The temperatures are dropping and that can only mean one thing. Whether we like it or not, winter’s cold chilly months are upon us. As a born-and-raised Alaskan, and mama of four, I’ve got a lot of cold weather experience under my belt, and staying inside half the year just isn’t an option for us. Not only does getting outside help beat the winter blues, it also keeps your kids from driving you bonkers. As my husband likes to say, “There’s no bad weather, just bad gear.”

So what makes great gear? The best winter gear for kids is anything they’ll wear without complaining, TBH. 😂 To that end, anything that keeps them warm without adding bulk, is easy to put on (but not so easy to take off that it gets lost) and, because the good stuff isn’t cheap, well constructed enough to be handed down.

I’ve rounded up some of our family’s favorite, most enduring pieces of winter gear to keep your family toasty warm this winter. From the best baby and kids’ snowsuits to the mittens that actually stay on tiny hands, I hope you’ll love them as much as we do.

Best winter gear for kids

smartwool kids classic thermal merino base layer crew- best winter gear for kids



Merino Base Layer Crewneck

For any prolonged winter activity outside in the cold, it’s best to layer up to create air pockets of warmth. These moisture-wicking base-layers from Smartwool are a family favorite for their performance and durability. Made from 100% Merino wool fabric, they’re best in class for breathability and comfort (they’re not itchy at all!) and easily live on as hand-me-downs making the high price point easier to swallow. (The pants are a great investment as well!)

Kids' L.L.Bean Hi-Pile Balaclava



Hi-Pile Balaclava

When a winter hat just isn’t enough, this fuzzy balaclava gives their face, neck and head max coverage. Pull it down and wear as a gaiter when it’s time for hot chocolate!

Carters Baby Zip Up Sherpa Pram

Carter's Baby


Bear Bunting

This sherpa bear bunting wins winter wear MVP for being a comfy snowsuit for your littlest babe, or base-layer under another snowsuit for the chilliest of winter outings. Bonus: your baby bear will never look cuter!

arctix limitless fleece top bib overalls



Limitless Fleece Top Bib Overalls

These adjustable snow pants keep kids warm and the bib style keeps snow from going down the back of their pants. Bonus: the price is excellent for the quality and they can grow with your child. The Velcro strap also makes bathroom breaks for kids so much easier.

northface toddler eclipse insulated jacket

The North Face


Eclipse Rev Insulated Jacket

This jacket is windproof, waterproof and the built-in hood means one less piece of gear to worry about (or one more layer for your little one’s head). It’s a best buy if you live with cold winter temperatures for many months of the year and still love to get outside to play. The reversible style also helps keep it in great condition for hand-me-downs to your next kid.

Patagonia Reversible Down Sweater Hoodie



Reversible Down Sweater Hoodie

Similarly, this pick from Patagonia is well worth the investment. The down fill is incredibly warm but breathable without being bulky. The hood is also down filled and fits great with some nice coverage over their neck as well. Super bonus for the reversible design!

Reima Baby Down Snowsuit



Baby Down Bunting

Reima’s been making high-quality outdoor gear for kids since the 1940’s. Based in Finland, one of the countries known to let their babes take naps outside all winter long, they’re a go-to for our Alaskan temps. The Baby Down Bunting is my pick for the littlest in my crew for its supreme warmth and hand-me-down durability. I also love the option to zip the legs together and use it sleeping bag style.

Reima Gotland Snowsuit



Gotland Snowsuit

The holy grail of kid’s snowsuits, the Reima Gotland is insulated, waterproof, windproof, and its dirt repellent finish makes it virtually stain proof and very durable. The elastic cuffs and silicone foot loops keep snow out of kid’s boots and suit. This suit has a roomy fit which is great for layering and allows your child to grow with the suit. (Read: less snow gear for mama to buy next year.)

sorel yoot pac boots



Yoot Pac Boot

Keep their little toes warm with these cozy boots from Sorel. With insulated uppers and waterproof bottoms their feet are sure to stay warm. They’re well constructed and hold up over time, making them a great hand-me-down option for your family.

stonz booties



Baby Booties

Cramming baby and toddler feet into clunky, heavy boots is no one’s idea of a good time. And getting them to walk in them? Even worse. They may as well be standing in cement. Much preferred are the soft constructed, fleece-lined stay-on-booties from the Canadian brand Stonz. The adjustable fit makes them easy to get on and the toggles keep them in place. No more searching for one boot in the grocery store parking lot!

stonz baby mittens




Ever tried to keep gloves on a 1-year-old? It’s a tough task, but Stonez has that covered too. (Literally.) These gloves make it a breeze with a wide opening and two adjustable toggles for a snug fit they can’t pull off! Warm and waterproof, and come in sizes from infant to big kids.

Flylow Unicorn Mitten



Unicorn Mitten

For older kiddos, I love these rugged mittens from Flylow which are great for getting out on the mountain. The leather exterior keeps them gippy and waterproof while also keeping the wind out. The inside is soft and breathable. And while they’re on the pricier side for kid mittens, they actually keep hands warm which keeps kids outside for longer. And that’s priceless.

carhartt watch beanie



Watch Beanie

Keeping heat in starts from the top. We love this Carhartt kid’s watch hat for being simple, stretchy, and of course, warm. Plus you can grab the twinning version for mom or dad .

A version of this story was published February 10, 2021. It has been updated.