It is almost unbelievable that it has been almost a year since we last published an article about such a wrap-carrier giant like Lenny Lamb. Moreover, it was about a carrier, Lenny Lamb Wrap Tai (and before that, in the absolute prehistory of this blog, even without a proper photoshoot, the adjustable Lenny Up carrier) but we have not officially tested any of their wraps yet! However, during this spring we had the opportunity to try several Lenny Lamb wraps and also to re-test the Lenny Up carrier.
Lenny Lamb is a family company that was born in the head of one mum from Warsaw in 2007. She had nothing to wear her son in – it is hard to believe that there was no baby wrap manufacturer in Poland, such a babywearing superpower nowadays, by that time. It was this mum, Asia Bogdan, her sister Kasia Sikorska and their husbands Michał and Piotr who founded this company in 2008. By the way, if you follow Lenny Lamb, you can frequently see these two mums of seven children in total in the promo pictures (the curly redhead and the one with shingled blond hair). And if you look a bit more carefully you can also find their husbands there (however, none of them is the legendary Lenny Lamb tattooed muscleman, sorry 😀 ).
Lenny Up is the older type of the Lenny Lamb adjustable carrier who was replaced by the new Lenny Upgrade earlier this year; however, you can still find it in numerous e-shops both in the Czech Republic and abroad. It is recommended for children from 3,5 to 20 kg by the manufacturer, i.e. from birth to preschool – well, okay, of course – hahahah.
I could probably imagine a newborn in Lenny Up (well, with both my eyes shut) – with growing experience with adjusting of different carriers even for wearing for very little babies I must admit that some carriers are quite well adjustable for this purpose even though I though otherwise before. Therefore I have no reason to say anything else about Lenny Up (although I do not have experience with it myself).
But up to 20 kg? No way. Actually, the only „way“ would be if that 20kg baby would measure only 80 cm. When we were re-testing the carrier with Emilka, she measured about 85 cm and as you can see in the photos, even though the back panel was adjusted to its maximum as to the width it was too small for her by several centimetres on both sides. As to the vertical dimension it was much better but this dimension is, let’s be honest, the less important one. Aside from the size of the back panel I have nothing to reproach when it comes to the position of the wearie – both to the positions of the legs and the back are just exemplary (could it be otherwise when speaking about Lenny Lamb? 😉 ).
The width of the back panel is regulated by Velcro, similarly as in Kavka Multi-Age or MoniLu UNI – which means encounter of the wrap and the Velcro with all its consequences, but okay, I could come to terms with it – it is on the inside, it is not visible while wearing and it is not used every day in case of your own carrier. As to the adjusting of the back panel, Lenny Up is quite unique among other carriers because it is adjusted by straps not only vertically but also horizontally in its upper part, behind the wearie’s neck. The straps are partially hidden which is laudable, but the amount of straps and buckles under your shoulders is however a bit too much. But whatever, it is functional although it is not very esthetic.
When I tested Lenny Up for the first time 3 years ago I thought that the shoulder straps are very generously padded (maybe even a bit too much) – now that I know “a bit” more about carriers (after trying about 80 other carriers) I must say that their padding is quite average and that there are quite a few carriers with even more generous padding. I need to praise Lenny Up for the possibility to wear the shoulder straps crossed (otherwise I would probably die of shoulder pain after longer wearing) and the bidirectional buckles (hallelujah gloria!). The soft waist belt is not cut for slim mums (I, wearing size 38, had it tightened to the maximum and could not tie it even a bit more – and as you can see I did not even wear it is the thinner-most part of my waist!) and I am sorry to say that it did not surprise me – such soft waist belts are not comfortable for me with a heavier child; after a little while of wearing I feel the weight of my toddler in my loins and on my shoulders while the soft construction of the waist belt does not provide enough support.
There are two other little details that bother me about Lenny Up – the pocket placed in the middle under the wearie’s bum (I would honestly appreciate a manual to understand how to use such a pocket) and the hood which is detachable (hurray) but on the other hand there is a huge hole between the back panel and the lower hem of the hood. Therefore, I see two problems with this: a – the little sleeper’s neck is not covered, and b – the hole is so big that I would fear that when wearing on your back, if you tried to fixate the wearie’s head with the hood, her/his head could end up in this hole instead of being covered by the hood (but the long elastic cords are a great thing for this purpose!).
Regarding the looks of the carrier, the grey-silver wrap conversion from the Lenny Lamb’s Basic Line is obviously much more aesthetic than the circus-striped testers we had the opportunity to try last year. In my opinion it is a great choice for the conservative parent – it is elegant and even more affordable than the more colourful models. This leads me to the main BUT of the Lenny Up carrier – it is quite expensive (the price of the Basic Line carriers is comparable to other adjustable carriers while the “non-basic” ones cost more than 4000 CZK/ 150 Euros) and as you can see, it is not really “until the end” and you would probably need to buy a toddler size carrier, too.
Explozia Rainbow Dark (long wrap and ring sling)
Composition: 100 % cotton
Weight: 310 g/m² according to the manufacturer, 325 g/m² counted by us
Size: long wrap – 6, ring sling – M
Double hammock/candy cane chest belt (long wrap)
These wraps were custom made for Explozia which is a Slovakian brand of products made of wraps – from keychains and purses to clothes (beware, do not mistake it for “Explosia” which is a traditional Czech manufacturer of explosives! 😀 ). I already had the opportunity to admire their work at the Babywearing Daddies’ festival last year in Brno and was very tempted to spend a loooot of money at their stand!
The Explozia wrap does the honour to its name – it is truly an explosion of colours and the combination with such distinct pattern makes it virtually scream out loud “here I am”! I must say that the primary shock was followed by quite a big surprise that it does not look twice as bad in the carry thanks to the width of the “stripes” of different colours. However, to be honest, it is nothing for those who are conservative when it comes to perception of aesthetics.
But this is where all my critical word end (well, almost, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). The wraps are soft, pliable and unbelievably pleasant to touch (I suppose this is the magical type of cotton that is soft “straight out of the box”) – simply said, the feeling you have about a wrap you call a “fluff”. Despite being quite heavy it was a pleasure to tie both the long wrap and the ring sling – they were sliding adequately, even through the rings, they held in the carry, did not get loose in the rings and wearing 12 kg in the was very comfortable for me. However, here comes my problem with narrow wraps again – it is quite difficult to create a pocket deep enough to wear a toddler. What a pity – otherwise, Explozias would definitely almost perfect toddler wraps!
Composition: 57 % merino, 43 % combed cotton
Weight: 340 g/m² according to the manufacturer, 356 g/m² counted by us
Rucksack carry/Tibetian knotless finish
This one contains the kind of sheep that try to eat me alive. Ugh, on bare skin it is truly “ugh” and wearing such an amount of merino in the summer temperatures will never be a good idea. However, if it was not for the low width (again), I would probably learn how to live with this biting beast as a piece for winter. It is wonderfully pliable, with a fine woolen hair thanks to which it has a quite good grip. It was a pleasure to work with – tying and tightening were easy and I would not hesitate to recommend this wrap even to beginners (but with bigger kids, of course). I think I do not need to stress out that a woolie with the weight over 300 is supportive enough to carry an elephant – the merino makes is slightly elastic and bouncy in the carry and is helps to spread the weight of the wearie on the shoulders; even one-layer carries are comfortable even with a toddler (but – again – a narrow wrap and a big kid, that is a problem, sorry, dear Lenny Lamb).
Aesthetics-vise, we did not really click with the Notes – the notorious pattern itself is nothing I would be particularly excited about, although there are certain colour variants that I kind of like. The fuchsia colour is very pronounced and vivid – such a wrap cannot be unnoticed when worn. The darker side in which with very dark blue and very dark green looks fine to me, too (okay, more than fine, these colours are really beautiful). But combined, the visual impression is “violet” – and violet is probably my least favourite colour of them all… Symphony is not the only one; this colour combination is very frequent and popular in wraps and I hate it in every single one of them (not mentioning that it does not suit me at at all 😀 ).
Rainbow Sunrise ring sling
Composition: 60 % cotton, 40 % bamboo viscose
Weight: 220 g/m² according to the manufacturer
This ring sling was sewn from the iconic Lenny Lamb bamboo wrap specially for our regional babywearing as a helper wrap – the best choice of a helper ever! Could any wrap be better for babywearing beginners who want to learn how to manipulate with a ring sling? A thin, perfectly pliable, soft as butter, slightly elastic and not very grippy wrap, that is what you want for such purposes. Being very thin and light, it also makes it a perfect “purse wrap” you can bring basically anywhere with you without dragging too much extra weight.
I have already written it several times – when it comes to a ring sling I personally appreciate more if it is thin, space-saving and easy to work with, rather than “supportive”. The reason why I am not fond of these “supportive” ring slings is that it still means one-sided load and stress on my back, no matter how much the wrap itself could be comfortable as a long wrap. This particular Lenny Lamb has basically everything I wish for in an ideal ring sling and I could even forgive it being quite narrow (as usual). And I have already said several times that striped wraps and rainbow wraps are not my cup of tea, right? But this one is really beautiful! The colours are soft and fresh, the stripes are thin and elegant and the colours interchange gradually. If it was not our babywearing group’s helper, I could easily help it find a permanent loving home! 😉
Hereby we want to thank the group Moderní nosičky (i.e. Modern babywearers) for the opportunity to test the Lenny Up carrier, the group Nosíme děti (i.e. We wear our babies) for the letting us try the Explozia wraps, our dear fellow-wearer Veronika for lending us the Symphony wrap and the dearest Grygarka who sewed the Rainbow ring sling for our local babywearing group!