Parents’ guide to dressing your kids
Some Dos and Don’ts
• Avoid cotton (underwear, socks, pants, and tops); It gets wet and your child gets cold.
• Layers are best: Kids can wear as much – or as little – as needed on a particular day and can add or subtract warmth during the day.
• Don’t overdress your child: An enthusiastic young skier can generate a lot of body heat and perspiration even on the coldest days. (This is why layers are important.)
• Know your child: And listen if they say they’re too hot or too cold. Your best guide to dressing your child for skiing is your experience when skiing with him/her.
A warm polar fleece/wool toque or balaclava that protects the ears is essential. A headband and earmuffs can be worn on warmer days. Many children, especially younger ones, also wear neck tubes (not scarves).
A good pair or two of gloves or mitts is essential. Hands are usually the first thing to get cold so it’s worth spending a bit more to buy quality mitts/gloves for your child. Many use shelled thinsulate or polar fleece liners with a water repellent/waterproof shell.
It’s a good idea to carry a spare pair of mitts or gloves on the trail to put on when the first pair gets wet. (And they will get wet!)
Young BRs and younger, slower JR should wear a full snowsuit as they don’t move fast enough to generate excess body heat. Leaders and parents should dress warmly as well.
Above that age slower children should continue to be warmly dressed. But as kids get more energetic and skilled, they need to dress so that excess heat and moisture can escape from the body. Layers are key as they can be removed or added .
The layer next to the skin should be a material such as polypropylene that keeps moisture and perspiration away from the skin and retains its insulating qualities when wet. Lifa, Patagonia Capilene, Sierra Designs are some of the many brand names you can buy. Whatever you do, avoid cotton!
Instead of insulated snowpants, light wind pants or rain pants over one or two thin layers of polypropylene or polar fleece will provide sufficient warmth and more freedom of movement and still repel the snow. On windy days it’s a good idea to bring snow pants along to use as a warm-up pant until class begins.
Polypropylene shirts covered by a polar fleece jacket, and on windy and/or very cold days a windbreaker or light insulated jacket, keep the upper body warm and dry while letting excess heat and moisture escape.
Avoid cotton socks: A wool blend with polypropylene or some other synthetic is ideal.
Boots need to fit properly: If your child has cold feet, he or she is not likely to enjoy skiing. Boots should have enough space to allow for warm non-cotton socks to be worn underneath. TIP: You should be able to fit a finger behind the heel with the boot loose, and the foot pushed to the front of the boot, when wearing ski socks.