I often hear some parents say that kids don’t need the same quality as adults. I understand they don’t want to spend too much money on clothes kids outgrow, but I think our kids deserve to get well dressed for the seasons for both comfort and movement. Being dress for the weather is the first critical step to embracing the seasons.
Here are 10 tips to get kids dressed for the outdoors. What to invest in when you are looking for outerwear for kids this winter.
1) Thermal underwear or what grandma called Long Johns is your best weapon against the cold. Look for merino wool, synthetic fibers, or blends of both, but never… ever… cotton. We only have merino wool in our house as polypropylene has been kicked out. I am bugging my husband to write a story about his arctic trips and his experiences to show how wool is the best.
2) For you mid-layer you want to wear sweater and pants made of poly or wool fleece. In this layer wool isn’t mission critical, but it is hands down super toasty. (Notice, there is no mention of cotton.) The amount or need of the mid layer depends on how cold it is.
3) For your outer-layer look for snow pants and a jacket that is waterproof and windproof.
4) Don’t be fooled by big puffy jackets and pants as a one stop shopping solution. Just because it is puffy doesn’t mean it is warm. Especially if the fabric allows the insulation to get wet and your children turn into kidsicles. Big puffy snowsuits also make it hard for kids to move around which also makes them cold and bored.
5) Look for a hat that covers their ears. Am I sounding like a broken record if I say, WOOL.
6) Mittens are warmer than gloves, and it is easier to put on small hands. Look for waterproof mittens.
7) Look for boots that are waterproof and makes sure boots are big enough so they can wiggle their feet.
8) I’m convince every outdoor kid needs at least one pair of wool socks, for skating, skiing or just playing. (Safe to say that we start wearing our wool socks everyday starting in November until April)
9) Don’t believe claims by clothing manufacturers that an item is rated to a certain temperature. Treat it as a guide only, knowing that it is proper layering that keeps you warm.
10) When it comes to outdoor wear, you get what you pay for. We look at the cost as an investment to spending more time outside. If you spend $200 on a quality jacket and pants, for a 120 days of winter weather, that breaks down to $1.60 a day or a cheep cup of coffee. And remember that quality will last to the next sibling or you can sell or trade for the next season.
Read more here about layering and textiles :Dress code winter
You can go to many places and manufactures to fill this prescription to keep warm.
If you live in a warmer climate and are only going on a few trips to a winter destinations, read my answers in Go Explore Blog : Gearing up for snow play.