As any parent of a fashion-conscious yet active child knows, quality is sometimes sacrificed for the sake of coolness. In the realm of winter wear, this becomes not just frustrating, but an issue of safety. How do we make sure kids are dressed appropriately, but with a certain dash of awesome, especially in Alaska, where cold and damp are around a lot more than hot and dry?
Enter the latest item in AKontheGO’s outdoor closet: the Insulated Barn Coat from Rugged North Outfitter. A few weeks ago I mentioned our appreciation for this durable, stylish coat for AK Kid, who has definite opinions when it comes to looking good. One snowfall, two hikes, a washing, daily use on the school playground, and we both still love it. Why? Read our full review, below:
The coat: This Insulated Barn Coat is crafted after the grown-ups’ John Deere workwear line, and if anybody knows about spending lots and lots of time outside in all sorts of weather, it’d be the Deere. Made from extra-tough duck cloth, triple-sewn and reinforced where it matters (cuffs, hems, and along placket), this is indeed one rugged piece of outerwear. But durability aside, the coat also features a dash of comfort-food for the body, especially important to our AK Kid who hates anything itchy, scratchy, or funky next to his skin. A warm flannel liner of fashionable plaid, and brushed duck cloth that feels soft and smooth instead of stiff, got high marks for comfiness from AK Kid, and the snug storm cuffs kept drafty winter winds from sneaking up his arms. Available in a variety of sizes (AK Kid wears an 8 and has a roomy Youth Medium), this coat can definitely be a “grow-into” sort of garment.
Durability: AK Kid’s coat slid down sandy dunes, served as a goalpost for a schoolyard soccer game, lasted through some pretty intense fort-building, and looks better now than the day I brought it home. Like anything made with duck cloth, wear mellows the fabric, becoming even more comfortable over time. I washed the coat and dried it just a bit to test the cotton fabric, and so far, so good. Frankly, it was the heavy-duty zipper and snaps that drove me nuts and caused me to yank the thing out of the dryer, but on medium heat the coat held its shape well. NOTE: the jacket is not advertised as “waterproof”, but its resistance to wet snow and a bit of rain was admirable; AK Kid stayed dry, even though the fabric was wet on the outside.
Cost: At a reasonable $48-$56, depending upon whether you order the Childs’ or Youth size, the Insulated Barn Coat is a good investment for 3+ season wear. Like anything I buy for my son, I asked for a larger size than necessary, both for layering and for at least a year of wear. The biggie with all online ordering, however, is the shipping cost. BUT, Rugged North Outfitter offers great Facebook and email newsletter discounts, so it’s worth a shot for such a long-lasting product.
Our verdict: The Insulated Barn Coat nicely combines fashionable looks with reliable outdoor function. Warm, comfortable, and roomy, our son wears this coat to church, school, and outside with his pals. Alaska’s daytime temperatures hover near 25, and yet AK Kid still claims total coziness. I’m happy to add the Insulated Barn Coat to our AKontheGO outdoor closet.