Mom Goes Camping

Best Rain Jackets for Kids (As Chosen By an Outdoorsy Mom)

best kids rain jackets

Want your kids to get outside, even if the weather is bad? At the very least, they are going to need a rain jacket. There are a lot of options for kids rain jackets.  I’ve narrowed it down by waterproof rating, how breathable the fabric is, durability, and features like adjustable hoods.  Oh, and cute designs too – because your kids will have more fun splashing in puddles if they are wearing something they like.

Also read: Best Rain Pants for Kids  


Quick Picks:

Best Overall: Therm Kids Splash Magic
A cool pattern appears when the jacket gets wet! They are also well-made, eco-friendly, and from a cool small brand. *Use code CAMPINGWITHMOM to get 10% off your order!

Best for Really Little Kids:  Jan & Jul Rain Jacket
The designs are insanely cute. Big snaps and pockets make this a good pick for small kids.

Best for Very Active Kids/Outdoor Sports: Marmot Precip Eco Youth Jacket
This fabric is insanely breathable while still being completely waterproof. It also has lots of nice features.

Best for Cold Weather: Therm Kids Splash Magic Puffer
A puffy rain jacket which is good down to 0F. A cool pattern appears on the jacket when it gets wet. *Use code CAMPINGWITHMOM to get 10% off your order!

Budget Pick: Playshoes Rain Jacket
The fabric isn’t breathable, but it is durable. The jacket comes in lots of colors and sizes and is very affordable.


Features to Look for in Kids Rain Jackets

Here is what you should look at when choosing rain jackets for your kids, especially if you want to do outdoor activities or splash in puddles.


Unlined or Lined Jacket?

Kids rain jackets will either be unlined or have a fabric lining.

The main benefit of unlined jackets is that they are more versatile.  Your kid can wear the jacket cold weather with lots of layers underneath.  By the time summer comes along (and they’ve grown a bit), they can wear the same rain jacket without any layers.

However, unlined rain jackets feel terrible against the skin.  Your child will need to wear long sleeves underneath.

The benefit of a lined jacket is that your child doesn’t need an extra layer underneath.  That’s one less thing you have to put on your kid.  If you live somewhere cold and rainy, then a lined rain jacket is the way to go.


Waterproof Rating

The waterproofness of a material is measured with the Hydrostatic Head test and listed in millimeters: the higher the rating in millimeters, the more waterproof the material is.

For everyday use, a waterproof rating of around 2,000mm is adequate. However, if your kid wants to do something like lay on wet ground (mine definitely have done this!), the pressure will cause water to leak through.  They’d need a higher waterproof rating of around 10,000mm.

Waterproof Ratings

  • 1,000mm: This is water resistant and not actually waterproof. Water will easily leak through the fabric.
  • 2,000mm: This is waterproof but, during moderate rains, some water may leak through the fabric.
  • 5,000mm: Fabrics with this rating won’t let water through even during moderate rains.
  • 10,000mm: This is a very high waterproof rating. Water won’t leak through even during heavy rains.


Fabric Breathability

Fabric breathability is very important with rain gear.  If the fabric isn’t breathable, your child will get sweaty – and thus end up wet from the inside out.

Unfortunately, waterproofness and breathability usually have an inverse relationship: the more waterproof a material is, the less breathable it will be.

This isn’t always the case though. Some brands (like Marmot) have high-tech fabrics which block water while allowing vapor to pass through.

Breathability is measured with a Moisture Vapor Permeability (MVP) test and listed in grams per square meter (g/m2).  A rating of 2,000g/m2 is a good level of breathability for something that is completely waterproof.  Highly-active children will need a breathability of at least 5,000g/m2.   Unfortunately, not many brands actually list the breathability of their rain jackets.


Taped Seams

With cheap rain jackets, water can leak inside through the seams.  Good rain jackets prevent this by taping the seams.  This means that they use techniques to keep water from coming through the seams.

Almost all kids rain jackets – even cheap ones – have taped seams.  However, there are still some which don’t.  For example, the Columbia kids rain jacket didn’t make my list because the seams aren’t taped, thus it can’t be considered fully waterproof.


Fitted Hat with Brim

It is REALLY difficult to get a rain jacket hood to stay on a kid’s head!  Somehow the hood is always either too small (and funnels water directly into their eyes) or too large (and blocks their view).

If you want your child to actually use the hood on the rain jacket, it needs to have some extra features.  These include things like:

  • A large brim
  • Elastic around face area
  • Adjustment method on back


Cool Designs

If it were up to me, I would just choose them the most practical rain gear for my kids.  But my daughters care about fashion.  My older daughter once spent an entire season moping because her rain jacket was “too dorky.”  Luckily, there are now tons of designs to choose from for rain jackets, from cute ones for little kids to sleeker designs for older kids.


Snaps vs. Zippers

If your child is little and can’t do zippers yet, then consider getting a rain jacket which has snaps instead.  For older kids, zippers are usually the way to go.


Best Rain Jackets for Kids

1. Therm Kids Splash Magic Rain Jacket

Why Choose? Pattern appears when it gets wet! Plus it’s really well-made, has lots of nice features, and is from 100% recycled materials

therm kids rain jacket

Therm is my favorite brand of rain gear for kids.  The brand is owned by a cool mom who really pays attention to quality.  All of the gear is eco-friendly and made from 100% recycled material.

The Therm Splash Magic rain jackets are their coolest product because a pattern appears when the jacket gets wet.   The jacket isn’t just a gimmick though.  It’s also really well-made.  The seams are taped against leaks and also reinforced.  Yes, this jacket should survive to be passed down to another child!

There is a soft microfleece lining inside the jacket.  The lining is also in the pockets, so your kids can put their cold hands inside them to warm up.   Oh, and another cool thing is that there are thumbholes on the cuffs.

My only complaint with this rain jacket is that the hood isn’t adjustable.  It does have elastic though, so stays in place fairly well.


  • Sizes: 12 months to 14 years
  • Waterproof rating: 5,000mm
  • Breathability: N/G
  • Lining: Microfleece
  • Taped seams: Yes
  • 100% recycled materials
  • 3 zippered pockets
  • Thumbholes!
  • Elasticized hood and cuffs

Get It Here at Therm Kids or Here on Amazon

**Use code CAMPINGWITHMOM at the Therm website to get 10% off your order!**


2. Jan & Jul Kids Rain Jackets

Why Choose? Super cute designs, heavy rain, great quality and fit, hood actually stays on, snaps for little kids

jan jul rain jacket for kids

The company Jan & Jul makes a lot of nice outerwear for kids.  They have two types of rain jackets: a thin polyester lining and a warmer fleece-lined jacket.

Both versions have a waterproof rating of 10,000mm (which is VERY waterproof!) and yet are still pretty breathable at 5,000g/m2. The seams are sealed.

One very nice thing about Jan & Jul rain jackets is that the hood is adjustable as well as elasticized.  The cuffs are also elasticized for a good fit and to keep rain out.  There are snaps instead of zippers on these rain jackets, including on the pockets, so they are a good choice for very little kids.


  • Sizes: 1T to 16 years
  • Waterproof rating: 10,000mm
  • Breathability: 5,000g/m2
  • Lining? Thin polyester or fleece-lined
  • Taped seams
  • Adjustable hood
  • Elastic wrist cuffs
  • Two front pockets

Buy the Unlined Version Here and Fleece-Lined Version Here


3. Marmot Precip Eco Youth Jacket

Why Choose? Incredibly breathable material means you kid won’t get sweaty

marmot eco precip kids rain jacket

The Marmot Precip Eco jacket is not cheap.  However, it’s by far the most feature-rich kids rain jacket you’ll find.   It has cool features like zippers in the armpits that you can open up for ventilation and a waterproof chin guard.   It’s easy to get a good fit with the jacket because of the adjustable hood, waistband and cuffs.

The main reason to get this rain jacket for you kid though is because of the fabric. Marmot uses their “NanoPro” material which is made from 2.5 layers.   It has a very high waterproof rating of 10,000mm.  More importantly, the breathability on this fabric is 17,000g/m2.  That breathability is almost unheard of on truly waterproof gear!   That’s why this is the best rain jacket for kids who are active or play outdoor sports.


  • Sizes: 4 to 16 years
  • Waterproof rating: 10,000mm
  • Breathability: 17,000g/m2
  • PU membrane lining
  • Pit zippers for ventilation
  • Chin guard
  • Taped seams
  • Adjustable hood rolls into collar when not in use
  • Velcro cuffs and drawstring waist
  • Two front pockets

Get It Here


4. OAKI Kids Rain Jacket

Why Choose? Affordable yet very durable and well-made

oaki kids rain jacket

Oaki makes some really hardcore kids rain suits.  If you just need a jacket, this is a good option.  It is one of the more affordable kids rain jackets here, yet still lists the waterproof and breathability rating.  Oaki products are very durable and well made.

The hood has a large brim to keep rain out.  However, the hood does not have elastic or a way to adjust it.  There also isn’t any elastic on the cuffs.

There are two versions of the Oaki rain jacket.  One version has a soft liner, snap closures and cute designs (better for really little kids). The other is unlined, has zippers and plain colors (better for older kids).


  • Sizes: 2-11 years
  • Waterproof rating: 5,000mm
  • Breathability: 3,000g/m2
  • Taped seams
  • Thin lining
  • Two pockets
  • Lined or unlined versions
  • Snaps or zippers

Get the Lined Jacket Here and Unlined Jacket Here


5. Therm Waterproof Puffer Jacket

Why Choose? Staying dry in really cold weather

therm puffer kids rain jacket

Here’s another rain jacket by Therm Kids.  This “puffer” jacket is meant for cold weather down to 0°F.  Like with the Splash Magic jacket, the puffer also reveals a cool pattern when it gets wet. At 3,5000mm, the waterproof rating on this won’t be ideal for downpours.  However, it is perfect for sleeting rain and slushy weather.


  • Sizes: 12 months to 14 years
  • Waterproof rating: 3,500mm
  • Breathability: N/G
  • Lining: Microfleece
  • Taped seams: Yes
  • 100% recycled materials
  • 2 zippered pockets
  • Thumbholes in cuffs
  • Fleece-lined pockets
  • Soft jersey lining

Get It Here at Therm Kids or Here at Amazon

**Use code CAMPINGWITHMOM at the Therm website to get 10% off your order!**


6. Hatley Printed Color-Changing Rain Jacket

Why Choose? Cute color-changing jacket with matching sets available

hatley kids color changing rain jacket

Here’s another kids rain jacket that changes when it gets wet.  In this case, the colors on the pattern change.  Note that not all of the rain jackets in this series are color-changing.  Make sure you choose the right one!

There is a polyester terry-cloth lining.  This makes it comfortable on the skin and adds a bit of warmth, but without being as warm as fleece.

While this Hatley rain jacket is well made and durable, it isn’t quite as good as the Therm jacket. The hood isn’t adjustable or elasticized, so it won’t stay on well.

However, it may be a better choice for very little kids because it has snaps instead of zippers.  There are also matching pants and umbrellas available, so your kid can look extra cute.


  • Sizes: 2T months to 10 years
  • Waterproof rating: N/G
  • Breathability: N/G
  • Lining: Soft polyester terry material
  • Snap closures
  • Matching boots and umbrellas available

See the Girls Designs Here and Boys Here


7. REI  Kids and Toddler Rainwall Jacket

Why Choose?  Packable and durable

rei kids rain jacket toddler

rei kids rain jacket older

This youth rain jacket by REI is very popular.  Annoyingly, REI doesn’t list the waterproof or breathability rating of the jacket – though it does hold up well in heavy rains and is definitely more breathable than cheap rain jackets.

Note that the collar on the version for older kids is a bit different (and better IMO).  It is separate from the hood, so your child can zip up around their neck without the hood being up.  On both versions, the hood is completely adjustable with a hook-and-loop on the back as well as elastic on the front.  It will actually stay on your child’s head!  However, the “brim” on the hood is so small it is basically non-existent.

While this is a great rain jacket, it is a bit overpriced compared to what other brands offer.


  • Sizes: 2T to 18 years
  • Waterproof rating: N/G
  • Breathability: N/G
  • Taped seams
  • Adjustable hood and wrist cuffs
  • Two front pockets
  • Unlined

 Get It Here at REI


8. Mountain Warehouse Cannonball 3-in-1 Waterproof Jacket

Why Choose? Good deal and versatile

mountain warehouse kids rain jacket

If you have older kids who don’t really play in the rain anymore, then this is a good option for them.    It consists of a fleece jacket and a waterproof jacket which fits on top of it.  The “3 in 1” is because your kid can wear the fleece by itself, the waterproof jacket by itself, or wear them together for warmth and weather protection.

The waterproof rating on the Cannonball jacket is only 2,000mm. This will keep your child dry in most rains, so long as they aren’t leaning or pressing on wet objects.  The breathability isn’t listed, but the fabric is very breathable.

Mountain Warehouse makes good quality clothing, and their kids rain jacket is no exception.  There are some nice details, like how the collar is lined, the hood detaches and there are four pockets total.


  • Sizes: 2T to 11 years
  • Waterproof rating: 2,000mm
  • Breathability: N/G
  • Taped seams
  • Elastic hood and adjustable wrist cuffs
  • Detachable hood
  • Three exterior pockets and one interior pocket
  • Includes removable fleece jacket

Get It Here


9. Playshoes Rain Jacket

Why Choose? Affordable, cute and good for serious puddle jumping

playshoes basic rain jacket for kids

I’ve owned several rain jackets and pants by Playshoes.  The fabric is thick, definitely very durable and 100% waterproof. However, it is not at all breathable; your child will get sweaty if running around in these!

The rain jacket is also quite basic.  There is no brim on the hood (though it is elasticized for an okay fit).  Depending on the version  you get, there may not be elastic cuffs – which means water can easily drip in through the sleeves.  Some versions have zippers and others have snaps.

However, the price is right and Playshoes is a much better quality than other cheap kids rain jackets.


  • Sizes: 9 months to 10 years
  • Waterproof rating: N/G
  • Breathability: N/G
  • Taped seams
  • Detachable hood
  • Snaps or zippers
  • Big pockets
  • Velcro size adjustments on sides

Get It Here 

About the author /

Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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