Dad knowledge, Product reviews

Why active kids need protective summer clothing

Old Hunstanton beach

It’s easy to think protective kids’ clothing only matters in winter, but high temperatures and blazing sun make it vital for active children in summer too.

Our 4-year-old doesn’t slow down on even the hottest summer days. Walking, running, cycling, swimming, canoeing, scooting, building sandcastles, splashing in the sea, camping – he operates at 100 miles an hour all day, every day.

That means his temperature goes up and down a lot, and he’s often exposed to plenty of strong sunshine. Fortunately, kids’ clothing has come a long way in recent years, offering everything from good ventilation and fast-drying materials to sun protection and, of course, loads of funky designs.

We’ve tested a lot of active kids’ summer clothing over the past few years, and this summer we were sent a selection of products to try out by Finnish brand Reima. And now it seems important to say this is in no way a paid-for promotion – because I’m about to big up their kit a lot! We’ve just been really impressed by this stuff.

Put simply, Reima’s summer range is possibly the best outdoor kit for children we’ve ever used. Not only does it look cool, but it’s also fantastic quality and does everything you’d ask for as a parent in terms of performance. Sonny loves wearing it too, which means it passes the comfort test. Because he doesn’t hold back when we try to make him wear something he doesn’t like!

Best summer beach clothes for kids

Active summer gear for kids

Reima’s summer swim gear for young kids is designed to ‘keep the rays at bay’, according to their website. And it does a great job of that thanks to the UV protection factor of 50+. Plus, the items we tested out gave really good coverage on legs and arms, saving the drama of having to lash on sun cream every few seconds. They’re also quick-drying, breathable and look cool, so tick all the boxes for us.

Our picks from the range…

Reima Galapogas Swim overall

Reima Tioman long-sleeve swim shirt

Best active summer clothes for kids

Active summer clothes for kids

We’ve ridden a lot of bikes, run around a lot of parks, paddled down a lot of rivers, and slept in a lot of tents this summer. And we’ve had a lot of hot weather while we’ve been doing it!

Sonny’s pretty much lived in shorts rather than trousers since the clocks changed in March. And since he has a habit of jumping in every bit of water he sees, having something mesh-lined and quick-drying means he can pretty much wear them all day. Even in the water! Again, Reima’s swim shorts are UPF 50+, so perfect for hot sunny days.

Best active summer clothes for kids

And for slightly cooler temperatures or days when the wind picks up, for a ling time we’ve been looking for a really good lightweight kids jacket that’s good to throw on as an extra layer in summer. Check out the Hafen hoodie below. Reima describe it as ‘perfect after a swim at the beach’ but we’ve used it for so much more than that. It’s great for pretty much every kind of outdoor activity, is made from a soft, breathable material, and again includies that all-important UPF 50+ sun protection. The only downside is that it bobbled a bit in the wash, but in terms of performance the Hafen hoodie is great.

Our picks from the range…

Reima Solsort shorts

Reima Hafen hoodie

Best active summer shoes for kids

Best active summer shoes for kids

From my experience kids have two kinds of trainers. The kind they destroy the first time they’re used for anything or exciting, or the kind that still look good after a proper thrashing.

We’ve tested two pairs of Reima trainers this summer (the Elege Trainers and Aerla Sneakers) and Im very pleased to announce both are still going strong despite a being relentlessly battered.

Best active shoes for kids

The Elege (above) are my personal favourites. They look awesome, instantly turning your little one into the coolest kid in the playground. They’re also lightweight, have really simple elasticated laces, and are fully machine washable. They’re quite a narrow fit so a bit of a squeeze to pull on, but no complaints once they’re in use.

The Aerla sneakers look smart – the kind you’d wear to your granny’s house – but are also really tough thanks to the thermoplastic rubber outsole. Brilliant for using on the scooter (see top pic)!

Our picks from the range…

Reima Elege trainers

Reima Aerla sneakers

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