Today we’re talking abut the best winter coats and gear for toddlers if you want to survive a Boston winter. I’m sharing what we splurge on, where we save, and how we survive the cold winter months in New England with little kids.
We all left the house for school in sub-freezing temperatures this week and it made me SO GRATEFUL for good winter clothes.
While it’s tempting to start counting down the days until Spring once this weather hits, I’m trying to embrace my kids’ enthusiasm for the winter and find things to love about our cold weather here in Boston.
Last year (or was it the year before?) our book club recommended “There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather” and it is a great perspective switch. It left me with a desire to get my kids outside more at all times of year. In addition to a good attitude, we also all need really good winter gear.
Three tips for surviving New England winters with kids:
- Read “There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather.”
- Find a few good indoor play areas
- Invest in good winter gear (for all of you).
Favorite winter coats + accessories for kids in Boston
I love finding new brands for kids clothing but when it comes to things where performance really matter, I stick with brands I know and trust. That means I’ll buy a cute dress for Adelaide off of Etsy or a fun tee for Lincoln from an instagram shop – but I stick with brands I recognize for things like coats and boots.
I also take into consideration how often the item of clothing is going to be used. I’m more likely to spend more on the jeans my 5 year old will wear 3 times a week for the next year than I am on the dress my three year old will wear for family pictures. In this instance, I spend more on the winter coat that is worn every day and save on the snow pants we bring out a few times a month.
Finally, I also buy things from brands with an expertise/specialty in a certain area. This means I skip Old Navy or Gap for shoes and go with someone (some brand) who specializes in footwear. When it comes to cold weather, I like jackets that have a cold weather rating – something like L.L Bean, North Face, or Patagonia that has been keeping New Englanders warm for decades.
TIP: If you have multiple kids, buy investment pieces in neutral colors so you can pass them down from kid to kid. Lincoln’s North Face coat will be Adelaide’s next year and Westley’s two years after that. Adelaide can pick a pink hat but for winter coats and snow boots (the higher price pieces), I stick with gender neutral pieces (mostly).
1. Thick Winter Coat: Best Kids Winter Coats in Boston
Both kids have a Northface down parka. Lincoln has this one which I love best for day to day wear but the cuffs on the sleeves aren’t waterproof so we got Adelaide the McMurdo Parka so it works better as a ski jacket. I’ve also included a few other highly recommended jackets if you’re looking for something at a different price point.
- McMurdo Jacket
- Gotham North Face Jacket
- Columbia ski jacket and ski pants (bundled together for under $100)
2. Lighter Coat:
This isn’t a most-have but it is nice for all the days when it’s 30-50 degrees or you’re just going from your heated house to your heated car to a heated friends house. This is a piece I don’t splurge on and a light puffer from Target, Gap, or Amazon will be great.
- We have this down sweater from L.L. Bean for Lincoln and LOVE IT. I also love that L.L. Bean has warmth ratings on all their jackets so you can confirm a jacket will be warm enough given your climate and activity.
- I grabbed this faux-down puffer jacket for Adelaide at Target’s Cat & Jack line and I’ve been super happy with it. If you’re only buying one winter coat, don’t get this one (go with a warmer real-down coat if you want a puffer like this one from patagonia or this North Face option).
- This is a great alternative for $20!
3. Waterproof Gloves: North Face
We did cheap kids gloves for a few years and finally bit the bullet and ordered North Face gloves for the kids and have been SO happy with this purchase. They keep them warm skiing and playing outdoors for hours.
- We love these gloves so much!
- These have great reviews on amazon and are waterproof with sherpa lining for under $20
- Tip: Glove clips can keep your kids gloves attached to their coat at all times so you aren’t always hunting for them. We ordered these off of Amazon.
4. Knit or Fleece Gloves
It is nice to have a soft glove on hand. Keep a pair in their coat pockets at all times.
- I ordered these ones from Hanna Andersson
- These ones on Amazon look great and you can have a few extra sets on hand for when your kids inevitably lose one glove.
5. Snow Pants:
If we were doing full days on the ski slopes often, I would get higher quality snow pants but we ordered these for the occasional snow day and have really liked them for the last two winters. We only bring them out a handful of times during the winter and they keep the kids warm and dry while playing. Lincoln has also skied in his for a few hours.
- We have these from Amazon (pink here // navy here)
- These are made by an Amazon owned brand (which I’ve found have quality I can count on) and I’d order these ones if we needed new snow pants and didn’t want to spend $50+ (pink + purple here / blue + black + grey here)
- I also still have these kids snow pants from L.L. Bean (in a size 14 or 16 from high school skiing days and they’ve held up for 15 years)
We keep a bin of hats in the front hall and the kids can grab one. We have some from Gap, Hanna Andersson, and Target. For the amount of time and temperatures we’re playing in, they all do the trick.
7. Snow boots:
In years past we’ve used Sperry Duck boots for the winter (which are great for keeping feet dry) as well as hunter boots with thick socks. Both are great for keeping feet dry and moderately warm for walks to the car but for extended playing in the snow, you need real snow boots. If you want your kids playing outside in the winter without complaining about the cold, if you want to take winter family hikes, or if you just want them to stay warm during recess, you need a good winter boot.
We got Kamik boots for the kids this year and have been THRILLED with them so far. My kids are also old enough now to talk to me about them and Lincoln tells me he loves wearing the boots because he stays so warm. On cold days Adelaide will ask to wear hers because “they keep my feet so toasty!”
- We have the Kamik Cinnamon brown boots for Lincoln (taller – I really love the look of these and they will pass down to Adelaide)
- We also love the Kamik Powdery 2 black boots for Adelaide (a little shorter and easier to put on by herself)
Like this? Check out these similar posts:
- My winter gear + new england winter essentials
- 14 outdoor winter date ideas
- 9 winter dates to go on with your kids