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I do like Next clothing for my children, particularly when buying items that will see a lot of wear such as outdoor coats and jeans. I purchased this thick quilted effect padded jacket from Next for my middle son last year, in a bright eye-catching 'Teal' shade which is a greeny blue colour.
The distinctive colour of the jacket was the first thing that attracted me to it, as it ensures that my son stands out in the crowded playground, amongst a sea of sombre blacks and blues. My son was four years old at the time of purchase and liked the bold colour although I suspect a more conservative older child, like my ten year old son, might feel a little too conspicuous in such a noticeable shade although other colours are available within the same range as well as a range of sizes to accommodate quite a wide age range.
The design and fit of the coat is another reason why I like it so much. The hood fits almost like a cocoon around my son's head, reminding me more of a hooded sleeping bag than a standard coat hood! My little boy looks like a cute green eskimo snuggled into his coat and hood! The hood features toggles which help to adjust it firmly around his head and face and protects him from the worst of the elements. Being made with 100% nylon outer and thick polyester inside, this a practical Winter coat which repels water and snow whilst keeping my son snug and comfortable inside. The coat is fairly true to the size on the label and even the arm closures can be adjusted slightly, thanks to velcro straps at the end of the sleeves, although these seem to be mainly decorative as the difference achieved when these are altered seems to be pretty minimal.
From a practical parent's perspective, this coat has been sensibly designed to encourage younger children to be able to put it on and take it off independently. My son can be a little lazy when it comes to dressing himself, but has no excuses with this coat as the zip closure features a rubbery pull ring which makes it even easier for small chubby fingers to zip this up. There are also several pockets for all those precious items that kids seem to carry about with them. One of the pockets can be secured with a zip fastening whilst the others have sturdy popper closures.
Like most Next clothing, this has washed and worn well with no obvious signs of deterioration or wear and tear. I do notice that a previous reviewer has had cause to complain about the quality of the stitching although this isn't something that I've experienced any issues with and I've found that the fabric and stitching has matched my expectations of Next clothing.
I paid £30 for this coat from new in store in a branch of Next last year. As this is last season's coat, it is no longer available in branches but it would certainly be worthwhile looking at second hand suppliers or Next clearance outlet stores for such a good quality and hard wearing coat. It may well be possible to pick up this coat at a bargain price and it should see a child through the rest of the inclement and unpredictable weather.
My two sons are aged 7 and 8 and I, like most parents, like to make sure they have a suitable and warm coat when the weather starts to turn colder. In September of last year I started to look around for a coat each for them, mainly for school, but also something they could wear at weekends as well as their current winter coats were looking worse for wear. My boys are both at the same school and love chasing about at break times so it was essential that a new coat would be warm without being too restricting as my older son Kieran's coat at the time was too confining (according to him) despite still being plenty big enough.
I've always been a fan of the childrens clothes from Next, and as my husband has had an account with them for over 19 years I decided to look on their website to see if there was anything that looked befitting. This is where I came across one that instantly caught my eye and I subsequently ordered two, one for each son as they looked and sounded ideal.
My review now discuses our experiences of the boys Next Quilted Jackets.
What caught my eye immediately was the colour as shallow as that sounds, as the coat is a rich and deep bottle green with a hint of teal. It's not a colour I normally go for myself but both of my sons have various dark green tops/ T shirts and it seems to really suit both of their colourings so knew at least that the coats would look good on them presuming they were comfortable and that they fit correctly.
Made from 100% nylon on the outer part with the lining being 100% polyester and featuring several pockets and a hood I was quite happy to order them as I thought at the end of the day I could simply return them if not suitable or didn't fit due to Next offering free returns. When the coats arrived they were in separate bags and when I opened the packaging I was surprised at just how bulky they appeared to be. Both of my boys are small and skinny (not for lack of eating either!) and I thought they would look slightly ridiculous at first as the coats seemed padded beyond belief. Having both tried them on though they looked less cumbersome and nowhere near as huge as they looked whilst in the sealed bags they were delivered in.
The coat itself fastens via a zip which has a nice sized plastic disc attached to make it easier to grasp. This is a very good feature as my younger son Zak tends to struggle even at now at 7 to fasten certain coats/ jackets as some of the zippers are just ridiculously small on children's coats but pleasingly this isn't the case here. The quilted jacket is called so because of the large diamond shapes that are sewn in and therefore give it it's quilted appearance, which makes it look attractive but isn't exactly practical, though I will come to that in a moment.
There are two quite large pockets at the front which can fasten with a press stud and whilst it doesn't stop smaller items from falling out it does help to keep items such as gloves in place. There is a handy zipped compartment on the top left side of the chest and whilst it looks small it is actually quite a roomy pocket that goes inside the coat and was ideal recently for storing spending money safely whilst on a school trip.
I like the fact that the hood isn't a ridiculously large size that doesn't stay up like some hoods, as it is roomy enough for when they wore hats in the colder weather without being too restricting. There is also a toggle to pull the hood tighter and Kieran especially likes doing this as it keeps his chin warm and only his eyes are visible (think Kenny from South Park!).
The coats wash well and take very little time to dry which is an obvious plus with 2 mucky boys! They are also quite easy to wipe down if they get marks on them as the outer material (nylon) has a sheen effect making it quite easier to get any marks off if they are not dirty enough to wash.
The diamond shaped quilted pattern certainly looks attractive as mentioned above, but unfortunately has been nothing but a pain. The cotton which forms the quilted design started to fray within days (on both coats) and within a month most had unravelled which given the fact I paid £26 for each coat it isn't very good in my opinion. After two months of wear Kieran came home from school one day with a big rip in the inner layering near to the arm and when I examined Zak's coat the seams were starting to unravel in the same place also so I knew it wasn't just a fluke.
My sons are not rough with their clothes so I know they haven't intentionally ripped the coats inside and the fact that the stitching on the quilted pattern started to come undone within a short period of time should have given me some indication of the quality.
Would I recommend these coats?
To be honest no not really. I have always liked Next clothes for children as I find them not overly priced and good quality that have washed and worn equally well. Recently though I've noticed a few other items of clothing have not been of the same quality and seem to be made far cheaper but still with the same price tags. I've been disappointed with these coats as I have bought both boys winter coats in the past from Next which have worn really well and have even sold on Ebay once they had grown out of as they were in such pristine condition still, but sadly this wont be the case here. If I had bought just one coat then I could have thought it was a one off but as both coats seem to have dropped to bits' in the same areas then it's obviously a flaw in the design and making and I wont be purchasing this particular style in the future which is a shame as they look so good on.
If interested they are available in sizes age 3 - 16 years with prices ranging dependent on ages from £26 to £32.
Available in store or @www.next.co.uk
I'd like to recommend this coat but due to the poor quality I can't, but it gets 2/5 for the style, warmth and appearance..