I think I would not lie if I said that Angel Wings are considered to be the absolute top Czech brand of babywearing clothes – whether you talk about the design, top quality of the materials and sewing, or the extent of their portfolio which includes also products for babywearing dads and little wearies. It was a really long and demanding journey that Angel Wings had to take to become what they are now – the heart and soul of the company is (just as the story usually goes) one admirable babywearing mum, Rehana Ježková. I recommend reading her life story at her personal blog – why and how she decided to found a babywearing clothes brand and what she had to (and eventually did) put in stake to make her dream come true – only then you will know what devotion and diligence really mean!
Considering the pieces of clothing we tested – I cannot really write a review about each of them separately as they all have so much in common; I would only repeat myself. As I already mentioned, the materials and sewing are truly superb and of the highest quality. To be honest, they are not of the cheapest kind of babywearing garment; however, at first sight and first touch one has to admit that this is something worth the money.
And you will admit this also in the first moment you put them on, the first time you wear them and the first time you put them off. All the details of these clothes are cleverly designed, functional (and functioning), and moreover, they are simply beautiful and elegant! OK, fashion police would probably arrest us and lock us up into fashion-jail for saying that a soft-shell jacket is elegant; however, compared to usual babywearing or non-babywearing outdoor soft-shell jackets which can usually be seen in the Czech streets, AW jackets are the shining stars of style and elegance!
The above-mentioned soft-shell jacket belongs to Linda, therefore I could not seize it for a very long time since it is their only babywearing jacket. Well, the testing was not the most intensive or the longest one, but thankfully, the weather was very bad on the day we tried it – drizzle and mizzle, cold wind, but we were warm and cozy with Emilka even without an extra layer. To be honest, I had to get used to the manipulation with the neck protector and Emilka was not very happy about it at first (because it prevented her to get to her direct milk supply by herself); however – it is functional, makes you warm, looks good, does not strangle the wearie – so what would I complain about…?
The insert is well designed, I would say it is a ˈstandardˈ babywearing insert – hoodie, adjusted by elastic cords etc., you certainly know all that stuff – but do not get me wrong, I mean ˈall that good stuffˈ! It can also be fastened very high and therefore you can fasten it high enough while wearing on your back (well, you have to unfasten the insert in front a refasten it on the back, which is a maneuver I hate, but this is only my personal problem, because I am spoiled by the ˈhinged built-inˈ system of my own babywearing jacket). And the possibility to detach both hoods of the wearer and of the wearie, that is just a little sweet cherry on an exquisite cake. It is possible to adjust and tighten the lower hem of the jacket, so that you do not get cold either from down below – I have to say it did not look that good on me and Emilka on my back; I felt (and looked) like a big soft-shell hot air balloon (even in size M which I normally wear and look, well, normal in it). Dwarfs sometimes have a really tough life, duh.
But without a wearie, the jacket is as fashionable as can be, no doubt about that!
The soft-shell coat is even smarter than its shorter sibling. Not only that the hood is detachable, you can also detach the fur – so you have a hood for very cold weather and also a hood for very, very cold, Siberian weather. Otherwise, everything works the same as on the jacket, with the exception of its length – it is very long, even long for long Linda (no surprise it is long for short Lenka, but this one would not be short even for basketball players, in my opinion). This is a big advantage if you have a long and/or long-legged wearie whose legs stick out of regular babywearing clothes. This particular coat is size S and as you can see, it suits us much better than size M.
And the quilted jacket… Generally, I do not like the quilting and I am not particularly fond of the golden colour (or ˈcappuccinoˈ colour, if you wish) either, so I was more than glad that Linda decided to be the model this time, even though I had to lend my only child for this purpose. 😀 At least, the quilting is not horizontal in ˈMichelin styleˈ, that I would not be able to survive at all… 😀 However I must admit that it is very nicely and neatly done – the fabric is not only sewn through with straight stitches, but the stitches are alternately thicker and thinner which creates a really interesting structure. It is very pleasant to wear the jacket, it is very light and surprisingly thin – therefore suitable rather for spring/autumn, also because of being rather short and it is not possible to adjust and tighten the lower hem. Size M was a good fit for me and Emilka this time; however, I think next spring Emilka’s legs would be too long for this jacket… well, nothing that leg warmers or softshell boots could not solve. 😉
As Lenka already mentioned, Angel Wings is a top brand among the babywearing clothes manufacturers, there is no doubt about that. And because my first and only babywearing jacket is the Angel Wings soft-shell jacket, it has undergone quite a load of my thorough testing throughout the whole last year’s cold season. When we were thinking about what brands we should offer at out e-shop, AW were one of our first choices and we are more than happy that we cooperate with them.
Before commenting on the particular products, I want to mention that any AW babywearing garment you buy comes with a bigger and a smaller insert that you can choose from according to the size of your baby or! you can use both of them for tandem wearing (ingenious!). The basic set does not include the pregnancy insert, but you can buy it extra.
The soft-shell jacket (by the way hopelessly sold out for most of the season – guess why :D) is really very well sewn – there is basically not a single error in sewing, even if you looked for it with a magnifying glass. I also want to stress out, even though it does not look like that on the photos of Lenka and Emilka, it is very nicely cut and looks great without a wearie – it certainly does not look like a shapeless ball with a cord in the place where the waist is supposed to be. I even got used to wearing this jacket (I would not believe it myself if someone told me so) in those rare moments her majesty allowed to be driven in a stroller. One of its great properties is that its pockets are very big and deep – you can fit your purse, smartphone, maybe even a cloth diaper and a small snack in them without any problems – sometimes these little details are truly life-saving!
You can tighten the hood not only around your face, but also in its rear part and therefore adjust it just as you need; and of course, you can detach it, too. It is lined with net fabric which gives it a little bit ˈoutdoorˈ look. The sleeves have thumb holes on their ends – I wore gloves and also used the sleeves’ holes at one time when it was really cold outside and felt very warm thanks to them.
Little remark for the beginner babywearers who have not decided on what babywearing clothes to buy yet – how to keep warm but not too warm? You can wear the soft-shell jacket during the autumn and the spring without any additional ˈinter-layerˈ while the baby is dressed the same as at home (romper, leggings or pantyhose, socks). The soft-shell is wind-resistant and if it is lined with fleece it can keep you warm without problems. During the winter you just add another layer – for example I had babywearing hoodie made of knitted fleece from Jožánek brand (the review will soon follow) and the baby remains dressed the same, you just ad a warm balaclava or a hat with a neck warmer and warm booties (or knitted socks, two pairs of socks… according to your fantasy 😉 ). And in case of really low temperatures you can dress your baby in a fleece bodysuit (Lenka and I, we both like Lidl, or Lupilu bodysuits).
The soft-shell coat has all the advantages and properties of the soft-shell jacket while it looks really elegant, in both its colour variants (black and pigeon grey). It is quite long, so you do not have to worry about being cold from down below; the lower hem of the coat is in the level right above my knees with my 170 cm. The hood is simply beautiful and, as Lenka mentioned, you can take of the fur. It is not lined with the net fabric as in case of the jacket, but with the classical, slightly glossy lining which looks very elegant – aaah! If I did not already own the jacket, this coat would be mine.
The quilted jacket caught my eye right away. Not everyone wants to wear soft-shell anywhere else than for hikes in the nature, some even find it undue to wear soft-shell in a city. For these wearers, AW created these quilted jackets in two colours – cappuccino and medium brown. The fabric is really beautiful, slightly glossy and the cappuccino colour is very pleasant to look at. 😉 Otherwise, I would repeat what Lenka already wrote. This jacket also has a classical neck protector, two inserts and a detachable hood for the baby. The only difference is that the big hood for the wearer is not detachable but hidden in the collar of the jacket – if needed, you can just unroll it and use it. However, it is only an ˈemergencyˈ hood since it is made of thin nylon mack and is not supposed to be seen while wearing as usual. The jacket itself is relatively thin, for the autumn/spring; for babywearing in winter I would recommend to buy something warmer.
If I really wanted to find any flaws on AW products, I would mention the manipulation with the neck protector. It is fastened by a zipper and you have to get used to it – you as a wearer and your wearie, too, who might not like it at first. However, in my opinion this one tiny ˈflawˈ is something I am gladly willing to forgive to AW because of the great heat comfort it ensures and because I do not think it is possible to think of any better system.