Retail price: $56
Specs per manufacturer: Soft, silky, hypoallergenic fabric, hi-tech sports knit wicks moisture and sweat away from the skin, tapered ends and narrow body make this carrier lightweight and cool, manufacturer guarantees a UPF of 45 to help prevent sunburn/minimize sunscreen use, soft stretchy fabric feels great on the skin and perfect front/hip carrying, both in and out of the wter, use with newborns through preschooler, just-right amount of stretch makes it easy to wash between you and baby when showering without adjusting the carrier, folds down small, fits great in your bag, soft finished edge eliminates painful pressure pints on your child’s legs, silky slinky fabric even looks great for evening wear!
Findings: (Thanks to Julie and her little guy who tested out the wrap in Hawaii) The Gypsy Water Wrap is made from thin, stretchy material, similar to a thin women’s bathing suit; its best features are that it dries quickly and folds up quite small when compared to a “regular” wrap. I really thought it was a great travel wrap. Because it is so thin and stretchy, I initially thought that it might not be supportive enough for my 20 lb “little” guy. When we were in the water, it was just right; supportive without being thick and heavy. It held my guy close to me and made it easy for us to play in waist-deep water. When walking along the beach without being fully in the water, I doubled over the portion of the wrap that usually goes behind the baby and instead used that section as an additional support for him to sit on. Having both this piece and the “X” under his bum made the wrap usable on dry land, at least for short stretches. After a walk on the beach the wrap can be tossed over a beach chair or set in the sun and it will dry quickly.
While it wouldn’t be great for regular out-of-water use, I did use the water wrap several times in a pinch: at the airport, around town. It actually was great on the airplane; It held my big guy safely on my lap, but was stretchy enough for wiggling and thin enough not to get in my way and make me hot or uncomfortable on a 6-hour plane ride. When I didn’t need it it slipped easily into a pocket of my diaper bag.
The water wrap seems to be useful in pretty limited situations, however. The name “water wrap” does not mean that it’s good for any wet conditions. Because the material has no ability to shed water it wouldn’t be good in the rain. Even in the water, its usefulness is limited. You can face your baby out from you so that splashing and kicking in the water are easier, but playing is usually easier outside of the wrap. I’d recommend it for moms who like to walk in the water regularly – either along a local beach or in a pool “river walk.”