I try to love the outdoors with my kids. Being outside means less chaos inside and more moments for laughter and exploring. Getting outside can be daunting if you don’t have the right gear and you have cranky kids.
The best way to have less angry, upset kids, is to keep them warm and comfortable. To do that this is the gear I choose. This isn’t a budget-friendly list, and I will wholeheartedly admit to sourcing top quality gear to keep my kids warm.
This post is not sponsored. I am going to use my Amazon Affiliate links were applicable. However, I do urge you to visit any local kids boutiques you have and shop with a small retailer first. I have included links to a few of my favourite online shops which stock some of the gear I love for my kids.
How do I afford the best gear?
It just what I prioritize to spend money on. We don’t have a lot of toys, or other things, we do have good gear. I keep the kids wardrobes small, and continue to just really have less but better quality and durability. I find this helps me buy less in the long run and lets me pass things along.
I do sometimes source things second hand but my local market is cut throat and typically doesn’t care the brands I prefer to dress my kids. Yes, I’m that mom.
Mostly I keep everything gender neutral or bright colours to ensure we can pass things along. That basically means we just don’t do pink with our bigger stuff, but sometimes I splurge for Miss A because she really looks good in pink.
My favourite trick is to shop the clearance racks and the end of the season. Or even at the very beginning of the season when they bring back last years clothing!
Rainy Day Gear We Love
Let’s start with these Oakiwear Rain Suits. They are $69.99 USD, but typically go on sale for less. I buy them through a Canadian group. They are about $69 Canadian.
It is available on Amazon (but watch it because Canadian prices will skyrocket when supply is low because that’s the game Amazon plays).
Yes, you can get a Tuffo suit for only $40 CDN and some people claim they are amazing and last forever. Previously, I had a CaliKids Suit too. What makes the Oakiwear suit better is the adjustable cuffs at the legs and arm to give a perfect fit. Additionally, you can cinch in the waist for a less-marshmallow look, and the neoprene is just better quality. With my other rain suit it often leaked in the seams, this is not the problem.
My kid sat in a puddle, yes he was wet, but he was not soaking wet. We have used these suits and peeled back perfectly dry kids. Just don’t let them sit in the puddle.
They are water resistant, not a wet/dry suit for swimming in.
My youngest is in a 18-24 months clothing. She is wearing the Size 2. My oldest is 40″ and in 4/5 T. He is wearing the size 4T. I do find they fit true to size.
Other Products: I might consider buying the CeLaVi rain pants and jackets for the kids as they get bigger. You can find them at Modern Rascals, a small Canadian online boutique retailer specialising in sustainable quality clothing for kids. These rain suits cost $75 CDN, which I consider a fair price for the quality and sourcing.
Gloves are one of the hardest parts about getting outside with kids, and it’s also the most important part about being outside. If I forget my own gloves, cold hands is the number one reason I want to go home. And with kids they are climbing, picking things up, and touching all the cold metal at the playground.
If it’s not wet, or super cold, then those cheap stretchy mitts and gloves work fine, and it’s what I go to most times. I prefer a mitt for babies and toddlers, but once they become preschoolers (3/4) then a glove is really more fun for functionality. Also, gage the purpose. Biking with mitts is easier than biking with gloves.
If it is wet, then I recently found these CeLaVia mittens at Modern Rascals. The bummer is they only go to size 4, and my big kid has massive hands. They have a fleece liner and are responsibly manufactured.
I have ordered and hope to try the Neoprene gloves from Oakiwear for big boy to help us last through the next little bit before it gets deep cold and we bring out the winter gear. However, I’m still looking for a waterproof, or more warmth than a cheap knit glove, for active outdoor kids in this mid season. If you have a suggestion let me know in the comments.
I don’t use the Stonz Mitt right now because this time of year kids still want to play like its summer so they want functionality with a touch of warmth.
Rubber boots are a must, and mama, if you don’t have a pair yourself go buy a pair. Seriously, I just bought my first pair of rain boots this year and I love not having wet feet when we are walking and splashing in the park.
Brandwise, I just buy whatever. The ones big kid has on are made in Canada rubber boots I found at the thrift store. My youngest just has a pair that was passed down from her. I do think a quality boot in the winter counts, but this time of year, it just needs to fit the kids.
I have bought boots from Superstore and they didn’t fit. The kids do have Oakiwear Rainboots too. they fit really great and the colours are totally fun.
I just use whatever. I prefer a fleece lined hat for the kids because that’s what I feel most comfortable in.
The kids have two sets of coats.
They have these lightweight jackets from NorthFace I only bought because they were $35 clearance rack on our trip to Jasper last year. This is the coat I typically have them in during spring to fall. It probably should go away as it’s not warm enough as we dip below 0C. Anna is wearing a size 18 month, and Walter has a size 4T.
The other coat they use is a fleece from Columbia. I do like these fleece’s but I don’t like that they don’t have a hood. Again, I choose these because the usually sells them for $10-20 a piece, which is a great price for the quality. They have been washed tons and have not pilled or faded.
My son also has a down coat from Costco. These are the ones that land in July and are packable down. I also have one. They are super toasty and awesome. I wish that they sold them small enough for toddlers! But alas, they only start at 4/5T. Instead, Anna will just practice the game of layers.
Beneath their Rain Suit is a Jacket, and beneath their jacket is clothes. Depending on the weather, how long we will be outside, and the child depends on what I dress them in. For the most part, it’s the same and I try to stick to wool.
Both kids have wool base layers and even this time of the year I get them into wool. Wool does a great job of regulating the body.
I have bought wool base layers from different places over the year. This year I bought tops from Mec, but you can also find them at Mountain Warehouse. I have also bought thin wool base layers from Wee Woolies & Wheat Kids (last year Wheat Kids had a wool diaper shirt that was perfect for baby Anna).
I also use wool pants because its a winner for keeping kids warm. In the past, I purchased wool from Sloomb, but lately, I have been checking out other options and been interested in an interlock. I’ll list a few places you can find wool pants for kids. Wool is expensive, but wool is an amazing fibre. Even having just one pair of wool pants can make a difference in the winter.
Feel free to let me know your favourite wool pant maker or store in the comments.
If not wool, then fleece pants for added warmth when needed. I buy our fleece pants from Mec.
I dress them in the thin wool shirt and then a regular t-shirt and pants (sometimes wool).
The right socks are important, but the right sock is expensive. The kids each have two sets of thick socks which we use exclusively for outdoor play days. I buy them the Kombi brand socks.
We also have a set of SmartWool Socks for kids. I just haven’t found them yet. Yes. the socks go missing, just like everyone else because my house is pure chaos. Imagine a blogger home, now imagine your home, my house looks like your house but times 5 in chaos 🙂
It’s pretty simple, mostly just owning good rainsuits. The best part about a good rainsuit is it can be used through the winter. Just layer a few heavy clothes and you can play in the snow without getting wet.
Keep it simple, keep it where you need, and go outside and play.
Let me know about your favourite brands and ideas for rainy day play