The best places to shop for kids’ winter gear online
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Winter calls for specialized apparel designed to keep kids warm and safe. If it looks great, too, then that’s just a bonus.
- We think the Columbia, REI, Amazon, and Nordstrom sell some of the best kids’ winter gear around, and we also like Home Depot’s selection of sleds.
There’s a reason so much small talk is centered on the weather. Weather affects everyone, directly impacting how we dress, where we go, in what activities we participate, and even how we’re feeling. In the wintertime, the weather is often cold and snowy, and when it’s cold and snowy, how can you go outside and have fun? By bundling up in proper attire and getting a sled or a pair of snowshoes, building a snowman or snowwoman with the kids, skiing, or snowboarding.
After all, winter weather need not put a damper on family fun. In fact, winter can be the most enjoyable season of the year provided you and the kids have the proper apparel and hardware to get outside and enjoy it. This year, make sure your kids have the best winter clothing, accessories, and toys by shopping from retailers who offer a great selection of high-quality cold weather clothing and gear. Like, say, the brands we’ve brought together in today’s guide.
We’re featuring everything from gloves and mittens, sleds and skis, to apparel that will keep little ones warm on the slopes and stylish in the city.
Being the father of two young children and a man who enjoys high alpine hiking as well as strolling down the streets, I have personally purchased gear and clothing from all of the retailers covered. I trust this stuff enough for my kids, but if that’s not good enough for you, I’ve also checked in with plenty of experts as well as with other moms and dads.
Here are the places to shop for kids’ winter gear:
- Best winter outerwear for kids: Columbia Sportswear
- Best ski gear for kids: REI
- Best sleds, saucers, tubes, and toboggans: Home Depot
- Best winter accessories for kids: Amazon
- Best stylish winter clothing for kids: Nordstrom
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best winter outerwear for kids
Why you’ll love it: Columbia Sportswear makes outerwear designed for use in the Arctic, so even though your kids won’t be playing in such extreme conditions, you can rest assured that they’re well covered.
I’ve worn Columbia gear at frigid mountain altitudes above 15,500 feet, in driving snow storms, in icy downpours, and while kayaking across open water on subzero days. Long story short, Columbia’s outerwear performs perfectly in winter conditions that are anything but hospitable to human beings. So when the weather turns bitterly cold and the snowfall starts, it’s Columbia clothing I trust to keep my kids warm and comfortable while they enjoy the outdoors during the winter.
Columbia’s winter apparel is designed with two primary directives: to keep the wearer warm, and to keep him or her dry. The company accomplishes the former with various types of insulation, layering, and with proprietary technologies like the Omni-Heat lining, which features thousands of small metallic dots that bounce radiated body heat back at you. As for keeping things dry, the company uses fabrics that shed water and are breathable enough to release the excess heat and moisture that have built up within a garment.
To (literally) keep babies warm from head to toe, Columbia’s Infant Meet Cute Fleece Bunting suit is an excellent choice. It has attached booties, a warm adjustable hood, and a fleece lined interior that’s soft, cozy, and plenty warm.
For toddlers who are up on their feet but still likely to topple over into the snow multiple times per outing, the Toddler Buga Set features snow pants and a winter coat made to the same exacting standards as Columbia’s legendary Bugaboo coat.
The garments are fully waterproof, feature multiple layers of insulation, and the pants have a reinforced knee and seat, adding strength to the fabric in spots where kids are prone to flop down. One mom called the Buga gear “wonderfully made” and “perfect for northern winters.”
And for your elementary aged kids, consider the Lightning Lift Jacket, a technical hooded jacket suitable for use on snowy slopes, during snow storms in the city, or while the kids help you shovel off the driveway and stoop.
With dozens of reviews posted, the Lightning Lift enjoys more than a 90% approval rating from moms and dads. One parent called it “very durable, functional, [and] ready to take on all kinds of weather conditions.”
Pros: Winter apparel made to exacting standards, options for all ages of child, broad catalog of outerwear options
Cons: Many options run small
The best ski gear for kids
Why you’ll love it: REI offers an expansive range of snow sport gear for kids, including snowboards and skis for downhill daredevils of all ages, sizes, and skill levels.
The earlier you get kids on a pair of skis or a snowboard, the more likely it is that they will develop a love for snow sports. Wait too long, and the self-preservation instinct that counsels a human against zipping downhill at breakneck speeds just might kick in. Kidding aside, most ski mountains permit kids ages three and older to hit the slopes with a guardian or an instructor, of course, and there’s no reason not to get your little guy or gal on skis or a snowboard at that young age. That is, as long as you equip your youngster with the best ski gear for kids.
REI offers all the basic kids’ ski and snowboarding hardware you’d expect, including skis and snowboards and boots, of course. In terms of skis, these range from broad, stumpy skis designed for beginners to long, slender skis suited to experienced downhill racers to cross country skis, such as the Madshus Snowpup Cross-Country Skis. And the same holds true for snowboards, with boards of varying length available.
But beyond the actual skis and snowboards, REI also offers all of the other gear required for safe, enjoyable downhill adventures, including poles, ski goggles, and the all important helmets, a must have for children who have an appetite for speed and little regard for safety.
Arguably just as excellent as the kids’ ski gear REI sells are the classes the co-op offers. They offer all sorts of opportunities for people of all ages to learn the basics of downhill skiing or boarding or for those who want to take their snow sport game to the next level.
Pros: Good variety skis, multiple options for safety gear, brand offers numerous how-to resources
Cons: Prices are often high
The best sleds, saucers, tubes, and toboggans
Why you’ll love it: If your kids can’t wait to head for the sledding hills after the first snow of the season, head to Home Depot before the flakes fall because the company has a stellar selection of downhill snow toys.
Back in the day, if you wanted to enjoy some downhill snow play, you had basically two options: the age-old wooden toboggan, or, as of the late 1800s, a sled with metal runners, the famed Flexible Flyer being the prime example. Soon, the snow saucer joined the lineup, and kids had yet another way to zoom downhill, and now with the added joys of zero control over their trajectory. Inflatable snow tubes and plastic snow sleds joined the fun later, followed by foam sleds, steerable sleds, ever more advanced downhill winter conveyances.
If you want to get just about any and every type of sled ever made, head to Home Depot. The company stocks everything from the Classic Wooden Toboggan beloved by Calvin and Hobbes (well, by Calvin, at any rate) to the Flexible Flyer runner sleds with classic red steel skids to all sorts of modern sled options.
The Home Depot offers pull sleds for toddlers not ready for downhill action as well as large and rugged plastic sleds suitable for use by multiple kids at the same time or by adults who know enjoying the snow isn’t relegated to childhood alone.
Home Depot carries multiple snow tubes, steerable sleds, snow saucers, and even the unique EMSCO ESP Series Wearable Body Sled, a three-part contraption that straps to the users hands and rear and allows for speed and control.
In short, if you can think of a type of sled you can’t get from Home Depot, you probably missed your calling as a professional sled designer. As for pricing, Home Depot is competitive with all other major retailers when it comes to the sled-buying marketplace. And as for the buying experience, most customers echo the sentiments of a Flexible Flyer buyer who said “the sled arrived very quickly [and] in perfect condition.”
Pros: Great selection of classic and modern sleds, competitive pricing, fast and reliable shipping
Cons: Many styles often out of inventory
The best winter accessories for kids
Why you’ll love it: If you can’t find your kid a good hat, scarf, or pair of gloves for sale from Amazon, then you have unrealistically high standards for what kids’ winter accessories should be.
For many types of purchase, I contend that it’s best to stick with dedicated experts. I trust Columbia Sportswear brand outerwear for my kids because I trust the gear myself. I know a dedicated outdoor company is going to have a better curated selection of skis and snowboards than a department store or big box retailer. And so forth.
But when it comes to those one-off purchases, I, like millions of other people, turn to Amazon. Why? Well, here are a few reasons. When you punch “kids winter hats” into the search bar, you get more than 40,000 results. “Kids winter gloves” brings in more than 10,000 hits. “Kids winter scarves” also gets 10,000 returns. And so on it goes.
From charming caps with little animal ears like the Sumolux Winter Kids Cat Beanie to seriously warm hats that protect little human ears, like the HZTG Winter Windproof Cap with Adjustable Face Cover, Amazon can help ensure you keep your kid’s head warm whatever the weather. And from baby mittens to big kid ski gloves, they have your kid’s hands covered and warm, too.
Worried your kid’s boots might not be warm enough for harsh winter days? No problem there, either: “Kids winter socks” gets more than 20,000 hits on Amazon. And of course you can count on low pricing no matter what kids’ winter accessory you’re searching for on this juggernaut retailer’s site.
Can it be overwhelming? Yes, yes it can. But if you go in with an idea of which accessories your kid needs, you’re sure to find products that fit.
Pros: Vast selection of winter accessories, great pricing, fast and affordable shipping
Cons: Occasional quality issues
The best stylish winter clothes for kids
Why you’ll love it: Nordstrom offers all sorts of stylish yet warm apparel guaranteed to keep kids looking and feeling great all winter long.
From playful Christmas sweaters featuring everything from Super Mario to Star Wars to dogs to bears or from stylish leather boots and fashionable faux fur-lined coats, if you want your kids to be dressed in seasonally appropriate style, Nordstrom is the place to shop.
This legacy retailer has earned its good name over the years by stocking high quality and stylish apparel, and their selection of items suited to a child’s winter wardrobe does not disappoint.
Nordstrom features dozens of types of winter coats for kids, including options from iconic brands like Burberry and trusted active wear companies like The North Face. The site offers warm clothes for babies, toddlers, and bigger kids alike. For those older kids, many Nordstrom’s apparel offerings are essentially the exact same garments as an adult would buy, albeit smaller. This allows for elegant dresses suitable for holiday gatherings or stylish suits ready for that Christmas card picture.
And of course Nordstrom offers plenty of options for that all-important type of winter apparel, the clothing you wear indoors on those icy days: pajamas. If you want the kids looking cute and feeling cuddly this winter, then don’t miss their extensive selection of boys’ and girls’ pajamas and robes, many of which feature holiday colors and themes, such as the Little Me Plaid Two-Piece Pajamas and Socks Set. Which I will be ordering for my own son at once.
Pros: Multiple designer brands represented, high quality items, great customer service
Cons: Most apparel is quite pricey
Check out our other winter gear buying guides
Few childhood experiences match the joys of playing in the snow. But that joy is predicated on your kid being warm and cozy thanks to proper winter attire and a great pair of snow boots.
Here are the best kids’ snow boots you can buy:
- Best kids’ snow boots overall: Columbia Powderbug Plus II Snow Boots
- Best stylish kids’ snow boots: Kamik Takodav Boots
- Best kids’ snow boots for extreme cold: Stonz Cold Weather Snow Boots
- Best affordable kids’ snow boots: Cat & Jack Bastien Winter Boots
- Best easy-on kids’ snow boots: Crocs LodgePoint Snow Boots
Kids love playing outside in the winter, but they also lose body heat rapidly in cold temperatures. A great kids’ winter jacket can preserve core warmth while enhancing your child’s style.
Here are the best kids’ winter coats you can buy:
- Best winter coat for kids overall: Columbia Whirlibird II Interchange Jacket
- Best winter coat for toddlers: The North Face Mossbud Swirl Reversible Jacket
- Best affordable winter coat for kids: Amazon Essentials Lightweight Packable Puffer
- Best kids winter coat for extreme cold: Patagonia Snowshot Jacket
- Best winter coat for babies: Tea Collection Sherpa Fleece Zip Hoodie
Your body loses a significant portion of its heat through your head, so keep yourself warm this winter with a great winter hat.
The winter hat makers we’re featuring today offer hats in myriad styles, so once you’ve narrowed down the type of winter cap you need, you should be able to find several fine options from each brand.
Here are the best places to buy winter hats:
- Best winter hats overall: Columbia Sportswear
- Best winter hats for kids: The North Face
- Best stylish winter hats: J. Crew
- Best winter hats for sports fans: New Era at Macy’s
- Best low-cost winter hats: Amazon
Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves, so if it’s cold where you live, work, or play, slip a pair on and keep the chill out.
Yes, you will lose a measure of dexterity when choosing mittens versus gloves. But you won’t risk losing a finger to frostbite, or simple suffering from frigid digits, to be a bit less dramatic. Today we’ve lined up some of the best mittens on the market, including mittens for babies, kids, adults, and some specialty pairs, too.
Here are the best mittens you can buy:
- Best mittens overall: Marmot Expedition Mitts
- Best mittens for women: Columbia Whirlibird Mitten
- Best mittens for men: REI Co-Op Gauntlet GTX Mittens
- Best mittens for babies: Stonz Infant/Baby Mittz
- Best mittens for kids: N’Ice Caps Kids Thinsulate Waterproof Reflector Mittens
- Best mittens for parents: 7 A.M. Enfant Polar Warmmuffs Stroller Hand Muffs
- Best convertible mittens: Hot Headz Polarex Glommitts Gloves
Make the most of that winter wonderland this year by keeping yourself warm and dry with well-made snow pants when you’re skiing, sledding, or generally romping about in the snow.
Here are the best snow pants you can buy:
- Best snow pants overall: Arctix Insulated Snow Pant for menand women
- Best snow pants for women: Patagonia Snowbelle Stretch Pants
- Best snow pants for kids: REI Co-Op Timber Mountain Pants
- Best snow pants for active wear: Columbia Ridge to Run II Pant
- Best snow pants for skiing: Trailside Supply Co. Insulated Ski/Snowboard Pant
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