The Wrap 8ssentials
Name: Dark Rainbow
Material: 100% Cotton
Price Range: $200-300
Style: Wrap Conversion Half Buckle (WCHB)
Age Range: Newborn-Early Toddler
Find-ability: There are many converters now making WCHB, and Girasol wraps are readily available for purchase new and used.
This is the very first Girasol wrap I have ever seen in person. I found it for sale, well loved, on the babywearing swap on Facebook. I loved the colors and it was reduced in price, so I figured I’d take a shot and try it. After not really liking the padded straps and ring waist on the Nati Ooga Booga wrap conversion mei tai, I decided that a buckle waist and non-padded shoulder straps would be worth a chance. I am SO VERY, and I mean VERY VERY, glad I decided to buy this wrap conversion half buckle (WCHB).
The mama who sold it to me, said it wasn’t really in the best condition, and it was VERY well loved, and the price reflected that. To be brutally honest, I was pretty new to the whole wrap conversion mei tai scene, so it was pretty much the only one I thought was pretty that I could afford. I haven’t regretted it for a second!
I instantly noticed how soft, and I mean SOFT, the wrap was. It felt like those super crazy soft Egyptian-billion-thread-count-cotton-sheets at fancy hotels. This WCHB is as comfortable as putting on your most comfy tshirt and well worn jeans. (and this is where my true addiction to Girasol wraps all began).
Pros: Well, I have already mentioned how amazingly soft this conversion is. The diamond weave of the wrap not only makes it feel really soft, but also gives the cotton a squishy feel, like a mini marshmallow. I also love the straps are not padded- though I can imagine with a heavier child that this could be less comfortable. But the lack of padding creates the feeling that you are truly wrapping with the straps, just like with a wrap, and can spread the straps across both shoulders nice and wide. It distributes BabyT’s weight wonderfully, both at 12 pounds and at almost 20 pounds.
I also really like the buckle at the waist. It is a simple, one-click belt solution, and gives this carrier the advantage of the snuggle-ness of wrapping, with the quick ease of a buckle carrier. I really am enjoying the hybrid of those two. I would highly recommend a buckle waist with non-padded wrap straps for mamas who have a love for wrapping, but want to try a mei tai.
There are other smaller features that make this carrier great. The “legs out padding,” where BabyT’s little knees stick out, provide nice cushion, so the fabric doesn’t rub his thighs or knees the wrong way. No red mark left at all. The hood makes a great support for his little head when he falls asleep, as well as a sun shield.
Cons: One draw back of the mei tai scene is that they are sized… as baby grows, they outgrow the carrier. I will likely cry the day BabyT can no longer be worn in this WCHB. This is an “infant” sized carrier, so I imagine BabyT will outgrow it by the time he is 18 months old. He is in the 99-100th percentile on the growth chart, so I’m sure there are many babies who could get use out of the infant size longer, but it’s not in the cards for us. I already notice it getting a bit short and not coming all the way up his back to his armpits.
Another small negative about this particular conversion, not that it in any way makes the carrier worth any less, but the converter is a very small mama-run business out of England. It took me a while to track down “Kimimela” the wrap converter. Unfortunately, they will be a very hard conversion to come by, if I ever wanted that particular converter to make another carrier. Again, the carrier is still the bomb… just a very one-of-a-kind bomb!
I wouldn’t so much call this a “con” as just awkward, but the adjustable hood is, well, awkward. I love the concept of the hood, and it does come in handy to tuck BabyT’s head in so it doesn’t flop while he sleeps, but I just don’t see the point of the “adjustable” part. The “adjustable hood” refers to the strings on either side of the hood synching to tighten the sides of the hood. But I’m not exactly sure why that is of benefit? I mean, I understand adjustable sounds good as a theory, but in the practical use of the carrier, I just didn’t really find it to be that life-altering.
This was my gateway wrap conversion, as well as the Girasol that got me hooked on wanting every Girasol on the market. Now I wish I could afford ALLTHEWCHBs!
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