I'm super-excited and honoured to be partnering once more with Stonz, a Vancouver-based company which offers uber-practical and stylish outerwear options for infants and young children. I first worked with Stonz in January, 2012 on a review/giveaway for their flagship Booties footwear (and corresponding Linerz accessory). I encourage you to hop on over to my Booties review to learn more about this amazing product and also get a glimpse of the company's roots and values. You can also view the Stonz story via this short video clip:
I'm back now to review Stonz Youth Mittz, which the company is proud to announce are new & improved this season!
These Youth Mittz are designed to stay securely on, while keeping the cold out. Inspired by the harsh Canadian winters, they are made to the highest standard, ensuring your little one's hands will remain warm in the coldest climates.
- Improved insulation with Thinsulate (TM), an extra thin layer that keeps the Mittz soft and flexible
- Durable water and wind resistant coated Nylon, with a weatherproof membrane with a psi of 5,000
- New & Improved Fit and design
- Extra-long wrists are designed to go over outerwear, with 2 toggles to ensure they stay on
- Back of thumb has fleece to relieve wet noses
- Clips ensure Mittz don't get lost
- Blank tag to write your name on so you never lose them
- Suitable for skiing, boarding and other Winter Sports
- Machine wash and dry, inside out, on delicate
Youth Mittz come in two sizes - Small/Medium (2-4 yrs) and Medium/Large (4-8 yrs) - and are available in a range of gender-specific and neutral colours and styles. Here are just a few:
For review purposes, I selected the small/medium size in the black & white colour. Our daughter is turning 2 shortly and we have a little guy due any day, so the practical part of me decided to go gender-neutral so they can share, figuring that 1) by the time she's done with them, he'll be all set and 2) this is a Stonz product, so they're definitely going to last through 2+ kiddos!
Our Mittz arrived in a cute little reusable bag with a hand-written note and 2012 product guide - nice touches! Here they are, brand new with tags!
My first impression - wow, a lot bigger than I thought they'd be! I even checked the label to ensure I hadn't received the large size by mistake. Nope - small/medium indeed! For kicks, I tried one on myself. I could get my hand all the way to the bottom, though (as expected) the mitt part itself was much too small/short for my long "piano playing" fingers (as my mom used to say :).
Given these mitts are designed to go over outerwear, the roomy design totally makes sense. Add in the dual toggle closure/tightening system (which is used on their Booties as well) and you've got a mitt that goes on easily, stays on and keeps the snow out. A combination that's inexplicably hard to find in most mitts I've come across!
The features on the front of each mitt are well thought out too. The front face is covered with a grippy material (which should prove helpful for grasping those slippery snowballs!) and I love the fleece lining the thumb. As gross as it may be that kids smear snot all over their mittens, well they do - and I'd imagine it's a heck of a lot nicer for them to rub their li'l noses into soft fleece than a waterproof material that just ends up spreading the ickiness all over their faces!
The clips are also a nice addition to ensure the Mittz stay together when not in use. (I'm sure we've all experienced the frustration of easily finding one half of a pair of mittens, shoes or what have you, and the other's evidently taken a leave of absence!)
As for overall quality, the Mittz appear to be very well made. I did notice a few loose threads in various spots, however I tugged/pressed around at them and they all appear to be superficial and not pose a durability risk. In general, the stitching is nice, tight and even across the board.
Alright, time for "real world" testing!
So the first time I tried to outfit our daughter with her new Mittz, she balked. She did NOT want these new things on her hands!! Uh oh, I thought - this review may prove challenging! When I tried again a few days later, she cooperated, but it became clear pretty quickly they're still too big for her. Her hands pretty much drowned at the bottom and it was challenging getting her little thumbs where they were supposed to go. She had them on for a total of about 12 seconds before proclaiming "Too big! Too big!" and yanking them off, though I did manage to snap a pretty cute "Don't mess with me!" pic!
It's not surprising she isn't ready for them yet, as she's still not quite 2 years old (the minimum age listed for the small/medium size) and she's petite (less than 10th percentile weight, 25th height and still wearing Size 5 to 5.5 shoes which fit the average 12 to 18 month old). So in her case, I'm thinking the small/medium will fit best from 3 to 5 yrs.
All this left me with a bit of a conundrum for finishing my review, so I recruited my neighbour's almost 3-year-old son to be a guest tester. He did a great job!
Lookin' good, all bundled up for a chilly November day!
"Mom, I heart these! Can I keep 'em?" :)
My neighbour provided the following feedback:
- They were super easy to put on and take off
- Thumbs slid in easily
- Kept his hands nice & toasty!
- He didn't mind wearing them
- It was somewhat challenging for him to perform tasks such as picking things up, gripping, etc. but she also said she's yet to find a warm winter mitt that doesn't "cripple" a young kiddo this way.
When I asked if he used the "snot wipers", she said she hadn't actually noticed these, but thought it was a brilliant feature!
All in all, definite thumbs up (no pun intended) from my guests. (Thanks so much C & C! :)
Next up - care & maintenance. To prep, I turned each mitt inside out as advised. (Note - this was actually a bit of a pain, as the thumb in particular didn't want to flip in the other direction. But nothing really to write home about considering they'd probably only need to be washed 3-4x per season.)
As I tend to do, I "stretched" the recommended laundry guidelines and threw them in with a regular (non-delicate) load, though still on cold. I followed up with a machine dry on low. After flipping them back the "right" way (again, had to wrestle a bit) I'm happy to report they'd emerged in perfect shape. Whew - always a bit of a gamble laundering a new product for the first time!
Overall, it would appear that the new & improved Youth Mittz are yet another extremely high-quality, practical and well performing product from Stonz. I do feel the need to preface this with "it would appear" due to the lack of hands-on testing I was able to perform myself, however all available signs point to this conclusion. :) Way to go, Stonz - can't wait to see what you come out with next!!
Youth Mittz can be purchased directly from the Stonz website (shipping is free within Canada and Continental USA on orders over $50) and from select retailers. Now's a great time to stock up on Stonz gear, as the company is offering 25% off select styles until November 26th as part of their Black Friday - Cyber Monday Sale! Hurry over - quantities are limited!
Stonz has generously offered to give away a pair of Youth Mittz to one lucky Manager to Mom reader! Winner chooses size and style. Open to CAN/US.
To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow all instructions within each entry option to ensure your entries are valid.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Stonz. I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample item free of charge. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.