The Calin Bleu Stretchy wrap is hands down the best budget stretchy wrap on the market. It is quite simply a truly lovely lightweight option availible at a tiny price. If your looking for an excellent quality wrap that won't break the bank, the Calin Bleu is simply a brilliant option.
At this point I have tried well over 50 different brands of stretchy wrap. I have many favourites (the Hana Baby and the Izmi Baby in particular) but until now all my favourites have been in the £40-50 price range. And I am painfully aware that not all parents want to or can afford to spend this much on a stretchy. Especially when there are so many brands listed on Amazon for £30 and under. These "Amazon Cheapie" wraps vary loads brand to brand, but without fail every single one I have tried has felt like a false economy. Almost all of them have uneven stretch, which makes them hard to tie. They are often badly finished, and many don't come with any kind of safety testing or even guarantees that baby safe dyes have been used. I am contacted by several parents every month who bought an Amazon Cheapie wrap and are finding their sling difficult to use. And while I am normally able to help them get to grips with their wrap in the end, most do express buyers remorse for not spending that bit extra on a easier to use wrap in the first place.
Which is why I am so relieved to have discovered the Calin Bleu Stretchy wrap. At a recommended retail price of £25 for the Medium and £28 for the Long, it is very budget friendly and costs no more than an internet cheapy! But crucially it is:
- Super easy to use. The Calin Bleu is a two way stretchy wrap - this means it stretches both in the vertical and horizontal directions. This even stretch means this wrap is so much easier to pre-tie and pop baby in and out of than a wrap that stretches only in one direction. You can read more about one-way verses two-way stretch and why it is important here.
- Safety tested to PD CEN/TR 16512:2015 standard ensuring material is safe for use as a baby carrier.
You can see it in action (and hear my full thoughts on this wrap) in my video review here, or read on below for more in depth discussion.
It is also exceptionally lightweight. Made from 95% viscose and 5% elastane it is very much lighter and thinner than an equivalent cotton wrap, while remaining strong and supportive. Meaning that the Calin Bleu is a fabulous choice for spring and summer babies, or anyone who is prone to over heating as its genuinely one of the coolest wraps on the market.
It shorter than many other stretchy wraps on the market too. Most wraps are between 5 and 6m in length. The Calin Bleu comes in two lengths - a medium, which is just 4m and a long which is 5m. So even the long is shorter than most other brands, and the medium is quite a lot shorter. Less length means less fabric to make you hot. It also gives you less fabric to deal with. Parents often feel intimidated by how long stretchy wraps are, and I often find simply offering them a shorter wrap helps them feel more confidient. Making the Calin Bleu a great choice for beginners!
Both sizes fit a wide range of parent shapes and sizes. In general I find anyone below a dress size 14 will suit a medium, while anyone dress size 16 and up will get on better with the long size. I am somewhere between a size 14 and 16 and in the photos I am using a medium - as you can see it fits me but I don't have tonnes of fabric left over for making a knot! If you're sharing the wrap with your partner and you're both different sizes it is worth noting that if the wrap was too short for one of you, that parent could simply tie it behind their back rather than in front of them. Likewise, if the wrap was too long, that wearer could simply tie a bow or wrap the fabric around their waist/hips again to use up more fabric. In this way, either size can fit an absolutely huge range of parent shapes and sizes.
It is perfect for newborns, a fab option to use right from day 1. And it is strong enough to carry older babies if you want to. Most babies will grow out of stretchy wraps developmentally around 3-4 months rather than physically, but may still enjoy taking a nap in the stretchy wrap. The Calin Bleu is suprisingly strong for how thin it is, and the 5% elastane gives it great "ping back" and hold! So this is definitely a wrap you can use for as long as you and baby still enjoy it. In fact you can see just how strong it is in the photo below with my then 2 year old!
So why is the Calin Bleu so cheap if its such a great wrap? If your anything like me, you are probably wondering at this point why the Calin Bleu is so cheap compared to other two-way, good quality stretchy wraps. What is the catch?!?! Well there are two main reasons this wrap is cheaper:
- It is unhemmed. Most stretchy wraps are hemmed along the edges. The pros to hemming is it gives the wrap more finished, neater look. Hemming also often stops the edgest rolling as much. The con is sewing along the edges takes time and so adds quite a lot of cost. Jersey knit fabric doesn't fray so hemming isn't required, it is simply an aesthetic choice. Calin Bleu have chosen keep costs low by leaving the edges unhemmed.
- The fabric used. The Calin Bleu wrap is made from 95% viscose and 5% elastane. The Izmi Baby wrap is made from bamboo viscose, while the Hana Baby wrap is made from a blend of organic cotton and bamboo viscose. Viscose made from cellulose extracted from bamboo is more generally considered a more ecologically sustainable choise and is more costly to make, compared to run of the mill man made viscose. Likewise, organic cotton is a more expensive fibre too. In terms of how the fabric performs - its all viscose so it performs just the same. It's just as strong, washes just as well etc. Calin Bleu have opted for the cheaper fibre to keep costs as low as possible. And while not quite as soft and sumptutious as the bamboo viscose of the Izmi and Hana wrap, the Calin Bleu fabric is still beautifully soft and you probably wouldn't notice the difference between them unless you were stroking all 3 wraps at the same time.
All in all the Calin Bleu is a really fantastic super lightweight, easy peasy to use stretchy wrap that is perfect for newborns and perfect for anyone looking for a great value sling. It retails as just £25 for the medium and £28 for the long and can be bought from the Sheen Slings webshop here.
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