10 best kids’ ski jackets for 2019/2020 that will make them fit for the slopes
From snug one-pieces for younger children to street-style options for older kids, there’s something for everyone
When buying a ski jacket for your kids, it must keep them warm and dry, and the good news is that there are plenty out there that do that with aplomb. Kids tend to feel the cold more than adults, and if they spend their ski holiday shivering, they’re not likely to want to go again.
It’s worth keeping an eye out for the technical details you’d expect on an adults’ jacket as these are increasingly found on kids’ jackets too. When it comes to skiing jackets, waterproofing tends to be measured by millimetres – referring to how it did during a water test – and breathability is rated by the speed at which a gram of sweat passes through the fabric per square metre over 24 hours.
While it’s tempting, considering the price of some ski jackets, to buy big with room to grow into it, the right fit is important for maximum warmth and minimal drafts, so opt for a design that they’re happy to wear at home too and you’ll get better value for money.
These jackets have been tested in the wind and the rain and none have been found wanting. They’ve been chosen for their great features and design, plus the fact they are all machine washable. You can trust our independent reviews.
We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Boden all-weather waterproof jacket – mineral blue polar bears: From £65, Boden
An adorable print and a good price, Boden’s all-weather jacket is extremely warm, very well made and has all the features you could wish for on the slopes. Boden has totally nailed winter wear, and that it’s not first and foremost a ski brand deserves even more credit. Fleece-lined and with a well-judged amount of padding, this jacket is a total snuggle-fest. The hood is also lined with fleece and is detachable, as is its fur trim.
A snow skirt, elasticated cuffs, taped seams and lift pass pocket are included, and it’s waterproof to at least 16,500mm and breathable (but not rated). It gets extra points for being sold in sizes from two to 16 years, and there are eight designs to choose from, each with matching waterproof trousers.
Dinoski spike dinosaur-themed ski suit: £185, Dinoski
For some kids, a ski jacket isn’t enough – if you want to make sure they’re as toasty as can be, an all-in-one is the answer, and they don’t get much more fun than this suit, styled to look like a dinosaur. Our little tester absolutely loved it, and we can’t fault it either. New to the market last winter, the brand has clearly done its research as the suit is packed with useful features, including a hood large enough to go over a helmet, chunky zip toggles and long inner cuffs.
It’s made from recycled plastic bottles and has waterproofing to 10,000mm. The sizing is generous but because it’s not too bulky it’s easy to turn up the outer sleeves and legs (and because it’s all-in-one you don’t get any draughts). The hardest thing is deciding which animal to go for – there’s also a panda, unicorn, lion, bunny and tiger to choose from, and they’re available for kids aged from two to seven.
Helly Hansen jr diamond jacket: £170, Helly Hansen
A classy option for older kids, Helly Hansen’s diamond jacket is insulated with Primaloft and has a great warmth to weight ratio. Really stylish, our older tester was happy to wear it out and about at home too, and loved the cosy details, such as fleece-lined pockets and its soft-touch, PFC-free water-repellent coating. The hood is detachable but could do with a bit more chin protection. Inside, there’s a goggle pocket, a zipped pocket and a powder skirt that can be tucked away when not in use. Available in navy and pink, grey and white, and turquoise and white, it’s sold in sizes from 128cm to 176cm. The jr cyclone is a very similar model for boys, also at £170.
Jack Wolfskin powder mountain jacket: £100, Jack Wolfskin
Insulated without being overly bulky, Jack Wolfskin’s powder mountain jacket is bursting with great features and eco initiatives – its insulation is made from 100 per cent recycled fibres, and its outer is 100 per cent recycled texapore polyester with a PFC-free water-repellent finish. It also includes such ski essentials as a lift-pass pocket and a powder skirt, plus a zipped inside pocket. The hood is well shaped and elasticated to stay in place, but doesn’t fit over a helmet. The fold-out chin guard is a nice touch. It’s waterproof to 20,000mm and breathable at 15,000g/sqm. It’s available from size 92cm to 164cm, and also comes in red, navy and orange.
Kuling autumn orange val thorens winter parka: £68, Alex and Alexa
A great unisex option, and one that works as well in the parks and playgrounds at home as it does in the mountains, Kuling’s parka is toasty with grown-up styling. Kuling is Alex and Alexa’s own brand, and its expertise is clear to see – the parka is waterproof to 15,000mm, breathable at 8,000g/sqm, and has a detachable fur-trimmed hood (which our tester loved hiding away in). It also features sheepskin lining across the back and in the hood, and is longer at the back, which was great for when our tester wanted to sit down. It doesn’t have a powder skirt so is better worn with salopettes, but does have elasticated cuffs. It’s available in sizes from 92cm to 152cm.
Mini Rodini K2 penguin parka: £155, Mini Rodini
This penguin print was a huge hit with our young tester, and the fur-trimmed hood was another cosy place to tuck into. Definitely at the street-wear end of the ski jacket spectrum, it doesn’t have a snow skirt or over cuffs, but is nicely padded and is waterproof to 10,000mm, as well as being breathable at 8,000g/sqm. While the outer fabric is free from PFCs and feels durable but tough, the lining is a let down – it’s recycled polyester satin but feels very cold to the touch. Other green credentials include the Bionic-Finish eco coating on the shell, and 100 per cent recycled polyester padding. It’s available from 80/86cm to 140/146cm, and there’s also a tiger, camo and plain black option.
Perfect Moment kids’ striped super mojo jacket navy snow white: £400, Perfect Moment
So snuggly and chic, Perfect Moment’s padded water-resistant jacket has 90 per cent goose down filling, which gave our tester the feeling he was wearing his duvet but without the bulk. The zipped internal pocket with headphone system also got the nod of approval, and it was nice to find a goggle pocket with an attached goggle wipe – the only jacket here to include that. There’s no escaping the price – it’s expensive and isn’t fully waterproof, but for street style points on the slopes it comes up trumps. It’s available in seven different chevron colourways, and in sizes from aged six to 14.
Polarn O.Pyret padded winter coat: £90, Polarn O.Pyret
A really hard working jacket from one of the leading Swedish brands for kids’ outdoor clothes, Polarn O.Pyret’s padded winter coat has all the ski features you could wish for, plus plenty of durability for keeping warm at home too. Another one flagging up its eco credentials, the shell has Bionic-Finish, an ecological water-repellent and soil-repellent coating, and its soft fleece lining is not only cosy but made from recycled fibres.
Waterproof and snowproof, this coat benefits from the exceptionally warm but lightweight Primaloft insulation. Waterproof to 10,000mm and breathable at 5,000g/sqm, we had no complaints from our tester in this. The only negative is it’s not as fun as some of the others – it’s definitely function over form, but it does function extremely well. It’s available in four different colours, and sizes from 98cm to 152cm.
Reima Kids’ ski jacket roxana: £125, Snow and Rock
The ever-reliable Finnish outdoor brand Reima doesn’t disappoint with its roxana ski jacket – it’s packed with details and is so well made our tester has loved wearing it. Another jacket featuring the fluorocarbon-free water and dirt repellent Bionic-Finish eco coating, the Roxana is waterproof to 10,000mm and breathable at 7,000g/sqm. We love the little thoughtful touches, such as the strip of microfleece on the front of the hood where it touches your chin – we haven’t seen that on a jacket before.
Inside, there’s a zipped pocket as well as a goggle pouch and the snow skirt can be removed or attached into the lining when not in use. The hood is detachable and both it and the collar are fleece-lined. The roxana jacket is available in two prints and has a slightly fitted cut; the regor jacket is the same but has a straight cut and is also available in two prints. Both are sold in sizes 92cm to 140cm.
Wedze jr 3-in-1 skiing jacket freeride 900: £89.99, Decathlon
A proper grown-up jacket for budding freeriders, this 3-in-1 offering from Decathlon’s in-house brand Wedze is a technical treat and superb value with its lightly padded inner jacket and fully waterproof outer. Either wear each on their own depending on conditions and activity, or combine for maximum warmth and comfort.
Waterproof to 10,000mm and with vents with breathability, there are three inner pockets (one zipped, two pouches), and the snow skirt can be tucked away when not in use. This is the only jacket in our roundup with a hood compatible with wearing a helmet, but we still found it a bit of a squeeze. However don’t let that deter you, this is an excellent jacket, we only wish it was available for a larger range of sizes – four sizes are sold, between eight years and 14 years. It comes in green or navy and grey colourways.
The verdict: Kids’ ski jackets
For fantastic value for every age, the Boden all-weather jacket takes the top spot. Packed with features and warmth, it outperforms jackets three times its price. If you’re looking for a ski jacket for an older child, we love Wedze’s 3-in-1, and if you’re happy to spend a bit more Reima’s roxana offers brilliant technical details and durability for a fairly broad age range.
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