What To Wear Snowboarding
Let's say it's a sunny July day in Florida, and you're getting ready for a day on vacation. If you chose to dress your little one in thick socks and blue jeans, they'd be pretty miserable going out in the southern heat. Not only would they feel sticky and sweaty under the summer sun, but they’d also be underprepared for the adventures of the day. What you wear can be the make-it-or-break-it factor in the fun you have on your vacation.
When it comes to snowboarding, the same idea is true. Your clothes you put your child in impact the memories they make. To maximize your enjoyment on your family snowboarding trip, you all need clothes that fit the climate and the activities you'll be doing. To help you, we put together a list of essential clothing items you need to help you have a blast while you hit the slopes with the kiddos in tow.
Every comfortable outfit depends on a great first layer. Dressing for snowboarding means including multiple layers for warmth and protection against the cold. That's why it's crucial to put your kid in a comfy base layer that doesn't have to be re-adjusted continuously throughout the day. Here are the must-have basics for a perfect base layer:
1. A Long Sleeve Top
A cotton long-sleeve shirt might be a safe choice to keep warm on a chilly autumn day. When you're planning to be out all day in the extreme cold with your family, cotton is a material you should be careful to avoid.
Cotton retains moisture instead of wicking it away, which could end in the little ones feeling cold and clammy throughout the day. Instead, opt for a well-fitting shirt made of any of these materials: polyester, polypropylene, fleece, or merino wool.
2. Thermal Underwear
To set yourself up for a successful day in the snow, you'll also need to put your kiddo in a snug-fitting pair of underwear. Keep material in mind with these as well. You'd do best to choose moisture-wicking fabrics that won't absorb sweat. If you’re really concerned about how the cold will affect the kids, you can select a long pair of underwear that will keep their lower halves warm. Otherwise, you can choose a pair of moisture-wicking boxer-briefs or another style that's comfortable.
3. The Right Pair of Socks
You might think it makes sense to pack on multiple pairs of socks when you're going out into the cold, but that's not quite right. While layers are perfect for the rest of your body, it's a good idea to choose just one pair of ski socks that keep moisture out to warm your feet. Stay on the thin side as well, so your socks don't bunch up or cause issues with your circulation. Believe us, that’s one thing that your kiddos would be sure to complain about. Thin ski socks should be made of one of the moisture-wicking materials listed above to keep your feet dry.
Your Middle Layer
Next-up is the middle layer. This layer can be your outer layer on your top half if the sun comes out enough to warm you up while the family is frolicking in the snow. On freezing days, this layer of clothing's purpose is to insulate. Keep in mind that sweat-absorbing materials like cotton should still be off the table for maximum dryness. Staple middle layer clothing items are vests, long johns, thermal tights, fleece sweatshirts, wool sweaters, and down jackets.
TIP: For the lower half, try staying on the thin side to increase mobility and comfort. A great pair of tights are a safe slim option to pair with outer-layer pants, so your kids can still move about easily. Reflective insulated leggings are another terrific choice for a long middle layer on top of the underwear. Stick with options that are a close fit to the skin to prevent the fabric from bunching up while they're trying tricks in the snow.
Your Outer Layer
While you want to focus on moisture-wicking, thin fabrics to keep your kiddos warm for the under layers, the outer layer is where things get serious. They’ll need protection from the biting cold of the snow should they happen to stumble out on the slopes. This layer could include bulkier articles of clothing for a heavy-duty barrier against the elements. Luckily, there are ways to gear up for the cold without sacrificing mobility and comfort.
You should keep two words in mind when choosing items for your child’s outer layer: waterproof and windproof. Whether their jacket and pants are bulky or on the lighter side, they need to be able to stand against the wet snow and fierce winds you'll encounter. You'll also need a few other accessories for their hands and face to be fully protected for all the adventures to come. Here are a few solid pieces the kids will need for a great outer layer.
Fortunately, most pants you can buy for snowboarding and skiing are going to be water-resistant. Keep the under layers in mind to imagine the most comfortable combination of a thermal, mid-layer, and element-resistant pants. If you're just starting out, you may be taking some tumbles in the snow (and let’s face it, even kids with experience are likely to take a few tumbles). It's a good idea to add suspenders or have them wear pants that come a little higher up to prevent snow from getting into their trousers.
Just like they’ll need pants that keep the snow out, you'll want a breathable, water-resistant jacket that's also secure against the snow for your kids. One jacket feature that makes this possible is inner cuffs with a thumb hole to keep the openings to the sleeves guarded. These cuffs create a reliable barrier when you add their favorite gloves on top.
Detachable hoods, internal zip pockets, and a fleece-lined collar are also fantastic features you may want for your child’s jacket.
Other Necessities for Staying Protected
You've thoroughly layered the little ones with tights, thermals, and protective outerwear. The next step is to make sure their extremities will be safe from the cold. Depending on the climate where you'll be snowboarding, you may need any of the following: gloves, a balaclava, a neckwarmer, a hat, and goggles. Look for these details in each item:
Gloves: Choose waterproof gloves with a grip material on the palms so they can grab what they need to and adjust their clothing more easily. Mittens can do the job well for your little one too! Just make sure that you’re protecting those little fingers and toes.
Balaclava: This clothing article is perfect for extreme conditions when the ears and neck need an extra barrier from the elements. A good balaclava should be made from a moisture-wicking material.
Neckwarmer: A neckwarmer is an alternative to the balaclava for days when the kids need a little extra warmth but not quite as much protection. Have them wear one under their jacket for added comfort and protection from the wind and cold.
Hat: When choosing a hat for your child to wear under their helmet, fleece material is a safe choice to keep their head warm and dry.
Goggles: A pair of goggles that fit securely on the head will make all the difference in the ride. High-quality goggles will shield their eyes from sun rays and from snow when they (inevitably) crash.
To Sum It Up
Whether you're brand new to snowboarding or the family has been doing it for years, you want to have as much fun as possible throughout your day in the snow. Staying warm, comfortable, dry, and protected is crucial for letting the kids have an enjoyable ride with few interruptions. Dress in layers so they can take things off as the day gets warmer or bundle up as the winds get stronger. Most importantly, don't forget the helmet!