Whether they’re going shredding at Perisher, tobogganing at Mt Buller or having their first ski school lesson at Falls Creek, kids need to be protected from the biting chill with proper snow gear. It never hurts to look cool either, so we’ve gathered up some of the best looking, warmest snow gear around.
For surf in the summer and snow in the winter, Ripcurl has some killer patterns in its collections. The Betty Printed junior ski jacket ($149.99) comes in a print of vibrant tropical flowers on black. It’s waterproof, breathable and insulated, and the fit is long which makes it perfect for snowboarding or skiing. A ski jacket in a country with little snow is a big investment, so Ripcurl has devised the Grow Up system which opens up the lining so the jacket will fit for a couple of seasons.
Burton is probably the best known name in snowboarding gear. The Phase Snowboard Jacket ($179.95) is a mini version of the teenage sizing. Like the Ripcurl jacket, it’s waterproof, breathable and has a warm Thermacore insulation. Sleeve length can be increased easily so the jacket will last until next year. The Phase Jacket comes in Rasta, a colour blocked style in green, yellow, red and black.
The key to warm dressing is layers, and Kathmandu is an expert in thermal base layers. There are Merino long johns ($69.98), or quick drying polypropylene thermal pants ($19.98) in solid navy or stripes. They’re cute enough too that you need pack little else for lounging around at the lodge after a day on the slopes.
For super stylish base layers, look no further than Smalls. Makers of luxuriously soft Merino tops and bottoms, Smalls have adorable details like contrasting fluoro topstitching and bright drawstrings on the pants. There are singlets, raglans, long-sleeved tops and pants, or you can buy sets like the Skiwear Bundle ($179.75) for neck to ankle cosiness.
When kids are just playing in the snow, or heading from the car to the lodge for hot chocolates, Kathmandu’s colourful down jackets ($199.98) are the perfect outer layer. They’re lightweight and can be squashed down small for easy storing, and unlike the soggy down jackets of my childhood, these puffas have a water repellent finish. The jackets come in bright blue or raspberry, both with a contrasting zip and lining.
With the right snow gear and a great baby carrier, even babies can come cross country skiing. Patagonia makes adorable tiny jackets, vests and shells. The Baby Torrentshell Jacket ($99.95) in shocking pink and yellow is a breathable, waterproof shell with taped seams to protect babies when they’re doing important toddler work, like making snow angels.
We’ve got tops and base layers covered. For bottoms, pull-on trouser style ski pants are the quickest to get in and out of for things like loo breaks. Quicksilver State Youth Pants ($99.99) are brilliant. They have boot gaiters to keep snow out, waist adjusters so they grow with your child, and mesh lined venting that kids can unzip when they get too hot.
Jacket hoods don’t do much for warmth, so a good beanie is essential. The adorable, pom pom topped, Dot Now Beanie ($60) from Melbourne’s Otto and Spike is ethically knitted in East Brunswick from a soft lambswool and Angora blend. Bonus: there’s a matching scarf ($80).
We’re excited to discover that Sorel, the snow boots of choice for the fashi0n street style set, have kids’ sizes too. Our favourite is the Youth Caribou boot ($153) with its waterproof rubber toe, lace-up tan upper and removable felt inner boot.
While we’re talking accessories, don’t forget the socks and gloves. Ski socks, with their extra shin padding, will be more comfortable in ski boots and will keep tootsies toasty too. Our Babyology ski experts recommend mittens over gloves for little ones – they’re easier to put on and make it easier to grip the stocks, if your junior skier has progressed to poles. XTM has a brilliant collection of both, priced from $16.99, and small neck gaitors too which your kid will appreciate while riding a chairlift in the icy climes.
Now you’ve got your gear, you just need lift tickets, and the first snow of the season.