While sleepsacks for our two-year-old daughter are nothing new to us - she has been sleeping in them since birth - the idea of camping with a little kid is a new challenge. We were very happy for the tips in the Trailpeak article " Your baby and the great outdoors " and planned to set off to our first real camping trip. We were a bit apprehensive how little Maria would handle the tent and the whole experience. In preparation, we had her sleep in the new Kohlrbaby sleepsack at home. The specs of the sleepsack:
- Classic midweight fleece
- Two shoulder straps with snaps
- Coil-type zipper along the right side all the way around the footbox
- Soft lining in the upper body section
- Heart-shaped appliqué on the front
The last feature may seem not important to the uninitiated, but Maria loves hearts so through this little trick she was instantly won over for the new bag. The cuddly feel of fleece was another thing she really liked. On first try, the sleepsack is easy to put on, even on a squirming toddler who doesn't want to go to bed. We liked the fact that the zipper starts right under the armpit, so you don't have the boxy zipper pull there, and she also couldn't open the zipper by herself. On our first "dry run" at home, we made more use of this feature and left the zipper a little open for extra ventilation and found this to work really well. For smaller kids, it is also nice that you can change diapers without taking the whole sleepsack off. The cutouts for the armholes were also just the right size with room enough so as not to be restricting, yet snug enough that Maria stayed in the sleepsack and the cold air stayed out.
The real test, of course, came when we were actually out camping, and our sleepsack showed us again why fleece is so popular for outdoor wear. For a few nights in Kamloops, we encountered quite a range of night temperatures, and the sleepsack handled them all well. On the most chilly night, we added a blanket for extra warmth, but even after Maria had wiggled out from under that in her active sleep, she was still nice and warm. When it stayed warmer, the breathable fabric always kept her comfortable and she was never too hot or sweaty. In all, a perfect score for sleeping comfort.
The next test is pretty ubiquitous when you are out camping: dirt! The fleece material again really shone here. Not only could we just shake out any sand and dirt that collected in the bag, our little one throwing up all over it gave us a rare (and completely unwanted!) extreme test situation. On a camping trip, you generally don't have the complete backup systems at hand that lets you handle this kind of emergency at home with relative ease. Out on our own, we wiped down the sleepsacks immediately with amazing results: it was still both dry and odour-free enough that all three of us could sleep in the tent that night. Maria was as comfortable as any toddler who throws up at bedtime gets. Once back home, we threw the sleepsack into the washer and it handled this really well, too. No pilling or any other marks show at all, attesting to the high quality of the fabric used.
All in all, a great product, and we will definitely go for more fleece stuff from Kohlrbaby (Maria will love the crib sheet at daycare!). We were very happy with the performance, the design was practical, the material great for the purpose, and the craftsmanship "Made in Canada" superb. If you are planning on camping, I would always go with a muted colour like the sage we had. Whatever dirt there may have been left - at least you couldn't see it!
Sadly, no original picture from Maria on our trip is available, so we reposted the picture from www.kohlrbaby.com.