Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kokoro Mini Ren Nero Review and Comparison to Woven Wings, Oscha, Girasol

Our first ever Kokoro arrived this week!
Mini Ren Nero. I have been trying to score a Kokoro for ages, and never am quite fast enough. This week was pretty exciting, as the first ever Kokoro wrap arrived on our doorstep! I had to write a first full review, since the material is so different from anything else that we've ever tried (which is a bunch!).

So to start off, let me summarize what Kokoro claims about the wrap:
-This is first in their line of "cool weave" wraps.
-The way that it is woven will keep you cool in the summer heat.
-The ice cotton is spun in a way that lets more air pass through, making it cooler to the touch when worn.
-It is supposed to have a naturally silken sheen, be less dense and lay flat in hand similar to hemp.
-The materials listed on the label are 50% Ice Cotton and 50% organic cotton.
-The other side of the label says "ice weave".

Living in TX heat, with record breaking heat this summer, I was on the edge of my seat to give this bad boy a go. We've now had it several days, given it a bath, and worn both the kids (2 yr 29lbs and 4 yr 33lbs) in it. All I can say is that I'm impressed and why was this wrap not available to me 4 years ago! I don't easily get into the hype of things anymore, but this wrap is unlike anything we've owned. Let me do my best to get into detail to describe it and compare it to others.

In hand: in hand this wrap feels flat, sleek and smooth. It feels heavier than it looks, and after a wash the white side fluffed up, but the black side, which I assume is the ice cotton side looks pretty much the same pre and post wash/wear. The white side is soft and smooth and to me it feels like it has more grip than the black side. The black side feels slick and slippery, almost like polyester or plastic. I feel more confident wrapping with the white side in, because it seems it would grip better and there would be less potential seat popping with a temper tantrum throwing 2 year old. The black side feels cooler on the skin, so its nice to have it facing in, but I like the look of having the black facing out, so thats a conundrum. lol

As I said the weave feels flat, there is no give or fluff to it if you squeeze it between your fingers or knot it. It feels heavy and dense for the airiness that it has when you hold it up to the light. I suspect that the fibers are wound tighter, making for a heavier denser yarn that does not fluff up when washed. As this wrap is only in the first week of use, I'll have to update later with how its breaking in/black side fluffing or not. Even though I feel this wrap needs no breaking in, straight out of the wash, it is soft and supple.

Wrapping qualities:
This wrap feels so thin in hand, I was skeptical how comfortable it was going to be with the 30lbs kiddos. My shoulders are very picky and over the years my wrap stash has evolved to suit them. I don't know how its possible, but wrapping with Nero is so easy because its so thin, but it manages to be very supportive, and felt cushy on my shoulders. The wrap is fairly slippery, so it was super easy to tighten up around us. On the same note, if I wasn't careful to hold onto the passes, I could see that what I just tightened slipping back loose around us. Once we had it on, I felt like it was secure and would not budge.

The closest I thought how to describe it would be how you imagine it would feel like wrapping with a sheet of koolnit (like in kinder pack). It really does feel airy and light and cool to the touch, and out of my stash, this is my hands down top pick for hot and humid weather. On the flip side, I don't know how I would feel like using this in a cold climate in the winter. I think it would not offer very much insulation, and would make baby cold easily, but if you and the baby are furnaces, maybe this is the solution for you.

The wrap is obviously toddler proof, and because it is so supple and soft, I'd say it is perfect for squish too. I'd wear white in on squish and black in for toddler.  

Comparing it to other wraps:

Girasol Rainbow Unicorn thick twill, 100% Cotton
Oscha Koi Zen, 20% linen, 30% cotton, 50% hemp, 269gsm
Oscha Okinami Sia, 25% Silk, 75% cotton
Kokoro Mini Ren Nero, 50% ice cotton, 50% organic cotton, 292gsm
Woven Wings Greenfinch, 79% cotton, 21% linen, 272gsm
Oscha Orion Lumina, 100% cotton
Woven Wings Over the Rainbow, 9% merino, 91% cotton, 330gsm

I was trying to figure out how to compare the wrap to others that I already have. There are two videos featuring the above wraps where I talk through some of the differences. The knotting shows the thicknesses in a different way and you can also see how they drape over the top of the chair. the thick ones are on the outside and the thin ones towards the middle. Compared to the other ones, the Ren Nero was the easiest to knot. and seemed to have the densest knot with least amount of tugging. 

Knots from the top.

Comparing the texture flat with WW greenfinch and Oscha Oki Sia. The greenfinch is thick and fluffy in hand, and the sia and ren are flatter. With Sia I have to be more careful with my passes to keep it comfortable. You can also see the size of the weave when put together. 

The texture from the white softer side. 

Comparing it to the thicker twill Girasol. The Girasol is still fairly new, so it is also stiffer, but it is quite a lot thicker and bulkier and almost feels like cardboard next to the Ren. 

Here is the video, where I do a quick comparison the other wraps. The second video shows how the wraps behave when they are being twisted.

What a great fake smile we get when candy bribes are brought to the game... If there is something I didn't mention, please ask. **I was not paid or compensated in any for for writing this and the opinions expressed are completely my own. I wanted to try to describe the wrap the best I could, because it is something so new and didn't' know what to expect before I opened it. 

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