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Our Picks for the Best Kids Winter Coats to Buy in 2020

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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.

The great news is that we’re here to help you through this tedious process and get you exactly what you need! 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 the insulation.

Why 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

Thanks to affordable & timeless companies like Land’s End, you can still score a great down kid’s jacket at an awesome price! In fact, you won’t find a more suitable coat for winter anywhere else because their jackets are the warmest & most feature-packed winter protection anyone has to offer. Their ethically sourced down kid’s coats can even be worn in -18°F weather! Brrr!

Some considerations with down:

  • 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 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:

  • 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.

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 CLEAR for up to 40% OFF
Plus free shipping with $99+
Final cost as low as $125.96 shipped!

Keys 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! Plus, they have an unbelievable guarantee. 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: Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Hooded Jacket

Patagonia girl's down hooded jacket

Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Hooded Jacket: $179
Use an additional 30% OFF code when new members sign up for emails
Final cost as low as $125.30 shipped!

Key jacket features:

  • 600-fill down
  • Lightweight design
  • Fits inside its own bag, perfect for traveling
  • Repels water inside and outside
  • Durable exterior fabric withstands serious wear and tear
  • Three-panel hood for a secure and comfortable fit
  • Reflective details for visibility during dark
  • Built-in hand-me-down tag

“The Patagonia down jackets are the best! They are a bit pricey, but I try to find past season colors at discount or score a great sale at the outlet, then the price isn’t too bad. The quality can’t be beaten and they can be passed down to siblings since they’re so durable.” – Emily ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best SYNTHETIC Jacket: Lands’ End Boys Squall Waterproof Winter Jacket

two boys playing in the snow wearing green and orange coats

Lands’ End Boys Squall Waterproof Winter Jacket: $99.95
Use promo code CRISP for 20% OFF
Final cost as low as $79.96 + shipping

Key jacket features:   

  • Rated as the best in the snow
  • Great temperature rating of -4° to +27°
  • Jacket length hits at the hips
  • Waterproof shell
  • Windproof shell
  • 150g insulated sleeves
  • Grow-A-Long sleeves extend up to 1.5″ to fit them as they grow
  • Built-in hand-me-down name tag

“I bought this same jacket a few years ago and I’m now buying the next size up for my son. The original jacket held up so well that his younger brother is so excited to get the hand-me-down and the best part is that it still looks totally new! Lands’ End is always such great quality and I’m happy to invest in as it will be used for many winters by many kiddos!” – Kathrine ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Did you know Land’s End also has an incredible return policy?

If for some reason you’re not satisfied with your kid’s new winter coat (or any purchase for that matter), you can request a refund within 90 days of purchase and your total will be issued to the original form of payment. Refund requests received beyond 90 days from the date of purchase or refund requests without a Lands’ End proof of purchase will be issued a Lands’ End Merchandise Credit.

Hip Tip: Here are a bunch of other retailers with incredible return policies.

Runner Up SYNTHETIC Jacket: L.L. Bean Kids’ Waterproof Patroller Ski Jacket

boy wearing blue and purple coat

L.L. Bean Kids’ Waterproof Patroller Ski Jacket$149
Select colors on sale $119 – no promo code needed!
Final cost as low as $119 shipped!

Key jacket features: 

  • Waterproof exterior shell
  • Larger hood to fit over ski/snowboard helmets
  • Suitable for light activity at 20° & moderate activity down to -5°
  • Thick polyester fleece lining in upper body
  • Adjustable cuffs with Velcro-closure tab
  • Underarm zippers for adequate ventilation
  • Loaded with additional ski slope friendly features such as ski pass pocket, reflective accents, and more

“We count on L.L.Bean products for our Pacific Northwest outdoor life. My daughter gives this jacket raving reviews and says it’s the best ever! She was dry and warm the whole day snowboarding. I bought the jacket to be big on her so she can wear it for a while (she is 13).” – Heather ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best INNOVATION: Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange Jacket

Columbia fleece interchangeable kids jackets

Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange Jacket: $120
Select colors on sale $59.99 – no promo code needed!
Get Free Shipping when you sign up for their free Greater Rewards program
Final cost as low as $59.99 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.

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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Shop the hottest toy deals of the season here!

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 5 years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 31

  1. Gscribble

    Are any of these car seat safe? I’m guessing not.

    • 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.

      • Gscribble

        We use a Columbia fleece for the car, but he’s needed a seperate puffy coat for school because it’s not warm enough when they play outside for recess (we live in northern WI). I hope they come up with a solution for this someday!


      No winter coats are car seat safe, technically. Nothing with filling that can be compressed. Your kids should remove winter jackets in the car seat.

  2. Brigit

    Have you done a list like this for kids’ snow boots? I’d love to see one! My kids have outgrown their boots and I’ve had mixed success with finding good boots on my own.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the request! I have passed this along to the team!

    • Animity


      • Brigit

        Thanks! I’ve never heard of that brand. I’ll check it out.

    • ella

      Baffin is also an awesome brand of boots. They are made in Canada. Feet will never get cold! I bought a pair for my oldest kid slightly big & it had a removable insert… she was able to use them for a third year when we removed the insert. Then I passed that pair down to each of my kids. Three kids used those boots a couple years each and they were still in great condition when I passed them on to another family!

      • Brigit

        Thank you!!

    • Kate

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

    • Elizabeth

      i really like the bog or Western Chief boots. good to -30 and easy for kids to put on.

    • Momof6

      We have had amazing success with bogs and muck boots.

  3. 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! 🙌🏻

  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!

      • Ap927


    • Sara

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

  6. 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!

  7. Robyn

    Something I am surprised no one has mentioned… Allergies. After years and years of health problems, I recently found out that I have a severe dust mite allergy. After removing carpeting from my house and tossing all my feather/down items (duvets, pillows, and coats) my health has drastically improved. So if you or a loved one is prone to sinus problems or allergies, it’s best to stick with hypoallergenic synthetic down. No matter how much you love down or how awesome it is. Trust me.

    • occhi21

      Which brands do you recd bc I can’t breath in all these coats bc of the down feathers etc

  8. Mary

    Any recommendations for a less expensive coat that will still keep the kiddos warm? we live in FL and are going to NC in January for only 5 days.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Yes! You’ll find these JCPenney coats more affordable and warm! Just a tip. When we have to visit places that require jackets we don’t need, we donate them on the day we leave. That way we don’t have to bring them home and have closets full of jackets that don’t fit the kids when they grow out of them.

    • Annie

      You could borrow coats or buy some inexpensively from a thrift store or site like thredup.

    • 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.

    • Mary

      Thank you so much for the suggestions!

  9. lynsiks

    Has anyone had good luck with the Columbia coat? I got that one for my 3rd grader and when I got it in the mail it feels sooo light. I don’t know how it could be so warm!

  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!

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