Winter’s cold temperatures, snow, and propensity for getting us wet makes outerwear and insulation critically important for everyone, including kids—especially if your family spends a lot of time outdoors. We have taken our kids on multi-day ski trips to backcountry yurts since they were little, and now my oldest joins me backcountry skiing. Whether we’re miles from civilization, or downhill or Nordic skiing at a resort, I outfit my kids with good-quality winter jackets, pants, gloves and mittens so they’ll be comfortable and safe and enjoy the experience. Because they’ll outgrow it within a couple of years, I look for well-made clothing that delivers high dollar value and could get used by a younger child. I review here the stuff my kids are wearing now.
Kids Puffy Jacket L.L. Bean Puff-n-Stuff Jacket
$59, 13.5 oz. (boys large/14-16)
Sizes: boys’ and girls’ S-XL (8-18), little boys’ and girls’ S-L (4-7) llbean.com
From wearing it as a layering piece under a shell when skiing, to backpacking in late March in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park when the temperature dropped below freezing, to innumerable school days, my son has worn this hooded, insulated jacket so much it has hardly seen a hanger (partly because he doesn’t appear to know how to use a hanger). When buying outdoor apparel for kids, you sometimes have to choose between high quality and affordability. I’m a believer that, like adults, kids enjoy the outdoors more when they’re comfortable—but it’s hard pulling the trigger on an expensive item, given how few seasons a kid wears something before outgrowing it. At 59 bucks, the Puff-n-Stuff Jacket is a steal.