As spring weather approaches, don’t let April showers rain on your parade! Stay dry and comfortable this season as you splash around town in some of the best non-toxic rain gear on the market.
Toxins Found In Rain Gear
Toxins and toxicants in rain gear are found all too often. Even chemicals that have been banned (to a point) in children’s toys like phthalates, lead, and cadmium are still used in other children’s products and rain gear in no exception. Aside from polluting our planet, these materials breakdown from day-to-day use and chemicals are then inhaled and absorbed through our skin.
- PVC or vinyl is the most toxic plastic (as I have said a million times). PVC contains numerous carcinogenic chemicals as well as heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and phthalates which are used to soften the plastic and make it flexible. As these chemicals breakdown, they surround the air we breathe and floors our children play on.
- Synthetic rubber is not only bad for our environment, but many additives used are harmful to our health too. Additionally, sometimes synthetic rubber is made from recycled car tires (!!!) which contains hundreds of known carcinogens.
- Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are often used as water repellents in rain gear and anything designed to be “waterproof”. Made from carbon and fluorine atoms, PFCs, AKA ‘Forever Chemicals’, persist in our environment, drinking water, and even in our bodies. It takes decades, centuries, or longer for PFC’s to breakdown completely. These are the same chemicals used in non-stick (Teflon) cookware which are linked to a slew of health issues including birth defects, respiratory harm, and cancer among other things.
- Durable Water Repellent (DWRs) are used to repel water and snow. These type of repellents are not considered non-toxic and just as PFCs wear off overtime, so do DWRs. However, in most cases, DWRs are considered a better option than PFC’s. Although, more research must be done.
- Lead and Other Heavy Metals have been found in quite a few children’s goods more often than they should. Rainboots are no exception.
Purchasing Safe Rain Gear | What To Know
Fortunately, more and more companies are beginning to slowly phase out some of the harmful chemicals above and choose safer alternatives. But, until then, here’s what you need to know when purchasing rain gear for your family:
- Choose safe rain gear materials. Rain Gear made from 100% natural rubber, polyurethane, nylon, wool or polyester are your best bet.
- Avoid chemical waterproofing like DWR’s or PFC’s. Look for a tag stating the products is “PFC-free”. If the tag says, “PFOA or PFOAS-free” (which fall under the PFC category), it most likely contains PFC’s.
- Stay warm with wool layers and don’t forget to protect your feet with inserts and cozy socks!
Best Rain Gear For Littles
Stonz | Boots
Committed to quality products, Stonz tests each batch for toxins during production to ensure their boots are truly made from 100% natural rubber! Complete with a cotton liner, these boots are also 100% waterproof, warmer than traditional rainboots, and are versatile. Stonz offers warm inserts for wintertime! Best of all, they are free of PVC, lead, phthalates, and other harmful additives, unlike most competitors. I love these boots so much, I emailed Stonz and asked if they would make adult boots too! Available in baby and children sizes.
Hatley | Coats, Pants, Boots & Umbrellas
Hatley offers a variety of safe, waterproof rain gear at a great price! Hatley rainboots are made from volcanized rubber and lined with soft sherpa fleece, keeping your little one nice and dry. They come in a variety of solid colors as well as cute patterns for girls and boys. Hatley raincoats and pants are made from 100% polyurethane, and do not contain PVC or additional waterproofing chemicals. This gear also comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Lastly, Haley created adorable umbrellas made from polyester with a wooden handle, that are free of chemical coatings and PVC. Available in baby and children sizes.
PuddleGear | Coats, Pants, & Gloves
Brightly colored PuddleGear rainwear is made from thick, uncoated, inert polyurethane fabric. The brand boasts their raincoats are free of PVC, phthalates and DWR too! This rain gear is very well-made and lasts forever without the toxic chemicals! We love this small, mom-owned business! Available in baby and children sizes.
Frugi | Boots
Frugi rainboots are made from 100% natural rubber and are free of PVC and heavy metals. Frugi rainboots come in colorful prints featuring fun favorites such as unicorns, dinos, animals and more! Available in children’s sizes.
CeLavi | Coats and pants
Waterproof and windproof CeLavi products are made from 38% polyurethane, 62% polyester without PVC or chemical coatings. This combination of materials leaves CeLavi rain gear soft and comfortable! Available in baby and children sizes.
iPlay | Coats & Pants
Polarn O. Pyret | Coats, Pants, Hats, Boots, Gloves
Polarn O. Pyret uses natural rubber to keep little feet warm and dry. Additionally, all rain gear is free of PFC’s and come in a variety of fabrics to fit your specific needs while protecting your little one from the wind and rain. Available in baby and children sizes. May contain DWRs.
Bisgaard | Boots
Bisgaard natural rubber boots keep little feet warm and dry with an 80% wool insert along with a removable foam insole! Available in a variety of sizes and colors. Made in China in a BSCI certified factory. Available in baby and children sizes.
Best Rain Boots For Adults
Joules | Boots
Joules rain boots are made from natural rubber and the only rubber boots I will ever own! They are super warm, comfortable and durable too, plus they have lots of stylish patterns and colors. I purchased the hot pink version to match my daughter’s Stonz boots (too cute!)
Edit: I’ve had a few questions regarding the toxicity of Hunter Boots. When I reached out to the company and asked if the boots are free of PVC, phthalates and heavy metals, Hunter responded, “It depends on the boots you are after. Most of our boots are made of: Polyester lining, rubber and metal buckle”. When I inquired further, they said they would reach out to me and search for the answer. I will update this post when I hear back.
Additionally, I’ve personally never owned Hunter Boots. Whenever I tried them on, they just didn’t fit right (especially around the ankles if that makes sense) so I was hesitant to try Joules, but surprisingly, they fit like a glove!
Rain Gear For Adults
The following list includes ‘better-than-most’ options when it comes to non-toxic rain gear for adults. Keep in mind, PFC-free options from a particular line, may only include select items in the collection. Additionally, PFC-free does not equal free of DWRs in many cases. Read carefully.
- Jack Wolfskin | Beginning in 2019, all Jack Wolfskin gear is PFC-free. Look for the “100% PFC-free” symbol. Jack Wolfskin also makes PFC-free rain coats for children.
- Nau | PFC-Free DWR finish
- Vaude | PFC-Free finish
- Marmot’s EvoDry line | PFC-Free Line
- REI’s XeroDry GTX rain jackets | PFC-Free Jacket
- Mammot | Right now, this raincoat is one of their only PFC-free options. The brand is working to eliminate PFC’s from their products by 2023.
- DownTek | No longer uses PFCs in the DownTek PFC-free line (Bluesign approved), although, they do use PFC’s in their regular line.
Brands to keep an eye on in the future …
The following brands are working to eliminate PFC’s from their apparel lines. They may be worth considering in the future. Keep in mind, although the following brands are working to eliminate the use of PFC’s, the apparel that would be PFC-free wouldn’t hit the shelves until a year or two later.
- Patagonia is working to eliminate PFC’s by fall 2022.
- Mammut is working to eliminate PFAS in clothing by 2022, and across the entire brand by 2023. This woman’s rain jacket is free of PCF’s.
Best Wool Gear For Babies, Children & Adults
Wool | Coats, Pants, Mittens & Hats
Wool is naturally flame-resistant, breathable and repels water all without chemicals! Pretty amazing, huh? Layering wool provides excellent insulation during cold, winter months, but also is a good option for toxin-free rain gear!
The following brands offer high-quality wool clothing for all season:
Water Proofing Options
Unfortunately, all waterproofing breaks down over time. If your outerwear is in need of a little TLC below is the best alternative I’ve found.
Nikwax is a reliable, water-based, environmentally-friendly repellent that contains no propellant gases, and no fluorocarbons (PFCs). Various options provided by Nikwax, allow you to treat your gear by “washing” the product in, applying by hand, or using a spray method.
For more safe family favorites, shop my Amazon storefront here! Stay dry, friends! Xo!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which does not cost you anything. I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.
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