This summer Caroline’s been trialling a kids winter wetsuit from Iglu, a company who have children’s needs and parents’ budgets at the heart of their clever designs. It’s a great colour, easy to put on and really warm. And boy has it been trialled – Caroline wore it for snorkelling, surfing, stand up paddle boarding, body boarding, goggling and all sorts of beach activities!
But here’s the thing. A confession. And a slightly embarrassing one at the start of a wetsuit review. I’m not a fan of wetsuits…
I have this Enid Blyton-esque view of children spending hours at the seaside with buckets, spades, wooden sailboats, ice cream and crab lines, taking dips in the ocean all day long wearing just swimming costumes.
Vitamin D Fix
It’s so natural, and so good for children’s skin to be exposed to all that vitamin D, healing salty water and sunshine.
As a child I’d brave the Atlantic Ocean every summer on holiday in Cornwall, with true British grit. Once I almost passed out running back up the beach at Holywell Bay – I’d got so blooming cold in such a short time that my body reacted to the temperature change very badly!
Flopping onto the sand to warm up, feeling shaky and faint, I admitted my faux pas to nobody.
Seaside Rockpool Swimming
There’s a fantastic outdoor pool at low tide in Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall, where we’d also swim as kids. We’d jump off the rock into bone-aching water only to give up on swimming 10 seconds later due to the cold. Great fun but freezing and usually fleeting.
Then one day, only a few years ago, I borrowed a wetsuit and spent over 2 hours in that pool, swimming, jumping in, capsizing the dinghy – and seaside swimming hasn’t been the same since.
North Sea Swimming
Living in Northumberland, the sea never seems to warm up yet I can stay in with Caroline for ages if I’m wearing a wetsuit.
Interestingly it also seems to have made me hardier in just a swimsuit too.
So we still spend hours at the seaside with our Blyton-esque paraphernalia, taking dips in the ocean all day long.
We still wear swimsuits for a dose of vitamin D and sunshine.
We just switch to wetsuits more often so we can spend longer in the water without passing out!!
Wetsuits for Wild Kids
We’ve used kids’ shorties and budget supermarket wetsuits, which work well and are good value for quick-growing wild kids but this year Caroline’s been loving her wetsuit from Cornish designed and based company Iglu, in Atlantic Rose colourway.
Campsite with a stream, perfect for rinsing sandy wetsuits
What Your Kids Will Love
- The cool, bright colours (not boring black like many brands)
- How easy it is to get on and off
- How warm it is
What I Love About Iglu
Really, I think the photos say it all.
Iglu are a family company who have really thought through the needs of parents and children when designing these wetsuits. They are also based in Perranporth, Cornwall, and I love supporting UK family businesses wherever possible.
The Iglu wetsuit looks great on and Caroline is easy to spot in the sea!
It’s close-fitting for warmth but more flexible than other wetsuits we’ve had making it great for all sorts of beach activities.
A Wetsuit To Grow Into
We’ve found the wetsuit easy to get on and off even when damp though it is a little large for Caroline which helps. That’s another great thing about Iglu – they’ve designed the wetsuits to be used on the large side so that growing kids get a couple of years use – great for us thrifty Mums. The wetsuit stays snug-fitting even with the arms and legs rolled up, leaving room to grow into. Perfect.
Trade In Your Old Wetsuit
One of the things I love most about Iglu is how much they’ve thought about us parents, constantly shelling out for new kit for our ever-growing kids. In addition to their grow-into design, Iglu offer a trade-in on their wetsuits, giving you £20 off the next one you buy. And you can part exchange several times as your kids grow. Genius.
- Warm, 4/3 design
- Easy to get on and off
- Reinforced knees perfect for active kids
- Soft and lightweight
- Sealed seams
- Distinctive bright colours – red, blue, pink, green – you won’t lose your kids on the beach!
- Brilliant trade-in option
- The only slight downside is that Caroline found the neck a little tight (due to it’s super sealing design which allows for growth), easily solved with a rash vest. She does have a sensitive neck due to her cancer treatment and I suspect this will also lessen as the wetsuit gets more wear
The Iglu Kids year-round 4/3 Steamer wetsuit is £69.99 but don’t forget it will last a couple of years, and with trade-in your next one will be £20 cheaper.
Buy online at Iglu Wetsuits, or visit the Piran Surf shop in Perranporth, Cornwall.
What I would like, are some tips on drying wetsuit boots. Mine take forever and are consequently not very fragrant. Anybody?!
Iglu have heaps of useful information on their website including details of the trade-in offer and lots of technical notes on the design etc.
For top tips on how to look after your wetsuit, Cool of the Wild have a great article on wetsuit care.
NB Kids of the Wild received an Iglu Kids Steamer Wetsuit for the purposes of this review. All views and observations are my own (and Caroline’s, aged 9).