The saying goes that there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. But when you’re Canadian, you can add “winter” to that list.
I’ve lived in Ontario for 36 of my 39 years on the planet, and winter weather continues to be unpredictable from year to year. As a kid, I remember the snowbanks towering over me and spending hours outside building snow forts (which in hindsight were incredibly dangerous).
As a mom, I have a love/hate affair with winter. Sure, it means tobogganing, snowmen and snow angels, and the inevitable snowball fight, but it also means bundling up and hoping I’ve layered on enough clothes and winter gear to keep my own little angels safe from the elements. Because, let’s face it, kids have a rather warped sense of the cold and could be facing appendage amputation thanks to frostbite long before they’d admit they’re cold enough to break away from winter fun.
So that final layer–the coats, mitts, hats and boots–is incredibly important. I’ve always bought the “GAP Warmest” snowsuits, projecting onto my kids my adoration of all-things-down. But this year, we’re giving Wheat Canada’s winter wear a whirl. And we’re impressed. (Thanks to Wheat for sending these pieces for review.)
Selection — several different styles of coats, snow pants and even two different kinds of snowsuit onesies available. Good luck narrowing it down. We chose a two-piece snow suit for The K Man but a one-piece for Miss Q since it affords us some extra time teaching her how to do up her zipper independently.
Totally warm. Surprisingly so. Because I’m used to down-filled coats, I really worried that the Wheat ones just wouldn’t be as warm as to what my kids are accustomed. But I have now watched them parade around in this stuff for more than a month, in deep snow and frigid temperatures, and I haven’t had one (truly — not one) complaint. The Thermolite padding really does its job.
And it does so incredibly efficiently, too, with all of that bulk that you get from down reduced by more than 50 per cent in my opinion. And while I know I’m not supposed to buckle my kids into their car seats in their winter coats, sometimes you just don’t have time for the extra fuss and in these very thin coats from Wheat Canada, I worry less. And a little less worry in my life is a good thing.
I love how roomy Wheat’s winter pieces are. Some snow pants out there are designed so snugly that it makes it pretty challenging for toddlers to get themselves up off the ground after they’ve fallen or been playing sitting down. And while this can provide several minutes of entertainment for us parents, less struggle means less intervention required on our parts. And that means we can go back to our RumChata-laced coffees.
The fabrics don’t contain Phthalates or carboxyl acid (usually used as a flame retardant).
The jackets, pants and onesies are all waterproof but breathable — a highly sought-after combination that often results in having winter-wear that is one but not the other.
When I first read that Wheat Canada’s outerwear is dirt-repellent, I wondered what that really meant and why it would matter with outerwear. I mean, you get dirt on your clothes, and you put it in the wash. Right? Well, not exactly, which I found out the day Miss Q came home having what can only be described as jumped into a puddle of mud, straddled it and rode it like a cowgirl. She came home with mud up and down her winter onesie. But she had to go to school the next day and having not laundered any of the Wheat winter stuff at that point, I couldn’t take a chance that it wouldn’t be dry by morning. So I left it to dry overnight, mud and all, in my foyer. Imagine my surprise when I shook it out the next day and the mud caked off, leaving very little obvious residue. It didn’t look brand new by any stretch but I was a mere shell of what it looked like just a day earlier.
There are lots of reflectors — from the “W” on the back of the outerwear pieces to some of the piping to the little moose that dangles out of the right-hand pocket. Safety first!
More pockets than any child will ever need, but the details make Wheat’s outerwear look really slick.
Lots of great colour choices available, and I should tell you that they’re remarkably colour-true from computer screen to real life.
Hoods are adjustable, which is great for kids with notably small or huge noggins. The fur trim is also removable (which is great for laundering, because trust me when I tell you NOT to put faux fur in the dryer!).
The snow pants we chose for The K Man have removable suspenders, which makes them even more versatile.
Hats are warm, with no complaints of cold ears.
My kids love the inner cuffs, which are tight to the hand and have an optional thumb-hole à la lululemon.
The problem with those cuffs, though, is that I’m unable to fit many of their warmest mittens and gloves underneath. You know how there are some kids’ mitts out there that go up to the elbows to keep them on really well? Can’t use ’em. Same goes for thicker mittens that I prefer to be tucked in. Thankfully STONZ makes Mittz that fit well over-top of the Wheat cuffs, so we wear those a lot.
The sizing is a bit inconsistent. While The K Man (age 6.5) is a size 8 in all of Wheat’s clothing and the size 8 snow suit fits like a glove, Miss Q (turning 4 on Christmas Eve) readily wears a size 5 in the clothing but is swimming in the size 5 snowsuit. Perhaps it’s the winter-onesie thing, but every time we get her dressed for the outdoors, all I can muster is a mental image of Randy in “A Christmas Story” in the legendary “I can’t put my arms down!” scene.
Same goes for the hat sizes; Miss Q’s XL fits her barely four-year-old head beautifully, while The K Man’s size large is so big we have to fold it up. This can make online ordering rather tricky and may require some trial and error.
So…where can you get it?
- Directly from Wheat Canada