Three times bravo and hallelujah! The Made by Zuz parka was probably designed and sewn by someone who actually babywears (and moreover, babywears on the back!) – that certainly helps a lot, in any case. 😉
Zuz is no newbie on the Czech babywearing market – she sold her first products on Fler (Czech version of Etsy) in 2015 which can be considered (regarding the diversity of offer of the babywearing garments) medieval ages of babywearing, if not even stone age. Aside from the babywearing clothes both for mums and dads, Zuz offers also nursing clothes and clothes for children; however, the babywearing jackets and hoodies still remain the main and the most renowned article in the brand’s portfolio.
As I already said, this parka is great! It is made of very warm soft-shell (the one with the fleece inner layer) which kept us cosy even in temperatures around 0 degrees only with a thin sweater as an interlayer. The sewing looks good, no threads sticking out, and fits nicely even without a wearie – and consider this particular one is the L size and I really do wear the S size usually! So, if I wanted to buy a Made by Zuz parka of my own, I would definitely buy a size up, i.e. size M. The sleeves are very long and the hems made of stretchy jersey with a “thumbhole” are a nice functional detail. The pockets are big and deep and I appreciate that it is possible to fasten them with studs (however, I would prefer a zipper since I am always nervous that I would tear the studs out of the fabric in such a “frequented” place).
The parka is wonderfully long, not only for us midgets, but even for a normally-tall person – there is no chance that the legs of even a very big wearie would stick out! This is a problem I had with quite a lot of babywearing garments, despite Emilka being quite small for her age. Made by Zuz parka is definitely one of the longest babywearing coats (maybe even the longest) I have tried so far.
The insert is also very long and can be fastened very high – the wearie is thus protected from all directions in front and covered up to his/her neck when worn on the back – as you can see in the photos, Emilka being very high on my back is still snuggled, warm and cosy inside the coat, with her shoulders perfectly covered. Moreover, there is an elastic band in the upper hem of the insert which makes it fit well around the neck and the cord that adjusts the width of the insert in the lower part is actually where it is supposed to be, i.e. under the wearie’s bum, not over it as I saw in many babywearing coats and hoodies from different brands. All thumbs up for the detachable hood on the insert. Also, it has very long elastic cords – this may seem illogical and unaesthetic at the first sight but one will fully appreciate this when wearing on the back. Thanks to these long cords it is no problem to reach them even with your little one on the back and to put the hood over his/her head.
The solution of the neck protection is very elegant, in my opinion. There is no sophisticated neck cover; you just fasten the lower part of the hood – this is just enough to ensure the wearer’s comfort while the manipulation is easy and foolproof. I must say that I did not need any other neck protection while wearing it with Emilka in winter temperatures.
The only problem I actually have with this parka is, in fact, aesthetic – regarding the big hood. When you put it on your head, it looks really, really ugly (sorry, but it does). While it may be functional and the elastic hem may compensate for the lack of unnecessary cords, the wearer looks like a seal, in my opinion (or a speedskater, according to the colour of the soft-shell). On the other hand, it possesses one ingenious detail – it is not detachable (which is normally an aspect I cry about in any other babywearing piece of clothing with the possibility to wear on the back – the wearie gets slapped by the hood!) but you can roll it and fasten it with a stud behind your neck! How simple and functional – just great! Moreover, you do not need to worry about the idle half of zipper after detaching the hood (if it is not covered) which does not look very nice and tends to pull the wearer’s hair.
I must say it one more time – this parka is wonderful! If I did not already have all my babywearing gear complete, I would definitely consider buying Made by Zuz!