How Do You Keep Your Kids Dry?

Over on the Facebook “I love my Surly Big Dummy” group yesterday a gentleman said “Now that the winter rains are beginning in earnest here in the Pacific Northwest, I want to know how to keep my cargo dry.” (Facebook login required to view the group and discussion.)

As Seattleites having just incurred the sheer torture of weeks and weeks without rain it is possible we’ve forgotten how to properly keep our precious cargo dry. There are all sorts of rain accessories and clothing for you or your bike. Many are highly dependent on which bike, which seat, what type of kids, etc.

I’m going to look in particular at a couple options - a flexible full-body suit for your kids, Madsen bikes and the Big Dummy:

Tuffo Muddy Buddy

Child wearing a yellow Tuffo Muddy Buddy full-body rain suit
(Photo credit:

For our kids we’ve (and they!) have been very happy with the Tuffo Muddy Buddy. It starts in sizes as small as 12 months and goes all the way up to 5T. We purchased 3T and 5T sizes for our kids and they’ve gotten more than a year of use out of them. They are pretty baggy and you can fit as a little or as much clothing underneath as you like. We’ve made good use of them through the fall and winter as both rain and snow gear. There’s elastic around the arms and legs making it easy to stretch them over shoes, rain boats, jackets and sweaters. They zip up and down easily and the kids don’t fuss about having to put them on, in fact they get really excited when it rains because they get to wear them.

Madsen Options

For the Madsen there’s always the mythical Rain Cover from Madsen itself. It has been in development for a long time and when it comes it’ll fit all the Madsen Cycle buckets produced to date. Madsen’s own website shows an availability date of “early 2011” that has come and gone but they did post some shots of a prototype rain cover to their Twitter account back in February of 2012. Needless to say, the long delay in an official rain cover has led to many build their own custom solutions. Local favorite Matt of Tacoma Bike Ranch has a great post on his custom Madsen orange rain cover which also happens to add a nice bit of “high visibility” to your Madsen if the conditions aren’t that great. (Be sure to check out their other awesome recent post on kid bike fenders). Julie is currently talking to Matt about having him make a frame for our Madsen and we’ll supply the fabric ourselves. We’ll keep you updated.

Big Dummy / Xtracycle Options

Big Dummy owners tend to be a highly DIY minded group. It seems doubtful Surly will ever release a rain cover for the Big Dummy’s passengers: it isn’t really their market/brand. Personally I haven’t tried any covers on my Dummy as the kids have been very happy in their Muddy Buddies and Seattle’s record drought hasn’t given me much of a chance. Still there’s some amazing stuff out there: