Gotta admit, we’re especially excited about this season's collection of kids’ winter jackets and coats, waterproof trousers and raincoats, waterproof suits, gilets, pramsuits and snowsuits. Everything designed to keep your small explorers happy and dry, whatever the weather and however active they get.
But outerwear can get pretty technical - what’s the best rain-repelling coating? How’s breathability measured? And what does a 10,000mm waterproof rating actually mean? Which can make the choice bit daunting. We get it. So to help you pick the right winter waterproofs for your kid (and their particular taste for adventure) here’s a brief explainer of technical terms and a roundup of the kids’ winter coats and outerwear brands we love, and why:
Active outerwear needs an element of breathability. Otherwise you’ll keep the water out but your kids will be wet from their own sweat. (Ewww.)
You'll see phrases like showerproof, waterproof and water resistant, but the technical way to compare garments like-for-like is by water column pressure, in mm. What this means in practice is a tester has placed a narrow tube, end up, over a piece of fabric and measured how high (in mm) the tube can be filled before water starts to leak through the material. The higher the rating, the more water resistant the fabric is. Up to 10,000 mm and you're talking moderately rainproof, 10,000 mm and above and it's pretty storm-resistant.
Any waterproof fabric is only as good as the gaps between the pieces. When clothes are sewn, the needle makes tiny holes, which can (and will!) let water through. To stop this happening, seams are sealed with waterproof tape.
Active outerwear needs an element of breathability. Otherwise you’ll keep the water out but your kids will be wet from their own sweat. (Ewww.) Breathability is often measured in a 'g/m2/24hrs' measurement (i.e. the amount of moisture, by weight in grammes, that can pass through a square metre of fabric over the course of 24 hours). The higher the rating in grammes, the more breathable the fabric.
Sustainability & eco-creds:
Many brands we sell now use recycled materials – in fact, it’s not far from becoming the norm. But other factors come into play too. A recycled fabric may be waterproofed with the application of virgin plastics or potentially eco-hazardous chemicals like PFCs (perfluorinated compounds), formaldehyde and paraffin. Look out for the BIONIC-FINISH ECO mark, which means they've used one of a range of highly effective water repelling finishes that's PFC-and-nasty-free. ‘OEKO-TEX-certified’ is also your guarantee that production is free from harmful chemicals.
Look out for the BIONIC-FINISH ECO mark, which means they've used one of a range of highly effective water repelling finishes that's PFC-and-nasty-free.
Brands we love:
A female-founded British company whose chief designer, Lucinda Waite, honed her skills working for brands like Burberry, Abercrombie & Fitch and Superdry. Real innovators, they fuse fashion and functionality into effortlessly cool garments and endeavour to do all they can to limit their impact on the planet; from sourcing through to production, using fabrics recycled from plastic bottles with eco-friendly finishes. See the collection
Channelling a more cottagecore vibe, with cool quilting and a softer palette, this Danish brand caught our eye for their quirky details and the fact that their production is mainly based in Europe. Modern-looking but genuinely ‘hyggeligt’ garments. (That means ‘cosy’, language fans!) See the collection
This heritage Swedish brand has been making quality outerwear for more than 100 years. Designed to last for years and grow with them, thanks to their ‘Extend size’ function - a tuck sewn all the way around the inner lining of arms and legs that, once unpicked, releases the outer shell of the garment by a whole size. Clever stuff. See the collection
So competitively priced, it’s not surprising it’s the biggest children’s outerwear brand in the UK. This Devon-based company makes cheerful-looking technical outerwear in bright and bold unisex designs that inspire children to race outside, whatever the weather. Their puddle stomper wellies and socks are a perennial favourite with kids, who are hard to miss in the park in their bold designs. See the collection
An Amsterdam-based brand whose outerwear (they call them 'outerproofs') is made using only the highest quality materials and finishes. They believe firmly in making clothes to be passed down (their garment name labels have space for at leat three owners). Because they also support projects in the Antarctic, when your kid plays outside in GOSOAKY they're helping the penguins too, which they'll love. (And hence the penguin logo.) See the collection
Liewood's founder was an outerwear designer first and it shows in all the detailing and quality that you’ll find in their coats and waterproofs. Usually made with entirely recycled materials like THERMOLITE EcoMade padding, which offers the ultimate in sustainable warmth and comfort. See the collection
Sustainability has always been a watchword for all KIDLY Label outerwear. The entire range of Puddle Suits, Padded Jackets and Gilets has recycled outer shells, lining and fillings and all garments are treated with a PFC-free eco-finish. They’re great for layering as the seasons change, as they come in a wide range of shades that tone brilliantly with KIDLY Label daywear. So you’re bound to find a colour that suits and they’re made to last, so they're totally hand-me-downable too. See the collection
So there you have it - our guide to kids' winter coats, waterproofs and all the technical bits explained. But remember, if you need any more guidance, our Live Chat Team is always here to help, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (but not bank holidays). Just hit that purple button, bottom right.