Any baby-wearing parent living in a cooler climate knows that dressing for the cold can be a challenge. Put the jacket on under the carrier or over? Dress the baby warmly, or use a blanket? Front-of-mind is the fact that the baby’s torso will be warm against a parent’s body, but their backside is exposed. Some carriers are better at cutting through wind and cold than others, but for the most part do not provide insulation.
So, when Kowalli asked me to try out their baby carrier cover, I was definitely game. And with some hikes planned for the fall, I asked them to throw in a pair of SnuggleBoots, too. Booties “designed to stay on baby’s feet” (according to their website)? Heck, yeah, I’ll try them.
Here’s what I discovered about these products (stay tuned for the giveaway at the end!).
I gave the Kowalli a test-drive with two baby carriers that are the same style, but made of different materials: the BobaAir (a lightweight carrier made of nylon) and the Boba 3G Baby Carrier (a more heavy-duty cotton carrier). In general, I dressed my upper body with enough layers so that my arms would be warm, but compensated for the warmth that the baby and Kowalli would provide by not wearing as heavy a jacket as I normally would in autumn.
I found the Kowalli easy to pull on over my head, and to take off by sliding it back down my body (as their instructions recommend). But, my daughter wasn’t a fan of having it pulled over her head, and I discovered it was actually easier for me to step into the Kowalli and pull it up and over from below, then put my arm through and cinch the material in. No complaints from baby that way.
One of the nicest things about the Kowalli is not having to dress the baby in so many layers before heading out. On mildly cool days I could leave my daughter in whatever she was wearing that day and just use the Kowalli and a hat to keep her warm. Other days, I’d add a fleece hoody for additional warmth. One thing I’d love to see is a version that can be worn under a backpack so that I can take it hiking. As it stands, I would likely overheat in the current model, but perhaps a version with a front panel only would be of use to outdoorsy folks.
Finally, I really loved the kangaroo pocket at the front. It feels nice to hug or hold your baby while you’re walking – even nicer to do it from the inside of a toasty pocket!
Overall I’d give it 4.5/5!
I tested these out on a hike to Skoki Lodge, a backcountry lodge where I spent two nights with my husband and daughter. She was six months old at the time, and we were expecting sub-zero temperatures and snow on our way in. The tricky thing with carrying a baby while hiking is that whether you are using a front or back carrier, the baby’s feet are exposed (unless they are small enough to fit froggy style inside a carrier). I was a bit nervous about keeping my daughter warm, and was thankful to have the SnuggleBoots on hand to keep her feet as toasty as possible.
Overall, the SnuggleBoots did the trick. While I think the gusty winds still cut through the Polartec fleece (her feet were a tad cold upon our arrival at the lodge), I wasn’t concerned about frostbite. My daughter didn’t complain at all, so I figured she was warm enough. I put socks on her feet inside the booties, and made sure to roll up the ankles to add extra warmth to her legs as well.
My kiddo has this way of kicking off socks, boots, booties – whatever you put on her feet. Did the SnuggleBoots stay on? For the most part, yes! The elastic in the Snuggleboots kept them on – no problem. I did discover you have to make sure that the material hasn’t gathered around the elastic in order to make sure the foot is sitting as far into the bootie as possible (otherwise, yes, they will fall off, which drove my husband crazy). Reshaping the bootie before putting them on was key to ensuring they stayed on.
Overall I’d give them 5/5!
Thanks to Kowalli for sending me the baby carrier cover and SnuggleBoots for review.
Win yourself a Kowalli Baby Carrier Cover in any colour (eligible to be shipped to the Continental US and Canada).
Two steps to enter:
1. Answer this question in the comments below: If you won, where would you go with your Kowalli?
A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, October 25 at 5pm MST. You must provide a valid email address with your entry.