Carrier Reviews: BBslen (Papaya)

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Review by Kristi Wiegman, VBE

Babylonia BB-Slens are designed by a Belgium company but handwoven by a Fair Trade project in India.  They are 100% cotton and come in a wide variety of bold colors and stripes that are apparently all named after fruits/ spices (Blueberry/ Fruit Cocktail/ Green Paprika/ Pink Pepper, etc.).  Kitschy names aside, the color combos are striking and there is a lot of variety so most anyone can find a combination that speaks to them.  The BWI of Southern Maryland library has a size 4 wrap and ring sling that were chopped from a larger wrap in the Papaya colorway which is red with pink and orange contrasting stripes on one rail.  This is super helpful for learning carries when you are new to wrapping but also for veterans when you need to flip one rail, such as in Half Jordan’s Back Carry or Kangaroo.

BB-Slens are a thin wrap which means it is lightweight and particularly good for warm climates/ summertime wrapping.  However, the diagonal weave makes it very strong and supportive so it and can be used with heavier children without getting diggy or sagging.  Its thinness makes wrapping easy but it is also is decently grippy, a great combination so that passes are easy to spread but also likely to stay put.  One major benefit of BB-Slens is that they are very wide, at 80 cm they are known to be the widest commercial wrap on the market.  This means lots of fabric for making a super deep seat and also for back support for taller children.  The width also adds to extra cush on the shoulders, making back carries in particular more comfortable for a longer amount of time than other wraps of a similar weight.   I used the library wrap in a HJBC carry with my 14 month old while doing laps around the field during my son’s baseball game and we were still comfortable after an hour of wearing and walking.  This is definitely a great choice if you are looking for a one-for-all wrap to live with you from infancy to toddlerhood.

I have a soft spot for the BB-Slen Papaya ring sling because it was the one I had checked out from the library when ring slings finally clicked for me.  I credit the stripes to helping me keep the sling from getting crossed or the tail from getting tangled/ folded over and helping me figure out where to tighten and adjust.  BB-Slens make great wrap conversion ring slings because the wrap is easy to adjust through the rings, but stays put and doesn’t sag or pull on the shoulder too much.   I wore my daughter in the library ring sling at a work holiday party last year and she stayed cozy and snug the whole evening.

Need more convincing?  Here is Kate Hudson wearing her son in a BB-Slen Pineapple Ring Sling.  So obviously they make you look like a celebrity.  Nuff said.


One quirk of BB-Slens is that they only come in a few sizes – 2.6 meters, 4.6 or 4.9 meters and 5.6 meters, which roughly equate to a short size 2, size 6 / long 6 & size 8.  In order to get any other size (like our library 4) you would need to buy a larger wrap and have it chopped, but that’s okay because the best feature of BB-Slens is that they are an amazing value.  They are one of the less expensive wraps on the market which is amazing considering all that they offer.  Although international in origin, they are sold by a number of US based companies including Granola Babies, Heavenly Hold and PaxBaby.  And the User Manual that comes along with new wraps is incredible; I would recommend it to anyone interested in wrapping no matter what brand woven wrap they are using.  It is available for free here – http://www.babylonia.be/graphics/cms_docs/bb_slen_en.pdf

My ratings according to Jennah’s arbitrary breakdown . . .
Cush: 3/5
Grip: 3.5/5
Softness after breaking in: 4/5
Newborn suitability: 5/5
Baby (6+ mos) to toddler suitability: 4/5
Suitable for wrap conversion (RS, MT, or Buckle): 5/5
Value: 5/5
Cost (in this or other colors): $60 to  $140 depending on size/ retailer.

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Rachel wearing the wrap when it was a size 8! The other half of this wrap is now a gorgrous ring sling.
UPDATE 7/15/2014 – We now own another BBslen wrap! This size 2 BBslen Strawberry Stripes is also amazingly soft, wide, and supportive.

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