Mom Goes Camping

Best Rain Suits for Babies and Toddlers: As Chosen by an Outdoorsy Mom

best toddler rain suits

One of the best things I bought for my toddler by far was a waterproof suit.  Why? Because I live in a tiny apartment.  If I couldn’t go outside during crappy weather, I’d go insane.  My energetic toddler also would go crazy trapped indoors, which would make me more insane.

Having a rain proof for my baby (who is now a toddler) gives me a lot of freedom.  It allows me to enjoy the outdoors. And saves me a lot of laundry issues. 😀

So far, I’ve owned 4 different rain suits for my baby/toddler.  Here’s what I’ve learned about choosing the best one.

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Rain Suits Aren’t Just for Rainy Days

toddler playing in rain suit

Obviously, waterproof pants and suits are great when it’s pouring out.  They keep your baby dry, which means your baby stays warm. But I find that I use the waterproof pants even when it’s not raining.

No grass stains:
When my baby was still crawling, I’d put waterproof pants on her to keep her clothes free of grass stains. Even once she started walking, the rain suits were great because (as I’m sure you know) kids kneel and sit anywhere without thinking.

Play in the mud:
I’m a big believer that kids should get dirty.  Among the many reasons why, it’s good for their immune system and loads of fun. When my daughter has her rain suit on, I can let her go explore giant mounds of mud, dig up worms, or jump in muddy puddles.  IMO, every little kid should have this experience.

Fewer holes in pants:
My daughter mostly wears stretch pants/leggings.  These are good for play around the house because they are comfy and flexible.  But holes appear very quickly in the knees – especially when she falls or decides to crawl around instead of walk.

The best rain suits are made from durable materials that don’t tear easily.  I wouldn’t put on a rain suit just to keep my baby’s pants hole-free, but it is an added benefit.

This is my toddler. Having rain pants means I can say, “Sure honey. Go ahead and play with that giant pile of dirt.”

 

Choosing a Baby/Toddler Rain Suit

One-Piece vs. Two-Piece Rain Suits

You’ve got two options when it comes to rain suits for babies/toddlers.

  1. One-piece rain suit
  2. Separate rain pants and jacket

As far as keeping out water, the one-piece rain suits are a lot better.  If your kid jumps in a giant puddle, the water won’t enter from below. For babies and small toddlers, I prefer one-piece suits.  Also, in colder weather, one-piece rain suits are better at trapping in heat.

However, two-piece suits provide a lot more flexibility.  As mentioned before, rain suits aren’t just for rainy weather.  When it’s a nice day but the ground is still muddy, I can just put on the rain pants.  Likewise, if my toddler wants to play in a mound of dirt, the rain pants are adequate protection.

Overall/suspender-type rain pants (which is what I recommend for toddlers) have adjustable straps.  So you will be able to use them for a longer period, as your kid grows.  You’ll just have to buy a new rain jacket to go over the pants.

Learning to walk. Notice how muddy the knees of her rain pants are!

 

Insulated Rain Suit or Not?

Insulated rain suits are usually lined with fleece.  They are a lot warmer, so you don’t have to bundle your kid up (as much) before putting them on. But they won’t be suitable for wearing in hot weather, like rainy summer days. Also, they are harder to clean: you can’t just wipe them down.  They’ll take longer to dry too.

In early spring (when it was cold and my baby was still crawling), I got an insulated rain suit for my baby.  By late spring, she was walking and the weather was warmer.  So, she didn’t need an insulated rain suit anymore. Personally, I prefer non-insulated rain suits because they are more versatile.

My baby in her insulated rain suit on a chilly, muddy day.

 

Other Features to Look for in Baby Rain Suits

  • Stirrups: These keep the rain pants from riding up. Note that tucking the rain pants into boots may cause the boots to flood. More on this in the Tips section below.
  • Reinforced butt and knees: The absolute best rain suits will have tougher material in these areas.
  • Zipper length and location: It’s a heck of a lot easier to get a squirming toddler into a rain suit with a long zipper. Preferably you have a full-length zipper that goes down to one leg, or get dual zippers.
  • Elastic at wrists and ankles: This will help the rain suit say in place and keep water out.
  • Elastic hood: This is also important so the rain hood doesn’t keep falling backwards.
  • Adjustable hood: These rain suits have a piece of Velcro on the hood that lets you adjust the size.
  • Machine washable: You’ll still want to hang it to dry to preserve the waterproof coating.
  • Taped seams: This means the seams are sealed so water doesn’t come through them.

 

Some Practical Tips about Toddler Rain Suits

1. Pants Inside or Outside of Boots?

In most photos of toddlers in rain suits, the pants are tucked into the boots.  This can actually be a very bad idea: Water will drip down the pants and into the boots.

There are two solutions:

  1. Keep the pants OVER the boots: Having elastic on the bottom of the pants is important for this way of wearing.  OR
  2. Get boots with drawstring tops: If you choose to tuck the rain pants into the boots, then get boots with a drawstring top. The drawstring will keep (most) water from falling into the boots.

Bogs rain boots for toddlers

Bogs (above) makes really good rain boots for toddles and kids.  With this style, you put the rain pants over the boots. See the boots here.

2. You will get muddy too.

Your toddler has been out running and jumping in the rain.  He/she now looks ridiculously cute all covered in mud.

Now it’s time to go home.  But your toddler is too tired to walk by him/herself.  So, how the heck do you get your toddler home without getting all muddy too?

If you are serious about letting your kid play in the mud, it might make sense to get some rain pants for yourself too (I’m assuming that you already have a rain jacket).  You can see my picks for the best rain pants for women here.

Or be prepared to hold your child at an arm’s length away as you put him/her into the stroller.  Oh, and hopefully the stroller is lined with something that can be wiped clean!

 

Best Baby and Toddler Rain Suits

All of these baby/toddler rain suits are machine washable, have elastic cuffs, and sealed seams.  The main differences are the zipper types, whether the knees/butt are reinforced, and available sizes.

1. Wheat 2-Piece Charlie Rain Suit

Wheat Charlie 2 piece rain suit

WHEAT makes really high-quality rain products for toddlers and children.  This 2-piece rain suit for infants and toddlers has virtually every feature you could want.  It’s made out of a durable material with a waterproof rating of 8,000mm (most are only 2,000mm).  The seams are sealed so no leaking occurs.

The elastic strap on the legs keep the rain pants from riding up.  The strap is actually removable and adjustable. The pants have suspenders, which make them easier to get on/off and keep your toddler’s upper body dry.  There are POCKETS, a detachable hood, a carry bag…  The only slight downside is that the suit costs around $66.  However, it holds up a lot better than cheap rain suits.  So it’s well worth the investment if you play outside a lot or will pass this suit on to other children.

Features:

  • Sizes: 9m, 12m, 18m and 2y
  • Waterproof rating 8,000mm
  • Sealed seams
  • 2 colors/designs
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Adjustable elastic foot strap
  • Front zipper on overalls
  • Removable hood
  • Reflective strips
  • OEKO-TEX® certified
  • Includes carry bag
  • Buy Here (REI)

 

2. Wheat 1-Piece Mika Rain Suit

Wheat mika 1-piece rain suit for toddlers

Here’s another rain suit by WHEAT.  It has a lot of the same features as the 2-piece rain suit above. The difference with this one is that it is a 1-piece suit, so I recommend it for younger children.    Also, I should note that it is currently on sale at REI for 40% off.  If you can get it while it’s still on sale, this makes it a very affordable option.

Features:

  • Sizes: Infant to toddler
  • Waterproof rating 8,000mm
  • Sealed seams
  • 2 colors/designs
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Adjustable and removable elastic foot strap
  • Removable hood
  • Reflective strips
  • PFC- and fluorine-free
  • Buy Here (REI)

 

3. REI Rainwall Toddler Rain Suit

REI toddler rain suit

There are two things which make this a really good rain suit for your toddler.  The first is that the material is more breathable than other waterproof materials.  This will make the suit a lot more comfortable to wear, especially in  hot, humid weather.

The second standout feature is that the suit has dual zippers.  Trust me — having a zipper down each side makes it so much easier to get your child in/out, especially if your toddler is covered in mud!

The rain suit comes in two different designs (boy’s and girl’s) and is well-made. I currently costs around $70, which is reasonable for its quality and construction.   The only real downside is that it doesn’t have an elastic foot strap to keep it from riding up.

Features:

  • Sizes: 2Y, 3Y, 4Y
  • 2.5 layer breathable material
  • 2 colors/designs
  • Dual zippers for easy on/off
  • Adjustable hood with brim
  • Reflective strips
  • Buy Here (REI)

 

3. JAN & JUL Kids One Piece Fleece-Lined Suit

Jan & JUL is a Canadian company.  Their toddler rain suit is meant for serious wetness. Like jump in a lake wetness!  The waterproof rating is 10,000mm and the breathability is 3000g/m2.

Yes, the rain suit is a bit pricier — but it’s pretty versatile. You can get away with using it as a snow suit too if you bundle your kid up enough. Their designs are also really cute. Unfortunately, many of the designs aren’t available in all the sizes.

Features:

  • Sizes: from 1 to 4 years
  • Adjustable hood
  • 10,000mm waterproof rating
  • 3000g/m2 breathability
  • Fleece insulated
  • Dual zipper
  • Reinforced knees
  • 5 designs
  • Buy Here (Amazon)

4. Columbia Kitteribbit One-Piece Rain Suit

This is the first rain suit I got for my baby.  It is a bit pricier, but it’s a much higher quality than you’d get with other brands.

The suit is lined with fleece, but the lining isn’t too thick.  That makes it great for many different temperatures.  I brought it with us on a winter trip to Turkey where we were in two different climates.

I really like how the back has elastic, which means it hugs your baby for a better fit.  The material is very durable and held up to my baby crawling over concrete in it.  However, I do wish it had an elastic foot strap so it wouldn’t ride up.

Features:

  • Sizes: From 6 months to 4 years
  • Fleece lined
  • Tough material
  • 5 colors
  • Full-length zipper
  • Adjustable hood
  • Buy Here (Amazon)

 

5. Columbia Cypress Brook Toddler Rain Pants

Columbia Cypress Brook rain pants

If you just need rain pants, these are a great option.  They are really well-made and have sealed seams so water doesn’t leak in.  The material is durable and holds up well against falls.

A standout feature of these rain pants is that they have cuffs instead of elastic around the legs.  This makes them easier to get on/off, and also get a good fit over rain boots.  I also love that the pants have a pocket, something virtually no other toddler rain pants have.

Features:

  • Sizes: 2Y, 3Y and 4Y
  • Black
  • Velcro leg cuffs for easy on/off and adjustable fit
  • Pocket
  • Affordable
  • Buy Here  (REI)

 

Don’t forget about rain boots!

You are also going to need waterproof boots for your baby or toddler if you want to play outside when it’s wet.  The obvious choice is Wellington boots.  But these can be a bit heavy for young toddlers who are just getting the hang of walking.

Baby Bogs is probably the best rain boots for toddlers who are just getting started with walking.  They are:

  • 100% waterproof
  • Have 3mm Neo-Tech insulation for warmth
  • Machine washable
  • Comfort rated to 14F/-10C
  • Have lots cute designs
  • Available in baby and toddler sizes

You can check them out here on REI.

 

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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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