The Best Ski Face Masks For Skiing With Kids

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Can’t wait to hit the ski slopes with your kids this winter? We know winters are fun, especially with the magical white blanket of snow spread far and wide. We are big believers that warm kids are happy kids, so making sure that your kids are properly dressed for the weather is essential. Good ski masks will help your kids stay warm.

One of the most exposed parts of your body, when you are skiing or out in most winter conditions, is the face.  If you’re skiing, you should wear goggles to protect your eyes, but the best way to protect your nose, cheeks, chin, and mouth is with a face mask.

toddler skiing with face mask

Below we’re sharing everything you need to know to choose the best ski mask for kids, as well as details about some of the best ski masks you can buy for kids.  

Skip ahead to the best face mask recommendations

Benefits of Wearing a Face Mask for Skiing

We find that our kids are almost always warmer and consequently happier if they wear a face mask while skiing. Here are some of the benefits of wearing a face mask:

Protection Against Wind and Cold Air: The primary function of a winter face mask is to act as a barrier against the cold wind and ambient air, which can be much colder than the body’s surface temperature. When the face is exposed to cold wind, the risk of frostbite and windburn increases. A mask helps mitigate these risks.

Insulation: Masks made of insulating materials trap warm air that is exhaled and help maintain a comfortable temperature around the face. This is particularly beneficial for sensitive areas like the nose, cheeks, and ears.

Reduction of Heat Loss: A significant amount of body heat can be lost through the head and face. By wearing a mask, this heat loss is minimized, helping the body maintain its core temperature.

Added Comfort: Having a layer of protection can also just feel comforting in the cold, and also often makes a kids ski helmet fit more comfortably. This added comfort can make kids more willing to stay outdoors and enjoy winter activities longer.

Protection from Sunburn: On sunny days, snow can reflect the sun’s rays and increase the risk of sunburn on exposed skin. A face mask can provide some protection against this, especially when paired with sunblock on exposed areas.

Types of Face Masks for Kids

Depending on the face coverage that your kids need or the weather that you’ll be skiing in, there are different types of masks. Since we always recommend the use of a ski helmet, all of these makes are masks that work well either under or over a helmet.

The main types of kid’s face masks for skiing are balaclavas and neck gaiters. Keep reading for the benefits of each and when to wear them.

What is a neck gaiter? 

One of the most common types of ski face masks is a neck gaiter.  Are you wondering what neck gaiter is? The neck gaiter is basically a tube of fabric that can be pulled up over the lower half of the face.  They are often called a neck tube or a buff, which is for the protection of your neck, head, mouth, ear, and more. The neck gaiters are usually worn to keep the neck and the head region cold and warm. Most people prefer wearing it in the winter to keep them warm in the freezing weather. 

Reima winter clothes for kids review

This tube-type fabric is warm and breathable and a good lightweight option to keep your face warm while skiing.

Neck gaiters are great for kids skiing in warmer weather.  They can be easily pulled up or down depending on how cold it is.  To keep a neck gaiter in place, it works well to tuck it underneath the goggles or the helmet.  For this reason, they can be difficult for younger children to adjust. 

This neck gaiter is not only lightweight and versatile it also dries up quickly. So, it is an excellent option as a ski mask for protecting your head from the wind and from UV light. 

What is a balaclava?

Another very common type of ski face mask is a balaclava., but you’re probably wondering “What in the world is a balaclava?”

Well, a balaclava is more like a ninja mask that is a combination of a neck gaiter and a beanie. It is a warm and low-profile piece that you can use while skiing. Not only will it keep you warm but will also provide you with 360-degree protection while you are skiing or snowboarding. It covers most of the face, except the area around the eyes, so it provides great protection from the weather and sun as well as warmth.

If the weather is going to be extra cold, I always recommend that children wear a balaclava face mask skiing.  They cover more of their face and head and do a better job of insulating.  Also, balaclavas are often easier for younger kids since they stay in place and kids don’t have to worry about adjusting the fit like they would with a neck gaiter.

boy skiing wearing balaclava as a ski mask

This Balavaca is made from breathable material and will keep your head well protected from the cold. Moreover, the ninja mask type of balaclava is available in various materials, some with heavy padding and lighter padding. You can choose one based on how cold the weather is and your comfort. 

If you are planning to purchase a balaclava, you should try it on with the goggles and helmets. The balaclava has a snuggly fit, and to make sure the overall fitting is comfortable, you should try it on with other accessories.  We have personally found that only very thin balaclavas fit properly under children’s ski helmets.   


How do you keep kids’ faces warm while skiing?

 During the winter, it is essential to keep the face warm and protected. But how?

Child skiing with a neck gaiter.

Wear multiple layers while skiing

To prevent your kids from the cold, you can add multiple layers. You can get turtlenecks or vests and sweaters to keep them warm. Sweatshirts made of polyester are also a great option. Merino wool sweaters will keep your kids warm while skiing as well. You should layer the clothes to keep kids warm and protected.

Pay attention to the weather

Before going out in the extreme winter, you should know what the weather will be like.  Make sure that kids are always wearing gloves or mittens and good waterproof boots. A face mask is the next most essential piece of clothing in extreme weather for skiing. 

Other ways to keep kids’ heads warm while skiing

Below we will be sharing some of the best ski masks for kids skiing that you can buy.  Additionally, a good kids’ ski helmet and a pair of good-fitting goggles are essential.  If you are wearing goggles and a helmet, about 80% of your head and face is covered, leaving only a small portion of your child’s face to be covered with a ski mask.  

Best face ski masks for kids

Below mentioned are the best ski masks for kids. Make sure you check them out and keep your kids safe and warm during the winter.

Best balaclava face mask for skiing kids

Reima Aurora Merino Wool Balaclava

If you’re looking for a classic kids balaclava that does great to keep kids warm both when they’re dry AND WET, you’ll love the Reima Aurora merino wool kids balaclava. This is the balaclava that we have the kids wear when they’re skiing in really snowy conditions and it’s always what our kids reach for on a blizzard packed snow day when they’re out building forts all day. Merino wool does an excellent job of staying warm even when it gets wet, while also wicking moisture away from kids heads as they get sweaty. It’s our favorite performance fabric for kids gear (especially for kids base layers). Just think of this as a base layer for your kid’s head.

This is thin enough that it fits easily under a helmet, but has a looser fit around the face. This is great for kids who don’t like super tight things on their head and also prevents them from drooling all over it quite as much (the disgusting truth). We also love that there are multiple sizes to fit from ages 6 months up to age 14 with this kids balaclava.


  • Made of Merino Wool
  • Machine washable on delicate

Best Features

  • Super high quality
  • Fits a wide range of head sizes
  • Great at insulating and wicking moisture

Outdoor Research Kids’ Ninjaclava

Let’s talk about another one of the best quality ski masks for kids made from nylon polyester and spandex material. This balaclava is capable of providing just the right amount of protection and warmth to the face. It is made from a combination of three different materials, which provides the ultimate amount of warmth. Also, it is super easy and comfortable to wear. This balaclava can be washed in the washing machine, and the fiber in it absorbs moisture quickly. Note: The sizing on this kid’s balaclava runs very small.  A xs/s fits ages 1-3 and a m/l fits ages 4-12.


  • Composition 56% nylon 36% polyester 8% spandex
  • Machine washable

Best Features

  • Super high quality and easy to use
  • Comfortable and highly functional
  • Used for other Sports

BlackStrap Kids Balaclava Hood

Looking for a balaclava that is easy to wash and provides excellent protection and warmth? Well, this blackstrap balaclava is an ideal kids’ ski face mask, as it is easy to wash in the machine. Moreover, this balaclava is available in many different colors so that you can choose one according to your choice. 

This balaclava can also be worn as either a balaclava or a neck gaiter.  

This ski mask for kids is perfect for protecting them from ultraviolet rays, and there is another incredible feature of this balaclava mask. I like that there is a dual-layer hinged mouth, which increases the mask’s functionality and makes it great in terms of breathability and comfortable use. The Incredible fiber of this mask will not only keep your face safe from ultraviolet rays, but it is also super comfortable and dries super quickly.

This balaclava is fairly thin which makes it great for warmer days and allows it to fit under most kids’ ski helmets.


  • Huge variety of colors
  • UPF 50+ design
  • Machine washable

Best Features

  • Toasty and warm
  • Fits snuggly
  • Covers up properly
  • Thin enough to fit under most ski helmets

Maoko Kids Thin Hood Balaclava

This is another one of the incredible face masks for the kids. This balaclava face mask is available in 20 different colors, and it is suitable for kids up to 14 years old. This is a lightweight, breathable mask for children to keep them warm and toasty. Moreover, the material of the face mask is super comfortable and breathable. It is made from 100% polyester, and it is also machine washable, which is a big advantage. The seams on the sides of the face mask are added for Incredible comfort and to avoid irritation. You can wear this face mask in multiple different styles according to your comfort and requirement. It will not only secure and protect your face but also protect you and your neck and throat. It is an incredible balaclava that is superb and incredible for protecting your kid from the winter.


  • 100% polyester
  • Machine washable

Best Features

  • This balaclava ski mask is comfortable and versatile
  • Several color options
  • Thin enough to wear under most helmets
  • Incredible functionality

Best neck gaiter face masks for skiing kids

Turtle Fur Kids Totally Tubular

This tubular face mask is a neck gaiter that provides full coverage to your face and neck. It is perfect to fit on your face and can be used for kids of various ages while skiing or snowboarding. The material of this ski face mask is extra stretchy so it works well for kids and adults.  This face mask is 9.25 inches wide and 18.5 inches long, and it can protect you from up to 97% of the ultraviolet rays from the sun. It uses the UPA 50 Plus rating blocks to prevent ultraviolet rays. Moreover, this neck gaiter is super comfortable and lightweight, and the functionality of this neck gaiter is perfect.


  • 18.5 x 19.25 inches dimension
  • UPA 50 + rating blocks
  • Machine washable

Best Features

  • This is a reusable and antimicrobial neck gaiter
  • Keeps your kid warm and protected
  • Protect face from UV rays

Original Turtle Fur Fleece Neck Warmer

This one is another one of the neck gaiters that is made from classic fleece material. It is perfect for kids and adults as well. It is also ideal to use for daily use as well. 

We really like fleece neck gaiters for skiing because they are stiff enough to stand up on their own (without having to be tucked into a helmet or goggles, and they work especially great for younger kids. Since it is made of fleece, it does not fit tightly, allowing you more freedom on your face. It does provide less protection from germs.  

Toss it into the washing machine and clean it whenever needed. This will not only keep your kids warm and toasty, but it will also provide them with just the perfect amount of comfort that they are looking for. It will also keep the neck super warm and protected. And it is perfect for skiing, snowboarding, shoveling, and much more.  


  • 100% classic fleece
  • Machine washable

Best Features

  • Soft, comfortable, and highly functional
  • Provides warmth and protection
  • Stretchy and covers your neck

MERIWOOL Kids Merino Wool Midweight Neck Gaiter

The other kid’s neck gaiter is made from merino wool, which is perfect to use for skiing and other snow sports. It is an incredible quality neck gaiter that provides just the right amount of protection and ventilation. Moreover, it is super versatile and highly functional to use. This is super stretchy that will not ruin your hair, and you can easily be adjusted over your mouth. The material of this neck gaiter is also breathable, so you will not suffocate. This is a smell-resistant neck gaiter with exceptional quality and incredible protection. Your little ones will be super comfortable using these as ski masks. It is great in terms of drying out and absorbing sweat.


  • Made from Merino wool
  • Odor resistant

Best Features

  • Multifunctional and versatile to use
  • Dries out quickly and is made from excellent quality material

BlackStrap Kids Dual Layer Tube

If you are looking for a neck gaiter that is warm and long-lasting for your kids to wear skiing, this is a great option.  The Black Strap neck gaiter is made from 80 % shell, 17% nylon, and 13% elastane. Moreover, it has a lining of 100% polyester, which makes it an even better choice for comfort. Even when it is super cold outside, you can wear it and enjoy skiing and snowboarding. 

We especially love the Black Strap Kids dual-layer tube because it’s extra stretchy so it’s easy to get a customized ski face mask fit.

This is one of the best ski face masks for toddlers and young kids since it’s specifically designed to fit kids ages 2-7.


  • Composition 80% shell 17% nylon 3% elastane and 100% polyester lining
  • Ufa 50 plus to block 97% UV rays

Best Features

  • Super long-lasting and high quality
  • Provides 360-degree protection
  • Warm and comfortable

Buff Lightweight Merino Wool

This one is the last one on our list of the best ski mask for kids. It is another one of the high-quality neck gaiters that is made from 100% merino wool. Anyone can easily pull it on, and no doubt, it is super comfortable to wear. It may not be machine washable however you can still wash it with your hands. And it is highly compatible with protecting your face and giving the perfect amount of warmth and it is also odor resistant. Being made of merino wool, it doesn’t have as much elasticity as synthetic neck gaiters.


  • 100% merino wool composition
  • Hand washable


  • Super high-quality material
  • Comfortable to use
  • Breathable and odor resistant

Do children need to wear medical face masks skiing?

They do not need to wear medical face masks unless they have an underlying health condition that would require one.  During the 2020 ski season, we saw face masks become a mandatory item all across the globe.  Wearing a ski mask is most often considered sufficient protection from airborne particles and droplets that commonly spread disease. An additional face mask is not necessary.  

Wearing a skiing face mask not only keeps your face warmer and protected from the weather, but it also can help prevent disease.

If you are skiing, your risk of contracting a disease is quite small, simply because you are not in close contact with many people.  If you are worried about getting sick while skiing, politely request that you don’t have others outside of your group riding the chairlift with you and avoid indoor spaces.  

Should kids wear a neck gaiter or a balaclava skiing?

Wondering if a balaclava or a neck gaiter is the best for your kids skiing this winter?  It really depends a lot on the weather and your child.

What are the best materials for a kids face mask?

Choose masks made from materials suitable for cold weather, like fleece, wool, or other insulating synthetics. Think of things that insulate well, but also wick moisture quickly.


Now that you have checked out the masks ski masks for the kids, you can easily choose the best option. The list above of ten ski masks will provide you with various options to choose from based on the material and composition to choose the best kids’ face mask for skiing.  Even on warm days, make sure that you have a face mask to protect your child’s face against sun and wind exposure, even if the temperatures aren’t especially cold.

Written by Jessica Averett

Hi, I'm Jessica! After meeting my husband on a chairlift, we now live in the mountains of Utah with our 5 kids. As a former ski instructor and mom, I'm here to help you make your family ski trips as easy, and FUN, as possible!