It’s not just Peppa Pig who has got a thing about jumping in muddy puddles.
As the weather gets rainier, and outdoor activities become splashier, it is worth investing in a pair of waterproof trousers for your little ones.
When it comes to choosing a pair to buy, outdoor experts Regatta have some advice: “There is a wonderful Norwegian saying ‘There is no bad weather, only bad clothes’ and we couldn’t agree more.
"You don’t need to spend a whole lot to get quality items that will keep your children dry. Look for taped or sealed seams to prevent water droplets getting through, and ensure the fabric has a durable water repellent finish (DWR) not just showerproof.”
We waited for a rainy day, dressed up a mob of children in the below trousers, drove them to an adventure playground and left them to it while we went to enjoy a steaming hot cup of coffee and watched them from the on-site café.
We judged these waterproof trousers across a range of price points, looking for durability, value, quality, comfort and of course the ability to keep our little testers warm and dry.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Pack-away waterproof trousers
We love the colours these trousers come in – red, blue and pink. They are super lightweight and pack away into their own little bag so you can keep them on-hand meaning the rain never stops play.
They are elasticated so slip on over legs if it is warm, or trousers if it is cold and stirrups keep them from riding up. They combine all the good features of the trousers we tested, including the price. We were surprised at how waterproof they are – they got caught in a real deluge and passed the test with flying colours.
Also, they are made from recycled plastic bottles, which is a plus.
Buy now £19.00, JoJo Maman Bebe
A super snuggly option, perfect for playing in the snow. These fleece-lined trousers are available in sizes from 18 months to 12 years. They are waterproof, yet breathable and have elasticated cuffs for extra dryness. The seams are taped and the trousers kept our little testers warm and dry. The quality is good enough to last many outdoor adventures.
They are made from recycled materials which makes them a feel good buy and they are machine washable. Excellent value, too.
Buy now £28.50, Muddy Puddles
Kids' pack it waterproof overtrousers
These trouser designers have thought of everything. The material is seam-sealed, DWR and made with a polyamide fabric that's lightweight and packs down very small. The elasticated waist lets them slide on easily over normal trousers and they have two side openings that allow easy access to pockets.
These are perfect to keep in the bottom of your bag for unexpected downpours – ideal for UK rain showers. We love their lightweight fabric and great price.
Buy now £10.95, Regatta
Kids waterproof shell trousers
You can choose these based on your child’s age or height, which is helpful. They are made for real outdoorsy kids – fully waterproof to withstand torrential rain, are water repellent and are abrasion-resistance to cope with years of outdoor rough and tumble. They are also windproof and breathable. Nothing will get through these.
We love the reflective bands for 360 degree visibility. The cute braces are adjustable and detachable. They are excellent quality and we love the foot straps – no more wet socks.
Buy now £45.00, Polarn. O. Pyret
Aian softshell pants – blue nights
Made for little ones from one to eight years old, these polyester waterproof pants keep the water out and let the skin breathe. They have little stirrups to keep them from riding up, keeping little legs dry.
We love the elasticated waist that makes it easy to yank them on. They are sturdy but still very lightweight so they can be worn on their own or over clothes. They also look remarkably smart!
They will last through hundreds of muddy puddles and still be good to hand down to siblings.
Buy now £40.80, Alex and Alexa
Quechua kids’ waterproof hiking over trousers
These trousers are excellent value for all the boxes that they tick. Not only are the fabric and seams fully waterproof, the material’s hydrophilic coating reduces condensation on the inside too. They have been tested under a shower of cold water for two hours although none of our little testers fancied verifying this.
They are super lightweight – perfect for keeping to hand in case of a shower on the way to school, possibly not for more epic adventures. The price is amazing, and they are a good solution for getting caught out in the rain.
Buy now £5.99, Decathlon
2l rain pants kids black
These trousers stop wind and rain in style. They also balance temperature so that little legs don’t overheat and in winter they can slip over normal trousers for outdoor activity.
They are super lightweight and pack down small, are made from sustainable fabric and the finish and welded seams make them totally waterproof. The trousers feel sturdy and were the most robust pair of waterproof trousers we tested. Suited for proper treks rather than a rainy day. The different colours keep them fun. We think they are an investment, and designed for the serious little adventurer.
Buy now £88.00, Addnature
Unisex rain or shine trousers
Before we get into the technicalities of these clever, sustainable trousers, we want to share the cute details. First of all, the pattern is gorgeous, which makes a nice change from standard navy or black –who said there was a dress code for puddle jumping? They also have a fuzzy peach finish to them which feels and looks top-notch. We like that they fold up into their own little pocket, which has a loop on it to either compactly store or hang the trousers up to dry. Lastly, there is a cute little label to write names on and there is more coordinating outerwear to go with them.
The material is waterproof with taped seams, fluorocarbon free, and made from recycled plastic water bottles. The price and quality is excellent.
Buy now £28.00, Frugi
Black going shell trousers
If you are looking for serious yet sustainable outdoor gear, these are a great option. They have taped seams, elastic cuffs and durable silicone foot loops. The braces are adjustable, detachable and reflective for night time adventures. We swooned at how cute our little testers looked while wearing them.
These trousers feel super sturdy and the foot loops mean there are no leaks and they don’t ride up when wearing wellies. We trust that they will last until they are grown out of which will be a while because they are adjustable, and will still be in good enough condition to pass down. They are an investment piece, but their quality justifies the price in our opinion.
The fabrics are waterproof, windproof and still breathable, made from recycled PET bottles and are coated in fluorocarbon-free water- and dirt-repellent while also machine washable too.
Buy now £44.00, Alex and Alexa
The verdict: Kids’ waterproof trousers
Yes, you want your little one to stay dry, but, there are so many other factors that will also make life easier. We loved the JoJo Maman Bebe trousers because they tick all the boxes; packability for easy transport, stirrups for dry socks, fun colours, quality and value, as well as boasting eco-friendly fabrics.