching designs. Since reviewing Jigsaw a couple of months ago, I’ve bought myself one of their Sandbox wraps which had been dyed for a charity auction. If you fancy your own custom dyed Sandbox wrap, All the Small Things are working with Daiesu and have a supply ready and waiting to be dyed in whatever way you can imagine! Prices start from £55, click here to visit their website and here for my review of one of their other dyed wraps.






Cookiie ring sling review


Manufacturer – Cookiie Slings

Design – Premium cotton Cookiie ring sling

Colour – Sea Farer polka – sea green (reversible)

Blend – 100% cotton

Size tested – Ring sling

Retail price of tested design and size – 1,850 INR (approx £18.40 at time of review)

Provided to me by – Cookiie Slings

Website – Cookiie Slings


Initial thoughts on design, colour and feel

The Cookiie ring sling is made from a double layer of cotton material, rather than the more frequently used woven wrap fabric. The material is therefore thinner than other ring slings I have used so I wasn’t sure how supportive it would be when carrying my 21 month old toddler. I like the design and it’s nice that the fabric used means that each side of the reversible design is truly different. One side is a plain sea green, while the other is white with pale green polka dots. The stitching is nice and neat and the rings used are nice and sturdy (some other affordable ring slings can have thinner, less sturdy looking rings).



Carrying thoughts

My concerns over supportiveness were unfounded and the Cookiie ring sling took Reu’s weight well. I found it slightly less supportive over my shoulder than i do with other ring slings, but I managed to rectify this somewhat by positioning more carefully to ensure the weight was spread as comfortably as possible. When preparing the sling for use the fabric moved through the rings quite easily, however once Reu’s weight was added it became harder to pull through to tighten. I found that as far as tightening went it was similar to a muslin or 100% linen ring sling, in that you had to tighten it more incrementally along the width of the sling than you would with a typical woven wrap fabric. Once I had tightened it, it held very well with no slipping or sagging at all. The sling being made of a thinner fabric did make it nice and cool and I can see this being really nice and breathable in hotter weather (I reviewed in UK October and November so no hot weather use here!). We used it for several walks and shopping trips and after the initial tweaks to fitting technique found it just as supportive and comfortable as other ring slings.



Overall thoughts

Cookiie ring slings are a very affordable option (do allow for shipping and customs costs), and are significantly cheaper than many other ring slings available. They do require a bit of extra attention when fitting and tightening, but as with other non woven wrap fabric slings (such as muslin ring slings), this can be adapted to for the benefits of affordability, coolness and aesthetics. It could also make a really nice holiday sling due to the coolness, and the thinner fabric means it packs down smaller than other ring slings. Overall I was happily surprised that the Cookiie ring sling was as supportive as it was, and it certainly has some benefits over some other ring slings. Cookiie slings have lots of other slings including a nice looking soft structured carrier, and accessories on their website so if you do decide to order it may be worth ordering with friends to share the shipping and customs costs.







Shire Slings Starling Murmuration review


Manufacturer – Shire Slings

Design – Starling Murmuration

Colour – Frosty Mist

Blend – 100% cotton

Weight – 228gsm

Width of wrap – 68cm

Size tested – 6

Retail price of tested design and size – £128

Provided to me by – Shire Slings

Website – Shire Slings



Initial thoughts on design, colour and feel

When Starling murmuration arrived the first thing that really impressed me was the improvements Shire Slings have made in their finishing process. I had previously bought brand new one of their original Love Geek wraps, and at the time they got a bit of a reputation for being quite stiff and taking quite a lot of breaking in. The Love Geek I bought was certainly stiff, although I sent it off for conversion immediately so can’t really comment on how long they take to break in as wraps, although my wrap conversion mei tai has certainly softened considerably in the last year or so. Since then Shire Slings have been working on the finishing processes that wraps go through after weaving, to make their wraps much softer straight away, without losing anything from their hard wearing and pull resistant weave. And I would certainly say they’ve managed it with Starling Murmuration. The wrap arrived already soft and floppy, wrapped in a coordinating coloured muslin, and paper parcel. Even before its first use it felt really nice and had a beautiful sheen to the ‘right’ side of the wrap, while the ‘back’ is more textured for grip. We were on holiday in Yorkshire (for The Northern Sling Exhibition), during our testing time and were lucky enough to see the starlings flying together in a stunning coordinated display, and this wrap design is equally beautiful with lots of detail on the birds. I also admired Shire Slings new sparkly labels!



Carrying thoughts

We used starling murmuration over several weeks before passing it on to SlingDad Dom for him to test out prior to giveaway on the Sling Sally Facebook page. It further softened during the time we had it, even though it was really nice to use straight from new and would be lovely and soft for a newborn as well as being super strong for older children. We (21 month old Reu and I), used it for a variety of front and back carries during this time, and took it for walks, around Ikea, for lunch with friends, at the sling library and for sleepy cuddles at home. I’ve now tried a few Shire Slings wraps and I really like their quite dense weave structure, and it’s a definite bonus that it’s not prone to pulls – in fact I think you’d have to actively try to pull it!



I found  starlings really supportive and sturdy for toddler Reu, but without being at all diggy, which I find can sometimes happen on the shoulders when carrying a larger child. It was easy to wrap with and formed itself nicely around us in both single and multi layered carries, and the second layers had a nice level of grippiness – not too much when making a second pass, but enough to hold the carry without slipping. We tried a double hammock with a centrally flipped chest pass and saltwater finish, to try and show both sides of the wrap and found it really comfortable as well as rather attractive. My favourite back carry is a ruck finished knotless tibetan so we tested starlings with this knotless finish on many occasions and it always held well, with no slipping at all, as well as being nice a supportive and comfortable.



As Reu is getting bigger and heavier I find some wraps are starting to pull a little when I front carry him, but I didn’t have this problem with starlings, thanks I think to the sturdy weave structure holding and spreading the weight well for me. He also has a tendency to bounce up and down when on my front if he’s not sleepy and in a wrap with more give this finds every tiny bit of slack in my carry and pulls it to the front, leaving a not ideally tight front pocket which can then pull on me. However with starlings the sturdiness of the weave meant that despite his best bouncing efforts during a rather stressful shopping trip (does anyone enjoy shopping in the lots of little breakables section of Ikea with a toddler?!), the wrap held up well, and none of the stress came from the wrap!



Overall thoughts

Overall, starling murmuration has been a lovely wrap to use. The improvements that Shire Slings have made in their finishing processes are very noticeable, and you could now buy one of their slings and enjoy using it straight from new. The design is really beautiful and works equally well using either side out. The shimmery softness to the ‘right’ side is really lovely, and I’m sure it will continue to soften even further and become super soft, as well loved earlier edition Shire’s that I’ve touched have become. It’s a good all round wrap for babies and children of any age and for wearers of either gender. The resistance to pulls is a great benefit as I have some wraps which are really beautiful but their penchant for pulling puts me off using them. With this wrap you can have a great hard working wrap, that you can take anywhere without fear of rings, nails or sharp objects! And surely that’s the point of babywearing, to enjoy adventures with your little ones close to you.





Little Fellows Boo review


Manufacturer – Little Fellows

Design – Boo – wavy advancing twill weave

Blend – 50% mercerised cotton, 30% linen, 20% cotton

Width of wrap – 61cm

Size tested – 4m (long 4, short 5)

Retail price of tested design and size – £400

Provided to me by – Little Fellows

Website – Little Fellows


Firstly, I should start this review by saying this is one of my favourite wraps, of those that I have had the pleasure of trying, and if I had £400 spare I’d have snapped this up (I’m not even sure if it’s for sale after it’s testing tour!). Boo stayed with us for a couple of weeks after the Northern Sling Exhibition before moving on to Slingdad Dom for more testing. The overall appearance of the wrap reminds me of the night sky, dark, with twinkles of different colours coming through which catch the light brilliantly, and Little Fellows’ description – ‘A wrap to remind us that even when times are dark, there is always colour and light waiting for us’ – really speaks to me and reminds me of my ongoing journey with antenatal and postnatal depression. Little Fellows unique advancing twill weave gives it the stunning wavy design which travels the length of the wrap, adding another aspect of interest and beauty to the design.


As far as wrapping qualities go, I couldn’t fault it. It is strong and supportive while also being cushiony on the shoulders, and easily carried 21 month old Reu’s weight in both front and back carries. It moulded so naturally around us when we were wrapping that it was like a second skin, and held the carries brilliantly. There’s enough stretch to wrap easily but not so much as to introduce too much give and lead to any sagging. This piece of Boo was just long enough for us to manage a ruck with knotless tibetan finnish, and the texture of the wrap held the knotless finish perfectly, grippy enough, without being difficult to pass through. I even managed a kangaroo carry (previously a nemesis carry as I have struggled with it), with Boo and again, it was a joy to use and held really well, as well as looking stunning. Little Fellows wraps come blunt ended which I’m not very used to (this is only the second blunt ended wrap I’ve used), but I didn’t feel this was in any way a problem and because the wrap is so lovely and floppy, tying off was no problem, even with the full wrap width to pull through. At 61cm it could be considered a rather narrow wrap, but I didn’t notice this when using it, and at no point felt like I was struggling for width. Reu much prefers being hands in when carried and there was plenty of width for the wrap to come up to the nape of his toddler neck.



You can probably tell I’m just a tad in love with this wrap (hint hint to hubby and family for Christmas 😉 ), but it was just such a joy to use. Really beautiful and subtle, and a true piece of woven art. It was fully supportive for my toddler, and would mould beautifully around even the smallest of babies. Massive thank you to Lisa at Little Fellows for letting us play with this beauty, and if you’re in the market for a handwoven wrap, do give Little Fellows a visit as they have recently brought out a more affordable range in addition to their higher end range.



Joy and Joe Cosmic Rainbow review


Manufacturer – Joy and Joe

Design – Shiver me Paisleys

Colour – Cosmic Rainbow

Blend – 100% cotton

Weight – 255 gsm

Width of wrap – 60cm

Size tested – 6

Retail price of tested design and size – £149

Provided to me by – Joy and Joe

Website – Joy and Joe baby


Initial thoughts on design, colour and feel

Joy and Joy have several colourways of the popular shiver me paisleys design (a fun and decorative skulls design). with both cosmic rainbow and its predecessor midnight rainbow having graduated rainbow colours. Cosmic rainbow has a light cream weft while Midnight has a darker weft, giving these similar wraps different looks that would appeal to different people. I really like the skulls design (do check out all the other beautiful colours available in this design!), and while it feels a little bit edgy, thanks to the decorative elements it’s not a hard or confrontational feeling design at all. The light weft colour gives the rainbow a lovely gentle and almost pastel feel, and you can use it ‘wrong’ side out for an even more subtle effect. The weave of cosmic rainbow has a really sturdy and slightly textured feel, which I like in a wrap, so that when you put it somewhere it stays there, but without being stiff. It has also softened in the time I’ve been using this wrap for review. The graduated design also makes this an ideal teaching and learning wrap as you can easily see which rail is which when you are demonstrating, learning and tightening.


Carrying thoughts

Reu and I (21 months at the time of this review), have been using Cosmic Rainbow for several months now and have used it with a variety of front and back carries, as well as using it for demonstrations when teaching friends and at sling library sessions. It started off easy to use while still being sturdy, and has softened further with use without losing any of the supportive nature. It moulds itself nicely around Reu and I, but I don’t find that it sags even when I’m rushing, as it doesn’t have much stretch to worry about tightening away. The weave design adds a nice level of texture which helps the wrap to grip in place, and when doing knotless finishes such as a ruck finished knotless tibetan this texture helps it to grip really well, so that there is no slipping in the finish. With front carries I have also found Cosmic Rainbow to be lovely to wrap with and really supportive and comfortable, as well as beautiful! It’s very much supportive enough for toddler Reu, and would also be supportive enough for bigger children, as well as good to use for even the smallest of babies.



Overall thoughts

I’ve enjoyed using Cosmic Rainbow, and as with some of the other Joy and Joe wraps I’ve used (Luceo non Uro and King of the Birds), I really like the sturdiness of this wrap. I always find when I use these wraps that I get a lovely tight and secure carry, and when back carrying in a ruck I’m always pleased with how comfortably high I manage to get Reu. Wraps with more stretch and floppiness to them have other benefits, but I always find myself pleased with my wrap job when using a sturdier wrap, such as Cosmic Rainbow. This could also be of benefit to someone new to wrapping, who may not yet be proficient in tightening strand by strand. It’s also proved to be a great teaching and learning wrap thanks to the variable stripe colours, making it easier to distinguish rails and to be able to follow a stripe around the carry to tighten and remove slack, or to be able to notice if you’ve accidentally gone wrong somewhere. Overall, Cosmic Rainbow is a great all round wrap.






PodMama Boo the Onbuhimo review


Manufacturer – Podmama

Design – Onbuhimo

Colour – Boo – ghosts fabric

Size tested – Toddler size

Retail price of tested design and size – £65

Provided to me by – Podmama

Website – PodMama


I have recently had a onbu (onbuhimo) here for testing from Podmama. Having not used an onbu before I looked up some tutorial videos and learnt that they are a traditional Japanese carrier. There is a main panel and two long shoulder straps, but instead of a waistband there is a loop (or rings on some versions), at each of the bottom corners of the main panel. The child’s legs go out the side of the panel so the bottom section of the panel curls under their bottom and up in front of them and between you and them, forming the seat. When used for front carries the straps can be straight or more usually crossed behind you, and for back carries they tend to be ruck style, and can be finished in whatever way you prefer (my preferred is tibetan). Onbu’s tend to be used with arms out so have shorter panels than other carriers (although as usual Reu insisted on arms in every time I tried to encourage them out!), so are great for busy toddlers who want frequent ups and downs, as well as younger babies with head control. Because there is no waistband, these carriers can be ideal for pregnant women or those who just do not find waist bands comfortable.


As with the pod I had tested from PodMama previously (see my review of Nobby the pod here!), I was very impressed with the attention to detail and workmanship on Boo the onbu (Onboo!). Boo was a halloween inspired design with grey cotton straps and  a spooky fun ghost design for the main panel. there was padding to the top and bottom of the panel, as well as some on the sides where the child’s legs are.


Having never used an Onbu before Boo I was very pleasantly surprised with how comfortable it was to use. For back carrying I found it easiest to stand Reu in front of me, get the onbu behind him with the straps ready threaded ruck style with enough slack to get on, and feed one of his legs out each side of the carrier (you could do this with them sitting in a younger child – Reu was 20 months at the time of testing). I them superman tossed him up onto my back as i would do when wrapping, fed my arms through the ruck straps, tightened everything up so he was nice and high and finished the carry (you could tie a double knot but I chose to finish knotless tibetan as I find this more comfortable on my shoulders). The straps and main panel on Boo were made of a very sturdy cotton, which was very supportive, and the straps were lovely and wide so you could spread them where appropriate to spread the weight to where suits you best. While some onbus have rings at the base of the panel, Boo had cotton loops. This were snug fitting, so while it look a little effort to pull through when tightening, the straps wouldn’t slip back through by themselves. They had enough grip that while tightening I didn’t feel the need to secure the straps as they really weren’t pulling through at all (you could however easily secure them between your knees if required).


Once on my back, Reu and I were very comfortable. His weight was very well supported and I found the wide straps and lack of waistband very comfortable. On one of our test trips we took Boo to the zoo (zooboo!), and Reu had a few long carries with naps throughout the day (showing how comfortable he was), in between charging around seeing all the animals. It was really quick and easy to get him up and down, and without the long tails you would have with a wrap. I even found that when Reu was walking, I could leave Boo on my back secured with a loose knot, which was comfortable (maybe even fashionable if you’re interested in fashion?), and therefore easy access for the next up.


We also tested Boo out in a front carry, with the straps crossed behind us, and again found it really comfortable and supportive. I started with Reu standing as I did for the  back carry (again, with a smaller child you could sit or lie them down), and picked him up onto my front before crossing the straps behind me and threading them through the loops. I also tried putting the carrier on first with the straps already threaded loosely, before putting Reu in, so I just needed to tighten up, which I found an easier method.



Overall we very much enjoyed our time with Boo, so much so that I’m currently planning a custom Onbu with the lovely PodMama. Do check out her website for details of her onbu’s, as well as pods and other carriers, and how you can design your own from her lovely variety of fabrics (or your own if you have a wrap or scraps you’re thinking of converting). Boo was really quick and easy to use and very comfortable for both Reu and I.