I had the great fortune to try out the Apple Blossom Wovens ring sling tester -- the Morning Glory v1 warp with the elusive natty weft. This was a gorgeous sling that was soft and blankety from the moment I touched it -- I gather it didn't need much breaking in, since I know it's still early days in its traveling career!
What you should know about me: I've been wearing my baby for the last six months. He's 9 months old now, and I've tried just about everything -- stretchy wraps, woven wraps, handwovens, mei tais, SSCs, and ring slings. Until recently, I would reach for a woven wrap in my base size above everything else, but over the last month or so I'm grabbing ring slings more and more often.
We came late to ring slings because my little guy is a notorious seat-popper. Turns out he really just wants to look around, so wearing him on my hip solves that problem. Even so, I like a RS with a LOT of stability -- too much stretch and it feels like he's going to wriggle loose. In spite of the fact that he's far from a toddler, I tend to prefer "toddler-worthy" wrap conversion ring slings, usually something with some linen or hemp -- I want something rock solid!
I wondered whether the Apple Blossom Wovens tester would work out for me as a ring sling. It's SO soft and SO cushy -- it was hard to imagine that something that pretty and blankety was going to keep my baby where I wanted him.
I threaded the rings and set up for our usual hip carry. The pleats were a little tricky to maneuver around, but I think that's a personal preference thing -- I'm a gathered shoulder kind of girl, and given the cush in these wraps, the pleats made for a shoulder that nearly felt padded to me. I'd love to hear from users who have a strong preference for a pleated shoulder, because I'm curious what their experience with this shoulder style is like. However, I know ABW is going to be releasing a gathered shoulder version of their RSs, too, so if I were ordering one, I'd get the gathered shoulder.
Getting my baby tightened in was no trouble at all. The tail slid easily through the rings, but not so easily that it felt slippery -- just enough that I could adjust the sling without any difficulty, and I never had trouble with the fabric bunching up. I got my baby into position, and...
...he stayed put! I was a little surprised, I have to admit. He's 18 pounds now and I've felt him nearly bounce off the ground in some of the RSs I've tried! But in this case, he stayed where I wanted him, and even after walking around a good bit, I never felt like he was going anywhere. This is a strong wrap, no sagging or unnecessary stretch or bounce. But it doesn't have the rigid feel of a beastly linen blend or a hemp blend; it's just that perfect combination of cush and support. I was really impressed!
Of course, just because I like something doesn't mean my baby's going to like it. I chased down a DISO a few months ago that he protested with a vengeance. When something's not for him, he lets me know it.
The ABW wrap? Nearly had him snuggled into a nap within minutes of putting it on. I think the only thing keeping him awake was his curiosity about the interesting places we were taking our pictures.
As for weight and breathability, it worked great for me. I have no doubt that a multiple-pass carry would be comfortable with these wraps -- in spite of high temperatures and humidity, I was perfectly comfortable, not too warm at all.
People generally say you can't have everything, but this really hit it out of the park for me on all sides. Cush? Check. Support? Check. Easy to get my baby where he needed to go? Check. No difficulty tightening? Check. Breathable even in the heat? Check. And it's gorgeous, of course! The killer price point is also a huge plus. The only hard part is going to be getting your hands on one, but hopefully that's one that will ease over time.
Thanks so much, Apple Blossom Wovens! I can't wait for the next release, and the next, and the next, and the next...