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Help w/ Children w/ Cold Hands and Feet

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

So my kids are always complaining about cold hands and cold feet when we ski in VT.

 

My daughter has Burton Oven Mitts + synthetic liner gloves + hand warmers, my son has the same but w/ Burton Gore-Tex gloves. They have thin ski socks and toe warmers.

 

I'm running out of ideas. What is the nuclear option for warm gloves? Hestra mitts?

 

The other option I'm thinking of is getting them down vests or down sweaters. Are the long down sleeves going to overcook them?

 

Any advice appreciated.

post #2 of 20

What's on their heads?  What's around their necks?

Cold heads can produce cold everything else.  

Down sweaters should help too, under the jacket, but the head and neck are very important for keeping everything all over nice and warm.

 

Hand warmers touching fingers inside mittens are warmer than the same mittens with liners inside separating the skin from the hand warmers.

Ditch the liners.  Add a second hand warmer in each mitten if necessary.  That should do it.

 

Fi the mittens have separated fingers inside by a sewn-in liner, ditch them and get real mittens where the fingers touch each other.

 

I don't own Hestra gloves, but I've always heard that they are not as warm as some others.  Better made and of high quality leather, wonderful in oh-so-many-ways, but not for folks with frigid fingers.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

What's on their heads?  What's around their necks?

Cold heads can produce cold everything else. . .

 

Giro ski helmet, goggles, and fleece neck gaiter. Maybe add a fleece face mask?

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackboy1 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

What's on their heads?  What's around their necks?

Cold heads can produce cold everything else. . .

 

Giro ski helmet, goggles, and fleece neck gaiter. Maybe add a fleece face mask?

That sounds good.  

In single digits, a face mask helps.

Two hand warmers in each mitten, one wrapped around the thumb, the other floating above the fingers, no liners.  That should do it.

If it doesn't then your kids have surpassed my coldness level and I'm stumped.

 

Don't know about the long down sleeves; I wear a Patagonia long sleeve micro-light down jacket under my real ski jacket and am quite happy. But I'm oddly cold compared to others.  There's some oddness to those very light, thin down sweaters and jackets.  They seems to adjust to what one needs in warmth, holding more inside the jacket when it's cold and letting the heat out when it's not.  This may be my imagination. 

 

Pull-overs are a drag to get on and off should they get too hot.  Zippered jackets are easier to take off and put back on.

post #5 of 20
Quote:

Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 

There's some oddness to those very light, thin down sweaters and jackets.  They seems to adjust to what one needs in warmth, holding more inside the jacket when it's cold and letting the heat out when it's not.  This may be my imagination. 

 

 

It's not your imagination. Down sweaters are arguably one of the best thing to come down the pike in a while. Works like magic. The newer fabrics differentiate them from the down garments from the 1980. The stuff from the '80s is toasty warm until the wind starts to blow. The new windproof / breathable shell materials on the new down sweaters makes them much more comfortable.       

 

OP, I see references to face mask but not helmet liners. A bank robber type micro fleece balcalava in combo with a fleece neck warmer works really well with my son when he was young.

Junior sized balcalava fits children's head perfectly and is inexpensive.   

 

The warmer you keep the body the warmer the extremities. Make sure whatever they are wearing are windproof / breathable. 

post #6 of 20

It's funny the OP is worried about overcooking the kids while seeking solutions for cold.

 

I think the solution is layers.  I'd think about the torso and legs.

 

Keep in mind that trapped air is what provides insulation.  If things are packed too tightly, the value disappears.  Hence the suggestions to ditch liner gloves.  This may also be why a vest may work better than a jacket as a mid-layer.

 

Do make sure there's no cotton on board.  When I did winter camping trips, we called it "death cloth."

 

I make sure my kids have real mittens, in which the fingers can keep each other warm.  The brand doesn't matter too much, but make sure they're waterproof.  We've used Obermeyer and Hestra.  This year, we'll try Burton and Dakine.

 

It's been mentioned on this site before that the body tries to preserve the brain at all costs.  If the brain gets cold, blood is shunted from the extremities to the trunk and head.  Make sure the helmet and neck gaiter are keeping their heads warm.

 

Back to layers:  Start with a polyester/polypro base layer, top and bottom.  In a pinch, an extra base layer can be added for more trapped air.  A mid layer might not be needed for the legs if the ski pants are insulated.  For the torso, a down or pile jacket and/or vest makes sense.  Top it off with a jacket, insulated or not as appropriate.  Make sure the outer layers are water/wind-proof.

 

Seal the cracks.  Make sure the neck gaiter fits well.  Often a face mask doesn't fit kids well, but a bandana can help.  Check that the ski pants seal around the top of the boots so no snow gets in there.  Don't tuck anything in the boots.

 

Check the helmet for vents.  Close these or duct tape them.  Make sure the goggles fit OK.

 

Exercise.  Start the day with a good vigorous skate.  There's nothing colder than a windy lift ride when the body is cold.

 

Snacks:  Calories are a measure of heat.  No coincidence.

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post
 

It's funny the OP is worried about overcooking the kids while seeking solutions for cold.

 


We've had a difficult time finding a good balance. The kids tell us that their torsos and heads are warm, but the extremities are cold.

 

Me, I freeze my @$$ off sitting on the lift, but skiing I get hot so I have to open all the vents to dump heat, but my face feels frozen. I've always worn fleece under my shell or used a primaloft insulated jacket. I've experimented with an electric vest, but fiddling with buttons on the lift when wearing gloves is a PITA.

 

This is year we're trying down mid layers to see if we can get improved results!

 

Does anybody make electric gloves for kids?

post #8 of 20

Baclava, like King Grump said, essential., + neck gaiter.  My kids boots were roomy enough to fit a toe warmer under the insole of each boot toe. I found Da Kine mittens to be poor quality. I had the most success with leather gloves with generous cuffs / gauntlets (to layer under the jacket's cuff - no gaps) and with down or thinsulate filling. Some brands have zip pockets for warmers, but that only warms the back of the hands, which may be enough. My son would just throw a hot pack in the mitten and go with it, although you're not supposed to. We found some great mittens, and I just checked the glove locker to get the brand names, only to find that they've all been handed down to cousins. That went fast. They are pretty expensive, $60 or so, a lot to spend on kid's gloves, but we'd buy them in August at half price and get a spare pair in case they lost one. Weirdly, they never did. Bigger kids, however... 

 

 + on the down sweater. We got good deals on performance long johns at LL Bean too, very versatile. Can double as PJs on a cold night... 

 

 

PS.  I did a search and found Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Junior Mitten came up. What's nice about these is that you can slip a warmer pac between the liner and the shell, not just in a pocket in the back. Sounds like you've been around the block if heaters & Oven Mitts haven't worked. Good luck.


Edited by Mr. Crab - 10/28/14 at 7:53pm
post #9 of 20

Don't be afraid to take a few more quick breaks when skiing with the kids.   I almost never take breaks when skiing solo, but when with the kids and it's cold we'll take a 10 minute break for every 90 minutes we ski if not more.  A quick break with a shared hot chocolate goes a long way.  

 

As my kids have gotten older they've gotten better at dealing with the cold.   I do have a pretty good helmet gap on my 12 year old son though again this year I noticed when we test fit his helmet and goggles.   I'm going to end up velco-ing in an extra piece inside the front of his helmet again this year to block the cold air there.  Or maybe get some bigger framed goggles for him...

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackboy1 View Post
 

We've had a difficult time finding a good balance. The kids tell us that their torsos and heads are warm, but the extremities are cold.

 

Kids can be notoriously finicky about temperature.  Truth be told, so can I.  Personally, I often ski with one layer less than most sane people.  I compensate by wearing a neck gaiter and big warm mittens.  Perhaps something like that would work for your kids.

 

I like my Outdoor Research mittens.  I don't know how big your kids are, but OR makes a women's mitten called the Stormbound Mitt and it comes in XS.  Pricey, though.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackboy1 View Post
 

Does anybody make electric gloves for kids?

Yes, they exist.  I got a pair for my daughter, but she never really found the useful.  She also didn't like the added bulk of the battery pack.

 

Do your kids' hands and/or feet sweat?  Once socks get damp, harder to keep feet warm.  Boot Gloves do help.

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

What's on their heads?  What's around their necks?

Cold heads can produce cold everything else.  

Down sweaters should help too, under the jacket, but the head and neck are very important for keeping everything all over nice and warm.

 

Hand warmers touching fingers inside mittens are warmer than the same mittens with liners inside separating the skin from the hand warmers.

Ditch the liners.  Add a second hand warmer in each mitten if necessary.  That should do it.

 

Fi the mittens have separated fingers inside by a sewn-in liner, ditch them and get real mittens where the fingers touch each other.

 

I don't own Hestra gloves, but I've always heard that they are not as warm as some others.  Better made and of high quality leather, wonderful in oh-so-many-ways, but not for folks with frigid fingers.

 

Pretty much agree with everything said here.

 

Ditch the gloves, period.  Mittens = warmer hands.

 

I've got 3 kids.  For some reason they don't like wearing mittens.  When it's cold, the gloves are gone and the mittens are on. 

 

I think the coldest time for them (and us) is on a chair lift in the blowing wind and cold.  That's where every inch of their exposed skin must be covered.  Do what you can here.  Definitely, turtle furs or something comparable.

 

All my kids snowboard and we've had good luck with just toe warmers and 1 set of hand warmers.  BTW, this thread reminded me of something, I got to buy toe/hand warmers in bulk!

 

We ski Jay Peak and it get's pretty chilly on some days!

post #13 of 20

Mittons + hand warmers. Merino wool thin ski socks + foot warmers. Face covers. Hot chocolate or food breaks every 2 hours, max. 

post #14 of 20

Two quick thoughts about this. My kids mittens are always wet, I mean always. As we walk to the lifts they slide down part of the path, make snowballs, wipe snow off fence tops. It can make sense to have an extra pair, even to swap into just as they set off on skis. Also, don't rely on your kids to tell you they're cold, by the time they let you know it may be too late. 

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm starting to get hungry. . .

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Hot chocolate or food breaks every 2 hours, max. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post
 

Baclava, like King Grump said, essential. . .

 

:D

 

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

Two quick thoughts about this. My kids mittens are always wet, I mean always. As we walk to the lifts they slide down part of the path, make snowballs, wipe snow off fence tops. It can make sense to have an extra pair, even to swap into just as they set off on skis. Also, don't rely on your kids to tell you they're cold, by the time they let you know it may be too late. 


Where we ski it's so cold that the gloves don't get wet from this kind of stuff.   Seriously it's hard to get your gloves wet on the outside when it's that cold.  :D

 

I have a really hard time getting my kids to use mittens.  They really only want to use gloves.  I've had good success using glove liners for my older son.  When it's really cold I'll use a sticky chemical heater and stick it onto his glove on the back of his hand.  Not as good as being right over the fingers but it works pretty well.   The sticky ones help you keep the heater in one spot and not swimming around their gloves all day.

 

I use these in their boots as well, but only when it's below 5-10 degrees.  When it's above 5-10 my kids don't complain much about being cold.

 

When it's below 32 my wife complains about being cold  ;)

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackboy1 View Post
 

So my kids are always complaining about cold hands and cold feet when we ski in VT.

 

My daughter has Burton Oven Mitts + synthetic liner gloves + hand warmers, my son has the same but w/ Burton Gore-Tex gloves. They have thin ski socks and toe warmers.

 

I'm running out of ideas. What is the nuclear option for warm gloves? Hestra mitts?

 

The other option I'm thinking of is getting them down vests or down sweaters. Are the long down sleeves going to overcook them?

 

Any advice appreciated.


1)  Being too warm is as bad a being cold.  I found it better to ski with a backpack and layer/unlayer the kids throughout the day.

2) HESTRA makes good gloves.  The problem, as you know, is that kids gloves generally suck.  My younger son hated the Burton Oven Mitt but loved his HESTRAs.  The older son is now into men's sizes, and has some HESTRA's purchased off GearTrade (a lot of Backcounty returns).  The younger son is wearing HESTRA's in a womens size (at 11 he is in between sizing) picked up for cheap on GearTrade.

3) Wet means cold.  Keep the hands dry.  Kid will always drop gloves in the snow and then their hands get cold.  To prevent this for little kids, use the glove clips on the Obermeyer jackets, use wrist straps with the gloves, etc.  Keep the gloves off the snow at all costs.  Waterproof your kid's gloves if necessary.  Leather gloves come with their own stuff to moisturized and to keep them dry (you can make it yourself).  Synthetic gloves for little kids can always be ScotchGuarded. I also Scotchguard their ski jackets in the beginning of the year.  When I sell the jackets on ebay, there is almost never a stain.

4) prickly has it right: Carry an extra pair of mitts with you.  When the kids get snow in their gloves, swap them out. 


Edited by quant2325 - 10/30/14 at 7:11am
post #18 of 20

We're a mittens-only family, thankfully Bode Miller is a mittens guy, so easier to convince the kids that that's cool.

post #19 of 20

My son for 2 year skied with some Scott mittens that were really thick and had a nice puffy layer on the inside.  He never once got cold in them but outgrew them and I haven't been able to find a pair he likes as much.   He now using his brother gloves he likes and I can't get him back into mittens.

 

I have to ski in gloves with liners as I end up needing to take my gloves off so often on the lift to adjust one of my kids googles, helmet, gloves, etc.   Having gloves with the wrist straps is sure nice with kids.  Love having to never worry about dropping a glove on the chairlift.

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackboy1 View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post
 

Baclava, like King Grump said, essential. . .

 

:D

 

 

How did you figure out that I work in marketing for the American Dental Association? Was I that obvious?  :D  

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