DRY KIDS product review by Andi Turner
18th September 2017
As a setting that spends the majority of our day outdoors, rain and mud proof clothing is our most important piece of kit. But not all families can afford to send their own child with one and so we need kit that is durable because it needs to last longer than a single growing child. We’ve had some of our puddle suits for more than 5 years and I can’t imagine how many times they’ve been stepped into and out of. In our experience, cheaper puddle suits don’t stand up to the tough demands of the typical toddler: either the seams go or they’re just not that great at keeping out water, which kinda defeats the object somewhat. And I know this is to be expected to some extent but some made from more flimsy materials (think umbrella fabric) tend to tear quite easily – literally one brush past a low branch in the woods and all they’re fit for is the bin (I’ve yet to find another use for the fabric so if anybody has any ideas?)
On a practical level, puddle suits ain’t gonna stop kids getting entirely wet. It’s still entirely possible to stamp around in puddles with whole other little puddles going on inside of their wellies. I often see kids deliberately filling their wellies with scoops of water then complain because their feet are wet. Hmm. But then there’s those kids who won’t play with mud or water or sand or paint at all if you ask them to wear outerwear or aprons. Aah, but is that because we just haven’t found the right puddle suit yet? One that isn’t a bit like walking around in giant crisp packets? (Speaking of which, remember when we used to shrink crisp packets under the grill and make them into badges? Aaah the good old days, before we had smoke alarms in our homes that go off before our toasted teacakes have even gone slightly crusty). I mean, some children complain that the cuffs are too tight (and sometimes they are) or they’re ‘scratchy’ (again, they have a valid point) and there are some insist upon their suit being tucked into their wellies while others want theirs over the top of their wellies. So, perhaps they should be made in other options too, like with adjustable Velcro fastenings or maybe more like my motorbike gear with zips at the wrists and ankles? To be fair, that might help children be able to get in and out of them independently too.
Regardless, we still have kids who won’t wear them however they’re manufactured, whether they’ve got ladybirds or dinosaurs on, whether they’re pink with yellow flowers or blue with little sailing boats and we still won’t prevent children from participating in learning experiences if they won’t wear them. So, scruffy clothes changed frequently for that lot then. Now, Dry Kids’ rain and outerwear products aren’t the cheapest on the market but hey, who wants cheap if it means poor quality? Not us, complete false economy and we mean to get lots and lots of wear from them from lots of lots of children. At £12.95 (whether you order a size 1 year or a size 11-12 years – how good is that?) they’re far from the most expensive too. I’ve seen similar suits for nearly 3 times that price. Those of ours who wore them were happy to play outdoors come rain or shine, in fact, especially in rain – and the heavier the downpour the better. That sound on their heads with their hoods up? Fantastic! Hey, and you know what else? If you happen to find yourselves down in the woods on a dark, thundery day like we did the other day, there’s reflective piping on the hood, across the back and chest which is picked up brilliantly by torches which only added to the sheer excitement of hunting for bears. Such a simple thing to add but is missing from some other brands. Overall, a practical product that does what it’s meant to do and at a good price. Highly recommend.
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