The Isbjörn Storm Hardshell Jacket is as good as it gets for kids’ waterproofs – warm, tough, full of great features and with clever sleeves that extend to make it last an extra year.
I should kick off this review by saying my son is an official ambassador for Isbjorn of Sweden, which means he gets sent a lot of their kit to test and review on this blog. That doesn’t mean this is an advert though – we review every bit of kit honestly and fairly, and there’s no harsher judge of outdoor gear than a toddler! So here’s what we think about it…
What’s good about it?
- It’s fully waterproof – even the zips. If you think you getting cold and wet can ruin a walk, just imagine how much worse that gets with a wet and miserable child in tow. The Isbjörn Storm Hardshell Jacket is fully waterproof with a YKK front zip that has so far kept out all the rain this rubbish British summer has thrown at us.
- The material feels built to last. This is a thick, tough-feeling jacket. I’d even go as far as saying it feels like a top-spec adult mountaineering jacket that’s been shrunk down to toddler size. We’ve scraped it on rocks, trees and all sorts of sharp and rough objects and it’s still as good as new.
- Chest pockets are great for stashing goodies. The Storm has two roomy pockets on the chest, both secured by waterproof zips. Perfect for squirreling away little treasures like conkers or shells that your kid might pick up on an adventure.
- It’s big, thick and warm. Most waterproof jackets are thin and cold, because they’re designed as emergency layers to chuck on over the top of warmer layers. The Isbjörn Storm Hardshell Jacket, however, is a proper coat. It feels thick and chunky, and keeps Sonny warm with just a t-shirt underneath on soggy spring and summer days. In winter, if you stick an extra warmer layer underneath it’ll keep your kids warm and toasty.
- Hood is stretchy, adjustable and detachable. There’s not much more annoying than a badly designed hood that either flaps around or obstructs your view, or both. No such problems here. The Storm’s hood has stretchy material at the edges that allows it to move easily with the head, plus an adjustable Velcro tab on the back so you can fit it to the size of the wearer’s head. And if you don’t need it, you can simply unbutton it and whip it off!
- Reflective details make your kid visible in the dark. Perfect for dark winter nights, whether you’re on a proper outdoor adventure or just walking home from school.
- You can extend the sleeves. This isn’t something we’ve had to do yet, but the Storm’s ‘Grow Cuff’ allows the sleeves to be extended up to 3cm longer, so it can grow with your child and won’t need replacing after just one season.
What’s bad about it?
- It’s a bit bulky to pack. The downside to the Isbjörn Storm Hardshell Jacket being thicker and warmer than most waterproofs is that it takes up more room in your bag when it’s not being worn. If it was adult size that would be a bigger problem, but still worth bearing in mind if you’re hoping to travel light.
- The price is high. We were fortunate enough to be sent one to test, but it’s impossible not to mention the fact this jacket costs £130. A lot of money for a piece of children’s clothing, but what you have to consider is that this is a piece of outdoor kit every bit as good as adults would wear. And the fact you can extend the sleeves adds extra value by making it last for longer.
The Outdoor Dad Verdict – Isbjörn Storm Hardshell Jacket
This is a proper waterproof jacket for proper little adventurers. The price is high but so is the feature set, and it can be used all year-round for everything from snowsports to summer puddle jumping. We love it!
BUY IT: Isbjorn Storm Hardshell Jacket