First time packing for a family ski trip? Here’s my essential ski kit for kids guide - the basics plus a few extra tips to keep your little ones warm and happy in the white stuff.
1. 50+ Sun Screen – Nivea Pocket Size - Boots £3.00
Super important for kid’s skiing is sun protection. Reflecting off snow, rays burn fast so make sure your minis are smothered in sun screen on any exposed areas. Nivea does a great pocket size. Both of mine go to ski lessons with one in their pocket.
2. 30+ Lip Protection – Nivea – Boots £4.00
Mountain air cracks lips like you wouldn’t believe. Partner that with sun and you’ve got a big problem. Prevent miserable kids by applying liberally every hour or so. Top tip – get one for each child & make it a rule it lives in their ski pocket.
3. Sunglasses - £5.00 - £30.00
Shielding little eyes from the rays is imperative, but quite frankly can be a major faff - young kids especially are forever pulling them off! The ones with special kiddie straps will last marginally longer in situ but the fact is English kids don’t have it drilled into them to keep them on, like our European neighbours. Personally on the slopes we keep goggles ON, even munching our lunch (unless we’re inside!). Good for off the slopes & for older kids, and easily found in any ski resort if you forget to pack a pair. Bonus - can be picked up cheaply due to EU minimum protection laws, so forget about paying top dollar.
4. Non-chocolate sugar snack!
I pack at least one mini pack of Haribos into my kid’s ski pockets before they head off to ski school. Fact – sugar will boost dwindling energy levels, and give a welcome break during ski lessons. Lets face it - sugar fuels most of us on the slopes. Stay away from chocolate – Spring sunshine melts fast!
5. Pocket Tissues - Wilko’s 6 pack 50p
Crucial for snotty noses – need I say more? Another essential item to pack into one of your child’s many ski jacket pockets! Top tip - buy multipacks before leaving the UK as you will pay well over the odds in-resort – save your euros and have another glass of vino at après ski! Wilko’s sell a 6 pack for 50p!
6. Bridgedale Kid’s Ski Socks - £12.00 Cotswolds
Don’t skimp on ski socks! Kids need to be warm otherwise there’s going to be a major meltdown. Choose wool, which wicks away sweat and keeps mini feet dry and warm. We love Bridgedale, - expensive, durable - well worth the bucks.
7. Regatta Canto Kids III Softshell Jacket – Go Outdoors £18 Black or for variety of colours - Cotswolds £35.00
I’m a huge fan of this fleece. A high collar is massively important to keep the cold out & this one is brilliant. Made from polyester, this garment washes fabulously and dries super fast. The only downside is non-zippered pockets but with its general overall performance, I’ll let that one slide! Great 4 seasons all rounder.
8. Helmet – Ride or Roxy £40.00
A comfy, well fitting helmet is kid crucial. Hire helmets in-resort with your skis/boots package or if you intend to be a regular, I’d advise you to invest & buy your own. They last years & your kids can sticker them up & make them their own. Mine love theirs to bits.
9. Goggles – £30.00 – 40.00
With a vast array of kid’s goggles on the market, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Don’t let your child choose from design alone – getting the right lens is critical in preventing snow blindness & allowing vision in bad weather. Avoid clear lenses. Yellow lenses are for bad weather and mirror lenses are for sunny conditions. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the slopes whatever the weather, buy an alternative weather lens to interchange & if you don’t feel confident changing lenses invest in two pairs. Choose goggles small enough for your child’s face and try them on with their helmets to make sure they fit together.
10. Roxy Ski Jacket £60.00 - 100.00
Make sure you get a proper ski jacket for the slopes. Waterproof, zippered pockets, and a powder skirt (a piece of elasticated material sewn around inside the jacket which stops snow getting in) are a must. Don’t spend a fortune as they rarely fit the following year. Ski brands slash their prices after Easter so grab a bargain by sneaky forward thinking. This one was reduced from £90 to £60 in the sale. Top tip - buy a brightly coloured ski jacket for them so you can easily spot them in bad weather.
11. Barts Tech Mittens £19.99 – we’ve tried zillions of kids ski gloves and trust me these are the best! Mittens are warmer than gloves so keep tiny hands toasty. These beauties go so high up the arm they never come off, which is a regular bug bear with short pairs. Buy two pairs or be diligent you put them on the radiator overnight. There are few things worse than pulling on cold wet gloves before a day on the slopes – a big no no.
12. Snood – Banish sub zero temperatures with a fleecy neck snood. Cheap at chips but critical for Dec thru to Feb.
13. Barts Snow Boots £36.00 www.alpineroomshop.co.uk
Deep snow is fun but wet work! Make sure you’ve got waterproof snow boots. These bright Barts moon boots are big enough to last for more than one season and are super comfy.
14. Thermals – M&S £15.00
Whilst Merino wool thermals are king for Jan/Feb, reliable M&S thermals are perfect for Spring. Layering is key to snow sports and mountain weather can change in a heartbeat, so a good thermal, fleece and outer layer will let you rug up or strip off as required.
15. Salopettes Roxy - £60.00 - £75.00
For 3-6 year olds I’d highly recommend salopettes over ski pants. Torso cover keeps warmth in and snow out. The downside is the extra time to undress for toilet breaks …..
16. Beanie - Barts
Perfect for sledging or snowman construction – a beanie keeps ears warm and hair dry. Barts have got a fabulous collection this season.
The Family Freestylers are us - the Nixon family, who relish travel adventures both near & far