Kit Guide, Walking

Kit review: Spotty Otter children’s waterproofs

25 Jan , 2013  

Your kids want to be outdoors more and they enjoy walking! Surveys tell us this – and we have blogged about top tips on kids and walking before, but sometimes what children tell you and what they actually want to do are two different things! Chatting with families – and staff who have families – we know that one of the biggest barriers to the joys of walking as a family is appropriate clothing.

Being cold and wet can turn a lovely day out walking with the family into a moany disaster. In fact, as you’ll know if you have kids, it’s the children who are more likely to be affected by the cold, especially their small hands and feet.

So while mums and dads stock up on high quality clothing for themselves, including baselayers, windproof and waterproof outers and walking boots, it’s important to buy a few essential – and similar – items for the kids.

Top outdoors brand for children’s outdoor clothing

A great brand that we have come across – and tested – is Spotty Otter. They had kids – aged 0 to 13 – firmly at the forefront of their minds when designing their clothing for keeping kids warm and dry outdoors. This is not grown-up kit made smaller but children’s clothing designed to suit kids.

The founders of Spotty Otter realised that children need clothing to suit their own special requirements, so they went back to the drawing board and thought about the exact needs of children.

Function is very important at Spotty Otter. The clothing is designed to keep children warm and dry when out in the cold and wet. Added to this, the designs are meant to appeal to little ones. The colours are bright and the fit is comfortable. No itches or annoying twiddly bits, just practical, good looking outdoors clothing.

There are different Spotty Otter ranges, too, to suit different weather conditions.

Patrol Range is fleece-lined for maximum warmth, has four-way stretch for ease of movement and is waterproof. The collection includes suits, dungarees, jackets and trousers with matching hats, gloves, mitts and booties.

The Waterproof Range is made from a breathable waterproof material (just like us adults would choose to wear). The collection includes jackets, dungarees, splash-suits and trousers.

Drift Down Range is meant to be very cosy and includes responsibly-sourced 90/10 duck down fill. The collection includes jackets, suits, gilets and dungarees — with matching hats, mitts and booties.

The proof is in the testing

Spotty Otter Drift Down jacket

Spotty Otter Drift Down jacket

We spoke to two mums who enjoy being outdoors and want to encourage their younger children to be more active outside. They tested the Spotty Otter clothing on their youngsters.

Ellen is mum to Cormac, aged three. Cormac tested the Spotty Otter Drift Down Jacket.

The pluses:  

  • Very warm.
  • The zips are covered in fabric so they don’t scratch.
  • The sleeves are detachable to transform the jacket into a body warmer.
  • The hood is detachable too, but fixed on firmly enough as not to fall off at the first tug.
  • There are reflective patches on the jacket. Ideal as an added safety feature.
  • It is machine washable.
  • Cormac loves it and said he liked being “hot inside”.

Not so sure about:

  • So far, very little. Occasionally a few feathers make their way out, which might cause a tickle to someone sensitive.
  • It is pricey at £86 so it would need to be durable which I think it will be.

Ali is mum to a two-year-old girl. Her daughter tested the Patrol Chillipup Suit (age 1-2 years).

The pluses:

  • The colour is lovely. Really bright and cheerful.
  • Cosy fleecy lining.
  • Generous sizing. The all-in-one fits nicely but there is also still room for growth.
  • The design is excellent. The cuffs are elasticated and the ankles have adjustable with Velcro so even if the suit is a little on the large side now I could still adjust it to fit my daughter.
  • The outer fabric is truly waterproof and when it rained I could see the water beading off the outer jacket rather than soaking in.
  • Really high quality. Even the smallest details are well designed, such as the hood with a peaked front to keep the rain off the face.

Not so sure about:

  • The only thing that would make this suit better would be wee hooks at the wrists to clip gloves on to.
  • The price seemed a bit high at first but the quality it is so good I now think it’s reasonable. I imagine these will sell well second-hand and they could easily be passed on to other children as I am sure they wil stand the test of time and wear.

As Ellen concluded: “Spotty Otter clothing could be the difference between a fabulous day out walking with the family and a day of utter misery and moaning children. I know what I’d choose!”

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By
A journalist, web copywriter blogger and social media chatterbox, Fiona combines her love of the outdoors – especially Scotland – with a diverse freelance work life. If she's not at her desk writing about the outdoors, she'll be outside cycling, running, kayaking, snowboarding and walking Munros. She shares her outdoors passion with partner, the G-Force. Sometimes her teenage daughter Little Miss Outdoors tags along, too.