Your typical, kids’ rain jacket has gone through quite the evolution over the years. With greater versatility and quality waterproofing, gone are the days of staring out the window waiting for the rain to stop. Playing, hiking, and adventuring in all weather conditions now fill those days. Though we can’t promise to eliminate all the tantrums on a family adventure, we can help you prevent melt downs in rainy weather with gear that keeps your kids dry.
Whether you’re stuffing one into a backpack just in case or pulling one out when standing on the sidelines of your kid’s soccer game, your child’s rain jacket provides protection to the same level as men’s and women’s versions. Similar to snow outerwear, not every rain jacket is created equal. You have choices from multiple styles to a variety of features offered. Ask yourself, what activities will this piece of gear be used for? Here are some key things to keep in mind when picking out the best rain jacket for your child.
Comfort is Key
For activities like hiking, biking, and camping, you want your kid(s) to easily move around and be comfortable in their rain jacket. Look for a light weight nylon or polyester materials. Keep in mind to look for features that allow you to adjust the rain jacket to the child’s size. Adjustable cuffs and hem cinch waists help keep the water out and the fun going. They are also great features when considering hand-me-down potential.
Understand Waterproofing Ratings
Outdoor gear companies tend to throw around many phases for waterproofing technology. A performance kid’s rain jacket begins with a waterproof/breathable barrier and critically taped seams. Often you will see the term: DWR, meaning durable water repellent. Applied to the outermost fabric layer, DWR is a coating or finish that works to prevent the garment from becoming saturated.
In addition to the DWR term, you typically will see two numbers as well. These two numbers refer to the waterproof, breathability rating of fabrics. The first number is measured in millimeters or (mm.) This is the amount of water the fabric can withstand before it leaks through.
The second number is related to the breathability of your child’s rain jacket. While you want to keep water out, you also want water vapor to be able to escape from the inside. Most people can relate to that feeling of having more moisture on the inside than the outside of their rain jacket. This number is measured in grams and refers to how much water vapor can pass through a square meter in 24 hours. The take away here, the higher the number the better the waterproofing and breathability. This will remain true for all rain jackets and winter outerwear. Keep in mind a performance rain jacket would have a rating of (3k,3k). There is not always a need for something rated as high as (10k,5k) or (15k,10k.) This rating is considered to be premium waterproofing and is designed for someone performing a higher-level of technical outdoor activity.
Added Features for Functionality
Your fabrics and waterproof/breathability are top of the list for importance when selecting a rain jacket, however, some additional features that are great for parents and their kids include packability and zipper pockets. From storing treasures found and collected throughout the day, to the ease of tossing a jacket into a backpack, these features are bonuses to look for when picking out the right rain jacket for your child.
Bonus Adventure Gear Tip
In addition to a good rain jacket, keep in mind that winter base-layers and socks make great additions to your camping pack list as well. From lightweight layers to fleece, the whole family can stay cozy, warm and dry when enjoying the outdoors. Vice versa a good rain jacket can make a great, lightweight shell for spring days on the slopes snowboarding when you don’t need the added insulation of a winter jacket.
Interested in a Burton rain jacket for your child? Check out the Burton Berkley and Portal rain jacket available online at burton.com. Have fun exploring the out-of-doors with your whole family this Spring and Summer. No matter the weather, enjoy having great adventures together.
Photos courtesy of Burton Riglet Ambassador, Mark Yates