For the first time ever, I was sent both a wrap conversion ring sling and a matching wrap from the same woven colorway. I was pretty excited when Smitten With Wovens sent me their Limited Edition Tala Seren to test and review. I have had the pleasure of trying out basically every wrap this Made in America, budget friendly brand has put out – and I am always excited for a new release.
When I pulled Seren out of the package, it had that familiar stand-up on its own stiff texture that I have come to expect from these wraps, but all it took was one wash to soften it up to a squish-worthy fluffiness. I always throw a Smitten wrap into the dryer, because that is how it is intended to be used – these are wraps that are meant to be worn. I love that they are so easy to care for. It always takes zero effort to get these wraps broken in.
Seren is a purpley lilac color on an ecru warp, a simple climbing vine ending in sporadic geometric shapes like stars and dots. I am honestly not the biggest fan of purple, but when I wrapped this inside-out – I thought it could be dressed up rather nicely. If you are one of those people who are concerned about whether a certain pattern is too girlish or boyish, I really felt like it came off rather gender neutral.
I wanted to try the ring sling first – the ultimate in single-pass carry tests. I took it to work with me – to check its toddler hauling capabilities. I always have to traverse 3 flights of steps with a sleepy 30 lb toddler, and all our gear strapped to me. I don’t know why I reached for a ring sling really, I just wanted to challenge it. I was so thrilled with the outcome! This sling was very supportive, and had enough texture to really hold her in place with all the jostling. I was so comfy, I used it for her nap later that afternoon, and for our long wait in line later that evening for burritos. The next day I felt no residual effects on my body, which can sometime result from hours’ worth of toddler wearing in ring slings. I loved it so much that it set off a week worth of ring-slinging around town… something I had long written off as a favored carrier for my big girl wearee. She loved all the front cuddles too.
I had almost forgotten about the wrap at this point, I was loving the ring sling so much. After a week honeymooning, I moved on to testing the Tala Seren woven wrap. They sent me a size 5 (about 4.2 meters), my current favorite length. First time I wore it was in a double hammock with a half-knot finish for our evening walk around the neighborhood. Wrapping with this woven was very easy. It has a bit of grip, so everything stays in place nicely without slipping while you are messing with your cross passes. But it was not so much that you were fighting and fighting to get the wrap tight. The fabric has great diagonal stretch, which is always nice for getting that carry that molds to your body and your baby. The wrap itself is cushy on the shoulders – so even though it was a bit sloppy, she was comfortable and so was I.
The next week I wore it all around downtown with a toddler on the verge of a meltdown. We ran around city hall, we paced the busy streets for an hour with her in a rucksack with a knotless finish. That grip came in handy – there was no movement at all after tons of active movement.
The wrap is nice and fluffy, so it feels a little thick in hand – though it weighs in at only 250 g/m2, so it is categorized as a medium weight wrap. If you have liked some of Smitten’s previous releases, this will be a familiar feel. This weight is always so versatile. It is nice and smooshy soft for a smaller baby, and supportive enough to stand up to your preschool wearee. It is kinda on the wide side, but with proper tightening and a secure carry, I have never had a problem wrapping newborns with these wraps. I had a chance to try out the ring sling with (not one, but 2!) 4 month olds, and it was so snuggly and awesome for that size baby too. This is a great wrap for a learner – so easy to break in, easy to use, easy to get a hold of. The price point is not bad – we are talking about a wrap that is woven and finished in the USA for $130 for a Size 5. For a wrap that can last through your wearing years, this is a great investment for someone looking to take the plunge into woven wraps.
Smitten With Wovens is a husband and wife team. Rachel and Matt are also the owners of the budget retail website 5 Minute Recess. Besides being wonderful people, they are so conscious about the things that many of us care about – and they live their ideals through their business ventures. Smitten wraps are 100% cotton (no synthetics for these guys), shipped using environmentally sound packaging – including a pre-loved book that was rescued from a landfill. What is not to love about this brand? If you have not yet, I encourage you to check out all that they have to offer. ❤