Cari Slings: Double Helix Review

sunncuteNewsflash: I like baby wraps. I also like science, and I like clever, clean aesthetics. All this would make you think that when I bumped into Cari Slings at MommyCon, I ran off into the sunset clutching Double Helix.


I did fall in love with Double Helix. But not because it’s science-y, though my house is full of fossils and my four-year-old can explain Linnean classification (ask him). I didn’t love Double Helix because of the design either, though it’s clean and modern and sleek – Ikea but without the negative connotation. Nope. I just-shy-of-abducted Double Helix because I petted it, and it’s one of the softest and smooshiest wraps of all time.

No, seriously. I grope a lot of wraps. I touched Double Helix. Then I petted it. Slowly. With feeling. Gently, and then firmly. And I asked, “Is this brand-new?!” Because virgins shouldn’t feel that floppy, people. For real.

So I got one to take home, which meant I had to pay to check another bag, damn you US Air, but oh it was worth it. Because I threw that Double Helix in the wash, let it tumble dry, took it out and oh yeah, baby. Someone turned on the Barry White and I slipped that wrap over my shoulders, and –

Okay, at some point the sexual metaphors get creepy. Anyway, Double Helix’s smooshy hand-feel and lovely drape didn’t disappoint. It’s almost fluffy, with a memory-foam cush to the shoulders. The design lends it great diagonal stretch, which gives a tight, moldable carry – and help redeem the suckiest of wrap jobs.

And it’s soft. Like, super-soft, and what’s more, it’s even softer on the off side. Since the off side sits against the baby, I like it to feel better than the right side. I know, I’m stupidly particular. But Double Helix manages it. That means Sunny gets cuddled in unicorn fluff and happiness. Win.

dhpfauxI found Double Helix easy to tighten and easy to wear; I kept Sunny up for more than two hours without a problem. Moreover: Sunny asked for it. This is the first wrap he ever said “wrap” for. That ought to count for something, as should him picking it over everything I set it against. So I can officially call Double Helix baby-endorsed and approved.

I also used it to awkwardly kangaroo the becoming-enormous Baby Bear, who insists on front wraps only, please. A lesser wrap would have killed my back, sagged, dug, or otherwise failed to the herculean task. Did Double Helix magically create the Most Comfortable Carry of All Time from a sloppy-ass kangaroo of a wailing almost-three-year-old? No. But it did feel a hell of a lot better than most anything else would have.

If Double Helix reminds me of anything, it’s Tekhni’s smooshy repreve blends, but without the extra warmth of the repreve. It’s cool as a thicker all-cotton blend can be. I wouldn’t hike in it during the middle of the summer, but at that point, I’m down to mystic or a mei tai, anyway.

sunsunIt’s soft enough for squishes. It can take your toddler. Plus, if your husband is colorblind like mine, you can torment him for hours by asking if it’s blue or green. I wasn’t a big fan of Cari Sling’s earlier designs, but Double Helix means I’ll have to take a second look, even if that means wearing tiger stripes.

It gets better. Cari Slings is not only American, they’re also based in North Carolina (the Raleigh area, to be specific), and carry on the long tradition of textile production in the South. All their products are made in the US, with one of the mills local to them. I have a serious soft spot for the Southern textile belt, the towns and people it supports, and the labor battles they’ve fought in the past. So any business that builds up that hard-hit sector of America deserves a shout-out.

And these aren’t inaccessible, expensive wraps (which I own and love, so don’t go hatin’). Double Helix retails at $140 for a size 3 (prices go up in $10 increments per size). Totally within the affordable category. If you needed one wrap from birth to preschool, Double Helix could do it, with cush, and some stretch, and mostly soft enough you might want to steal it for cuddling on your own. No euphemism intended.

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