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I'm a member of site for baby products and pay a very small subscription (£5) each year to be a product tester and for my boys to "try out" and then we keep the product for our own use at the end of it. Over the last 27 months I have had quite a wide range of products sent to me including bottles, cups, toiletries and socks. However one of the better products I have been sent was the Konfidence Floatsuit and was very kindly sent two of these suits so both my boys could try these out.
The Konfidence Floatsuit is basically a swimsuit with adjustable buoyancy for use in the water. The suit is an all in one suit with pockets for 8 removable foam floats to fit in to give a child support in the water. The suits are made from a polycotton fabric containing lycra which gives a secure fit but also freedom of movement in the water for a child.
The Konfidence Floatsuit comes in 5 different colours. Gold and Blue, Navy and White Stripe, Pink and White Stripe, Plain Pink and Red and Yellow. We were sent a Gold and Blue suit and a Navy and white stripe suit therefore my review will be based on these two suits.
The suits come in 3 different sizes- 1-2 years (up to 33lbs and 97cm tall), 2-3 years (up to39lbs and 100cm tall) and 4-5 years (up to 47lbs and 112cm tall).
The Konfidence Floatsuit is available only online. Our suits were sent to us direct from Konfidence to test however you can purchase directly from the Konfidence website and also from Amazon. A number of smaller children's online retailers sell the Konfidence Floatsuit including Hello Baby and Precious Little ones however none of the larger high street retailers seem to stock this product. The RRP of the product is £24.99 which I do feel is very expensive and if I had not been given these suits to test I know at this price I would not have purchased for my twin boys.
We were sent these products to test and it was outlined "boys colours would be sent" therefore I had no choice or input into what coloured suits we were sent but the boys colours given were the gold and blue suit and also the navy and white suit. When the suits came both Mr Lools and I were really impressed and as soon as we seen the suits on my boys even more so. The suits look really nice, the colours and bright and attractive and these are very cute items of swimwear. When we visited the swimming pool most people who passed my boys comments on how they loved their swimsuits and on the first visit to the pool we actually had 3 other parents come up to us to ask where the suits were from. Looks wise my only criticism initially was that with all of the floats in the suits did appear slightly bulky with all of the floats in, especially when my sons were little however this problem was solved as they did not need to use all of the floats.
I would say because the suits are made from a reasonably thick stretchy lycra material you have some give in sizing so the suit adjusts to fit your child. Initially I did think the material was a little thinner than the boys other swimsuits we owned from Next and boots which were thicker more like wetsuit type material. The Konfidence Floatsuits were still reasonably thick but a lot softer and felt less stretchy especially when wet. My boys were 18 months old when we were sent these and were sent these suits in size 1-2 years which states up to 33lbs. My boys are very small for their age and at 18 months old were wearing clothing typically sized 6-9 months and now at 27 months old wearing clothing in size 9-12 months size (mainly for length as waist wise they are very skinny). I personally feel the suits are on the smaller side as at 18 months old my boys actually fitted into them and now at 27 months I would say they are growing out of this size whereas most children's clothes sized "up to 2 years" would be drowning them. For those wanting to use these suits over the longer term it may be worthwhile buying a larger size if in doubt to ensure your child gets full wear out of the suit.
Personally I probably would not have purchased these suits for safety aids in the water unless we were going on holiday or spending long periods around water due to the cost of these suits. For swimming we typically would use a standard swimsuit and armbands. A fear I do have with this is that although I always keep my boys no further than arm's length away when near water I become scared that they run off before I get the armbands on or remove their armbands. However safety wise what I like about the Konfidence Floatsuits is that once they are in their swimsuit if they did escape (which toddlers like to do) and went near the water they would have buoyancy in the water. This is not such an issue when visiting the swimming pool but from experience of being on holiday children spend longer periods around the pool and on the beach often having armbands on all of the time is just not practical.
My initial impression of these suits was that they looked quite bulky when all floats were in the suits. I found straight away that I did not need to use the suit with all 8 floats inside as when we did this my boys tipped backwards when in the water. We removed the side two floats by the arms and my boys had perfect support whilst in the water without tipping and I feel their movement when in and out of the water was not restricted. So when we were at our local pool they could easily swim around in the deeper water with Mr Lools and I but also happily play in the splash pools and go down the slides without having limited movement. The floats are very secure in the pockets of the suit and can't slip out.
We have been using the Konfidence Floatsuits for around 9 months now and probably my boys have worn these suits around 10 times. After each swimming session I wash the Konfidence Floatsuits in the washing machine and then dry them either on the washing line or over the radiator. The suits are still in excellent condition and the colours in both suits are still bright and have suffered no fading and no seams or stitching have come away. The suits also still have retained their initial elasticity. I think for me as a parent what I find most frustrating is not taking the floats in and out of the suits for washing and drying but the packing these suits into our swim bag. The main disadvantage of these suits is how much space they take up as the floats make them bulky made worse that I have to carry two of these suits. However this is not a major flaw of the product just compared to armbands and standard swimsuits we need a much larger bag!
If I hadn't been sent this product to test then I probably would not have purchased the suit because when we go swimming it tends to be to a small swimming pool and the boys wear armbands in the pool. The main reason behind this is cost and a swimsuit and armbands is much more cost effective for occasional wear rather than a suit like this. At £24.99 per suit I most certainly would have not purchased the Konfidence for how infrequently we go swimming as £50 is a lot of money to spend considering how quickly my boys grow out of things like this.
However after using the Konfidence Floatsuit over the last 9 months I would definitely recommend the suit to parents who are looking for a support aid in the water especially if they are going to get regular use out of the suit i.e. for holidays or regular swimming lessons. Although I'm a nervous parent around water and never let my boys out of arms reach I did feel confident using these as a support device and as soon as my boys were dressed for swimming the floatsuit was ready to support them in the water rather than have to chase them around to put armbands on.
Aside from the cost I did feel the suits are a little bulky to carry around in a swimming bag especially x2 with all of the floats. I also found my boys tipped back in the water when the suit had all of the floats
A Konfident suit to give parents and children confidence when in the water.