Layering Kids for All-Day Skiing

As winter quickly approaches, it is time to gear up for some epic days on the slopes of your favorite ski resorts with your family. The key to making each day on the mountain as memorable as the last is to be safe, have fun, and dress accordingly.

Dressing your kids in layers allows you to adjust their temperature based upon activity level as conditions change. It can get really cold out there (brrrr!), so be prepared with these great tips on how to layer underneath your kids ski jacket and pants this winter.

First Layer

Moisture-wicking baselayers are essential to keep your child's core warm and dry.

Moisture-wicking baselayers are essential to keep your child’s core warm and dry. A warm and dry child is a happy child!

First things first – start out by dressing your kids in a first layer top and bottom more commonly known as long underwear or baselayers.  You will want to choose baselayers that are lightweight and breathable with quick-drying moisture-wicking fabric.

As this layer is the closest to body, it’s extremely important to aim for a next-to-skin fit that is stretchy yet comfortable. The purpose of this layer is to pull moisture away from the body in order to stay dry and for evaporation (which causes the air temperature to drop) to happen away from the skin.

This layer should be fairly lightweight and made of wool, polyester or polypropylene.

Socks

The next layer is socks. Regular old gym socks are not going to cut it on the mountain and your little one is going to be left with frosty cold toes! Do your kids a favor by investing in at least one good pair of winter ski or snowboard socks.

Unlike a gym sock, ski socks by brands such as Smartwool and Hot Chillys are engineered with specific support and warmth features to keep feet comfortable and warm inside ski and snowboard boots. Choose a sock that is a blend of materials such as merino wool and nylon that goes over the calf and reaches above the top of the boot.

Fit is also very important as you want a perfect fit, not a sock that is too big or small. A stay-up cuff will ensure that the socks do not slouch down into the boot. One pair of socks is enough! – do not double up or they may bunch up and prohibit the feet to breathe, leading to sweating and a very uncomfortable ride down the mountain.

Fleece layers are a great insulating layer for those super cold days on the mountain!

Fleece layers are a great insulating layer for those super cold days on the mountain!

Mid Layer

For colder days on the mountain, you will want to also put your kids in a mid-layer or fleece layer over or in lieu of their baselayer.

We suggest a baselayer and lighter-weight mid-layer on top and a baselayer on bottom for warmer days on the mountain.

On days below 35 degrees, dress them in a baselayer and heavier-weight fleece layer on top and a fleece layer on bottom.

Both a baselayer and a fleece layer on bottom are OK for those extremely cold days (single digits or below); just make sure they fit properly underneath ski pants.

Last Layer

Once your child is all layered up, make sure to choose a good quality warm ski jacket and pair of snow pants to wear over their layers. Don’t forget accessories such as mittens, a neck warmer, goggles, helmet and hat or liner to wear underneath the helmet. Hand and toe warmers can also be a lifesaver on really cold days!

If you considerably follow the three-layered ski clothing system – baselayer (and socks!), insulating layer and outer layer, your child will stay warm all day long on the slopes and the whole family will have an amazing day of skiing!

Originally from Massachusetts, Lora came out to coLORAdo for college and decided she had found her permanent home (who can blame her since her name is in the state name)! She loves the outdoors and exploring all it has to offer by way of her favorite activities which include snowboarding, ATVing, hiking, and camping. Recently married, Lora lives with her husband and 2 dogs and hopes to expand her happy little family in the near future.

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