When I was growing up, my mother had a saying that summed up her opinion on value perfectly: "buy it nice, or buy it twice". It may be a viewpoint that goes somewhat against the grain when it comes to shopping for kids: after all, they're growing constantly and can't always be trusted to care for their belongings. But trust me, when it comes to kids swimwear, it's a mantra that I've come to swear by.
Choosing quality kids swimwear is truly an investment that pays off in the long term, both for your wallet, for your little one, and for the environment too. Whilst the high street, and internet, may be full of offerings that seem almost too good to be true, it's likely that indeed they are: good only for a few uses, and destined to join the great watery landfill in the sea before the season is out.
Not only this, but buying quality kids bathers can can also make or break your beach day, pool day and make for a much happier relationship between your kids and the water. But how do you tell quality kids swimwear from the rest of the pack, and what are the signs you're paying for a premium product, not just a big name brand?
Sidenote: are you looking for a more complete guide to choosing the best kids swimwear? We've got a comprehensive guide to kids swimwear by age and stage here.
Quality Kids Swimwear is more Comfortable
We reckon it's always worth paying more for kids bathers with features designed for additional comfort. Beach days will never be quite so long and leisurely again with little ones in tow, but the longer your kids can play happily in the sand and waves, the more of a 'day out' everyone enjoys. Cheap kids swimwear can often chafe and cause swim rash, which will quickly turn a fun day out sour, and leave its mark for a few days afterwards too.
Comfortable features in premium kids swimwear can include things like:
- double linings, at the body at least, for additional warmth and temperature regulation
- quick dry fabrics, to help your little water baby dry off and warm up quickly after a dip
- hidden seams, often tucked away within the double lining, to reduce chafing
- zipper guards, to stop uncomfortable rubbing
- softer, thicker fabrics, for a better feel on sensitive young skin
Quality Kids Swimwear will Last Longer
It makes sense, but quality kids swimwear should also be built for durability. When it comes to both comfort and staying power, look out for lined fabrics, well-constructed 'hidden seams' and thick, opaque fabrications. We love our eco-luxe Repreve fabric, it's buttery soft and incredibly hardy, making it the ideal material for quality kids bathers.
Quality Kids Swimwear will make your life easier
It's true: your quality kids swimwear can make or break your day at the beach! Quality kids swimwear should make life by the water with your little ones easier, not harder. We consider UPF50+ certification on your kids swimsuit an absolute essential for sun-safety, whilst features like quick dry fabric will ensure your little ocean lover warms up fast after a spell in the water. Meanwhile, getting your sandy wriggle-monster out of their wet bathers really shouldn't be so hard. Extended zippers, with a fabric zip pull, and snap stud bottoms will make toilet breaks, nappy and general costume changes an absolute breeze.
Quality Kids Swimwear will Protect your Little Ones Better
We've touched on sun-protection, but one of the signs of premium quality kids swimwear is a commitment to sun-protection that goes beyond just a flimsy bit of fabric. Did you know, much like your skin requires SPF to block out the sun's harmful rays, so does the fabric in your clothes, in order to be totally sun safe?
We cover more of the science here, but in essence, those pesky rays can make their way through the weave of the fabric in your kids swimsuit. A UPF50+ protective treatment prevents 50 x more of the sun's UVA and UVB rays from making it through to your child's sensitive skin. Brands have to pay extra for the certification, so if they have it, they will likely display it on the label or online listing.
Quality Kids Swimwear is Better for the Environment
Did you know, in Australia we have the second highest textile consumption per capita worldwide, consuming an average of 27kg of new textiles per year and disposing an average 23kgs of textiles to landfill, much of which ends up in our ocean?
And did you also know, that the plastics problem in our ocean is so severe, that there are already more pieces of plastic in our ocean than there are stars in the milky way, or that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish?
The absolute worst part of the cheap, fast fashion industry is the impact it has on consumption: poor quality garments are created to break down and be disposed of quickly, just so you can go and buy more of the same! The more we buy, the more waste we create, and so the cycle continues,
So if you can "buy it nice", not only will you not have to buy it twice, but you won't send twice as much waste into the oceans either. Longevity is the ultimate in sustainability, and quality kids swimwear should be crafted to last one more than just the one season, perfect to pass down to a sibling or friend.
Additionally, many premium kids swimwear is now made of more environmentally-conscious materials too. Look for labels that advertise the use of Sequal, Econyl or Repreve fabrics, like our own sustainable swimwear, as they all actively remove waste from the oceans, recycling them into incredible quality swim fabrics instead.
There are lots of things to consider when finding the best quality kids swimwear, but choosing a well-engineered and sustainable fabric, thoughtful construction, and paying for helpful features (not just a brand name) will definitely ensure your little water babies are well cared for each time they hit the beach.