• Women skiers, this is the place for you -- an online community without the male-orientation you'll find in conventional ski magazines and internet ski forums. At TheSkiDiva.com, you can connect with other women to talk about skiing in a way that you can relate to, about things that you find of interest. Be sure to join our community to participate (women only, please!). Registration is fast and simple. Just be sure to add webmaster@theskidiva.com to your address book so your registration activation emails won't be routed as spam. And please give careful consideration to your user name -- it will not be changed once your registration is confirmed.

Dressing kids for cold(er) weather

lljc00

Certified Ski Diva
#1
We are going to Homewood in Tahoe next week, and the forecast for the day my son has lessons (beginner hopefully intermediate soon) is 35. (And that's an improvement, as I originally had him for a day forecasted to be a high of 27, but I was able to switch days). I know that's nothing for most of you, but for us from the SF bay area, where my 7 year old son refuses to wear long pants on a regular day, this could be turn south quickly.

Advice for dressing to stay warm?
- I have those hand warmer packs, but haven't used them in forever. Will those work well in his mittens/boots, or will then end up making him sweaty and thus cold? Will they do any good inside coat/pants inside pockets or do they need to be closer to the skin?
- Two base layers? Two fleece layers? An extra layer of vest so it's not as constricting?
- I have a thin baklava that I think he'll be ok with since I told him it's a ninja mask. I also have a neoprene mouth mask, but he's said he thought it was "weird" and I dont think I'll be able to convince him to wear it.

Thanks!
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
I don't think I would bother with any chemical warmers unless he complains once he has been out for an hour or two. You can usually buy them on site if needed. Good mittens, wool socks, and proper outer layers are the most important. Promise hot cocoa warm ups. Too many layers can be restricting. (Remember that kid in Christmas Story?) You will want to pack two base layers in any case, good to have spare on hand. If needed, you can layer them, but I'm guessing you won't. If he refuses long pants on a regular day, he might run a bit warm anyhow, and one more reason to start without any extras. And no to two fleece layers- they'd stick to each other and be too frustrating to put on. If you think you might layer I would go with a slicker base layer and a fleece over it.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
My daughter learned to ski in northern VA. Rarely colder than high 20s during the day. She turned out not to need extra layers. In fact, the problem on her first day of ski school at age 4 was that I overdressed her. After I made adjustments and told her she didn't have to keep her jacket zipped, she had a ball. I tried to get her to wear a vest but she wasn't interested. At least, not until she was a teen. ;-)

Is he doing full-day ski school? Always good to have a spare pair of mittens/gloves in case the first pair gets damp by lunch time. Perhaps emphasize the fact that he needs to keep the mittens on, even if he feels warm.
 

lljc00

Certified Ski Diva
#4
He'll be in a full day lesson. I'm a little worried because a few years ago when he was probably 4 or 5, we did a full day lesson in a snowstorm, and he wouldn't go out for the second half (and did you know, that even though you are paying about $40/hr for the time, you don't get babysitting with that?!? :mad2: - so I had to go pick him up and that ended everyone's day)

Good tip on the extra mittens. I have two (or more) of everything because the first day there becomes a snow play day and everything gets drenched. I'll have to make sure two sets are dry before the day begins.

Even though 35 doesn't sound that cold, for us who rarely sees below 40 and are thin skinned, I think it's cold. I think I took my daughter last year where one of the days was probably a high of 28, and she only managed maybe 3 hours cumulative (and probably not that). And she's the one who's a trooper with skiing because she loves it!

I guess I need to be prepared with bribe $ this time. Candy has been losing some of its effectiveness lately.
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
We do baselayer pants and wool socks under ski pants in that temps. On top, baselayer top, zip neck fleece and ski jacket. Mittens and balaclava (we also call it a ninja mask, and its a must for any sort of wind!).
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
I guess I need to be prepared with bribe $ this time. Candy has been losing some of its effectiveness lately.
Sounds like your son is starting the tween phase a little early. :smile:

Hopefully the class will move around more than the previous lesson. It can be cold just standing around waiting for the instructor to pick up another kid who has fallen, which is going to happen with a beginner class for 4-5 year olds.
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
Same here too. But my son just hates ski jacket. Naughty boy.
My 2.5yo daughter absolutely hated her ski coat, which was a shame because it had a ton of nice features and I got it on sale for like 15 bucks. The material was really thick and stiff though and the coat was heavy, so finally I gave in and bought a Columbia one that was lighter weight and softer and she wears it without an issue. Is your son's jacket very stiff?
 

MilkyWookiee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
I like vests a lot because it's less constricting, and a good bonus for kids is they don't tend to out grow them quite as quickly because there's no concern of sleeves being too short. If he doesn't like wearing long pants he'll probably hate bulky sleeves anyway!
You said he was 4 or 5 a few years ago so I'm assuming 7 or 8 ish now? I think that's old enough that he can adjust layers if he's too hot/cold. Just tell him to let the instructors know, or to add/remove a layer at lunch time.
My formula is usually skin tight base layer, mid layer (sweater or vest usually), and then my coat. Works the same on the bottom, but sometimes I'll skip an inner layer for comfort (my mid layer pants don't fit if I eat too much cheese).
I would also say it's not a bad idea to send him with mittens and gloves. If one wets out he has the other, but mittens are warmer because your fingers get to cuddle. That way if he's warm he can put gloves on instead of throwing his mittens in the snow which boys seem to LOVE to do!
 

Littlesonique

Certified Ski Diva
#10
It's so hard to dress kids. I think we tend to overdress them and make them overheat, My youngest always came back with extra rosy cheeks from being to bundled. I now put him in a base layer on top, with a 1/4 zip over that and his jacket. For his legs, just the base layer , wool ski socks and his bibs. The biggest issue I have found with my kid still and he's now 10 is his hands get soaked, so I have liners and mittens. Also a gaiter so he can pull it down if he gets too hot.
 

catherinajoe

Diva in Training
#11
My 2.5yo daughter absolutely hated her ski coat, which was a shame because it had a ton of nice features and I got it on sale for like 15 bucks. The material was really thick and stiff though and the coat was heavy, so finally I gave in and bought a Columbia one that was lighter weight and softer and she wears it without an issue. Is your son's jacket very stiff?
Ah yes, it is very stiff and thick. I'm probably considering getting a lighter weight one for him. Maybe he'll fall in love with it.
 

Cyprissa

Certified Ski Diva
#12
We ski in temps around 25-35 usually and I do a base layer of synthetic wicking long underwear, then on top a mid layer of either a 1/4 zip fleece or a lighter athletic 1/4 zip if it’s warmer and then jacket and bibs. My kids do gaiters and beanies instead of balaclavas because they like the flexibility to put them up or down. My youngest runs warm so he never wears his beanie and keeps his gaiter in his pocket but not on. We also do mittens and liners and my oldest has very cold hands so he gets warmers in his pocket that he can open as needed.

I always stuff their pockets with chapstick and 2 small chocolates to keep them going.
 

Mistletoes

Certified Ski Diva
#13
My kids wear a tight fitting base (UA 2.0) top and bottom, a synthetic shirt, athletic pants or fleece leggings and snow pants and snow jacket. They only use their balaclava's when the temps are in the mid 20s or below. Wool ski socks are a must (should be tight/for fitting too). Mittens for my daughter and gloves for my son. If you're using hand/toe warmers, you may want to put them on the top of the toes since that's the most vascular area. Same with hands - this may not be necessary if it's in the mid 30s though.
 

MouseInLux

Diva in Training
#14
In those temps my kids ski in a synthetic base layer and wool socks, bibs and a jacket. They have thin buffs and their helmets. Obvutheyvwear gloves. If it gets colder (thing teens) they get a fleece on top of their base layer. They’ve never come back cold from a day skiing BUT they didn’t do beginner lesson in a group. Their first year skiing they took private lessons to avoid the standing around while kids were out back up. This holiday they even stripped on their bottom half of their base layer for a few days when it was “warmer”.
 

alr

Certified Ski Diva
#15
We are going to Homewood in Tahoe next week, and the forecast for the day my son has lessons (beginner hopefully intermediate soon) is 35. (And that's an improvement, as I originally had him for a day forecasted to be a high of 27, but I was able to switch days). I know that's nothing for most of you, but for us from the SF bay area, where my 7 year old son refuses to wear long pants on a regular day, this could be turn south quickly.

Advice for dressing to stay warm?
- I have those hand warmer packs, but haven't used them in forever. Will those work well in his mittens/boots, or will then end up making him sweaty and thus cold? Will they do any good inside coat/pants inside pockets or do they need to be closer to the skin?
- Two base layers? Two fleece layers? An extra layer of vest so it's not as constricting?
- I have a thin baklava that I think he'll be ok with since I told him it's a ninja mask. I also have a neoprene mouth mask, but he's said he thought it was "weird" and I dont think I'll be able to convince him to wear it.

Thanks!
Well, my son has adapted to Boston from his birthplace of Seattle. this is how I dress my kid in New England which is much colder- thin base layer, insulated ski pants, a thin merino wool sweater, insulated ski coat, wool neck warmer (not balaclava), ski helmet with goggles, and mittens, wool socks. I put chemical hand warmers in his mittens when temps were like single digits at one lesson and he told me they were too hot and I took them out and put them in his pockets, so really didn't need them. So for above freezing temps, I really don't think your son will need them assuming he isn't in shorts and no mittens. I think if he is in a normal ski outfit (ski pant/bibs plus insulated coat) then he won't need much else at this temperature.
 

lljc00

Certified Ski Diva
#16
We were at squaw today and temps were low to mid 20s. We did base, fleece, then pants/jacket. The part that got coldest was the hands. We had chemical warmers but my kids absolutely refused to even try them. Ultimately my daughter conceded on the hand warmers for her hands (but not my son). Hopefully she'll be able to put some sense in him tomorrow. We made it from close to 10-2, but had probably close to 2 hrs of break in there. Oh well. Maybe we'll just have to be spring skiers
 

SkiBabyMD

Diva in Training
#17
Great suggestions above already. Our family are Tahoe skiers and when it's 20-30s we do the following from head to toe for our 10-11 yo DS/DDs.

- Helmet
- Neck gator that can cover mouth if needed
- Base layer top, synthetic top, ski jacket. chemical hand warmers in the inside jacket pocket (probably overkill).
- gloves and an extra pair for after lunch. chemical hand warmers.
- base layer bottom, ski pants
- wool socks, boots.

Also, sun screen, even when cloudy.
 

AusinCanada

Diva in Training
#18
For my snowboarding 8yo (I.e. different style than skiers) we do
  • Base layer - long top and long johns - In colder temps (below -11C) we do fleece base and -10 to -5 thinner synthetic/capilene. He is fixated on Burton so we cannot buy merino but I would if he would wear it
  • Dri-fit hoodie (wicking, synthetic)
  • Snowmpants
  • Jacket
  • Double layer thick buff pulled up under anon snowboard helmet
  • Mitts - he won’t use warmers
  • Snowboard socks, some are merino

Daughter (10yo skier) wears basically the same except she has merino base layers bought very inexpensively from Mounatin Warehouse (UK company with stores in Canada). Cannot day enough about the value of this brand for base. Her mid layer is a synthetic half zip from MEC but she often prefers a hoodie too (looks cooler at lunch). She had a Spyder jacket (bought used) that was extremely warm - a 3 in 1 system but the shell was also insulated so often went without the mid layer and just did the base!
 

AusinCanada

Diva in Training
#20
I discovered Mountain Warehouse last fall. Love their stuff. And the prices for kids stuff is soooo good.
The base layers are great. I don’t particularly like the quality of the jackets and pants for the kids...that said my husband has been skiing daily with their highest end pants for the last 4 seasons! I think they cost $80. We have both had their inexpensive merino base layers. Not as good as MEC (whi have just improved theirs this season) but I think the long Johns cost around $30.
 

Staff online