Skiing is an exciting activity to share with your toddler. It gets them out into the fresh mountain air and lets them experience a number of firsts. It’s easy to get your little one out shredding the slopes and there is some great ski gear out there for toddlers.
When choosing the best skiing gear for toddlers, you need to first consider what they actually need. Choosing the right skis, boots and clothing for your toddler is essential, but you also need to consider other accessories and lift passes to make your toddler’s skiing trip as enjoyable as possible.
Below, we will not only explore when a toddler should go skiing, but we’ll also give you some suggestions on the best ski gear for toddlers, so you’ll have all the essentials for when you introduce them to the slopes. Read on to learn everything you need to know when buying skiing gear for toddlers.
Should Toddlers Go Skiing?
It is perfectly fine for a toddler to go skiing but there are several things that need to be considered. Their age, attention span, and size are all important factors, as is the availability of a ski school designed for toddlers, and a secure area so they can learn in a fun and safe environment.
The first thing to look at is your toddler’s age.The smallest ski gear you can get is designed with children two and up in mind and most ski schools will only accept a two-year-old in a private lesson. In many places children over three are preferred as they can be put into group lessons.
This is due to a couple of issues the first being their shorter attention span. For children, most ski lessons are about 1.5-2 hours long. This might not seem too bad for an adult but children have much shorter attention spans than adults, and this time is drastically reduced when the activity is difficult.
The second issue with under threes is that their muscles are not developed enough to hold the necessary positions needed to ski. Yes, there are training aids you can use but for this age, they will use them more as a crutch rather than an actual learning tool.
Equipment Is Not Designed For Under-Twos
The last major issue is their small size. Skis and boots are not designed for children smaller than two years old. This can be dangerous for a number of reasons. If the boots are too big it will mean that your child’s feet will just come right out of them while they are done up. If your toddler was to fall in boots like this, it will provide no support and could result in an injury.
The other issue with small children is their light weight. A ski’s din can only be adjusted so much and if your child is too light it will mean that when they take a tumble their skill will not pop off the boot like it is designed to and may end up spraining your child’s leg.
Do They Want To Ski?
You might also want to consider if your toddler wants to ski. If they are not interested in the activity, they are not going to get very far. There’s a good chance they’ll just want to play in the snow. Before yourtrip, try to get your toddler interested by showing them videos of people skiing to get them excited to learn the new skill.
If you do bring your toddler skiing it is highly advised that you enroll them in a ski school, even if you are a good skier yourself. They will pick it up quicker and it will save you a lot of frustration. The ski instructors will be used to teaching toddlersand have all manner of games and activities to help your kid ski.
Another great thing about a ski school is that it can leave you to ski yourself while your child is safely learning with a professional. Many ski schools also have their own exclusive ski areas for young children where they can safely learn without the risk of getting plowed down by an adult. Schools will have both private and group lessons for you to choose from.
4 Things A Toddler Needs For Skiing
Arguably the most important thing is a helmet. Toddlers fall over a lot when they ski, whether due to the weight of the skis, the activity, or just because they get tired. A helmet is essential for protecting their heads.When getting a helmet for your toddler,make sure it is the right fit.
To check the fit put it on their head and ask them to try and shake it off. If they can do it easily it is too loose. If they complain it is too tight check if you can slide a finger between the helmet and their head, if it is very tight, try a bigger helmet. It’s better to have a slightly small one than a slightly big one. Some of the best ski helmet brands you can try are Bollé, Giro, and Uvex.
2. Ski Pants
Your toddler will also need ski pants. Unlike jackets, ski pants for this age are all mostly the same. The main thing you want them to be is waterproof with gaiters. There are two styles of ski pants, with and without suspenders.
Some advice about the ones with suspenders is that they are great at not falling down, but they are a hassle when it comes to bathroom breaks. Some of the best ski pants brands you can try are Columbia, North Face, and Rossingnol.
3. Sunglasses Or Goggles
Children have sensitive eyes and snow is extremely bright even on cloudy days, so it is important to have a good pair of goggles or sunglasses. When looking for them make sure that they block UVA and UVB.
For a toddler, a pair of goggles might serve you better than a pair of sunglasses because they are hard to lose (they can be attached to the helmet) and are a bit more robust. Trespass is one of best brands for toddler goggles due to their low price and solid build.
4. Gloves Or Mittens
The last thing your toddler needs for skiing is a warm pair of gloves or mittens. Children feel the cold far easier than adults and you don’t want your little one to get frostbite. Mittens are a little better than gloves for a toddler due to how bulky ski gloves can get. The best pair you can buy will be waterproof and insulated.
No matter what you buy to keep their hands warm, try to get a pair that have loops to attach to the wrist. At least buy a glove clip for them to attach to your toddler’s jacket. Also have a cheap backup pair as gloves are easily lost by children and getting a replacement in a resort will not be cheap. The best brand of ski glove for a toddler will be Hestra (which is expensive) or Trespass.
The 5 Best Skis For Toddlers
1. Salomon T1 XS
Salomon are just as reliable with their child skis as their adults. The T1 XS is a great ski to get for your toddler. They come in three sizes, 70 cm, 80 cm, and 90 cm, and sport a fun design of a cat eating ice cream that your kids are sure to love. The T1XS is ideal for learners and its easy for both short and long turns.
Another great thing about this ski is that it is designed to be nice and light, weighing in at 1.8 pounds (0.83 kg for the smallest size). This will really help in keeping your toddler’s energy up during their ski. They will cost around $250.
2. Rossignol Hero Pro
Rossignol is another great brand when it comes to buying skis. The Hero Pro is a forgiving ski designed for young children starting their skiing journey. It comes in three sizes, 70 cm, 80 cm, and 92 cm, and have a red and white pattern similar to their adult Hero range. They are designed to give your child their best start in learning the basics.
These skis are a little heavier than the T1 XS coming to just over 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg for the 70 cm size) for the 80 cm model, which could be a little tiring for a toddler to shuffle around on. They cost around $200.
3. Dynastar M-Menace Team
Dynastar have a great children’s ski for your future shredder. The M-Menace comes in three sizes 70 cm, 80 cm, and 92 cm, and has a simple black design to match their M-Menace adult range.
The M-Menace is another ski designed with beginners in mind with a flexible design to help those first turns.The weight of the ski is around the same as the Hero Pro’s 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg for the 70 cm size) and they cost around $300.
4. Atomic Vantage JR 70-90 + C 5 GW
Atomic have a great history in making racing skis and their children’s skis show the companies great quality.The Vantage JR comes in the same three sizes as our other skis and sport a cute take on the adult vantage red and blue design by adding little eyes to the pattern.
Taking an all-mountain design to give the most flexibility and assistance in turns. This is our second lightest ski on the list at 2.2 pounds (1.02 kg for 80 cm) and cost around $290.
5. Head Supershape Team Easy Junior Ski
Our final ski on the list come from Head. Compared to the other skis on the list they come in a whopping 10 sizes from 67 to 167 cm, a perfect ski if your toddler is small. The Supershape Team Easy is designed to make turning easy and can be used from beginner to carving.
It is a lightweight ski at approximately 2 pounds to help reduce fatigue and can actually found in many rental shops. They are also one of the cheaper skis on our list costing just shy of $200.
Tips For Buying Skis For Toddlers
Compared to adult skis, skis designed for toddlers are very similar to each other. But that isn’t to say they are all the same, and the price, weight, and size are all things you are going to want to consider before buying a set of skis for your toddler.
You will want the length of the ski to sit between your kids chin and nose. For a toddler the length range you will be looking a is around 70-90 cm. You will also want to avoid skis that attached to the foot using plastic straps rather than traditional ski bindings as many resorts will not allow you to use them.
The 3 Best Ski Boots For Toddlers
1. Roces IDEA UP 16.0-18.5
Roces is a reliable ski boot brand for your toddler. The Idea Up is an adjustable boot designed to last from 2 to 5 years so it will easily last you for multiple seasons. They are a hard-shelled boot with one buckle and have 5 color options, White/Red/Black, Black/Lime, White/Blue/Black, White/Pink, and White/Blue.
The ideal up has also been designed to take in less water to keep your toddler’s feet warm and dry and the liner is made with a memory foam to keep little feet comfortable. They cost around $150 dollars and are a great buy due to their long-term useability.
2. Salomon T1
The T1, unlike the Roces, are not an adjustable boot, but still a solid choice to buy for you toddler. They are a single clip design shaped to keep your child’s foot secure and have memory foam to keep them comfortable. The T1 comes in two designs, the T1 Race Blue and the T1 Girly White. They cost around $80 dollars.
3. Lange My First Alpine Ski Boots
The final boot on the list is the My first ski boot from Lange. They are a very basic ski boot designed to support your child’s foot correctly while they are learning. The foam is more basic than the other two options, but it will get the job done. They have a couple of color options for the liner, but the shell is blue.
They are the cheapest on the list and can sometimes be found for as little as $50, so are a great budget option. They are probably a boot you will see a lot as it is a common stock item in a lot of ski rental places.
The 3 Best Ski Jackets For Toddlers
1. Obermeyer Ash Jacket
Obermeyer are a reliable brand when it comes to children’s ski wear so you will be safe with pretty much any of their ski jackets. The Ash jacket however has some of their most interesting designs ranging from a gray deer pattern to colorful flowers.
The Ash, besides being waterproof and windproof, has some great features too including a zippered handwarmer pocket, fleece lined hood, and their trademarked I-Grow Extended Wear System to let you get a little more use out of it. This jacket comes in sizes 2 to 8 years.
2. Spyder Challenger
The challenger jacket has some great features as one of the bestselling jackets from Spyder. It has plenty of pockets to stash essentials away and boasts sleeves which can be extended by an extra inch so that you can prolong your wear. This is one of the more expensive jackets on this list coming to just under $160, but if you keep a look out, they can sometimes be found reduced to less than $100.
The challenger Jacket from Spyder is a jacket aimed at boys, but the color range is neutral enough that a little girl won’t be to upset if she has one, if you are looking for a jacket that is more girly you might want to consider the Conquer jacket by Spyder which is from their little girl’s range.
3. Columbia Buga II
The Columbia Buga II is a great choice to keep your little one warm. Rather than a jacket it is a snow onesie saving you from having to buy some snow pants to match. The Buga II is windproof, waterproof, has integrated gaiters, a hood, and is well insulated. It comes in a number of sizes from 6/12 months until four years and has a number of plain colors to choose from.
The only downside about it is that when your toddler needs to go to the bathroom, they will need to take off the whole thing as the pants are attached. Full priced they go for around $130 but you can find some great deals if you look around.
Things To Consider When Buying Ski Equipment For A Toddler
Owning your own equipment is great. You don’t need to worry about all the other feet that have worn the boot before or whether or not that helmet had been sterilized before you rented it for your toddler. However, unless you plan to have multiply ski trips in a season you might be better off renting rather than buying new skis and boots.
A big reason for this is the rate that toddlers grow.To the extent that if you went skiing in December then again at the end of the season you might find the equipment you bought too small. This is one of the great things about the Roces boots but there aren’t any skis that can change size.
If you do want to own your own equipment for your toddler, consider looking at past seasons gear or buying second hand rather than new. A lot of the equipment will be hardly used, and you can usually save yourself over a $100. One of the best things about toddler jackets and pants is that you can often buy secondhand in great condition, so you can easily pick up top brands for a great price.
9 Other Essential Pieces Of Skiing Gear For Toddlers
1. Wool Thermals
Wool thermals are a great buy for under your toddler’s new ski jacket.The wool is great at wicking away moisture as skiing for a beginner can be sweaty work. Thermals made from Merino wool are some of the warmest you can buy and are great insulators on a chilly day. You can also try thermals made from synthetic fibers which are a cheap alternative to wool.
2. Neck Warmer
To compliment the layers you dress your toddler in, you should add a neck warmer. Some ski jackets can be uncomfortable around the neck for a toddler due to their stiff design and rough Velcro. A neck warmer, unlike a scarf, is a tube that goes over their head and sits on their neck. This is essential in keeping them warm when the zip slips down.
3. Heat Pads
Another great way to keep your toddler warm is to have heat pads. You can get both chargeable and disposable pads, and they are handy to have either in your child’s pocket, inside their glove, and some can even be stuck to their bodies. Just be careful not to place them on bare skin as they do get quite hot. Heat pads are essential for those windy days where the chill can really affect a toddler.
4. High Factor Sunblock
High factor sunblock is essential for protecting your child’s skin. Sunblock is a good thing to wear regardless of the weather but on a sunny day the UV rays can reflect off the snow and result on in sun burn and even permanent skin damage. You can easily get SPF50+ face sticks that you can keep in your toddler’s pocket so you know they always have it. Just make sure to top it off every few hours.
5. Edgie Wedgie
This will be needed more if you are planning on teaching your toddler yourself and they are very small. An Edgie Wedgie is a bungee-like attachment with two clamps at the end. These clamps go on the tips of your toddler’s skis to help them hold the wedge position.
If you are planning on spending a lot of time skiing with your toddler another essential item you might want to have is a harness. They are useful to help you child control their speed and check their balance. They are also perfect for helping to pick you toddler up when they fall and keep them secure while on a chairlift.
Don’t be tempted to use it to bring your toddler up to runs they are not ready for.It should be used as a training tool. If you use it in areas your toddler isn’t ready for, they will be reliant on it and won’t learn.
7. Non-Skiing Clothes
It’s surprising how often people forget to bring regular clothes for when their toddler has finished skiing. Skiing is sweaty work, so it best to get your child out of their ski clothes to let them air out before their next day’s ski. It is also highly advisable to get a pair of snow boots to wear when they are not skiing as most toddlers find ski boots very cumbersome to walking in.
8. Name Labels
These are especially important if you are putting your child into a ski school for the day or have rented equipment. Try to write your kids name on all their equipment so it isn’t accidentally picked up by another kid.
Some simple sticky labels are great for sticking on skis and boots as they can be peeled off, which is useful if you rent rather than buy as all rentals look the same. Gloves and helmets can also easily go walk-about as many kids will have the same ones, so be sure to mark them as yours in some way.
9. Lift Pass
The last essential can be dependent on the resort you are skiing in and the exact age of your toddler. In most resorts it is free for under 5s but just make sure before you go whether or not you’re going to buy need one.If your kid is going to be in a ski school, check with them whether they will need one as beginner areas and magic carpets generally don’t need one.
It is fine for a toddlers aged 2 and up to go skiing. But you do need to beware that they will have some limitations due to their age. Make sure that they at least have a helmet, skis, boots, outerwear, and googles so that they get the best out of their trip. If you forget something most resorts will have plenty of options to buy them there. Just be aware that it will cost extra.