UPDATE For 2018/19: COUPON CODE FOR ELLA’S WOOL!
These sets are fantastic and hold up very well. Go to: http://ellasw.co/mountainmama And use code “Tales89” for 15% off!
I have gotten at least an email a day over the past couple weeks of people asking for my best gear suggestions for kids. Obviously people are thinking about preparing for colder weather. I decided that this just means I have a post to write. This is exactly what I tell my family and friends (which, to be honest, is never anything different than I write on this blog, it’s just all in one spot in this post).
Be sure to check out our post on HOW to keep kids warm all winter. As always, we welcome your tips and feedback too!
Right off the bat, I have to be very clear that this list is NOT exhaustive. And, as always, I am happy to hear YOUR suggestions on great gear you love too – please leave your thoughts in the comments. Also, none of these companies even know I am mentioning them here, so I am certainly not being paid by them to write this.
Finally, if you find this list helpful, we would LOVE a little love back from you. We put in countless hours on this blog (very happily) – it’s certainly a labor of love. Here’s what you can do:
- First of all, please tell your friends about us. We love seeing this community grow!
- Secondly, if you shop through any of our affiliate links, it doesn’t cost you a dime and helps us just a little bit. Below are some links to some of the most clicked-upon sites that we recommend shopping at:
- Finally, if you check out the top of our right side bar, you’ll see an opportunity to support our efforts monetarily. We appreciate every dollar! This is my “job-of-fun” and you can tell us you appreciate what we do here by supporting us that way. Thank you!
And, as a bit of a teaser, our HUGE annual event is coming up in December showing off our very favorites. It’s a great time to enter to win (you never know – it could be your lucky day!), spread the love and see what products WE love. More info on that coming soon….it’s been a work in progress for months now and we are so excited about it.
Because it makes the most sense to me, I’ll break down some of the gear we love into the categories below. Again, feel free to comment with questions and your own suggestions. That conversation is what helps us all! We are no experts – just telling you what we have used and loved personally.
While we don’t live in an area that gets a ton of rain, staying inside on a rainy day is not an option around here. Not if we all want to live to the end of the day anyway. So, rain gear is a must. It’s even better when we layer under it to help boost the comfort range a bit. It’s impossible to have different gear for every weather condition (or at least to afford it and store it), so we love to double up as best as we can!
Both of these suits can easily be layered under if you imagine them as a “shell”. Personally, if you are in a real serious winter area, I would want a specific snow suit too, but I know others that use them just with great layers underneath.
There are two main rain suits we love:
While you aren’t getting a bad deal on either one, our family tends to prefer the DucKsday because the hood has a better brim (and more coverage) and they’re just a little softer and more pliable for the kids. That said, we wear both and we love both. We think you should buy what you can afford and like the looks of. DucKsday have more patterns, Oakiwear is more solid colors. The Oakiwear Trail Suit (shown below) has been updated in the last year or so and we love it even more now.
For older kids that are too big for rain suits, we LOVE the rain pants from DucKsday and their jackets too. Options for everyone. J (age 6) brings the rain pants to school with him instead of traditional snow pants. They pack up easier, work for more conditions, and he just doesn’t need a ton of insulation when he’s running around during a 30 minute recess anyway. Photo below shows rain pants + 3-in-1 jacket (with removable fleece liner). Again, only available at Ollie and Stella.
As far as boots in rainy/wet conditions, we recommend the following:
- MyMayu (especially for younger walkers, traveling or looking for a lighter boot/shoe). Read our review here.
- MUCK (*also for snow because of the huge comfort range)
- We prefer Muck over Bogs just because they tend to keep this family’s feet warmer more consistently.
- Oakiwear Rain/Snow Boots (affiliate link) : Also for snow because of the huge comfort range)
SNOW GEAR (OUTER LAYERS):
By snow gear we mean the stuff that is meant to keep them warm in cold weather AND snow. This category seems to have many more options, but here’s a few of our favorites for this year:
- Snow Dragons Jackets & Pants
- The suits and jackets are a little more bulky, 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.
- DucKsday Snow Suits
- 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.
- Bergans of Norway Insulated Kids Coverall: This is a brand new item this year and so far we LOVE it. I wish I had a few more of them for my other kids. Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap (but SOOO great!)
- Offset zipper to avoid too many zippers in one spot while layering (though it does make it a bit harder for little hands/arms to zip themselves)
- Waterproof, windproof and breathable
- Adjustable and removable hood
- Stirrups to keep pant legs down that are strong and silicone (so won’t absorb moisture)
- Large center pocket (we tend to store P’s hat in there when he has a helmet on)
- Ample room for layering
- L.L. Bean Puffy Jackets
- We LOVE all three of the ones we reviewed and highly recommend them! Read our full review here.
- Patagonia Synchilla Hat (affiliate link):
- 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. Shown below along with the Stonz Mittz.
- Veyo Mittens
- New this past year. They are specifically geared towards younger kids that simply don’t need the thumb hole. However, even my 6 year old wears them and the kids can bike in them if needed. They are awesome for skiing especially. Note: they do get wet on the outside, but stay warm inside. The designs are super cute too.
- Stonz Mittz
- These come in thumbless styles for the younger kids AND ones with thumbs for the big kids. Our kids wear both of them, depending on their ages at the time. They are great because they are super easy to layer under, keep snow completely out, are warm and are waterproof. I heavily depend on these mittens to keep my kids’ hands warm. They have never failed.
- Wee Woollies for babies and kids aged up to 8.
- Our favorite wool base layers! They’re affordable (for wool) and very machine-washable. My kids have numerous sets of them and truly wear them year-round. They have sizes for babies up to 8 years. I truly think every single kid should own a pair of these. Their new colors this year are my favorites too.
- Patagonia base layers
- Definitely more expensive and not wool, but we have used them for all our kids and they have held up really well. Again, Patagonia runs HUGE for their kids’ stuff, so size down a size or two if you don’t want growing room.
- Wool socks!
- Sierra Trading post (affiliate link) has some great deals right now. We just stocked up! I always size down a bit for socks for the kids – they get annoyed with bulky socks so that works best for us. We recommend Point6, SmartWool and really anything you can afford. Wool is MUCH better than cotton ALL the time for cold weather. My kids wear wool socks daily because we are just outside enough each day that I don’t want them changing socks every few hours. So, getting them cheaper is always better!
- Ella’s Wool TUBES mid layers
- Thicker and meant to be worn as a mid layer, these are brand new and will be available in just a couple days. UPDATED for 2018/19: We can’t wait for them! USE CODE “Tales89” for 10% off using this link: http://ellasw.co/mountainmama
- CeLaVi Quilted Thermal Set – Available at Biddle & Bop
- These are a great layer to wear under rain suits and on top of base layers for colder days. They won’t necessarily keep kids warm for the super super cold days, but they do a pretty good job until about 35 degrees (F) or so. They can also be worn on their own on days when the temperatures are a little more mild and dry. They’re surprisingly durable with reinforced knees and backside. Best worn fitted. Consult Biddle & Bop for sizing info…
- Terramar Sports kids’ layers
- Synthetic, but very affordable and GREAT pieces for mid layers too. They have some lighter weight base layers, but we tend to stick with their heavier sets that we use on top of our Wee Woollies.
- Stonz Winter Boots
- The lightest weight boots we know of AND they keep kids’ feet warm. Our top pick for winter boots. Available in toddler size 5 – big kid size 6.
- Baby Bogs
- I am always surprised how warm these keep baby feet. I put a thick wool sock on and then these for walking. NOTE: I do not necessarily use them when Baby will be sitting for hours in a trailer skiing or something like that. I stick to Stonz Booties for that (see below)
- Stonz Booties
- For babies especially. A great overboot and easy way to layer up feet when kids aren’t planning to be walking. While Stonz really talks a lot about how the soft sole makes it easy for new walkers, my kids always tended to trip over them. It was hard to get the layers in them AND get them to walk on uneven terrain. But, they are GREAT for layering up on cold days for kids sitting. I do thick wool sock + fleece linerz + foot warmer + Booties.
- Kamik boots
- New this year: love the Boa system on the Backwood model. We haven’t had any Kamik boots that didn’t keep little feet warm!
Whew!!! I know that is a TON of information. I will update this post as we go along this winter. Happy to answer questions too!! Again, thank you so much for supporting us via affiliate links. They help tremendously!
Much of this gear was provided by the companies for testing and reviewing. However, as always, these opinions are strictly our own and exactly what we tell our family and friends!
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