Product: Kids Arowana Softshell Jacket
Price: £11.95 in the sale (RRP: £60)
For long days on the trail you and your critters need flexible items of clothing to supplement the staple waterproofs and base layers that you’ll wear or stow away for grin diminishing bad weather. With such a wide range of options available, the midlayer offers more choice than other layers, but, some of these, for example the insulated jacket, are reserved solely for cold conditions. Sometimes, particularly in the UK, where we don’t really experience the extremes of weather and temperature that other countries do, your kids need a do it all piece, fit for anything. Step forward the Regatta Arowana jacket.
I’ve extolled the advantages of softshell jackets previously in our guide to the layering system, but finding good quality softshell jackets for young kids can be problematic. Firstly, for parents with very young outdoor adventurers, not that many brands offer them in toddler sizes. Secondly, of those I’ve seen, few of them live up the expectations and quality of their adult versions. Some of them aren’t lined, meaning they retain little warmth, compared to say a fleece, while some don’t offer hoods or other features that us bigger kids have come to expect.
Regatta has changed all of this. The Arowana jacket is both windproof and water repellent, meaning that your little hikers and climbers can use this as their outer layer during fine and mild weather. Furthermore, the softshell material is jersey backed offering a little extra warmth and comfort for those cooler periods or for using under a shell. Softshell fabric is also inherently tough, so it’ll endure all of the trips, bumps and bush explorations your kids can throw at it.
As all parents know, kids have far too much energy. I have occasionally considered fitting Jesse with his own GPS tracker when we’re out to measure the extra distance he completes by excitedly zigzagging his way along the trail as his attention is grabbed by one thing after another. Therefore, every activity that we do, at present, is fast paced and highly energetic to him, so the fact that the Arowana is highly breathable is a real bonus.
The full length zip means it’s a breeze to get on and off, while the two zipped pockets ensure that he can safely secure his prized pine cones or the odd pet worm that he’s prone to transport. The removable hood is also fixed with a zip to ensure it stays put even in windy conditions, while the addition of Velcro either side means you can make slight adjustments to cater for everyone from Hey Arnold to the guy in Beetlejuice with the miniscule head.
Overall, this is a great bit of outdoor clothing for kids. It’s flexible enough to be worn in a wide variety of situations and environments. Furthermore, the addition of reflective strips means it’ll also quite happily fulfil your urban adventures when visibility is an issue. If you can grab one at the absolute steal of a sale price, then you’ve got yourself an absolute bargain!