After Natalie busted right out of her swaddle, and then the Magic Merlin Sleepsuit, and then the swaddle again, we had to find a better way of keeping her warm at night. Regular blankets are a no-no for little babies (and even if they were safe, she’d kick it off in the middle of the night anyway), but wearable blankets are great!
If you are agonizing over which wearable baby blanket is the best, agonize no more.
(Seriously. They’re all fine. Just pick one.)
But for those of you still overthinking this, I now present for your reading pleasure the first ever Happy Helmraths Baby Product Throwdown.
Let’s start with an easy one: would you rather put your baby in a sack or in a pod? That’s what I thought.
Quality of Construction and Materials
After two months of nightly wear (and during all naps), I haven’t seen any tearing, pilling, loose threads, or anything broken on either wearable blanket. Both fabrics are quite soft, although I read reviews of the Gunapod saying that it shed lots of little pink fuzzies all over people’s washing machines. We haven’t run into that so far, but I can see how it could happen.
The biggest difference between the two in terms of types of material used is in the zippers. The Gunapod has a very chunky zipper with a plastic zipper pull, whereas the Sleepsack has a thin zipper with a metal zipper pull (zipper zipper zipper zipper. Did I say “zipper” enough?). It’s not really a question of which one is better, but which one you prefer. I have to give the edge to the Sleepsack only because the plastic Gunapod zipper sometimes catches on itself.
Advantage: Sleepsack, just barely
Both the Sleepsack and the Gunapod are super soft and cuddly. The Gunapod is ever so slightly thicker and probably a tad warmer.
HOWEVER. Minus points for both blankets because WHY U NO HAVE SLEEVES??? Seriously. Infant sleepsacks (I’m using that term generically here) all have sleeves, but then as soon as you get to the bigger sizes most of them don’t. In fact, please let me know in the comments if you have/know where to buy a wearable blanket that does have sleeves. Or if there is a safety reason that I’ve overlooked that would explain why all of these are made without sleeves.
Advantage: Neither, and a side-eye to both for not having sleeves.
Natalie yanks up the neckline and attempts to chew on it, gets frustrated when she can’t reach, and then flings up her feet so she can gnaw on the bottom of the blanket. She seems to do this more with the Sleepsack. I haven’t tried this myself, so she’s the only one judging this category.
Advantage: Sleepsack, I guess?
Ease of Use
The biggest difference between the two blankets is how they zip up. The Gunapod zips up, like most baby clothing, and has a fabric tab that snaps over the zipper pull so it doesn’t poke baby’s neck. The Sleepsack zips down, so the zipper is down by baby’s feet. I love the idea of the Sleepsack zipping down so the zipper isn’t close to Natalie’s face, but the execution is not so great.
Imagine that you have laid out the Sleepsack in baby’s crib, and you are going to place your baby on top of it and then zip them up all nice and snug before they go to sleep.
Now imagine that your baby has been replaced with a feral cat. Good luck zipping that up.
That’s how bedtime in our household usually goes. I struggle with the zipper on the Sleepsack for what feels like endless minutes as Natalie sprouts new limbs, I swear to god, and kicks a new one outside the blanket every time I wrestle one back inside. Lining up the zipper while she’s doing this is damn near impossible. The Gunapod is definitely easier in this regard since all I have to do is pull the zipper up.
The Gunapod also offers a lot more customization than the Sleepsack. The Sleepsack has one zipper down the middle. That’s it. The Gunapod has four zipper pulls: one down the middle, two on each side that come down from the armpit, and one that goes across the bottom of the sack. This makes it a lot easier to get those rogue arms inside, because I can pull down the zippers to make the arm holes a bit bigger. If it seems like she might be a bit warm, I can unzip the bottom to air her feet out (this was also a handy feature when we were still doing middle-of-the-night diaper changes).
As you can see in the picture above, it also has snaps across both shoulders. I personally don’t like the snaps, since they usually come undone when I’m trying to put her octopus arms through the holes. But if for some reason you needed to be able to lift the entire front of the blanket off your baby without putting their arms through the arm holes, you’d have that option by unsnapping the shoulder snaps and unzipping the zippers around the outside of the blanket.
I would totally wear either of these blankets if they came in adult sizes. They’re like Snuggies, only better.
But since this is a throwdown and I have to declare a winner, I’m calling it for the Gunapod by a hair.
That being said, I really like both blankets and I’m happy to have them both. Buy two. Your baby will inevitably pee on one in the middle of the night and then you’ll be very glad to have the spare.
I hope you enjoyed the first ever Throwdown. This was a lot of fun to write, so stay tuned for more – and let me know in the comments if there are specific products you’d like to see in a future Throwdown!
I purchased both the Sleepsack and the Gunapod with my own money. This post contains affiliate links, which throws a few pennies my way should you choose to purchase any of these items. Thank you for supporting Happy Helmraths!