I recently had the opportunity to start reviewing babywearing coats/jackets, which I had hoped would help others answer those things that they wish they could know before buying (as well as help me to pass the winter with something to do since I’m not a big snow fan and hate the cabin fever! Plus I have a toddler who is adventurous so wrap and carrier reviews are at a standstill until Baby comes along in April!). Living in an area with season changes and differing degrees of inclement weather, I get many questions from clients and patrons of my local babywearing group about which jackets would work for where they live.
Hopefully, reader, these reviews will assist you in answering such questions. I’m using more of a Q & A format rather than my typical story format so I hope that you find it easier to go straight to any questions that you may have. If you have a specific question about a specific coat/jacket that I didn’t answer in my review, don’t hesitate to leave a comment for me and I’ll give you the best answer that I can! 🙂
Name of Company:
Where are they located?
Where can you get it in the USA/North America?
Directly from the company’s website
Nina & Jack Babywearing located in Chicago, Illinois, USA (retailer)
Product being reviewed:
Mountain Marsupial 4-in-1 Babywearing Jacket (in the color Mo’ Better Baby Blue, which is a gorgeous color! None of my photos are photo shopped to enhance the color because there was no need!)
Materials it’s made from:
“A high-tech softshell fabric that is just like the fabric that is used by the big mountaineering companies! This fabric is not only windproof and waterproof, it is also breathable. It is comprised of 3 layers: The soft, matte right side of the fabric is strong and has the ability to stretch. The middle layer blocks the wind and rain entirely while still allowing the skin to breathe (this layer is called DINTEX), and the lightweight mesh wrong side of the fabric is comfortable against the skin. It won’t make you sweat or make “swooshing sounds” while you walk.
DINTEX fabric is described the developers as such: “A special membrane engineered with state of the art technology guaranteed to keep you dry and comfortable from the inside to the outside. Suitable for all weather conditions, Dintex provides an impenetrable layer to prevent water and wind coming in, while keeping the highest level of breathability.”
Three layers of the fabric are comprised of the following:
Outer layer (right side): 94% Polyester, 6%Spandex
Middle layer (DINTEX): 100% Polyurethane
Inner Layer (wrong side): 100% Polyester” – as quoted from the MM website
This fabric is pretty amazing! It is lightweight yet keeps out the blustery, cold, freezing weather very well! I never once felt the cold wind bite through the jacket and that was a relief given that I was reviewing it as a snow storm blew into our area!
I am a HUGE fan of softshell materials and highly recommend them if you live in an area that it snows or rains quite often- with its waterproofing it makes the perfect babywearing rain jacket as well as a winterized babywearing coat.
Englewood, Colorado, USA at United Cut and Sew Manufacturing
Initial thoughts/first impression:
Upon opening the package I was first met with an impressive, bright colored coat! The color was gorgeous, a real head turner. After pulling it out and inspecting all the moving parts, I had a feeling that I was going to be impressed with this coat; I loved the feel of the softshell outer layer and knew that it would do well in the sometimes crazy and inclement weather that we are known to have here in Northern Utah during the winters. I was also eager to check out the sleeve length and adjustable cuffs; as someone with short arms, most things fall straight down over my wrists and often times even over my fingers! So that’s always one of the first things that I check out.
I was surprised at first by the longer pull tabs on the zippers; I had never experienced that in a design up to that point. However, these simple tabs would become a favorite feature for me as the review weeks passed.
I also got the feeling that this would be a durable coat, not just toddler-proof in its durability but that this would be a coat that my outdoor family could get out and enjoy nature in. The material would be snag-proof when hiking and it would allow us to be our typical rough and tumble selves.
And as weird as it sounds, I like the larger logos on the jacket. Not everyone is social enough to come up and ask you about something that you are wearing that they are interested in. Having the larger logos allows them to see the name at a distance and find it later for themselves. Also, when I find products that I like, I want to share them with the world and large logos are just one great way of ‘showing them off’. They were discretely placed along one arm and across the zip in insert.
Weather I wore it in:
I wore this coat in both freezing temps with knee deep snow and 20+ mph blowing, icy winds, so I think that I definitely covered the inclement portion of this review! I also was able to wear it in nicer, spring-like weather that was sunny and barely carried a chill, so it had some nicely rounded weather for comparison purposes.
Sleeting rain/snow rolled right off the material, which is exactly why I softshells! It was easy to shake it off before getting into the car or going inside the house/a building so I never had that dripping, dragging water around with me feeling; no one wants to be the person that leaves puddles behind!
Average temps were low 30’s, with a mix of snow, slush, and some rain during cloudy days. The highest temp was 54 (one afternoon) and the lowest was within the Wasatch-Uintah-Cache National Forest/mountains with knee deep snow, probably around 18-20 F at the highest.
How did it feel the first time that I wore it?
Soft and form fitting, just like I like it! It fell to the top of my thighs, squarely across my hips. Adjusting the toggles along the bottom kept it from riding up over my curves (and my bum!); have I ever mentioned how much I love toggles?!
It was snug and didn’t allow drafts or cool air to pool inside the jackets. It zipped up beautifully over my pregnant bump and was not so tight that it left a zipper imprint nor did I feel the need to add in the insert. In fact, I tried it out with the insert to see what it would be like and I swam in it so it was perfect without it for me wearing it sans a child! (note: I was 7 months pregnant when I reviewed this)
It was nice and warm; I first wore it after a fresh snowfall and the weather was somewhere in the upper 20s Fahrenheit. The wind was biting a bit that morning, before the sun made it over the mountains and the jacket never let the wind come through the outer shell. Also, it was such lightweight material that I didn’t feel the need to strip out of it the second that I walked into the building (I honestly hate extra layers and ditch my outer layers the instant that I walk into a home/store/building!).
The cuffs have an adjustable Velcro closure that allowed me to cinch the cuff down, even over my gloves, and keep any wind from whipping up my sleeve. I really like this feature, because not only does it keep the cold out but it allows me to actively adjust the overall sleeve length when I cinch it down to a smaller size around my wrist. I can’t stand sleeves that come down over my hands!! Then I just find myself constantly pushing my sleeves to my elbows and I ruin perfectly good cuffs that way! Besides, what’s the point of wearing a coat with gloves on and the sleeves shoved up to the elbows?? Who does that?! (Other than me, obviously).
Fit for pregnancy:
This jacket is a great one to wear during pregnancy, either with or without a child being worn in it. It can easily be worn with or without the insert and as I mentioned above; I found that I didn’t need to add the insert over my (then) 7 month pregnant belly. Sitting down with it fully zipped was comfortable as well and I never felt strangled or breathless from it being ‘too tight’.
Also I really loved the way that the jacket molded around my belly. It was very clear that I was pregnant and I got lots of compliments about how cute I looked! People couldn’t help but admire the color of the coat and then “Awe! What a cute bump!” It may sound vain but hey- one likes to be complimented in pregnancy, especially when they aren’t feeling too hot all the time! Besides, that’s the truth of reviewing, right?
Fit for pregnancy + toddler:
It was awesome for both! I wore Alice on my back (insert zipped in around her) and the whole coat zipped beautifully around the both of us. I really like how it hugged snugly under Alice’s bum, not allowing for any drafts to get us from behind. Also we found that it was best to take Alice’s down coat and gloves off because she was already so toasty within the coat that she didn’t need the extra layers to keep her warm. Once up, she actually didn’t want to get down AND she fell asleep!
How did it feel the first time that I wore Alice in it?
Very comfortable. No pinching of the fabric anywhere on either of us (not too small) and no drafty spaces (not too baggy). The fit was snug thanks to tightening the toggles along the bottom of the coat so no cool air pooled within the jacket, even with her long legs sticking below the bottom edge of the jacket, well past my torso.
The jacket was easy to get on over her head and the extra-long zipper pulls made it easy to zip up those last few inches once it cleared her head while back wearing.
**Note: to get an idea about the carrier that Alice was in for fit- she was in a toddler size Jublii SSC with the PFAs cinched all the way down (adjusted to mommy this time!) and the hip belt was clipped over my bump.
How was the overall fit with the size that I was wearing?
My measurements at 7months pregnant were –> 5’3” (63”) height, 39.5” bust/chest size, 43” hips, arm length measurement from outer wrist to curve of shoulder 22”/56.5cm
I reviewed the 4-in-1 jacket/coat in a size Small. I would say that this jacket fit me about as perfectly as I could expect any jacket to ever fit me, pregnant or not! I absolutely loved the form fit and the sleeve length was not overwhelmingly long to where I had to deal with extra fabric bunching up around my shoulders or wrists even after adjusting the cuffs. This was the perfect size for me in this model of babywearing coat! I would say that a true to size fit is accurate.
Does this jacket/coat come in plus sizes?
Sizing on the website is Small – Large currently, as the last bit of stock from the previous production run sells out. With many inquiries to the company on plus sizes, the possibility of the next production run (likely to be slated for Fall 2018) including larger sizes is highly likely.
Keep in mind that this coat can also be worn as an everyday coat with the insert zipped into it for more room as needed.
While out doing a photoshoot with another jacket I discovered that this softshell makes for an excellent outer layering piece to keep the chill out!! I had the babywearing insert already zipped into the back so it fit right over the other jacket and because the sleeve cuffs were adjustable, I was easily able to cinch them down over the elastic cuffs of the other jacket AND my gloves! It kept me very toasty, which was great because it was around 18F (at the highest) and the snow was to my knees in places!
Favorite things about the coat/jacket (toggles, zip pulls, hoods, wrist elastics, etc)?
I loved the zipper pulls on this jacket! It made zipping things with my current limited range of motion (bending at the waist feels impossible at times) a breeze!
I really enjoyed the deeper pockets. I have a habit of sticking my phone, keys, and smaller wallet into my pockets when I’m in a hurry or just don’t want to carry a bunch of stuff while out. It helps to have deeper pockets for this reason, especially with my expanding middle because then I don’t feel as if things are constantly falling out and I have to keep my hands in my pockets at all times.
I also like the shape of the insert – not many allow the space for a caregiver to wear FFO (forward facing out) with the roominess that is needed for the child to face out. Plenty of caregiver/child combos love FFO as a wearing option so this jacket could be a perfect one for them. Check out MM’s video on their site to see it being worn in this way!
Suggestions on things that I would like to see added/differently?
My only suggestion/preference would be a detachable hood for the caregiver. I’m a beanie kinda outdoors woman and don’t tend to use coat hoods. I find when babywearing on the back that the hood can get in the way of the little ones, especially because they sit about face level to the hood for the bigger kids. I like to keep the hood in my car, in case I need it for myself, but mostly I find that I don’t have a need for leaving it on the jacket for regular wear (unless it’s actively raining or snowing).
Would I recommend this product?
I will definitely be recommending this coat to other caregivers, especially to ones local to my area and in surrounding states with similar weather! The coat is durable and dependable under differing weather conditions, as well as being very toddler worthy. It has easy to wash instructions (machine wash, hang dry), one less thing that a busy caregiver needs to deal with! It can accommodate a pregnant momma, pregnant and back wearing, front wearing or back wearing alone, tandem front and back wearing, or without any inserts for the daily jacket wearer.
It is locally made here in the US and easy to purchase. No paying extra shipping or import costs on the consumer end if you’re from here (and I’m a fan of not having to wait weeks-months for it to get to me!).
You can expect a stunning, bold jacket that will turn the heads of those around you to get a better view!