When we moved to Devon last summer we pledged to buy ourselves a wetsuit each. Living so near the beach means we spend a lot of time by the sea and it’s certainly not just a bonus we enjoy in the summer. The beach is for all year round, in my opinion.
Being in my pregnant state means that I haven’t got around to getting a wetsuit yet. Nor has the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine. My daughter, on the other hand…
This is from the shorties range at Saltskin Wetsuits, possibly the coolest brand of wetsuits available for kids.
The shorties are available from size XXS (depending on the size of your child, around age 2-3 years) and come in zebra, leopard and ladybird print. There’s also a traditional long-sleeved and long-legged version available from size XS and in cow, giraffe, tiger and ladybird print. Exceptionally cool, I know.
Being the fashionista that she is, my almost-four year old plumped for the zebra print shorty. She has clear ideas of what she wants to wear (and everything else, for that matter) and was adamant the zebra was the way to go.
It’s now her favourite outfit.
Of course a wetsuit isn’t just about looking great. In fact, the looking great bit should just be an added extra. The way it feels, the fit, the material and the way it works is the number one priority.
So we put it through its paces at the beach.
It wasn’t a particularly hot day, but there were other kids pottering around on the beach in swimsuits. If we’d been there without a wetsuit I know Frog would have whipped her clothes off within 5 minutes and have dipped her toes in the water. She doesn’t “do” clothes at the beach.
But as you can see from the pictures, she did more than dip her toes in the water. She was warm enough in her zebra shorty to lie on her tummy and pretend to swim in the shallows. She splashed and sat down as the waves lapped her. She jumped and ran and generally had a ball. It was a good half an hour later before she eventually dragged herself out of the water (something I think my soaked mother was rather relieved about!).
Once out of the water Frog was happy to keep the wetsuit on while she played on the sand, making castles and digging endless holes (what is it with kids and holes in the sand?!). She didn’t even seem to notice she was actually wearing the wetsuit – only pulling at the neck once and then just getting on with the important job of playing. Believe me, if my daughter’s uncomfortable she will tell you – which is how I know she was happy.
The wetsuit kept her warm, acted like a second skin and – the thing I was most worried about – was dead easy to get on and off. Afterwards I just rinsed it off at home and it was dry within a few hours.
This test run has proved a wetsuit can make a trip to the British seaside that bit more comfortable. It lengthened the time Frog wanted to play in the water and kept her warm (meaning no grizzling) when she came out of the sea.
The zebra Saltskin shorty will most definitely be coming to Cornwall when we go on our August holiday. Now I just need to find a valid reason why the zebra shorty isn’t suitable attire for pre-school…
Thank you for Saltskin Wetsuits for inviting me to review the zebra shorty. You can get hold of one of these yourself on the Saltskin website. Prices start from £38.