Best Winter Gear for Kids for 2020
Every year I like to pull together a round-up of the gear we are using and our thoughts on it. Winter gear for kids is so tough sometimes – it really is essential to have quality gear for happy kids and happy adventures.
This post will be updated throughout the winter of 20-21 as we continue to test new gear this winter, so check back often!
Don’t miss these winter gear for kids coupon codes!
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- Shred Dog Gear: Use code “TMM25” for 25% off
- WeeDo Fun Snowsuits: GO HERE and use code “mtnmama” for 15% off
- Iksplor base layers: “mtnmama20” for 20% off
- Reima gear: “mtnmama” for 20% off
- Ella’s Wool: “Tales89” for 10% off
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Want ideas on how to get your family out ALL winter…and then all year long?!? Don’t miss our Outdoor Family Adventure Guide!
Base layers really are SO important for warmth from the inside out. We’re big fans of wool thanks to their cooling/heating properties which make them ideal for year-round use.
We consider them a staple when we are highlighting the best winter gear for kids….because warmth starts from the inside OUT.
But, I also included our favorite poly-pro too (which are awesome when it’s super cold out!)
>>>Use code “mtnmama20” for 20% off!<<<
This brand is a local one to us here in Jackson, WY and we LOVE them. They are just barely thicker than Wee Woollies and are thinner than Ella’s Wool, but also seem to hold up longer without holes in our testing. Our kids wear them nearly daily year-round for pajamas and base layers and they show no wear.
They are very soft, are easy wash and dry and fit great! I would say the fit is similar to Wee Woollies – on a slim side.
I also love that the baby sizes have hand covers that fold off the sleeves. Brilliant for maximized warmth for baby.
Available in baby sizes 0-24 months and kids aged 2-6 (bigger sizes up to 12 are coming!)
They also have neck gaiters and beanies available for kids and adults. Of all the wool beanies we have tried, these are my favorites. They stay on well, keep heads warm and fit under helmets.
These are a lighter weight wool, but ideal for most conditions and super soft on the skin. Our kids wear them for base layers and pajamas too. In fact, sometimes we will go days before I realize they haven’t changed them – whoops!
Oh and they can be thrown in the washer AND dryer with no issues – laundry queen score!
Ella’s Wool base layers are slightly thicker than Wee Woollies, and incredibly soft. I especially love their baby hat – perfect for a tighter fit that won’t pop off. Available for kids aged 3 mo – 12 years.
They also wash very well and are more durable than Wee Woollies for long-term wear.
Use code “Tales89” for 10% off when shopping on their site.
These are Poly-pro and awesome. They dry much quicker than wool (really almost instantly) and are soft too (though admittedly not as soft as the wool). I think they are slightly warmer too. See our full review here.
Waldo Thermal underwear are a lightweight base layer. Specially designed with no seams, they are comfy and do not cause rubbing or chaffing with movement. They are moisture wicking and quick drying so you can get back to play quickly.
Don’t skimp on socks! They can seriously mean the difference between feet staying warm and frostbite. If temperatures are cold, your kids (and babies!) NEED wool socks.
>>For everything Reima use code “mtnmama” for 20% off!<<
We used these ski socks all winter long last year and will be using them again this year. Available in little kids sizes 6 – adult sizes, they are comfortable, warm and keep their shape. They’re perfect for downhill skiing and sledding days too.
I love these socks for myself and think they are perfect for kids too. And the XS fits a preschooler (about a size toddler 6+). They hold up very very well and come with a lifetime guarantee! Available at Biddle & Bop and REI.
Darn Tough makes incredible durable socks and their kids line is no exception. We love the fun designs and their guarantee!
I love these for the little ones especially and prefer them over infant Smartwool socks. They stay on, are lightweight enough for all-winter wear and wash well. Available at Biddle & Bop.
Mid layers are the part of the layering that really can be “fudged” more than any other layer. Fleece or down is best, but it doesn’t need to be top of the line to be effective. That said, here are our favorite mid layers.
Of all the fleece jackets that have come through our home, this is hands-down the most bang for your buck. The inside is a high pile super soft fleece and the outside blocks the wind. My 10 year old has the jacket and literally wears it every day almost all day.
It’s also available in a full suit Villervalla full suit version for younger kids and is super warm and perfect for cold, dry days or as a thick mid layer. Sizing is generous.
Available in sizes 4-16, the interior of the jacket is grid fleece which helps with warmth and wicking. The outer part of the jacket is a smooth jersey which makes it easier for layering too.
We love the zippered pockets for stashing snacks and extra gloves.
Our favorite wool pants for layering. The kids usually wear them over Wee Woollies on super cold days. They roll up easily and are super soft and comfortable! I just wish they came in bigger than a size 8 kids! Again use code “Tales89” for 10% off!
This jacket is really available for all sizes from infant to adult and is the perfect mid-layer when you just need a little extra boost of warmth.
I also love it because kids can wear it safely in car seats thanks to a low-loft design that still keeps them warm.
Good jackets keep the wind and moisture at bay, breathe well and let kids move freely.
We love the Shred Dog shell – it’s completely waterproof, is soft and pliable, has great pockets and THE best hood out there for fitting over helmets. The colors for 2020 are amazing.
Check out their insulator that works as a system with the shell (orange jacket in the middle below).
I continually am so impressed with Obermeyer, especially as a ski brand.
Their jackets are warm, have an “I-grow” feature to extend the wearability as your child grows and lots of ski extras like mitten clips built into the cuffs.
They’re durable too and come in bright colors to help your kids stand out on the ski slopes (all the better to find them!) I truly recommend any of their ski jackets.
This is a new jacket to the snow scene – the company is based out of New Zealand (but you can buy them via Amazon in the states). They’re fantastic for keeping kids warm and dry. We love that it is not super puffy or stiff and allows for great movement for kids. It’s also fully fleece-lined for soft comfort!
This down jacket really and truly is an all-mountain jacket. Kids (including our kids) wear them to school, on the ski hill, for XC skiing, around town and playing outside. We got our son one a little big and he’s still wearing it FOUR years later.
It fits well, has a great hood and keeps kids warm. I am actually planning to get myself one this year too.
It’s down so requires a bit more care, but can always be fixed with Noso patches too….
REIMA Ski Pants
>>For everything Reima use code “mtnmama” for 20% off!<<
Reima Ski Pants are 100% waterproof, reinforced and hold up to lots of hard play. I love that they come in bright designs and colors, have removable suspenders and have lots of adjustments to get the right size. See styles for more fitted or wider leg styles.
Shred Dog’s bibs are super unique because of a couple things:
- Their Adjust-a-Fit allows to lengthen AND shorten for the best fit for all kids in your family as they get passed down (or grown into)
- They are the only pants with a fully removable full bib.
Available for kids sizes 4-16, we love these bibs and find them of incredible high quality for the price. You can see our full review of them here.
Of all the bibs that have come through our home, the Novus Bibs have been the most durable for really hard daily play.
The price tag reflects that, but since they are bibs, they fit for quite a few years. They also are not bulky, but have wide legs so easily go over other layers and make it easy for kids to move as they ski and play.
Available in kid sizes 5-11 (and also adult sizes!) Our boys have worn these for three seasons now.
We have had a pair of Obermeyer pants for a couple years now and they show no wear at all. They are super durable, fit over ski boots very well and are warm without being bulky. Adjustable straps and waist for a great fit.
They include Obermeyer’s “I grow” system which gives you an additional 2″ on the length when needed. Only downside is they do not have shoulder strap releases, which would make bathroom breaks easier.
These are a great affordable basic bib that allows for growth by adjusting the seams (using their “Outgrown Grow System”) and the straps. They are slim, durable and can easily be passed down to a few kids. They have reinforced knees, cuffs and seat.
Only downside? The shoulder straps don’t release which means for outdoor potty breaks, a lot more layers have to come off.
These are wind and waterproof and, like the Therm jacket (see above), allow for great movement and dry kids. The bibs are removable both by a zip in the back and a front release on the straps.
My 6 year old can convert them easily and likes wearing them because they are easy on and off since the legs are wide enough to allow good layers. We love these, especially since they are so affordable.
Snow/Rain Full Suits
If you want your kid to stand out on the ski hill, these are what you want! Not only are they creative and cute, but they are also solid as far as construction and details. For the first time, they are now available for purchase in the US.
These are also the only snowsuits for kids we know of that has a zipper at the waistline to make potty breaks super easy. GAME-CHANGER!
Available in size 18 months – 10 years.
Features we love about WeeDo:
- helmet compatible hood with special grips to keep the hood on over the helmet
- hem lift system so they don’t drag
- 100% recycled insulation
- Snow skirts
- Toilet system for easy potty breaks!
Also don’t miss their matching mittens which are also super warm and durable.
>>For everything Reima use code “mtnmama” for 20% off!<<
Reima is another brand nailing the insulated, fully waterproof suits. I was so shocked when testing this one (and really all Reima gear) that they were staying warm in super wet, cold and slushy conditions.
Also check out the Aapua for babies and toddlers, made with responsible down feathers.
As far as shell suits go, this is our favorite hands-down. It is just thick enough to allow for a bit of warmth, is extremely well made, has a great hood, works for layering under if needed but also has a cinched waist for easy movement.
It’s not super packable (for like backpacking) but our go-to for everything else.
We love this snowsuit from Biddle and Bop! Firstly, it is effective at keeping kids warm: I have put our three-year old in this over merino wool and mid-layers for longer stints outdoors and have also just thrown it on over his pajamas for a shorter romp in the snow. In both cases he was perfectly comfortable in sub-freezing temperatures.
Unlike some other one-piece suits we’ve tried, this one is able to accomplish warmth without creating the “Michelin-man effect,” allowing my son to have freedom of movement and be able to hike and play unrestricted.
You can tell this suit was created thoughtfully, with little details like a soft-lined collar, lift-card pocket, and replaceable foot straps (they even include some replacement straps since that is sure to be the quickest place for wear and tear!).
This super high-loft bunting is perfect for kids that need warmth when you don’t need to worry about them staying dry (it’s not super water proof, though water resistant).
It’s fleece lined and has fold over hand and foot cuffs. In fact, the arms are a little on the long side to allow for tucking those hands in! My only gripe is the zipper doesn’t go all the way down a leg so getting them in is a little harder….
We had a different version of this for J 8 years ago, and this one is even better. The hood stays on well, but allows for baby movement and it’s completely fleece-lined on the head and torso for happy babies! Plus, I love that it zips completely down a leg for easy in and out.
Also check out their Infant Powder Lite Reversible bunting if you prefer it to be a little less bulky and not fleece-lined.
The Oaki one-piece snowsuit is perfect for kids who like to go all in when it comes to playing in the snow. The one-piece, waterproof design means you don’t have to worry a lot snow and wet sneaking into gaps.
It’s super easy to get on, so you can get outside with minimal fuss.
Best Winter Boots/Shoes for Kids
The Reima Orm winter boots are my favorite boots for snowshoeing, winter hiking and winter play. They have great grip, are warm, and are easy to move in.
For neoprene boots, I have come to trust Muck first and foremost. The Hale is a favorite for year-round play with a comfort rating from sub-zero up to 65 degrees F (4 mm neoprene).
But for my son with bigger heels, the Rugged II is a much easier on and off boot and is a bit warmer (5 mm neoprene – comfort rated -20 – 50 degrees F). We also have found it has slightly better traction.
Bogs has really upped their boot game in the last couple years and we are very impressed. Quite honestly I always used to direct people elsewhere in general for neoprene boots. No longer!
The Neo-Classics are now 30% lighter (yes, we’ve noticed!), are warmer and have better traction.
While there are a ton of fantastic boots for kids out there, we have had the best luck with Stonz Trek Winter bootz (for sizes toddler 10 – Youth 6). They are super lightweight and incredibly warm (comfort tested by the company to -58 degrees F, by us to -25 degrees F). Only downfall is that after about 3 seasons, the soles are slightly worn down and don’t have as good of traction. That said, the kids have never complained about them.
Note: Stonz also carries the “Scout” boot for smaller kids. It is a good boot, but the opening allows snow in more than I like and my daughters tend to slip in them more than the boys do in the Trek.
Lone Cone is a one-woman-show and has great affordable gear for families. Check out our full review here!
For new walkers, I have found the Baby Bogs to be the warmest (I always use a thick wool sock with them) and easiest to put on and walk in.
Need more traction? We recommend the Bogs B-Moc.
For everything but super deep snow, the Qing is a great winter shoe. It is easy to put on for younger children and easy to adjust. It’s another great option for snowshoeing. Available starting in a size 4.5 toddler up to a size 11 kids.
Best Winter Mittens and Gloves for Kids
>>For everything Reima use code “mtnmama” for 20% off!<<
These are our current favorite mittens for kids. They are 100% waterproof, warm and stay on. Available for kids aged 1-10.
They also have gloves that we are testing this winter for the older kids who prefer gloves for dexterity over mittens.
Our entire family is huge fans of these 4-Season leather gloves (and mittens coming soon!) The XS size fits our 9 year old and they keep him very warm and dry. NOTE: They’re leather so they do need some working in to make them perfect.
Initials are burned into them to make sorting out the entire family’s pairs easy!
Mtn Papa has been fans of Kinco for years and years now for himself, but this year we are getting to try out their kid’s collection. The gloves/mittens range from lightweight work gloves to fully insulated mittens.
J says these ones are the warmest he owns (though the leather does get stiff in the cold/wet). They are great for skiing, working or just playing. Our boys love these for shoveling the driveway. Plus, they’re cheap and you’re not heartbroken if they get lost!
Warm, keep the snow out and are perfect for layering under on really cold days. Every kid in our family has multiple pairs and we depend on them for keeping their hands warm.
The infant mittz are thumb-less and good, though I do wish they were a little more supple for small hands and stuffing them in snowsuits 😉
Our top pick for toddlers. They are thumbless, but with a shape that allows for hand movement. We also love that they are soft on the outside which makes them more pliable in the cold too! Plus, the designs are super cute!
We choose Hestra especially for our bigger kids that start really needing gloves for skiing. They keep hands warm, stand up to a ton of winter abuse and let kids move. We have used and loved both the Heli Ski Jr and the All Mountain C-Zone.
What are your kids wearing this winter? Questions about how to keep warm? Feel free to leave us comments!
The Best Winter Gear for Kids to Stay Warm in 2020
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