Monday, March 14, 2016

Soul slings Mei Tai review

Guess what, people! Soul Slings are making Mei Tais!  Like all their products, these are not onerous on the budget - a cotton Soul Tai will set you back around $75 AUD, and their most expensive linen won't break the bank at $122AUD. I really liked putting this through it's paces. The waist strap is quite deep (11cms) and UNpadded. I liked that it sat flat and sleek without bunching or sagging, but it's not horribly hot (WIN). The waist ties extend 1m either side of the body panel, so this is quite generously sized.

 The shoulder straps are hybrid padded-to-wrap straps, which means that
there's a cushiony bit in the middle thats 8cms wide and 36cms long. On either side of that cushion is 10cms of wrap that spread gradually across your back (in a front carry) and support baby's weight without digging. 
It's a very comfortable style that allows you to bunch or spread the tails as you prefer and accommodate pretty finishes like knotless or tibetan. (Total strap length is 2.1m and  I had quite long tails in a regular tie-off.)

Soul recommends this be used between 7-18 kgs, and in trials with my demo dolls I would agree that it's not ideal for little babies. You can roll the waist and apron it, but it's still quite a tall carrier. In saying that, the 36cms -wide-seat accommodated my 8kg demo doll very well, and was utterly comfortable in front and back carries with Audrey (at 16kgs), especially once I spread the wrap straps to give her a supported knee-to-knee seat. The body panel is 38 cms tall and features seat darts to help that bottom get perfectly centred every time.
Still curious? You can see it in action HERE :)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Soul Slings - Prism Joy handwoven wrap

Nearly a year ago, I got my hands on a glorious budget ring sling and I'm delighted that Soul Slings have branched out into woven wraps, mei tais, and even a very well-constructed buckle carrier. Chinmayie prides herself on sourcing materials ethically and locally, and their Bangalore-based company benefits local weavers, seamstresses and artists. So far I've been impressed by the quality and price point of every Soul carrier I've met, and their Prism Joy is no exception.

The size 6 Prism I used runs long after washing (4.85m, with shallow tapers) and is a manageable 72 cms wide. It had a few irregularities - which is completely expected for handwoven wraps - but nothing significant, and nothing that would caution me against the brand. Overall a very evenly beaten and  consistent weave.

After a wash I twisted this up around my stair bannisters overnight and you can see it's still a little crinkly!
The stripes make this a very beginner-friendly wrap - easy to keep untwisted and to remember to tighten strand-by-strand for a very secure wrap job with my 3.5yo. Obviously she was comfortable!

What's my verdict? At around $150 aud for a size 6 handwoven, you really can't go wrong. It took a little breaking in, but after being sat on and used every day for a week it's a very floppy and easily-tightened wrap. I haven't managed to snag a thread loose yet, and the mums who've borrowed it from my stash have all come back impressed. Certainly a brand to follow and to keep in mind for a baby shower gift!