We are big fans of rain bibs. So much so, that we own this piece of gear from three different companies: Polarn O Pyret, Reima, and Playshoes. I’ve found pros and cons to each, and would recommend each of them in different situations for families looking for the best rain bibs for kids.
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Polarn O. Pyret Rain Bibs
The Polarn O. Pyret waterproof suspenders are the thickest of the three rain bibs. They’re extremely durable, extremely waterproof, and not very breathable. They are our favorite for shoulder seasons and colder weather, and for creek exploration.
If you live in a hot climate, these could be too warm. The material is not very breathable and especially for a high coverage bib-style pant children could overheat in them on hot days.
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Reima Rain Bibs
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The Reima Lammikko are light to mid weight bibs. Thinner than Polarn O. Pyret, but more breathable. Slightly thicker and definitely seem more durable than Playshoes (though we have owned our Playshoes bibs for 3 years so they have so much more wear, and our Reima bibs are new to us this year). They’re a great mid-weight versatile bib option.
Reima bibs also come in a wide variety of colors. Yes, this is important to mention. My kids will wear any color rain gear, but when they get to choose their own they get really excited about it.
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Playshoes rain pants are the lightest weight of the three. They’d be great for warmer weather when you want some protection from water or mud or dirt, but don’t want the kids to overheat.
These were the first rain bibs we ever had, recommended by my oldest’s forest school. We were thrilled with them and have gotten years out of each pair.
This does come at the sacrifice of some durability though. Our pairs of Playshoes bibs have multiple holes (after years of rough play). I’ve patched them with gear tape, but holes can develop just from sliding down a rock which is something I wouldn’t expect to happen with the Polarn O Pyret or Reima bibs.
We are very rough on our gear, but I would buy Playshoes bibs again even at the sacrifice of a little durability if I found a good deal. They pack down smaller, dry faster, and they’re light weight.
All three brands incorporate reflective stripes for visibility. Playshoes and Polarn o Pyret bibs have a reflective strip around each ankle for visibility. Reima bibs have a vertical stripe down each side.
All three options have a similar style elastic stirrup (only missing from the above photo because my son took them off and I didn’t notice). This works well. They eventually wear out but you can get replacements for a few dollars.
The elastic cuffs are all similar, different widths (Reima has the shortest cuff and the other two are slightly taller) but we haven’t noticed a ton of difference between any of them.
The bottom (inside) of the pant does get a bit wet in all types of rain bibs. Usually this stays below the boot so isn’t an issue, but dry time between outings can vary. Playshoes are the thinnest and dry the fastest, Polarn o Pyret take the longest to dry.
My kids never seem to notice or care putting on bibs with damp bottoms though. It does help that we always layer wool underneath, so even if the rain gear is a tad damp they stay warm.
Polarn o Pyret bibs have a gathered pleat in the back. Reima has snaps two snaps on the side to bring the fabric in if needed. Playshoes has both a gathered pleat and three snaps (two width options), making them the most adjustable of the three.
My kids like the snaps because they often unsnap them and put their arms inside the bibs for warmth, and then snap them again when they want the bibs to be closer fitting.
The buckles are all similar, but the thinnest bibs (playshoes) have the bulkiest buckle. Polarn o Pyret’s buckle is the most minimal. Reima’s is my favorite buckle of the three, it’s the easiest for myself and the kids to clip and unclip; it makes a satisfying click and no one has gotten pinched on it.
How Dry Will They Stay?
All these bibs will prolong your play in the elements, and help keep your kids warmer and drier longer. But the seal on the elastic cuff does not keep out water with prolonged splashing (or puddle swimming as mine often like to do). You’ll often get some wetness seeping in between the boot and the cuff, and the inner portion of the bib will get wet and that often moves up to the pants as well (we use wool underneath so we have two layers of protection from the wet).
I would love to see a rain bib with a neoprene cuff with velcro closure to help keep water out for the most spirited puddle jumpers!
Where to get the Rain Bibs
These bibs retail for between $20 and $48. You can usually find sales on all of them, and for around $25 they’re a fantastic investment in your child’s outdoor life!
Playshoes rain bibs retail around $25 on Amazon, and often don’t have quite the size/color you may be looking for. Their stock sometimes looks great and many colors are available, and sometimes it looks sparse.
Reima Lammikko can be bought from the Reima site, and cost $34.95 (which comes to $27.96 with the code “mtnmama”).
Polarn o Pyret’s waterproof suspenders can be purchased for $46 for 4-8 year old sizes from the Polarn o Pyret website, each size range and color has a different listing (Baby sizes 6mo-2yr are $38). They can also be found on amazon, with prices from $22-46 depending on color and size and when you look (at the time of this writing there are several up there in the mid-$20s).
The Bottom Line
I hope your takeaway for this is to invest in some rain bibs if you live in climates where it can get cold! These drastically reduce the amount of laundry I have to do, especially given that my kids all wear wool and I have to hand wash everything.
I think these are ALL good options, and I’d choose by temperatures in your area, price, and colors your kids want!
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