Yep, it's that time of year again. The fog rolls in to beautiful Victoria, the sky turns to grey and it's raining. But hey, at least it's not snowing! (Sorry, the rest of Canada. Really, I am. ;-))
We're rolling out pre-orders on winter wear already, and I thought I'd help the process of choosing (in a land full of choices!) a little less stressful for you. Any more questions? Use our contact us form, or even comment here on the blog. I'm only too happy to oblige.
The first of the many questions I get about winter wear come from people interested in the Suse's line of coats.
- Do I want the regular, or the deluxe? Are you planning on doing hip carries in your jacket? If the answer is yes, you need the deluxe coat. If you have no desire to use your coat for hip carries, get the regular. It has fewer pieces to lose, and it costs less.
- What's the difference? As noted above, the regular coat does not allow hip carries. It does, however, do front and back carries, and even tandem carries. In the past, the regular coat came in colours like red, teal, blue and yellow, but this year it is only available in black. Last year the deluxe coats got a revamp with nylon lining inside the water resistant shell, and changes to the sleeve length. This year, the deluxe will be available in size medium only in brown, yellow and red as well as black.
- How do they fit? The deluxe coat fits very big as a general rule--at least one size. It is also bulkier because of the added zippers and openings for the inserts at the hips. The regular coat fits truer to usual ladies sizing. If you're on the cusp of a size, you might want to go down a size to prevent any excess bulk as well.
The Suse's coats are an amazingly versatile piece of babywearing equipment. I used one for years and while it wasn't the prettiest coat, it was easily the most functional one I found. I have personal and extensive experience with the Suse's coats, Mamalila trench, and M Coat. Between these three, the Mamalila trench and the M Coat command a hefty price compared to the Suse's. I found my M Coat, which I adore, don't get me wrong--just doesn't hold up as well to rain. And that's a bit of a problem here! It means taking an umbrella with you wherever you go if you think it might rain. (I don't stock M Coats yet, but I can get them. Please e-mail me if you are searching for one. I would be happy to help.)
The Mamalila trench is much more polished in terms of appearances, and uses far fewer zippers to get the job done. However, it does use a lot of snaps and the snaps don't always cooperate when it comes to staying together. If you prefer snaps to zippers, this is the coat for you. Even the inner shell, which is a lightweight sweatshirt-type material, does up with snaps. It's also not really particularly attractive for wear on its own, unlike the Suse's inner fleece which is not beautiful by any stretch but easily passes off as a regular fleece jacket.
New on the market this year is the Diva Milano line of jackets. They have a spring/fall edition and a winter edition. They look well suited to our climate! I have not had the opportunity to see or try one to suss out how it does against the rainy fall-through-spring we have here on the coast, but I do plan to put one through its paces when I get them. Like the M Coat, the Diva Milano jackets are for front carries. They're also suitable for maternity wear. (The M Coat is definitely the current winner, in my books, for maternity jacket. I loved mine for that, and for a newborn. They just require an umbrella in the rain, and they aren't really optimal for toddlers.) They look really nice, too--like the M Coat--like they're a regular down jacket when the insert(s) are not in.
Other things to consider when it comes to choosing a coat...
- Where's it made? Does that matter to you? If you try to avoid buying anything made in China (and, indeed, we try to not stock anything made in China, for a lot of reasons), you don't want a Suse's coat. I'll temper this, though, with the fact that we'd prefer them if they were made in North America or Europe ... but they were not able to find a factory that would accommodate so darn many zippers! So, China was a necessary concession to have the coats made at all. On the other end of that, the M Coat is very fortunately made right here in Canada.
- How long is the warranty? The M Coat isn't just made in Canada--it also boasts a lifetime warranty! This is a factor worth considering when it comes to the price point of an M Coat. A Suse's jacket includes your standard 1 year warranty comparatively.
- How big is your baby? If you're wearing toddlers, or tandem wearing, or anything like that--you want a coat that will accommodate that. The M Coat isn't great for an older baby/toddler.
- What kind of carries do you want to do? You can't do a back carry with an M Coat, or a Diva Milano coat. You can do back carries in a Suse's Deluxe Kinder Coat, a Suse's Kinder Coat, Suse's Teton Jacket, Mamaponcho, and a Mamalila trench coat.
My darling family is nearly back from school pickup, so I'd best wrap up here. Please comment, message me on FB or e-mail me if you have any questions whatsoever. I am happy to help. You can find more information about some of the available coats on their product pages, which are all visible here in the preorder/special order section of our store. Any of the coats mentioned here we can obtain for you, and then some, so please do check in.
A comprehensive list of what we are able to order for our customers:
- Manduca by MaM (see here for details)
- Boba Vest & Hoodie (these are regularly stocked)
- Mamalila (see their full product line here) these are very hard to get in quickly
- Suse's Deluxe & Suse's Kinder Coat, as well as Suse's Teton Jacket (in stock)
- Diva Milano coats & cover
- The M Coat
Diva Milano's Winter Coat.
Mamaponcho, available in four beautiful colours--forest green, navy blue, charcoal and claret red.
Mamalila Trench Coat.