The snow is flying, many resorts have safely opened, and keen kiddos are itching to hit the slopes or the skin track. Help your little ripper get ready for a season of French fries (with a side of pizza) with our favorite kids’ ski and snowboard gear, including can’t-go-wrong apparel for keeping little ones warm.
Safety first: The POCito is a lightweight brain bucket that won’t stress little necks, but still comes equipped with the same safety features as the adult version. It has POC’s SPIN rotational impact protection and RECCO reflectors (which pick up radio signals in a rescue). It also has adjustable vents and a size-adjustment system so the helmet can be worn multiple seasons. $180
Protect little peepers from blowing snow and harsh sunshine and glare with the versatile Smith Grom goggles. The medium frame fits both small and big kids and serves up enough space to accommodate prescription glasses without pressure on the temples. Other than that, the Grom has all the features you want: soft face foam, a dual-adjustment strap, plenty of lens colors and even Smith’s top-of-the-line ChromaPop technology for great contrast in flat light. $90
These planks from Nordica make it easy to get going as soon as they arrive with premounted Marker FDT 4.5 bindings. They have a nice sidecut for little skiers to learn how to use their edges, plus just enough rocker (or rise in the tip) to help beginners plow over small bumps and chunks. The composite construction means they’re essentially indestructible and can easily be passed on to younger siblings. They’re available in multiple length options. $249.94
Whether they’re ready or not, kids want to ski with poles. (Tip: Start them without poles so they learn balance first.) When it’s time, hook your grom up with a solid set of poles like the Stove Pipes from Rossignol, which are made of strong 5086 aluminum that will retain its shape in most crashes (and haphazard packing). They have youth-size grips and are available in a number of lengths. $24.95
When it comes to cross-country skiing, our best advice is cheesy, but true: Start them young! In fact, you don’t even need to have any snow on the ground yet. These little skis from Madshus are perfect for kids to get used to shushing and sliding their feet on the carpet or grass—even if they just started walking. They’re relatively wide and have waxless bases for better stability, and they’re premounted with easy-to-use universal bindings. $59.95
Cold toes are one surefire way to end the day early. A pair of good socks like these from Darn Tough can help extend the session, thanks to a merino blend that keeps feet dry and—therefore—warm. For best results, pair with hot cocoa. $17
The other day-ender? Cold fingers. Hook your kiddo up with mittens rather than gloves (bonus: easier to put on), and you’ll be one step closer to a good day. The Aquabloc mitts from Gordini are snow-, wind- and waterproof with a moisture-wicking fleece liner that keeps hands dry. A soft terry panel on the back of the thumb works magic on runny noses. $33.95
If you little skier needs some threads, look no further. REI Co-op’s Timber Mountain line includes water- and windproof technical layers that won’t break the bank. Light synthetic insulation boosts warmth, and a bevy of ski-specific features like ankle zips that help cuffs fit over bulky ski boots and a grommet for displaying a lift ticket lend them to long days at the resort. The pants have an adjustable cuff that allows you to length the gaiters by 2 inches, so they should last multiple seasons. Cuteness alert: The Timber Mountain is also available in toddlers’ jacket (69.95) and overalls (59.95). $99.95 for the jacket; $74.95 for the pants
Proper layering for cold weather is key no matter how old you are. The ultrafine 18.5-gauge merino wool threads of these base layers from REI Co-op provide a soft-and-cozy feel next to skin—not the scratchiness of coarse wool—while flat seams, underarm gussets and a little extra length in the back ensure a good and comfortable fit under other layers. $49.95 for the top; $49.95 for the bottoms
Don’t forget about après. Your kiddo will likely want to get out of hard plastic ski boots just like you do. When they do, the waterproof Bogs Classic High insulated boots are a good bet in wet and slushy parking lots. Also: They’re easy to put on without an assist. $79.95
Interested in more staff picks and kits? Find more collections here.