The Independent


Sarah Dawson on the best waterproof trousers for kids


One thing you can rely on is that autumn and winter bring with it plenty of rainy days. Don’t let the weather get in the way of your kids having fun outdoors – invest in the right pair of waterproof trousers and they’ll be set for year-round adventures, come rain or shine.

A decent pair of waterproof trousers make all the difference (as any parent who’s had to deal with children complainin­g of soggy socks mid-walk will agree!). Always look for trousers that have been treated with a durable water repellency coating (DWR) to ensure they are waterproof, rather than simply showerproo­f (you’ll notice the rain drops will bead upon the surface of the fabric and run off).

Another important factor when choosing the right waterproof trousers for your child is to make sure they have taped or sealed seams. This stops any rain or water creeping in through the seams of the trousers, making them 100 per cent waterproof.

And, if the trousers have stirrups, make sure these go over the wellies, not inside, for the best waterproof protection.

It’s worth considerin­g how often your child will wear their waterproof trousers (if it’s a lot, you want them to be super-easy to clean), what kind of temperatur­es or time of year they’ll get used the most (some waterproof trousers are fully lined and padded for cold weather) and how easy they are to get on and off, especially for kids who dress themselves.

How we tested

Coming in at a range of budgets and styles (pull-on trousers and dungarees/overalls), our group of testers, ranging from two to 12 years old, put these waterproof trousers to the test on muddy walks, rainy afternoons at forest school and some epic puddle jumping sessions, to bring you our honest review.

Judging the trousers on quality, comfort, value for money, style and how well they kept our little testers warm and dry, these are the ones that we think are really worth adding to your child’s wet-weather kit this year.

Frugi puddle buster trousers £28, Frugi

Best: Overall

Score: 10/10

We love how Frugi has thought of everything with these waterproof trousers. The seams are fully welded, so there’s no chance of any rain leaking through, the trousers are lightweigh­t and can pack down nicely to fit in any nursery or school bag.

The elasticate­d cuffs make them a great choice for puddle jumping (we can confirm they really stand up to the job and didn’t let a drop of water in, despite our two-year-old’s best efforts), while the adjustable (and removable) stirrups help to keep the trousers in place over wellies.

The roomy, dungarees were easy to get on and off, and elasticate­d straps mean there’s room to accommodat­e a growth spurt, no problem.

Thoughtful details like the reflective raindrop design around the hem of the trousers, a hanger loop (perfect for school pegs) and a printed name badge with room for three names – these trousers are made to last and be passed down – made the Puddle Buster trousers worthy of our Best Buy. The fact they are produced from recycled plastic bottles just makes us love them even more.

Buy now

Dry Kids unlined PU dungarees £17.95, Dry Kids

Best: Affordable waterproof trousers

Score: 9/10

Coming in at under £18, we think these dungarees are amazing value. Available in sizes two to 12 years, they are cut generously with plenty of room for warm layers underneath. This also made them really easy to get on and off, for our five-year-old tester.

They are unlined, which makes them a great choice for milder autumn days and spring showers, as well as being lightweigh­t enough to not get in the way of any outdoor fun. These were a staple on many a muddy bike ride and didn’t slow our five-yearold down in the slightest as they whizzed through puddles.

Elasticate­d cuffs and stirrups prevent the legs from riding up, while the adjustable shoulder straps and poppers at the waist helped to get the best fit for our tester. There’s a good range of colours to choose from, including purple or pink for a pop of colour, and each pair of dungarees have reflective visibility strips around the legs.

Buy now

JoJo Maman Bébé pack-away waterproof trousers £19, JoJo Maman Bébé

Best: For on-the-go

Score: 9/10

These super-soft waterproof trousers pack away into their own bag (which doubles as a pocket), so are ideal for throwing into your change bag in case of any unexpected showers. Available in blue, red, pink and yellow, they are just the thing for keeping out the wind and rain on walks and at the playground. Made with 100 per cent recycled polyester (around nine plastic bottles) they are also another great eco-conscious choice.

Don’t be fooled by the low price, these durable trousers can withstand a lot, even leaving our two-year-old tester completely dry after having a tantrum mid-walk, sitting in the middle of a huge puddle and refusing to move for a good five minutes. Now that is impressive!

With elasticate­d and adjustable stirrups to prevent legs riding up, as well as ankle zips to help get them over wellies easily, and fully taped seams, these trousers mean business.

Buy now

Regatta kids’ pack it waterproof overtrouse­rs £15.35, Regatta

Best: For school

Score: 8/10

Incredibly lightweigh­t and with an elasticate­d waist, making them easy to pull on and off, these tick the boxes for affordable, everyday waterproof trousers for school.

Coming with their own convenient little storage bag, these trousers can be bundled up and stored away in a school bag for Forest School sessions or school trips, without taking up much space or weighing your child down.

Made from Isotex 5000 – a waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric – these trousers kept our eight-year-old tester warm and dry on rainy walks and bike rides. Taped seams added extra protection from the weather and, while they don’t have elasticate­d cuffs, there is a popper fastener around the ankle of the trousers to help keep out any puddle water.

Our testers rated the side pocket openings, which meant they could reach inside their own trouser pockets while wearing the waterproof­s. A clever little touch for older kids.

Buy now

Isbjörn light weight rain pants £58.50, Little Trekkers

Best: Premium buy

Score: 8/10

For outdoorsy kids, these high-performanc­e waterproof trousers are a worthwhile investment. Yes, they are on the pricier side compared to some other products in our round-up, but you’d struggle to beat Isbjörn on quality and durability.

The Swedish brand knows a thing or two about producing topnotch outerwear, and these trousers impressed us with their exceptiona­l comfort – in fact, the soft elasticate­d, drawstring waistband and highly breathable fabric helped them win the accolade for being the “comfiest” out of all of the waterproof trousers, as voted for by our tricky-to-please testers.

Coated with eco-friendly water and soil repellent, the brand claims these trousers will stay looking new for longer. Now, while we haven’t had months and months to put this claim to the test, we will say that they have fared aesthetica­lly better than a number of other trousers, despite being put through the same amount of mud rolling and puddle jumping.

Ideal for everyday play, as well as hiking trips and other outdoor pursuits, these windproof and waterproof trousers are made to

last and we think they’re a worthwhile buy for a family of little adventurer­s.

Buy now

Gosoaky unisex waterproof rain pants £36, Kidly

Best: Colour choices

Score: 9/10

There’s a lot to love about these cute waterproof trousers from Amsterdam-based brand, Gosoaky. Available in more alternativ­e choices of colour, including lemon yellow, sea grass and evening pink, they feel modern and stylish, while still delivering all the high-quality details you’d expect from a pair of waterproof trousers at this price point.

The wide, straight fit legs make them easy to get on and off impatient toddlers and pre-schoolers, while the ankle poppers help to create a close fit around wellies – essential for keeping socks and feet dry. Fully sealed seams keep any rain out and protect your little one from the wind, when out and about.

Cute touches like the large “mitten-shaped” pockets, a subtle penguin emblem embossed on the trouser leg, and the label inside with space for three different owners’ details (these are

high quality and designed to be passed from sibling to sibling), make these waterproof trousers stand out from the crowd, as does Gosoaky’s eco ethos. No animal products or toxic chemicals are used in any of its materials, the brand only works with certified suppliers, assuring fair pay and safe working conditions, and for every product you buy, it supports a penguin-focused project in the Antarctic.

Buy now

Kidunk eco trouser all seasons £27.49, Kidunk

Best: For younger children

Score: 9/10

Designed with adventurou­s kids in mind, these trousers are packed with clever design touches. Made from 100 per cent recycled material the fleece-lined trousers manage to be cosy and breathable at the same time. They are comfortabl­e enough to wear on their own, or layer over thin trousers for added warmth.

The knees are reinforced – ideal for any knee-skidders out there – and the clever elasticate­d ankles have a longer layer over the top to tuck over wellies. What we found really ingenious, was how the trousers had a zip detail around the top for you to zip

together with one of the brand’s jackets, to create an all-in-one if you wanted.

Marketed as water-resistant rather than waterproof, we were impressed with how the rain and puddle water just rolled off the trousers, and we never experience­d any leaking, even after a few weeks of our four-year-old tester wearing these, day in and day out.

The fact that the trousers can be machine washed at 40C and tumbled dried on low makes life that bit easier if you have a kid drawn to mud (err, everyone?).

Buy now

Polarn O. Pyret waterproof padded kids winter trousers £80, Polarn O. Pyret

Best: For cold weather

Score: 9/10

When the temperatur­e drops, these high-tech trousers will keep your child super-snug and cosy. Perfect for winter, playing in the snow or skiing holidays, bundle your child up in these padded trousers and you can relax knowing they’ll be perfectly protected from the elements.

Fully waterproof, even when faced with torrential rain (we got drenched, our tester stayed dry) and heavy snow, these trousers are such fantastic quality – something you’d expected from a respected kidswear brand like Polarn O. Pyret. Touches like the fleece lining around the seat (to keep bottoms warm when sitting down in the snow!), reinforced knees, replaceabl­e foot straps, 360-degree visibility reflectors and leg cuffs, make these practical and comfortabl­e choice for cold days.

The braces are adjustable (or can even be removed if you prefer) as is the waist, so the trousers can grow and adapt with your child – after all, these are built to withstand many years of outdoor play.

Polarn O. Pyret is all about clothing sustainabi­lity and use ecofriendl­y water repellent as well as recycled materials where possible. Although we couldn’t put these to the test in freezing conditions, the quality is undeniable and our testers loved running about in them in the rain, declaring they looked “very cool”.

Buy now

Solognac 100 kids’ waterproof overtrouse­rs £14.99, Decathlon

Best: For older kids

Score: 8/10

If, like us, you sometimes find it a struggle to convince older kids to wear waterproof­s, these might do the job. Cut in a classic, straight leg with an elasticate­d waist, our 12-year-old approved of the simple “grown-up” style and deep khaki colourway.

The fabric and sealed seams leave these trousers fully waterproof, as well as proving a great barrier against a chilly wind. They feel durable and good quality, without having all the bells and whistles which can often put fussy pre-teens off. We’re sold!

One thing worth mentioning – we found the sizing came up a bit short on our average-height 12-year-old, so do check against the size chart and go by height rather than age for the very best fit.

Buy now

Töastie waterproof dungarees £58, Töastie

Best: For style

Score: 10/10

“And the award for best dressed puddle jumper goes to… ,” well, anyone wearing these Töastie dungarees! Proving that kids’

outerwear can be stylish, this British brand is all about high-end, eco-friendly and timeless pieces that grown-ups will love, and kids will want to wear.

Made from recycled plastic bottles, the fabric feels soft to the touch, while the breathable Airtex lining is just as cosy and comfortabl­e for tiny explorers.

Practical features like the adjustable, elasticate­d foot stirrups, soft, adjustable shoulder straps, side poppers and fully taped seams, sit alongside sweet design touches including the cute pig embellishm­ent on the front pocket and reflective pig motifs on the trouser legs, to create a dreamy, kid-friendly package.

Our two-year-old tester was crazy about these and regularly insisted on wearing them around the house, as well as on our muddy dog walks. Honestly, it’s a good job these are machine washable as they have already had a lot of use!

Buy now The verdict

Our top spot has to go to the Frugi puddle buster trousers. Completely waterproof and windproof, with strong ecocredent­ials, kid-friendly design and room to grow with your child, they ticked every box for us. A special mention must go to Töastie for the sweetest outerwear we’ve seen, its approach to sustainabi­lity and the outstandin­g quality of materials used.

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