Fall Is Here! Rain Gear For The Kiddos

Fall has arrived in the Pacific Northwest. I know, I know, some of you are sad summer is already over and don’t want to imagine the long gray wet winter ahead of us. Personally, I LOVE fall! Its the best season! Hiking in cooler weather, the color it adds to the forest, and oh the smell… The smell of death and decay. Apple cider, sweaters, pumpkin patches… I am so ready! Whether you love fall or not, I think we can all agree the rain’s return will bring some welcome relief to our parched forests and grasslands and signal the end of a brutal fire season.

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What’s not to love about fall?

 

Hiking is a year round affair in the PNW and with rain approaching on the horizon, now is a great time to think about rain/mud/puddle gear for the little ones. We have three main pieces of equipment in our rain arsenal: the rain suit, rain boots, and rain covers.

Rain Suits

There are lots of rain suits out there, some waterproof and some only water resistant, some one piece and some two. Key points to consider:

  • In the PNW, make sure you get waterproof. Even if it is only our patented drizmalling out, the puddle will be there and the kiddos will not be able to resist. Waterproof is a must.
  • One piece suits will keep them dry at the waist. My kiddo is often up to his neck in puddles (don’t ask me how he manages this) so I always opt for the one piece suit when on the trail. Even you don’t have a puddle swimmer on your hands, think about them sitting in the puddles… that puts their waistline awful close to the water doesn’t it?
  • Lots of colors are available. I strongly suggest you choose a brightly colored one. Those camouflage suits seem cute until you take your kid on a hike and he disappears in the trees. I’ve watched parents take their kids out on their first hike with their new camouflage suit and immediately regret the color choice.
  • Buy big and get two years out of them if you can. No matter what suit you choose, the waterproofing will be less the second year, but you can beef that up by applying a water proofing spray like you would your own gear. Or just be ok with some slight dampness leaking through… they will still come out way drier than if they weren’t wearing a quality suit.

While lots of brands are out there, two particular ones always come up as the favorites of PNW wild children, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

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That was the second time he went in that day… its best to be prepared with these wild ones.

 

Oakiwear

Oakiwear Trail Rain Suits are fantastic at keeping the water out.

Advantages:

  • They have velcro cuffs so you can cinch them up tight at wrists and ankles. This feature also makes it easy for you to buy large and let your kiddo grow with one suit for two winters since you can also shorten the legs and arms in this manner.
  • They also cinch in at the waist, for a more streamlined suit than the sometimes puffy Tuffos.
  • They are heavy duty and will resist the wear and tear of your wild child.
  • The zippers are watertight.

Drawbacks:

  • The Oakiwear suits tend to cost a bit more than alternatives. Being able to get two years out of them helps but the cost is still a barrier for some. Bonus: They appear to be on sale right now!
  • The hood is more fitted and sized for average sized heads. This is not a problem if your kiddo has an average sized head or smaller. My kiddo’s head is at the top end of the charts so the Oakiwear hoods do not work for us. (Of course he currently refuses to wear any hoods so…)

Tuffo

The Tuffo Muddy Buddy is a more affordable workhorse suit that is still great at keeping kiddos dry.

Advantages:

  • The cuffs have elastic so while you cannot cinch them as tight as the Oakis, you can roll them up to the right length and the elastic holds close enough (but not too tight) to keep the water out.
  • They have plenty of room for lots of layers, even snowsuits, underneath so they are the perfect outer layer on very cold days or in the snow.
  • They can be a bit puffy, giving your kiddo a super cute Teletubbie look. (Yes, I consider this an advantage!)
  • More affordable than the Oakiwear suits. Take a look at the different color and size options as they are often priced different and you may be able to get your second choice color for a lot less than your favorite.
  • While not as heavy duty as the Oakiwears, they are strong and tough enough stand up to my wild one. His last suit made it through two winters of wear and tear.
  • The zippers are water tight and placed for super easy on and off.
  • The hoods are nice and roomy for even the largest of heads.

Disadvantages:

  • The lack of velcro at the cuffs makes them a little trickier to cinch up but it is still doable.
  • They are a thinner material than the Oakiwear suits but we have not had any issues with this.

 

Both are great choices but we are sticking with the Tuffo Muddy Buddy suits for now. We got the 3T when kiddo was wearing 18mo clothes and made it through two winters with it. We just got his replacement suit in 5T and hope to make it through the next two winters. Both are bright yellow which makes him easy to see and its one of his favorite colors as a bonus.

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Kiddo jumping in mud puddles while wearing a Tuffo Muddy Buddy suit at the end of its second year of wear and light-up Western Chief Batman boots.

 

Rain Boots

There are so many choices for rain boots it is easy to get overwhelmed! I feel like I’m wading through a bottomless pit when I shop for them on Amazon but we’ve been through a couple brands and there are some stand outs to discuss.

Maymayus:

These are the gold standard for waterproof kids boots.

Advantages:

  • They come up high and close up, doubling as gaiters.
  • Since all but the bottom half inch are essentially gaiters, they roll down to take up almost no space. That makes them super awesome to have on hand year round for any potential water crossings/play.
  • Their flexibility is great for new walkers.

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive for something your kids will grow out of in one season.
  • The small kids boots do not have good traction so they can be slippery when hiking. (The bigger toddler boots reportedly have good traction for those kiddos who are really off and hiking.)
  • Only available through their site (no Prime shipping here folks!)

Oakiwear:

These are your basic rubber boots with a fabric lining. They are available in lots of colors and lots and lots and LOTS of patterns to find ones that speak to your kiddo’s interests and they have good tread so they don’t slip around a lot while hiking. Best of all, they are affordable. They do run large, so you may need to size down for proper fit (or plan on wearing thick socks) and they are great for kids with wide feet. Some have reported issues with them cracking before their child grew out of them. We have not experienced this with ours but it is something to be aware of.

Western Chief:

Again, these are your basic rubber boots with a fabric lining. They are available in lots of colors and patterns including popular characters like my son’s Batman boots, some even light up. They have ok tread so they don’t slip around a lot while hiking but not as deep a tread as the Oakiwear boots. They are affordable if you choose the right color or pattern. Unlike Oakiwear, they run true to size.

Bogs and Stonz:

I know some folks absolutely swear by their Bogs or Stonz but I just don’t get it. The Bogs are awfully expensive for what you get. If you do opt for Bogs, make sure you get the tall, all rubber ones as the others aren’t great at keeping feet dry in puddles.

Stonz for small children do a good job at keeping feet dry and they close up like gaiters. But they are clunky and heavy and just don’t seem practical for new walkers. Stonz for older toddlers are your standard rubber boots but lack handles. Personally I’d pass on both of these but some parents really do love them.

Rain Covers:

This piece of gear is pretty simple (its about time!). If you have a stroller, you’ll want a cover for it when walking in the rain. If you have a frame carrier, you will want a rain cover for it as well. In the PNW, we hike rain or shine and these not only help keep kiddo from getting soaked if you forgot to put his rain suit in the car (yes, I have done that far too often), they will help keep your expensive stroller and carrier from getting all moldy and gross. I skipped the stroller cover for our first winter of rainy hikes and oh man is that stroller stained and nasty. Just pick the one that works for your gear and budget.

Frame Carrier Cover:

The two main frame carriers are Deuter and Osprey. Here are links to their respective covers.

Deuter: Deuter Kid Comfort Sun Roof & Rain Cover

Osprey: Osprey Poco Raincover

Strollers:

It seems like most folks have Bobs and their covers are really nice but the generic covers do great too.

Bob specific: BOB Weather Shield for Single Revolution/SS Strollers or BOB Weather Shield for Duallie Revolution/SS Strollers

Generic jogging stroller: Single Jogging Stroller Weather Shield or Double Jogging Stroller Weather Shield

Generic non-jogger: Single Stroller Weather Shield or Double Stroller Weather Shield

***I did not receive any compensation, discounts, or product in exchange for these reviews. Honestly. However, if you purchase through one of the links, I may receive a small commission through the Amazon Associates program (I’ve got to support this hiking addiction somehow.)

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Fall Is Here! Rain Gear For The Kiddos

  1. Pingback: The Ten Essentials With Kiddos | Toddler Trekking

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