PRODUCT REVIEW: Wondersuits vs Coverall’s, aka. Bonds vs Target – Who will reign supreme?

Everybody loves a good baby coverall, right? Those one-piece wonders that solve all of your troubles with trying to dress a wriggly baby and just watch your washing load get halved. Seriously, what can’t a good coverall do!?

I had 50 coveralls, no joke, 50 of them. Yes I love them but two notable brands stand out: the powerhouse of Australian baby coveralls, the Bonds Wondersuit, and the less assuming Target brand coverall… And this is how they compare.

STYLE

Across most brands there are only really three types of styles of coverall:

  • a full button-up (buttoning from the top, down and across both legs with some variation available in Bonds as to whether the buttons are centered or skewed to the side);
  • a zip suit (zips down one leg only); and
  • buttons only around the legs.
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Three main types of coverall style. L to R: Target full button-up, Bonds full button-up, Target zip, Bonds zip and Target button legs.

Bonds Wondersuits come in the full button-up and the zip style only, with the vast majority of Wondersuit patterns (especially the larger sizes) available in the zip style only.

Target coveralls come in all three styles across all sizes.

The advantages of each style really depends on your level of patience when it comes to dressing a wriggling baby!

But since it’s the small things that can add up to a good or bad day as a new parent, some things to consider when choosing a style might be:

  • how easy is it to put the coverall on a baby when they’re awake or asleep?
  • how easily can a nappy be changed?
  • how far will you need to undress your baby in order to change their nappy? (i.e. will i live to regret waking my sleeping baby for this nice outfit!)

Some clever person (clearly a parent) at Bonds has tried to solve all of these issues by creating the double-zip Wondersuit! It zips from the top and it zips from the bottom so you don’t have to completely undress your baby in order to change their nappy. Target coveralls aren’t yet available in the double-zip design.

Other useful features are:

  • a fabric cover for the top zip so it doesn’t rub on your baby’s chin (included in both Bonds and Target brands);
  • fold-over sleeves to act as mittens to stop baby from scratching itself;
  • fold-over feet covers to give you some extra wear out of the size (Bonds only).

But having said all that… one universal shopping principle stands: the better the quality of the coverall design, the more expensive it is, regardless of the brand.

FABRIC

Three basic fabrics are used in the Bonds and Target coveralls: terry toweling, a cotton / elastane blend and a predominantly cotton fabric.

The main difference between fabrics seems to only be the varied degrees of warmth and stretch offered.

  • The terry toweling fabric is warm and ideal for winter. The Bonds Classic Wondersuit has an additional ‘peter pan’ style collar and both Target and Bonds terry coveralls can be collarless.
  • The cotton / elastane blend feels a bit colder to touch but offers great stretch letting your baby fit into the coverall just that bit longer than the predominantly cotton fabric.
  • The predominantly cotton fabric breathes well but is less stretchy and seems to be only used in the smaller-sized ‘full button-up’ coveralls across both brands.

Both Bonds and Target use only the stretchy blended fabric for their zip suits and the quality of this fabric seems identical across both Bonds and Target.

I should also mention that Target makes the occasional wool-blend outfit (usually only in the buttons legs design) which is of fabulous quality and design if you’re looking for a fancier coverall.

SIZE

Target offers ‘Tiny Baby’ to ‘12 – 18 month’ sizes in their coveralls. Each size is also weighted which is a great indicator of what size your baby should be wearing, rather than going with the size that matches your baby’s age.

Bonds offers a ‘Newbies’ to a toddler size ‘3’ across their Wondersuit range, with the Classic style Wondersuit fitting up to a size 18-24 months and the zip Wondersuits fitting up to a toddler size 3. Bonds does not include a weight range but given the larger make a toddler can easily wear their coveralls.

A quick guide to the sizing system used in the Bonds and Target coveralls:

  NUMERIC RANGE  WEIGHT
BONDS 0000 Newbies  NA
000 0 – 3 months  NA
00 3 – 6 months  NA
0 6 – 12 months  NA
1 12 – 18 months  NA
2 18 – 24 months  NA
3 24 – 36 months  NA
TARGET 00000 Tiny baby Up to 3 kg
  0000 New baby Up to 4 kg
  000 0 – 3  months Up to 6 kg
  00 3 – 6 months Up to 8 kg
  0 6 – 12 months Up to 10 kg
  1 12 – 18 months Up to 12 kg


One unusual difference between the Bonds and Target range of coveralls is the considerable difference in equivalent sizes.

For example, the Target brand of coveralls seems to be more accurate to size but is bordering on being a smaller make. For example, my 3 month old baby would fit a Target coverall size 000 comfortably from one month of age so I found myself buying more Target outfits over time because of the smaller make.

In contrast, the Bonds Wondersuit seems to be a larger fit so your baby may not fit into a Bonds suit properly at first. For example, my 3 month old would fit a size 000 in a Bonds Wondersuit comfortably only around 3 or 4 months of age.

As shown here, the visible difference between two ‘size 000’ or ‘3 to 6 months’ coveralls in a Bonds zip suit and Target zip suit:

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To be honest, I can’t decide which is worse, outgrowing a Target coverall too quickly or having to wait longer for the Bonds Wondersuit to fit properly. This just leaves me wondering ‘what is an accurate size for baby clothes anyway?!‘.

DESIGN

Bonds does a great stripe design. It has almost become their trademark. They also offer a handful of novelty designs that rarely change as the design approach at Bonds seems to be fewer designs create more of a cult-like following (i.e. note the confetti design effect).

Target on the other hand, does great novelty designs. Their coverall patterns are constantly changing and are rarely repeated so you’ll acquire a great collection of unique outfits very quickly with Target. I’ve got everything from polar bear patterns, to geometric shapes, to turtles, to penguins, to…. you get my point, my baby’s Target coverall collection is far from boring.

Quality-wise, both brands have stood the test of time and have been equally resilient after repeated washes.

PRICE RANGE

Ignoring any special sales here….

The Bonds Wondersuit range in priced from $16.95 for the classic terry coverall to $24.95 for the zip Wondersuit with all the bells and whistles (mittens, feet covers, double-zip).

Target coveralls range in price from $5 AUSD for a basic terry toweling coverall to $12 AUSD for a zip style. The occasional Target wool-blend coveralls previously mentioned are priced around the $20-$25 AUSD mark.

CONCLUSION

If you like brand-name clothes you will undoubtedly buy a Bonds Wondersuit at some point, but scratching past the surface of this juggernaut of a fabulous Australian brand, the Target coverall also offers fantastic value for money and a slightly bigger range of cute and quirky fabric designs.

Bonds does offer great extras in the design detail of their products like convertible mittens and feet-covers, reducing your need to buy additional mittens and socks, and making the overall dressing experience with a wriggling baby just that bit easier.

So if you only want to buy one coverall that will do as much as possible for you regardless of the price, then the Bonds Wondersuit will tick more boxes. It’s smart design and larger size range gives it a bit more longevity in your child’s wardroab despite the longer wait to fit into it.

But if you want more outfits or more variety without feeling too much of a pinch in the pocket then you can’t look past Target coveralls.

From a quality-for-price perspective, I have also been pleasantly surprised to find that the cheaper Target coveralls are just as tough as the more expensive Bonds Wondersuits. They can both take a good beating in the washing machine and they both look equally tatty after months and months of use.

Fabric quality is not a compromise or issue with either brand.

Both brands of coveralls have survived our baby and toddler years and will go on to be worn by another baby another day for us.

AT A GLANCE: The real world issues (ignoring the price difference)

BONDS TARGET
The biggest pro? The fold-over feet covers that give you more wear out of a size. The big range of interesting and constantly changing designs and patterns.
The biggest con? The unusually large fit that can look baggy and make it hard to gauge what size your baby is. The lack of convertible foot covers to give you more length in the coveralls when baby outgrows a size.

 

Happy shopping!

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