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Before we jump right in, I want to check and see if you read yesterday’s post ” Unprepared – Lessons Learned From an Adventure gone wrong“. No, not just to make me feel good, but because I think that parents really need to think and be prepared before they go out on adventures with their kids in tow.
And today, we’re going to be talking about a piece of gear that goes a long way towards preparedness in our family. It’s some of the clothing that our kids wear over and over again than has yet to let us down.
Today, we’re going to be talking about Oakiwear. Now if you’re long time readers here (thanks a ton for sticking around all these years) you’ve heard us talk about Oakiwear before here and here. Oakiwear makes super tough waterproof outerwear for kids. It’s great for puddle jumping, rainy days, wet snow, or any other “water” play, but we use ours primarily for rafting.
Now let me explain this too you. When you’re a kid and you’re going down some whitewater, it’s a pretty intense experience. Your adrenaline is pumping, your emotions are right at the surface, and the last thing that they need to worry about is staying dry. Honestly, our kids wear these suits EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. they do whitewater.
Honestly, you would not believe how many families that I see out on the river where the parents are decked out in waterproof gear or a wetsuit and their 7-year-old skin and bones skinny kid is just wearing a swimming suit. Seriously? It truly happens all the time (I used to be a professional guide so I saw it often). The parents didn’t take the time to think through what the kids needed to make that day a success, and 9/10 times, those kids are shivering uncontrollably by the middle of our trip. How many of those kids do you think can’t wait to go again? Not really many!
While we’ve loved Oakiwear for years, we got a chance this summer to test out their new Trail Suit which is an improved version of the one we originally tried. So far, we are overwhelmingly impressed.
Here’s what the kids have to say about it.
“It’s great. When we went on our last rafting trip, I didn’t even get wet. Like not even a drop.” Mason age 9
*He didn’t remember it, but he did get wet but only when a waves should go down his neck and water got in the arm and leg holes when he jumped in. Overall though – super impressive *
“Oakiwear is the best ever. This new suit is better than my old one because it still keeps me dry, but this one is softer and more comfy” Chloe age 7
Here are some of the things that we love about it:
The one piece design keeps kids extra dry – much drier than the old 2 piece system we’ve tried. No extra water getting in at the waist is a huge benefit!
It’s truly 100% waterproof. The seams are all taped and even the zipper is waterproof!
The fabric and the liner are nice and soft. As opposed to most waterproof gear, you don’t have to deal with a plasticy liner. Also, it’s breathable so the kids don’t get sweaty on hot days!
Generally roomy, so the kids can usually wear them for a couple of years (our almost 7-year-old was squeezing into a size 4 back in June…with a pretty serious wedgie I might add…keep reading down for more on sizing for the biggest size).
Easy to clean off. When we’re out and about I just splash them off and the mud and dirt washes away (that also happens to be how I wash my kids when we’re on the go :). At home I wash on delicate and air-dry. Simple!
So I’ll be honest, at first Mason (9) was not thrilled about the one piece suit. However, after one run down the river where he stayed warm and dry, functionality won out over fashion and he was completely sold on it!
It’s not perfect though. A few things that we would like to see improved are to have the ankle cuffs be able to cinch down more, and also for the 8/9 size were roomier through the torso (Mason’s a pretty solid size 8 and it was getting tight with just his swimwear underneath. However, we’ve not had this problem with any other size we’ve tried).
Also at $60 it’s on the higher end of what we would typically spend for just rain gear, but when we consider how versatile it is we think it’s actually a great deal. Also, this is completely a piece of gear that can be used for multiple kids. We have used ours all throughout the summer for the last 4 summers and they are still totally waterproof and holding up great.
Of course, there are other uses for them besides rafting…I mean we take them canoeing too 🙂 But seriously, these are great rain suits. In fact I’m pretty sure that if you didn’t live somewhere too cold, you could easily have them be your main outerwear year round!
So really, if you’re looking for some gear to keep your kids comfortable and dry, we highly recommend Oakiwear. We’ve tested it in the wettest conditions we could find and time and time again, we were not disappointed!