Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Guaranteed Warmth with TOBE Youth Mono Suits

We've recently gone through a major cold snap here with temperatures down to -30C with wind chill. What I learned is that you still have to get outside, you can't just hibernate when the kids are off school for two weeks over the holidays, and that good clothing matters!

From the Backcountry to the City Sledding Hill, The TOBE Mono Suit is keeping this kid warm

We received the red snow suit that you're seeing here from TOBE Outerwear, a company that I actually discovered through instagram. A friend of mine posted a photo of her son skiing in a TOBE mono suit and I knew I had to inquire into getting one for my own son.

Go "Big Red," Go

Background on TOBE Outerwear 

I knew this company was a good fit for my family when I read their motto:
"The men and women that choose our path and follow our trails are Vikings. They are not afraid of the cold or the wilderness.These modern day Vikings belong in the backcountry and thrive in the wild, be it on a snowboard, a snowmobile or a pair of skis. We keep them warm, dry and safe because it is what we do."
SOLD! That's the gear I want, and the gear that my family needs. We don't let arctic temperatures keep us indoors, and it's pretty normal for us to still be outside skiing or playing down to -30C (or colder.)

No cold temperature is going to keep us inside for too long

Why We Felt Our Son Needed a TOBE Mono Snowsuit

We wanted to try and review a Youth Novus Mono Suit from TOBE this winter because my son hates being cold! This is a kid who never ever says that he's too hot, and that will still go hiking when it's 35 degrees Celsius in the summer (without complaining.)

My son likes to be warm, and he also needs to be dry! He vehemently hates getting snow inside his pants, and strongly dislikes it when he flips off his sled and suffers from classic "jacket-pant gap," and don't get me started on snow in his boots!!

A one-piece snow suit is really the only product that works for us, and TOBE Outerwear promises the best.

Now because we don't believe in slacking on our gear reviews, my son wore his new Novus Mono Suit while enjoying a wide variety of winter sports over the past month. He also wore it in temperatures ranging from 2 degrees Celcius down to -30 degrees Celsius.

Below are our findings on performance in each sport or activity that we tried while using the Mono Suit.

Kids need to be kept dry, warm, and safe in the backcountry with good gear

Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking

With a one-piece snow suit, there is no "jacket-pant gap" so snow stays outside where it belongs! My son's skin stays dry, he doesn't fall down and start screaming that he has snow down his snow pants or up his shirt, and we have happy adventures.

This is a Happy, Warm, Dry Kid!

If you've ever taken kids hiking in the winter, you'll know that they spend more time playing in the snow than they actually do walking. We tested this out on a cute little hike over New Year's with a few sleds. The boys in our group wanted to slide down every hill we came to, they wanted to constantly jump on one another to wrestle in the snow, and they wanted to make snow angels.

At no point in our adventure was my son ever wet or miserable. I think at one point he had cold feet (not the snow suit's fault,) and he may have had cold hands briefly (but again, it was a chilly day and we were outside hiking/playing for a good two hours.)

Winter hikes involve more playing than they do "hiking"

Ice Skating

Now maybe when you think "ice skating," you're thinking "hockey rinks," cute little "city ponds," or gasp, "indoor" skating.

That's not really our style.

Wild Mountain Skating

We prefer "wild mountain skating" where we go out hunting for natural ice. It has to be snow free, not maintained or cleared, and completely wild. Sometimes we even hike to find our ice and carry skates in our backpacks.

Now if you know much about lakes in winter, let me tell you that they are windy!! They are cold! And you need really warm clothing to survive much time in the middle of the lake (where we are skating.)

Fortunately the TOBE Mono Suit has kept my son warm, dry, and happy on many skating adventures this winter.

Skating across a remote wilderness lake


So, let me tell you a few stories about our sledding adventures over the Christmas holidays.

First, we had a great sledding day in the city (see the photo below) and had a lot of fun. (Even if it was -30C that day!) My son wore his Mono Suit and was toasty warm and dry.

We also enjoyed some fun backcountry sledding (where we hiked our sleds along a hiking trail.) My son wore his TOBE snowsuit and again, great success was had.

Sledding is fun when you're protected head to toe in a one-piece snowsuit

Second, we tried sledding on our local school hill. It was a warm day and so my son just wore his cheap school ski pants and a puffy jacket. Well, he did perhaps one jump too many, landed wrong, and scratched open a section of exposed skin on his hip (remember the dreaded pant/jacket gap!) Well, let me tell you, this did not go well! First aid and a big band-aid followed.

Third, we repeated the city sledding experience on the same hill as in the photo above, but it was sheer ice! Common sense should have told me to abandon the idea and to go skating instead! But no, my son really wanted to go sledding (and in the TOBE suit he would have been fine.) However, he was again wearing his school winter wear, and again, first aid followed. This time he ended up with a matching gash on his other hip (an incident that would have been prevented had he have been wearing a one-piece snow suit!)

Lesson learned! We never ever go sledding without "Big Red." - our name for our TOBE Novus Mono Suit.

Sledding with "Big Red" as full body protection 

Cross Country Skiing 

Cross country skiing is tricky in that you want a good range of motion, and you can't ski in something that's bulky. Fortunately, we've found that the TOBE Novus Mono Suit fits roomy, with plenty of room to bend down, to stretch, and to perform a full range of motions.

My son has worn his Mono Suit a couple of times now for cross country skiing, and has never complained about it being tight, uncomfortable, or restrictive.

And when you're out on the trails (and again, it's -20C or colder,) you want a warm snowsuit for the kids. This isn't ski racing in spandex tights! Kids don't move fast on the trails and they don't sweat. They just need to stay warm.

"Big Red" goes cross country skiing and it's a success

Downhill skiing

What to say here except that my son is indestructible!! Nothing can touch him in his TOBE Novus Mono Suit.

He can fall down, play in the trees, shred powder, and go over jumps - without ever worrying about snow getting into unwanted places. And I don't have to worry that he's going to scratch up his exposed skin if there's a gap anywhere!

One-piece snow suits are part of our "essential youth winter gear" for downhill skiing.

And again, we've been skiing when it got down to -20C (or colder) so we fully tested this suit!

One-piece Snow Suits are the BEST for downhill skiing! 

Backcountry Adventures

Have you ever tried to take a child backcountry ski touring? On cross country skis? Let me tell you, they fall a LOT. They get wet. They get cold. Or at least they would get wet and cold in their school snow pants.

We went on a fun backcountry ski tour last weekend and my son was very warm, dry, and SAFE. That's the key word when you venture into remote wilderness, right? You want to make sure your kids stay safe. And I'm not carrying spare ski pants and coats for that moment when I realize my child is soaking wet. And I don't have to with the TOBE suit because it is 100% water proof, wind proof, and indestructible. The elements don't stand a chance against my son in this suit.

Backcountry Ski Touring gets you to places like this!

Simple Outdoor Play 

Whether the kids are building and playing in snow forts, sledding, building a snow man, or making snow angels, they will be dry, happy, and warm in a TOBE Mono Suit.

TOBE Vs. the Elements. No competition

Extreme Winter Adventures

I consider hiking when it's -30, by yourself with your child, for at least an hour, to be an extreme winter adventure. Fortunately, we weren't really alone because we had "Big Red" with us - and he tried to climb an ice fall.

No place that "Big Red" can't go

Now, there are a "few" times or occasions where you'll just want those cheap ski pants and a light jacket from Walmart.

Examples might include:

- School
- Warm weather activities
- Winter biking

But that's only because I'm not sending a snowsuit of TOBE quality to school to get lost, stolen, or wrecked. I'm sure I'm being paranoid but I never send any of our good gear to school. If my son comes home wet, it's not a big deal because we live 5 minutes from the school.

For warm days, we haven't really seen the need for something as warm as the Mono Suit, and for winter biking, well it just isn't practical to have a big snowsuit on for this activity.

While we don't need the TOBE suit for school, we sure do for adventures like this!

The Cost - How do you Justify Buying the "Good Gear"

I'm sure by now, many of you are thinking that of course you'd LOVE to get your children outfitted in TOBE Novus Mono Suits. But, if you've already followed the link, you saw how expensive they are (and maybe you choked just a little.)

Backcountry Gear that performs!
I can tell you though that IF you can afford it, this is one fantastic suit, and I have nothing bad to stay about the product. There's not one thing I would change. I could even get one for myself if I wanted because the company also makes Mono Suits for adults! (Score!)

I got my son's suit given to us for review, but if I were to buy a second one, with my own dollars, I would easily justify it by breaking it down into the cost of a good pair of snow pants, plus a good snow jacket. That could easily cost you $200 (at least.)

So, that's just an extra $160 your'e spending to have a one-piece snow suit. One that's fully waterproof, fully protective against wind and elements, that is indestructible, and that can be used for pretty much ALL winter sports.

You're paying for quality, and you're paying for something to protect your children, even in extreme backcountry conditions.

He was warmer than me without a question!

Features We Love about the Novus Mono Suit 

  • 100% waterproof (which we've fully tested.)

  • 100% windproof (also fully tested)

  • Breathable (check again. My son has never complained of being too hot, even while cross country skiing uphill for hours in fairly warm temperatures.)

  • Durable (Check! This is the first snowsuit where I don't really worry if my son wants to descend an icy hiking trail on his bum. I know the suit can handle anything.)

  • The Soft Fleece Liner - My son really doesn't need long underwear or mid-layers under this suit. He could happily survive in a pair of fleece pants and a light hiking shirt - and he'd be warm.

  • The Hood!! - It's the best hood I've ever seen. It fully protects my son's head and the sides of his face.

  • Reinforced knees! - I don't need to explain why this one is important.

The only challenge, like all one-piece snowsuits, is that it can be hard for kids with fine motor issues to get the suit on. Once it's on though, all is bliss. And really, putting on three layers of clothing plus snow pants and a jacket, is not much easier anyway.

We've had some cold ski days this past month! "Big Red" has been a life saver!

Where to Buy Snowsuits from TOBE Outerwear

Know that I always check to make sure you can buy a product in Canada before I'll review or promote it. I'm a Canadian blogger and I won't promote anything that isn't available in Canada.

Fortunately, there is a TOBE Outerwear Canada division and you can order directly from their website.

And for sizing, I find the Novus Mono Suit fits true to age. My son is wearing the Size 128 (which is aimed at 8 year olds.) If you want the suit to fit for multiple winters, buy large. I was just worried it would be too baggy and bulky if I bought the next size up.

A True Winter Suit for all Winter Kids

Please visit the TOBE website for more information on TOBE Outerwear products.

Disclaimer: We received our Novus Mono Suit for review from the company. As always, I wasn't paid to write a positive review, and I have refused to write reviews in the past if I was not satisfied with a product.

All words and opinions are my own. 

Parting shot. "Big Red" likes hills.

No comments:

Post a Comment