No need for the kids to miss out on playing outside just because the heavens have opened. With the right raincoat, they can spend time outdoors, no matter what the weather.
If you want something to withstand more than a light shower, make your raincoat of choice is fully waterproof, not just showerproof.
Better still, find a coat that is quick drying and look out for adjustable cuffs and well-fitting hoods.
Consider how much warmth you’ll need from the coat – is it just a layer of protection against the rain or does it need to help keep them toasty when it turns colder?
And think about how bulky it is, especially if you just want something to keep in your bag so you’re not caught short.
Do you need something cheap and cheerful for the odd day out or a more technical coat, for example, if you like camping or getting out for walks whatever the weather?
Reflective strips can be useful to keep them safe around busy roads.
We've found something for every child in our roundup to help you protect them from the elements.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Helly Hansen JR seven J jacket: £40, Helly Hansen
Helly Hansen is a Norwegian sports brand specialising in clothing for work on the oceans, so they know a thing or two about needing to stay dry. This top-quality, lightweight, hand-me-down-worthy unisex jacket with reflective logo isn’t just waterproof – it’s windproof and breathable too, so it will do for everything from school runs to mountain walks. The hood is detachable and adjustable, so it never falls over the eyes, and there’s a storm flap and quick-dry lining. And it’s available in several colours. Ages 8-16 years.
Polarn O. Pyret children’s frog hood raincoat: £35, Polarn O. Pyret
Another one from a Scandinavian brand – this time Swedish – this two-tone green coat was a big hit among our little testers. It’s got waterproof fabric, welded seams, elasticated cuffs and a zip to do it up, all of which stop the raindrops finding their way in. Plus, it has a reflective front and back so they’re always visible even on the darkest of days. Parents like the fact that it’s washable at 40 degrees, while kids love the frog character hood. Ages 1-6 years.
Tretorn kids packable rain set: £55, Tretorn
This stands out for weighing practically nothing and including trousers made from the same lightweight PVC-free PU. Also available in pink, it’s got a sporty look with ventilation yoke so kids don’t feel constricted, and when it’s not raining they can remove the hood. The trousers have an elasticated waistband and ankles, with draw cord to keep them secure. And when you turn the side pocket in, you get a bag to store the lot in so you’re never caught short without it. Age 2-14.
Berghaus kids carrock 3-in-1 waterproof jacket: £80, Berghaus
This waterproof, breathable jacket has great sealing and a particularly warm, cosy fleece inner coat that can be zipped out quickly and easily for warmer days. And the rollaway hood (which tucks in when not in use) means you can use it as a raincoat or regular jacket. We like the plain black colouring too – it makes it gender-neutral and a safe bet for kids of all ages, including older ones who often shun brighter designs. Ages 3-13 years.
Frugi puddlebuster packaway jacket: £13, Frugi
Simply pack this away in its own pocket and pop it in your bag so you don’t get caught short in unexpected showers. Made from recycled plastic bottles, this raincoat comes in three different designs – blue tractors, green frogs or, our favourite, blue puffins. With elasticated cuffs and fully taped seams, no water will trickle in and it ticks all the boxes for comfort, including no scratchy chins thanks to the zip fastening guard. The three piece hood is a good fit and there are reflective prints for when it gets dark. But it has no lining, so is best for warmer days. Ages 1-10 years.
Jack Wolfskin grivla: £52, Jack Wolfskin
Another technical option that’s aimed at kids that spend either serious amounts of time outside or time doing serious things outside, this exceptionally waterproof, windproof and breathable jacket for girls was inspired by Hannah Steingässer, who’s travelling the world to report on climate change. You can tell it’s produced with the input of children as it’s ultra-comfortable even during the most physical of exercise and has real attention to detail. Our testers also loved the soft, fold-out chin guard and well-placed pockets that you can reach even with a backpack on.
The North Face boys’ zipline rain jacket: £33, The North Face
Available in green, red or blue, this has one of the softest linings we came across in our test. This jacket features Dry Vent technology that is waterproof, fully seam-sealed and breathable even in the most extreme weather conditions – just as you’d expect from this outdoors brand. Our testers said not a drop of rain touched their skin and they told us it was ultra-comfy too, with just the right amount of stretch. Ages 5 to 16 years.
Muddy Puddles puddle pac-a-mac: £21.71, Muddy Puddles
This breathable, windproof, cheery-looking raincoat is made from recycled plastic bottles and packs into its own pocket, with a clip that can be fastened onto a rucksack, belt or buggy. There are two versions – this one, with a soft jersey lining, and a cheaper one without, all available in sizes 12 months to 12 years. While the yellow raindrop print is our favourite, we also like the navy puddle design and turquoise dandelion print. It’s beautifully made and there’s an all-in-one available too.
JoJo Maman Bebe children’s fisherman’s jacket: £36, JoJo Maman Bebe
This is a long-time bestseller from maternity wear and baby clothing retailer JoJo Maman Bébé. Available in three vibrant colours – pink, red and yellow – the soft, striped lining makes it both comfy and breathable, while the waxy outer finish protects children not just against rain but wind too. The zip is the type that never gets stuck, meaning little ones can often do it up themselves, and there’s a Velcro storm flap and handy pockets. It washes beautifully at 30 degrees, but be warned it is on the heavier side so not an easy one to stuff in your bag just in case it rains. Ages 1-6 years.
The verdict: Kids' raincoats
The Helly Hansen JR seven J jacket is our best buy because it ticks every box for keeping kids dry in even the heaviest of downfalls – and it looks good too, as well as being available in plenty of colours. Too expensive? The Muddy Puddles puddle pac-a-mac is a great practical option with a more affordable price-tag, with the benefit that you can – as the name suggests – pack it up and keep it with you at all times. As for our little testers, it has to be said that the greatest gasps of joy went to the Marks & Spencer hooded sequin raincoat – the girls thought it was the best coat they’d ever seen, bar none.
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