FASHION

How to Dress Kids for Winter in the Best Luxury Outdoor Gear

How to Dress Kids for Winter in the Best Luxury Outdoor Gear

Winter is slowly approaching and that means snow and cold air.  But that doesn’t mean your children have to stay inside. It just means you have to dress them properly! Are you looking for the best luxury outdoor kids’ clothing to buy this season? Our correspondent and mother of three Jillian Tangen has curated a list of the best luxury outdoor attire, gear and accessories for kids right now; our guide to how to dress the big kids and children in your life for outdoor fun and games this winter.

Outdoor play is going to more important than ever this winter

the first full COVID-19 winter is coming

There’s a slight chill in the air these days, though it has nothing to do with the temperature – New York City is still rocking a relatively tepid 65 degrees.  Rather, it’s knowing that our time of social distancing al fresco will soon come to an end.  

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Any parent who was cooped up indoors with children in March of the great lockdown can attest to the fact that the past few months of outdoor freedom have been godsend

How to Dress Kids for Winter in the Best Luxury Outdoor Gear

Being outside has given children not only a chance to meet and play relatively safely with friends, but it’s also afforded them a much needed sense of normalcy, physical activity and freedom – not to mention a break from screen time.  The thought of going back to being solely indoors is enough to make any mom and dad shudder.

time to rethink the winter like the Nordic countries do!

A Scandinavian would tell you though that this type of talk is foolish.  Children throughout Norway, Sweden and Denmark play outdoors no matter the season – not just during warm summer months. 

How to Dress Kids for Winter in the Best Luxury Outdoor Gear

In Scandinavian culture, kids are encouraged to be outside as possible.  In fact, in Norway and other Nordic countries, it’s common to let bundled up babies nap outdoors, even when temperatures reach well below zero.  That’s because it’s believed that sleeping outside is good for immune systems, and that it provides a reprieve from the germs and microbes that can get trapped indoors during the coldest months of the year.

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The Nordic embrace of outdoor time for children doesn’t end when kids give up napping. Spending time outdoors lasts straight through the school years and, really, into adulthood. In elementary and middle school, Norwegian children are required to go outside during breaks – regardless of the temperature.  The outdoor weather is considered refreshing for both the mind and soul and children return to classrooms ready to learn and focused.

How to Dress Kids for Winter in the Best Luxury Outdoor Gear

it’s not about the weather – it’s about whether or not you’re dressed appropriately

All that was required of the parents in both these circumstances?  Making sure their children are dressed in appropriate outdoor clothing.  That’s right, Scandinavians are big believers that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing to ensure they get their daily dose of nature.

Interested in reaping the benefits of keeping your kids outdoors as the temps drop? As someone married to a Norwegian and raising three aspiring nature enthusiasts, I’ve become well acquainted with the Scandinavian three layer principle of dressing children, in addition to some of the best brands for kid friendly outdoor gear.  Scroll down for our must haves in keeping kids warm, happy and outdoors no matter the weather.

How to Dress Kids for Winter in the Best Luxury Outdoor Gear

How to Dress Kids for Winter in the Best Luxury Outdoor Gear

1. best kids luxury outdoor gear: base layering

The key to keeping your little ones warm throughout the fall and winter is a good base.  For the layer closest to the body, wool is best.  Not only is it lightweight and soft to the skin, but it helps in transporting heat from the body to the next layer of clothing, something cotton is not able to replicate.  Chasing Windmills set of temperature regulating, breathable, quick-drying Merino Wool Long Johns ($74-79) are made in Colorado and come in an array of great neutral color ways and stripes. 

best outdoor attire and accessories kids

The best outdoor attire and accessories to buy for kids this winter season: Base Layering. Courtesy Photo.

One of our personal favorites are the Lifa Merino Sets ($75) from Helly Hansen.  Featuring two layers and reinforced knees and elbows, these sets are long lasting and extremely warm.  For the littlest kids, we also like the easy zip up Merino One Piece ($40) from Linberg made of super soft fine merino that will ensure young ones don’t feel any of the itching often associated with wool.

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2. best kids luxury outdoor gear: mid layer

For cold crisp days, you should always add a mid layer over your base.  This layer is heat isolating, moisture transporting and quick drying.  While we personally prefer fleece like this retro style Obermeyer K Boulder Fleece ($50) and cool Stella McCartney Kids Cloud Fleece ($124), you could also opt for a wool sweater. 

best outdoor attire and accessories kids

The best outdoor attire and accessories to buy for kids this winter season: Mid Layer. Courtesy Photo.

Our pick is Dale of Norway’s Cortina Sweater ($130) made in a traditional Marius pattern.  In early fall, these two layers often might be enough, but they do their best work when worn under rain or full winter gear.

3. best kids luxury outdoor gear: rainy day 

Every kid likes splashing in puddles.  Let them with some high quality rain gear over their base and mid layers such as Kuling’s waterproof Ottawa Recycled Rain Set ($78) that includes reinforced seams to ensure they stay dry.  Looking for an easy one and done option?  Oaki’s Rain Suit ($60) allows for you to simply zip them in and send them outside.  The classic style of Tretorns Kids Wings Raincoat ($60) is so cute that we want one for ourselves.

best outdoor attire and accessories kids

The best outdoor attire and accessories to buy for kids this winter season: Rainy Day. Courtesy Photo.

When it comes to wet weather, don’t forget a hat umbrella and rain boots too.  Canadian brand Faire Child makes traditional style Sailor Hats ($42) that are not only stylish, but practical.  You can’t go wrong with a pair of pint size Hunter Original Tall Rubber Rain Boots ($80) and a coordinating (and color changing) Umbrella from Floss & Rock ($19).  Both will keep your mini me out and enjoying even the dampest of days.

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4. best kids luxury outdoor gear: winter weather

Contrary to popular belief, winter gear shouldn’t only be reserved for when you hit the ski slopes.  Proper fitting and high quality cold weather wear can and should be worn by kiddos whenever the temps begin hovering around 40 degrees over base and mid layers.  Quality gear should be flexible and easy for kids to move around in.  We are big fans of Helly Hansen’s  Norddal Insulated Suit ($150).  All three of our girls have rocked a version of this suit to protect them from both the wind and snow everywhere from New York City playgrounds to the slopes of Deer Valley.  

how to dress outdoors winter

The best outdoor attire and accessories to buy for kids this winter season: Winter Weather. Courtesy Photo.

For separates we love the bold options from Danish brand Molo like the fierce zebra print Pearson Parka ($269) paired together with Reima’s Reimatech Winter Pants ($130).  Both are insulated, wind blocking and water resistant, making them ideal for hours of outdoor time no matter the conditions.

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As with wet weather gear, accessories are equally important for cold blasts.  We prefer mittens to gloves because when fingers are kept together, they are warmer.  We like Minymo’s Tusser Mitttens ($20) since they have an adjustable wrist strap to keep them on busy hands.  There are lots of cute options available for headwear including Moncler’s understated cool Ribbed Wool Beanies ($140), but you also can’t go wrong with an efficient balaclava like Smartwool’s Merino 250 Baklava ($30).  Not only will it keep their necks warm, but they won’t be able to lose it either, because these puppies stay put.

how to dress outdoors winter

The best outdoor attire and accessories to buy for kids this winter season: Winter Weather. Courtesy Photo.

Finally, you can’t forget little feet.  Non-itch Wool Socks ($14) like Joah’s are a must to prevent cold toes, while for boots you can’t go wrong with Viking’s Montebello GTX Boots ($90) or Sorel’s Whitney Strap Faux Fur Boots ($70).  Both are lightweight enough so that they are easy to walk and run in. It has feature simple fastening to kids can navigate taking them on and off themselves.

The best outdoor attire on how to Dress Kids for Winter

There you have it, every layer and accessory that you need for a fun, healthy and warm Scandinavian style fall and winter.  Just remember, these tips aren’t just for little ones.  They are equally important for adults too.  No parent likes freezing while their kid asks for just 5 minutes at the park for the 10th time, right?  So if you plan on being outside with your little ones, be sure you have gear for yourself that can keep up.

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier and a former Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in New York and is married with three young children. She loves cross-country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

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