While Ducksday might be a household name to outdoorsy families overseas, this kid’s outerwear company has just recently started offering their products stateside, through the family-owned Ollie and Stella Children’s Outfitters, operating out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. What first caught my eye about Ducksday gear was that it offers a solution to the annoying part of outdoor play in the wet and cold – so much bulk your kid can’t move! Not only do all those layers take up tons of valuable packing space, but countless times I have taken more than 20 minutes to get my little guy geared up enough for an F4 tornado only to have him announce, “I poopied, Mommy!” Grrr.
Ducksday’s solution is a two-piece layering system – waterproof rain suit on the outside, and cozy, warm fleece on the inside. Individually, they can keep your child dry in wet, warm weather, or warm in cold, dry weather. Used together, they can keep your child warm enough and dry enough to play in the snow! This combination offers the ultimate flexibility in changing weather – perfect for families who spend long days outside, especially during “in-between” seasons.
When we first received C’s rain/fleece suit combo from Ducksday, I knew we wouldn’t have any trouble finding some rainy testing weather. This time of year there’s no shortage of that here in the Southeast. Snow, on the other hand, I feared would be a little more difficult to come by (last year we didn’t get ANY!). Ironically, however, less than 48 hours after receiving C’s Ducksday gear (and after a morning of tromping around in the puddles with it earlier that day!), my little gear-tester awoke from his afternoon nap to more than 3 inches of perfect, packable snow! And thanks to Ducksday, he was ready!
Here’s our take on the gear…
What Cragbaby Liked…
– IT’S COMFORTABLE: Well, those may not have been his exact words, but he regularly refers to the fleece as his “snuggly, fluffy suit” and often refuses to take it off upon coming inside. In light of that, I’d say comfortable is a fair assumption.
– FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: Snow angels, sledding, puddle-jumping, sprinting, falling…C could do it all seemingly unencumbered, even though we sized with room to grow!
-WINDPROOF: There were some big wind gusts during our snowy escapade, and not once did C show any signs of shivering. Every time I asked, he’d say, “I’m nice and warm, Mommy!”
What Cragmama Liked…
-IT’S DURABLE: The waterproof fabric on the rain suit appears to be much better made than other suits we’ve had/seen. The fabric seems sturdy without adding bulk, and also appears to be very resistant to stains – even red mud seemed to wipe off clean, without a trace.
–IT’S ADORABLE: C wanted to keep his suit on while we ran errands and went out to dinner, and got so many compliments that I finally lost track!
-ADJUSTABILITY: Velcro cuffs and stirrups on the feet allow for an adjustable fit for kids that grow like weeds.
-VERSATILITY: The rain/fleece suit combo is well-suited for the ever-changing conditions we encounter on climbing trips here in the Southeast. It eliminates the need to pack a whole lot of bulky gear and extra clothes “just in case.”
What We Would Change…
We LOVED the fact that the fleece zipper came completely undone, allowing for easier diaper changes…but we wished that the rain suit zipper did the same, rather than stopping at waist height. Also, we wished the fleece hood would have been a little thicker (and not made of cotton!). It fit very snug over the ears and head, which worked out great for the layering system with the rain hood, but for super cold temps, it would be nicer to have a thicker hood.
This set up has revolutionized my packing strategy for C at the crag. Previously, C had an outer shell for a rainsuit, but we’d have to layer tops and bottoms separately underneath it, as it provided no warmth. Our other option was a down suit from Mountain Molehill, which was too bulky to put underneath the rainsuit, but offered minimal protection in wet weather. Not to mention that on a sunny day the suit was generally too hot by the afternoon, which meant we had to bring extra sets of clothes. Our new Ducksday gear is suitable for all occasions – C can wear the whole she-bang on cold mornings, and as temperatures rise, we can de-layer as needed. And there’s still plenty of room under the rainsuit to add another insulating layer for those mornings that are truly bone-chilling.