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Ski Gear for Kids

Don't let your children hate skiing, make sure they're in the right gear.

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One key element to teaching your kids to love skiing is for them to love being out in the snow. For them to love being out in the snow, they need to be comfortable. On bluebird days it’s easy to stay comfortable, but another key element for kids to learn how to ski is consistency in getting on the slopes. And the weather isn’t always going to be sunny and calm, so the kiddos will need to be properly bundled to ward off the cold and wind and stay focused on the skiing. That’s where the right gear comes into play. 

Below are ten categories of gear we have tested and love in both beautiful sunny weather, but also when it’s been windy, cold and snowing. The result, our little one loves to ski and is quick to finish the phrase: “There’s no bad weather” with, “just poor clothing choices.”

Patagonia Baby Down Sweater Jacket

Patagonia Baby Down Sweater Jacket
Photo courtesy of Patagonia

The Patagonia Down Sweater is a classic and that’s why it’s also offered in baby sizes. But don’t let that fool you about it’s functionality or other limitations. Available in sizes from 3-6 mo. to 5T, it spans a good range and works to size up a little to get two solid, maybe three, seasons out of it. The zipper is easy and smooth for little fingers to use once they’ve sorted out the mechanics. Like the adult Down Sweater, it can be worn over a t-shirt on cool days or accommodate a number of layers underneath for frigid days. The outer shell has proven to be pretty durable and we haven’t had any down feathers poke through on the inside or outside. [MSRP: $99;]

Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski JR Mittens

Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski JR Mittens
Photo courtesy of Hestra

Hestra is known for amazing products and they held that line with these kids gloves. They include a wrist strap leash to help prevent the mittens from going amiss once they come off the hands. On colder days, our little tester opted to not use the separate index finger tube, missing a pocket for a hand warmer packet. The palm leather is soft and supple, and while little skiers don’t need to worry about keeping a good grip on ski poles, my little one has found the gloves work great for shoveling snow into her mouth—a key priority while on the slopes. [MSRP: $105;]

Bogs Arcata Stripe Kids’ Insulated Boots

Bogs Arcata Stripe Kids Insulated Boots
Photo courtesy of Bogs

As soon as our daughter, who loves all things kitty-like, saw these she called them her Kitty Boots because of the fancy fur lined cuff and cat-like stripes. The problem is that she can only wear them when it’s particularly cold out because they are so well insulated. In fact, they feel a little hefty in hand for boots this size, but that’s because of the thick insulated sole to keep the cold out. Still, they have served across her range of activities from going to school on cold and snowy days to being perfect slip-on, slip-off boots for getting to the ski slopes. [MSRP: $100;]

Helly Hansen K HH Lifa Merino Set Baselayers

Helly Hansen K HH Lifa Merino Set Baselayers
Photo courtesy of Helly Hansen

Learning to layer clothing is a key part to raising a competent outdoors loving kid so be sure to get them a pair of base layers that are comfortable—and they come in enough color ways to satisfy the pickiest of dressers. The Helly Hansen Lifa Merino is soft and snuggly and has great wicking properties to keeps kids happy while layered up or when just lounging in their baselayers indoors while sipping their hot cocoa. [MSRP: $75;]

Skida Alpine Neck Warmer & Hat

Skida Alpine Neck Warmer hat kids
Photo courtesy of Skida

A wide range of fun prints, a Polartec micro-fleece lining, and guaranteed protection from the cold means your little will just want to keep playing outside on winter days. The moisture wicking qualities of the set is not so much for managing kid’s sweat as it is to disperse the snow they’ve been throwing on themselves and rolling around in after it melts near their warm neck. There are matching hats to complete the kit. [MSRP: $24 (neck warmer), $32 (hat);]

Elan Quick Shift Skis & Ezyy/Bloom Boots

Elan Quick Shift Skis
Photo courtesy of Elan

You may think there’s not much design savvy, or even tech, that goes into kids skis. But the engineers at Elan feel differently as evident by their developing of their patented U-Flex technology. U-Flex was introduced to their kids’ skis in 2014 and is seen as a series of U shaped notches carved out of the top of the ski to let the ski flex up to 25 percent more. This is important because it makes it easier for your featherweight nugget to keep good edge contact when turning. Along with the U-Flex technology, the skis are reinforced with fiberglass and have Full Power Cap Construction. The boots have their own version of the U-Flex technology and it’s making an impression on ski school instructors, as one of ours noticed our daughters boots right away and was really glad to see her wearing them. We have witnessed how great both of these products are in how our little skier is constantly improving her form. [MSRP: $325 (skis), $150-$160 (boots);]

Sweet Protection Blaster II Mips Helmet Jr.

Sweet Protection Blaster II Mips Helmet Jr
Photo courtesy of Sweet Protection

Granted, when your grom is on the groomed magic carpet slope, a helmet seems a bit over the top, but it’s what gets them used to wearing it because, before you know it, they’ll be dodging trees and you’ll have a hard time keeping up. This lightweight ABS hardshell brain bucket is easy to use with a dial to tighten it up around their little heads. MIPS is a thin layer built into the helmet to absorb energy from rotational impacts to minimize stress on the brain. This is an incredible feature and is just as important for little brains as it is for adults. The helmet is nicely padded with a cozy fleece lining and a bit of ventilation. [MSRP: $120;]

Shred Dog Unisex Pups Hardshell Jacket & Convertible Bib Pant

Shred Dog Unisex Pups Hardshell Jacket
Photo courtesy of Shred Dogs

Launched in 2018, Shred Dog is the brainchild of two ski-stoked dads who wanted the best for their kids but didn’t want to break the bank. The materials and construction quality is high, but the prices are reasonable thanks to their direct-to-consumer model. Both the jacket and bib pants are seam-taped, waterproof and breathable. They also include the Adjust-A-Fit feature, which allows parents to extend the length of the sleeves or legs to extend their use. More impressive, however, is instead of ripping out a seam, Shred Dog uses a system where the sleeves and legs can be retracted again for a younger sibling to use the same kit. The jacket accommodates an optional zip-in fleece midlayer, and the bib tops can be removed to turn them into pants. [MSRP: $130 (jacket), $140 (bibs);]

Smith Grom Goggles

smith grom goggles
Photo courtesy of Smith

No matter if the day is sunny or snowy, goggles provide a nice layer of confidence and even a bit of warmth on particularly cold days for little shredders. The Grom goggles have Smith’s spherical lenses and have enough internal volume to accommodate corrective specs. They’ve proved to ward off fogging up and are easy to adjust for use with or without a helmet. The silicone backed strap holds the goggles nicely in place, and our little tester has never complained about them being uncomfortable thanks in part to the face foam and construction of the goggle. They come in a number of options for color, strap style and lens type. [MSRP: $90;]

Darn Tough Jr. Over-the-Calf Cushion Ski Socks

Darn Tough Jr Over-the-Calf Cushion Ski Socks
Photo courtesy of Darn Tough

If you’re teaching your kid to ski, then they need zoned cushioning in their socks just like adults do. Made of Merino Wool, Nylon, and Lycra Spandex these socks are durable and provide great moisture wicking to keep those little feet dry and warm. These socks are available in a number of patterns—including some that overlap with adult ski socks to amp the cute factor. While one kid may not wear these out before outgrowing them, they carry the same lifetime warranty so they can be passed down to siblings. [MSRP: $16-18;]