How do you stay waterproof when you’re backpacking in the UK?
Backpacking with a young family requires you to have the right equipment for the job, and with British weather being so unpredictable we needed great outerwear for the boys. The waterproof clothing had to be lightweight, easy to dry and pack up small and the footwear needed to be comfortable, hardwearing and not too heavy for their young little feet.
What Louis wore…
We bought Louis’ water proof trousers from a sports shop. He needed some for the upcoming football season anyway, because we all spend a lot of time standing around in the rain during the winter months! We chose a £13.00 pair by Karrimor – a name I know and have been happy with in the past.
For his wind and waterproof jacket, Louis had the Torr Rain Jacket from Kozi Kidz, which was sent to us as part of a review. When it arrived I was really surprised at how lightweight it was because it looked thicker on the website. Louis found it to be very comfortable and not at all too big or heavy. It held off the small amount of rain we got caught in and Louis never once complained he was cold despite the jacket being quite thin. The Torr jacket is available in various colours and retails at £29.50. Matching trousers are available too. For the use he’s going to get out of it, that’s a very fair price. It’ll be useful for taking on summer days out, for spring and autumn over a jumper and in winter as part of a set of layers.
On his feet, Louis wore a pair of Timberland Eurorock Hiker boots from Cloggs.co.uk, also for review purposes. I recently bought him a pair of shoes for a wedding and his feet were red raw where they’d rubbed him by the end of the night, so I wasn’t taking chances with walking boots and allowed him to wear them in the run up to the backpacking holiday. Not once did Louis complain about his feet hurting; the boots were comfortable, warm, dry and the laces didn’t keep constantly undoing themselves like some kids shoes seem to have a habit of doing.
This boot retails at £54.99 on the Cloggs.co.uk website, and from a value for money point of view – a week of constant wear including gravel paths, sandy beaches, rocky walkways, mud and grass, hasn’t made any difference to these hard wearing boots at all, aside from them needing a bit of a clean. Louis loves these boots, and they will be his school shoes over winter, too. Incidentally, if you’re buying school shoes you might want to have a look at Cloggs school shoes – there’s a great range at reasonable prices with free delivery and free returns.
The rest of the clothing list for each of the boys was:
- water sport shoes
- zip-through hoodie
- tracksuit bottoms
- jogging bottoms
- 3 cotton t-shirts
which was sufficient for the six days we were backpacking, given that we laundered everything on day four.
What Rowan wore…
In addition to the list above, Rowan also had new waterproofs for review from KoziKidz.com. They know all there is to know about outdoor clothing for kids, and they do what they do very well indeed. Not one to ever blend into the crowd, Rowan chose his own waterproof clothing, and decided after much deliberation to opt for the Koster Randig Rain Suit.
The dungarees are adjustable using poppers at the waist and the braces are fully adjustable too. The bootstraps on them are detachable and adjustable too – this suit will last Rowan at least two years. The sizes are very generous, so be sure to take note of the measurements when ordering or you might end up having to exchange for a smaller size.
Judging by how the suit has fared so far, I think it will wear and wash really well over time. The Koster Randig Rain Suit retails at £59.00 for the dungarees and jacket, and both parts are fully waterproof. I appreciate that this price is higher than you may find elsewhere, but you really do get what you pay for, especially where things like waterproof clothing are concerned. They kept Rowan warm and dry for the duration of the holiday, they were light enough to pack away into the rucksacks when not required and there was no chance of losing him in a crowd wearing those bright colours! Rowan really loves this set and I can see it coming in very useful on many a rainy day to come.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet are the boys bags. We were hoping to use a LittleLife day pack for Rowan but he needed something bigger, so we’ve been using it on our fun days out instead – review of that coming next week. We were sent a couple of bags from Decathlon to use over the summer and they were a great size for the boys to take with them on the backpacking trip. They’re available in lots of different colours, and they are – wait for it – £2.49 each. Yep, less than two and a half quid each. They’re really lightweight but well made, meaning there was next to no additional weight for the boys to carry.
The bags held quite a bit of kit too…
In addition to this, the boys carried 6 pairs of socks and 6 pairs of boxer shorts (but I didn’t think they’d want me photographing those!).
We were extremely lucky to be asked to review the items above, which we received free of charge in return for an honest review.