Winter Coats

10 months of the year my youngest doesn’t go anywhere without his puff coat.

He loves that thing so much he never takes it off when he is outside and wears it almost year round. For 5 years and counting we have purchased a Paradox puff coat in his size from Costco. We have fixed the inevitable snags and rips with stickers, duct tape and gear-aid.

I keep two of his old puff coats in our backup clothing bags to put on a cold child at forest school. They are always grateful, cozy and are sure to return it once they warm up.

Every year I thrift a warmer, cold weather coat for him to wear as a back up on super cold days that mostly sits on the coat rack not being worn because his puff coat gets the job done.

My son is also very active outdoors.

A more passive child would likely need a warmer more substantial coat.

I love a puff coat because it can be buckled under a car seat belt. Most winter coats should come off in the car because the bulk makes the seatbelt unsafe. But a puff coat compresses so completely that I feel completed comfortable bucking even my infant into their car seat wearing it.

Personally I stay away from any generic store brands like Joe Fresh or Walmart because I find them super bulky, hard to move in, not water proof at all and really not that warm.

Bulky kids winterwear it makes children’s lives difficult and as a result they are likely to not like playing outside.

My favorite puff coats

  1. Paradox at Costco
  2. The North Face ThermoBall
  3. Patagonia Nano Puff or the recycled down version.
    If you are in a colder climate this one is the warmest on this list Patagonia Down

Of course lots of brands make a puff coat and they are all likely somewhat equivalent. The ones I mention here are the ones that have stood out in my experiences as being something I love seeing children wearing because I know they are warm.

Dishonorable Mentions

Mountain Warehouse makes a cheap version of a puff coat.
The Paradox one is far superior.

Best for Babies

The MEC reversible bundle up jacket is a fabulous purchase for an outdoor family if you aren’t wanting a snowsuit. I don’t love MEC’s other down coats as they are overly puffy.

The Patagonia down coat comes in infant sizes as well and is an excellent, more expensive, option.

Pro Tip: A shell over top of a puff coat or rain pants over top of snowpants on wet snow days works amazing to keep kids dry.

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