© Christopher Futcher\Getty Images // Best Back to School Outerwear  \\ © Christopher Futcher\Getty Images

Parents know the right back-to-school outerwear is a kid's first line of defense when wintery winds and soaking rains arrive. Parkas puffed with down or toasty wool pea coats are classic choices, but if your student likes it trendier, snowboard jackets can be just as warm and protective, and jeans jackets are majorly hip for the tween and teen set. On the lighter side, rain slickers, trench coats and fleece pullovers take on spring with style.

Lightweight Coats and Jackets: Easy Breezy

Fall and spring schooldays call for lighter outerwear, and there are plenty of coats and jackets kids can wear alone or as layering pieces. Raincoats and squall jackets keep the storms from soaking them: Fleece-lined and hooded versions add extra warmth and protection. Trend-right trench coats, denim jackets and moto jackets look crazy-cute on children, but are best for rain-free days. Zip pullovers make ideal mid-layers between shirt and winter coat, and the best are made of microfleece, a material both thin and warm. Kids love hoodies, and these popular jackets are offered in everything from breezy, lightweight cotton to fleece-lined versions that can stand up to dropping temps.