Coming from Southern California, we are wimps when it comes to the cold. Through our years of ski trips, we have come up with a great list of the best kids ski gear to keep the littles warm and comfortable on the slopes whether you are in the cold mountaintops of Whistler or enjoying the blue bird days common in California. Figuring out what ski clothes to buy can be daunting especially for first timers or those who don’t live in cold weather climates.
Best Kids Ski Gear
I will admit that before my son was born I had no real idea about kids ski gear or ski gear for adults even. All the times I went skiing, I went with borrowed gear or just managed to wing it. However, as you will learn once you take kids to play in cold weather, the most important factor for their safety and enjoyment is having proper gear. After years of trying a lot of different items here and there, we have finally honed in on the best of the best kids ski gear that lasts through the years and gives parents peace of mind for all day adventures out in the snow. So whether you are a skiing for the first time in California or heading up to the colds of Canada, we have you covered on the best kids ski gear to bring along.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Base Layers (Wool or Synthetic)
One of the most important parts of any cold weather layering system is your base layers. For kids the best option is to wear wool. We are wool obsessed and wear wool daily and during winter weather it is no different. Not only is wool the best travel fabric, it is by far the best for base layers for both kids and adults. We have tried base layers from a variety of companies and overall they are all about the same. For my son, the best fit for base layers has been with Iksplor. On a daily basis my son wears Nui Organics and Chasing Windmills clothes, both of whom also have great base layers. I love wool because it helps regulate the body temperature, wicks away moisture when the little ones get sweaty under all their clothes and doesn’t hold onto odors.
If you aren’t into wool, we also have tried the base layers from Shred Dog which included lined leggings and a quarter zip mock turtleneck base layer. These are also a great option – and have kept my son perfectly cozy during COLD ski days in Canada.
DON’T MISS THESE DISCOUNT CODES FOR OUR FAVORITE KIDS SKI GEAR
- Iksplor base layer: “NOBACKHOME” for 10% off
- Shred Dog Gear: Use code “NOBACKHOME25” for 25% off or “NOBACKHOME35” for 35% off orders over $400
- Nui Organics “NOBACKHOME20” for 20% off
The Best Kids Ski Jackets
For years I got my son random “ski” jackets here or there when I saw them on sale or as a hand me down. That is until I found the Shred Dog ski jacket. OMG I know they are expensive, but these are the holy grail in ski jackets for kids (and adults). These jackets are good quality and literally have everything your child will need while out on the slopes from their little years to teen years. I am so in love with these jackets.
First you can just purchase the outer layer shell jackets on their own, but I recommend getting the puffy that easily zips into the shell. This makes the jacket so versatile – you can wear just the shell when it’s wet and snowy or just the puffy when it’s not too cold and dry out. And of course you can wear them both together.
What I love even more though are all the little details. One of the best features according to my son is the ski pass pocket on the arm which makes it much easier to scan no matter your kids height/size while going through the turnstiles. The “pit zips” or zipper under arm air holes are genius. I don’t know how many times my son has been hot, and wanting air, but it’s too cold outside to fully take off his jacket. This helps him cool a bit without getting chilled.
The beauty about these jackets are that you can adjust the arm length with adjustable cuffs, add in a puffy jacket to add more warmth or take it out when it’s a warm SoCal ski day. It is really super versatile that it is well worth the investment to use while skiing, hiking or any outdoor activities. My biggest tip is to avoid the colors you want to get and go for bright colors that aren’t as common. It makes it much easier to see your kids up and down the mountain!
For those who love to have a mid-layer as well, consider Shred Dog’s fleece jacket. I am not a huge fan of fleece because of the microplastics, but I will say that it does add nicely to the kids’ ski clothing ensemble to keep them warm and dry even in extreme cold weather.
Ski Pants / Snow Bib – A Kids Ski Gear Must Have
More fan love for ShredDog here with their snow bibs that convert to snow pants. Seriously another genius idea as this helps your kids wear them longer. My son often could have worn his snow bib’s for another year had they been only pants. Here your kid can choose if they want to wear the snow bib or the pants. When my son knows he is going to be falling and possibly getting snow everywhere he likes to wear the snow bib, but if he’s just cruising around, building snowmen, playing in the snow he likes to wear these as pants.
Again, it’s the little details that Shred Dog does so well in their ski wear that make these well worth the price. The velcro “belt” is amazing for kids who have little waists (mine!) as they can easily tighten up as needed. These pants also have a belt loop if needed. The air pockets on the inner thighs are another great idea to keep kids cool while working hard on the slopes. These ski pants will last us for several years given how they can be adjusted for size and length.
We have gone through so many different types of gloves through the years, but honestly the best ones have been these kids gloves that work well for skiing and just general snow play. The most important factor to look out for is that the gloves are waterproof. Of course this doesn’t always mean that they will stay dry after hours in the snow, but the better quality you can get, the better for your kids hands! I will say that some kids tend to play in the snow quite a bit and their gloves get wet fast. For those kids, I highly recommend having liners or a second pair on hand to switch out each day. Or if you are like a friend of mine, consider a glove dryer! While not an essential kids ski gear must have, it really comes in handy if you are skiing for multiple days in a row.
When we first went skiing we didn’t have ski goggles and soon found out they are a necessity! To be honest any brand will be fine, just make sure they have a good elastic to fit over your child’s ski helmet. There are so many options here for all budget levels. If you prefer to try them in person, resort ski shops will always have some on offer, although for a much high price. We also have these covers which help keep the front from getting too scratched up.
Winter Hat or Gaiter
For skiing, the best winter hat has to be a balaclava that covers your neck and your head. This is especially useful if you are renting ski equipment including helmets! While there aren’t many other options that can fit easily under your helmet, you can also use gaiters or a buff in this way too. My son prefers this all winter long as it can go under a traditional ski hat or under his helmet keeping his neck and head nice and warm.
If a balaclava isn’t on your list, consider getting a buff or gaiter. My son wears a buff on a daily basis, so moving his buff into a gaiter wasn’t much of a difference for him, but for those who don’t wear these often, there are many options. My son loves his Smartwool buff, but he also has the Nui Organics Snood which is longer and works well as a neck gaiter or over his head and face.
Good Quality Ski Socks
One of my essentials for kids ski gear is of course quality socks. Again I will harp on about wool and why it’s the best kids ski gear for both comfort and warmth. Not only does wool keep your kids feet warm, it will also help reduce any smells that are often associated with sweaty feet that have not been able to breathe all day! Our favorite brands are Smartwool and Darn Tough. For skiing, we particularly like these knee high socks that add another level of warmth and helps with any rubbing from ski boots.
Sunscreen & Chapstick
What do most people forget in their kids ski gear list? Sunscreen and chapstick! The white snow reflects off the snow and can cause sunburn so much quicker, so this is one thing you can’t forget. We love this sunscreen ourselves, but whatever you work. My favorite chapstick isn’t easy to find these days, but if you see it, grab it. I love that it’s creamy and has SPF in it. These both are great to have whether you are playing in the snow or those planning to ski and snowboard.
Ski Backpack for the Kids
One of the coolest things I’ve seen recently are these fun ski backpacks for kids that holds their ski’s for them and can be carried on their back. This is really one of the most essential kids ski gear items if you ask my son! My son cannot handle his skis either because he’s exhausted, his hands are cold or they just slip and slide in his gloves. This is the answer. Love it!
Do you have other essential kids ski gear that you always take with you on your ski trips? Share them below!
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