Thursday, February 3, 2011

Suse’s Kinder Coat Review

by Sarah Fineman - Mama Bear of two boys

I was an avid hiker before kids. When my two boys came along, I didn’t want to stop. With my first I used blankets and a big coat to wrap him up to keep us warm as we hiked and played in the snow, rain and wind. When Sam came along I discovered Suse’s Kinder Coat. From the first time I put it on I was sold! An extra panel zips in to make the coat big enough to fit a baby in a front carrier. There is a special zip just below the neck to provide a place for a baby’s head to peek out. But it can still zip up to your neck. Very slick. We did our first Tuesday night run in the rain and Sam stayed dry wrapped against my chest with the raincoat zipped up after he fell asleep. I stayed dry too thanks to the handy flap above the “hole” for the baby’s head. I was sold!

This is a three in one jacket. You can use the nylon shell as a raincoat. The fleece is toasty warm for many winter hikes as well as fall and cool Alaskan summer days. Zip it all together and your little one stays warm on even the coldest days! In fact you have to be careful not to overheat you or your baby by bundling up too much.

The coolest part about the coat is the back wearing option. There is a slick pocket opening in the back through which a baby in a soft backpack (Ergo, wrap or the like) can have their head free while still bundled up next to you and warm. We loved this feature and used it for two years of great hiking. Depending on the temperature you can change how many layers you are using and keep yourself and your little one warm. There are drawstrings to adjust the size of the opening depending on how cold it is. It is a slight trick to learn how to get it on, but like putting a baby on your back, you get the hang of it.

I have to say, I wore this jacket a lot. If there was a chance I would be wearing Sam, I wore the jacket. It didn’t look that bad even with out Sam. They have a bunch of new color choices now too.

There are several things I think they could improve (mine was a 2008 and they could have been changed since). The jacket I had had pretty short sleeves. I prefer a longer sleeve so I can tuck my hands in to keep them warm. I think I have pretty normal arms, but these sleeves were short on me. The zippers were a bit on the flimsy side. Good sturdy zippers would improve it, though mine never snagged or broke in several years of hard use. Lastly, the outer shell functioned fine as a raincoat, but it wasn’t great. For me a more waterproof fabric would make it even better.

Even with the small flaws, I would highly recommend the Suse’s Kinder Coat to anyone, especially those who are a avid baby wearers and/or hikers. It is an easy way to keep your baby next to you, keeping you all warm at the same time!

Thank you Sarah!

Beach Lake

AAAAAAlaska you humble us with your astounding beauty. This might have been the most beautiful day for a Trek to date! The sun was rising, the temps were in the 20s and a light mist rose over the lake. The trees and ground were covered from last nights gentle dusting of fresh powdery snow. We had some new parents join and connections made. Kids trying snowshoes for the first time, sleds being pulled and ridden. We primarily hiked the perimeter of the lake on the frozen ice, but made time to take a quick tangent off to the beach of Cook Inlet with a view of both the Talkeetna and Chugach Mountain Ranges. We must have caught the tide as the water was moving great big ice chunks by at at rapid speed. I tried taking video, but the kiddo on my back was bouncing. Beach Lake Trail is by far this groups favorite spot! We'll be back again, and again, and again.