Fulfills necessities for mom and child- plus a lot of extras!
There are a few basic necessities that any item of clothing has to have before I will even look twice at buying it for our kids.
Both my child and I have to approve and it has to be easy to clean.
1-First, it has to be worth my money before I will even show it to my child for approval. To be honest, this eliminates all the cheaply made materials that pass as a coat with a brightly decorated animated character plastered all over it. It has to be good quality so I am not buying another one in two months. It has to keep them warm and dry- this may seem like a coat’s obvious purpose- but you would be surprised how many kids’ coats don’t actually do that. This Charles River Rain Jacket is completely wind and waterproof (not just resistant). We live in an area with a lot of wind and if we are talking about my kids- they seem to find puddles and sprinklers everywhere! It’s lightweight and practical making it easy to grab for any adventure- near or far during those in-between fall and spring months.
2-Second, it has to pass my child’s inspection. This is a lesson I learned the hard way. For the first few years, I actually thought I was in charge of what they wore… silly me. My daughter has some sensory sensitivities and interesting style preferences and I have learned that if she doesn’t want to wear it- she simply won’t keep it on. Pick your battles parents.
3-The last necessity for me is that it has to be easy to clean. Kids will be kids and adventures are for exploring so the reality is that if I want to keep them warm and dry then I can’t care if their coat gets dirty. I’ve been able to wipe off all dirty spots with a wet wipe- but I’m sure tougher stains will happen and for those- Charles River says to add a little Dawn dish soap to the wet wipe- easy and simple.
What I love about this Charles River Rain Jacket is that in addition to meeting the standards above, it has a lot of other awesome features that make it our favorite.
The inside is lined with a very breathable mesh and it has well-placed vents on the front and under the arms that look like they are part of the style of the coat. However, they add great functionality. My kids are constantly getting hot and then cold again when they play outside in the Spring and Fall. They will get hot playing tag and strip off their jacket, only to get chilled again on the swings. This jacket is great for chilly mornings and warmer afternoons because it completely blocks out the cold breeze but is light and vented for when the sun comes out.
Easy to Put on:
The slick materials makes it very easy to slip this jacket on and off but my favorite is how easy the zipper is to slide. Zippers can be a hard skill for kids to perfect and the last thing they have patience for when friends are calling. A zipper with a quick start and easy slide can make a big difference to them- and be a huge help to me so they can get ready independently.
I really like the adjustable strap around the wrist for our kids. We like to get jackets and coats one size big for a couple of reasons. We often layer up and wear sweaters underneath and want to make sure the jacket can fit over what they are wearing that day. Mostly we buy a size up because they grow out of clothes so fast! If we want a jacket to last more than a season or two, we buy a size up. The only thing that can be hard with this is if the sleeves hang over their wrists, but with the adjustable wristband, it’s not a concern. The sleeves also seem to be the first thing to get dirty on my kids’ coats so being able to keep the sleeves out of the way at the wrist is very helpful.
The large pockets with zippers is a favorite for my kids because they are always collecting treasures that need to be “kept safe”. (This makes it a favorite feature of mine too because it means I don’t have to carry the treasures for them. ) Their treasures come in all variety, but I also like these pockets for things that I want them to keep dry and safe- like a dollar bill that they need to take to school or something important at the last minute ( like a tardy note..). I know that if it is zipped shut and secure that it will actually arrive to its destination.
There is a reflective strip on the front and back of the jacket (like you would see on a construction worker’s vest- but it actually looks nice). This gives me an added measure of reassurance when we are out late and we are playing anywhere around cars.
Fitted Hood (and Collar):
The Charles River Hoods are made different than any jacket I’ve seen. The collar is thicker and stays in place better and the hood stays in place without the pointy top or drawstrings. There is an elastic addition at the top of the hood so there are no dangling strings to worry about. The high collar and round hood simply stay in place when it’s pulled up and keeps the cold and rain out without being tied uncomfortably around the chin.
Guest Post by Emily P