I am frequently asked what to wear in hot weather. Living in Arizona we know a little something about hot weather. If you are unfamiliar with an Arizona summer let me give you a visual. It is ten am in July. The sun only four hours over the horizon but the heat waves rising from the pavement are already dancing like snakes in the near distance. It may early in the morning but the temperature is already over 100º Fahrenheit (38ºC). No joke, by noon it will be at least 108ºF and by 3pm at 111ºF (43.8ºC). Your toddler, whose shoes may actually be melting, is walking so slowly you can feel your skin blistering into sunburn. You parked extra far away because that’s where the one lonely tree providing the tiniest bit of shade is located. Now the walk across the lot seems like miles. You have to wear them, they are walking so slowly across the lot that the SPF 70 is sliding off as if laughing at your attempt to prevent sun damage. The question becomes what do you wear to stay cool in one of the hottest summers on record?
Something new in BreatheBlend® from Ethos Babywearing was just one of our favorite hot weather wraps this summer. The wrap is woven with a satin weave and a pronounced zig-zag pattern along the width of the wrap. Along the edges of the zig-zag is where something magical is found. Tiny microvents have been intentionally woven into the wrap to promote air circulation. The vents didn’t just allow air to flow through the wrap, they also allowed excess body heat to escape. We maximized our microvents with a Base -5 woven wrap and wore all the super shorty carries.
At first glance you can’t see them, when you hold it up against the light the microvents become very noticeable. They don’t seem like much but with the vents along each of the zig-zags you start to see the airy, breathable properties of the wrap. Add in that it is a poly cotton blend and you have added breathability within the woven fibers as well as the vents. We wore Freakin’ Pink from the Cascade collection, a vibrant pink, the very color of hot pink peonies. Despite the 212gsm the wrap is extremely lightweight in hand adding yet one more thing to the list of things we liked. The saturated pink color was muted slightly by pairing with a medium gray weft. One side was dominant pink with gray zig-zag pattern while the reverse side was dominant gray with pink zig-zags.
What we like about Cascade Freakin’ Pink
This wrap was perfect for even a wiggly toddler. My girls are growing up, much faster than I would like and stretching out in legs and arms as they gain weight. At only 32 pounds (14.5kg) the force of their bouncing can shift a cross pass and pop a seat. Cascade stood up to the active toddler and didn’t give, even a centimeter.
As much as I am not a pink person, the color was fantastic, a strong splash of color to my monochrome khaki summer wardrobe. While it was thin and lightweight in hand, it did not dig at the shoulders as an overtightened thin wrap would do. Cascade was supportive for longer carries to the zoo and made a secure slipknot for a Traditional Sling Carry. The no sew ring sling is a fantastic summer carry giving the same air flow as a sewn ring sling without purchasing a separate carrier. Cascade glided easily through the rings and held securely with large sling rings. The No-Sew Ring Sling carry omits the weight requirement for the ring sling carry as there are no stress points at lines of stitching. This allows you the ability to carry your toddler in a quick and easy carry throughout multiple errands.
We took Cascade out and about on many of our errands. Tying a Traditional Sling Carry got us from the car safely to the copy shop, bank, and even a trip though Target for sundries. There was no stretch to Cascade, the stretch usually along the diagonal made way for the microvents. This gave the wrap the feeling of wrapping a little smaller than size. The poly content of the wrap gave much more glide than grip making passes across baby’s back with ease.
This wasn’t an issue as knots, including slipknots, held in place solidly despite the glide to the wrap. The zig-zag pattern is slightly embossed and lends some grip to the wrap. For longer wear in Cascade I preferred to give myself just a little slack at the inside shoulder and in a sandwiched shoulder for extra comfort.
As always, we wore in a front, hip, and back position. We wore a super shorty so multilayer carries were harder to evaluate. I can only speculate that with the firm toddlerworthy carries multiple passes would be as supportive as they would be breathable. The traditional sling carry became our fast favorite for this summer. It was easy to wear a baby back to the car from the splashpad, carry tired legs back to the apartment, and safely get slow, short legs into cool air quickly.
Cascade never disappointed in ease of wear nor in ease of cleaning and maintenance. The Satin weave is more simple than previous weaves we have seen from Ethos. It is woven tighter and as such, less prone to pulls, snags, or broken threads. The wrap is washed on high heat wash for the first wash and a high heat dry. This draws in and seals the weave without closing the microvents. Following the initial hot wash all subsequent care should be on cold and air dry or air fluff dry, no heat. A warm iron will take out all the wrinkles, the shine of the poly fibers setting the lower ironing temperature.
The affordable price of Cascade coupled with the availability of longer sizes sets the Cascade series above as an excellent budget friendly woven wrap. Routinely stocking up to size 9 woven wraps means every babywearer has the opportunity to wear in their base size and without serious escalation in cost. As the ladies have gotten older, transitioned into long legged toddlers, I have seen our base size increase. As a mother to multiples I know all too well the expense of buying two carriers or increased costs of longer woven wraps. Ethos makes owning a base size woven wrap a realization with comfort and a dramatic statement all in one wrap.
Babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding twin Momma sharing my insights.