As winter starts to hit the British shores, ski resorts around the world are beginning to open their doors and welcome in another year’s worth of holidaymakers.
Young snowboarders, first-time skiers and families on energetic and exciting trips will descend upon the likes of Tignes, St Anton, St Moritz and Verbier, looking for thrills, deep powder, challenging courses and – of course – après-ski nightlife.
If you’re planning on a family skiing trip, you will need to get the whole family kitted out for the sub-zero temperatures. This can be somewhat tricky – especially if you’re a first-time skier and don’t necessarily know what you need to be on the lookout for.
Arguably, children are the hardest to kit out for skiing, so we’ve put together some handy tips that will help you pick the best kid’s ski wear. We’ll be focusing on kids’ ski suits, as they are a fantastic all-in-one option for first-timer little ones right up to the mini pros. Plus, what’s there not to love about getting a whole outfit in one go, rather than picking out several pieces that have to match?
A kids’ ski suit can either be a jacket and pants combo or an all-in-one suit. You can choose to go with any of these options, as both will provide different protection in the snow. Before we look at the design of the ski suit and its range of benefits, let’s first look at what technical features your kid’s first ski jacket will need to have.
Skiwear is not like regular waterproof clothing. Ski jackets and pants are specially designed to withstand the most extreme weather conditions. On the slopes, temperatures can drop as low as -15°C on a mild day, so you need clothing that will not only keep you warm and dry, but also comfortable. The great thing about skiwear is that you can wear it both on and off the slopes, so if you think about the price in terms of ‘cost per wear’, the high price tag is a good investment that will present its rewards.
So, what do you need to look for when choosing a ski suit for kids? Here’s a shortlist of the desirable features that will ensure your skiwear will provide the best protection:
- A high rating for waterproof and breathability (usually measured in millimetres, for example: waterproof to 5,000mm)
- Insulation (detachable or fixed layer)
- Taped seams
- Adjustable hem and cuffs
- Vents (back or underarm)
- Removable/adjustable hood
- Ankle gaiters
- Reinforced knee padding
- Elasticated waist
- A variety of different zip pockets (internal and external)
- A snow skirt (removable or otherwise)
This list is by no means exhaustive and you won’t necessarily need to find gear that ticks the boxes for all of these features.
When picking your kid’s ski suit, you will have to factor in the price and estimate how often it will be worn. If this is your very first family ski trip and your children are learning, it wouldn’t be wise to choose a top-of-the-range ski suit that costs the Earth – your kids may grow out of it quickly, or they might not enjoy the sport (although the latter is unlikely as skiing is a fantastic pastime!).
If you’d like to learn more about the diverse features that make up a ski kit, check out our ski advice section, where you’ll find expert tips about anything ski-related.
Advantages over Separate Kit Pieces
There are many benefits to buying your children a ski suit rather than separate ski jacket and pants. The first, and most evident, is that when you buy the jacket and pants together you will have to find a pair that matches in style and features.
Secondly, a lot of skiwear brands – Trespass included – make ski suits and matching combos cheaper to purchase – especially when they go on sale.
All-in-one kids’ ski suits also have the added benefit that they have no break in the fabric to let snow get in. There’s nothing worse than falling in the snow and having a fresh tidal wave of freezing slush entering up your jacket and trickling up your back! A ski suit takes away this predicament, giving you the ultimate in comfort, convenience and protection.
Ski suits tend to be warmer than separate ski garments as well, since more body heat is trapped between the insulating layers and there is better circulation around the full body inside the suit. And, especially for children, they’re cute to boot! Suits also better shield your little ones against falls and impacts as the padding around the body maintains a uniform shape and is strengthened by the lack of edges.
Suits are therefore more windproof and waterproof than their individual counterparts. You can pick out one that’s a few sizes bigger than your child’s current size. Ski suits are flexible and will adhere to the wearer’s figure, leaving room for inner layers to be worn and total freedom of movement.
For more ideas and inspiration for your ski wardrobe this winter, check out our snowsports collection.