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Spring has arrived. Or as we in Seattle like to say: Welcome to the third trimester of our nine-month wet season, where (marginally) rising temps and blooming daffodils make puddle-jumping sound like a fun diversion rather than a pedestrian necessity.
Washington kids may think themselves impervious to April showers, but Washington parents know otherwise. We consulted four local moms to compile this list of kids’ rain gear that works, whether you’re heading out on a spring hike or venturing to the neighborhood playground.
Meet the experts:
Tash Haynes, Tacoma-based photographer and blogger at Wisdom and Courage
Elicia Giffin, Snohomish County–based business and partnerships manager at Hike it Baby
Jenna Maenhout, founder of Styled Out West
Heather Merrick, founder of the Seattle Parents Club
Neo-Classic Kids' Boots, Bogs
The perfect kids' rain boot should be warm, grippy enough to climb "over slippery rocks and play structures," per Merrick, and so easy to put on a toddler could do it. Available in seemingly infinite color combinations and styles, from short and simple puddle jumpers to insulated, full-height boots with pull-on handles, Bogs are considered classics for a reason.
Kids' Trail/Rain Pants, Oakiwear
Haynes's approach to dressing her daughter for outdoor nature school? Layers, layers, layers. Rain pants are easy to pop on top of any outfit: "they keep her warm and dry, and she can still move."
Perhaps Seattleites' fraught relationship with the bumbershoot could be solved with color-changing graphics, like the stars (or lightning clouds, or sharks) on this Hatley umbrella that magically gain color when wet. It's "especially fun for our daughter," says Merrick, who also recommends the brand's color-changing raincoats.
Muddy Buddy, Tuffo
No parent wants their kid to grow up in a bubble—until they hear that bubble might keep mud off their clothes. A full-body waterproof suit is the next best thing. "These are a must for toddlers on the go, as they offer full-body protection without any gaps," Merrick says. Clever zipper placement also makes for easy on and off.
Merrell Bare Steps Boot 2.0, Stride Right
Washingtonians know that there's a world of wet between a rainy day and a dry one. These ultra-grippy hiking boots are "water resistant enough" for everyday walks and hikes in less-rainy weather, per Giffin. Plus, they come in extended widths to accommodate toddler feet.
Kids' Blazin' Cap, Sunday Afternoons
For our state's lovely combination of cold and wet, those sweet rainy day bucket hats don't often cut it. Giffin relies on this triple-threat—fleece, bill, and ear flaps—"to keep rain off the face and ears warm."
Toddler Booties, Stonz
The tiniest adventurers need warm, dry feet, too. Even if they're only spending about half the hike walking on them. Two adjustable toggles at the ankle and calf help keep these booties secure, while grippy soles keep toddlers as secure on slick ground as their title allows, making these a year-round pick for the parents of Hike it Baby Snohomish County.
Helly Hansen Bergen Fleece PU Rain Set, REI Outlet Local
Haynes likes rain gear with options—add a layer for warmth, remove a layer for breathability. This Helly Hansen rain set offers serious waterproof coverage, with a bit more flexibility than a full-body suit for temperamental spring days with on-and-off drizzle.
Hunter First Classic Waterproof Rain Boot, Nordstrom Local
Fashion-forward Hunter boots aren't just for grown-ups—and rainy weather doesn't mean sacrificing polished looks in favor of dinosaur-covered monstrosities (if dinosaur-covered monstrosities aren't your thing, that is). "We swear by these Hunter boots" year-round, Maenhout says. They work, they last, and "they look so adorable on the littles."
Waterproof Recycled Puddle Suit, Joules
The full-body rain suit is a game-changer when kids insist on getting more than their feet wet—they don't need a "complete outfit change when we are ready to head inside," says Giffin, who prefers the adorably patterned, no-waste puddle suits from Joules.