The Waterproof Bum-Covering Warm Coat Post

I did one of these posts last year and since the middle of August, I've had several requests to do a round up of the best school run coats for the 2014/15 school year. In this post, I've included a range of styles and budgets to hopefully suit everyone. As always, please share with me any great finds you've had in the comment section...I love to find out about new brands, especially if you've been road-testing yours for a while.

Starting with a local brand which I've championed on here a few times - Target Dry. I have two of their coats - the Emily and the Georgia - both parkas...but the Emily is not padded so I use it more this time of year (it's reduced at the moment on this link). Word of these coats has spread to Mumsnet with quite a few mums on there buying them and the feedback remains very positive. It seems that for the price point, these are a great 'all-rounder' coat. Waterproof enough & warm enough for a typical wet or cold day in this part of the world and you don't have to sacrifice style - with the right boots and scarf, these functional coats look great too! Meet the Target Dry Georgia Parka - with two new colours this winter:
TargetPArka Collage

For warmth alone, you can't beat a down filled coat. But it must be real down - not polyester. These are great if you're a mum who has to stand around outdoors at football/rugby/hockey training as they will keep you toasty warm and if we get snow like we did a couple of winters ago, they're fact, a necessity for snowy weather. With down fill, you're looking for fill rating which typically goes from 400-800...the higher the number, the warmer the coat. Starting with the classic - North Face...expensive but according to anyone who has one, well worth the investment - it's a 700 fill.
A more affordable option is this one from Trespass with a 400 fill - so more of a lightweight option but really well priced at the moment and this khaki colour is great.
Finally, Uniqlo do an amazing range of lightweight down coats, jackets and gilets that are really well priced. I can't see what the rating is on these, but I suspect they're something similar to the Trespass one. The great thing about Uniqlo is the range of colours - this is a lovely navy shade:

Read the labels when you're looking at a performance waterproof coat to see what the MM measurement is. This website explains it really well but basically, for most of us on the school run, unless you're regularly walking in a deluge of rain, you'll be grand with a 5000mm coat like the Target Dry ones above. I used to have a Merrell and I have to admit, it was impressive in heavy rain...really impressive! So it remains my choice for this category..and a super bargain from Sports Direct (buyer beware...but as long as you don't need to change it, you *should* be ok) there's only 8 and 10 left...mine was a 10 and I'd say if you're busty, you would need to size up generally with the Merrell.

Also available on this website for £129 in a few other colours and sizes and here in black only for £124.
nother brand I've recently heard about is Protected Species ultra waterproof coats. They're at a slightly higher price bracket to the Merrell but the reviews I've read are amazing so worth a look if you're looking to invest.

This category is here by special request as I've had some people ask me for my favourites of the high street parkas.  Parkas are generally not waterproof but you can often find waxed finish ones like this one from M&S Collection
This Indigo one seemed to be a bit waxy also but is listed on the website as being cotton so perhaps not as water resistant:
Next up - I like this one from Oasis - it's grey, so a little bit different to the usual khaki green colour.

My parka buying tips are to size up - they should be a bit oversized - and if you can, find one with a dipped fishtail at the back as it's just more in keeping with the trend. My own parka is from Warehouse and they have a new season version on this link - the removable inner layer is great & makes the coat very wearable year-round.
Overall, to tick the waterproof, bum-covering, warm boxes, I still stand by the All Rounder option as the price point is so good for what you're getting AND it ticks the parka box too.  If you've got some extra money, I'd lean towards paying for more waterproofing and make sure you give yourself room to layer for warmth underneath. Meanwhile - please share any great options I've not covered here as well as any feedback you have on the ones I've featured.

Have a great weekend - back on Monday with more boots! I've been busy buying and returning....




  1. I am tempted to try the Merrell again - I know I know I know but I do love the look - just not the hood aspect of it ...
    I need a WARM jacket but don't want puffa .. the hunt goes on!

  2. I have a gaping parka hole in my wardrobe. If I could find one with a huge fur trimmed hood I would buy it. I think either Warehouse or Oasis had one last year. The fur was really fluffy and looked real as oppose to the nylony faux stuff. A good round up Avril, thank you x

  3. Hush have got a gorgeous one this year with blue fur, but the furriest I've seen are at Wrap - love them.

  4. For those tall people out there (over 5' 8"), Long Tall Sally do some great coats that are cut specifically for you... It does mean that your waist belt is on your waist and pockets are in a sensible position on your hips not up you waist... They have a parka as well.

  5. I saw the M&S parka, it was a waxy one, the other day and really loved it. I always used to have a down filled coat when I did the school runs, you can't beat them! x

  6. Love the warehouse parka, especially the darker pockets and cuffs x

  7. I was delighted to review the Georgia parka for Target Dry last A/W Avril and I will definitely be wearing it again this year. It is a great all rounder and looks so good dressed up with scarves and boots:) Enjoy your weekend!
    ~Anne xx

  8. I love a parka. I have the Target Dry Emily and it's a great waterproof but I agree, not warm enough when it gets cooler. I've been eyeing up the Oasis one for a while now. Lynne x

  9. claire21:57

    I have the Oasis bella parka, not worn it out though as we're having a sunny spell! It also has a removable lining which weirdly isn't mention on the website. It's so lovely but doubt it'll be waterproof.

  10. Great round up Avril. I have a old Nike down one that was an impulse buy when I was pregnant but it has lost it's shape after I put it in the washing machine then frantically realised it needed a tennis ball in there after to beat out the feathers - oops! It needs replacing so that Uniqlo one is on my 'to try' list x

  11. Julie10:36

    Great Plains do an amazing Parker. I managed to secure mine in the sale for £42 in their 'grouse' colour. The RRP was £120 so a huge saving. I love it!

  12. I have a few puffas and also a Michael Mortell wax jacket that I bought many years ago after The Child was born. Either work well in either cold or wet weather. Having said that, there was a mum who used to wear the most fab cream Merrell a few years ago at the school gate and I was envious every time I looked at it!!

  13. NET-A-DRESSER20:22

    I have a unique one, which has actually been pretty good in the rain, but I am now past walking to school so not sure how it would really stand up to severe weather! Xx

  14. I have always wanted a long puffer coat - they look so snuggly just like a sleeping bag. I need to live somewhere icy again just so I can justify it! My choice would be a Patagonia one I think but I adore the Uniqlo one here and the color. xx

  15. Anne maire12:29

    Yes love the parka with the fur hood, your right, we do always go for a kaki green,
    great choices and love the warehouse one xx

  16. I have it too after discovering it via this blog last year! Love the new green and purple ones too!

  17. popum14:06

    hi Avril and Anne, am a SGS regular but looked at your blog too Anne.
    I ordered the Georgia and i'm not sure about fit if anyone can help. 12 is good around shoulders but too loose everywhere else and i have extra fabric around hips but 10 is slightly too tight across chest - I should just give up and try another brand or do they stretch our a little?

  18. Does the new Merrell Ellenwood style fit the same as previous Wakefield style, it looks ideal just not sure about the sizing

  19. Hi there - as far as I know, it does. There seems to be very little difference between the two - just more around design details. Hope that helps x

  20. Hi there - I would say that they don't really change with wear to be honest. Sorry - not really that helpful to you. Have you tried using the toggles to nip it in a bit at the waist? Ax

  21. Thanks for the quick reply! I am going to order the small I think, I read in your previous post you had the Wakefield in 10 and I'm a size 10 top and bottom so hopefully it should fit.

  22. popum12:09

    hey, thank you for your reply Avril.
    Think i will go for a 12 to be able to stretch arms properly!
    Looking forward to reading more posts.
    All the best.


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