Kumja Maternity Jacket Extender: the search for a waterproof maternity coat

In the past, with summer pregnancies, I have always made do with one of my husband’s waterproof jackets. However this time, faced with the prospect of a whole winter unable to do up my zip, I started looking for a waterproof maternity coat. The search took longer than I was expecting, and ended in the Kumja Jacket Extender. I hope it might be helpful to someone else looking for a winter maternity coat.

A waterproof maternity coat…do they exist?

At first glance, maternity coats come in an impressive array of colours, styles and thicknesses. However, when I read through the product descriptions, I was less convinced. Our winters here in Scotland can be cold, wet and windy. Most jackets stated that they were ‘water-resistant’ or ‘water-repellant’ rather than ‘waterproof’. Many didn’t look particularly warm. It was nigh-on impossible to find a hydrostatic head rating.

I dug around a bit online, and came across Mamalila, a German brand selling babywearing coats. Mamalila coats are flexible enough to be worn both during pregnancy or with a baby in a carrier. What a great idea! You can get much more wear out of the coat, your baby benefits from your body warmth when out in the cold, but when you move inside with a sleeping infant you wouldn’t need to wake them up to strip off lots of extra layers, just take off your own coat. The Mamalila jackets have a clear rating system for temperature, windproofing and waterproofing. They even include the hydrostatic head! The catch is that they are pretty expensive, more than I wanted to pay for a maternity coat.

Jacket extenders – keep wearing your own coat

The next thing I came across was Maternity Jacket Extenders, and this was an idea that appealed to me. For a more modest sum, you can purchase a panel which zips into your existing coat, so that it fits over your bump. This means you can keep wearing your favourite coat and enjoy all its benefits.

Some types of jacket extender can also be used for babywearing by changing the configuration of the panel. Make My Belly Fit stood out, offering a near universal fit. It’s also based in Canada, so I assume the panel is suitable for cold weather! Zip Us In is a UK based brand, which I thought would be useful for returns, and the price was also very reasonable. I decided to order one.

The Zip Us In extender comes in a couple of different lengths and zip options. I looked carefully at the zip on my jacket, confirmed that it was a ‘Vislon’ zip, and duly ordered the appropriate option. It arrived promptly a couple of days later. First impressions were very promising. The Zip Us In extender is made out of a softshell fabric, with toggles to adjust the fit, and it looked excellent. Alas, it didn’t fit my zip at all – the teeth were completely different! I arranged to return to extender (very straightforward) and went back to my search.

Enter the Kumja jacket extender.

Kumja – the maternity coat extender for unusual zips

Kumja maternity jacket extender panel
Kumja jacket extender

Kumja is a German manufacturer of maternity coat extenders, but they do also have a website in English. On the order page for the Kumja, you complete a short quiz to make sure that you get the right version for your needs.

  • What side of your coat is your zip fastening?
  • How many sliders?
  • What type of zip?

I found the quiz very reassuring. It turns out that there are FOUR different types of 5K Vislon zip, and that my Didrikson’s jacket had the ‘Metaluxe’ type, which looks completely from the standard Vislon zip. I compared the zip picture in the quiz very carefully to my coat, and ordered the appropriate adaptor alongside the basic Kumja extender. I was rather nervous as I’d got this wrong once already!

The Kumja arrived from Germany in under a week, just as we were heading out on a rainy walk. I zipped the adaptor onto my coat zip, and it fitted perfectly, no issues at all. It was a simple matter to then attach the extension panel itself.

Kumja maternity jacket adaptor for metaluxe vislon zip

The verdict

The Kumja kept me warm and dry on a 1.5 hour walk in heavy rain. It was fantastic to be able to do up my coat again! I used the Kumja maternity jacket extender to stay warm and dry all through the winter, and even with a twin pregnancy I still had a small amount of wiggle room at the end.

I really like the design of the Kumja extender with the zip adaptors and a separate panel. I don’t need to worry about damaging my own coat zip. Once the zip adaptors are attached, you are always zipping the Kumja onto itself when taking your coat on and off. I think this is a really great feature.

Kumja is made of a soft polyester/cotton blend with Thinsulate filling. I think it is water repellant rather than waterproof, which was one of my gripes at the start of my search! However, I haven’t had any issue with rain leaks so far. The panel itself only forms a small part of the exterior of my coat overall, so I am not very reliant on it for keeping dry. I have taken it on walks where the outside portion of the panel has got pretty wet, with no water coming through. The company do sell an optional raincover if you are concerned about this.

The winter adaptor comes in black and anthracite grey – I chose anthracite grey which was a good match for my coat. The zips are hidden under a storm flap, so they aren’t obvious when the coat is on.

How the kumja maternity jacket extender attaches to Didrikson coat
The Kumja attached to my winter coat

The Kumja comes with a storage bag with space for several zips at the front. For a small additional cost, you can purchase a number of zip adaptors so that you can switch it between different coats, or perhaps between you and a partner for babywearing.

The Kumja maternity jacket extender comes with a storage bag
Storage bag with space for zips

Overall, I am really pleased with the Kumja jacket extender. It has kept me warm and dry in rain and wind, and it is lovely to be able to keep wearing my own coat.

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