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How much to budget for kids gear and soft goods?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have a 3 year old daughter this year, and we are needing to get a set of winter clothes this year. Next year, we'll add the hard good for skiing. I'm a little nervous about budgeting for all of the expenses, and wondering how much we should plan on spending.

Specifically, I'm looking at going to a ski swap this year and wondering about how much we should plan on spending for the various items:


Snow jacket + bibs


Helmet (should we even consider a used one?)




Ski Boots


Snow boots




Other items



post #2 of 8

Take a look at eBay for used stuff to get a feel for prices for ski gear for little kids.  You should be able to do better at a swap.  Pays to get there really early though.

post #3 of 8
Dnt forget beacon, probe, and shovel.....

Just kidding. You might want to look into Obermyer kids clothes. The sleeves have a seam you can cut the next year that lengthens the arms, so hopefully you can get an extra year. We bought one last year. Haven't tried it on the kid yet, but I'm sure we can get another season this year though. We bought that on sale last march. Our family trip was mid march, and they had already put things on sale at sun n ski.

We just picked up some new bibs at a kids clothing/toy consignment store for $20. These were new though, not used.

I'm also looking at buying some of the Roces boots. They have some sort of bolt that can be loosened to allow lengthening of the shell to again, hopefully get another year out of. You can find them for $90 or so.
post #4 of 8

Don't forget to do your daily checks of Craigslist. I got an authentic Spyder Jacket and bib for my little one for $20 and also a full Obermeyer suit with gloves and goggles for my older girl for $40.

post #5 of 8

Check with locally owned ski shops one might have a jr program. I just bought my daughter boots skis and helmet for reasonable price. Skis were $190 with bindings boots were $50 and hemet $30 slightly used. The boots I can trade back anytime for $25 towards next pair and skis trade back for same condition next size up for a $25 binding adjustment fee. The program goes up to 120cm skis so we will definitely save over time. I am sure you should find something similar in your area.

post #6 of 8
Is this your only child? Are you planning to have more? I've got 3 total, a 5yo, 3yo and 3month old. I try to buy gender neutral colors on everything so the cost can be spread out over all the kids as they grow into the gear. I bought new skis and boots for my oldest when she was 2, and my #2 used them when he was 2 and the newborn will use them as well. I bought bigger skis and boots for the kids as they grew from our local ski swap. Our ski swap has the largest collection of kids gear and it's resonably priced compared to brand new stuff in a shop or online. My wife is also very good about hitting up consignment stores that sell used jackets and pants and snow boots (not ski boots) for little feet. We won't get rid of any of the gear until the baby grows out of them (we aren't planning to have any more). They we will sell the stuff at the ski swap if its in good shape.

For really small kids, 2-4yo, you should get warm jackets and pants, waterproof if possible but neverwet and other waterproofing sprays can make most nylon shell clothes waterproof enough to last the 1-2 hours the little ones will actually spend outside in the snow, then you run them back inside to warm up and play a little. No need IMO to get them Northface or Arc'teryx brand clothing, unless you find it used in a consignment store at a great price. Where you want to spend a little money is mittens and socks. REI has a good selection of kids gloves and mittens at reasonable prices, and you can get smarwool socks there in little sizes too.
post #7 of 8
On the helmet thing, used is generally a bad idea, unless you're getting it from somebody you know and trust. You don't know what a used helmet has been through. Most kids helmets are single impact (it doesn't sound like you're in the market for something like a POC). So you don't know if that used helmet has already had its impact. Also, helmets are only certified for 3 or 4 years. Then the plastic has degraded to the point that it no longer holds up to its rating.

Think of a helmet like you do your child's car seat. Accident, Chuck it. Expired, Chuck it. Used, you just don't know.
post #8 of 8

I agree with the used helmet, best to stay away! There are lots of good deals out there on used kids gear, just make sure its still warm and waterproof. I have a down jacket that's been handed down 3 times now and its been great! Check sites like STP and ebay.

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