Thursday, August 29, 2013

BAK gear: MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) Muddy Buddy suit

The MEC Muddy Buddy is a suit designed to keep the mud, rain, puddle, snow from ingress. Worn as an outer shell, the suit will keep your kid from getting wet, provided, they don't pour water down their neck. It's a nylon material with a DWR coating. It also includes taped seams, and has dual zippers running down the front to easily evacuate the suit. This suit has been superseded by what MEC is calling the NEWT. I'm assuming its better technology in some cases. However there are stories that the Newt is not as durable especially at the taped seams. If you live close to a MEC not a problem with their warranty program.
The muddy buddy is not a CBRN suit, so don't throw biologicals or chem like gasoline onto the kid. It will ruin the fabric. I probably would also refrain from subjecting your kid to nuclear or radioactive material. Trace amounts of tritium OK though. It's more akin to being part of an ECWCS, granted its not Goretex - your kid, they don't need it. (for the record I DO NOT CONDONE subjecting Bad Ass Kids to any NBCD, although they think bathing in J&J all-in-one is death)
This suit has elastic cuffs for the legs and arms. Ideally, you would have rainboots and gloves for the kid (might I recommend Kamik) that you would slip over top the boots. Because it is not insulated, be sure to dress your kid accordingly. Underneath the suit you see the MEC fleece for kids (think layering ala ECWCS). You might be gawking at the price for a muddy buddy / fleece combo, but I have found that the MEC fleece is a performance fleece and does hold insulation well when compared to fashion-grade fleece. As you can see from this picture, the hoody is also elasticized, but nowhere do you see drawstrings or cords, probably because they are strangulation hazards.
There really isn't much else to say about this item. It works as intended, its worth the money for it especially because its backed by MEC. It comes in HiViz colours. If your Bad Ass Kid prefers the outdoors then this is the shizzle. If you can still find one on ebay or craigslist pick it up now. The Newt is relatively new, so I'm not going to buy one just yet, but by all accounts the muddy buddy work as intended.

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Full Disclosure: Unless noted, Bad Ass Dad has not been compensated in any means to review this gear. It is all his own, procured through pro-channels, retail, or issuance.