If you’re planning a ski trip with the kids, lucky you! You have endless activities to look forward to – learning how to ski and snowboard together, building snowmen and gathering around fires with a hot chocolate.

But days on the slopes can be long, cold and frustrating, so it’s worth investing in gear that’ll keep everyone in the family warm, dry and happy. Less tantrums about cold hands or wet clothes mean more time for fun; nowadays, ski brands know this all too well, and are producing outerwear and gear for kids that’s fun, colourful and really effective. 

But is it worth buying all kinds of ski gear for kids when they may just grow out of it after one season? Here’s our ultimate guide to kids' ski gear. 

Buy or rent?

If your kids are brand new to skiing or snowboarding and you’re not sure how much they’ll enjoy the sport, it’s worth starting off by renting their equipment; or you can borrow from friends, as long as everything is the right size (after all, there’s nothing worse than a pair of ski boots that are too big or too small).

When it comes to purchasing kids' ski gear, there are some brands such as Burton that know exactly how quickly kids grow, and make outerwear to suit accordingly. Look out for jackets and pants where the hems can be extended by an inch or two, or even ski boots that can adjust by a couple of sizes when their feet inevitably grow. 

The benefit in spending a little more on well-known brands is that gear is also more likely to survive the ski tumbles and snow play without ripping or tearing, meaning more fun time and less time spent in the shops trying to find new jackets or pants!   

The essentials

The most important item for kids is, of course, a good helmet. Most ski schools worldwide have made them compulsory for kids' lessons, and although you can rent helmets, you can never be sure about the condition of the helmet you’re getting. 

A better option is to purchase a kids' ski helmet that complies with all industry regulations; you can even get helmet covers in a variety of themes (unicorn or dinosaur, anyone?) to make kids happier about wearing a helmet. Or look out for helmets where the ear pads can be removed to double as a bike helmet. 

You’ll also need to pick up a well-fitted pair of goggles to make sure kids can see and breathe properly, although it’s not necessary to spend a fortune on kids' goggles. Plus grab a pair of mittens, which are warmer and easier than gloves for little fingers to get on. You can even attach them to each other with a string and thread them through the arms of jackets to make sure they won’t be lost when taken off. 

The bits & pieces 

Cold weather means kids of all ages will need to layer up. Pack thermals, fleece jackets and puffer vests, and try to invest in good-quality layers that’ll keep kids' toasty on chilly days, but also regulate their body temperature if they’re running around or keeping active while out on the snow. 

It’s worth picking up a couple of pairs of kids' ski socks along with a fleece neck warmer; while inexpensive items, they’ll go the extra way to keeping little feet warm and cheeks rosy. 

Geared up by FOD

If you want to avoid bringing the kids in store and get more powder time, why not contact For Outdoors to arrange for a fitting or take advantage of For Outdoors' Direct to Resort service and get your gear delivered to any resort in Japan for you, ready for your family's holiday to commence. Tantrums = avoided.