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How to Dress Your Kids for Skiing

Kids are not just small adults. Our complete guide to dressing your young skiers for success.

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You’ve made the decision to introduce your child to skiing this season. That’s awesome. Now you need to know how to outfit them for a day on the slopes. SKI’s online course, How to Raise a Skier, breaks down the essentials you’ll need for your child’s first days out on the mountain.

Pink sticker-covered helmet, pink and gray gaiter, and gray and black gloves on top of a blue yoga mat.
These are are just a few of the items you’ll need when dressing your kids this winterPhoto courtesy of Ryan Dionne

The first thing to consider is apparel, and the first piece of apparel is a baselayer. Make sure to find moisture-wicking fabrics like polypropylene long underwear to keep your child warm and dry. The same goes for socks. Steer clear of cotton socks, which get cold and wet as feet sweat, and consider investing in a pair of wool ski socks.  We recommend a fleece or a down vest as your child’s midlayer, which provides a great extra layer of warmth if needed.

For children under five, mittens—waterproof is a must—are the best choice. For children six and older, gloves are also an option. Pro tip: Buy a pair that have a zip pocket at the top of the hand to insert of hand warmers.

When buying your child ski pants and a ski jacket, waterproof material is key, and bib pants go a long way toward keeping snow from getting into places it should not go. The jacket should not be too tight; be sure there’s room for multiple layers underneath. Important accessories include: neck warmers, helmet liners, helmet, goggles, and hand warmers.

On your first day on the slopes, have your children wear their baselayers in the car on the way to the resort. Once on the mountain, layers are the way to go. It is better to overdress your child then underdress them, as you can always take a layer off.

Remember to bring a backpack or secure a place at the resort for this extra equipment if necessary. In addition, there are a few essential items we recommend keeping in your car just in case: underwear, extra long underwear (especially bottoms), an old pair of snow pants, an extra pair of socks, an extra set of mittens/gloves, sunscreen, hand warmers, water, snacks, and wipes. Parents, don’t forget you need gear too, and don’t forget your lift ticket or season pass!

Mother helping two daughters put on ski gear in the parking lot of a ski resort.
Have your kids sit on a stool while getting dressed to help them stay dry before a great day out on the slopesPhoto courtesy of Ryan Dionne

Depending on where you are skiing, a few things to consider when dressing your children are where you will boot up, where your children will get fully dressed, and what to do when you get home. If your kids are getting dressed in the car then remember to have them travel in their long underwear with easy access to their jacket and pants.

In addition, keep items like a yoga mat and a collapsible stool in your car to help keep your child dry and comfortable while getting them dressed. When you get home (or back to your hotel/condo), take the extra time to lay out all of your kid’s items to dry to guarantee success and comfort for your next day on the slopes. There’s nothing worse than sliding into clammy boots and wet mittens the next morning!

We’ve got so much more to share about getting kids on the slopes. Visit to enroll in our five-part, take-it-at-your-own-pace online course.