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Best school coats for kids 2021

Keep kids cosy on the school run and in the playground with our pick of the best warm and waterproof coats, as chosen by Mumsnetters. 

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Sep 3, 2021

Child wearing a coat at school

Picking a coat for school involves carefully weighing up cosiness vs bulkiness. The British weather is unpredictable and you’re inevitably going to end up carrying your child’s coat home on warmer days so you'll want a jacket that’s warm enough to keep your child toasty, but not so heavy they’ll struggle to fit it on their peg or in their locker. 

Luckily, there’s a whole host of school-ready coats out there. We’ve done our homework by scouring the Mumsnet forums as well as review sites to bring you the best kids' coats for the school run and the playground.

Here are the best school coats to buy in 2021.

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1. Best overall school coat: Mountain Warehouse Fell 3-in-1 Jacket

Mountain Warehouse Fell school coat

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

"I'd be more inclined to go for a thinnish waterproof, or the sort where a fleece layer and a waterproof layer zip together (sometimes available from places like Mountain Warehouse.) That way, if she's got it with her and it's not cold enough for her to want to wear it, she hasn't got quite so much to carry" - foxtiger

"Finally, we got a Mountain Warehouse lined thin one. Which has been a great success. Thin effect for warmer days, gives enough warmth over blazer to survive the 1 mile walk even in the snow!" - Ouch44

Could this coat be any more versatile? With a pack-away hood, a removable fleece layer and an outer water-resistant jacket, Mountain Warehouse’s Fell design gets a big thumbs up from Mumsnetters. 

The outer layer serves as a thin raincoat for summer showers, the fleece as a cosy cover-up for autumn mornings and the two can be zipped together to combine their strengths in winter. The no-nonsense, unisex design comes in seven colours. The only drawback of this jacket is the raincoat layer is water-resistant rather than waterproof, so it won’t keep your child 100% dry in a downpour. 

Key specs

  • Size range: 2-13 years
  • Material: Polyester

2. Best budget school coat: Trespass Tiffy Padded Casual Jacket

Trespass Tiffy school coat

Price: From £17 | Buy now from Amazon

"I've bought this one from Amazon for the last 2 times I've had to buy my DD coats and they are heavy rain proof" - Clutterbugsmum

"I second Trespass. Really warm, waterproof and good deep, cosy pockets. DD likes hers so much I went and bought one for myself. So cosy it's like wearing a duvet with a hood" - HearMeSnore

At around £30, the Trespass Tiffy offers amazing value. You’ll get a seriously warm and waterproof coat that’s comparable in quality to much more expensive brands.  

Generously stuffed with polyester and available in ten different colours, the Tiffy features thoughtful details like elasticated cuffs and plenty of pockets, perfect for chilly walks to school. We did find the outer pockets are quite low down, making them difficult to use while the coat’s being worn, so bear that in mind if your child’s a glove-refuser. 

Key specs

  • Size range: 1-13 years
  • Material: Polyester

3. Best waterproof school coat: Jack Wolfskin Tucan Kids Jacket

Jack Wolfskin Tucan coat

Price: £54 | Buy now from Amazon

"Lightweight but hardwearing, I’ve used these coats for my kids for the last few years and have been impressed with how well they’ve lasted" - namechangedcausebored

Extremely practical and reliable, Jack Wolfskin jackets are both waterproof and windproof, making them perfect for battling changeable British weather. 

Featuring a tough but breathable hard-shell outer and a mesh lining, this durable jacket is surprisingly comfortable and light. It doesn’t offer much warmth, so it’s worth sizing up to make sure there’s room for another layer underneath on the coldest days.   

Key specs

  • Size range: 2-14 years
  • Material: Polyester

4. Best warm school coat: North Face Reversible Andes Jacket

North Face Andes coat

Price: £110 | Buy now from The North Face

"You can’t go wrong with the North Face. Good quality and certainly popular with my son who is almost 12. It’ll last ages too" - Heymummee

We love this responsibly-sourced down-filled number by The North Face. Designed to keep kids warm while hiking up a mountain, we think it does a pretty good job on the playground too. 

We’re assured by Mumsnetters that The North Face is a pretty cool brand, so this is a great choice for fashion-conscious teens and tweens. The high-tech recycled fabric is breathable and coated with a water-repellant finish, plus the coat’s reversible for a subtly different look throughout the term. 

Key specs

  • Size range: XXS-XL
  • Material: Recycled polyester taffeta and down

5. Best hooded school coat: Joules Wren Coat

Joules Wren coat

Price: From £33 | Buy now from Amazon

"I bought my dd a joules jacket for school, I am very impressed with the quality" - Redyoyo

With removable sleeves and hood as well as a cosy fleece lining, this is a great coat for the depths of winter and the first chilly days of autumn alike. We love the cute print and the warm padding, plus the fact that it’s showerproof. 

Joules is well-loved by Mumsnetters for its cheerful designs and great quality kids’ clothes, and this coat is no exception. 

Key specs

  • Size range: 1-12 years
  • Material: Polyester

6. Best kids’ coat for nursery: JoJo Maman Bebe Fisherman’s Jacket

JoJo Maman Bebe coat

Price: £39 | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bebe 

"The BEST coat DS has ever had was the JoJo Maman Bébé one. He’s now six so has had almost four winters out of it as it just fits. It still looks great and is waterproof and warm" - gilmoregirl

Made for puddle jumping, this fisherman’s coat by Jojo Maman Bebe is a Mumsnet favourite. Its rollable sleeves and boxy shape mean it’ll keep fitting as your child grows, and we love the cute, classic look of it too. 

It’s machine-washable on a delicate programme, but most spills can simply be wiped off its water-resistant surface. Lightly padded, it’s quite warm but you’d need an extra jumper or a hoodie underneath on very cold days. 

Key specs

  • Size range: 12 months - 6 years
  • Material: Cotton and polyester

7. Best lightweight school coat: M&S Stormwear Longline Padded Coat

M&S Stormwear coat

Price: £26 | Buy now from M&S

"Got a nice warm M&S coat which could be washed if needed (but only actually needed the odd wipe down) and we used for school and weekends so certainly worth the cost (think it was £30ish)" - Whitewolf2

Warm enough for chilly days but lightweight enough to be carried around in a rucksack or shoved in a locker, we love M&S’s Stormwear range of coats and jackets. The high-tech fabric repels water, keeping kids dry while still being soft and breathable. 

This longline style offers extra coverage and the coat can be popped in the washing machine when needed. The belted waist is an extra stylish touch, giving it a grown-up look. 

Key specs

  • Size range: 6-16 years
  • Material: Polyamide

8. Best puffa jacket for school: SoulCal Bubble Jacket

SouCal school coat

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

"My just turned 13 year old has this in the yellow and my 15 year old has it in black, she's had hers since last winter and it's still going strong" - Greedycushionhoarder2

Seriously toasty while being cool enough for picky teens, we’re really impressed with this puffa jacket by surf brand SoulCal. 

It’s really warm, squishy and boasts a soft fleecy lining and a removable faux fur trim. The jacket is great quality and works just as well as a school coat as it does on wintry walks and weekend trips to the shops. It’s pretty bulky so not great for lugging around if the weather turns unexpectedly warmer, but on a cold day, it’s brilliant.  

Key specs

  • Size range: S-XL
  • Material: Polyester

9. Best fisherman jacket for school: Hatley Splash Rain Jacket

Hatley Splash coat

Price: £38 | Buy now from Amazon

"My boys wear their Hatley raincoats all year round. Make sure you buy a size bigger, then you can roll the sleeves up and get an extra few years’ wear out of it! My four year old has been wearing his big brother's for the last two years!" - TabithaMcKitten

"They are warmer than you'd think. The lining is towelling and nothing penetrates the outer shell, it’s totally wind and rain proof" - Ceeceebloomingdale

Deceptively warm and very waterproof, Mumsnetters love a Hatley. We advise buying a size up to get maximum wear out of this cute coat. 

The contrasting lining isn’t just there to look good - it’s towelling rather than cotton, which is what makes the Hatley Splash extra cosy. The Polyurethane outer is buttery soft and will keep your child dry on the school run and at playtime, whatever the weather. 

Key specs

  • Size range: 2-12 years
  • Material: Polyurethane

10. Best parka coat for school: Lands’ End Expedition Down Parka 

Lands' End Expedition coat

Price: £108 | Buy now from Lands’ End

"Mine have the Lands End Expedition Parkas. Think this is the third year they will wear them and they look good as new. Really warm and waterproof. They are asking for new ones as they want the new colours but the current ones aren't worn out at all and still fit" - YourBubzYourRulzHon

"Another Lands End fan here too. They have these fantastic "grow a long" sleeves, which meant they can be worn for longer when the sleeves get too short" - Orangeanddemons

For a cosy parka fit for an Arctic explorer, we love Lands’ End’s Expedition coat. Featuring down-filled insulation, a waterproof outer and a fleece lining, it’s a truly impressive coat. But it’s the ingenious sleeve design that really sells it for Mumsnetters. The “grow along” design means, with a snip of thread, the sleeves can be extended 1.5” when your child’s arms outgrow them. What’s more, the cuffs are extra snug and even have a thumb loop to stop any drafts. 

Key specs

  • Size range: 4-14 years
  • Material: Polyester, nylon and down

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How to choose the best kids coat for school

A lot of kids are coat-refusers, especially as they get older, and many schools have policies that don’t allow coats to be worn indoors. With this in mind, the best coat is one that’ll keep your child warm and dry on the school run and is compact enough to be carried around or kept in a locker. 

When you’re trying on coats, it’s also worth sizing up to allow for a blazer underneath, plus of course a bit of growing room. 

What’s the best style of coat for school?

A 3-in-1 style, featuring a thin waterproof layer with a detachable fleece is practical and versatile.

Should kids wear coats in car seats?

No - the latest safety advice says bulky winter coats should be removed before strapping a child into a car seat. The coat creates too big a gap between the child and the straps of the car seat, making the safety features less effective in the event of an accident.  

What’s the best kids’ coat to buy?

The best kids’ coat is Mountain Warehouse’s 3-in-1 Fell jacket. We picked it because it strikes the perfect balance between versatility, lightness and warmth. 

How we chose our recommendations 

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which school coats parents were recommending and had bought for their kids.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which school coats had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the top 10 school coats on the market.

Why you should trust us 

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.