Cold Weather Wear for Kids
My kids might not look quite like Randy when we head up the mountain, but some days, it's pretty close.
Since we're not exactly building snowmen in the yard, 3 feet from warmth and hot chocolate, I've had to be fairly inventive about layering them to survive a 3-hour snowmobile trip up the mountain.
Last week's weather was a balmy 29 degrees - a heat wave compared to the 0 on New Year's Day - but I layered just the same, because around here you just never know.
Layer #1:Mama's dress socks. Seriously. They look like they're wearing thigh high stockings, and that's exactly the layer I'm looking for. Pantyhose/nylons are a great first layer.
Sweats. Sure, I could go out and spend $30 on long johns that will fit them for one season, but it's SO much easier to use their sweats, and they get the same warmth factor.
Sweats. Nope, not a duplication. I put one thin pair of sweats on and follow them with a thick pair. I think sweats are warmer, and more comfy - both which keep my kids from getting cranky.
Sweats. Kind of. I put the 4 year old in a pair of nylon running pants, with a slick outer covering and fuzzy inside.
Long sleeve tshirt.
Short sleeve tshirt.
Minus layer #3 - I'll put them in the car at this point. The rest goes in a gear bag, and I put it on when we get on the mountain, before I get them out of the car.
Ski Bibs. Here's the thing about snowmobiling: most of the time you're sitting on a wet seat, and every time you get off, you get more snow on your seat. There is a HUGE difference between "skiing" waterproof and "snowmobiling" waterproof. Big Monkey's pair have a cordura seat, and it really is "snowmobile" waterproof. I got a smokin' deal on them, and found them two sizes too big - - which by the way is a MINIMUM.
Ski jacket. Right now, they both have down jackets, and they're the warmest ones I've seen. Outlets have the best prices - and again, two sizes too big. Big Monkey's have a double layer in the sleeve. Inner cuff is elastic, outer is velcro.
The balaclava is without a doubt, the MOST important piece of clothing my boys wear. It stays put under helmets, keeps sensitive ear canals, cheeks, and noses warm.
Boots. I found a great BOGO sale and bought them a nice pair this year with liners. Several critical points about boots: removable liners, top tightening strap to keep snow out, VERY good straps at the ankle to keep boots on! If you can find temperature ratings on the boots, go as low as you can. The pairs I found were rated to -25.
Helmet. Big Monkey prefers a motor-cross style helmet with goggles. Little monkey doesn't care yet, and wears a full face visor. There are some amazing options out there for kids.
Layer #14: (yes, it just keeps going!!!)
Mittens. I finally found an amazing choice for mittens. They have a waterproof-ish exterior, extremely warm guts, and A ZIPPER UP THE SIDE. I can't ever get their fingers jammed down in a regular pair of mittens, but these were fabulous. Right after Christmas, I found them 40% off, which made me even happier.
I take handwarmers with me, and some days it's cold enough to use them (zero) but if it's regular sledding weather, the mittens by themselves are warm enough.
This list looks extensive, but it only takes me about 15 minutes to get them both finished and on the sleds.
Dear Ski-doo: feel free to send cash for the sweet product placement :) (BTW, BEST sled ever for mamas)