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I absolutely love being in the water and swimming is one of my favourite past times, be it in an indoor pool or chilling on holiday in the sea or in a luxury pool. I want to make sure my kids love the water too and are also competwnt swimmers when they frow up so ever since they were born I have been taking them swimming about once a week to get used to the water and love it. At two and four years old they both really like the pool even though they are not perfect swimmers yet.
My little girl is a bit cautious of the water and is not really able to swim yet at 4 years old so she needs some form of flotation device to help her in the water. We have tried arm bands in the past but these have always seemed to get in the way and be a bit uncomfortable for her so we purchased her a swim vest which she absolutely loves.
The vest is just like the name suggests, a vest which has a zip up the front so it goes over her back and the shoulders and then zips up tight. The vest is padded and has a fixed foam buoyancy in it meaning the padding is inside the vest and cannot be removed. Some flotation vests have padding that you can take out once your child gets more confident but this one does not. I prefer this for my little girl as it means everything stays inside well and you know how buoyant the vest is all the time. I think it also fits her better too and provides her with so much confidence.
The vest has a little velcro strap that attaches over the top of the zip so the zip is held up well and your child cannot pull on it or pull it down once it is on. The vest is not scratchy on her arms like her arm bands used to be and she does not need to keep on readjusting it like she did with her arm bands. The vest does need to be quite tight and well fitted because we have tried different ones in the past which rode up a bit but this Zoggs one fits perfectly. Its tight without being suffocating and helps her stay up in the water well. She has really good movement in this vest and can move her arms and her shoulders around well and it does not stop her from splashing around or going doen the baby slides at the pool.
Obviously this will not help her completely in the water so if your child is wearing one of these you do need to keep your eye on them in the water.
The vest is pink which is obviously great for girls and it has a little starfish logo on the front which is cute. What I like about this vest too is that it provides SPF50 protection so when we are on holiday even though I put suntan lotion on her its nice to know she is extra protected.
You can purchase this Zoggs vest at local swimming baths which is where we got ours and it costs in the £10-15 region.
My daughter is 2 1/2 and she likes to go swimming, I bought some armbands but she hated them and refused to wear them in the pool, after seeing other children wearing these in the pool I decided to buy one. I got mine in Argos where there were a choice of two colours pink with a blue trim and blue with a green trim, we opted for pink. The jacket cost me £17.99.
There are a choice of sizes available 2-3 and 4-5 years. I chose 2-3.
The jacket came with minimal packaging just a cardboard slip and it is covered with a clear plastic.
The jacket is a nice shade of pink really bright and vivid, the piping around the edges is a nice turquoise blue colour.
The jacket is covered in neoprene and contains foam floats which give added buoyancy promoting water confidence for your child.
The first time we went swimming my daughter was very excited to put this on, she was very enthusiastic. The jacket looked small to me but it fitted her nicely and there is a small amount of growing room. The jacket goes on like a waistcoat and then fastens using a plactic zip up the middle. The zip has a neoprene attachment to make it easy to pull it up and then at the top of the jacket there is a sticky velcro tab to stop your child pulling the zip down.
The jacket when it is on is not as bulky as I expected, when we went into the pool it allowed my daughter a lot of freedom of movement and she was happily going down the slide herself and walking around in the shallow end. I took her into the deeper water as our local pool has a lazy river and she was able to float around just holding my hands rather than me carrying her as I had done previously. I have noticed now that she is also more willing to lie on her front and attempt to try to swim with me holding her hands.
The jacket is suprisingly buoyant and keeps my daughters head well above the water. The neoprene also keeps your child warm in the water.
After swimming I was pleased to see when I removed the jacket it was suprisingly dry, I hung it on the door while we dried and got dressed and by the time we left the pool it was almost dry.
The instructions on the jacket say that it is hand washable only but everytime we have been swimming I have washed it on a cool 30 degree wash and it has come out as god as new, I was concerned that hand washing wouldn't remove all of the chlorine and the jacket would start to rot in places. After a quick wash in the machine it comes out almost dry.
I would recommend this jacket, it has given my daughter a lot of confidence in the water whilst also allowing her freedom of movement which in turn has given her the little bit of independence as a 2 year old she likes to have. We have used it weekly since March and it still looks as good as new. 5 stars from us.
We've been going swimming as a family quite frequently just lately which is fun but can be a bit of a logistical nightmare with three children and only two adults to manage them safely. My nine year old son is a confident swimmer but my four year old and toddler are both non-swimmers, so both need a lot of support and attention in the water. I bought this Zoggs swim jacket for my four year old to give him a little extra buoyancy and confidence in the water and also to provide an extra layer for some warmth. The water in our local baths tends to be quite cold and my son would look half frozen at times so I hoped this would act as a little bit of a barrier against the cold.
This colourful neoprene coated 'jacket' is basically a zip up body warmer which has been filled with foam floats. One of the reasons I went for this style rather than an all in one child's wetsuit or something similar was for the ease of putting it on and taking it off. Getting all of us changed before and after swimming can be a bit of a challenge, particularly with a tetchy toddler to sort out as well, so I wanted something that my son would be able to use independently. As I'd hoped, this is really simple to get on and off even when wet. My son does need some help with the zip but it is still much more convenient than wrestling with a wetsuit! Once on, the zip ensures that the jacket remains secure and there is also a velcro strip across the top. I'd imagine this strip would be particularly useful in the smaller size to stop troublesome toddlers from messing with the zip and accidentally taking this off.
In the water, this jacket doesn't seem to impede or irritate my son at all as his arms are left totally free for him to 'swim' or splash about as normal. This can even be used alongside traditional arm bands, for extra reassurance. My son is happy to bob about in the shallow water with just this jacket for support although we do tend to use arm bands as well, if we all go into the larger main pool. He is also, as I'd hoped, a little warmer in and out of the water when wearing this as it keeps his top half covered.
Size-wise, the 4-5 years version is a comfortable fit for my very slim four year old, with some room for growth, although it might prove a little too snug for a chunkier child. We find there is plenty of room for him to manoeuvre around without feeling too restricted in the water as the length is relatively short. The neoprene coating itself is flexible but the floats inside do limit how much this would stretch to fit a larger child comfortably. The jacket is available in either 2-3 years or 4-5 years although I would recommend going for a larger rather than a smaller size if in doubt.
I paid the full RRP of £19.99 from Argos but it is currently on offer for just £13.49. Even at full price, this offers good value for money and appears to be excellent quality. Despite regular use in chlorinated swimming pools, the bright neoprene coating is showing no signs of any wear and tear. Even the Zoggs logo is still intact with no fading or discolouration. After use, the jacket dries out surprisingly quickly and is lightweight and portable enough to be slipped easily inside a bag with all our swimming gear.
I'd recommend this swim jacket for any young children that go swimming regularly as it just offers a little extra reassurance (and extra warmth) in the water and helps to free parents up a little, which is particularly useful when looking after more than one non-swimmer.