12 August 2019

What Clothing and Equipment Children need for skiing?

It can be quite overwhelming taking your first ski holiday with children – as there are so many details to consider and one item missed can create a panic on the first morning of skiing. 
This  article summarises what clothing and equipment children need to ensure they have a great skiing holiday.

Learning to ski is not only an amazing experience for children, it is a learning opportunity to teach them skills which will take them through their whole live, it makes long term memories and the experience of exhilaration whilst overcoming challenges, they learn to apply these skills to every other situation in life.

It can be quite overwhelming taking your first ski holiday with children as there are so many details to consider and one item missed can create a panic on the first morning of skiing. 

Many children start skiing as young as three years old and their first memory of this new experience is important to both the children and parents.

There are real benefits to children having clothing which will keep then warm and dry, particularly their early experiences. For example, the equipment could make the difference between the child experiencing five amazing hours each day on the mountain as compared with three hours with poor equipment/clothing.

As a further example, when children turn up to the lesson, the instructor can tell how many breaks will be needed during the lesson from the type of clothing the children are wearing. If it is cold (but incredible skiing conditions) and the child does not have an appropriate jacket on, the instructor will need to take the children inside every 45 minutes (or around that time) on the other hand, if the child has good quality thermals which fit well, the instructor will not need to break the lesson up as the children will be warm.

This article summarises what clothing and equipment children need to ensure they have a great skiing holiday. 


Jacket and Salopettes/Ski Trousers - 

It is common for children to start with a well used jacket, however, this might have lost all its waterproofing and thermal properties.  It is important to check the waterproofing a couple of weeks before you go on holiday, there are spray wax products you can get to re-generate the jacket, or if you feel it is too far gone, there are many deals online for children's ski jackets and they can always be used as a warm jacket in winter anyway. A baggy size is fashionable on the piste and will last a two or three seasons.

Alternatively, you can buy children jackets in the village where you are guaranteed of ensuring you buy a jacket appropriate for the conditions. You will likely buy a higher quietly jacket, but the benefit will be it will last many years, the child will be assured of a better overall experience. Berthet Sports test most of the clothing they sell in their shop on the slopes around Les Gets,  they stock a range appropriate to the conditions in Les Gets and furthermore, the owner is also a qualified ski instructor so you can be assured of very good advice in the shop.


Thermal tops and bottoms - Another product you can get cheaply from TK Max and other large discount stores. These would be better not to buy online, as they do need to fit correctly. With the thermal bottoms, ensure to get three-quarter length thermal bottoms and not full length as it is common for people to tuck their childs thermal bottoms (full length) over their socks into their ski boots thinking that this will keep their feet warm. The truth is that this will normally compress the bottom of the leg, reducing blood flow to the foot, and making the childs feet colder. Often when teaching a new group this is often one of the first things the instructor will check and as soon as the child pulls their thermal out of their boot, their foot is usually instantly warmer.

Again, the shops in the village stock excellent thermals and from our experience their prices are no more than the UK,  the benefit of buying in Les Gets is that you can buy according to the weather conditions for when you are in holiday.

02 muddy puddles thermals

Skiing Socks - This is more important than many realise. Many parents will bring football socks or other thick socks, these will often be too thick, compressing the foot, hence this will reduce blood supply to the foot, the result is making the foot colder.  Additionally, a low quality material will not keep the foot warm anyway. Proper ski Socks are warm and of the correct thickness, they are made from a quality material. Again - if you do not arrive with appropriate socks, there are excellent shops in the village which sell ski socks.

Neck Warmer and Gloves/Mittens - Both are important, it is best that children try gloves on before you buy.

Hand Warmers to go in the gloves - These cost around 20 euros for a pack of 20, there are also deals online, these are good for children to keep in their pockets.

03 ski socks


Helmet - No need to buy one, all ski shops will provide one with the skiis. Don’t let your child go to ski school without one, as for most ski schools this is mandatory.

Poles - the rental shop will fit them well, for small children they are not necessary, the ski school and the insctructors will let you know if your children need them.

Skis - again, the rental shop will fit them. If you bring your own skiis, make sure to get them checked and serviced before you go, as they need to be set correctly for the childs weight and also they need to be correctly serviced. For the first ski holiday, cheap skiis are fine and as children get better they will benefit from better quality skiis – these can all be hired.

Boots - it is worth asking the instructor to check the fitting at the start of the lesson.

Back protector - perhaps necessary if your child is on their 6th skiing holiday and is keen to do Freestyle or to jump off every rock they can see.

04 kids skiis

Eye Protection– This is something which is important as I seek quite a few children turning up with 5 euros sun glasses – and the children usually end up with headaches. This is particularly important, there are 4 categories of quality of lenses, the lenses should be either a 2 or a 3. There are a lot of ski googles in the market at a reasonable price and it is worth investing in a pair. There is a lot of focus on having two lenses (for low visibility and clear skys) however, my view is that the darker lens for clear sky days is universal and can be used on days of poor visibility, even on days of poor visibility there can be a lot of reflection and this lens will give more protection to the eyes. Again, there are excellent shops in the village which sell eye protection and, from our experience, their prices are no more than buying in the UK yet of the same or better quality.

Ski Passes – If you don’t book ski passes in advance, you can be queuing for an at least hour on the first day of your holiday. If you book with Chalets1066 before your holiday, we will deliver the ski passes to your chalet, at no extra cost.

Other little extras - a smalll snack is always good and sun cream for the sunny days!

By Ben Nathan - ISIA qualified Ski Instructor

05 kids helmet and goggles

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