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14 best kids’ raincoats to keep them dry during showers and downpours

Comfortable and rainproof coats for school and playgrounds tried and tested

Zoe Phillimore
Monday 04 September 2023 16:52 BST
<p>These waterproof jackets brighten up the rainiest of days  </p>

These waterproof jackets brighten up the rainiest of days

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As parents, we are told fairly often that there’s “no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. Whether you resist going out in the rain at all costs, or embrace the outdoors whatever the weather, your kid is going to need a waterproof coat at the very least.

First things first, not all raincoats offer the same protection. There’s actually a rating for how waterproof clothes are, from no resistance (0-5,000mm) to rain and showerproof (6,000-10,000mm) all the way up to waterproof under high pressure (20,000mm). Let’s assume you’re not sending your child out in an actual hurricane, so you’re going to be looking for the 6000-10,000mm rating.

During testing it became abundantly clear that not all raincoats offer the same levels of comfort and warmth. At the lower end of the scale is the pack-away-style mac – a good old-fashioned kagoule – which is thin and only really showerproof. But these coats are massively handy to sling in a bag “just in case” as they’re light and take up virtually no space.

Then there are 3-in-1 coats, where an outer shell can have a matching puffer jacket or fleece zipped into it. This is a great compromise if you want something to see your kid through from warm autumn days to chilly winter. Then of course there are thick waterproof winter coats.

Whatever their preference you want it to fit well as well as protect them from the elements. So if, like us, you’ve dusted off last year’s raincoat and found it snug then we’ve narrowed your search down to the best here. We’ve included the waterproof rating on as many entries as we could as well to make your search foolproof.

How we tested

With all that in mind, we took a team of child testers and put a wardrobe’s worth of waterproof coats to the test. We’ll level with you, the child testers were predominantly preoccupied with how the coat looked – colours and designs are king.

As boring adults, we were looking for how waterproof the coats were, and how much (or little) our testers moaned about their comfort levels while wearing them. Were they overheating under the plastic, or were they complaining the cuffs were “itchy”? Were they able to move their arms freely or did they look constrained inside the coat’s thick fabric? We of course pondered durability too, and the price tag. Here are the ones that didn’t rain on our parade.

A selection of the best kids’ raincoats that were put through their paces by our testers

The best kids’ raincoats for 2023 are:

  • Best kids’ raincoat overall – Marks and Spencer 3-in-1 stormwear floral fisherman coat: £34,
  • Best gender-neutral coat – Regatta kids’ calderdale II waterproof jacket: £15.99,
  • Best pack-away waterproof jacket – Kidly packaway waterproof jacket: £19.50,
  • Best jacket for school – Polarn O. Pyret kids waterproof shell jacket: £80,

Marks and Spencer 3-in-1 stormwear floral fisherman coat

  • Best: Kids’ raincoat overall
  • Sizes: 2-8 years
  • Colours: One

We loved this jacket for versatility. It comes with a raincoat shell and a detachable lilac puffer coat, which can also be used on its own. Together it provides cosy and dry protection from British weather. The inside of the shell jacket is lined in lilac fleece, so even without the puffer liner it feels soft and not sweaty. The hood is also lined with this fleece, and the cuffs of the shell are elasticated jersey.

Our tester reported that it was super comfy and it didn’t restrict their movement while playing too much either. The design is adorable – the colourful flower print of the outside is mirrored in the quilting on the puffer jacket too. At just under £35 we think this coat has it all at an incredible price.

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Polarn O. Pyret kids waterproof shell jacket

  • Best: Jacket for school
  • Sizes: 9 months to 12 years
  • Colours: Nine

Whether you’re looking for something that works with school uniform, or that is a bit brighter, this Polarn O. Pyret jacket comes in enough colours to cover all bases. We opted for a mid-blue number for our testing. This jacket feels well made – all the fastenings are good quality, the fabric feels thick and durable and attention to detail has been paid. There are two zip-up pockets, which made our tester happy as they could stow “treasures” (read: rocks, leaves and twigs) safely inside. Velcro cuffs allowed us to get a snug fit, as did the elasticed removable hood.

The neck is lined in fleece, which is such a great touch for kids who struggle with seams and labels. A mesh breathable lining stopped our pocket rocket tester from getting too sweaty on warmer days. This feels light without being lightweight, and you can buy a co-ordinating fleece or puffer jacket to attach inside for when the weather turns chillier.

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Kidly packaway waterproof jacket

  • Best: Packaway waterproof jacket
  • Sizes: 1 to 6 years
  • Colours: Four

Perfect for chucking in a school or nursery bag “just in case”, this lightweight jacket folds into a zip pocket on the back so it takes up very little space when stowed away. Elasticated cuffs kept the worst of the water out during wet playtimes, as does the waterproof zip. However, with just a single layer it’s extremely lightweight, which means it didn’t keep the cold off, nor was it the most breathable we tested, meaning things ended up getting a bit sweaty when our tester ran around a lot. That said, we loved the range of colours this coat came in and the peaked hood also kept rain showers off our testers faces. Despite feeling very thin, it’s waterproof rating means it’ll keep your little puddle jumper dry in even moderate and heavy rain – something our testing proved too.

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North Face Antora rain jacket

  • Best: For teenagers
  • Sizes: 6-18 year olds
  • Colours: Three

Scoring serious points with teens, North Face is a rare beast: a high-end “cool” brand that actually produces quality products. That is to say, we were really impressed with all the finishes on this jacket. It’s going to look great even after it’s chucked on the playing field, used as a goal post and shoved to the bottom of a manky school bag.

The zip is hard wearing, and the pockets feel strong enough to withstand heavy items without wearing holes. The coat is lined in breathable mesh, while the hood is lined in softer material and also has an elasticated rain guard around the face. Although this isn’t going to be super visible on dark mornings and evenings if you opt for the all-black option like we did, there are small reflective strips on the arms.

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Toastie waterproof raincoat

  • Best: For style
  • Sizes: 6 months-14 years
  • Colours: Five

Whenever our tester wore this coat, they got complimented on it. It looks stylish and smart, yet our fussy tester reported that it was comfortable to wear. The outer fabric is soft, while the inside is lined in jersey across the body and hood, and a nylon in the arms. This kept our tester warm and cosy without overheating them, and gave them freedom to zoom around the woods and playground without feeling restricted.

The coat is fully waterproof with taped seams. A chunky durable zip is concealed by a poppered storm flap, which will keep even driving rain and wind off. The generous pockets are also jersey lined, and have popper closings. A decent slightly elasticated hood has a peak on it too, with “cool” (tester’s words, not ours) reflective detailing. It’s also made from recycled PET bottles – there are about 15 bottles in each coat – and we think it looks as good as new even after thorough testing.

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Tu pastel colour block rain mac

  • Best: Colourful coat
  • Sizes: 1-7 years
  • Colours: One

Our rainbow-and-unicorn-obsessed six-year-old tester was immediately drawn to this rain mac from Tu. Hitting the holy trinity of pink, purple and turquoise, with a fleecy purple interior, it’s certainly eye catching. And perhaps more importantly, depending on who you talk to, warm and cosy.

There are two external popper pockets, which aren’t exactly generous but it’s better than no pockets, and we liked the generous poppered storm flap, with chunky easy-to-use zip underneath. The cuffs are also elasticated too, which kept the sleeves out of the way while our tester was playing. This coat is shower resistant rather than fully waterproof, so was absolutely fine for a drizzly playtime during testing, but won’t keep your poppet dry through heavy or sustained rain though.

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Boden waterproof fisherman’s jacket

  • Best: Fisherman’s jacket
  • Sizes: 12 months-12 years
  • Colours: Three

We’ve tried a lot of fisherman’s jackets on our testers over the years, and this has to be the best one. The yellow version of this jacket is called “spicey mustard”, and it’s just a bit more toned down than that hi-vis look you sometimes come across. The inside of the coat is lined in contrasting Breton stripes, with the area around the chin is lined in a soft fleece for extra comfort. This is such a great touch, and especially appreciated to our “itchy clothes” adverse tester.

The pockets are also lined in fleece, and the cuffs are elasticated but in cotton rather than that plasticky feeling, so it felt really soft and sweat free for our tester. The chunky zip is concealed by a poppered storm flap and the hood comes with a peak to keep rain out. This Boden number is fully waterproof and the soft outer is coated in an environmentally friendly waterproof coating. It’s amazing value for the quality and received two thumbs up from us and our tester.

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Liewood Spencer softshell coat

  • Best: Midwight raincoat
  • Sizes: 18 months-10 years
  • Colours: Two

This Liewood coat feels so soft that it’s hard to believe it’s waterproof, but it’s 10,000mm waterproof rating means it will keep your kid dry in most downpours unless they’re out there for hours in driving rain. It’s also wind resistant and designed to be breathable. There are airholes under the armpits to allow air to circulate, meaning our tester didn’t become sweaty even while zipping around a playground like a whirlwind. Essentially, we think this has pretty much got them covered in all weather events.

Although it’s not lined, the fabric is soft enough that it doesn’t really need it and as the seams are taped even our sensitive tester didn’t quibble. As well as two poppered pockets on the outside, there’s an internal pocket which our tester loved for keeping their most special toys (aka bits of plastic tat) safe. As parents, we liked the removable hood, that the fastenings were durable, robust and easy for our kids to use independently and that it felt like it would last several hand-me-downs without showing any wear.

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Peacocks younger girls white & pink heart rubber coat

  • Best: Budget buy
  • Sizes: 18 months-7 years
  • Colours: One

Is a white coat the best choice for a kid? If it’s got pink hearts on it, our six-year-old tester would say “absolutely yes”. They made a beeline for this coat, and we’ve got to admit it’s pretty cute on them. There’s a poppered storm flap and a chunky plastic zip behind it, plus pockets, which is good to see. Inside, the body is lined with fleece while the arms are nylon, which made it cosy without being sweltering in warmer rain showers. It’s worth noting that this coat is showerproof rather than fully waterproof, so while we found it good for dashing about in the rain it’s not going to keep your child dry in heavy downpours.

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Next berry red longline coat

  • Best: Warm waterproof coat for girls
  • Sizes: 3-16 years
  • Colours: One

Next prove a waterproof coat doesn’t just entail a thin jacket with this longline number. It’s closer to a proper winter coat than a jacket and will therefore see your child through the whole winter. Properly insulated, a quilted lining and a storm flat meant our tester was warm and dry even after long periods of outdoor play. There are also poppered pockets with fleece lining for when it’s really chilly on the playground, and a padded hood.

Our young tester loved all the different pinks on this coat – the neon plastic zip being their fave. As parents we liked that it’s longline to provide more coverage. Although this has taped seems, the waterproof rating is 5,000mm, meaning it’ll keep them dry in average rain but it’s not going to see them bone dry if they go out in a rain storm.

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Monsoon contrast hooded parka coat

  • Best: Warm waterproof coat for boys
  • Sizes: 1-12 years
  • Colours: One

Our tester loved this warm winter coat. They particularly liked the colour-block design and the zip pocket in the chest. We liked the borg fleece lining across the shoulders, which will keep our tester warm even on cold, windy days. The cuffs also keep them snug as they have elasticated jersey material on the inside and out, where there’s a Velcro adjustable fastening too. A padded hood will keep them warmer for longer without a hint of a whinging “can we go home now? I’m coooold”. As parents of a child who like to go far and wide exploring during an outing, we appreciated that the colour of the coat made it easy to spot them even when they were in the distance.

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Muddy Puddles EcoSplash jacket

  • Best: For active children
  • Sizes: 18months-12 years
  • Colours: Three

Muddy Puddles have clearly designed this jacket for children who are outdoorsy and on the go a lot. The EcoSplash jacket is waterproof to 10,000mm, which is going to see kids dry even in heavy rain. The bright fleece lining is also breathable while the outer fabric of the coat is without hint of a rubbery feeling, and didn’t restrict movement at all. The jacket feels really durable with waterproof contrasting zips on the coat itself and the pockets. It’s bright enough that we could clearly see our tester as they traversed woods and playgrounds, which we appreciated and it’s made from recycled materials, too.

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Decathlon kiprun 3-in-1 waterproof running jacket

  • Best: Running jacket
  • Sizes: 5-15 years
  • Colours: One

This Decathlon own-brand running jacket is a great sporty number that should last your child from autumn through the worst of the winter weather. The waterproof shell offers protection for up to one hour – ideal for sports training sessions, PE and lunchbreaks – and there is also the option to add in a zip-in gilet, which can also be worn on its own. The gilet is navy, so should work with most school uniforms if its worn on its own. Our tester liked how it didn’t make them overheat too much while zipping around the park during testing. The breathable layers and air vents help with air circulation here.

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Regatta kids’ Calderdale II waterproof jacket

  • Best: Gender-neutral coat
  • Sizes: 3-16 years
  • Colours: 10

In a plethora of colourways, you’re sure to find a design of this waterproof coat that’s going to suit your kid. We went for “Bristol blue”, which is a great gender-neutral option if you’re looking for a coat that can be handed down. The Regatta coat is a traditional raincoat with the breathable mesh inside we all know and love. But it feels thick and durable, and more “mac” like than a flimsy kagoule. It also has three zip-up pockets, including one on the chest, while the cuffs are elasticated and have a Velcro tightening. Our tester loved this coat, saying the colour was perfect, however, they found the hood quite large, which made it tricky to keep up.

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The verdict: Kids’ raincoats

We loved the cute M&S floral coat. It’s budget friendly, offers three different coats in one and won a big thumbs up from testers for the fun design. If you’re looking for something a bit more plain, then the Toastie coat is an absolute dream – comfy, stylish and extremely well made, and in a good range of colours to suit most tastes.

Looking for hiking boots for outdoors adventures? Checkout the best children’s hiking booking for all terrains

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