I’ve heard many parents say it is hard to get their kids outside while living in Alaska. And I agree – to an extent. The winters are cold and snowy. Temperatures in the single digits are normal. Fall is rainy and a chilly reminder of Alaska reality after beautiful summers. And spring? I’m not even sure why we call it spring in Alaska. Actually, we don’t. It’s called break up season. It’s when EVERYTHING is muddy and a disaster. So yes, those elements make it challenging to get outside in Alaska. But the real issue is do you have the right gear for kids? During our time in Alaska, we have found that the key to hiking Alaska and adventuring in the outdoors is waterproof gear for kids.
Jan & Jul Waterproof Jackets
These jackets were the first waterproof gear for kids given to us by a wonderful small business, Jan & Jul. An outdoor brand under Twinklebelle, Jan & Jul has a beautiful story about how they began with amazing products. Advertised as rain jackets, we use these waterproof jackets in almost any Alaskan outing, minus the exceptionally cold ones in the dead of winter. They are not bulky, but they are warm. Fleece lined, waterproof, and windproof, the jackets do an amazing job of protecting our kids from the elements. The hood is shaped to stay on and not have water drip on the face, a key feature when searching for rain gear for kids. In addition, the zipper and buttons go up snuggly to the chin, yet do not restrict the child.
The elastic wrist bands on these waterproof jackets are amazing. So many elastic wrist bands become loose and don’t provide the necessary protection from water, snow, and mud. These do. I also love the little details that Jan & Jul put into these waterproof jackets. There is a reflective band on all sides of the jacket to allow children to be easily seen in the dim light. This is especially helpful during Alaska winters when light is at a minimum. Furthermore, the jackets are made of material that is soil resistant, so they look clean for a longer amount of time. These waterproof jackets are a huge asset to our rain gear for kids, but can be used in so many other types of Alaskan weather!
Jan & Jul Waterproof Mittens
Another piece of waterproof gear for kids that we love from Jan & Jul are their waterproof mittens, which they also kindly gave us to review. We received the new waterproof snow mittens which are rated to 5*F (or -15*C). Our three kids have have dipped these mittens into ice cold rivers and lakes and come out with warm, dry fingers. Similarly, the kids have been able to play in the snow with them, and their hands have been kept cozy and dry.
These mittens are especially amazing because they have long, wide cuffs that can be layered under or over jackets. These waterproof mittens (or rain mittens, or snow mittens!) can be tightened around the child’s wrist and at the cuff midway up the arm. Like the waterproof jackets, they are fleece lined which keep the little fingers warm. And the outside is a made to keep wind and water out. They are also soil resistant, so they are easy to keep clean! (And if you are a Mom, you know how dirty kiddo gloves can get! This is huge!)
Jules (2) can easily slip her thumb in and out of the thumb hole with a little help. But if you are worried about the struggle that all parents have with putting on mittens and getting that little thumb in to its own little place, have no fear. Jan & Jul has thought of this, too. For their XS gloves, which is designed for children ages 0-2, they have designed waterproof mittens with no thumb. So all you have to do is slip your child’s hand into the mitten, and you are done. No struggles!
Jan & Jul Exceeded Our Expectations
Jan & Jul’s waterproof gear for kids exceeded our expectations. They keep our kids warm, dry, and clean during so many different adventures in Alaska. I would highly recommend Jan & Jul for any of your needs should you be searching not only for rain gear for kids, but for snow or any type of waterproof gear. I have not had the opportunity to try their rain playsuit or waterproof pants, but I have no doubt that they would perform similarly well based on my observations of the jackets and mittens. You will not be disappointed when you check out this small business, Jan & Jul. And when you get some of their gear, let them know that ExploreFam sent you!