Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Kids Winter Coats in 2021

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We’ve done the research and here are the best kids winter coats to buy this season! 

kid laying in snow wearing red jacket

It’s all in the filling!

Buying the best, everyday winter coat for your kids can be overwhelming, not to mention, the options are endless and can leave you totally unsure of what will actually keep them warm on those chilly days.

Here’s everything you need to know about children’s winter coats & jackets so you can shop our top recommendations with confidence.

Let’s start with what makes a great winter coat/jacket:

kids running with jackets on

Of course, your ultimate goal is to find a coat with high performance, outstanding insulation, superior comfort, style (for those with fashion-conscious kids 😉), and an affordable price to boot!

But one of the main things you should consider is insulation.

Why jacket insulation is important:

Just like the walls in your home, jacket insulation provides air-trapping qualities to keep warmth in, which is key when your little ones are out enduring the cold of winter. If a jacket is overfilled, it will create too much sweat, causing moisture to freeze and actually make your little one feel colder.

Finding the jacket with just enough fluff for your climate is important so they avoid cold drafts when walking to the bus stop as well as excess sweating during strenuous snow-fort building.

The 2 most common types of jacket insulation:

1. Down

hand holding 600 fill tag on puffer jacket on best kids winter coats

Down is one of nature’s most effective forms of insulation which is made from goose or duck plumage—a.k.a. the lofty, fluffy stuff underneath the feathers on these waterfowl.

Natural down is typically the most expensive option when it comes to investing in a coat and boasts the best warmth-to-weight ratio compared to synthetic offerings.

two kids wearing winter jackets and accessories while in snow roasting marshmallows

Some considerations with down insulation:

  • Standing up to the elements: When down becomes wet, it easily becomes matted down, which makes it lose its ability to keep anyone warm. If you’re looking to buy your kiddo a down jacket, make sure the outer layer or shell is waterproof or water-resistant, like our #1 pick for kids from Land’s End.
  • The fill power: Down’s quality and effectiveness are measured by what’s called “fill power”. Fill power is the amount of loft that one ounce of down produces which is how air is trapped to insulate body heat. Most down jackets will range anywhere from 500 to 800 fill power, so the higher the number, the warmer the jacket.

2. Synthetic Insulation

kids walking through snow with skis

Synthetic insulation is manmade and cheaper to produce, which is typically polyester-based and tends to be the most affordable insulation used in winter coats.

That’s why it’s crucial for modern outdoor companies, such as Land’s End, to master how they manufacture synthetic filling so it’s highly effective and a tough competitor against real down. Plus, Land’s End packs their jackets with so many extra features, they’re a brutal competitor when you compare them to other, more expensive brands.

Some considerations with synthetic insulation:

  • Standing up to the elements: Synthetics are better at retaining heat when it comes to moisture, making it an excellent option if your kids are frequently outside and active in the winter elements. Unlike down, synthetics don’t lose their crimped, manmade texture when wet and therefore are able to retain body heat more efficiently.
  • The gram rating: Synthetics quality and effectiveness are measured by “gram ratings”. The ratings are measured in grams per square meter, so the higher the gram rating, the thicker and warmer the winter jacket will be. Typically, winter jackets are filled with 150g to 200g.

Here are our top picks for kid’s winter coats:

Best DOWN Jacket: Lands’ End Kids Expedition Down Winter Parka

kids wearing colorful best kids winter coats lands end jackets in the snow

Lands’ End Kids Expedition Down Winter Parka $179.95
Use promo code QUALITY for up to 60% OFF
Final cost JUST $71.98!

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Key jacket features:

  • Great temperature rating of 18° to +17°F
  • Parka length hits below the hips
  • Waterproof shell
  • Insulated with 600-fill power down
  • Insulated hood with removable faux fur
  • Grow-A-Long sleeves extend up to 1.5″ to fit them as they grow

“Lands’ End is hands down the greatest quality! Lucky for us parents, the youngest siblings always get the hand-me-downs because their jackets don’t wear out and we are totally hard on our winter gear!” Rachel ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Runner Up DOWN Jacket: Marmot Kids’ Guides Down Hoody

kid with navy winter jacket and blue lens sunglasses on laying in snow

Marmot Kids’ Guides Down Hoody $140
Use promo code HOLIDAY for up to 30% OFF
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Final cost $98 SHIPPED!

Key jacket features:

  • 700-fill water-resistant down
  • Water-resistant ripstop fabric
  • Zippered handwarmer pockets
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Wind flap behind front zipper
  • Angel-Wing Movement™ for good range of motion

“This puffy has kept my 7-year-old daughter safe and warm to the top of Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams. Though it’s the “boys” model, it fits her great. I am very thankful Marmot creates quality gear for kids that is every bit as good as the adventure clothing made for adults. If you’re a parent looking at this jacket and wondering if it’s worth the price, it is!” – Eric ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best SYNTHETIC Jacket: The North Face Freedom Triclimate Waterproof Insulated Jacket

boy wearing winter jacket and ski googles on head

The North Face Freedom Triclimate Waterproof Insulated Jacket $168.95
Use code FREEAGC to receive a $30 Moosejaw gift card valid until 1/31/22
Shipping is free on orders over $49
Final cost $168.95 shipped + FREE $30 gift card!

Key jacket features:   

  • Heatseeker™ Eco insulation
  • Waterproof
  • Triclimate™ loops at wrists on the inner jacket
  • Breathable, seam-sealed DryVent™ 2L shell
  • Three-piece, fixed hood
  • Secure-zip hand pockets
  • Secure-zip pass pocket on left sleeve with goggle cloth
  • Exposed, VISLON® center front zip with internal draft flap on the outer jacket
  • Exposed, reverse-coil center front zip on the inner jacket

“Every year when my kids are due for a new coat I upgrade them to the new The North Face Triclimate – they truly have the best kids winter coats! To me, they’re the perfect everyday jacket that’s perfect for skiing on cold days or taking it apart and just wearing one of the jackets on cooler days. My kids have spent hours in the snow wearing these and always stay so warm. Bonus that they look really nice too!” – Sara ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Runner Up SYNTHETIC Jacket: Gap Kids ColdControl Ultra Max Parka

boy modeling black parka jacket with beanie hat

Gap Kids ColdControl Ultra Max Parka – Boys $138
Score 40% OFF at checkout – no promo needed
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Final cost $73.80 SHIPPED!

Gap Kids ColdControl Ultra Max Parka – Girls $138
Score 40% OFF at checkout – no promo needed
Plus, score an extra 10% off with promo code MORE at checkout
Final cost $73.80 SHIPPED!

While these two best kids’ winter coats vary in appearance, their performance and craftsmanship are identical so whether you’re purchasing a boy’s or girl’s jacket, you simply can’t go wrong with this warmest pick by Gap!

Key jacket features: 

  • Water-resistant Primaloft® insulation
  • Parka length for more warmth
  • Front pockets
  • Detachable fur trim
  • Button and zip front closure
  • Made with 40% recycled polyester

“I ordered this parka for my 5-year-old because he had outgrown his winter coat from last year. When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, thickness, and craftsmanship of this parka. It’s not too heavy and he can still move around freely while wearing it. The hood is lined with a super soft and fluffy material.

I loved it so much that I had to get one for my daughter as well. They will both be warm on those brutal, cold winter days ahead! I’m super happy and 100% satisfied with this purchase and highly recommend it.” – Sandra ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best INNOVATION: Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange Jacket

hand holding open pink kids jacket hanging on hook

Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange Jacket $120
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Final cost as low as $120 SHIPPED! 

This jacket from Columbia doesn’t use down or synthetic insulation. In fact, it’s designed with a high-tech, reflective material called “Omni-Heat” which is both breathable and effectively reflects body heat. Making and retaining body heat will allow your little ones to endure the cold of winter without overheating.

I personally own this jacket for my daughter and she loves it! She stays nice and warm, and thanks to the outgrown system I know we’ll get at least a couple of winters out of it.

close up of pink jacket with omni heat on inside

Key jacket features:

  • It’s versatile and can be worn as 2 separate layers or zipped together
  • Features a waterproof, breathable shell
  • Omni-Heat Technology
  • OUTGROWN system lets you extend the cuffs as your little one grows
  • Completely waterproof, sealed seams
  • Windproof
  • Removable, adjustable storm hood

“I bought this coat for my son and he loves it! It keeps him nice and warm in the extreme cold weather that we have experienced so far this year in South Dakota! We both love that it is the 3-in-1 style so it can be worn for many different seasons and the grow-with-me feature is absolutely genius and extends the life of these coats with growing kids! I know we’ll be able to get a couple of years worth of wear out of it!” – Shelby ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

These toy deals are too hot to just give a jacket this Christmas!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 34

  1. Nicole6

    My kids wear the land’s end squall jackets for school (bus) and playing outside but use just a fleece (usually lands end too) for the car. We are in the lake effect snow belt of upstate NY and they are always plenty warm in the car. If necessary we bring along the winter coat for the destination.

  2. Chantel

    While this reads like an ad forLand’s End, I have to add my vote for the LE expedition as the best winter coat for a cold climate. They are sized generously enough that my kids got two seasons in Alaska out of their coats. I just bought them the next sizes up for this winter. The old coats are a little snug but could still be worn if we needed to. They also look brand new. No rips, stains, etc and my kids are really hard on clothes. My kids never complain about being cold in these coats.

    • Sara

      So wonderful to hear, Chantel! Land’s End makes great jackets! 🙌🏻

  3. Animity


  4. Animity

    Lands End hands down. Four seasons into the same coat and still going strong.

    For carseat users get a good three in one.

    • Sara

      So glad to hear you’re happy with your Land’s End. 🤗

  5. Ap927

    Ooh I emailed and suggested this topic last winter. Thank you!!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re so welcome! Thank YOU for the suggestion!

    • Sara

      Yes, thank you for the suggestion 🤗 I hope you liked this post!

  6. Brigit

    Thank you!!

  7. Kate

    The Kamik Snobuster boot has been a favorite for my boys for years.

  8. Elizabeth

    i really like the zeroxposur ski jacket for my kids! have held up well and are very warm. they have thumb holes, Velcro cuffs closure and button waist to keep cold and snow out!

  9. beth-3

    I bought my 14 yr old son a 3 in 1 coat from Walmart for $40. It’s rated very warm (we like to ski & get outside a bit in the winter). It’s not as nice as the more expensive brands but he’s not as hard on them as he used to be. And I like the flexibility of the 3 in 1. Plus, I expect him to have a huge growth spurt soon.

    • Julie

      I have purchased Walmart’s Swisstech 3-1 winter jacket for my boys every year. They are great quality and last for years to hand down to little brothers. My oldest out grew the largest boys size, but I was happily surprised that Swisstech offers the same coats in adult men’s! I bought it for black Friday and saved $20!

  10. Jen L

    I personally love the outerwear from Polarn O. Pyret USA. Such amazing high quality, great re-sale value and lots of options without feathers and also great options that are carseat safe. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking!

  11. Mary

    Thank you so much for the suggestions!

  12. Materof6

    For the Southeast US winters (milder than other regions, but occasional snow and cold days), we have had a great experience with the 3-in-1 coats from Children’s Place…reasonably priced on sale, waterproof for outer later, and inner layer is great for between seasons. Thanks for posting!

  13. silvgoddess

    Hip2Save team- can you do an article on kids gloves? My 3.5 year old plays outside for school everyday and doesn’t like to wear her gloves because she needs finger ones (almost all toddler gloves are mittens) but doesn’t like the cotton finger gloves as they snag on branches and leaves . I’ve been trying to look for recommendations! Help!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the request! I have passed that along to the team. Obermeyer makes great kids gloves They come in mittens or gloves and what’s so unique about them is that they zip up the back so it’s easier for them to see where their fingers are going when they put them on. They’re a little on a pricier side for a kid’s glove, but well worth it. https://amzn.to/3D3MguG Hope this helps!

    • Katibell


  14. skateman1sgirl

    My 4 child are grown now. I bought them Land’s End for everything. Coats, snow boots, snow bibs, school uniforms, knee socks for the girls uniforms because they DID NOT FALL DOWN and lasted forever! School backpacks, lunch boxes too. Still have the backpacks and lunchboxes, they wash up good as new in the washer. My daughters still smile when seeing their matching monogrammed sets. Quality is awesome. Some of our parkas were worn 2 years each by each of my 3 girls then handed down to other families. Simply awesome.

  15. Kay

    Thank u so much. I need to b better at buying quality outerwear for my kids, especially now that we have a place in the mountains. Ur post is perfect timing n usefulness. Bought 3 coats from Lands End. Use code CRANBERRY for up to 70% off. Use Rakuten to get 20% rebate.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome, Kay! Thanks for sharing! It seems that code doesn’t work for the full 70% off on that coat listed above. It is a bit cheaper still with the code we have noted for that deal.

      • Kay

        I bought slightly different n better coats that were $189.95 each. With 70% off, came down to $56.98. So for me, I preferred using CRANBERRY code. With Rakuten rebate, got $28.78 back.

  16. Linda

    Lands’ End has great sales right now. Through tonight, 11/30, use code BIGDAY for 60% off with free shipping.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing, Linda!

      • A

        I would love to see a post on kids winter boots that keep their feet dry and don’t break the bank since their feet grow so quickly! 🙂

        • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

          Thanks for the request, A! I have passed this along to the team!

  17. Wfgedlin

    Thank u so much for this post n it helps a lot to decide nice warm jacket for our little ones.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re very welcome!

  18. Peterson J

    A company called Outdoor School Shop (outdoorschoolshop.com) have curated AMAZING outerwear worn at outdoor based schools in the US and CA based off what kids in Europe/Scandinavia wear. Everything they carry have been carefully selected and put to the test. Would highly recommend the brands. Polarn O Pyret, Reima, Didriksson etc. GREAT quality!

  19. Leidra Horton

    Eddie Bauer deserves an honorable mention! We love their outerwear. Super durable and if you hit the sales right, it can be affordable, too!

  20. smoresto

    I have 2 lands end coats, one is 2 years old with the grow feature in the sleves, but the pocket came completely unstitched. And the other was mabe a few months old and the zipper fell apart. Anyone know how their guarantee works? Do they fix the coats, issue a refund? Store credit? If a refund, is it partial or a complete refund? Do they offer a replacement option same coat? Ty for any information. I have 6 kids all using lands end coats, I have spent a lot of money on their coats through the years. This is the first time I have thought of returning a used product, they just did not hold up. Ty again for any help.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      So sorry to hear about that.💖 Be sure to head over to their Help Center where you can view info on returns and / or reach out to customer service for assistance on your items. Hoping this is helpful! 🤗

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