Which rain jacket is suitable for children?
No matter what the weather is. Girls and boys love to play outside. On rainy days, appropriate clothing is all the more important. There are some features you should look for in a rain jacket for children.
Waterproof and windproof
A good rain jacket should primarily protect against water. But when is a rain jacket waterproof? And what is a water column? The so-called water column is a unit that indicates how long it takes for water to penetrate the material of the jacket. In an elaborate test procedure, the jacket is exposed to constant water pressure until the third drop passes through the material. The question of which water column is right for a rain jacket is not easy to answer. In Germany, textiles with a water column of 1500 mm are considered waterproof. In the EU, even 800 mm is sufficient for category 2 textiles according to the EN 343:2003 standard. The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) in St. Gallen stipulate higher standards, namely 4,000 mm. Of course, normal playing in the rain does not necessarily require an outdoor jacket of a relevant brand with which your child could climb the Matterhorn. However, a water column of 3,000 mm should be considered. Normal rain can quickly turn into heavy rain and you certainly want your child to arrive home dry. A very high water column is offered, for example, by the Rukka Bali rain jacket. As soon as a jacket is considered waterproof, it is also windproof. Windproofness is especially important in stormy weather to prevent your child from freezing.
Especially in rainy weather and in the darker seasons, it is important that your child is easy to see. An eye-catching colour and reflectors like those on the Basic children's rain jacket from Playshoes are ideal for this.
The breathability of a rain jacket should not be underestimated. If the jacket is impermeable on the inside and outside, it quickly becomes too warm inside. This is a problem especially when playing, as sweat is not wicked to the outside. Most jackets have special membranes which, despite being waterproof, conduct moisture from the inside to the outside. Breathability is measured according to the so-called Moisture Vapour Transmission Rate or MVTR test. This method tests the evaporation of liquid over a certain period of time. The minimum unit should be 1,000 to 1,500 g/m²/24h. Rain jackets with a breathability of 3,000 g/m²/24h are recommended, as children usually move around a lot.
Recommended outer coatings include polyurethane and polyamide and polyester. Polyurethane and polyamide are used particularly often because they are free of harmful substances and waterproof. Polyester, on the other hand, is very good at wicking away moisture. With a polyvinyl chloride outer layer, you should pay particular attention to whether harmful plasticisers have been used. In addition, there are certain membranes such as GoreTex, which are mainly found in the outdoor clothing market. These special membranes are designed to be waterproof, windproof and breathable.
Rain jackets for children can consist of several layers. For example, the outer material is joined by an inner lining or a combination of membrane, outer material and inner lining. Softshell jackets combine the outer layer with several membrane layers. Hardshell jackets have a particularly strong outer layer.
Cotton or polyester is usually used as the inner material. Polyester becomes damp less quickly during physical activity. Cotton makes the skin feel better. However, this is only relevant in summer when the child is wearing a short-sleeved garment under the rain jacket.
Rainwear such as jackets and trousers are usually produced with the help of chemical substances. Impregnation, for example, ensures waterproofness. Membranes ensure that the clothing is breathable. However, you should always pay attention to the extent to which chemicals are used. Öko-Test and other consumer magazines regularly test children's clothing for harmful substances, among other things. The OEKO-Tex Standard 100 label also provides information.
Last but not least, it is important that your child likes the design of the rain jacket. Because what children don't like, they don't like to wear in the end and may then play in the rain without a jacket at all.