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If you’re looking to get your kids started skiing super young I’m here to cheer you on.
When I was working as a ski instructor we would teach kids from the age of 18 months and older how to ski in private lessons. At that point I decided that I would start all of my kids on skis as young as possible. Out of my five kids four of them have been on skis before they were 18 months old and the rewards of starting them early have continued to pay off throughout the years.
Right now our youngest is 3 years old and is in his third year of skiing. He can pretty comfortably ski down most green trails and I think that by the end of the season he’ll be skiing down blues. He can make a wedge all on his own, and just got rid of his edgie wedgie.
Read all about my top tips for teaching toddlers to ski.
If you’re in the same boat as we are and want to start your child skiing at age 1 or 2 I’m here to share with you the best ski gear that we have found for skiing with infants and skiing with toddlers.
While you may have to look around a little bit harder to find gear that’s appropriate for their size do not despair. The gear is out there and it’s absolutely possible to get your toddler skiing.
Now before we dive into the specifics of the gear that I would like to recommend, I want to let you know that if you are skiing with a toddler it can sometimes be difficult to find gear that is small enough for them. Don’t stress too much about finding the perfect fit since kids this age are growing so incredibly fast. Most of the time the gear that you find will be a little bit too big for them – do not worry about it. Do the best you can and know that it’s likely that within a few months your child will grow into the gear that you buy them.
To give you a bit of encouragement, here’s our youngest boy, skiing at age one! YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!!
Best ski training gear for one year olds and ski training gear for two year olds
For every parent teaching their one year old or two year old how to ski, there are two tools that I think are absolute MUST HAVE’S. The first is an edgie wedgie. This little clip will hold your toddlers skis together so that they can learn to make a wedge shape and stop on skis, and is ridiculously cheap (read all about how to use an edgie wedgie here).
The other tool that all parents should have is a ski harness with a handle on the back. These are priceless, however most people don’t know how to use them correctly. Check out our article on how to use a ski harness the right way before you head up to the ski hill.
Best skis for one year olds and best skis for two year olds
When you’re choosing the best skis for a 1 year old to begin skiing with or for a two-year-old to continue to ski on, remember that there is a little bit of leeway when it comes to choosing the right size of skis for kids. While you want to get your child a pair of skis that fits them as well as possible if you have a small one-year-old learning to ski or two-year-old learning to ski it may be very difficult to find a pair of skis small enough for them.
The smallest skis that I’ve ever found are 67 centimeters. Occasionally you’ll also find skis that are 70 cm. More frequently you’ll find skis that are 80cm.
Check out this great deal on 70 & 80cm toddler skis.
When choosing a good size of skis for a toddler you ideally would have their skis hit somewhere between their chest and their chin (read all about how to choose the best size kids skis here). While older kids can often ski in longer skis it’s difficult for toddlers to manage a bigger ski so it’s best to stick with the ski that is shorter for them.
I’ll be honest and tell you that none of my kids have learned to ski on any skis shorter than an 80 cm. Those are the sizes that we were able to find a good deal when they were learning to ski and I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of skis for a toddler. Well anything between 60 and 80 cm works well for teaching a one-year-old how to ski or teaching a two-year-old how to ski. Try to avoid going above 80 cm as it will make skiing more difficult for them.
Worst skis for 1-year-olds and worst skis for 2-year-olds
If you do a quick search for the best toddler skis online you’ll likely find a lot of plastic skis that don’t have metal edges and have plastic strap-on bindings. If you would like to have your kids play around with seeing in the backyard the skis are appropriate. However if you would like to take your kids skiing up at a ski resort you’re required to have a ski with a metal Edge and with a click in binding. Plastic skis with strap-on bindings are not permitted at ski resorts. If you would like to teach your kids to ski at a ski resort you will need to avoid these skis.
These toddler skis aren’t suitable for a ski resort butmake great toys though, and are a blast as backyard play skis.
Best ski boots for 1 year olds and best ski boots for 2 year olds
Finding ski boots that are small enough for toddler size feet is one of the most difficult parts of finding ski gear for really young kids. I remember when my oldest was learning how to ski the smallest we could find was a size 17 ski boot, which is about a kids size 10. Now as my other kids have gotten older we’ve been able to find ski boots and smaller and smaller sizes. Currently, the smallest size I’ve ever found in a toddler ski boot is a size 15.5 which is approximately a toddler size 8.
If you have a 1 year old learning how to ski or a two-year-old learning how to ski, chances are that these ski boots are going to be too big for them. Do not stress about this. You need to remember that when kids are really young all they’re really learning how to do is how to glide on the snow, how to stop, and how to do simple turns. For these skills a perfectly fitting ski boot is not necessary. If your child has extra small feet or you can’t find boots that are the right size for them you can always do what we do and shove a little bit of newspaper into the end of the boot for extra insulation and for a tighter fit.
We do have a pair of kids ski boots that I highly recommend every parent who would like to ski with their toddlers and their other kids. These are the Roces adjustable ski boots, and they come in a size that starts at size 16.0. While the concept of an adjustable ski boot for kids may be new to many parents it’s actually one of the best pieces of ski gear that we’ve ever purchased.
We have one pair of adjustable ski boots by Roces that we have passed on through four of our kids already and they are still performing fantastically. The best part of these adjustable ski boots is they perform just as well as all the other ski boots that we’ve used for kids, but for the price of one ski boot, you get a boot that is adjustable through six different sizes.
This is one of the best values that you can buy in kids ski gear and equality is outstanding. While you could technically find a kids ski boot that is a 15.5 I recommend going with the Roces size 16 ski boot that will adjust up to a size 19.5 so that instead of spending your money on one pair of ski boots, you are buying ski boots that will last for years.
If you do choose to get a one size ski boot, hop over to this article to see how to determine if your kids ski boots are fitting properly (note, the technique in this article DOES NOT work on adjustable ski boots).
The best ski helmets for 1 year olds in the best ski helmets for 2 year olds
Choosing the best ski helmet for a one-year-old or a proper fitting ski helmet it for a two-year-old can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. The good news is that most helmets now come with an adjustable dial in the back. Since toddlers have smaller sizes of heads most 1 year olds or two year olds will fit into a size extra small ski helmet.
Read our full review of the best kids ski helmets.
To choose the proper fitting ski helmet for a toddler you can do a couple of things to make sure that their ski helmet is fitting properly. The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that their ski helmet is not too high above their eyebrows. If a ski helmet is more than one and a half to two fingers above a toddler’s eyebrows then the helmet is too small.
The next thing that you can do to make sure that their ski helmet fits properly is to make sure that when they wiggle their head back and forth the helmet doesn’t come loose and that it stays tight on their head. If your child can shake her head from side to side and the helmet stays still instead of jiggling around then you’ve got a great fit.
We’ve had great luck with Giro ski helmets for toddlers. They seem to be the best fitting ski helmets for our 1-year-olds and still the best ski helmets for our two year olds and best ski helmets for three year olds. One thing that I really like about Giro ski helmets is not only do they have the adjustable dial in the back but many of them also can be purchased with coordinating goggles so that you can ensure that the goggles and the helmet are compatible with each other because not all goggles and helmets work well together. Below I linked to a few of our favorite ski helmets made by Giro, as well as a few other ski helmets for toddlers that we love.
While it might be tempting to skip a ski helmet for a toddler I strongly urge you not to. As a mother whose two year old ran into a tree and hit their head pretty hard with their helmet on I can only imagine how much damage would have been done if he had not been wearing a helmet. 1 year old and 2 year olds often do not have the common sense or the skills needed to avoid obstacles and oftentimes other skiers on the hill may not be aware of them, so their chances of getting into a collision are much greater than an adult’s. Put a helmet on them at the beginning so you don’t have to worry as much about injuries.
Best ski socks for toddlers
Unlike ski boots where you can often go a little bit bigger on the site you’ll want to make sure that you have a proper fitting ski sock for your one year old or two year old. Trust me no one wants their toddler ski socks bunching up down in their boot and having to adjust them constantly throughout the day.
Read our full review of the best kids ski socks.
Well, it’s taken a lot of trial and error (and lots of mediocre socks) on our part we finally found a ski sock for 1 year olds and two year olds that we absolutely love. Our favorite ski socks for one year olds and two year olds is the Smartwool Wintersport Socks. They fit toddler feet very well and insulate their feet great because they’re made of wool. The best part is that they never seem to slide down.
Best ski mittens for 1 year olds and best ski mittens for 2 year olds
The thing that gets cold the fastest on toddlers is their hands. Toddlers have a frustrating tendency to take off their gloves at unexpected times, lick their fingers, and touch the snow. If you want to keep your toddler’s hands dry and warm it’s important that first of all you buy a good waterproof glove, and second of all you buy a glove that stays on well.
Read our full review of the best waterproof mittens for kids.
We have found that thumbless mittens are the best mittens that you can buy for skiing toddlers. Not only is it incredibly easy to get them on and off but it’s also much less frustrating than trying to get a toddler’s thumb and fingers into gloves. Our favorite mittens for one year olds are Stonz Mitts. These mittens are a little bit stiffer but are some of the warmest and most waterproof that we found. Our second favorite ski mittens for toddlers are from Veyo Kids. Now while these mittens are incredibly flexible and will allow your toddler to easily pick things up the outer layer does tend to soak some wetness into it however we’ve never had that soaked all the way through to the hand.
Best base layers for 1 year olds and best base layers for 2 year olds
Base layers are often neglected when dressing toddlers. Having a good base layer is one of the most important components to keeping your kids warm when you’re outside in cold temperatures. My favorite base layers are wool and fit really well. We wear them as both pajamas and base layers so we end up getting a lot of use for them throughout the year. My favorite toddler base layers are from Chasing Windmills and Iksplor (hop over to this page for a discount code on Iksplor and a full review of all the best kids baselayers).
If you would prefer something a little bit less expensive or something that’s made out of synthetic fiber where we highly consider getting Rocky Thermals from Amazon. While we haven’t tried them, I have heard from several friends that they perform really fantastically.
Best ski goggles for 1 year olds and best ski goggles for 2 year olds
Ski goggles are one of the easiest pieces of equipment to fit two toddlers. Since the best ski goggles for kids are a less fitted piece of equipment, it’s really easy to find a pair that fits your toddler. In fact, the thing that you need to be the most concerned about is that your toddler ski goggles fit well with your toddler ski helmet. Below I’ve listed a few of our favorite goggle brands and models that we found throughout the year that are worth checking out to see if they work with your toddlers ski helmet. To simplify the process, consider getting a toddler ski helmet and goggle combination set.
Read our full review of the best kids ski goggles.
Teaching a toddler how to ski can be a lot of work, but getting them good gear from the beginning will simplify that process considerably.