In my opinion, we live close to one of the best kid-friendly ski areas in the west. Bridger Bowl is literally crawling with kids of all ages on the weekends. Babies are in packs and carriers everywhere. Young families are there making the most of their time on the ski hill. Parents are taking turns with sitting with the youngest in the lodge when they just can’t take it anymore. When your kid is melting down on the hill, you get looks of understanding from others (because their child was just melting down too!) The terrain is kid-friendly and families are welcome. To be fair, there are a TON of ski areas I haven’t skied yet. So, if your local ski area is super family-friendly too, shout it out in the comments – we’ll add it to our bucket list!
I spoke a bit about Level Nine sports last week and their collection of great videos to help kids ski. However, they also are our current favorite shop to get ski gear for the family. Based out of Salt Lake, they know families and skiing! When I was in the area this winter, I stopped into the brick and mortar store. I was actually a bit surprised it wasn’t bigger because their presence online is so great. But, what they had was comprehensive and their sales folk knowledgable.
This winter they agreed to help outfit our oldest (J, age 5) in a ski set-up for this winter. We trust their opinions about gear and wanted some suggestions. The pointed us towards the Defiance Puzzle Ski/Roces Complete Children’s Package. This package is aimed towards the “Developing Young Skier”: Anywhere from first timers to advanced youth skiers, that still have a lot to learn about skiing. They might ski fast sometimes, and have a blast, but aren’t comfortable with some areas of the mountain.
At $199 for the whole set-up, it’s a screaming deal that will last J a few seasons (see why below) and then will be passed on down the line of kids! When compared to the cost of renting during a vacation or even a season lease, this package pays for itself very quickly. It’s an affordable way to get new skis and boots that can be passed on down through your family and that cover a wide range of sizes.
- The Defiance Puzzle ski is their in-house brand. They’re lightweight, ski well and have a fun pattern. They also have a lifetime warranty since L9 manufactured them. Note: L9 found it difficult to keep quality and affordable kids skis in stock, so they made their own! They come out of the same factory that makes skis for other reputable brands.
- The bindings are Tyrolia SX 4.5 bindings – not much to say about bindings, but they have been easy to use and held up great so far!
- The Roces Adjustable boots are the huge selling point for us. They are adjustable over 3 full sizes to allow for growth over a few seasons. We had to actually adjust them up one size already for our son and were incredibly thankful we had the option to do so. These boots are BIG for Level Nine and are included in all of their kids packages. If you are going to buy anything at all, those boots are worth every penny.
Last year we also bit the bullet and decided to buy P brand new skis. We had a terrible time finding teeny tiny used ones that worked for a kid that was ready to ski at 20 pounds. Another big thanks for L9 for helping us choose an appropriate ski that he will be on for a total of 3 (we hope!) years.
Buy from Level Nine and get a bonus!
We asked Level Nine if they would be willing to help YOU out in getting your family out on skis. We really and truly love their philosophy, their store, their deal and their expertise and we want to share that with you any way we can.
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