As you know, I am currently working as brand ambassador for Willow Bug who make adapted clothing for children who use wheelchairs. They are a lovely company and have a lovely range of products ranging from mittens and neckerchiefs, to ponchos and anoraks. You can read my post about them here.
They recently sent William one of their lovely jackets so I wanted to write a quick review for anyone who might be considering buying one. Although this jacket was gifted to us, the following opinions are completely honest.
William’s cerebral palsy affects him pretty severely and as a result of that it can be really difficult to dress (and undress him). Putting his coat on usually brings me out in a hot sweat and taking it off leaves me stressed and in need of a stiff drink! He doesn’t bend his elbows voluntarily and breaking his strong tone to bend his arms is a skill in itself!
That’s why this jacket looked so interesting. The fact that it has fastenings at the front and back means that you can literally break it down into two pieces (three if you consider the hood).
Once it is in two pieces there is no need to bend arms to get it on, or off! Genius!
All you need to do is slide both arms into the sleeves and then fasten at the back.
William doesn’t lean forwards voluntarily either so I thought I would need several hands to pull him forwards and do up the fastenings at the back… BUT…. it’s velcro at the back so no extra pairs of hands needed!
The only thing I would change about the design would be the velcro fastening. Currently there are several individual pieces of velcro so you have to line those up to secure the coat at the back. That was a little tricky as I was using one hand to pull William forward so I had to line them up with the other hand, not impossible of course. But, if it was one single, long, strip on either side it might be easier to do up one handed.
Taking it off was a breeze as you can pull each side off separately with no elbow bending or awkward movements required. Amazing!
There is an optional hood on the jacket which can be attached easily with the poppers.
This jacket has been designed specifically for wheelchair users so the front is cut shorter than the back in order to stop the excess fabric from sitting on the lap and being in the way of a lap belt which I thought was great. One thing that drives me mad in the winter is having to constantly adjust Williams straps to suit his clothing, with this coat I won’t have to adjust his lap belt at all.
I am really impressed that this is a lovely warm jacket without too much ‘bulk’. The inside is a lovely soft fleecy feeling fabric and the outside was a good quality rainproof material.
We originally opted for a medium as William is quite small for his age (8) but we found it was a little on the small side so we exchanged it for a large which is meant for ages 9-11. I think this size will last him a while as there is quite a lot of growing room in it and he is still quite little.
All in all, I was really impressed with this jacket and wish we had tried one ages ago and avoided all those winters fighting to get coats on and off!
You can read more about this jacket, and buy one if you wish on the Willow Bug website.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a sponsored post but the opinions are all my own, genuine thoughts.
Have you thought about trying any of Willow Bug’s products? I’d love to know. Leave me a comment.