Product Type: Matalan baby products
Newest Review: ... is 2.5 tog so heavy and meant for when it's cold. It has a fleecy feel to it and so is very soft and snuggly and ever so cute. It has... more
Warm nights for babies at a bargain price!
Matalan Dog Sleepbag
Member Name: Indycat
Matalan Dog Sleepbag
Advantages: Price, decent quality, warm in winter, washes well.
Disadvantages: Only one tog rating.
We are big fans of baby sleepbags in our house- no worries about little ones getting tangled up or stuck under their covers, no cold babies due to kicked off blankets and the reassurance of a tog rating designed for whatever the temperature. When my son was born, we were lucky enough to receive two sleepbags as presents which saw us right through to six months, at which point I had to start shopping around for the next size up.
On one particular shopping trip, I happened to go into Mothercare and thought I would check out their sleeping bags. To say I was shocked (actually more like horrified!) at the prices would be an understatement. A Gro-bag, which is generally considered to be the leading brand in baby sleepbags, was selling for around £30, with Mothercare's own retailing for around £22. Personally I think this is a ridiculous amount for what is essentially a piece of baby bedding (especially when you really need two in case of accidents) and decided to look elsewhere. A bit of online research later and I found that both M&S and Bhs do their own versions for around £16- a far more respectable figure and so I thought I'd grab one on our next trip to the shops.
In the meantime, I was doing a some online sales shopping for a few bits for myself and had picked out a few things from matalan, when it dawned on me that they might also sell sleepbags. Sure enough, I was soon looking at a cute turquoise design with a puppy on the front at a price of...£9. I think I must have done a double take at such a cheap price and did feel rather sceptical as to what the quality would be like but then I thought, what the hell, if it turned out to be terrible I at least hadn't wasted loads of money, so I ordered one in the 6-12 months size.
When the sleeping bag arrived, I was very pleasantly surprised. The main part of the outside is made of a bright turquoise velour, which feels lovely and soft to the touch and the chest area is of a cotton/poly mix, which to me feels no different to 100% cotton. There is a sweet little puppy design in one corner and also on the chest and the whole of the inside is lined again in cotton/poly, with a paw print design on the back of the neck. The sleepbag fastens with standard silver poppers over the shoulders and at the sides and then zips together from the bottom right hand corner all the way up to just above hip height on the left. It was February at the time, so I was happy to find that it felt very warm and quite thick and cosy. Although it was a bargain price, it didn't look cheap or nasty and there were no loose threads or any dodgy stitching. In fact, having owned several different brands since, I would say this version is actually better quality than some of the more expensive makes. We did have a problem with the zip on one of my son's previous sleepbags as it was the small 'hidden' type, which we found quite fiddly to do up and eventually it broke. The matalan version however has a standard medium sized zip, which is quite sturdy, easy to fasten and has remained in perfect working order for the duration of its six months of use.
Putting the sleepbag on is very straightforward- you just unzip it, lie the whole thing out flat and lie your baby on top of the left hand side with their head above the neck opening. You then fold the right hand side over your baby's body and fasten the poppers over their shoulders, followed by zipping up around the outside and closing the poppers on the sides. I had wondered if the cotton/poly and velour would be less breathable than more natural fabrics, however my little boy has always slept well in this sleepbag and seems very comfortable in there, with no evidence of sweatiness or irritated skin.
One thing I will say about this particular sleeping bag is that we have found it to be quite warm- the label doesn't give a specific tog rating, which is a bit annoying, but says it is less than 4 (2.5 is considered suitable for temperatures between 16-20 degrees C.) I would say that of all the sleeping bags we've used, this is the warmest and has been great for cold winter nights. However, Elliot is quite a warm blooded little boy so as soon as the weather becomes milder, I do find I have to switch to a slightly thinner one. Having bought two of these now, it seems Matalan only do them in the one tog rating (I would hazard a guess that it is 2.5 as that seems to be a 'year round' tog.) This means we've had to go for a different brand in warmer weather but this obviously depends on the child and if they tend to feel the cold or not. This would bother me more if I'd spent a lot on the sleepbag, but at £9 I don't think I can really complain!
I have had plenty of opportunity to test how well these wash and they do come up really well- after a lot of washing I've noticed our current one isn't quite as soft as it used to be on the outside and has bobbled a bit on the interior, however I haven't really followed the washing instructions as it's been through a 60 degree cycle on many occasions when it should only be on 40 degrees. I imagine that if I'd stuck to the proper instructions, it would look a lot better but nevertheless it's still done fairly well considering the hot washes.
I would very readily recommend this sleeping bag to any parent of a baby- most sleeping bags (including gro-bags) only cover a six month size gap so to me, it really doesn't seem worth spending over the odds on something that will be outgrown so quickly. I only wish that matalan would produce these in lighter togs and for over 18 months of age as I would quite happily keep buying them!
Summary: Excellent value for money- well done Matalan!
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