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Our Picks for the Best Kids Winter Coats to Buy in 2019

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two kids wearing blue north face jackets outside

It’s all in the filling!

Buying winter wear can be overwhelming, but when you’re hunting for the perfect everyday coat for your kiddos, the endless options can leave you totally unsure of what will actually keep them warm. To help in the buying process, here’s everything you need to know about children’s winter coats and jackets so you can shop our top recommendations with confidence.


Let’s start with what makes a great winter 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

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.

Down is also 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.

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.
  • 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

pink and purple puffer kids jackets

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. Modern outdoor companies, such as The North Face, have mastered how they manufacture synthetic filling making it highly effective and a tough competitor against real down.

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 loose 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 Value DOWN: Lands’ End Kids Expedition Down Winter Parka

kids wearing colorful lands end jackets in the snow

Lands’ End Kids Expedition Down Winter Parka: $179.95
Use 40% off promo code FRIEND and pin 1948 at checkout
Final cost $107.37 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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Best Overall DOWN: Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Hooded Jacket

Patagonia girl's down hooded jacket

Key jacket features:

  • 600-fill down
  • Comes in different fits and colors for girls or boys
  • 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! Thy are a bit pricey, but I try to find past season colors on 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 Value SYNTHETIC: 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 40% off promo code FRIEND and pin 1948 at checkout
Final cost Only $59.97 shipped!

Key jacket features:   

  • Rated as the best in the snow
  • Comes in different fits and colors for boys and girls
  • 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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Best Overall SYNTHETIC: The North Face Clement Triclimate Jacket

kid wearing blue the north face jacket outside

Key jacket features:

  • 150g insulation
  • A 3-in-1 jacket that gives you options that change with the weather
  • Outer shell fights off winter weather
  • Has moisture wicking capability
  • Heatseeker insulation in the inner jacket provides lightweight heat
  • Fully sealed seams
  • Ample pockets for organization

I actually purchased this coat for my son and I give it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!

I’ve always bought my kids North Face jackets. To me, they’re the very best quality and wear so well, especially the Triclimate. I love the reinforced zippers which doesn’t allow water or air to get through.

I’ve been lucky to scoop up these North Face jackets at a consignment shop in the past but I don’t mind purchasing them new. They’re always still in great condition after they’ve been outgrown making them worthwhile hand-me-downs.

Hip Tip: If you want to score the same navy color jacket my son is wearing in the photo above, you can shop it on Nordstrom.com or Amazon.com.


Best INNOVATION: Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange Jacket

Columbia fleece interchangeable kids jackets

Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange Jacket for Boys or Girls: $120

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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


The hottest toys at Walmart for 2019 voted by kids!

Join The Discussion

Comments 32

  1. Martha

    Great reviews, thank you!
    If you are lucky enough to live near a North Face or Columbia Outlet store there are usually great deals on kids coats, however sometimes you need to scoop them up in August to get the best deal.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Martha! Thank YOU for the tip! Good to know!

  2. Cat

    This is great! I love posts like this because it helps us use our money wisely by buying quality items. Can y’all do a coat review for adults too please?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the feedback, Cat! SO glad you are loving this list! I’ll be sure to pass your request along to the team!

  3. 1withthelord

    Can I say that I am SHOCKED llbean dis t make the cut! I have been using llbean for my kiddos for about 20 years. They are so well made and have held up child after child. I had 2 coats out of probably 20 that had zipper issues. After about 2 years, and when they still had their guarentee, they replaced the coats completely free. Llbean has several options to choose from too. I wonder why they didn’t make the cut???

    • Sara

      Those are definitely great coats too, 1withthelord! It was a tough call because there are so many great options.

    • Tessa

      I agree with you 1withthelord. LL Bean is still the best for our family. Years and years of use and their coats still hold up. Our family passed along their coats, backpacks ,and boots from child to child. LL Bean took a hit when it was announced they would no longer give money back or replace an item within a certain time frame and with a receipt. The long abused program had to change at some point. One can try to believe the good will our way the bad but we are in a time of greed. People would buy items at yard sales for cheap and return them for money with the no questions asked policy. Other would find various way to cheat the system therefore LL BEAN had to make a change.

  4. Katie

    Just as a good safety reminder to parents with kids in carseats – it is not recommended that kids wear heavy/bulky jackets or coats in these seats, as they alter the fit and can potentially restrict the straps from fitting the child appropriately. Our pediatrician recommended fleece for carseats!

    • Sara

      That’s a great reminder, thanks for sharing Katie!

  5. JD

    I’d like to suggest the “Bargain Cave” at Cabelas for amazing clothing bargains for the whole family. Keep a sharp eye on it and scan daily particularly in January. You will find it under Savings in their menu.

  6. Melissa

    If you have a teen boy, don’t bother. I spent $250 on a Patagonia jacket for my son and he just wears a hoodie and shorts. Imagine all the wine I could have had.

    • JD

      Made my day Melissa! Brought a lot of memories back! Wet hair as well? I don’t know how they survive but they do just fine. 😄

    • MH

      My son is 8 and we are living that same life. Good to know he’ll survive 😉

    • vanessa

      LOL! Glad it wasn’t just my teen boy. He’s 21 and still wears a hoodie for a coat!

  7. k6loves

    We love our lands end coats snowpants and boots. My kids are on 3 seasons using them with the grow to fit option!!! They also pass on really well. My son’s set has been worn by 2 nephews and other than the bottom of the snowpants look great!!!!

    • Hannah

      100% agree!

  8. Pliu0211

    OMG! Great article! I’m in the market for a new winter coat for my growing son. I do love the North Face jacket on your son.

  9. Shelly

    These are very nice coats, but I wish there was a cheaper option. I need to buy at least two coats per kid (so one can go up to his dad’s house) and my price point has to be $30 or less. Any cheaper options for coats?

    • JD

      Old Navy is having their outerwear sale today. It is in your price point and is decent but not exceptional. In late winter and early summer go to Kohls, JC penney, and Cabelas bargain cave and shop for next year. My price point is $20 cost for my granddaughter and it is very doable.

    • tracey

      Childrens place 3 in 1 coats….they have half off right now and there are coupons for your kids birthdays or sign up for texts or emails to sweeten the deals. Today it’s even an extra 10% off for in store pick up but I have not personally tried that. For me it was cheaper than buying a new 3 in 1 coat at walmart.

    • 1withthelord

      Sometimes you can find these options at local thrift stores(I have found 2 llbean boats in mine for $5), Facebook marketplace, or Ebay. I bought an llbean coat for my son on FB marketplace for 10 bucks in mint condition in the middle of winter (my son put his $130 llbean coat too close to the woodstove. Erg). Also. Joon a moms group and tell them your situation. A lot of time people are more than willing to help out. Good luck

    • Court!

      If you have a Costco membership, they have very affordable nice winter coats and gear for kids!

  10. Tanisha Lewis

    This is great. I just purchased lands end down expedition winter parka and got a great sale only paying 69$$. This was awesome.

    • Liz

      Please share….how did u get such a fab deal?

  11. Lisa

    I bought my 1 kid a north face coats. All the others I got in July off ebay new with tags…They wanted Ralph Lauren & Michael Kors …North Face are so much better. (FYI I got the ralph lauren pink one that’s currently on their website for $50 & the Michael Kors which is currently on their website for $38). I roam ebay & poshmark in the summer & find some killer winter deals sometimes.

  12. Hannah

    I lived in Alaska for 13 years with 3 boys and the Land’s End Squall jackets were our favorite quality and price-wise.

  13. Amber W

    Thank you! I’d like to see similar reviews for men’s & women’s coats–we all need new ones and it’s hard to know which will last!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You are welcome! I’ll pass your feedback on to the team, Amber W!

  14. Reshma Patel

    What do you use if your kids are in car seats??

    • JD

      Nothing puffy or slick because it creates air pockets that in a crash will cause the straps to not hold the child in— as much as a 4 in gap. Thin hoodies or fleece with layers. I bought cuddl duds thermal underwear for my granddaughter. See thecarseatlady.com for information.

  15. Susan

    How does Patagonia hi lift down sweater hoody stack against the Columbia Omni heat turbo down jackets? Are they similar or is Patagonia that much better.. I’m in the market to replace our turbo downs…

  16. Nikki

    Morning! I’m trying to purchase the Lands End jacket for my son but it’s charging me shipping still? I end up paying $74 instead of the $59.97? Can anyone help, please. Thank you

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