Wet Wet Wet: splash suits for all seasons

Well, the first real post here isn’t going to be about languages, but rather clothing! Why? Because in the next few days our weather isn’t going to be the -15 celcius we usually have this time of year, but zero and above. That means… wet wet wet. Wet snow, wet sidewalks, slush everywhere, and puddles. Not so compatible with winter coats and pants or snowsuits. Especially when your child plays like mine:

Big Boy standing in ice water

Big Boy standing in ice water 08

Big Boy sit in water

Big Boy sitting in spring thaw puddles

Big Boy laying in water

Big Boy laying in water 09

We’ve been huge fans of MEC’s newt rain suit since the start. Big Boy has gone from 2T to 4T ($54 ea). (they also make 12 and 18 mos infant sizes $52) They keep Big Boy not only dry but clean, whether it is his shorts and tshirt in summer, sweater and sweatpants in fall or his whole snowsuit in winter. He wears it in rain, wet snow, and even in BC forests:

newt suit bike

Balance bike with newt suit 09

muddy Big Boy

muddy Big Boy 09

vancouver newt suit

Vancouver urban forest Jan09

But this winter we have a problem:

newt suit too small

Newt suit too small Dec09

Yup, his snowsuit sleeves and legs are hanging out of the largest size newt suit on the market. Drat.

So, I spent hours and hours in December looking for a replacement, as I don’t think Big Boy is going to start playing solely on his feet anytime soon.

I thought my problems were solved when I found the website of a great company, Golden Valley, who makes raingear and snowgear in Ontario… they make not only 1-piece splash suits but also 1-piece snowsuits even for big kids in my insulation of choice: thinsulate. However, it turned out that they had disappeared off the map. The phone number to order turned out to be a group home now. The website turned out to be only a draft the webdesigner had forgotten to take offline. Huge disappointment. I sent an email to the addy listed on the same page as the wrong phone # with little hope left.

In the meantime I tracked down these amazing rain overalls/ splash pants made by sueskinder:

susekinder mud pants

Susekinder mud pants

They are only $24.99 US online, have adjustable suspenders, snaps at the very large waist (they fit over coats to keep the front clean as well!) and elastic at the waist back, as well as removable, adjustable elastic straps that go under boots. They are available from size 80 (2-3 yrs) to 130 (7-8 yrs).

Doing a bit of research, I found the last pair (size 110: Big Boy is 104 cm tall) at Tadpoles and Butterflies, an Edmonton store. They were nice enough to mail them to me and we got them last week (sorry for the bad photo!)

trying on susekinder

Trying on Susekinder mud pants

They look a bit goofy over his coat and snow pants (they’d fit better over his one piece snowsuit) but will certainly keep most of him out of the puddles!

They are a stretchy poly- urethane with reflective stripes around the ankles… Big Boy says they look like Xiao Chien’s mudpants! (another post, that!) They will be good for when it is not raining, as they won’t keep the sweat in like the full-body newt suit.

They have heat-welded seam tape over the sewn seams, but unfortunately on both legs near the knees, the welding didn’t take. The company told me by email that this is the old model, and will be sending a replacement nylon new model, which is great of them.

And then we got an email from the owner of Golden Valley. They have closed down their retail business, but sell their children’s stock through Kiddytown in Ottawa, Ontario (Gladwin Cres location). A quick phonecall, and we put in an order for a size 5 one-piece splash suit. It is about the same price as the newt suit, at $59.99. Though add shipping onto that.

Unfortunately when it arrived, it was almost the exact same size as the too-small 4T newt suit. A friend was nice enough to exchange it for a size 6 when they were in Ottawa. So here it is:

Golden Valley splash suit front

Golden Valley splash suit front

As you can see, it has one full body zipper, where the newt suit has two (but we only ever undid one), and has pockets (the better to fill with water!) The hood has elastic the whole way around, whereas the newt suit has a brim like a cap, which keeps the rain off the face. The other difference is that the seams are all sewn and none are sealed.

Golden Valley splash suit back

Golden Valley splash suit back

I have tackled this problem with Seam Grip (same that I used to patch small holes in the newt suit). It has unfortune- ately taken two tubes of Seam Grip at $7 per tube to do all the seams, but at least it will keep Big Boy clean. Here is a closeup of the pocket in the front (someplace I definitely needed to seal the back of the sea), as well as a view of the post-sealing:

splash suit pocket

splash suit pocket

sealed seam

seams sealed with Seam Grip

You can see where the seam is not shiny anymore: that is where I applied baby powder onto the Seam Grip when it had dried for 24 hours, so it won’t stick to itself or anything else.

I highly recommend Seam Grip. You can use it to seal seams on anything, patch tents and raingear etc. But you can also use it to fill holes and tears. Just put clear tape on one side of the hole, spread Seam Grip over the back and 1/4 inch beyond the edges of the hole, let dry. Remove the tape, and your hole is filled! It really stands up too, and doesn’t dry up and flake off like a lot of seam sealers.

Seam GripI picked it up at La Cordée, but it is available at many camping and sporting goods shops. Just remember to keep it in the freezer between uses!

Well, that is it for my exposé on splash suits for preschoolers. If you have found any great ones larger than 4T, especially if they are available in Canada, I would love to hear about it. Leave the product name, manufacturer or link in the comments. And I’ll try to remember to take some photos of Big Boy using the new Susekinder mud pants and the Golden Valley splash suit.

Enjoy the mushy weather!


One response to “Wet Wet Wet: splash suits for all seasons

  1. OK, I officially dislike wordpress’s interface… not so easy change the html to get the combo of text and images I want. I am giving up for now (agh, 4:18 am!), and am sorry that the text doesn’t line up properly with the images it is meant to go with. Oh typepad and diaryland, wherefore art thou? I have foresaken thee and wordpress is paying me back!! 😀

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