The porfolio of ROAR, i.e. the younger and less-badass brother of the super-badass Wild Slings (which we reviewed last spring and repeatedly last year’s autumn – here, here and here 😉 ), has grown substantially since their first release in March 2018. The designs of ROAR have also changed – they moved from the minimalist black and white all-cotton pieces not only to varicoloured wraps but they also dared to produce wraps in novel weaves. We are going to cover the wonderful crunch weave in the future, but now, let’s give ROAR a present for its nearing 1st birthday – a review of three different ROAR wraps (happy birthday, dear ROAR! :*)
ROAR HUG Noir Neon
Composition: 50 % combed cotton, 50 % slubby neon cotton
Weight: 260 g/m² according to the manufacturer, 230 g/m² counted by us
Back wrap cross carry, Tibetian knotless finish; front cross carry with a ring with a shoulder flip
The neon cacti are the last of the initial ‘batch’ of wraps ROAR released (same age as the KAP KAP ring sling we reviewed some time ago), i.e. in the conservative mostly black and white colourway and in lower weight (I have a comment on the weight of ROAR and WS wraps which you can find in the footnote 😉 ). Someone calls these wraps “the old ROARs”, meaning “the worse ones”, but I do not think it is necessarily true. They are different, but in no way worse.
I used to own these particular cacti for quite some time and as you can see, I packed it for our trip to the Jeseníky mountains. During the last summer I wore them in multilayer carries with 9kg Emilka for quite some hikes without problems.
HUG is a pleasantly thin and pliable cotton piece, suitable even for tiny babies, and as I mentioned above, capable of supporting a smaller toddler in a well-chosen carry (although I would not choose it for a little 15kg elephant 😉 ). Tying and tightening was easy; despite the wrap being soft to touch and sliding well while tying, it holds tight in the carry – probably thanks to the cute little neon nubs that disrupt the perfect smoothness.
I really like the cactus pattern – same as at least half of the ROAR designs from the first half of their releases and, as I said, the neon nubs give the looks of the wrap a whole new dimension. Although we loved to wear the cacti, I must admit that they are not my absolute favourite among ROARs – this was also one of the reasons they left us to make someone even happier and eventually to become a beautiful carrier.
Composition: 100 % Egyptian combed cotton
Weight: 270 g/m² according to the manufacturer
Rucksack carry, Tibetian knotless finish
Górki pattern comes from the second ‘batch’ of ROAR wraps and these particular Mountains are even the very first one from the collection no. 2. I cannot really say what the difference is in the ‘technical part’ of weaving, but the difference between the two first ROAR seasons is quite obvious. The most obvious difference is that the pattern is large-scale, in contrast to the simple small-scale designs from the first batch, but they are also different to touch and tie. They are thicker – I do not believe that the difference in weights is only 10 gsm as declared; the Cacti feel thin at the first touch and Górki are more of a middle-thick wrap. Unfortunately, I forgot to measure them myself while testing them, so I can only assume. Górki are soft to touch, but in a different manner than HUG – they are sort of flannel-smooth, with tiny fine hair all over the wrap that is visible mainly on the black side of the wrap.
Regarding the tying properties and their behaviour in the carry, I have absolutely nothing to reproach. I had no problems tying and tightening them and the wearing was as comfortable as in HUG. However, Górki were capable of supporting Emilka’s weight even in a single-layer carry, in contrast to the Cacti.
In my opinion, it is a very pleasant cotton wrap suitable for most of the weight categories of wearies. The only thing I kinda dislike about it is actually the pattern. The mountains drawn in childlike style are marvelous but the large-scale pattern makes it very uneasy to tie so that something of the mountains is visible…
ROAR L’Amour Sailor’s Sun
Composition: 100 % Egyptian combed cotton
Weight: 270 g/m² according to the manufacturer, 310 g/m² counted by us
Size: 4 (374 cm measured by us)
Reinforced rear rebozo rucksack, candy cane chest belt
The ‘Hearts’ were probably the first to disrupt the conservative black and white colourway of ROAR wraps – I mean the first ones, pink with black-and-white stripes. I was very surprised about their looks after their release and I must admit – I did not like them much. I thought “this in not ROAR at all…”. But that was before kitties, doggies, piggies or giraffes driving cars, so I have to take it back – L’Amour is one of the purest ROAR patterns! 😀
Identical wrap as Górki, right? Oh yes, but only ‘on the paper’! L’Amour is substantially thicker and denser, it is not so soft and flannel-like to touch and lacks the fine hair I loved about Górki. To be true, it did not feel it that pleasant on my shoulders either. I had to put more effort into tying of this wrap, tightening was not really super-easy; however, it held tight in the carry – even so tight that I was able to tie the RRRR with a toddler in an extra-slippery soft-shell overall. 😀 It is definitely a toddler piece – while I would not hesitate to wrap a little baby in Górki, L’Amour would be too thick for this purpose. And I would also be happier if it was a bit more elastic.
The promised footnote regarding the weight of the wraps: Recently, there was a quite lively discussion in the Czech fan group of WS, ROAR and DISO wraps about “how to count the weight of wraps right”. The reason of this discussion was that in quite a lot of WS and ROAR wraps, the declared weight is considerably different than the weight the actual owners of these wraps counted at home. The manufacturers defended their numbers by saying that the weight is actually counted by computer and that it is much more complicated than the rule of proportion – that the computer has to count the type of weave, blends, etc., in. However, I have a feeling that the two sides of this discussion were talking at cross purposes. The numbers we get when we measure and weight the wraps at home, that IS the real weight of the wrap, plus/minus 20, 30, maybe even 50 g/m² if you measure really inaccurately. Of course, there is a difference if you use soft tape in hand (STIH) for measuring or if you measure the wrap lying on the ground; sometimes one can forget to count in the additional length and width of the hems. What I understood about what the manufacturer was saying – about the one and only accurate weight of the wrap counted by a computer – that it is the desired weight in fact, the one you wish to achieve in the process of weaving (i.e. I tell the computer: “I want a wrap with this composition, with this type of weave, the weave this dense and in this weight” – and the computer will count it and tell the weaving machines what to do). However, this is only my assumption. In any case, one cannot look at the declared weight of the WS/ROAR/DISO wraps as on the weight we are used to in case of other brands. Just an example of one particular wrap – the weight declared by the manufacturers was 280 g/m² but several people, independently on each other, counted the weight very much over 400 g/m² (and no, the wrap was not shrunk as they tried to imply – moreover, the owner counted the pre-wash weight over 390). And that is a diametral difference that cannot be caused by a simple inaccuracy of measuring. The weight is weight, meaning the weight per square meter. Simply said, one kilogram of apples on one square meter weights the same as one kilogram of pears.