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Gear

Our Editors Pick The Most Essential Ski Gear For Kids This Season

The right gear and accessories can be the key to keeping your groms stoked on skiing no matter the temperature.

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Yes, those little monsters grow fast. To that end, make sure to have your kids try on last season’s gear well before your first planned ski outing this season. You don’t want to find out the night before heading to the slopes that nothing fits.

Related: How To Dress Your Kids for Skiing

With a few seasons of getting my family on the slopes under my belt, here are some tried-and-true items, broken down by outside temperatures and weather conditions, plus the must-have basics. I’ve found that putting in the extra work ahead of time to keep them happy goes a long way toward keeping kiddos on the slopes longer.

13 Pieces of Gear To Make Kids Comfortable on the Slopes

The Basics

Roces Idea Up & Idea Free Adjustable Ski Boots

Roces Idea Up boot
(Photo: Courtesy of Roces)

Here’s a product to thwart the problem of kids growing out of their gear: Roces has a brilliant design that gives kid’s ski boots a much longer scope of use. Available in three models, the Idea Up has two versions—the one-buckle version ranges from sizes 16-18.5, the two-buckle version spans 19-22, and the three-buckle Idea Free covers 22.5-25.5. Kids are so lightweight and are (generally) not throwing such hard turns that flex in the adjustable construction won’t be of any concern for precision or control.  Buy Now: $110-$140

Atomic Bent Jrs + Colt 7 Bindings

Atomic Bent Jr. Skis
(Photo: Courtesy of Atomic Skis)

Inspired by the adult-sized skis designed by pro skier Chris Benchetler, the Atomic Bent JR is designed to be an easy to control ski. The narrow 78-82mm underfoot width makes for easy edge-to-edge maneuvering and Atomic’s Dura Cap construction is lightweight yet incredibly stable—key for groms who push the limits (usually of their parent’s comfort zones). The wide tips keep the skis above any freshies the kiddo is lucky enough to hit and the rise of the tail allows for some backwards skiing and other fun tricks (my daughter’s favorite). Buy Now: $350 (skis only from $275)

Komperdell Free Touring Junior Poles

Komperdell Touring poles jr
(Photo: Courtesy of Komperdell)

Komperdell released their first junior ski touring poles this year. They will last a few seasons thanks to the 105-120cm adjustable length. An extended grip zone is wrapped over the sturdy 7075-T6 aluminum and the Powerlock 3.0 keeps the length as set. The poles include the ultralight Vario basket and tungsten/carbide flex tips. Buy Now: $120

Bern Camino Helmet

Bern camino helmet
(Photo: Courtesy of Bern)

Made for the smallest heads on the slopes, the Camino uses a thin and lightweight material with Zipmold+ technology and passes all of the safety tests. And the Tiger Shark design should strike the appropriate fear in anyone seeing your fierce grom ripping down the mountain. Buy Now: $60

Best for Cold Days

Namuk Mission Snow Jacket Upcycled Jacket & Corbet Snow Bib

Namuk Mission jacketNamuk Corbet bib

(Photos: Courtesy of Namuk)

This jacket uses a comfortable yet durable material and PrimaLoft Eco insulation in the lining for waterproof protection on cold or stormy days. It has lots of pockets for all the things, including a garbage-specific packet for anything yucky. We really love the cozy chin guard to prevent uncomfortable rashes. The bibs have an extra long zipper to help kids get into them all by themselves and can be connected to any Namuk jacket using the Overall Connection System. The Corbet bibs use PrimaLoft Bio—a biodegradable fabric sourced from recycled synthetic fibers. Buy Now: $300 (jacket) & $270 (bib)

Seirus Junior Heattouch Atlas Glove

Seirus Heattouch Altas
(Photo: Courtesy of Seirus)

Little hands chill very easily for two main reasons: They are too small to produce much heat (low blood flow volume) and, if a glove is packed full of insulation, the kids have zero dexterity and can’t move their fingers enough to keep warm. The disposable hand warmers are great if only used on occasion, but if you and your frosty fingered nugget use those every time then a heated glove like this one from Sirius is worth considering. The gloves use a 240-gram synthetic insulation and waterproof/breathable membrane with a tough softshell exterior and reinforced palm. The gloves have three heat settings and the batteries last for two to six hours. Buy Now: $200

Stio Kids’ Hometown Down Hooded Jacket

Stio Downtown puffy
(Photo: Courtesy of Stio)

Developed by a dad at Jackson, Wyo.-based brand Stio, with little product testers of his own, the Hometown is a fully featured technical winter jacket. The water-repellent down insulation from Allied Feather is protected by a 100-percent recycled nylon ripstop outer. The jacket is ideal for cold weather with a helmet-compatible hood, and other features include internal stash pockets, and an ID label so it’s less likely to get accidentally nabbed at ski school. Buy Now: $185

Best for Mild Days

Jack Wolfskin Three Hills Jacket

Jack Wolfskin kids jacket
(Photo: Courtesy of Jack Wolfskin)

While still providing good waterproof protection, the Three Hills Jacket is breathable in moderate to tricky in-between temperatures and has an insulated hood for those “oh, it’s colder than I expected” moments. The outer fabric is durable for standard outdoor kid play beyond the slopes and it’s insulated by recycled synthetic fiber. Buy Now: $110

Shred Dog Elevated Zip-Off Race Pants

Shred Dog ski pants
(Photo: Courtesy of Shred Dog)

Ditch the hot bibs and don these shell pants with full-length side zippers designed for youth ski racers so they can remove the pants when worn over their race suit without having to remove ski boots. Vented side zips allow for fine-tuned temperature management and key areas like the knees, instep, and hem are reinforced for extra durability. Buy Now: $200

Flylow Mighty Unicorn Mitt

Flylow mitts
(Photo: Courtesy of Flylow)

Made in-part from upcycled materials from production scraps in the Flylow factory, this eco-minded mitt is well insulated and prime for kids who have their hands in the snow all day long. It’s 10k/10k waterproof, and has 220-gram back-of-hand synthetic insulation with 100-gram palm Spaceloft insulation. Buy Now: $65

Best for Spring Skiing

Helly Hansen Jr. Loen Midlayer Jacket

HH kids midlayer
(Photo: Courtesy of Helly Hansen)

When the days are nice but the wind still bites a little at speed, peel off the shell and reveal this slick-face fleece jacket. The smooth outer layer finish will sluff off snow to help keep the layer dry while on the inside a fuzzy fleece feels warm and cozy. The hugging hood offers an extra layer of comfort. Buy Now: $90

Smartwool Kids’ Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Hoodie & Bottom

Smartwool classic kids top
(Photo: Courtesy of Smartwool)

Smartwool classic kids bottom

(Photos: Courtesy of Smartwool)

When the sun is out and the rays are strong, strip down to these 100-percent responsibly sourced, lightweight Merino woolies for just enough coverage (as in, no need to slather bare arms with sunscreen). The flatlock seam construction helps avoid chafing when forced to add more layers. Buy Now: $60 (top), $60 (bottom)

Julbo Loop Sunglasses

Julbo Loop sunnies
(Photo: Courtesy of Julbo)


If it’s too hot for goggles, the Loop series from Julbo will protect little peepers from all that sun and glare. Available in two sizes to range for kids from 1 to 5 years old, these glasses are hingeless and the frame is reversible—meaning, they can’t be put on upside down by accident. The frame houses a category 4 polycarbonate lens (dark—5 percent light transmission) and comes with a removable elastic retainer strap. Buy Now: $40