Let's face it - there's a LOT of baby and kid gear out there, and it's certainly a challenge to figure out what's actually useful and what just looks good on paper! But every once in awhile, I stumble upon a product that makes so much sense I feel it's my duty to sing its praises at every opportunity.
Enter mimiTENS, a quirkily-named brand of childrens' mittens made right here in Canada. Unlike your all-too-common "traditional" mittens which just cover the hands (and maybe a small part of the wrist), mimiTENS include cuffs which go all the way up to the elbows. This simple design ensures that they stay on and keep wrists warm, two things that traditional mittens fail to do. Like I said before - it Just. Makes. Sense!
There are a few other brands which incorporate a similar concept and I've tried a couple of these. However, I have to say I prefer our mimiTENS hands down (no pun intended) for two reasons. First, the arm fabric of mimiTENS is super stretchy which makes them easy to pull on and able to be layered in different ways - underneath everything, between clothing and outerwear, and on top of outerwear. By contrast, one other brand I've tried has stiff, tight arm fabric making them a pain to pull on, and another can only be worn on top of outerwear. Second, mimiTENS come in the most redonkulously adorable array of colours and styles.
mimiTENS are available in two main styles: SOFT (made with Oeko-Tex certified bamboo/organic cotton fleece, thumbless and designed for babies up to 18 months) and ALL WEATHER (made of water-repellent nylon, Thinsulate insulation and Oeko Tex certified bamboo/organic cotton fleece, and available in sizes ranging from 18 months to 5 years).
For review purposes, mimiTENS owner Anna-Marie Mountfort generously agreed to equip both our children with brand spankin' new all weather mittens from the latest collection.
CJ (almost 1 year) received a pair of Classic Red mimiTENS in the baby size (i.e. no thumbs).
S (almost 3 years) received a pair of Silver Butterfly mimiTENS in the 2-3 year size.
The Silver Butterfly is one of several in the latest collection boasting an extra safety feature - decals made of 3M Scotchlite Reflective to help make kids even more visible!
Both pairs are made with the same super-stretchy cuff material. This should give you an idea of the "stretch factor":
Our children usually wear their mimiTENS in between their clothing and outerwear...
...but as you can see here, the mitts work perfectly well pulled on top of outerwear too - even a super-puffy jacket! This saves us those times when we put a jacket on one of our kids, then realize his/her hands are still bare. No problema!
During our li'l photo shoot, I asked S if her thumbs were in the right spot and she held up both hands proudly to show that they were. Yet another nice thing about mimiTENS - easy access thumb holes!
Mr. CJ has been super-grumpy the last few days (battling both a cold and ear infection, poor guy) so he hasn't been overly eager to show off his own mimiTENS. :( I'll post a picture or two when he's feeling better so you can see the thumbless style in action.
In terms of longevity, I'm happy to report that mimiTENS totally rock! I was lucky enough to discover the brand a couple years back when my daughter was a year old, and I purchased both a soft and an all weather pair at that point. I'm happy to report that after extensive wear and numerous washes, both original pairs have held up extremely well and look almost as good as new!
I can think of only one minor criticism with these mittens; they occasionally "ride down" a bit so that the hand ends up in the cuff area. (This happens more often with CJ, who writhes around a lot more & whatnot.) That said, this is the point where a traditional mitten would fall off, so the mimiTENS are still in much better shape here! :)
Finally, I want to quote a couple more cool things about mimiTENS as a company:
- All mimiTENS mittens are produced in Canadian factories known for their excellence in making winter gear. Through our manufacturing partners, we supports safe working environments and provides respectable wages. mimiTENS are proud to create work in Canada.
- mimiTENS will happily accept defective merchandise. While we have every confidence in our products, sometimes things go unexpectedly wrong – especially when you are making something a few thousand at a time. If your mittens come apart at the seams or something else lame, please contact us and let us know.
All in all, I can't recommend mimiTENS mittens highly enough. If you have children 5 and under and don't live in a tropical climate, you really have no excuse not to own some yourself!
mimiTENS can be purchased directly from the company website or from numerous online & "brick and mortar" retailers (in Canada, the United States and Worldwide).
** Black Friday Sale Alert!! ** - mimiTENS is currently offering 20% off orders placed on their website from now until end-of-day Monday, December 2nd. Use code blackshopin to receive your discount!
Disclosure: I received no financial compensation for writing my review, although I did receive the sample items free of charge. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.