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The Essential Ski Gear List for Kids

Having the right gear to keep your kids warm and cozy is key to any ski outing’s success, and this is especially true for younger children. Our contributors collectively have kids aging from 6 months to 30 years and share our favorite items to ensure a successful family ski trip.

While we can’t guarantee that our picks will prevent your kids from wanting to take hot chocolate breaks all day, our list is designed to help even your family’s tiniest members stay comfortable as they learn to ski or snowboard.


These items were independently chosen by The Avant Ski Contributors. Avant Ski LLC may earn a commission on purchases through these links.


Keeping Warm, From Head to Toe


Backlava/Frostklava (Neck warmer). The neck warmer provides a seal for any gaps in clothing around the face. We love the Turtle Fur Maxclava comfort shell for its lightweight design and head covering that fits perfectly under a helmet. It comes in fun colors and designs including dinosaurs, rainbows and horses. If the head covering seems like too much, a standard neck warmer should work. We like the Turtle Fur’s Chelonia 150 Fleece for its cozy, double layering.



 

Snow Pants with a Bib & Jacket... For younger kids, we prefer snow pants with a bib and suspenders to prevent snow from getting inside kids' jackets and pants during inevitable falls.


For warm and reasonably priced bib snow pants we like the Columbia Snowslope II Insulated Bib Pants. The pants are easy to pair with the jacket of your choice; the Columbia 3-in-1 Bugaboo II jacket is versatile.




< Buy Columbia 3-in-1 Bugaboo II Jacket now for $120


We also love the Waterproof Performance Snow Pants from from Polarn O. Pyret, a Scandinavian brand. Pair them with the appropriately named, Wear Everywhere Waterproof Winter Jacket and your child won't want to wear anything else, ever. The pants tend to run long, and the quality is outstanding so you can generally use these for more than one season and even more than one child.

 

Vest. The lightweight down vest from Patagonia is easy to layer and comfortable to wear all day. Amazon Essentials also makes a water-resistant, packable puffer vest for a reasonable price.


 

Mittens. Mittens are warmer than gloves. We like Polarn’s Long Cuff mittens, for ease of taking on and off; the long cuff helps prevent snow from getting in. For older kids, it can be worth it to splurge for super warm, durable Hestras.



 

Base Layer. Thin, moisture-wicking layers are key to staying warm and dry. Reima carries waterproof, winterproof, and insulated products and their base layers stack up on even the coldest days. Helly Hansen has warm, comfortable, thermoregulating base layers for boys and girls. Choose from bold colors, camo or other fun patterns.



 

Sweet Feet

Ski Socks. Our favorite adult manufacturers, Smart Wool and Darn Tough, make durable, thin, but warm, socks. The designs for kids are fun too. Pro tip - make sure the socks fit snugly and that children do not get their ski pants tucked inside their boots.


 

Warm Boots. These are a game changer to avoid parking lot meltdowns. The See Kai Run insulated boots are a little pricier, but will keep your kids’ feet warm and dry. They run small, so size up.

Kids boots from Sorel are another reliable, waterproof option. For toddlers, we like the Sorel Snow Commander boots, but they can be a bit bulky, so size accordingly.





 

Gear


Helmet. Investing in a helmet is wise, even when renting other gear. Most helmets are adjustable and should last a few years; meanwhile, renting a helmet can cost $25/day. Giro and Smith have great options in junior sizes. Kids will especially love putting stickers from different resorts on their helmets.


 

Goggles. Goggles keep kids warm and protect their eyes. We love the Giro Chico goggles, which are designed with kids as young as toddler-age in mind and have foam, micro-fleece, and anti-fog features.




 

Ski & Snowboard Rentals. Seasonal rentals for kids are a must for anyone skiing more than 2 days this season. Seasonal rental save money and enable you to avoid long lines and whining children when renting at the mountain.



 

Building Stoke

Our favorite topical books for kids. For inspiration and reassurance before, or during, the season. Young children will love Gilbert the Moose Learns How to Ski. Those just learning will relate to Gilbert’s struggles and eventual success.



ABSkis, written by Olympic Skier Libby Ludlow, has a playful rhyme and picture to illustrate an element of skiing for each letter. It also has spaces to write in favorite memories.

 

The Little Things

Hand Warmers. For the coldest ski days, keep little hands warm with hand warmers. While resorts usually sell these, save a few bucks by getting a Hot Hands value pack in advance. Pro tip - insert the hand warmers when you start to get ready to get the mittens toasty by the time the child heads out, it makes a big difference.

< Buy Hot Hands Value Pack now for $25.40

 

Glove/Mitten Leashes. These miniature glove leashes will keep gloves hanging from tiny wrists, even when your kids take them off inside for a snack or outside to fix a boot. Phew, one less thing to keep track of.


< Buy REI Glove Leashes now for $6.95

 

Snacks. Pro tip from the parents at Avant Ski, keep lightweight, easily accessible snacks on hand. For treats, we are fans of Unreal snacks, which don’t have artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. Trail mix and granola bars are always safe bets too, and won’t take up too much space in your pockets. Good old-fashioned candy also does the trick on a hard day.


 

Ski Harness. More for mom and dad, the snowpal harness will help keep your toddler close and in control on the slopes, while letting them experiment with speed and turns on their own. The length of the attachment gives your young skier plenty of leeway, without shifting their weight back. There’s also a handle on the harness, which is helpful in lift lines.


 

All prices quoted were checked shortly before publication, but prices are subject to change and may not match what is found online. Readers should also make sure to check in-stock and delivery status.


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