I’m tired of people telling me that my 16-month-old daughter, Jojo, looks adorable in her Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater bunting ($112). That may sound curmudgeonly, but the point isn’t that she’s cute, it’s that she’s getting outside in winter and being adventurous. And Jojo agrees with me.
How do I know my child prefers the bunting’s technical chops over its aesthetic? Well, for starters, she’s told me. Jojo doesn’t refer to this (her favorite piece of clothing) as her “cute” suit. She calls it her “vaventure” suit. She knows that when the bunting comes out, it’s time to head outdoors for some fun. Jojo even hunts for this bunting, picks it up over her head, and runs around with it, shouting her “vaventure!” rally cry until my wife or I make it happen. Our outing could be as ambitious as a hike in the watershed of Ashland, Oregon, or as calm as a few drizzly zips down the slide at the park near our house.
I trust my daughter’s comfort to the bunting’s generous loft from the 600-fill down and its DWR-treated polyester face fabric. Jojo learned how to walk this winter, and the elastic stretch ankle cuffs don’t impede her steps like some other suits would. Another bonus: all that down offers extra padding when she takes a tumble. She now wears the Hi-Loft for everything from climbing playground structures to charging every slide in sight. The hood is lined with supple brushed fleece, and an elastic band keeps it snugly attached to her head—good for keeping her ears and noggin warm when she chooses to chuck her hat out of the stroller.
All that capability gives me peace of mind that my daughter won’t get too cold when we recreate outside in winter. My wife and I used to take turns hanging back with her in the lodge at our local ski hill, Mount Ashland, while the other skied solo. Jojo could not have cared less for this arrangement. So one sunny afternoon, with temperatures in the high thirities, we trusted that the Hi-Loft would keep her warm and plunked her down directly in a snowbank to just let her rip. She threw the snow to the sky, giggled uncontrollably, and played in pure joy. We’ve never looked back.
The only downside is that the Hi-Loft isn’t truly waterproof. But on particularly rainy days, I’ll place Jojo in a carrier on my chest and hold an umbrella over the two of us. She likes to help, gripping the handle and laughing when gusts of wind drive rain into her face.
Alright, dammit, she is cute in the bunting. But if you see us on the street, please don’t tell us that. We’ll be too focused on our vaventure.