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Child-only clothing manufacturer Reima come up with the goods in the Sydvest 3-in-1 waterproof jacket

reima sydvest op
Overall Score
No complaints from my 2-year-old
Not quite warm enough for winter without layers underneath

Reima are a Finnish company who make clothing exclusively for kids and being Nordic that means a very different thing to the throwaway, single use, cheaply made clothing we often favour in the UK. You see, the Finns have a very different idea of what clothing should be, think Isla bikes and you’re on the right track – kit that’s built so well it can be passed down through the family as kids grow up and then still be sold on at the end of ownership for half the original price. And that’s real sustainability and eco warrioring for you. 

Reima’s Sydvest jacket is a classic example of this approach. As usual with waterproof outdoor jackets, the Sydvest lists waterproof and breathability ratings on the swing tag, but more unusually they also list abrasion resistance – as tested with sandpaper no less - which should tell you a lot about the garment your child is about to wear. We picked this jacket up at the very start of spring, just as the weather was turning, and this is where the Sydvest jacket is at its best thanks to 3-in-1 versatility. The removable insulated inner adds a little warmth without undue bulk and once removed it functions as a cute gilet to take the edge off a chill in spring and summer conditions, leaving a sturdy shell waterproof jacket ideal for summer downpours where you need protection from the rain, but not the cold. The shell offers very good protection, with waterproofing to 8000mm water column and fully taped seams, in practice this means that the Sydvest doesn’t leak. The gilet pops into the shell with a simple and easy to use popper system, we’ve accomplished the task of re-attaching with a nearly three-year-old and seven-year-old causing mayhem in the direct vicinity, and that says a lot for its simplicity.

We love the slightly retro styling, as does our test subject, our two-year-old, who is notoriously fussy about the clothes he wears. His version, in navy, has contrasting white details, including the chunky buttons that cover the pocket poppers and along the main zip. There’s also some subtle reflective detailing which, if you weren’t looking hard enough, you’d assume was just part of the design of the coat. The hem has a very noticeable drop and the cut is generally quite long, this gives good coverage, even for squirming toddlers. It’s clear that everything has been designed for purpose and the child centric thinking is evident throughout, not least in the hood which is removable and releases easily if your child gets snagged on something.

Sure, you can go out and buy a kids jacket for £40 or even £20 if you look hard enough but it probably won’t be waterproof, it won’t be very breathable and it’s highly unlikely to last as long as the Sydvest.

Update: We've reduced the quality and overall rating as the hood did indeed get snagged but pulled the popper clean off its stitching rather than releasing.

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