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Winter is in full swing and every time it snows, I can see the magic through my kid’s eyes. While the kids see snow days as an adventure, I’ll admit that as a parent, they can be a bit stressful. Keeping everyone warm and dry is no easy task, but having good gear makes all the difference.
Easily the most used piece of winter gear is kid’s winter coats, so we’re here to show you how to choose the best winter jackets for kids. We live in the mountains of Utah with our 5 kids, and spend A LOT of time outside. Having a good winter jacket ensures that your kids will be warm and protected all through the season and that they’ll be able to stay outside having fun longer every day. Below, I’m going to be sharing some of our favorite winter coats for kids, as well as tips for what to look for when choosing the best snow coat for kids.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here are our QUICK PICKS (with exclusive discounts)!
Best Overall Kids Winter Coats:
Akova Hardshell + Insulator System (formerly Shred Dog) – Best Layering System. Our absolute FAVORITE kids coat – perfect for super long days outside and extreme weather. Most waterproof kids coat, great for active kids, based on layering multiple pieces, and perfect for cold temps! Not cheap, but the best quality we’ve ever found and will last through several kids. Use BRINGTHEKIDS for 20% off your order or BRINGTHEKIDS-35 for 35% off any order over $500!
Town Hall Kids Coats – Best all-in-one coat out there! Designed and tested in Steamboat Springs Colorado, these coats are amazing for keeping kids warm and dry all winter. We love all the features on the Mountain Town Winter Jacket for kids who do lots of winter sports, and the Around Town Jacket is a more affordable version that’s awesome for winter play! Use BringTheKids23 for 20% off your order!
Runner Up Best Kids Coats:
Reima Kids Ski Coats (we especially like this and this for boys and this coat for girls): Perfect for cold climates, designed for kids to PLAY HARD in, awesome colors and designs (full review coming soon – act FAST they’re selling out already). Use BRINGKIDS20 for 20% off your order!
- 1. Akova Elevated Hard Shell for Boys and Girls + Discount
- 2. Town Hall Kids Winter Coats
- 3. Reima Stavanger One Piece Snowsuit + Discount
- 4. Burton Powline GORE-TEX Coat for Kids
- 5. Reima Tirro Coat + Discount
- 7. Boulder Gear Spark Boys Jacket for Youth Boys
- 8. Boulder Gear Tatiana Jacket for Girls
- 9. Marmot Polar Down Jacket
- 10. Spyder Ambush Jacket
- 11. Obermeyer Leia Girls Jacket
- 12. Columbia Mighty Mogul Jacket
- 13. Shred Dog Duke Hardshell and Malamute Insulator Jackets
- 14. The North Face Freedom Triclimate Jacket
- 15. Reima Kiela Jacket
- 16. Columbia Whirlibird Interchange Jacket
- 17. Tobe Outerwear Monosuit
- 18. Big Agnes Ice House Jacket for Kids
- Why should you trust our advice?
- Why Do Kids Need Good Coats?
- Discount Winter Coats For Kids
- What type of coat do my kids need for winter?
- Kids Winter Coat CHECKLIST
- How warm does a kids winter coat need to be?
- What Brands of Winter coats are best for kids?
- How many winter coats do kids need?
- What type of kids winter coat is the warmest?
- Are snowsuits better than coats?
- Is a puffy jacket good for winter?
- What is the best coat for toddlers?
- What temperature should kids start wearing a winter coat?
- How can I keep my kids warm without buying them a new coat?
- Can I make my kids coat more waterproof at home?
17 Best Winter Coats and Winter Jackets for Kids
The coats that we’re sharing with you below all pass our test of approval. We want to share the best waterproof coats for kids as well as the warmest winter coats for kids. All of these coats below are of the highest quality and are winter jackets kids will love wearing.
This year, you’ll see all 5 of our kids wearing coats from Akova/Shred Dog as well as a few other brands. After years of scrambling all over and shopping like a crazy person for coats for our big family, we’ve found one brand that works for all of our kids (as well as their Legacy collection for mom and Dad – check out that review here).
Since we spend so much time outside during the winter, I was pretty picking when choosing kids ski jackets this season. Here’s what you’ll see our kids wearing this year, as well as the best winter coats for kids 2024.
|Town Hall Mountain Town
|Best all in one, tons of pockets, great wrists, powder skirt. Perfect for skiers and active kids
$156 with discount
|Save 20% with code BringTheKids23
|Town Hall Around Town
|Good pickets, comfortable design, great for school, snow play, recreational skiing
$124 with discount
|Save 20% with code BringTheKids23
|Akova Elevated Shell + Insulator
|Most technical coat for kids. Amazing waterproofing and breathability. Best for harsh weather or super cold temps
|Use BRINGTHEKIDS for 20% off your order or BRINGTHEKIDS-35 for 35% off any order over $500
|Reima Stavenger Snowsuit
|Best for super cold days, ultra durable, dirt resistant
|Save 20% with code BRINGKIDS20
|Reima Tirro Coat
|Super durable, waterproof, lycra wrists keep snow out.
|Save 20% with code BRINGKIDS20
|Boulder Gear Grit
|Affordable, water resistant
|Boulder Gear Spark
|Affordable, lycra wrists
|Boulder Gear Tatiana
|Affordable, good insulation
|Marmot Polar Down Jacket
|Marmot Nano Pro
|Helmet compatible hood
|Full wind guard, very waterproof
|Columbia Mighty Mogul
|Omni Tech waterproof
|Omni Tech guaranteed waterproof
|Shred Dog Duke Shell
|Fantastic layering system
|North Face Triclimate
|Layering System, water resistant
|Durable and dirt resistant
|Guaranteed waterproof, layering system
While you‘re getting ready for winter, don’t forget to check out our other winter gear reviews for kids:
Best Kids Snowsuits
Best Waterproof Gloves and Mittens for Kids
Best Kids Base Layers
Best Snow Boots for Kids
Best Kids Face Masks
Best Ski Harnesses for Kids
Best Kids Ski Socks and Guide to Winter Clothes for Toddlers
Akova is the top of the line in kid’s outerwear, and what our kids wear when the weather is bad or they’ll be outside for a long time. The brand was briefly known as Shred Dog, and it’s AMAZING! It’s the most waterproof and breathable kids outerwear and the quality is top notch. Their gear is designed specifically for kids (instead of just smaller versions of adult gear), and it’s THE BEST! Our 5 kids have been all wearing Shred Dog and now Akova outerwear for 4 winters. In fact, the quality is so amazing, that my husband and I both wear their new adults line as well.
We’ve looked at a lot of winter coats for kids, and Shred Dog/Akova are the most technical and have the best features of any that we’ve seen. In fact, this kids coat is nicer than any other coat that I’ve worn as an adult (except for my own Shred Dog Shell), and that says A LOT since we are pretty active adventurers!
They have a 20,000 waterproof rating, which is the highest we’ve ever seen. What does that mean? These jackets are basically BULLETPROOF. The taped seams and wrist gaskets help keep all extra water out, so this can easily double as a waterproof shell year round. The Elevated Hardshell is designed to be worn with the Shred Dog Element insulator inside, so you’re really getting 3 jackets in one with this system. Our kids literally use pieces of this kid’s winter layering system ALL YEAR ROUND. These pieces have traveled from the Rocky Mountains to South America and everywhere in between!
This is the winter jacket that my kids wear when they’re going to have a FULL DAY outside in the snow and doesn’t want to be bothered to come in. It’s warm, keeps them super dry, and thankfully, never has that annoying crinkle sound that a lot of waterproof kids jackets have. The quality is incredible and I fully intend to pass these jackets all down through several kids (and I have little doubt that it will LAST that long!).
Shred Dog comes in a full range of bright and fun colors making it the perfect boys or girls waterproof winter coat.
We love it so much that we have a whole article dedicated to all our favorite Shred Dog Gear.
Shred Dog is currently offering Bring The Kids readers some BIG DISCOUNTS. Use BRINGTHEKIDS for 20% off your order or BRINGTHEKIDS-35 for 35% off any order over $500
Use BringTheKids23 for 20% off your order!
We are always thrilled when we discover new brands for kids outdoor clothing, since they usually seem to do things really well. Town Hall is a relatively new kids outerwear company and we absolutely LOVE their coats. Designed by a mom out of Steamboat Springs Colorado, it’s packed full of my favorite features.
Of course, waterproofing and breathability are at the top of our list for kids coat essentials. The Town Hall kid’s coats have a 10,000 waterproofing and 10,000 breathability rating. For almost anything kids need, this is going to be great. Overall, this is just a comfortable coat that fits well and performs well, so it takes no convincing to get kids to wear it all day long. We especially love that it’s warm without being really bulky so it’s easy to wear for all sorts of active play.
Some of our favorite features of this coat are the pit zips, generous hood, 3 external pockets (+1 more for a ski pass), a giant internal pocket (which my son has designated his snack stash), and an awesome powder skirt. The Mountain Town Coat also has elastic wrist gaiters which are incredible for keeping snow out of sleeves and keeping hands dry. The grow cuffs will help you get an extra size out of them so that the coat lasts longer, which is always amazing!
Town Hall makes 2 different styles of coats, and our favorite is the Mountain Town Winter Coat. It’s got more features (powder skirt, wrist cuffs, and better pocket design) and is really designed for kids who ski or ride a lot or are spending big chunks of time in the snow. This is what we chose for our kids! The Around Town Coat still has great insulation and waterproofing, but just fewer features. Basically, it’s the budget version of the Mountain Town Jacket, so still an awesome option!
Use code BringTheKids23 for 20% off your order!
Use code BRINGKIDS20 for 20% off all gear at Reima.
The days of snowsuits being just for babies and toddlers are long gone. The Reima Stavanger snowsuit for kids is one of the best winter coats you’ll find (and as a bonus, you don’t need to buy snow pants too). We absolutely LOVE this snowsuit, and not just because it’s adorable…even though it is.
The Reima Stavanger is designed with kids in mind so that kids can be kids and just PLAY HARD. It’s warm, waterproof, and incredibly comfortable. I love that it’s roomy and a cinch to put on with a silky smooth lining, so even our 4-year-old can put it on alone, even with all his layers on. We also love that it has non-slip foot loops so it stays pulled down over your snow boots, and that it’s incredibly durable so kids can play rough and you don’t have to worry about them ruining their new kids snowsuit.
If you have kids who get cold easily, or who spend a lot of time outside in cold weather, this is the warmest kids coat you’ll find. This kids snowsuit has been winning awards left and right for years, so it’s no surprise that we recommend it as one of the best coats for younger kids (even if it’s a snowsuit). This kids snowsuit is available in size 2T up to a size 10, though sizes do run a bit large.Burton Powline GORE-TEX Insulated Jacket – Kids’ – Kids
The Burton Powline is an incredibly high-quality ski and snowboard jacket for kids. It’s made with Goretex fabric that’s GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY so you never have to worry about wet kids. Of course, to go along with that very durable outerwear material is fully taped seams and fantastic breathability. Best of all, it has 100g of Thermocore insulation which is the perfect combination of lightweight and warm, so it creates a super warm coat, without extra bulk so that kids stay warm without overheating in this warm ski coat for kids!
Top that off with great underarm zippers for ventilation and a great powder skirt to keep snow from coming inside while sledding, skiing or snowboarding. The styling of this winter coat for kids make it the perfect kids coat for snowboarding or a great kids ski coat for kids who are looking for a freestyle look. If you’re looking for a high-end waterproof winter jacket for kids, this is a great option.
We love all things Reima for outdoor kids, and their winter coats are one area where this Finnish children’s brand shines. Reima makes clothing specifically designed for kids, to allow them to just play and be kids. We love the Tirro jacket because not only is it amazing quality, but it’s also made with sustainable Bluesign fabric, with a safe water-repellant finish.
Not only can you feel good about having your kids in great materials, but it’s also waterproof, warm, and breathable. This is the coat that our 10-year-old is wearing this year and it’s working for everything from biking to school and playing at recess, to skiing, sledding, and playing in the snow all day! The coat has a waterproof rating of 10,000, and is designed to keep kids warm down to -5 degrees F.
A few other features we love about this winter coat for kids in the detachable hood, adjustable cuffs, detachable powder skirt, and zippered pockets. We also love that all the seams are sealed and that there are inner lycra cuffs on the sleeves to keep all the snow out and the warmth in!
For years, our family wore Boulder Gear coats and we absolutely LOVE THEM! Here, our youngest 2 boys are wearing the boys Liam boys winter coats from Boulder Gear, which has just had a name change and is now the Grit. While these two boys winter jackets have different colors, they are the exact same high quality kids coat. Both the Grit and the Liam are waterproof rated to 10,000mm, have a detachable hood, adjustable elastic cuffs, and a soft fleece collar (which is a big deal for one of my boys who is very sensitive about what material touches him).
These children’s winter coats have a bit of a powder skirt, but it doesn’t cinch tight, so it’s mostly used as a little extra protection from snow coming up from the bottom (I always put my younger kids in these amazing bib snow pants as well to keep the snow out). These go from sizes 2T-6, and are our favorite toddler winter coats. (My boys here are 3 and 6 and wearing a 3T and 6T, so these toddler winter jackets run true to size in our experience.)
For 2 years, we really put these jackets to the test with skiing and think they’re some of the best ski jackets for little boys (especially for the price!)
Another Boulder Gear favorite around here is the Boulder Gear Spark Jacket (formerly known as the Madcap pictured above – all the same details and specs – just a different name and coloring). My older two boys wore this Boulder Gear Youth Jacket for a couple of years and we loved it so much!
Honestly, the quality of these coats is really good and the details and features that have been added to these coats are better than some adult winter coats which is why we rank them as some of the best winter coats for kids. Both have a waterproof rating of 10,000mm, have a detachable hood, adjustable grow cuffs, a snapping powder skirt, and a cinching hem.
My favorite features are the lycra wrist cuffs with the thumb loop (so it’s almost impossible for snow to get up their sleeves), the sealed seams for extra waterproofing, and the armpit zips (boy moms REJOICE!!). My boys were probably the most excited about all the pockets and the hole for their headphones to come out.
Note: in the smaller sizes, we noticed that the youth styles ran large. Our average sized 8-year-old is wearing a size 8 and it’s quite big on him and it may even fit him for 2 more seasons with the grow cuffs extended. For the larger sizes (medium and large), the sizing seemed more true to the actual size in these kid’s winter parkas.
This is our favorite Boulder Gear Jacket for girls. Our daughter wore the older version for 2 years and then it’s been passed onto her cousins for the last 2 seasons, and it’s still going STRONG! Our daughter is wearing the Boulder Gear Youth Girls Dreamer Jacket in this picture, but it’s since been replaced by the Tatiana (which has all of the same features, except the fur hood), and we absolutely LOVE IT. As with all the other Boulder Gear coats our kids are wearing, it has a superior waterproofing of 10,000mm, a snapping powder skirt, sealed seams, and good core ventilation. It has all of the best features that we look for in great girls winter jackets.
The girls TatianaJacket has the same lycra wrist cuffs with thumb loops that the youth boys jackets have and I absolutely love it. If you’re looking for winter coats for kids girls will love the combination of quality and style from Boulder Gear is hard to beat.
The colors of the new Tatiana are fantastic and they have everything from cool colors to funky patterns so you’re sure to find a girls coat you love! Personally, our daughter also loves that this girls coat has plenty of pockets to stash her snacks, chap stick, and of course a few spare scrunchies!
If you’re looking for a warm boys winter coat with maximum warmth and that’s also waterproof, this is a great choice for you. Think of the Polar Down Jacket winter coat for kids as a combination between a down jacket and a waterproof outer layer. With 700 fill down and a waterproof outer, If your kids are always getting cold, this is a great warm kids coat for winter that will keep them comfortable all winter long! This kid winter coat also features adjustable cuffs. a powder skirt, and a drawstring hem to keep elements out and warmth in!
Probably the best thing about this boys winter coat is that it has a lifetime warranty (though you probably won’t need it). With 10,000mm waterproofing your this is a great option for a boys waterproof coat, also making it one of the best boys ski jackets. Another great feature the Spyder Ambush jacket has is that not only is the hood removable, but it’s also helmet compatible, adding not only coverage, but also warmth on really cold days. If you’re looking to buy one of the top boys’s ski jackets, this is one to highly consider!
This girls ski coat is great for kids who are really going to be pushing the limits and spending a lot of time outside (whether skiing or not). Its 15,000mm waterproof rating is spectacular, and it features a full length wind guard to really protect kids when the weather is at its worth.
One really neat feature of these girls winter coats is that the material is a bit stretchy which allows kids to really move around freely and quickly without feeling like their clothing is restricting them. The Obermeyer Leia jacket also features stretchy wrist guards with thumb holes (like the Boulder Gear Youth Jackets), which is one of the best ways to keep hands and wrists warm and dry. If you want warm winter jackets girls will love, Obermeyer is a great choice!
A couple of seasons ago, we got an older version of this coat second hand and it had already been used by a couple of kids. Honestly, I was skeptical that this kids Columbia coat would perform well, but I was pleasantly surprised and it turned out being one of the best children’s winter jackets.
My son never complained about being cold, and even though it was a used kids coat, it still retained its waterproofing and my son never got wet (even on those days where he was outside digging and rolling in the snow for hours and hours). This coat also features Columbia’s Omni-heat reflective technology to help keep kids warm (read Does Columbia’s Omni-Heat really work?)
We’ve since talked to many people who’ve had similar great experiences with this coat, proving that it’s got great longevity and warmth, both of which are fantastic factors for a coat for kids, especially if you want to pass the coat down to younger siblings or friends.
I also like that this boy’s waterproof winter coat (now available in a girls version too) has a powder skirt, adjustable wrist cuffs, and plenty of pockets (so we could designate one just for his ski pass and never worry about it). If you’re looking for warm kids jackets, this is our favorite kids jacket from Columbia, who is know for making some of the best kids coats.
While we haven’t tried out the Duke Jacket from Shred Dog, after my friend Tami kept raving about it, I knew that this was going to be an amazing jacket. After our experiences with the Elevated Hardshell, we knew that this jacket would have the same quality as all the other Shred Dog Gear we’ve tried out. It’s perfect if you’re in the market for boys warm coats for winter.
He got a lot of additional wear with the Malamute ski jackets for kids last Spring, and pretty much refused to take it off (even in his school classroom). He says it’s his warmest jacket. But it must be highly breathable, or else he’d be overheating!
I think the absolute best feature of Shred Dog jackets and pants is their patented Adjust-A-Fit™ System. You can use it to lengthen or shorten the sleeves or pant legs, which really gives you more bang for your buck. We expect to get a second winter season out of my son’s Shred Dog jacket. If your child skis or snowboards, I recommend the Shred Dog convertible bib pants, too. They are the nicest snow pants he’s ever owned, and even kept out snow in deep drift conditions.
You can use the same discount as above for GREAT DEALS on Shred Dog Gear! Take 20% off any regular priced item with code BRINGHTEKIDS
This is a boys and girls ski jacket that is for kids who are going to be spending lots of time outside this winter in the snow and the cold. This jacket is a 3 in1 snow jacket from The North Face, so you can perfectly layer your kid’s clothing depending on the weather and conditions. It’s waterproof laminated to protect against wind and snow, and all of the seams are sealed for high performance. We love that kids can wear the shell alone, the liner alone for warmth, or zip them together for the ultimate snow coat for kids! The wrist cuffs don’t have any elastic so make sure to teach your kids how to adjust the velcro every time so that their arms and wrists don’t get covered in snow.
Reima is a kids outerwear company from Finland that has a longstanding reputation for making some of the best kids outerwear on the market, and especially good winter coats for kids. The Kielajacket is a winter coat for girls that’s designed for winter play, and works great doing just about anything you can throw at it. It’s got a 10,000mm waterproof rating and the insulation is nice and warm so kids can stay outside all day long!.
We love that this girl’s winter coat has a coating on it to help prevent staining and o keep it cleaner. This girl’s coat has the perfect blend of insulation so the coat is super warm, but it still feels lightweight and flexible, so it’s perfect for kids to move and play in! Reima is a fairly new brand to the US, but we’ve been using them for year and they make incredible kids outdoor clothing! Definitely consider this as you’re on the search for a great kids waterproof coat.
The Columbia Whirlibird Jacket for kids goes back to Columbia’s roots with a 3-in-1 system for kids. This girls winter coat is perfect for getting 3 seasons of use out of one coat, or if you live somewhere warmer, but occasionally travel to cold destinations in the winter. This girls coat for skiing features Columbia’s Omni-Tech Waterproofing which has a LIFETIME GUARANTEE, so it’s a perfect warm girls winter coat (or warm boys winter coat) to pass down to younger siblings.
This girls Columbia winter coat for kids also features grow cuffs, so that you can get two seasons of use out of one coat. The liner of this warm children’s coat features Columbia’s reflective Omni-Heat technology (make sure to read Does Columbia’s Omni Heat Really Work?) and is one of the best kids winter jackets. If you want a youth winter coat that’s really versatile, this is a great option.
These snow suits are LEGIT! Tobe outerwear is designed to withstand snow with a 20,000 mm waterproof outer layer you do NOT have to worry about snow or rain in this, making them some of the best kids ski jackets. I LOVE them for my kids, but they are SOOOO expensive so invest now and be ready to hand them down to get your money’s worth. These high quality super snow suits will protect arms, legs and body from all the elements. They’re reinforced in the knees and backside, have wrist and ankle fasteners, an outer gaiter to cover boots, and weatherproof zippers. This is one of the best winter jackets for extreme cold and a great kids waterproof winter coat.
Submitted by Susan from Mountain Mom and Tots
This is our favorite puffy coat for kids simply because it is super durable and can be used as an outer layer without worrying about destroying it as kids play hard. The 650 fill power Downtek™also means that it’s protected if the kids get wet (which they often do) and also makes it one of the warmest kids coats. Note: This coat is not waterproof, but it’s a great kids down coat.
We love the zippered pockets, the form-fitting hood (which often replaces hats for my kids) and the fact that it is long enough to keep the snow out.
Our kids wear the Ice House as an outer layer and as a mid layer from fall through spring.
The best part? It’s not bulky or heavy and works fine if you size up to grow into it, making it one of the best childrens down jackets on the market.
Submitted by Amelia from Tales of Mountain Mama
I hope that this article has helped you decide on what is the best kids winter coat for your kids this winter.
We’ve covered toddlers winter coats, best winter coats for extreme cold, boys winter coats, girls winter coats, and all the best waterproof winter coats for kids.
Why should you trust our advice?
I’m a mom of 5 kids and our whole family LOVES outdoor adventures. We live in the mountains of Utah, so a good coat is a necessity for about 8 months of the year (and occasionally during summer too). We love to ski, snowshoe, sled, and hike in the winter. With kids ranging from 6-16, I’ve been on the hunt for the best kids coats for well over a decade, and have found some pretty amazing options, and we keep finding more every year. The coats below are all fantastic and are outerwear that we highly recommend. Hopefully our personal experiences will help you choose the best coat for your kids too!
Why Do Kids Need Good Coats?
If you want your kids to be active and spend time outside, they have to actually enjoy what they’re doing. And I’ve never met a kid who was wet and cold in the winter, tell me that they’re having a great time. Whether your kids are learning how to ski or just playing with snow toys in the backyard, a good coat is essential.
Now more than ever, our kids need our help to motivate them to get outside, with the average child spending 7 hours a day in front of a screen. In winter, it’s just EASIER to let our kids stay inside, but easier doesn’t always mean better.
Buying good winter gear for our kids is an area that I never skimp on…
Okay, that’s a lie – I bought my son a cheap boys winter coat from Target when he was 3 and he always came inside wet and complaining throughout the winter – HUGE MISTAKE! NOW, I always make sure that our kids have high quality coats, boots, snow pants and gloves every winter (and if you can’t afford to buy new, make sure to waterproof old gear with this waterproofing spray). So do your kids a favor and buy them the best winter jacket that you possibly can.
If you don’t have a big budget, we’ve shared some of our favorite closeout and high quality brands that you can get at a discount below.
Discount Winter Coats For Kids
Below we’ve listed what we believe are the best winter coats for kids. The quality is fantastic, and most of these coats will last for years and years (especially the coats from Shred Dog or Reima). The tradeoff is that most of these cost more than at big box stores (which is why we have negotiated discounts for our readers on Shred Dog, Town Hall, and Reima, because we think they’re the best). While we absolutely think that all the coats we mention are worth the price, we also acknowledge that sometimes, your budget can’t always afford the top-of-the-line outerwear for kids. Here are some of our favorite discount coats for kids:
What type of coat do my kids need for winter?
The winter coats for kids that we’re recommending below are all great quality and will last ALL DAY outside. A good kids winter coat does a lot more than just keep kids warm and dry on the playground for 30 minutes.
Remember, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing!
If you want your kids to be warm and dry this winter, choose the best kid coat for skiing or the best kids jacket for snowboarding. Ski coats for kids are meant to withstand cold temperatures, wet conditions, windy, and lots of ice.
If you live somewhere with really mild winters, or extra cold winters where you need to wear more layers, you’ll absolutely need to get a kids puffy jacket!
“But what if we don’t ski?“
Don’t worry if you don’t ski. Your goal as a parent is to choose the best possible coat for your kids and when it comes to kids outerwear, kids ski coats are almost always the best made coats.
Our kids wear their ski coats EVERYWHERE in the winter, and I never worry that they’ll be cold or wet because I know that we bought great quality gear to start with. If they take a walk around the block that turns into 2 hours of playing in the snow with the neighbor kids, I know that they’ll be JUST FINE! Also, keep in mind that most winter coats are not safe for wearing in the car, especially in a car seat. Read all about how to keep kids warm in the car without a bulky coat.
Kids Winter Coat CHECKLIST
If you want to determine whether a kids ski coat is good or not, see if it meets these 5 criteria! A good coat for kids is waterproof, breathable, keeps snow out, fits well, and has a hood.
Don’t be tricked into buying a coat that’s just water resistant. Your kids winter jackets get put to the test, so make sure that they can handle whatever the weather throws at them.
Good winter jackets for kids are always waterproof!
Not all kids waterproof coats are created equal though – a waterproof rating of 1,500mm can only withstand light rain, a 5,000mm rating can withstand moderate rain, and a 10,000mm waterproof rating can withstand extreme rain, so make sure your kids waterproof winter coat has a high waterproof rating (some of the best below have a rating of 20,000mm). Hint: If a coat doesn’t specify the waterproof rating, it’s likely not very good!
Check out our favorite waterproof snow pants for kids.
Making sure that you have a winter jacket for kids that is breathable is incredibly important for helping your kids regulate their body temperatures. If your kids are skiing down the mountain and getting super hot, as soon as they get on the chairlift, that sweat will cool down and they’ll freeze. If they are wearing a more breathable coat, they won’t get as hot to begin with.
Keeps Snow Out
I know that this might seem obvious, but there are actually a lot of kids winter jackets that don’t keep snow out. The most important areas to keep snow out are at the wrists and at the waist on kids warm coats.
A good kids coat will have elastic around the wrists to keep snow out, and either a drawstring or a powder skirt to prevent snow from going up from the waist. Always buy a kids coat with elastic wrists, or better yet get a coat without elastic wrists that has an inner elastic cuff, which I’m convinced is the best feature ever for kids coats (Boulder Gear Youth coats and a few others below have these and a thumbhole and we are so obsessed with this feature).
Fits Well – Not too loose, not too tight
It’s tempting to order your warm kids coats a size or two up so that you can get some extra wear out of it, but if your kids coat is too big, they’ll just freeze since their bodies can’t keep all that extra air warm. While that can sometimes work with a lot of extra layering, I recommend looking for a brand that fits well that has grow-cuffs in the sleeves which can actually extend the sleeves, making it fit correctly for 2 years in a row.
Good winter coats should always have a hood in my opinion (even if it’s detachable). I can’t tell you the number of times that having a hood on our kids coats have saved us. You never know when the wind or snow are going to pick up and having a hood on your coat will be well worth it when the weather turns bad.
How warm does a kids winter coat need to be?
The warmth of a kids warm jackets, depends a lot on where you live (or will be vacationing). If you live in Alaska or Canada, you’ll the warmest winter jackets for kids, but if you live in Tennessee, a waterproof kids overcoat with an insulating layer might work well.
We live in the mountains of Utah, where it’s often in the single digits and we ski a lot. On super cold days, we have our kids layer more underneath their coat with good baselayers, and on super cold days, a kids puffy coat. We don’t find that we need anything extraordinarily thick or bulky and our kids actually prefer regular sized coats over bulky ones (bulky coats inhibit movement too much and give them that marshmallow look and feel. While it’s tempting to just buy the warmest winter jacket for kids, if your kids are going to be active during the winter, they’ll likely want a kids winter coat that’s more of a midweight coat. Remember it’s important to buy winter coats kids will actually wear, not just what looks best in photos or in the specs.
What Brands of Winter coats are best for kids?
We have several brands that our family has used and loved over the years and many that we’ve used and gotten rid of quickly. Here are the best winter coat brands for kids:
How many winter coats do kids need?
Often, kids will need 2 winter coats. One that is more lightweight and good for playing on the playground and backyard, and another that’s good for snowy or wet conditions. We prefer to get our kids 3-in-1 coat systems like Shred Dog so that we only need to buy them one set and know that it will work for year-round use.
What type of kids winter coat is the warmest?
The warmest winter coats for kids are always ski coats. They’re designed to protect kids against the cold, wet, and wind. If you have a kid that gets extra cold, consider getting them a snowsuit.
Are snowsuits better than coats?
If you have a kid who gets extra cold, yes, a snowsuit is a warmer option. Keep in mind that it does take longer to put a snowsuit on, and they don’t work well for every situation (like playing quickly on the school playground). However for kids who get really cold or will be in extreme weather, snowsuits are a better option than coats. Check out our full review of the warmest kids snowsuits.
Is a puffy jacket good for winter?
A puffy jacket is a good second coat or insulating layer, but rarely do puffy coats work well as a standalone winter coat. The rare exception to that is with a waterproof kids puffy coat, though those are difficult to find and can be pretty expensive. For most kids a puffy coat can be layered under another waterproof hardshell, like the Shred Dog Elevated Hardshell Jacket.
What is the best coat for toddlers?
For toddlers, I almost always recommend getting a snowsuit instead of a coat. Since toddlers often still need help getting a coat on, the extra few seconds to put a snowsuit on isn’t much more work and will keep them much warmer, drier and more clean. If you have a toddler who really wants just a coat, I recommend the Boulder Gear Liam coat for toddlers. This is the best coat for toddlers that our kids have personally worn and the features are fantastic for all cold weather use.
What temperature should kids start wearing a winter coat?
This can vary from child to child. Generally, kids will want to start wearing a warm winter coat when the temperature is between 30-45 degrees Fahrenheit. Any weather where the temperatures are below freezing is a good signal to you that kids should be wearing their warm kids winter coats. If you are used to living somewhere very warm, kids might want a winter coat when the temperatures get below 50 degrees.
How can I keep my kids warm without buying them a new coat?
If a new coat isn’t in the budget or isn’t practical for your family, don’t dismay. With simple layering pieces, your kids can still stay warm, dry and comfortable in the cold weather. By layering kids with good quality base layers, a warm midlayer (fleece is a great option that’s warm and very affordable), kids will be significantly warmer. Check out this article on our other site about the best kids base layers, for layering option sin every price range (and some great discounts too).
Can I make my kids coat more waterproof at home?
Absolutely! If you have a coat that needs the waterproofing renewed, I highly recommend looking into Nikwax products. We’ve used them over and over agin in our home and they’ve helped us get more use out of gear that we thought had lost its life. I especially love that they have waterproofing products for jackets, gloves and other outerwear that’s specific to the type of gear and also have a variety of application options.
A good kids winter coat should be designed to last for years and be passed down to multiple kids. All the coats we’ve reviewed are high quality and should easily last for more than 5 years of constant winter use.
Unless you live somewhere that doesn’t rain or snow during the winter, your kids coats should all be waterproof. Even in dry snow, kids outerwear will still get wet, so plan on only buy waterproof winter clothing.
Yes, there are. For general snow play, we recommend that kids wear a coat with at least a 10,000 waterproof rating. However, if you live in an area with wet conditions or your kids stay outside for long periods of time, get a coat with 20,000 waterproof rating. Our favorite waterproof coats for kids are made by Shred Dog.
Coats from Costco or other big box stores are only okay for winter use. They are moderately warm, but they won’t give the performance you need for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. If you want a winter coat that will last, buy one from a specialty retailer. So many people buy cheap boys winter coats and then can’t understand why their kids don’t like spending time outside in the winter. Trust me – the quality of the gear you buy DOES MATTER!
To get a high quality winter coat for kids, plan on spending at least $100. For even better waterproofing and durability, you will likely spend closer to $200.