Tekhni Wovens owner Alisa DeMarco has worked hard to make babywearing affordable. Arche has proven so successful that other companies have jumped on the budget bandwagon: both Poe Wovens and Vaquero have recently released similar pricing schemes. More budget options are always awesome. And that’s what Tekhni’s given the wrap world in Aplos, Arche’s beefy big brother.
DeMarco intends Arche to be a gateway carrier for babies up to about 20-25 lbs (while it works for larger children, the weave’s thread shifting will increase with the weight of the wrappee). It’s soft, thin, easy to move and easy to tighten. It forgives some sloppiness. Basically, it’s one of the best beginner wraps on the market for sheer ease of use.
And once baby outgrows Arche, Tekhni offers Aplos: a thick, sturdy weave meant to take you to preschooler age. And beyond, really, because if there’s any wrap you can use to double hammock your husband/tow a car/serve as a horse broken-leg-slingy-thing, it’s Aplos.
Seriously: holy support, Batman.
To put it mildly, Blueberry Aplos arrived in loom state. Brand-new Storch Leos are crunchy. The Didymos 55s, Azure, Moss, and Sunset, all 55% linen, stood up on their own BNIB – literally, go check thebabywearer.com forums, because there are pics. Aplos, well … Aplos is a Beast. Like Beauty and The –. It’s a Sasquatch of a wrap, and I’m used to some crunchy-ass BNIB wraps. The *only* thing I’ve ever felt that’s more beastly is a Walter’s Organic, which is basically the Patterson-Gimlin footage in wrap form.
Aplos made love to my dryer balls for a long, long, long time. It freaked them wild. Mashed potatoes were offered. And finally, after lots of love and steam ironing, I used it.
And it was love.
Seriously, this is totally the scene when the Beast finally turns into a dude, and Belle’s Stockholm Syndrome finally pays off, because Aplos can seriously wrap. You have to wrestle it into place: it’s shockingly grippy for such a flat weave. But once it’s there, it may never move again, and you won’t care, because the 40 lb preschooler you just wrapped on your back was transported to another dimension.
No seriously: four-year-old Dragontrainer passed out on the way to the local Store-Which-Is-Inferior-to-Costco. I didn’t want to wake him, so I tossed him up in a ruck – a limp-legged, bowling-ball-weighed, no-muscle-control ruck. I kept him there for an hour. He finally woke up in the book section, where he pointed out the sole How to Train Your Dragon merch in the place. I had minimal digging, with no need to readjust. It rocked as hard as a wrap can rock when it’s toting 40 lbs of collapsed four-year-old.
Aplos has the characteristics I love in a big kid wrap: it’s super stretchy and fairly bouncy. So stretchy, in fact, that my babywearing BFF’s babe leaned back out of a sloppy ruck, and we ran tests to make sure the stretch didn’t make it escapable (it didn’t). But that stretch lets you get an ace-bandage carry. Because the wrap’s so moldable, your beast-baby’s weight is stuck tight to you, and it’s far gentler on your shoulders. It also feels far thicker than its stated 270 g^m.
It’s not made of memory foam, like some Didymos wool (see Green Wool Fish, or GWF, and let the hoarding commence now). But it gives you plenty of padding from the anvil you strapped to your back. You’d have to wrap incredibly sloppily to get pressure points.
This truly is a successor to Arche. It’s not a stellar beginner wrap: it’ll feel good once you get it there, but you’ll have to wrestle. Some newbies simply aren’t up to learning to move the passes on a wrap like this. But even if you totally suck at wrapping, it won’t matter: the wrap will mostly make up for it.
And Arche will never get as floppy as a Repreve blend, an Didy nino, or an old Zara. It.just.won’t. Alisa said it’s like your favorite pair of jeans: it’ll never feel super floppy, but it’ll break in soft and comfortable. For the record, I didn’t feel like it was too beastly to put my baby in.
Practiced wrap hobbyists will quickly decide there are other wraps just as supportive and floppier – handwovens or even Natural Hemp India come to mind. But when it comes to the price for support, you can’t beat Aplos. A hundred bucks will get you straight through kindergarten and beyond. And it comes in Blueberry, Lime, and Tangerine Dream, an orange-y sherbet shade you don’t find much in the wrap world (The name is actually just “Tangerine.” This is an oversight I hope Tekhni will swiftly correct). Alisa’s hinted at other colorways to come.
I like it a lot for big kids. I wouldn’t buy it for a new babe, and it’s not my first choice in hot weather. But if you need to ruck a preschooler, this is the wrap to use.
Also, full disclosure: I spilled barbecue sauce on it. I thought I’d bought myself an Aplos, but the stain came right out. That wouldn’t happen with most wraps, and it’s the mark of a true beater. I gardened in it. I drug it around. It’s a great choice for a hammock or a sled. Seriously: this wrap can take it.
Yes, it’s a Beast BNIB. But it also costs a hundred bucks. It’ll put to rest the “well, you can’t wrap a kid past x lbs” argument. And yeah, in a pinch, it’ll make a great tow rope.
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