What could be more unruly than a toddler? A toddler in the cold weather. Dressing a little one for adventures in the cold can be quite a feat—often full of complaints, bartering, and of course the last resort, bribery. However, if you have the right products in your cold weather arsenal, getting your toddler ready for a snowday is almost as enjoyable as playing in the snow and the payoff is supreme.
“There is no bad weather, just poor clothing choices.” This is a mantra that we fully intend of ingraining into our two year old’s head, and thankfully the below products have helped tremendously in the passing on of this sage wisdom to our teeny tot.
Kids are picky when it comes to fabrics, so finding a baselayer that is comfortable, soft, and warm is key in creating a solid foundation. Icebreaker’s Kids Oasis Long Sleeve Crew and Leggings are the perfect combination of plush and warmth. Made of 100% Merino Wool, this set has high performance with maximum comfort—even the tags are soft (fellow parents know all to well how an itchy tag can derail things). icebreaker.com
Sometimes, full body coverage is the way to go. With these squirmy little rascals the can easily wiggle out of their clothes or at least expose some major gaps of skin that will make a romp in the snow very uncomfortable very fast. We found two that got regular use.
The North Face Infant Thermoball Bunting takes that familiar Thermoball PrimaLoft synthetic insulation and look and feel from the jacket version and covers you grom’s full body. Integrated fold over mitts and booties are pretty standard on buntings like these but what really stood out were the elastic cuffs on the wrists and ankles. The elastic ankle cuffs were of particular use when strapping boots on to the kiddos (see below) to create as snow-tight of a seal at all possible places of snow ingress. Amazing where that stuff can get to while the kids are rolling around in it. The hood also has good elastic for around the face. Lacking though is some reinforcement fabric on the knees, elbows and even the hand mitts. This suit is probably best for environments that are pure snow and not mixed conditions. thenorthface.com
For those mixed days, where some water resistance protection is a good idea we turn to Columbia’s Bugababy Interchange Bunting. This two-in-one setup includes a resilient 66 denier watertight woven nylon exterior face fabric style bunting with fold over mitts and booties and a fleece lined hood. Zipped in is a microfleece lining that is easy to remove as spring time temperatures start to rise while it’s still wet outside. Lacking though are the tight elastic cuffs around the ankles to help keep boots in place while stomping around in the puddles. The 66 denier face fabric of the outer suit has proven to be very durable as our tiny tester put it through the paces with crawling around on concrete, asphalt and picking up lots of sticks in the woods while wearing the fold over mitts. columbia.com
While a hood is ideal for more active romps in the snow, a good hat is a must for casual play and walks in the woods. Icebreaker’s Kids Orbit Hat is soft, warm, adorable, and has pom pom (Kid’s Fervor hat available without pom pom). But this hat’s best feature, is the fit. The ribbing around the brim of the hat keep it in place without leaving marks in your tots forehead. icebreaker.com
Little feet. So cute. So precious. And eventually, so stinky. Also, so very difficult to find the right boot for playing in nature’s cooler and wetter playground. Our first set of real boots were Keen’s Kootenay WP. As always, we ordered them a little big and it was a good challenge for our little tester who was just starting to walk around 9 months going into the winter season last year. The boots were big and clunky on her and she had to get used to the sticky rubber, but they have become a standard favorite for her and even managed to last two seasons. The ruggedness of the boot kept her toes safe, dry and warm in a number of outdoor play situations and she loves the large single Velcro strap closure that she can open and close herself to get the boots on or off. keenfootwear.com
As we size transition out of the Keen’s we discovered the Classic Woodlands Baby Bogs. If we had known better we probably would have started with the Baby Bogs and then transitioned into the Keen Kootenay WP’s considering how much easier the Bogs are to get on and off since there are huge grab handles built into the uppers for little hands to grasp and a slightly softer sole is a bit more forgiving for new walkers. That said, our little tester put the Bogs on as soon as they arrived to test them out in the house before insisting on a wintery excursion to really put them to the test. The taller boot makes it easier to overlap the bunting legging (see above) to help create a secure fit and to keep snow out of the boot while romping around.
That winter sun is amplified by being reflected off the snow covered ground so be sure to get come coverage for your kiddo so they don’t have to squint in the light. The colorful face of the Skip It sunglasses from Optic Nerve pretty much ensures they will go with any outfit, including the beanie above. opticnerve.com