Rain Gear for the Trail: Oakiwear Review

by - Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hailing from the Vancouver area, I know a thing or two about rain. I grew up with umbrellas, rubber boots, and rain jackets on me or dripping by the door for several months a year. When it was really warm, we chose to get soaked instead of wear a clammy jacket and rain pants as breathable rain gear for kids wasn't available. (If it existed, it was clearly out of my parents' budget.) In winter, we made do with being a bit damp, but this is clearly not an ideal situation, especially in colder climates! 

Ten years ago, Sue Simper, a Vancouver, Washington mom decided to act on the need for affordable, high quality outdoor gear and founded Oakiwear. Oakiwear's philosophy is “if we truly wish to get kids active again, we need to provide them with the right gear at an affordable price to open the door to new possibilities in outdoor exploration.” We can attest to the fact that good clothes make for fun outdoor adventuring in any weather and are super excited to share our experience with the Oakiwear Trail Fleece Lined Jacket and Trail II Rain Pants.

Disclosure: Oakiwear generously provided us with 2 sets of rain gear to review, but as always, all words and opinions are my own.


Testing

My 5 year old and 7 year old tested the Trail Fleece Lined Jacket and Trail II Pants over a period of three months. They used them camping, hiking, biking, and for every day use in a variety of weather conditions from clear and cold, to rainy and snowy fall days. We're pleased to report that the girls stayed warm and dry in rain, sleet, and scattered thunderstorms. It was the perfect year to test rain gear since we had the rainiest summer in 89 years!

Oakiwear at Lower Kananaskis Lake

Trail Fleece Lined Jacket Review

The Trail Fleece Lined Jacket is Oakiwear's newest  jacket! With a waterproof outer layer and soft, 160 gram fleece lining, the girls can use this jacket for 3 seasons in Alberta. With a long sleeved tee beneath the Trail jacket, my girls are comfortable down to 5 degrees.

We found the cut to be quite generous (since my girls are skinny), but it allows for easy layering. On cold days (at or below zero), the girls were able to wear a down sweater beneath the trail fleece lined jacket and stay toasty warm.

The elasticized wrists with velcro tabs, shockcord adjustable lower hem, and longer length (below the hip) keep heat in and rain out. The adjustable wrists and hem also allow you to buy the jacket a bit on the big side so your child can use it longer!

With a waterproof rating of 5,000mm (mm/24 hrs), the jacket is suitable for light rain (source: Sierra Post). This said, we tested the jacket in pouring rain and intermittent thundershowers (three in one day) and the kids stayed totally dry. The fabric is also quite abrasion resistant. My kids climb all over rocks all the time and have yet to scratch this jacket!

Breathability also seemed good. Whether we were hiking up a mountain or playing tag at the park, condensation build up was never an issue. I must mention that we dress our kids in technical base layers and midlayers, so they never get the chance to get sweaty (a good thing!).

Other features include pockets, a chest pocket, and non-detachable fleece lined hood so kids won't lose it. Of course, you can't overlook the attractive design! My kids prefer their Oakiwear Trail jackets to their big parkas, and will be wearing them until it gets really cold.

The Trail Fleece Lined Jacket is available in sizes 2 - 10/11. Color choices: Lavender, Forest Green, Burnt Orange, and Perched Owls.

Oakiwear Trail Fleece Lined Jacket

Things I Would Like to See In Later Versions

I wish the hood were a bit bigger and had a brim. The way it is now, the kids' faces aren't as well protected from the rain as I would like, but they have good peripheral vision.

A chin guard and fleece lined handwarmer pockets would be nice additions too.

Oakiwear on Chester Lake Trail

Verdict

My girls love these cute and cozy jackets and I love that we will be able to use them for many seasons because they are warm, waterproof, adjustable (at wrists and hips), and made of high quality materials. In heavy rain, we wear a baseball cap with the hood for extra protection, but otherwise, the coverage is great. The Trail's slightly longer length keeps rain from going down the back of my kids' pants - critical when they're constantly crouching down to look at stuff on the side of the trail!

Double trouble!

Children’s Trail II Rain Pants Review

These high quality rain pants are made with the same 240T pongee material (with a transparent TPU membrane) that the Trail jacket is made of so they are durable and highly abrasion resistant in addition to being waterproof and somewhat breathable. Instead of a DWR coating which can wash off, the pants utilize a 30D tricot membrane that won’t wear off so the pants will remain waterproof.

With an elastic waistband and generous cut, these rain pants layer easily over base layers, pants, or fleece pants. Fasten the neoprene and velcro ankle cuffs for a secure, but comfortable fit. We love how the neoprene cuff holds the pants in place over pants or over boots! The adjustable cuffs also allow longer use of the pants - we got ours once size bigger so we could use them this fall and next spring/summer.

We have used these camping, hiking, and backpacking and are impressed at the durability and water resistance. The kids have sat on wet snow in these and stayed dry (the best test or waterproofing).

Like the Trail Jacket, we anticipate using the Trail II Rain Pants for many seasons as we can fit warm layers underneath for days when it's too mild for snow pants or the snow is wet.

Specs

  • Waterproof rating of 10,000 mm (medium protection according to Sierra Post)
  • Breathability 3,000 mvp 
  • Windproof
  • Not insulated
  • 100% PVC & Poly Urethane free! 

Available in black in sizes 2 - 12/13.

Oakiwear Trail Fleece Lined Jacket (left) and Trail II Pants (right) at Forget-me-not Pond
Oakiwear Trail Fleece Lined Jacket and Trail II Rain Pants on a chilly morning

Things I Would Like to See In Later Versions

We love these rain pants as they are, and you can't be the price for what good quality they are, but it would be nice to see these offered as bib pants for toddlers! While regular rain pants are more convenient for going to the washroom, bib pants allow extra coverage for heat retention and keeping water out. We have never had an issue with the rain pants, however, as we wear them with the Trail Fleece Lined Jacket which provides ample coverage.

The Verdict

We give the Trail II Rain Pants two thumbs up!

Summary

The Trail series of rain gear from Oakiwear is well made and an excellent value! They were designed in the Pacific Northwest, but work well for Alberta's climate. Thoughtful details like adjustable cuffs and shockcord hem mean you can get use each item longer and hand them down know they'll still be waterproof because of the quality materials used.

Stay tuned to find out how you can win an Oakiwear rain jacket and umbrella (Holiday Giveaway next month)!!

Oakiwear at Chester Lake

For More Information

Check out Oakiwear online!

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