ankalai icarus aurora2I had not heard of the brand Ankalia until I was invited to host a traveling wrap for Babywearing Love and Support.   Ankalia is an Australian company that says that their designs are made by local artists and then the wraps are produced locally.    Ankalai donated this particular wrap to The Okay Wrapper, and Babywearing Love and Support won the wrap in an IBW2015 giveaway.

I enjoy trying new wraps, but I can’t afford to buy all of them (as much as I might try to), so hosting traveling wraps is a fun way to try out new wraps and learn about new companies.  And it also gives me more wraps to review!

I had this Icarus for a little over two weeks.  While I had it, we were visiting family in Houston so I got the chance to use the wrap both around the house and while traveling.  At home, my biggest wrap use is for doing farm chores:  we have horses and sometimes the little one needs to go with me to the barn.  Unfortunately, this wrap was so light in color that I was worried it would get dirty out in the barn.  I did wear the little one in this wraps for walks around our property and down the road, and I wore her while I worked on the computer at my standing desk.

20160130_143424The little one I wrapped was about eighteen months old when I hosted the wrap..  She’s long/tall and lean for an eighteen month old (about 22 lbs).

On to the details:
Ankalia Icarus Aurora
100% cotton
4.39 meters long (a long size 5) by 0.74 meters long
Weight:  921.36 grams (2 lbs, 0.5 ounces)
Weight g/m2 aka gsm aka grams per square meter:  284 g/m2
Price Point:  Approx. $220
Production Method:  Machine woven
Width: Wide
Tapers: Deep

josey ankalai icaraus1When I saw the photos of this wrap, I wasn’t sure I would like it. I tend to pick darker colors (partially because I’m so afraid of staining a wrap and I figure darker colors won’t show dirt as much!).  But I wanted to try a new brand and was excited to be invited to participate in my first traveling wrap.  I’m so glad I gave it a chance.

This wrap is so pretty:  the colors are soft and light, but the variation in color is enough to hide some mild dirt (shoe scuffs, rubbing up against something, etc.) unless you are looking closely.

20160118_102627This wrap was more dense than I’m used to, and it was wider than i was used to.  That gave me the chance to experiment a little with something that didn’t wrap like my normal wraps.   The extra width would probably be really nice with a bigger kid.  For me, it took a little getting used to.josey ankalai icaraus2

The wrap is advertised at 260 g/m2 (which puts it in the heavy weight wrap category).  I measured it at closer to 285.  It isn’t a thick wrap, but it is very densely woven.  I found it a bit stiff, and I’m not sure if that’s due to how dense it is or if the wrap needs some more breaking in.  The stiffness made it a bit more challenging for me to wrap (I wouldn’t say I’m a beginner – but I’m definitely not a super experienced wrapper, either). I had a bit of trouble getting the rails really tight and had to adjust a bit after I got my daughter into the carry.  I think that’s something I would get better at as I got used to this wrap and not a failing on the wrap.

20160118_104832Because the wrap is dense, I think it is very supportive and doesn’t tend to sag (once I got it tight).  My daughter is fairly petite, but I imagine this wrap could be good for a much heavier kid due to the denseness.

I tried this in a FCC and a ruck tied Tibetan.  I never felt like I got this tight enough in the FCC, but again that might be me.  I did enjoy this one wrap for a ruck – I ended up wearing my daughter for several hours in a ruck carry with this wrap.  I also tried a Coolest Hip Cross Carry (my favorite hip carry).  The slip knot seemed really big – probably because the wrap is so dense that it can be a little bulky.

20160118_110948I really can’t say anything negative about this wrap. It is beautiful, it is strong, and it looks great when in use.  I think it could support a heavier kid.   The only negatives had more to do with my skill and experience rather than the wrap itself.

I can’t wait now to try another Akalai.