After an unpleasant shock of winter weather in September, the temperature in Calgary through October and early November seemed downright balmy.
If there’s a benefit to having had to dig out the bin of winter apparel while my compatriots in other provinces were under heat advisories, it’s that I truly appreciated above-freezing temperatures once the early-fall snow had disappeared. Heck, we didn’t even need snow pants on Halloween! I’ll call that a win.
Now that winter is upon us, it’s going to take something special for me to embrace a more seasonal dousing of snow and frigid temperatures. Something like … a new babywearing coat! And how about a stylish, affordable and Canadian-designed coat?
Let me introduce you to my Madison 3-in-1 Puffer Coat from Quebec-based Modern Eternity.
Like all maternity coats sold by Modern Eternity, the Madison can be worn as a regular jacket, hiding its identity as a mom-coat significantly better than Clark Kent’s spectacles. The zip-in panel accommodates your pregnant belly, then inverts to cover up baby in a baby carrier. As Modern Eternity describes it, this is a coat that can be worn three ways: “Baby In,” “Baby Out” and “Baby Free.” (If only it came with a babysitter for that last function!)
The Madison is a knee-length, wind and waterproof winter coat rated to -15°C (5°F). While Modern Eternity has down-filled parkas rated to -30°C (-22°F), I went for this less warm, poly-filled coat because I was in the market for a daily use winter coat that wouldn’t leave me sweating while running errands or while wearing a baby uphill to my son’s bus stop. At -10° to -15°C, with no extra layers underneath (except sometimes a baby), I have found myself plenty warm enough in my Madison.
As for the baby bear underneath, I can also easily adjust his apparel to make sure he’s warm enough (or that he doesn’t overheat). For the -15°C days I’ve been dressing the twin I’m wearing in a fleece bunting suit under the coat, and he’s been cozy and toasty warm upon our return indoors.
If your winter climate is more wet than it is cold, Modern Eternity has lighter, waterproof jackets, as well as jackets that can be worn year-round, whether you’re pregnant, babywearing or none of the above.
Priced from $100-$350, Modern Eternity’s selection of maternity coats and jackets is accessible as well as attractive, functional and versatile. If I’d have sat down with Professor Trelawney and a crystal ball in 2011 and found out I was about to embark on a journey that would see me pregnant, breastfeeding or babywearing (sometimes simultaneously) for the next eight years, a maternity coat would’ve been a worthy investment. But even if you’re on your last baby, Modern Eternity’s coats are truly functional and fashionable beyond the baby years and no more expensive than a regular winter coat for yourself.
I’ve tested two styles of zip-in panels for babywearing coats: one where the panel zips up around the wearer’s neck and baby’s head pops through, and ones like our Modern Eternity coat where the panel goes over baby’s back but leaves a gap between the coat and the wearer’s neck and chest. The problem I’ve found with the former panel style where baby’s head pokes through is that baby doesn’t have access to their hands, and the fabric around their head tends to become a little moat for collecting drool. Although it can be draughty for my neck and chest when babywearing in my Modern Eternity coat, this problem is easily solved with a nice cowl or neck warmer, and baby feels less constricted and can access those oh-so-important fingers. This style of panel that does not envelop baby’s head is definitely my preference.
The Madison coat is tailored with a shirred waist so I don’t feel like I’m wearing a sleeping bag with sleeves but rather I feel pretty, oh so pretty! I really appreciate the long, ribbed cuffs for my somewhat gangly arms. The faux fur lined hood is removable, but in Calgary a hood is a necessity. (The wind, rain, snow or hail can really just pop up out of nowhere!)
What I love about Modern Eternity 3-in-1 maternity coats:
- Affordably priced
- 3-in-1 functionality AND fashion
- Large selection of styles suitable for a variety of climates and lifestyles
Drawbacks to consider:
- Only suitable for front carries
- Manufactured overseas
- Panel design leaves wearer’s neck exposed (but baby’s hands free, which is my preference)
If you’re looking to invest in a coat to take you from baby bump to baby carrier to baby wants to walk, there’s surely a Modern Eternity coat to suit your climate and your personal style!
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