The best winter coats for kids

  • Kids love playing outside in the winter, but they also lose body heat rapidly in cold temperatures. A great kids' winter jacket can preserve core warmth while enhancing your child's style.
  • The Columbia Sportswear Whirlibird II Interchange Jacket is our top pick because its removable liner can be worn separately as a mid-weight coat, making it three coats in one.

The human body begins to lose heat through radiation when the ambient temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of heat reduction accounts for about 65% of total warmth lost. When wind blows, the effects of convection can increase heat loss by as much as 15%. And as children are smaller than adults, with a higher surface area relative to overall mass, they are even more susceptible to over-cooling.

Long story short? Don't send your kids out to play, to wait for the bus, to ski or snowboard, or any other activity that will see extended exposure to cold weather unless the little guy or gal has a great winter coat. Like one of the fine options discussed in our guide, for example.

We're focusing primarily on safety and performance. Every kids' winter coat covered will help your child maintain core warmth so he or she can enjoy the outdoors regardless of the winter's chill. But of course we also sought out kids' jackets that look great, because in many parts of the country (and world), the cold season is a long season indeed, so you and your child need to find a coat you'll be happy to see lots of.Advertisement

As kids come in all sorts of sizes, we're including winter coats for babies, for toddlers, for pre-school aged children, and for kids in their elementary years. Shop carefully, because speaking of size, chances are good that your child will outgrow his or her winter coat after a single season. Finding a jacket you'll be happy to hand down to a younger sibling (or niece or nephew or whatnot) will help soften the blow of the annual process of buying a children's winter jacket.

And all of these fine kids' winter coats will help take the sting out of the winter chill. One last note: I'm leaving the gender choices up to you. You won't find a "best winter coat for baby girl" or "best winter jacket for toddler boys" here, you'll just find great winter coats for kids, period.

Here are the best kids' winter coats you can buy:

Updated on 10/14/2019 by Les Shu: Updated pricing, links, and formatting. Added a pick for baby boys and related guides.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at


The best kids' winter coat overall

The best kids' winter coat overall
The shell and liner of the Columbia Whirlibird II Interchange Jacket make it a three-in-one combination, so your kid will be ready for the coldest and the mildest of winter days.

I've entrusted my safety to Columbia apparel and gear on frigid mountains, in tropical jungles, and on multiple multiday outings and been thoroughly impressed every time. So naturally, when it comes time to select gear that will keep my kids safe and warm in winter, I turn to them first. And with the Whirlibird II Interchange Jacket, that has proven to be a good choice.

When fully assembled, this coat consists of a waterproof and wind-breaking shell and an insulated inner jacket that, zipped together, provide enough warmth for use playing in the snow, on long walks through the city or countryside, or for making that trip to and from school on gray wintry days.

Zipped apart, the shell is great worn on milder days when precipitation threatens, while the inner jacket looks and functions just like a warm puffer coat. And in fact, it's warm enough on its own for days when the temperatures are cool but not frigid.

The inner jackets insulation comes thanks to a synthetic fill and also through Columbia's patented Omni-Heat Reflective system, wherein a pattern of metallic dots reflect radiated heat back toward the body. And while the outer jacket is waterproof, it's still breathable, releasing excess heat and moisture built up from sweat.

When Columbia makes kids' stuff, they make sure it's of the same quality as gear designed for adults. Which is only proper, of course.

Pros: 3-in-1 design allows use in varied temperatures, breathable waterproof exterior, multiple pockets and adjustment points

Cons: On the pricey side

Buy the Whirlibird II Interchange Jacket for girls from Columbia Buy the Whirlibird II Interchange Jacket for boys from Columbia Shop all kids' jackets from Columbia

The best budget kids' winter coat

The best budget kids' winter coat
At the rate kids outgrow clothes, any garment that performs as needed without breaking the bank is a no-brainer for parents, and the Amazon Essentials Lightweight Packable Puffer hits both of those marks.

For the first decade and a half or so of life, most kids are growing so fast that they will only get a single season out of a piece of clothing. But when it comes to winter coats, a kid's safety and comfort are in question, so you need to get a jacket that will keep your child warm regardless of price. With the Amazon Essentials Lightweight Packable Puffer, the price is a mere $35. And the warmth and comfort come thanks to polyester down-alternative fill insulation and a smooth nylon lining.

This puffer jacket will keep a kid warm on milder days when worn with nothing more than a T-shirt, but it excels as a layering garment, worn over a T and a sweatshirt or sweater. And for bitterly cold days with rain or snow, adding a waterproof shell over the top will ensure your kid is ready for even the roughest elements. Its elasticized cuffs and hood add to the jacket's warmth preservation chops, and when not in use, it packs down into an included stuff sack.

The Amazon Essentials Lightweight Packable Puffer comes in multiple colors, including high visibility shades of yellow and orange.

A few customers did leave complaints about the fit, however, so buy with enough lead time for a potential exchange in case the initial sizing is wrong for your kid.

Pros: Great low price, packs down small, comes in multiple colors

Cons: Occasional sizing issues

Buy the boys' Amazon Essentials Lightweight Packable Puffer on Amazon Buy the girls' Amazon Essentials Lightweight Packable Puffer on Amazon

The best girls' winter coat

The best girls' winter coat
The North Face Mossbud Swirl Reversible Jacket has a lining that's so soft and cozy, your little one will ask to put the jacket on instead of fighting with you about getting dressed.

I've noticed over the past few years the kids can be rather... opinionated about things, and their opinions are not always informed by logic. Take for example the debate about whether or not a child should put on a jacket before going outside on a frigid winter day. The obvious answer, to an adult, is yes. The child's sentiments, however, often don't square with the obvious. That's why parents will love the super-soft lining of The North Face Mossbud Swirl Reversible Jacket as much as their kids do because this soft, cuddly coat is one that kids will love to wear.

As it happens, even the exterior of the coat is soft and comfortable, so when worn in reversed fashion with the fleece on the outside, your kid will like it just fine. That reversible design gives more flexibility fashion-wise, while both materials — the fleece and the water-resistant taffeta — play a role performance-wise. The high pile fleece and insulated fill provide plenty of warmth, while the exterior repels light rain and snow and reduces wind chill.

And like any good kids garment should be, the Mossbud Swirl Reversible Jacket is machine washable. Just be sure to note the sizing with care, as some customers reported the jacket not fitting their children as well as they would have liked based on the size they chose.

Pros: Reversible design, soft and warm fleece lining, exterior repels water

Cons: Sizing sometimes runs small

Shop all The North Face kids' winter coats at Nordstrom

The best boys' winter coat

The best boys' winter coat
While Patagonia Snowshot Jacket was designed for use on the slopes, it will keep a little one warm and toasty just fine in the city, suburbs, and countryside.

The ski pass pocket built into the sleeve of the Patagonia Snowshot Jacket is a tipoff as to the design of this winter coat: It was made for use by kids carving their way down snowy slopes. And a jacket designed for use in the snow at high altitude? Yeah, it can handle the cold that comes with everyday winter wear just fine, thank you. And it does so without that huge puffy parka look so many ski coats have.

The Snowshot has a durable water repellent shell that features taped seams for excellent wind-resistance, while the inner layer is soft thanks to a polyester plain-weave lining and quite warm 150 gram down alternative fill. A drop tail hem gives extra protection against wind and precipitation, while the hood can be cinched down tight around a kid's face when the weather is frigid and foul or removed entirely for milder days.

And while the Patagonia Snowshot is a pricey jacket, it might just last more than one season. The sleeves have a "grow-fit" feature that allows them to be extended (or retracted) by as much as two inches, helping the coat weather a growth spurt or two.

Pros: Excellent insulation, water-resistant shell, removable hood, media and ski pass pockets

Cons: Expensive

Shop all kids' snow gear at Patagonia

The best winter coat for babies

The best winter coat for babies
This Tea Collection Sherpa Fleece Zip Hoodie is the perfect outer layer for a baby girl who needs to be warm but also comfortable all through her first or second winter.

The Tea Collection Sherpa Fleece Zip Hoodie is not the warmest baby coat ever made, nor is it a waterproof, wind-breaking, high-tech baby ski coat or anything of the kind. So why is it my go-to winter coat for my baby girl? Because it's warm, soft, not too bulky, and because I'm not taking my infant out in a winter storm anyway.

When out of the house, babies spend most of their time in a car seat, a stroller, or in an adult's arms. All of those methods of conveyance block the breeze and add a layer of insulation, so unless you live in Arctic climes, an oversized, super warm coat is probably overkill for kids too young to play outside independently anyway. The Sherpa Fleece Zip Hoodie fits well even over several base layers (onesie and sweatshirt, e.g.) and is more than soft and cozy enough for wearing over only a onesie. Frankly, a baby could wear it right over his or her skin.

The Sherpa Fleece Zip Hoodie comes in sizes ranging from three to six months up to 18 to 24 months, so your kid can enjoy one for a couple of cold weather seasons before it becomes one of the best hand-me-downs.

Now, I will say that while I love the look and feel of this hoodie and while my daughter Scarlett loves how soft and warm it is (or I think that's what she's "saying"), if you live in an area prone to extra cold winters and/or lots of precipitation, you may need to consider a heartier coat. (Then again, there's also the autumn and early spring to consider!)

The Tea Collection Sherpa is designed for girls, although we can't see why boys can't wear it. If you're looking for something specifically designed for a baby boy, consider the Infant Zing III Fleece Jacket from Columbia, which has a comfortable lining that will keep him warm.

Pros: Warm and soft materials, perfect for layering, jersey-lined hood

Cons: No water resistance

Buy the Sherpa Fleece Zip Hoodie from Tea Collection Buy the Infant Zing III Fleece Jacket from Columbia

Check out our guide to the best kids' gear for wintertime fun

Check out our guide to the best kids' gear for wintertime fun
The best sleds you can buy for winter fun

Grownups and kids alike love to jet down snow-covered slopes on sleds, so we've put together the best sleds you can buy.

Whether you love the classic sleigh-style runner sled, the Griswold go-to saucer, or a big and comfy inflatable tube, you're sure to find a perfect downhill vehicle on our list.

The best places to shop for kids' winter gear

If you're looking to buy winter gear for kids, head straight to the following retailers. Whether it's clothing or fun accessories, these are the best places to shop for kids' winter gear.