Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dressing Kids for Winter Success

We've just gone through a two week deep freeze with temperatures down to -35 C with wind chill. Taking my son to school each day required enough outer wear that I felt like I should be heading out for the day to go skiing, and I won't pretend that we got outside every day to play after school. Indoor recess for two weeks aside, we did survive the cold spell and I learned a couple of things.

Warm for Winter Success
Two weeks of freezing cold temperatures taught me that yes, we could still go outside to play for a short hour, even if we did have to dress as if embarking on an arctic expedition. I also learned that I am willing to drive over an hour to find warmer weather. (Last Saturday we actually drove to BC for coffee when we saw that it would be 15 degrees warmer.) Finally, I learned that while I am often cold outside, my son, Noah, on the other hand is rarely ever cold.

I asked Noah why he thinks he is so warm. His answer was "Because Mommy always dresses me warm and doesn't have time to dress herself. If we went to the arctic, Mommy would be an ice cube." He then continued to tell me about his clothing and how he wears fuzzies and two layers of shirts to stay warm.

So how do you dress a child for winter success so that he or she can say they are rarely ever cold?



Staying Warm Starts with Quality Base Layers

We were given the opportunity to test out the Helly Hansen Kids' Warm Set base layers this winter from Canadian company, Altitude Sports. This long underwear set is made of Merino Wool and believe it or not, it's the first time my son has worn wool base layers.  He has always loved soft fabrics and layers of fleece, and I was worried that Merino Wool would be itchy. I can confirm that this Warm Set is definitely not itchy nor scratchy in the slightest and that I'd never know it was made of wool (warmth aside.)

Soft and Comfortable Helly Hansen Base Layers

Other winning properties of the Helly Hansen base layers for kids:

"This is the best wool baselayer on the market. Combining the unique Lifa® fiber technology next to skin to keep you dry, with a premium Merino wool exterior with superior insulating and wicking properties. Knees and elbows has a 100g Polartec® fleece reinforcement." - Altitude Sports

What we are loving about this base layer set:

Warmth! Truly there is a difference between good base layers and the $15 set from Walmart. In my personal opinion you could spend the extra money on Merino Wool long underwear and then buy the cheap department store snow pants to go over top instead.

Helly Hansen Kids' Warm Set
The Helly Hansen base layers for kids fit snug against the skin to keep warmth in. They don't ride up when you put another layer on over top, and both the top/bottoms have cuffs at the ankles and wrists, again to keep heat in and prevent against bunching up.

They are soft and comfortable. (And this coming from a sensitive child who would revolt if I put him in a traditional wool sweater.) They are non itch- allergy neutral and great for kids who'd honestly prefer to be wearing cotton.

They have fleece knee and elbow reinforcement patches (a plus if kids are wearing their long underwear while playing in the house, crawling around on the floor, or running around in a wilderness hut or cabin.)

They are designed to be dry next to the skin. My son has been dressed in three layers on both top and bottom and I've never taken off his long underwear to find him sweating or wet.

Mid-Layers on the Cold Days

We often skip the mid-layers when it's warm outside or just wear one warmer "base layer" that serves as both a base/mid layer. For example, my son will wear fleece pants under his snow pants when skating, sledding, or just going to school. (And this is one thing you can buy from a department store as fleece pants shouldn't cost you a fortune.)

Winter Success in Wool Pants, Stonz Bootz and Stonz Mittz
When it's cold outside, our go-to mid layer for the bottom is a pair of Ella's Wool pants. They are essentially a pair of wool leggings but fortunately my son hasn't realized yet that most boys his age wouldn't be caught dead in leggings. (And I'm not about to tell him because these wool pants are super warm!) Combined with Merino Wool long underwear, my son is guaranteed to be warm down to -30 for an hour or two outside.

On top, my son has this great fleece lined polyester shirt that I found at a department store for less than $20. I love the shirt and wish I had a few myself. Alternately, a fleece shirt or hoodie works well as a mid-layer. The big key is that it should not be made of cotton unless you're just going to school, playing on the sledding hill on a warm day, or building a snowman in the backyard.




Over Layers for the Win against the Cold

For ski pants and jackets, I have found the one-piece Ducksday Ski Suit to be a life saver on cold days.

Another item I am loving is my son's North Face Thermoball Jacket. We pair the North Face Jacket with a pair of ski pants on warm weather days when a one-piece snow suit would be overkill.

Dressed for warmth on a cold ski day in the Ducksday Ski Suit

Accessories, Boots, and Mitts

I am a huge fan of Canadian Company, Stonz Wear, for kids' boots and waterproof mitts that fit over the jacket. You can read my review from last year here: Another Winter With Stonz Children's Wear. A new review will be published in January with a giveaway.
Skiing in the North Face Thermoball Jacket

Other important add ons:

Thanks to Altitude Sports for providing us with a set of Helly Hansen kids' long underwear this winter. It was the missing piece of the puzzle for us in ultimate winter warmth. Now I guess we have to work on me since my son thinks I'm going to turn into an ice cube.

And shopping tip: Altitude Sports is having a pre-Boxing Day sale right now with up to 40% off select items. The kids' long underwear set featured in this story is also 20% off right now.

Winter is Fun when you're Warm

Disclaimer: We were given a set of Helly Hansen long underwear to review. As always, all words are my own and I wasn't paid to write this story.

1 comment:

  1. You guys are brave. I don't handle weather that cold well. And I should I live at a ski resort.