We’re in the thick of summer, but fall and winter adventures have been on my mind for the past few weeks. With the remainder of our summer pretty well planned out and booked, it won’t be long before the temperatures start to drop for good and the snow starts to fly again. Although it’s still hot and will be for weeks, I’m already mentally preparing for cold-weather adventures.

I’ve been keeping tabs on my favorite brands for outdoor gear for the kids and creating wish lists of items that need to be bought for the upcoming season. There are quite a few sales going on at the moment, so I’m slowly going through the gear they already have and jumping on the pieces they need that are on clearance right now.

Last winter I wrote out a plan of action for dressing Luke in the cold weather, complete with links to specific items from my favorite outdoor retailers. After a little bit of trial and error, we worked out a layering system that worked wonderfully for him through the entire winter season. Luckily for us, many of the pieces we bought specifically for winter have turned out to be useful through the rest of the year as well, particularly when we’ve gone camping this summer. Almost all of the gear I bought for Luke last year still fits and has plenty of life left to last through another busy winter season. In short, the investment we made in high quality gear last year has proven to be worth it!

Preparing for Cold-Weather Adventures: Shop the Sales

The lessons I learned with Luke last year are helping me shop the sales for gear for Baby Jack. Unfortunately, we don’t have much in the way of hand-me-downs yet, so I’m having to start nearly from scratch for him for the upcoming winter. My current focus is stocking up a few pairs of high quality base layers, mid-weight fleece, and weather-proof outer layers for baby brother (you can read more about this layering system in my original Gearing Up for Winter post).

A few smart shopping tips:

  • If you have favorite brands or outdoor gear shops, sign up for their emails. You’ll be the first to hear about upcoming sales and discount codes.
  • End-of-the-season sales can be gold mines if you are good at guessing what size your kids will be next year. I tend to shop that far in advance only for my husband and I since our sizes don’t really change year to year. For the kids, I just keep tabs on the gear I like and wait for it to go on sale a bit closer to the season they’ll actually use it for.
  • Think of high quality outdoor gear as an investment. Some items are just worth the higher price, especially if they are taken care of, used frequently, and enable you to get outside in all kinds of weather.
  • If you find a specific product you love, don’t hesitate to cross-shop. I usually check the brand’s website, REI and REI Outlet, and Amazon before I buy. (There are plenty of other outdoor retailers similar to REI, but I personally love the member benefits and tend to stick with them over their competitors.)
Looking Ahead: Preparing for Cold-Weather Adventures • twokidsintow.com

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Tried-and-True Gear Picks for Toddlers/Preschoolers

Gear We Currently Own and Love For Outdoor Adventures

Base Layers

Helly Hansen Warm Baselayer Set Set (last season closeout at REI) – on sale on brand website!
REI Midweight Long Underwear Top and Bottomon sale!

Mid-Layers

REI Heavyweight Long Underwear Top and Bottomon sale!
Half-Zip Fleece Pullover from Costco

Outer Layers

Oakiwear One-Piece Trail Suit

Accessories

Wool Hat from Germany
Turtle Fur Fleece Balaclava (last season closeout at REI) – on sale on brand website!
REI Timber Mountain Mittens (last season closeout at REI)
REI Merino Wool Hiking Socks
KEEN Little Kid Pagosa Hiking Bootson sale!
Sorel Snow Bootson sale!

Similar Gear Picks for Babies

Gear Based On Our Favorites For Big Brother or Recommended By Adventure Pals

Base Layers

Patagonia Baby Capilene Midweight Seton sale!
Ella’s Wool Onesie and Tights Set

Mid-Layers

Patagonia Baby Lightweight Fleece Pulloveron sale!
Cozey7 Fleece TrailHopper
Ella’s Wool Tubes

Outer Layers

The North Face Reversible Jacketon sale!
Oakiwear One-Piece Trail Suit

Accessories

Patagonia Baby Reversible Fleece Haton sale!
Stonz Infant Mittzon sale!
Stonz Bootieson sale!