Great Gear to Keep Kids Warm: 2014 – 2015 Edition

    Great Gear to Keep Kids Warm: 2014 - 2015 Edition

    We get questions all the time about what our kids are wearing and how we keep them warm. I’m always happy to share my thoughts on anything we put on our own kids, but try to reserve a final opinion until we’ve put it through some serious use, extreme temperatures and extended time outside. It’s only fair that my opinions are based on actual use opposed to just how something looks off the shelf. After some long days and temperatures dropping below zero, I finally feel comfortable sharing some of our very favorites for this year. As always, comments in this post (or on our social media outlets) are welcome with your own opinions on favorite gear. We certainly don’t know it all!

    Note: This list is not comprehensive. It would be impossible for us to test all brands all the time. This is what our kids are wearing on a daily basis and what we trust to keep them safe.

     

    Boots

    Do NOT skimp on boots. They seriously make or break a day faster than almost anything else (except hand coverings for some kids). Our kids are wearing three different pairs this year that I would recommend highly.

    Stonz Winter Bootz: Incredible because they are extremely lightweight AND ultra-warm. P (age 3.5) gets cold faster than anyone else in our family. He is my ultimate tester and he has yet to complain about cold feet in these boots. They also have a flap that opens up to make getting feet in easier, and a buckle cinch around the ankle to keep boots in place and not flopping around (which means you could size up just a little bit for them to grow into and be ok). We haven’t had any issues with traction in these either. Finally, because they are light and fairly streamlined, they work great for clip-on skis and kid snowshoes.

    Baffin Young Eiger Jrs.: Baffin has become our go-to brand for when we want dependable warm footwear for our family. They’re out of Canada and are bomber boots. These Eiger Jrs. may just possibly be the warmest kid boots I have seen. They are serious for feet that tend to get cold. They also happen to be pretty beefy and substantially heavier and thicker than other boots. In fact, we had some issues getting J’s snowshoes on recently (a problem we didn’t forsee before we got to the trailhead.) For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend them for kids that are just learning to walk. But, if your child can handle a bigger boot, this will keep their feet warm.

    Stonz Booties and Linerz:¬†This is what my kids all have worn before they are actually walking. Paired best with the Linerz, they fit over shoes (if sized up) or just a thick wool sock. Right now L is still wearing a snowsuit with flaps that cover her feet. Getting the boots over that is tough. So, I am opting to just use the Linerz for now under the snowsuit (sort of as an extra giant sock). When she is big enough to have her feet out of the suit, I’ll use the Linerz and Booties together.

     

     

    Snowsuits for the Core

    DucKsday Snowsuits: I’ve been recommending DucKsday’s rain suits for years. They are incredible for almost all conditions (layered underneath). I honestly didn’t think the snowsuits would be much different, so I was pleasantly surprised that they have become a favorite around here. They are perfect for our weather lately boasting warmer weather and wetter snow AND for just cold conditions.

    Here’s what we love:

    • Fleece-lined hood and core area – kids talk constantly about how soft it is.
    • Hood is removable and has great chin protection for cold days
    • Cuffs of legs unzip and un-velcro so they fit over ski boots (and those big Baffin boots mentioned above)
    • Pocket for ski pass
    • Adjustable waist (via velcro in the back) so the suit isn’t bulky
    • Warm thinsulate means kids can actually move and play
    • Super water and wind proof to work for all conditions
    • Bright patterns make your kids easy to spot!

    DucKsday is an European brand. They are only available in the U.S. via Ollie and Stella Outfitters.

    Great Gear to Keep Kids Warm: 2014 - 2015 Edition

     

    Snow Dragons Jackets and Pants: This is a new brand for us this year and we have been incredibly impressed. The suits and jackets are a little more bulky than the DucKsday snowsuits, for example, but they have kept the kids really really warm. They also all come with “Grow Cuffs” so your child can wear them longer. The colors are also bright and fun and make your kid easy-to-find. I like that ūüôā

    Great Gear to Keep Kids Warm: 2014 - 2015 Edition

    Nestor (for boys) and Bailey (for girls) Bibs: Our favorite. The fit is great. The fleece top keeps kids even warmer and prevents snow down the pants. The velcro at the shoulders mean they are super easy to get on and adjust for the right fit. Warm, solid construction and holding up to the serious abuse our kids put them through. 5 stars!

    Rock Solid Pant: Great snow pant. Adjustable waist makes all the difference. Durable, waterproof and warm. BUT, J is always jealous of P’s bibs. Personal preference!

    Rouser Jacket: Removable hood, super warm, grows with your child.

    Feisty Jacket: Great pockets, warm and again, grows with them!

    Psssttt….there are some great Snow Dragons pieces (including the Nestor/Bailey bibs we love so much) at Sierra Trading Post right now. For like 40% off. Just different colors! They won’t last long. You can help US out by clicking through our affiliate link to check them out: Snow Dragons at Sierra Trading Post¬†(it doesn’t cost you any more at all, but helps us in a teeny tiny way continue what we’re doing here. Thanks!) AND you can use code¬†SHUB0115 for an additional 30% off in January. You’re welcome.

     

    Canada Goose: This brand is big bucks, but THE warmest out there for kids (and adults), in my opinion. You can see our previous review of the jacket here.  P also wears the Bobcat vest and we have been nothing but impressed.

     

     

    Gloves/Hats/Balaclavas

    Great Gear to Keep Kids Warm: 2014 - 2015 Edition

    Stonz Mittz (for babies through kids aged 8+): These mittens are our warmest ones (for all 3 kids). The ones for the boys literally reach their elbows (so keep all the snow out) and babies cannot get the Baby ones off because of the double cinch. I also love that I can squeeze in a liner plus a hand warmer if it is really super cold out. The downside? They are a little more bulky. If they boys are biking especially, they don’t like to wear them because it’s hard to hold on to the handlebars. But, they can play all day in them!

     

    DucKsday Mittens: These are our choice (for kids aged 2+) for wetter conditions and when they want to be able to move easier. Between biking and building snow sculptures and playing outside, we tend to be hardest on mittens. Last year we wore them out, in fact. The pairs for this year seem to be holding up a lot better. These are the ones the kids want to wear because they don’t feel so limited (and stay dry and warm). Again, available at OllieandStella.com

     

    Stonz Hatz: Great for babies and big kids. Good cheek and chin protection. Cute and warm and what all three wear when they are not wearing a helmet.

    Great Gear to Keep Kids Warm: 2014 - 2015 Edition

    Patagonia Synchilla Hat: AKA our “Helmet Hats”. Worn for skiing, biking, sledding and as an extra layer if we need to double up on hats because it’s that cold. Go buy each kid in your family one of these. As all Patagonia kid stuff, they run big.

    Great Gear to Keep Kids Warm: 2014 - 2015 Edition

    Chaos CTR Hats and Balaclavas: Chaos has a great collection for kid items. Their CTR line is perfect for adding an extra layer (and is even small enough for a baby to wear.)

     

    Base/Mid Layers

    While there are a bunch of different brands out there that make kids’ base layers, our kids primarily wear two right now:

    1. Wee Woollies (Baby through age 6)
    2. Terramar (size 2T+)

    You can read about both of them more here, here and here.

    Great Gear to Keep Kids Warm: 2014 - 2015 Edition

     

    Now YOUR turn! How do you keep your kids warm? Did we miss anything (I know we did!)  We love to hear your suggestions too!

     

    Per our request, this gear was generously provided to us in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.  You can find my full disclosure here.

    © 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

      Comments

      1. Shih-Ying says:

        I am curious about how waterproof the ducksday mitts are? I bought one pair for my daughter last winter and I was pretty happy for the fit and they don’t fall off like other mitts I have tried. I didn’t know that the mitts were not really waterproof until my daught tried to pick up things in the puddles. Her mitts were soaking wet. I was pretty disappointed and contacted oille and stella outfitter regarding the leaking issue. They then send the replacement to me but the new pair leak too. I am not quite sure why the company website claims that their mitts are waterproof. The mitts are not seam sealed at all — at least not the two pairs I got. They are good for playing in drier condition but not for catching ice in a puddle. The mitts worn out quickly too — both pairs worn out before the winter ended….

        • Hi Shih-Ying,

          Oh bummer! The Ducksday ones are the ones our kids prefer and are what I put on them when it’s wet out because they seem to stay dryer on the inside long-term, but I rely on the Stonz ones for really cold temperatures. We DID have one pair of the Ducksday mittens last year that just seemed to be a dud. It wasn’t usable by the end of the season. However, the other mittens we had from them were and the ones we got this year we have had no troubles with at all… So weird!

          Keep letting Ollie and Stella know your thoughts – I am certain they appreciate the feedback!

          Now if I could only find a pair of kid mittens that were completely waterproof and good enough to use for long periods of time in water…I’m looking!!!

          =) Amelia

          • Abeko and Polarn Y Pyret make things called “rain mittens.” I’m hunting for reviews now for 2 year olds… maybe you can do some testing. Apparently rain mittens are all the rage for those outdoor schools in the Pacific Northwest? Veyo Mittyz are another awesome brand that are waterproof (puddle tested) but they don’t have a thumb. Still a lot of dexterity… but not quite the same as a thumb.

            • Yes, just saw those! I will work on it – we are always looking for really good ones too. The only other ones I have found are from Oakiwear (http://amzn.to/2qB1Yg6). They’re great for most things, but don’t cover the wrist, etc. like the ones form PO.P seem to. I’ll see what I can do!!

      2. Just wondering when you put your kids in a 2 piece snowsuit vs a 1 piece snowsuit? My 1 yr old daughter is just starting to walk so I’d like to buy her a snowsuit for this year but am unsure which would be best. I’m guessing it’s dependant on age/activity? Also, do you find you get 1 season out of a snowsuit or worth it to buy up and try to get 2 seasons? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks!!

        • Oh great question, Sarah! For our kids, we usually didn’t have them in a jacket/snowpants until at least 18 months, and then usually until around 2. Mostly because it’s such a wrestling match at the younger ages and easier to just throw on one thing. It also is better at keeping out snow, etc. However, I don’t really think there is a “right” answer – just personal preference. Our kids have both right now…

          And yes, we usually buy big and get 2 (and sometimes even part of a 3rd) season out of them. With snowsuits that can be a little tougher though because there is less ability to adjust them.

          Hope that helps!
          =) Amelia

      3. I actually just bought both of my kiddos (really discounted!!) Snow Dragons coats today before reading this (thanks to a recommendation by another blogger), so I’m glad to see another great review of them!

      4. Just ordered a pair of Stonz booties, infant mittens and youth mittens on Zulily. Currently 1/2 off! Excited to try them out. Thanks for the reviews.

      5. Great list – sharing! I’m slightly in love with Polarn o Pyret’s ski mittens too. They’re warm, waterproof and long enough to cover the sleeve securely. I’m planning to try out some of their other outdoor gear as well, as they’re known to be of high quality. Some of it has an eco label too, for being produced in an environmentally responsible manner. My two cents for the day!

        • Oh yes!!! I love P.OP gear! Though I actually have some mittens of theirs I didn’t like at all, but will have to check out the ski mittens! Their jackets have been AWESOME for our kids! And I just love those stripes! ūüôā

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