I’ve heard lots of feedback online about the Car Seat Poncho and it’s all been positive, so I wanted to see what all the buzz was really about. The Car Seat Poncho is a straightforward solution for parents who want to keep their children safely warm in a car seat. A thick jacket worn under a harness can compress in a crash and leave the harness loose. A loose harness can mean ejection for the child. With a product like the Car Seat Poncho, there’s no need for a thick jacket underneath; your child will stay toasty and snug in the harness.
How to Wear It: A poncho is essentially a piece of fabric with a hole in it for your head. The Car Seat Poncho takes the idea a bit further and adds some bells and whistles. It has a zipper to make on/off easier and a hood for extra warmth. So, to put the poncho on, have your child stand with his arms straight down and slip it over his head. That’s it.
Construction: It’s made from 2 layers of quality 400 weight fleece or velvet. The zipper is heavy duty, with thick plastic teeth and metal pulls; but there’s no way it will catch your fingernails and snag them. Stitching is well done with no threads hanging loose.
Patterns: The ponchos come in a variety of cute boy and girl patterns and unisex colors for those parents who want to use them for multiple children. There are also accessories such as matching hats and blankets to go along with some patterns.
Sizes: The small poncho is sized for the 6-24 mo. crowd who are shorter than 30”. It’s shaped like a square. The medium/large poncho is for kids taller than 34” and is circular shaped like a cape. For kids who are in between 30” and 34”, the designer suggests either size, though the larger size would last a season longer probably.
How to Wear It in the Car: There’s no need to remove the poncho in the vehicle. As the child climbs into the car seat, lift the back of the poncho up so it’s not behind him. Unzip the bottom zipper up to expose the child’s harness and lay the poncho panels off to the side. Buckle the harness and tighten it as usual. Rezip the poncho and you’re ready to go. As the car warms up, the zippers can be adjusted to cool the child down as necessary.
Safety Information: Donna Eng, the designer of the poncho, is very much into child passenger safety. The tags included on the poncho include safety information about snug harnesses and her web site has information as well.
Because it’s still quite hot here, the best I could do with my sample poncho was the fan test: I draped it over myself and sat in front of a fan. I couldn’t feel the breeze through it. My 6 yr old dd immediately fell in love with it when she saw it and earned the nickname “Little Red Riding Hood” since the poncho we have is a bright red with tassels on the hood. For a warm climate like mine, it’s probably all that’s needed, especially for school drop-offs. For a colder climate, a fleece jacket would probably be needed underneath, but definitely no puffy coats required at all. Overall, the Car Seat Poncho is a great idea and seems very warm.