Extreme Snowsuits for Babies

| January 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Zoe Wedel

Getting three snowsuits in preparation for a gear review is like bringing an umbrella out on a rainy day. The cold and the snow came late this year in Boulder. The three 12-month snowsuits I had hanging in my closet in anticipation of the first snow were:

columbia-suit

Columbia Baby Interchange Bunting

northface-suit

The North Face Infant Toasty Toes Bunting

patagonia-suit

Patagonia Infant Down Sweater

 

These are three very different suits that serve the same purpose – keeping your loved one toasty warm. Columbia is a combo lining, shell that you can use interchangeably or together; the Patagonia bunting is a wearable sleeping bag (legs optional); and The North Face is a rugged all-in-one snowsuit.

My son tried out the Columbia Baby Interchange first because of the three this suit is the best for that period of the year when you can’t decide yourself whether you need to wear a coat. In mid-November, I zipped out the fleece lining and zipped Rowan in. This is the cutest little jumpsuit.  I’m glad it was the first suit we tried because it was the smallest of the three.  My son is close to the 50 percentile for his age, and this suit fitted but was on the small side when he was 10-months.

The first week of December the bottom fell out of our thermometer. Suddenly it wasn’t just cold it was arctic. On December 7th, the coldest day of 2013, when the temperature got down to -0 degrees F, we decided to visit Santa. We dressed our son in The North Face Infant Toasty Toes.  At 11-months, this suit fit Rowan as long as he was only wearing a thin base layer. Folding over the flap and getting his feet into the booties was a stretch. My recommendation for all three suits is to buy the larger size if your child will straddle two sizes in one winter.

We parked in a lot downtown a few minutes walk from Santa’s temporary digs. It was snot-freezing cold and my son started making funny faces with his nose. There was only one family ahead of us in line to see Santa, one family brave (crazy) enough to drag their kids out in subzero temperatures.  However, apart from his face and feet (which we couldn’t really fit in the booties), Rowan was cozy and comfy. Of the three this suit is the best for waddlers and toddlers running around in the snow. Also it is the least slippery.

On a side note, why are most extreme baby snow suits so slippery?!?! I hugged my son so tight when I carried him in the Patagonia bunting and Columbia shell because it felt like I would drop him like wet soap in the shower. My suggestion to these three manufacturers is to add a few strips of rougher material to the core of the suit.

Last but not least — I love the Patagonia bunting, especially for crawlers who can’t walk yet. It’s soft and cuddly. The green gumby version is adorable. I refer to my son as my little cucumber when he wears it.  It compresses so its easy to keep on in the car seat, it’s comfortable enough to sleep in (it’s a sleeping bag after all!), and it seems so warm.

Rowan models the Patagonia

Rowan models the Patagonia Infant Down Sweater

Here’s a cheat sheet with my ratings on all three suits:

Suit

MSRP

Season

Warmth

Slipperiness

Ease of Entry

Best Age

Columbia Baby Interchange Bunting 

$75

Autumn, Spring or Winter

4

2

3

Crawler, waddler or toddler
Patagonia Infant Down Sweater Bunting

$139

Winter

5

1

5

Crawler
The North Face Infant Toasty Toes Bunting

$110

Winter

5

3

4

Crawler, waddler or toddler

Zoe lives in Boulder, CO and is a full-time baby mama, part-time business analyst and would be triathlete. Her passions include the Russian language, swimming, and local grassroots conservation (check out rareconservation.org where Zoe used to work to learn about a really innovative environmental non-profit).

Category: Gear

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