Hi there! I’m a Georgie, Mum of two mini skiers, Billie 7 and Finn 8. A day in the snow rates highly on the fun factor scale for our kids, but only if they are warm and dry. The right gear and a bit of preparation before you get to the hill will make their experience, and yours, a whole lot better. So here are a few tricks and tips to help your family get the most enjoyment out of your snow experience.
There is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing
If you are planning on tackling the slopes this season the chances are that you’ll encounter some less than desirable weather (OK, so there is such a thing as bad weather 😉). Skiing in New Zealand doesn’t always look that cold on the thermometer, but our mountains get some serious wind chill and damp - it can get darn chilly. Add in the fact your little grommet will spend a fair amount of time rolling in the snow, picking up snow, eating snow and then roll around in it some more; chances are they’ll get pretty wet. So, some good quality gear is required. We've been putting the Therm gear to the test at Mt Ruapehu for 2 seasons now and so far our Snowrider Jackets and Pants get a big tick of approval - it has kept the kids warm and dry in wind, rain and white out conditions, I like to call this photo 'High Vis in Low Vis'!
The goal is to be warm when riding up the chairlift, but not sweaty while skiing down. Make sure the jacket zips right up to the chin, and has room to also wear a scarf or neck gaiter if it is really chilly.
A jacket should be hit below the hip to prevent snow from getting in at the waist, and a longer length at the back is always good to prevent drafts and gaps when bending over or sitting down. Look for additional pockets for passes, snacks etc.
These should be insulated and waterproof. Ski pants usually have interior ankle gaiters that keep snow from getting into ski boots. High-waist or bib-style pants with detachable straps are the best choice for children, as they keep the pants from falling down, plus the bib provides added protection when the snow sneaks inside.
Therm Snowrider Pants: 5,000mm Waterproof + Windproof with insulation. Detachable bib and straps, reinforced knees & bum, elasticated ankle gaiters.
We have a ton of baselayers in merino, geothermal and polypropolene; all work fine underneath your other layers and you’ll want 1-2 of these top and bottom depending on the weather. On particularly nasty days the kids wear their Therm All-Weather Hoodie with the Therm Snowrider Jacket on top. They love their Therm gear and they have never complained about being cold even on the chairlift at the top of the mountain in gale winds. Sometimes they are even too warm, and that’s where the All-Weather Hoodie is great as it’s also the perfect warmer weather outer layer.
The extremities: feet, hands, neck and head
These are the things it’s easy to overlook but make all the difference. A neck warmer is like a golden nugget of joy in your clothing arsenal, seriously, do not leave home without one! Good gloves are also key.
I like mittens rather than gloves as they keep little hands warmer, and are way easier to put on. If you can find ones with a long cuff even better for keeping snow out.
In our experience if there is one thing that will kill your snow fun it’s wet cold hands, and that darn snow is just so irresistible to touch that wet mittens are gonna happen! If you can scrounge an extra pair it’s good insurance. Long socks pulled up high with thermal pants over them, or tights, will keep ankles and legs warm. Finally you gotta cover that head. You can make do with sunnies and a hat, but if you are planning on going up the hill more frequently, helmets and goggles are a great investment. We love helmets because they keep goggles on when you wipe-out, you can personalise them with stickers and they are super warm, on really cold days Billie loves a balaclava under her helmet.
Keep the snow out:
The hand cuffs with thumb loop on the Therm Snowrider Jackets are fab for doing this and are a hand warming win. Put the mittens on over the hand cuffs, pull the outer jacket over the glove and do the Velcro up tight. Yep, if you’re even slightly outdoorsy you’ll have heard this before. The key is not just what to layer but how to layer. If you want the gromets to stay warm and snow-down-the-back free you’ll need to layer like a boss. This is how you keep the snow getting up, in, down or anywhere inside the clothes. Tuck and overlap everything, you need to do this at all the extremities.
Before putting boots on pull socks up tight and thermal leggings down, if everything is smooth there won’t be any horrid crinkles to hurt little feet and legs. Make sure you pull the inside leg cuffs all the way down over the boot buckles next, the Therm Snowrider Pants have good elastic so they will stay there and prevent snow from getting into boots, yay.
It’s not all about the skiing
You may be gagging to hit the slopes and rip it up, and your little grom might be too. But even at 8 Finn still likes having the time to roll in fresh snow, make snowmen and have a snowball fight. He is addicted to bashing snow and ice off anything and if he gets an icicle lollypop it makes his day. Billie ensures we get our daily intake of hot chocolate. As with all outdoor activities, take plenty of food. A few snacks in the pocket can hold off the last-run meltdown and a cup of something warm does wonders on a cold day. Take time to play in the snow, do some runs as a family even if you’re at different levels and have second breakfast/lunch if the kids are flagging and you will all enjoy your snow time!
What we love about Therm Snowrider Gear:
After 2 seasons we have clocked up close to 60 days in our Therm Snowrider gear!
Sometimes getting onto the snow is the hardest bit of the day. Just outfitting the kids can be a mission, let alone getting it on! It is worth buying good quality for happy snow bunnies, it will still be in great condition when your little one has outgrown it, then you can hand it down or on-sell it. Snow wear looks cool even if it’s slightly big so you will most likely get 2 seasons out of the gear. Things like mittens and helmets will last up to 5 years so again are worth the investment. Quality clothing will have all the little things that make your days on the snow more enjoyable. Things we love about the Therm Snowrider range are:
- Hand and leg cuffs to keep snow out.
- The pocket on the sleeve of the Waterproof jackets to put your ski pass in so they don’t have to jump up for the scanner to register 😊
- The high waist on the pants to keep their backs warm and keep out snow.
- Detachable shoulder straps on the pants.
- Reinforced fabric on the hem and leg of the pants means they don't catch and rip on ice or skis/ski boots.
- Lots of insulation in the pants and jacket guarantee warm little bodies.
- They are wind and waterproof.