Before parenthood, you may have wondered what the point of waterproof trousers is. Surely if it's raining, you don't go out? But if you're reading this, you know by now that, rain or no rain, you have to go out, because children's brains and bodies need energetic physical play, whether they're begging to get out and race you up a hill, or just wrestling their little brother under the coffee table on which you just put down your hot drink. The former is arguably the better.

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Waterproof trousers for kids range from cheap supermarket pull-overs to expensive all-terrain overalls designed to sustain them in a blizzard. Whichever you go for, they'll be getting an extra layer of protection against wind, mud, snow, wet sand and puddles as well as the actual rain that splashes onto them. This can make the difference between a walk where you're relaxed about your children spontaneously roly polying down dewy hills and falling over in the mud, and a walk where you're constantly shouting at them to 'be careful!'. We've also included a good option for waterproof trousers worn next-to-skin.

Need more kids' kit? Check out our guide to the best kid’s wellies for rainy walks, the best kids walking and hiking boots in 2022 and (because preparation is key) the best first aid kits to buy for outdoor adventures.


Best kids waterproof trousers in 2022

Muddy Puddles Puddleflex insulated waterproof trousers

These cosy waterproof trousers provide protection from both the wet and cold, making them ideal for adventures in the snow and ice. With polar-fleece lining and 160gm of insulation, they have the added bonus of being wonderfully warm, while the hardy waterproof fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles, is ultra-waterproof and able to withstand heavy rain.

Despite this sturdy waterproofing, the trousers are impressively pliant, allowing little ones to leap, jump and run to their heart’s content, and can be machine washed when at peak muddiness. My three-year-old found some satisfyingly splashy puddles in our local park – and even after his exhilarating session of jumping in to stir up mud and leaves, the trousers required only a good wipe down to look respectable again. An elasticated waist and feet stirrups allow for easy wearing and security, while reflective strips go right around the leg and add distinction on dim days. Sizing comes up large, which is great for long-term wearability (plenty of room to grow into), so order on the small size if unsure.

Reviewed by MH.

Didriksons Slaskeman 4 Kids Waterproof set

Scandinavian children grow up in Didriksons outdoor gear, which ranges from the thick, lined, sealed snowsuits designed to keep them warm and dry in temperatures of -25ºC, to the more basic waterproofs that they might wear at forest school all day. This set is designed with the latter in mind, and it's been well tested. They're sold as a set, with dungarees and waterproof jacket, however we just tested the trousers in this case.

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As well as being completely waterproof, and thick enough to withstand most sharp twigs and pokey things in woods, they've got reflective bands going all the way round each leg. It is not lined, and not designed for warmth. Plus, it's not made of recycled polyester, which is a shame, as other brands have proven that this more eco-friendly technology work equally well. But the design itself is good, so perhaps it will only be a matter of time before Didriksons catches up.

Reviewed by TJ.

Frugi Puddle Buster Trousers

Bright red, with reflective raindrops, elasticated bottoms and removable stirrups (that go over the boot, in case you're wondering), Frugi's Puddle Buster waterproof trousers instantly turn any child into a model, for the five minutes before they cover them in mud. They're designed like dungarees, with poppers at the sides for a tighter fit. The shoulder straps are designed for little hands in mind and are easy for kids to adjust by themselves, which they'll love doing.

Another bonus is that Frugi has also made these trousers from 100% recycled bottles from post-consumer waste, so you'll be keeping them out of landfill, too.

Reviewed by TJ.

Keela Boulder Trousers

These simple waterproof trousers are designed for a wide age range (2-14), but being slim in design and minimal in features, would probably best suit an older child who doesn't want to look like he or she is wearing waterproof trousers. And being dark navy blue, they pull this off quite well. There are no reflective strips or elasticated stirrups, but the waistband is stretchy and there's a pocket on the back.

For a similar price, you can get waterproof trousers with more features such as reflective strips and elasticated ankle hems, but for dependable playground-friendly kit, these are ideal.

Reviewed by TJ

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Authors

Tanya Jackson in red checked shirt and rucksack standing by a wall with a big smile
Tanya Jacksonacting group digital editor

Tanya Jackson is the acting group digital editor of countryfile.com and discoverwildlife.com. She loves campfire cooking, swimming in the sea, trail running, rural folklore, barn owls and red kites, hiking with the kids and looking for signs of ancient settlements in the Wiltshire hills where she lives. Tanya also has a passion for English food and drink, and loves uncovering the stories of the land as told through local produce.

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