Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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It’s cold outside and it’s going to stay cold at least 6 more weeks, according to Punxsutawney Phil! Do you wonder how to dress your kids for cold winter days? In my experience, a child who gets cold means the end of a winter day outdoors. That’s why I always pay attention to how my girls dress for cold winter days, as I want them to stay dry and warm. Warm kids mean happy kids and happy kids mean we can have a ball outside!
Disclosure: I received compensation from Kozi Kidz for this posting but the opinions expressed here are mine alone.
To get tried-and-true dress code pointers, I partnered with Kozi Kidz, a range of Swedish-designed fashionable and functional outdoor clothing for kids from 6 months to 10 years. They sent me a full attire for each of my girls that we field-tested every item to give you a full report. My girls walked through snowy mountains and had lunch in a snow hole to make sure that all of this was working. Ah, the things we will do for the love of the great outdoors!
Merino Balaclava – Black
Children lose heat faster than adults and a large amount of heat is lost through the head. This merino wool balaclava keeps little heads warm even in blistering cold conditions. Though my girls usually find wool garments itchy, they love the type of merino wool used in the Kozi Kidz base layers as it’s as soft as fleece. The balaclava covers both ears and an oval area that goes from half their forehead to the nose. With this on, they look like proper little snow gangsters!
The next step is to cover the rest of the body with thermal merino wool base layers.
Merino Base Layer Top – Berry
What my girls love in this top is the zipper (so they can cool down as needed) and most importantly, the thumb hole as it protects most of their hands, even without gloves. From experience, the Kozi Kidz thermal top cut is fitted, which means that you can add layers on top without the whole thing looking bulky or being uncomfortable for the child. The tops are also quite generous in size and my girls have been able to use theirs two winter seasons in a row.
Merino Base Layer Leggings – Black
Last base layer, the legs. You wouldn’t want little legs to go cold when you’re taking a break during the day or sitting down for snacks and warm drinks. Note that these base leggings are slim enough not to be any trouble when wearing ski boots or snow boots. They are also quite stretchy around the waist and feel very comfortable. Last but not least, all the Kozi Kidz merino base layers are machine-washable, a huge plus for busy families.
KoziBear Softpile Fleece Jacket
The mid layer should be made of fleece or wool and thicker than the base layer. The Kozi Kidz softpile fleece top is super soft and made of 300g polyester, a type of fleece heavier than standard fleece. Like the base layer, it features the nifty thumb hole and kids can keep their hands warm in the roomy pockets. Inside or outside, it’s a great layer to cuddle and feel warm.
We already had warm trousers that we could use over the base layer leggings, but you could use good quality fleece or microfleece bottoms for your kids.
If anything, outer layers are the most important because they’re directly in contact with the outside elements. When choosing your kids’ outer layers, look for the following features: waterproof (windproof is not enough in snow conditions), breathable, warm, taped seams (that helps prevent leaks) and sturdy.
Norfolk Rain Jacket
Waterproof and sturdy, this jacket has a soft fleece-lined collar for delicate necks, and is both waterproof and breathable. A storm flap over front zip comes in very handy when the wind picks up and the three reflective dots in the back make child-spotting quite easy in low light. I’m not a big fan of detachable hoods as I prefer the possibility to roll the hood inside a neck pocket, but my girls love detachable hoods so this one worked well for them.
Alaska Parka Jacket
Now, if you’re headed for the Big North, you’re gonna want this jacket because to being waterproof and breathable, it’s padded like a proper polar explorer jacket! The fake fur collar gives it extra warmth and the long(er than usual) sleeves cover extremities nicely. I like that this design is completely gender-neutral and that it comes in four different colors, though red is my favorite.
Last but not least…
With these guys to cover kids’ legs, you’re about ready to hit any slopes and face all sorts of cold weather! They’re much tougher than regular rain trousers and thanks to the foot straps, they stay on firmly anchored from the foot up. The adjustable braces are removable if you don’t like them, but my girls liked the fact the trousers stayed on even when they slid down a snowy hill head first!
As for the rest of the body, a little common sense comes in handy. This morning, my girls and I were watching on TV an English guy who does football reports in Siberia. He was talking about dressing for extreme cold temperatures, such as -30C/-22F. Everything that he said made total sense: hat, scarf, gloves, warm socks, layers and an extra-warm jacket. Bang on!
About Kozi Kidz
Kozi Kidz clothes can be found online and in stores. You can check the store locator here. As I said, the sizes are fairly generous and you can count on your purchases to last. Kozi Kidz makes clothes for infants and for children sizes 80 through 140 cm, though many designs stop at 130 cm (which would work for my 9-year old but not for my 11-year old).