When the snow began to fall here in the Canadian Rockies, I immediately started to think about what I could do outdoors with my baby girl. Whatever we did, she’d have to be able to ride on me or in a sled or Chariot. I would also have to able to keep her warm. While I would be working up a sweat walking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, she’d be sitting still and getting cold.
So, I was excited when information about 7 A.M. ENFANT‘s products landed in my inbox. One glance at the bunting bags made by the New York-based company, and I had a feeling I had just found what I needed to keep Maya warm and cozy through winter walks and activities. While 7 A.M. ENFANT is designed for urban living, the company was keen to expand into the outdoor adventure market, and agreed to send me the BLANKET 212evolution and Pookie Poncho to test-drive. To maximize their usage, I enlisted the help of Carolyn, another outdoor-loving mama here in Banff.
Built with thermal filling and a waterproof shell, the BLANKET 212evolution ($189 USD) was exactly what I needed this past winter. It adapts to all strollers, and carseats, and also converts into a large blanket. Slits in the back of the material allow you to pull the straps of your stroller through so that you can keep your baby secure. The bag wraps all the way around and zips in the front, fully cocooning the baby as a sleeping bag would. Zippers along the front and bottom allow you to expand the bag as your child grows, and a cinching feature on the hood tightens it around your baby’s head and face to keep the wind and cold out. Installation is super easy, making it convenient to switch the BLANKET 212evolution from, in our case, a stroller to a sled.
The best thing about it was how worry-free I was about my daughter’s temperature, even on very cold days. We pulled Maya around in her sled on Lake Louise when it was -37 Celsius outside. Bundled up in her snowsuit and slipped into the BLANKET 212evolution, she came out toasty warm at the end of the adventure. I also used it pulling her behind me on skis, zipping around on a skating rink, and most often, walking around town on the coldest of days. When the temperatures were warmer, we hardly had to bundle her up underneath the blanket, making it quick and easy to get out of the house (I think every parent living in a cold climate knows how time-consuming it can be to get the baby ready to go outdoors!).
The only thing that bugged me was how the straps would slip out of the slits in the back of the blanket, so I’d have to go fishing for them when I was putting Maya back into the Chariot. There is velcro along the slits that you can close to keep the straps from slipping out. Perhaps some snaps here would be more secure as the velcro can pull apart.
Overall, we love it, and so does our daughter. I would highly recommend the BLANKET 212evolution to any parent who wants to spend some longer days outside in the winter or enjoy winter adventures without worrying about the baby’s temperature. The price is right for the quality, convenience, versatility and warmth of this product.
I tried this in a Chariot with the headrest insert. Even with the extra hardware to work around, the Pookie Poncho was easy to use, and attached well. The poncho added welcome warmth without the messy factor of loose blankets that Sierra could kick off. It kept her warm and cozy on long cross-country ski trips, and was equally great for walking around town, especially when I had to put her in and take her out repeatedly.
The Pookie Poncho took no time to install, and only a few extra minutes were required to attach the hood. I appreciated that I could leave the hood off on warm days, and how when it was on it added extra warmth behind the baby’s shoulders. The hood is quite large and doesn’t cinch, which might be a safety precaution. While it adds extra warmth and helps to keep the heat near baby’s head, you still need to put a hat on the baby. Also, the back cinches around the stroller straps, but leaves an opening. In the Chariot that means the baby’s back would be exposed, so I tucked a blanket behind Sierra’s back to block the wind. Sierra still came out toasty warm after long periods in the stroller.
The Pookie Poncho layers over any carrier, with a stretchy strap on either side that velcros around your carrier’s straps, making it simple, efficient, and quick to install. At 8-months-old, Sierra mostly rides on my front, facing out in the Baby Bjorn, with her legs dangling straight down. This almost makes her too long to have the Pookie Poncho attached above her shoulders, but the poncho can be installed lower down. (This wouldn’t be an issue in a carrier that holds the baby’s legs higher). Prior to using the Pookie Poncho, I hiked with a blanket wrapped around Sierra’s legs, so this is a much better system!
The zipper down the front of the poncho provides great access to baby without having to remove the whole poncho from the carrier. This is a nice feature if you need to check on the baby, re-adjust, or open it up if your little one is too warm.
I liked how a smaller hood is included for use with a baby carrier. It installs easily with snaps so that the baby can face inwards or outwards. While the smaller hood is the perfect size and adds extra warmth, it doesn’t have a way to cinch it, so you need to put a hat on the baby on colder days. I also liked how when the baby is in an outward-facing position, there are little slots that baby’s arms can slide through. Sierra seemed to like having her arms unrestricted.
Overall, I loved using this warm, straightforward system in both my Chariot and over my Bjorn! The price point is very reasonable for the versatility and functionality of this product.
Thanks to 7 A.M. ENFANT for sending these products for review.