Kids wear through clothes like crazy. They grow multiple sizes in a season. They don’t like you having nice things. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I’m sure some of this rings true to you. Kids outerwear is tough because kids can be so picky. They get too hot, too cold, too tight, not tight enough. So it’s nice to find something that just works, and that’s what I like about the Lands’ End Kids Squall jacket. It might not be the trendiest jacket out there, but it gets the job done and lasts so that you can hand it down and push it to its limits once again. It is definitely not the perfect jacket, but it’s pretty darn close. Pictured is my 6 year old daughter’s Small (7-8) Squall jacket.
There are several attractive things about the Lands’ End Squall jacket. First of all, the price is hard to beat. I picked this on up on their website for about $65 with shipping. Lands’ End fairly consistently has sales, so definitely plan ahead as I would not necessarily consider this a steal at the retail price of $105. You might be able to pick one up at deep discount at the end of the season, but as of checking at the writing of this article (March 1st), the stock is pretty limited right now. I purchased in late November/early December, so that might be the route to go if your kid is growing out of their old jacket or if you’re planning a year out. Now, I can’t possibly predict what size my kids will be in 3 months, much less a year, but if you can, more power to you!
One feature that I noticed that I have not actually used, but seems incredibly useful is the “Grow-A-Longs” for the jacket sleeves. Apparently if you turn the jacket inside out, there are clearly marked, bright threads that you can snip to lengthen the sleeves by an extra 1-1/2″. I can see this being both good and bad. If you want to stretch (literally) out the jacket for one kid and have no intention of handing it down, this is a great feature. But if you plan to hand this down to a younger sibling or a friend, I can see this being incredibly annoying. Having not actually tried this feature, I don’t know if it’s a pro or a con. I can see the utility, but I’m not 100% sold on it.
Kids clothes are tough to buy because ruggedness plays a huge role, but in a different way than adult gear. The gear needs to be rugged because kids play hard, but they grow out of their clothes so quickly. You want something to last, but then again you do not want to spend a fortune on a jacket that lasts one season. If you can get multiple uses out of a piece of clothing, that makes it all the better. Plus, parents have to stick together and handing good outerwear down can be a huge help when your kid all of a sudden decides to have a growth spurt. I like the Squall because it is rugged without being cost prohibitive. My kids wear it everywhere, in the snow, riding bikes, running around on the playground, etc. Never once have I felt worried that they were going to ruin it doing normal kids stuff. Simply put, it gets the job done and keeps kids warm and dry in the process.
The things I do not like about this jacket are pretty few and are minor gripes at best. These are not carseat friendly jackets. They are pretty bulky and do not compress down well for buckling in a car seat. We mainly got these jackets for our kids once they turned 4+ because they can slip in and out of it if they are still in a 5-point harness seat, or they can wear it while riding in a booster. Some other jackets that we’ve had in the past (L.L. Bean) have reflectors on the back that would be very useful for visibility on evening walks around the neighborhood. Not a must, but it would be a nice feature. I’m sure there are aftermarket reflector patches you can put on jackets, so this is probably a non-issue. Finally, the jacket is bulky, so when you wash it, it takes quite a while to dry. I’ve actually had to put the jacket through 2 dry cycles sometimes just to dry it completely out. Not a dealbreaker, but something to consider. I’ve never had problems with the jacket getting too wet in the snow though.
- Regular sales at Lands’ End means you can pick up a new one for about $65 shipped (or less) if you plan
- “Grow-A-Longs” sleeves can extended by 1-1/2″ to extend use as your kid grows
- Rugged construction means it can be worn for multiple seasons and handed down when it no longer fits
- Not carseat friendly
- No reflectors on the back
- Heavy and takes a while to dry
Rating: 4 / 5
Overall, I would give this jacket a 4/5. It’s a good jacket that gets the job done. No frills, but with some nice features and ruggedized construction that means it will not fall apart after one season. Definitely try to buy it on sale because I do not believe it’s worth the retail price, but Lands End does have pretty frequent sales. My only complaints are pretty minor and nitpicky. The major drawback I see is that the jacket is bulky and does not work well in car seats, but for older kids, I’d highly recommend the Lands’ End Squall jacket. It performs well in snow and cold weather and has held up well to regular abuse. I honestly do not have much else to say about this jacket other than that I highly recommend it and even bought another one for my almost 5 year old and will probably buy a 3rd when my son gets a bit older.
I hope this was helpful to you! Are your experiences similar? Always happy to hear your comments and thank you for reading!