Everything you should know before buying your child’s snowsuit
When you start feeling that familiar winter chill in the air, it’s time to plan how to keep your little one warm. It might sound like a straightforward decision, but there are plenty of factors to consider before choosing a snowsuit or winter coverall. Are the winters where you live wet and cold with plenty of puddles just begging to be jumped in? Or are they dry and cold, perfect for sledging and snowball fights? Perhaps it’s mild even in January or does the mercury regularly drop below zero degrees celsius?
There’s also your child’s age to take into account. Winter clothes for babies who aren’t yet dashing around and enjoying the snow don’t require the same functionality as snowsuits for kids on the move. Winter coveralls should protect them against adverse weather, allowing them to move freely and have fun whatever the conditions.
How to ensure the perfect fit
It’s essential to make sure the fit of the garment is just right -- your child needs the flexibility to play unimpeded. If the garment is too large they won’t be able to move easily, and if it’s too small it won’t last or be comfortable. The rear hems of a snowsuit that is too long will quickly wear, and may cause them to trip. Too small around the crotch and it might pull when they stretch or squat.
It sounds like a minefield, but fitting your child for a snowsuit is not at all complicated. Measure their height and chest and compare the measurements with that of each garment. If your child is between sizes in height but the other body measurements match, opt for a smaller size with an extendable size function. The high quality snowsuits by Isbjörn of Sweden are extendable, with legs and sleeves that can be lengthened to grow with your child.
Involve your toddler when making a purchase, and look for garments with pre-bent (curved) arms and knees for easy movement. The easier they can move, the more fun they’ll have at playtime!
Features to look for in outerwear
Durability: hard-wearing garments are essential. Some snowsuits are made with extra durable patches on the knees and bottom, so your child can crawl or shuffle without hurting themselves (or leaving the garment in tatters!). Look for a snowsuit or coverall that has an anti-dirt finish such as BIONIC-FINISH® ECO so that you can easily wipe off mud and other stains without having to throw it in the washing machine. This extends the life of the garment and reduces its environmental impact. Good for the planet, and your pocket!
Zips: double zips on snowsuits for infants are handy for changing, as well as for unzipping when you need quick temperature control. For example, the winter coveralls from Mini a Ture feature double zips so you can quickly scoop your baby in and out of the suit when required. Extra large zips also give toddlers the opportunity to start dressing and undressing themselves.
Detachable hood: detachable hoods, like the hoods on these snowsuits by Finish brand Reima, can be quickly unzipped if your child gets caught on something while playing. The hood can also be removed on warmer days. Practical and safe!
Waterproof with taped seams: needle stitching leaves tiny holes in garments, which water can seep in through when they are worn in wet conditions. Taped seams, when a thermoplastic tape is applied under heat and pressure to seal the seams, prevent moisture from passing through and thus ensure the garment is waterproof. If wet weather is common where you are, look out for garments with a high water gauge, which will be conveyed in millimetres (mm) of water column. Around 5000mm is very waterproof, while 10,000mm is practically impenetrable.
Breathability: while it’s important to keep the water out, it’s just as important to pick a breathable winter outfit that allows air to flow through the fabric. This speeds up sweat evaporation and will keep your little one cool. GORE-TEX and other tech materials are both waterproof and breathable, as well as intended to allow your child to move freely.
Stirrups: Garments with stirrups, like these coveralls by Swedish brand Lindberg, are good for keeping out the water and securing your tot’s wellies in place.
Reflective: If you live in a country with short days during winter, you’ll need some extra help to keep track of your child on dark mornings and evenings. Reflective garments like these snowsuits from Kuling include multiple reflective details for better visibility.
Tips for dressing your child in the winter
Dressing yourself can be hard enough in winter, let alone dressing a child who may not be able to communicate if they feel too hot or too cold. A good rule of thumb is to follow the three-layer principle. Multiple layers provide warmth thanks to the warm air between the layers. Feel your baby’s neck to find out if they’re overdressed, underdressed or just the right temperature. Ask older children how they feel to determine whether to add or remove a layer.
The below temperature guide is a handy tool to help you pick out your child’s winter outfit.
Depending on the temperature, a fleece can be worn as a warming layer beneath the coverall. Some rain sets such as these from Didriksons include a fleece lining to keep your tot extra cozy. A hat or even a balaclava is essential in winter, as are gloves or mittens. Neck warmers and scarves add the perfect finishing touch to keep them snug as a bug in a rug on even the chilliest of days.
Browse our full collection of winter coveralls here.
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