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The Best Kids Rain Jackets, Vetted by Parents

Rain gear is the new snow gear

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best kids rain jackets universal
Dasha Burobina

When it rains, it pours—and TBH, in a lot of places it rained more than it snowed this past year. I’m basing this on my own experience: For example, the NYC morning last fall when the streets were flooded, the subways weren’t running, but schools were open, which led my 5-year-old and me to brave the weather together. What helps? Proper waterproof rain gear, like choosing one of the best rain jackets for kids.

The great news? Rain coat options abound for boys, girls, kids and toddlers: We love this fisherman’s style from Boden, as well as best-in-class Scandi brand, Polarn O. Pyret. You can also choose from a variety of styles. Maybe your kid wants something with a bit of length like this Primary jacket or they prefer something that is more throw-on-and-go (Columbia’s Glennaker style, perhaps). We polled editors, parents and even a children’s outdoor gear professional to bring you the best raincoats for kids in 2024.

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The Best Kids Rain Jackets at a Glance

1

Best Everyday Raincoat

Reima Lampi Waterproof Rain Jacket

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2

Best Breathability

LL. Bean Trail Model Colorblock Rain Jacket

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3

Best Lightweight Raincoat

Columbia Glennaker Rain Jacket

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4

Best for Baby

Hatley Color Changing Hooded Waterproof Raincoat

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5

Best for Toddlers

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket

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How We Chose the Best Kids Rain Jackets

To land on the best kids rain jackets, we first polled actual parents (PureWow editors included!) to get their selects, all of which they’ve tested first-hand. Then, we scoured online reviews of those recommendations to ensure that there was a chorus of positive opinions and feedback. Finally, we chatted with an expert—Alyssa Marsh, COO of the Outdoor School Shop—to get her advice on what features to seek when choosing a proper rain jacket. (Things like durability and fit, which you can read more about below.)

best kids rain jackets pink waterproof jacket
Reima

Best Everyday Raincoat

1. Reima Lampi Waterproof Rain Jacket

What We Like

  • lasts multiple seasons
  • bright colors
  • 10,000 mm water column

What We Don’t Like

  • not as warm

Reima

Our family editors rave about the versatility (and durability) of this particular style, which is really a testament to the quality of the entire Reima brand. The Lampi coat is one of their staples thanks to its 10,000mm water column (see detailed explanation below, but this is a universal measurement that determines how long it will take for a coat to soak through) and a design that prioritizes active, outdoor play (details like the elastic cuff, the detachable hood and reflective design enhance the safety while in use). It’s worth noting that this coat also comes with welded seams, which make it all more waterproof. To wash, simply turn inside out and throw in the machine. (When we tested, we tried this and ours came out looking brand-new.)

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 12/24 months to 12 years
  • Material: 100 percent recycled polyester; polyurethane coating
  • Care: Machine-washable
best kids rain jackets purple blue rain jacket
L.L. Bean

Best Breathability

2. L.L. Bean Trail Model Colorblock Rain Jacket

What We Like

  • great for active use like hiking
  • 360 reflectivity
  • comes with three zippered pockets

What We Don’t Like

  • zipper can snag

L.L. Bean

Designed for mild temperatures (think transitional weather), this coat is beloved by parents—and kids!—for its breathability during active use, but also its cool colorblock style (pink and blue is so unexpected for rain gear, don’t you think?). This coat also features fully taped seams (essential for true waterproofing), a storm flap and three zippered pockets, a dream for kids that love to collect treasures while out and about. The latest design added a new double laminate interior to help enhance dryness and—our favorite detail—the whole coat folds down to the size of one of its own pockets. (More efficient than carrying a collapsible umbrella!)

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: S to L (little kid); S to XL (kids)
  • Material: 100 percent recycled nylon shell
  • Care: Machine-washable
best kids rain jackets columbia blue rain jacket
Columbia

Best Lightweight Raincoat

3. Columbia Glennaker Rain Jacket

What We Like

  • breathable material
  • throw-on-and-go use case
  • lightweight material

What We Don’t Like

  • not as warm

Columbia

When it comes to durability, waterproofing and its throw-on-and-go style, our parent testers report that the Glennaker rain jacket rises to the top of their list time and time again. It’s lightweight, which means layering is required (see Marsh’s tips in our FAQ section below), but that’s what kids tend to love about it—it’s not a coat that weighs them down, but best used on days when a lighter rain is expected. The nylon material helps to block moisture out while staying breathable. A hood, reflective detailing and the zipper closure are more details that make this style a favorite.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: XXS to XL
  • Material: 100 percent nylon (shell); 100 percent polyester (lining)
  • Care: Machine-washable
best kids rain jackets fish design jacket
Hatley

Best for Baby

4. Hatley Color Changing Hooded Waterproof Raincoat

What We like

  • playful pattern
  • color-changing material
  • soft terry lining

What We Don’t Like

  • hood doesn’t detach

Hatley

Let’s get real for a second: In the baby stage, rain gear is about weather protection, but it’s also about looking cute as a button. Enter this clever coat from Hatley, which not only has a playful shark pattern, the material itself changes color when it gets wet. (The sharks become white or blue.) The terrycloth lining is also soft and comfortable and there’s a hood for added rain protection and two front-facing cargo pockets.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 9/12 to 18/24 months
  • Material: 100 percent polyester; 100 percent polyurethane coating
  • Care: Machine-washable
best kids rain jackets mauve patagonia jacket
Patagonia

Best for Toddlers

5. Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket

What We Love

  • durable and breathable
  • elastic sleeves
  • comfortable

What We Don’t Love

  • limited colors

Patagonia

It’s the performance fabric that really makes this rain jacket sing. Parents can expect a coat that’s both waterproof and breathable and one that comes with ample coverage for added weather protection, too. For example, there’s a wind flap, three panel hood and an elastic gusset—which strengthens the fit—all included in the design. For parents who raved about it, it’s the details that make this coat a stand-out and a style they buy on repeat. One remarked about the sleeves in particular—how the internal cuffs stay firmly in place while keeping their kid’s hands warm. Always a win!

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 2T to 5T
  • Material: 100 percent recycled nylon
  • Care: Machine-washable
polarn o pyret classic rain jacket
Polarn O. Pyret

Best Sustainable Raincoat

6. Polarn O. Pyret Classic Waterproof Eco Shell Jacket

What We Like

  • flexible sizing
  • breathable and windproof
  • high water column rating

What We Don’t Like

  • cost, but it’s an investment

Polarn O. Pyret

When polling parents about their go-to pick for a kids’ rain coat that holds up, Scandi brand Polarn O. Pyret came up again and again. We put their Shell jacket (an environmentally-friendly pivot from traditional PU rainwear) to the test and were blown away by the results. Features worth noting: This coat is both wind- and waterproof with fully taped seams, but it also has a 12,000mm water column meaning that it will take high pressure rainfall for multiple minutes to soak through. The color palette, the detachable hood, the chin guard inside the zipper that is extra gentle (and prevents chafing) on the chin and cheeks—there are so many thoughtful details to love. But back to the sustainability: Polarn O. Pyret’s mantra is “three children for each garment,” which speaks to the quality and durability of its products. The coat is also made from recycled materials and, for water repellence, uses an eco-friendly technology free from PFCs (eg: synthetical chemicals).

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 1/1.5 to 9/10
  • Material: 100 percent recycled polyamide (outer fabric); 100 percent recycled polyester (lining and inner lining)
  • Care: Machine-washable
best kids rain jackets yellow primary jackets
Primary

Best Budget Raincoat

7. Primary Raincoat

What We Like

  • lightweight
  • 10,000 mm water column
  • color selection

What We Don’t Like

  • sleeves run a bit long

Primary

Several parents mentioned Primary as their go-to for a rain jacket that looks expensive, but clocks in at under $50. It also gets the job done with features like a 10,000 mm water column, the high quality and traditional (some describe it lovingly as “old-fashioned”) fit. Note: This is a style that is designed to be layered, so don’t expect a ton of warmth. Still, it’s a win for in-between days and, with a sweater underneath, your kid will be dressed for success.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 1 to 10/12
  • Material: 100 percent recycled polyester
  • Care: Spot clean
best kids rain jackets boden yellow jacket
Boden

Most Likely to Become a Hand-me-Down

8. Boden Waterproof Fisherman’s Jacket

What We Like

  • soft interior lining
  • great for transitional weather
  • cute design

What We Don’t Like

  • less warm than other raincoats

Boden

The fleece lining, the fisherman’s silhouette, the color range—kids (and parents) adore Boden’s offerings when it comes to rainwear. Not only is it waterproof, but it’s comfy and soft inside and great for active play and repeated use. (After testing, the machine washable style comes out looking brand-new—even when a good amount of dirt is involved.) Other details we love: The ribbed cuffs, which help keep the sleeves secure, as well as the angled pockets. It’s a classic fit and, better yet, one with hand-me-down potential.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 12/18 months to 11/12 years
  • Material: 100 percent polyester (main); 100 percent cotton (body and hood lining); 100 percent polyester (sleeve lining)
  • Care: Machine-washable
best kids rain jackets green design muddy puddles
Muddy Puddles

Cutest Designs

9. Muddy Puddles EcoLight Recycled Jacket

What We Like

  • great for spring/summer
  • soft interior lining
  • 10,000 mm water column

What We Don’t Like

  • zipper can snag

Muddy Puddles

Alyssa Marsh, chief operating officer of Outdoor School Shop raves about this UK-based brand (that ships stateside), and parents agree: The bright designs and playful patterns are totally stand-out on a rainy day. It’s also equipped with waterproof, windproof and breathable technology, making it ideal for active use and all day play. But our favorite part is the adorable designs: Think an avocet bird print on a teal backdrop, a lightning bolt pattern against a bold red and a bright rainbow motif.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 12/18 months to 11/12 years
  • Material: 100 percent recycled polyester (outer); 50 percent cotton/50 percent polyester (lining)
  • Care: Machine-washable
best kids rain jackets black zara jacket
Zara

Warmest Rain Coat

10. Zara Faux Shearling Rubberized Rain Coat

What We Like

  • fleece lined interior
  • snap pocket closure
  • reflective stripe on the back

What We Don’t Like

  • hood doesn’t detach

Zara

Available in two different colors—black and pink—this rain jacket delivers on style and warmth, thanks to its minimalist design and fleece lined interior. It’s worth noting that the sizing does run large, according to parent reviewers, but that only means there’s hand-me-down potential and the chance at multiple seasons of use. The rubberized exterior also means that this jacket easily repels water. It can also be closed up with a front zipper, which is hidden behind those snaps. Finally, we love the reflective stripe on the back to enhance safety for kids who love to stay outside as long as they can.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 9/12 months to 5/6 years
  • Material: 100 percent polyester/recycled polyester (outer shell, lining and filling); 100 percent polyeurethane (coating)
  • Care: Machine-washable

What to Consider When Shopping for a Kids Rain Jacket

The Use Case. According to Marsh, the first question to think about when shopping for a rain jacket for kids is how will you use it. For example, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’re going to need a different level of protection than if you live in the South. “Parents in the PNW would want something super waterproof, so looking for a higher water column rating makes sense,” Marsh explains. “In the South, a parent would want more breathability together with waterproofing, and in the North, a parent would likely choose a fleece-lined rain coat for added insulation.”

Durability. “Do you have a kid that loves to climb trees, explore the forest floor or do you have a kid that likes to stay safely on the trail? The parents who have more active play type children will want to seek out high durability versus the parents of children who are a little less risky with their play,” Marsh explains.  

Material. When it comes to rain jackets for kids, there are two main types of materials you’ll see: PU rainwear and Shell rainwear. PU rainwear is the slick material you think of when you see a typical raincoat—like what a fisherman might wear. “It’s super waterproof and wonderful for spending the entire day out in the rain or playing in puddles and mud, but it’s not breathable, so can cause an active child to feel hot and sweaty,” says Marsh. On the flip side, Shell rainwear is the most durable. It’s made using a layered technology that allows it to be waterproof, windproof and breathable. “Shell rainwear also tends to be the most versatile—it can be worn on a non-rainy day, too, to protect against other elements like wind.”

Sustainability. Don’t underestimate the environmental (and financial) benefit of “extend a size” functionality that allows you to get an extra year of wear. “Cost per wear is a huge metric to consider when shopping for a rain jacket for your kid, especially when a higher ticket item tends to last longer and perform better,” Marsh says. “If it can be passed down to numerous kids or sold on the secondhand market, it provides more value to you, your child and the environment—something to keep in mind when shopping.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I pick the best size rain jacket for my child?

Here’s a brilliant tip from Marsh: If available when shopping for a rain jacket, use the EU sizing versus the US. “When you use the EU sizing provided on many brands, you actually measure the height of your child versus their age as a guide,” Marsh says. Of course, kids do not all grow the same, so there is less guesswork required. (To do this, you’ll need to measure their height, then convert inches to centimeters. That CM height is their size.) Additionally, it’s worth noting that many European/Scandinavian brands run large, so if you are choosing based on your kid’s age when shopping, buying their size can be like buying the size up.

2. What’s the best way to properly layer your kid?

Marsh swears by the 1-2-3 layering method for helping kids face the elements outdoors. Her advice? Think about your jacket as your barrier from weather—it doesn’t have to be the warmest as long as it’s fully wind and waterproof. Then layer underneath. “Start with a base layer in Merino wool or a technical fabric, depending on how cold it is outside, then add a second layer in fleece, wool (or, again, a technical fabric) to help add additional warmth,” she says. Final step: The outer layer, which is designed to keep the elements at bay, but isn’t necessarily the only item that should keep you warm.

3. What does the water column tell me about waterproofing?

Many rain coats share a number with an “mm” rating after it. This is the water column attached to a specific coat—in other words, it’s a measurement that explains, if water pressure were applied, this is how long it would take for a coat to soak through. “The higher the water column rating, the less likely it will soak through,” Marsh says. “Scandi brands are generally considered best in class for this reason.” FYI, 10,000mm and above is usually a good standard to look for. (Keep in mind, you still need features like storm flaps and hoods to provide an extra shield from getting wet.)


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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...