Though after the initial rush our series has slowed down a bit, we are far from having reached the end or running out of products, so here’s another one for you. This is in fact the second half of my Insenio order from way back then when I was buying the Active Pro. Say hello to the Better Care homecare suit.
Colors and Patterns
As regular readers might know, I have a thing for blue as my favorite color (well, certain shades of it at least) and so pretty much every product that looks halfway decent in this department is something I can hardly resist. This was no different with this one. I knew right away that I would buy one of these one day when I first saw a picture. It was just a matter of time when it would happen. The product actually comes in two colors – a dark marine blue/ navy and the light blue color depicted throughout this article. Because of price considerations (yes, they are somewhat expensive by comparison; see later sections of this article) I only got one to try out and opted for the brighter color.
The light blue is not unsimilar to the one on the respective Kiwisto onesies, meaning a pale-ish sky blue with a grey-ish undertone. Here it leans more toward the turquoise/ cyan side, whereas the Kiwisto onesie appears a bit more purple-ish under the same light conditions. Still, they are a pretty close match. Naturally, since I don’t have one, I can’t give you an exact impression of the darker color, but the photos on the manufacturer’s pages suggest that it is still recognizable as blue instead of a blue-ish black like with some other vendors. Check it out yourself to make up your mind.
Size and Fit
Based on the available sizing info, my own experience and some common sense of how the generic letter-based sizes translate to real German sizes I picked size L. I couldn’t be one hundred percent sure of course, but once I had received the suit, everything checked out just fine. In fact I was quite surprised since the suit looks pretty large on photos and I almost feared it would end up being a loosely fitting affair that flops and wiggles around a lot. Thankfully it turned out to be nice and tight just as I prefer. Still, not everything is roses in wonderland, because there is a caveat.
As it turned out, I couldn’t wear the suit in the way it is intended, meaning with the zipper on the back. Yes, in some weird twist of reality I have to wear it with the zipper in front. This has nothing to do with closing the zipper being awkward behind your back (which of course it is without assistance and an additional pull cord on the fly like you have on surfing wetsuits), but rather there being some sort of odd tension that prevented me from keeping my back straight. It almost feels like the front and back panels have been used in the wrong order, though they are most definitely not. So for what it’s worth, to me it remains a mystery why it behaves this way and I cannot offer you any explanation once I rule out simple things like my hollow back affecting the fit.
Once I got over this *bummer* moment, I considered the overall fit to be acceptable and it’s beneficial that the product is more or less symmetrical, mitigating the disaster somewhat. Imagine the trouble had they tailored it more to have distinct differences between front and back or things like shaped leg tubes!
Diaper fixation is excellent here. There are two contributing factors: One, the tight fit as laid out previously, and two, the leg parts acting as additional “stoppers” preventing your diaper package from sliding down too much. This is helped by the cloth being a very sturdy mix of 80 percent cotton with 20 percent polyester, which allows some tiny bit of stretching to adapt to the body, but at the same time not too much so something could give way. For me at least it’s really super comfortable as everything stays put where it is supposed to be.
Because of the relatively tight fit however, closing up the leg zipper can be a daunting thing to the point of breaking a sweat and throwing curses. Most of the time I simply avoid it and pull up the whole suit with the zipper already closed like it were a more conventional model. I will say though that I still have rather bulky upper thighs despite having been out of the cycling sports circuit several years now, so if you have less thick legs things might balance out better and you could still get a tight fit while at the same time making easy use of the leg zipper.
Materials and Manufacturing Quality
As already mentioned, the cloth is a cotton/ polyester mix and quite robust mechanically. In the usual manner the skin sensation took a moment to get used to because of the polyester parts always give me a slightly powder-y feel, but it’s okay after a while. The color is consistent and very stable, which is to be expected, given that this is a dedicated homecare product that for hygienic reasons must withstand washing at 60 degrees C.
More indication of this is provided by the back zipper being intentionally off-center and sewn on from the outside. This is to avoid pressure marks and sores when you lay in bed on your back. The zipper would otherwise be in direct contact with the protruding parts of your vertebrae, which could cause considerable damage even on younger people if there, in a manner of speaking, is not enough meat on the bone (or fat tissue below the skin) to absorb the pressure. Due to the fit issue and as someone who sleeps curled up sideways none of this is relevant for me, but it may be for others.
The overall quality of the sewing is acceptable, though as illustrated there are occasional small glitches here and there. Most seams are perfectly straight and don’t cause any twisting, though in the usual areas like the leg zipper you should be forgiving if there are ever so slight uneven deformations. On my example I also have detected some small holes which based on their placement I have deduced must be from temporary fixation of parts with pin needles. The holes then ended up on the wrong side of the seam and grew larger due to the stretching instead of being hidden in the overlapping regions.
One thing that totally doesn’t work in my opinion is the little piece of extra cloth to protect the skin from the zipper’s fly scratching on it. It’s a well-intentioned idea executed poorly. As it is, the little flag thing is too narrow, meaning it just moves around, in the end still exposing the metal part. The way I see it, it would have had to be at least twice the height to have any meaningful use.
Pricing and Availability
As mentioned in the intro paragraph, this homecare suit is available via Insenio as well as some other resellers. You can also order it directly from the Care Better website. Back when I made my purchase the price was more like 30+ Euros, but it seems to have come down now to about 26 Euros, which is perfectly acceptable. It appears that availability is good with either the manufacturer or the resellers always having enough in stock. Ordering therefore should be rather painless as long as you keep in mind that all current outlets are based in Germany or Switzerland and it may take a few days extra for the goods to arrive outside that region.
Compared to the Active Pro this product offers a much more satisfying experience and has greater usefulness, at least for me. If it wasn’t for those quirks with the fit, this would be a viable alternative for a nice sleeper suit on a permanent basis. As it is, however, I don’t think I’ll get another one soon. Part of me also wishes they would put the nice colors to use by creating a daytime variant that could be worn as an undershirt at least or a full on T-shirt replacement even (with no back zipper, apparently) while retaining the functionality in the lower regions. This could be pretty neat.
Overall the product is not bad, but ultimately most people reading this blog will probably prefer spending their money on something else, regardless. The simple truth is that there are enough alternatives that are less bothersome and even when it could be used “as advertised” it is not necessarily easy to use. That of course as always depends on your physique and other factors, so at least I’m hoping that this review will help you make up your mind.