‘Tis the season for shorter days, freezing temps and, if you’re lucky, snowball fights! Winter calls for nights spent huddled around the fireplace and days frolicking in the frigid fields (or something). And with it comes a particularly tricky challenge for parents: how to keep kids active, warm, comfortable and dry as they continue to spend valuable time outdoors? Because face it: The last thing kids need is yet another excuse to glue themselves to their screens. But what are the absolute best winter clothes for kids — you know, the legit stuff that will actually keep them warm?
After all, getting kids to venture out of the house is a tall order when rain and snow turn a winter wonderland into slush central. No kid wants to play outside when they’re sopping wet — and no parent wants to clean up the aftermath.
Luckily, Amazon carries dozens of brands that make heat-retaining, water-resistant and all-around adorable clothing for babies, toddlers and big kids, from warm coats to cozy wool socks. Read on for some of our favorite picks.
Pudus socks for the littlest feet
For babies and toddlers who are still a bit wiggly on their feet, warm and grippy slipper socks for indoor winter play are key. These fluffy ones can even squeeze into snow boots for extra warmth outside.
The North Face ThermoBall hoodie for kids
Whether you’re running to the farmers market or spending an afternoon at the park, the North Face ThermoBall jacket is perfect for little ones on the move. Thanks to its PrimaLoft synthetic insulation, the jacket retains heat while also providing a solid barrier from the wind and water. Elastic binding helps keep the sleeves and the hood in place for added warmth and security. Some parents commented that the sizing runs a bit small, so make sure to check the measurements before purchasing. Though on the pricey side, The North Face also offers a lifetime guarantee on the majority of its products, so you can rest assured your dollar will stretch a long way.
Simply Merino wool pajama set
Every winter outfit needs a solid base layer, and this wool pajama set from Simply Merino gets the job done. Both the top and bottom are made from 100 percent organic wool, which repels unwanted odors and stains. Plus, wool naturally wicks away excess moisture, so kids won’t feel uncomfortable as they play. As a bonus, Simply Merino makes clothing suitable for babies, toddlers and big kids up to 12 years old.
Burton Minishred spark anorak fleece
Great on its own or as another layer, this fleece pullover from Burton adds plenty of warmth and color to any winter outfit. The Lycra bindings on the sleeves, waist and neck keep out the cold, while the buttons make it easier to put on and take off. Amazon carries the jacket in two adorable unisex styles, and while they’re suitable for toddlers big and small, they unfortunately don’t come in adult sizes. Kids win again!
Amazon Essentials lightweight puffer vest
Amazon has made the nearly impossible possible with its lightweight, water-resistant puffer vest for kids. Not only is the line of torso-warming garments adorable, but it’s also affordable, easily packable and highly rated by customers. Throw this vest on over a long-sleeve thermal or wool top for less chilly days, or layer it under a heavier jacket for freezing nights. No matter how they wear it, your kid will be stepping out in style.
Eocom wool animal socks
Keep toes toasty and ~bear-y~ cute in these wintry wool-blend socks from Eocom. These thick, stretchy socks designed for kids ages 1 to 12 are fantastic for wearing under snow boots or tennis shoes. Plus, they come in packs of six, so your kid’s feet can hibernate (or run around) comfortably nearly all week.
Columbia Youth Powderbug Plus II-K snow boots
Elevate your snow day with these ultra-cozy waterproof boots for toddlers and big kids. They’re built to withstand temperatures as low as -25 degrees F. Kids will love that these boots come with no pesky laces or buckles. Instead, putting on and taking off the shoes is simple thanks to a fabric fastening strap and adjustable hook. And because lots of playtime means stinky feet, these boots come with a removable washable liner to keep your kid feeling — and looking — fresh.
C.C. kids ribbed beanie
What’s better than one stylish beanie that keeps heads and ears warm? Why, two beanies, of course! C.C.’s beanies are super-thick and warm, making them an excellent accompaniment to any day out, from playdates to hitting the slopes. Because they’re stretchy and come in an assortment of darling colors, you may be tempted to keep one for yourself. (Don’t worry; we won’t tell!)
Turtle Fur kids neck warmer
As much as we love a chunky knit scarf, we also know they’re not always the best accessory for fidgety, active (and sometimes forgetful) kids. Trade in the scarf for a neck warmer, like Turtle Fur’s Chelonia 150 fleece, that’ll stay put during even the wildest sledding adventure. Turtle Fur’s warmers are especially appealing since they’re machine-washable and come with UPF 50-plus sun protection.
The North Face toddler mitt
Fact: You can’t have a decent snowball fight or build a proper snowman without a solid pair of warm, weatherproof gloves. And these mittens from The North Face have it all. They’re water-resistant and insulated and come with a DryVent insert to ensure ultimate comfort. An extra-long zipper and adjustable fabric fastening strap also make the mitts easy to slip on and off, so you can spend more time playing and less time fussing.
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A version of this story was originally published in January 2019.