Gear Review: DucKsday Rain and Fleece Suits
The weather has FINALLY cooperated over the past few weeks to put what I was hoping would be one of my top gear-picks for kids through the paces.
I am so very honored to help finally welcome DucKsday to the United States. Previously available only in Europe, these rain and fleece suits are now being sold through Ollie and Stella Children’s Outfitters out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. They stand apart from many other kids’ gear that we have checked out because they are durable, affordable and really DO keep kids dry.
I talked to Lin, owner of Ollie and Stella, about why she worked so hard to bring DucKsday to the United States. Her answer, which sums up so much about the suits, is as follows:
“Basically, we use our rainsuits for everything from camping to skiing to watching older siblings’ sports to playing in the sand/water table at the park to biking everywhere to windy kite days. We are hardly at home, or at least hardly inside. Adding the fleece layer extends our seasons, and allows me to change the warmth of what they are wearing easily. Also, if I have too run home for a little while or are in a warm store, I don’t have to choose between getting my kids completely undressed/redressed (a long process) or having them feel overheated. I was always frustrated at the inflexibility of the offerings I found in snowsuits. Raincoats available for young kids seemed to completely ignore function if they were “cute”. Since my kids wear theirs so often I wanted something that was fun too. Hence Ollie and Stella was born.”
My boys have worn them in rain, snow and wind and have stayed plenty warm and dry. I honestly couldn’t be more pleased.
This review will focus primarily on the Rain Suits because they are the “star” of DucKsday, but I also wanted to point out how their range of protection is expanded with the addition of an interior fleece suit.
Fleece Suits $29
What we loved about them:
– Thinner fleece to allow for easier layering
– Included hood
– Reinforcements on the knees
– Suit zips completely off (of one leg)
– Ribbed wrist and ankle cuffs
– Great for dry spring and fall days (or just an extra layer when out on the trail.)
What we weren’t so crazy about:
– I was wishing the hood was fleece also (instead of cotton)
– The fleece is great, but is the “replaceable” part of the whole get-up. You really could use anything to layer under the rain suits. They DO add an extra layer, but it isn’t enough for us when it is really cold out (we add baselayers and down then!)
– I would prefer the suits to have elastic at the arm and leg cuffs to help with sizing (especially when you put your kid in gear that they can grow into!)
Rainsuits (the “Bread and Butter” of Ducksday!) $69
What we loved:
– Completely wind and water proof.
– Foldable into a pocket
– Velcro adjustments at arm cuffs and on hood means a better fit as your child grows
– Elastic stirrups keep the suit in place (and tucked neatly in boots!)
– Reflective Strips keep kids safe as we lose daylight….
– Available in 5 different patterns (which change yearly.)
– Zippered pockets (that are also waterproof)
– Available in sizes ~ 12 month – 5 years. The sizes are European, but Ollie and Stella is great about helping figure out how they translate!
– Easy to move in and covers all the “gaps” (which encourages lots of exploration in the kids.) Check out this review by Nature for Kids that focused a lot on this aspect.
What we weren’t so crazy about:
– I know many people won’t agree with me on this one, but we were wishing there were some solid colors available. Mtn Papa isn’t a huge fan of the bright prints and I think it makes gear more versatile when it is a more neutral theme.
Beyond the Rainsuits
DucKsday DOES carry much more than the rainsuits and Lin over at Ollie and Stella is working hard to make the full line available to us in the United States. I know for a fact that mittens are on their way (which seem pretty fantastic!) and they have a full summer line too.
Also, for older kids, there is the option of a jacket and pants instead of the rain suit for ~5-10 year olds. They offer solid colors for the rain pants. You end up paying a little more for them than the rain suit ($65 + $30) but it certainly expands the age range (and you should expect to pay more for the bigger kids anyway)!
The Bottom Line
Absolutely the best rain/wind suits I have found so far for kids. Highly recommended!
Ollie and Stella generously provided both boys with rain and fleece suits for this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own!
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