Everything you need to ensure that your children are comfortable in the snow
Buying ski wear for children can be expensive, especially if you’re going on a ski holiday for the first time. You may want to borrow some of the items, especially with younger children who grow quickly. There are also several retailers, such as Cape Union Mart and RapidSport, who offer really good value ski clothing for children. Also look at local second-hand websites like Gumtree.
Jackets and Ski Pants
A good waterproof outer layer is essential, although you don’t have to spend a fortune on your children’s ski clothing. Ski Pants (sometimes referred to as salopettes) with braces are good as they stop them from slipping down.
A warm, waterproof pair of gloves or mittens that cover the wrists are ESSENTIAL. Mittens are generally warmer than gloves, plus they’re easier to put on. Take a spare pair if you can, plus a piece of elastic (or a wrist strap) can guard against gloves falling off chairlifts.
Goggles create a snow-proof seal around the eyes to protect them from ultraviolet rays and will stay securely in place during activity. They also help to keep your child’s face warm if it’s a snowy day. Have a pair of sunglasses for your children when you sit outside for lunch/afternoon drinks. The strength of the sunlight reflected off the snow can be potentially harmful for young eyes, so it’s important to look after them.
Thermals are fantastic for providing warmth. Special ‘wicking base layers’ worn under ski clothes draw moisture away from the body, but you can also use tights or leggings to save cost. Many supermarkets now sell great value thermals as well as more specialist outdoor retailers such as Cotswold Outdoor, Ellis Brigham and Snow+Rock
We advise that all children under the age of 14 should wear a helmet. You can rent these in resort when you rent your ski equipment. In certain resorts helmets are mandatory for children. Other resorts – including many in North America – have a requirement that children in ski lessons wear helmets.
A fleece mid-layer gives extra insulation under your ski clothes. On warm spring days a thermal and a ski jacket is often enough.
A buff is a trademark name for a tube of fabric that can be worn in a variety of ways. When on the mountain they are ideal to wear around the neck, and then pull over the face like a balaclava to protect from windchill.
These keep feet warm and dry when getting around in resort. If children travel in their snow boots it’ll save space when packing. This is not a must but good waterproof boots help in keeping them warm.
Your children should have special ski socks that come up to their knees, often called tube socks, to keep their feet warm and secure in ski or snowboard boots. Make sure the socks don’t slip down and rub on their shins.
Children will be wearing helmets when they are skiing but it’s handy to take an extra hat for evenings out and non-skiing activities. Pack them in your hand luggage when travelling so they are handy for when you arrive in resort.
The rays are very intense in the mountains and damage can occur quickly with the reflection from the snow. Always use a high factor cream, and remember that even on overcast days you can still burn.
For the rest – as long as kids are warm, they will have a blast! Regular hot chocolate breaks and lots of fun activities are a recipe for a great family holiday!