Updated 19 July 2022
Looking for a good value, high quality snowsuit? We tested a wide range of snowsuits for children. To be named as Best in Test, a snowsuit must have a good fit, keep the child warm and dry, and cope with crawling and climbing activities.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We carry out our tests ourselves and test all snowsuits as they are intended to be used in reality. In our independent test of snowsuits, each snowsuit is used by three different children aged 1 to 10 years old The test runs from November to March, and the snowsuits are used for sledging and playing in snow and temperatures below zero, as well as on bare ground and in slush in milder winter weather.
At the end of the winter, the state of the snowsuit is evaluated by the child's parents, who responded to a comprehensive questionnaire focusing on these areas:
Functionality: Does the snowsuit keep your child warm and dry regardless of the weather? Does the snowsuit cope with play in puddles and slush without leaking? Is the material strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of children crawling and climbing?
Ease of use: Is it easy for your child to take off and put on the snowsuit? Is the fit roomy without being bulky? How well do the zip, hood, and arm and leg openings work?
Refinements: Is the snowsuit dirt repellent and can it be easily washed if necessary? What’s the design like? Are there enough reflectors?
The families’ reviews of the snowsuit have been looked at in view of the price to give its final score. We also place great weight on the durability of the snowsuits. A test-winning snowsuit should be in good enough condition to be able to be used for several winters.
Looking for a snowsuit for a small child? Read our baby snowsuit test, for our evaluation of snowsuits specifically designed for children under 3 years old
Amazingly durable and water-resistant winter overall, suitable for all children and winters
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: SEK 1499 Materials: 55% PES, 45% recycled PES + 100% PU laminate Water resistance: 10,000 mm Breathability: 5000 m2/24 h Taped seams: Yes Available sizes: 92-140 cl Available colours: 3 Impregnation: Flourcarbon Free water and dirt resistant Bionic Finish Machine washable: Yes Maximum washing temperature: 40°C Tumble dry: Yes Drying cabinet: Yes Maximum drying temperature: 40°C
Reima Tromssa is a lovely overall with a highly functional design. There are no unnecessary details. Everything has a function. Visually, Tromssa has a simple profile that is available in several different colours, which means that children of different ages are equally as happy to wear these overalls.
Tromssa’s fit can be described as spacious but not bulky. Children can easily put on the overalls. Once on, the overalls can be adjusted using the elastic at the waist. The trouser legs can be adjusted to fit different winter shoes by means of a press stud at the bottom of the legs. Tromssa was perceived as having a normal size, with enough space to last throughput the winter, even for a fast-growing child.
The overalls are extremely warm and can cope with the biting winter chill without your child freezing. An extra layer on top of everyday clothes was only required in sub-zero temperatures. At the same time, Reima Tromssa does an excellent job of keeping your child ventilated. Cycling or active play; the material breathes well and the children never felt sweaty.
Reima Tromssa also has fantastic durability and water-resistance. The overalls are perceived to be maximally waterproof, as they never leak, even though children may sometimes become submerged in mud and puddles. There was no visible wear and tear on any of the tested overalls. Only when you look very closely can you see a few lint spots on the bum area.
There is no doubt that Tromssa is an overall that can be resold when outgrown, or handed down to siblings. The overalls stay nice despite heavy use. The fact that they rarely require washing may contribute to their good condition. Tromssa is easy to brush off to clean, especially if you choose to buy one of the darker coloured overalls.
As well as delivering top performance for all the most important functions, Reima has also considered the details of these overalls. Tromssa has two good pockets that can actually fit winter gloves. The hood has a very good fit and can be adjusted to fit perfectly, so it provides protection without obscuring visibility.
Reima Tromssa can best be described as an almost perfectly complete winter overall. Perhaps an extra pair of extra foot straps could have been included, as is common from other overalls in the same price range. Everything else on the wish list was ticked off with flying colours. If you want winter overalls that keep your child warm and dry, and that are durable enough to be used by several children, you should choose a Reima Tromssa this winter.
Luxurious and durable winter overall that grows with the child. Suitable for both snow and slush
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: SEK 2,200 Materials: bluesign® certified Nylon Tactel 155gr/m2 for the coloured parts and bluesign® certified Oxford Full Dull (Nylon) for the reinforcements in black. Primaloft® padding 133 gr/m2, 100% recycled. Water resistance: 15,000 mm Breathability: 15,000 m2/24 h Taped seams: Yes, 100% of the seams Available sizes: 86-128 cl Available colours: 9 Impregnation: Yes, bluesign® certified and PFASs (fluorines) free impregnation Machine washable: Yes Maximum washing temperature: 40°C Tumble dry: Yes Drying cabinet: Yes Maximum drying temperature: 40°C Environmental certifications: All Penguin materials are bluesign® certified. The overall’s lining is from Primaloft® and is made from 100% recycled PET bottles. The impregnation and all materials are PFAS (fluorine) free.
Isbjörn Penguin is a simple and stylish overall that works exactly as you want it to. The design has a generous size, and can feel slightly bulky if you choose a size that allows your child to grow. This is not necessary, as Penguin has sleeves and legs that can be extended when your child starts to grow. This makes the overall more sustainable, as it can be used for at least two seasons.
Penguin’s spaciousness makes it easy for your child to put on the overalls by themselves. The fit can be adjusted by tightening an elastic at the waist. There is a tight cuff around at the wrist that fits snugly around gloves. The ankle cuffs are elasticated and have a rubber lining to prevent the pants from gliding up. If you also use the rubber strap, which is threaded under the shoe, no water will leak in.
Isbjörn Penguin has good water resistance. Moisture does not penetrate the fabric, but the overalls may feel a little wet and heavy after a period of play in slush and puddles. The durability was also perceived to be very good. One overall showed was some wear and tear on the bottom seam at the end of the trouser leg. Beyond that, all three of the tested overalls looked like new after the winter season ended.
Penguin is a warm overall that requires no middle layers of clothing except in really cold weather. Playing outside for just over an hour at minus 10 degrees still presented a child at a perfect temperature, despite only wearing ordinary sweatpants and a long-sleeved top underneath. The overall was experienced as being both breathable and wind resistant. The height of the collar provides very effective protection against cold winds.
The ease of keeping the overall clean very much depends on the colour, the darker coloured Isbjörn Penguin overalls that were tested were easy to brush off.
Isbjörn Penguin can be machine washed and then dried in a drying cabinet or tumble dryer, as the heat reactivates the impregnation. The only noticeable effect from washing the overalls is that some reflectors will have become a little worn down. The overalls were appreciated by the children, and perceived by the parents as having a design that feels well thought-out and play-friendly.
When you put your child into an Isbjörn Penguin overall, it's very likely that you'll reflect on how far the development of overalls has come since your own childhood’s beaver nylon overalls. The price of Isbjörn Penguin could be seen as provocatively high. But after many years of taking part in overall testing, the value for money here is at the same high level, especially considering that Penguin is an overall that can withstand several more winters of use.
Warm winter overall that withstands both slush and wear and tear, and is suitable for children of all ages
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: SEK 1,699 Materials: Outer fabric: 100% polyamide. Lining: 100% recycled polyester. Padding: 100% recycled polyester, Primaloft Water resistance: 12,000 mm Breathability: 7000 m2/24 h Taped seams: Yes Available sizes: 86-128, dark blue. 86-116, green and plum Colours available: Dark blue, green, plum Impregnation: Bionic Finish Eco Machine washable: Yes Maximum washing temperature: 40°C Tumble dry: Yes, low heat Drying cabinet: Yes Maximum drying temperature: 40°C
PO.P WeatherPRO is essentially a flawless overall, and we had to search hard for something to critique it on. The fit is perfectly balanced between spacious and flexible. The overalls are easy to put on, but still feel nice and spacious for the child to move around in.
Durability and the ability to keep your child warm and dry are the most important functions of a winter overall. PO.P WeatherPRO receives maximum ratings in these areas. All three overalls were described as being in extremely good condition after the winter season. After a wash, it was hardly possible to tell whether they had been used at all. However, one could wonder about the cheaper choice of elastic for under the shoe, as these wear much faster than the rubber bands that many other overalls have.
You rarely need to wash PO.P WeatherPRO. If you let sand and mud dry, the overalls can easily be shaken clean. If you want to wash it, you can do so very quickly. Because it can be tumble dried, your child can be out in the snow and playing again just a few hours later.
The heat holding capacity is just as excellent. All families gave these overalls the highest rating. PO.P WeatherPRO never felt too cold nor too warm, and a layer of ordinary clothes underneath the overalls was usually enough. If the winter season is mild and wet rather than cold and snowy, this is not a problem. Your children can wade through puddles or sit in a mud for a long time without any moisture penetrating the fabric.
PO.P WeatherPRO has a very simple design, which is stylish but not boring. Parents appreciated how user-friendly the overalls were, with uncomplicated and well-functioning insulating straps and a good collar that felt soft against the chin and around the neck. The children liked that the overalls were quick to put on, and did not stand in the way of play and movement.
If we have to find something that was lacking from PO.P WeatherPRO, then side pockets, and preferably slightly larger ones, would have been appreciated. And even if the amount of reflectors is good enough, there is still room for slightly better visibility in the dark. But these are small things.
Polarn O. Pyret has been a well-known brand for a long time. Some changes in range and design have been made in recent years, but they have maintained their consistency of high-quality and functional outerwear. With the quality shown by the PO.P WeatherPRO overalls, Polarn O. Pyret is guaranteed to remain as top of mind for children’s clothing for many more years to come.
Good value and effective snowsuit, suitable for the active child in both snow and slush
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: single colour 1500 SEK, multicolour + print 1700 SEK Materials: 100% Polyamide Water resistance: 10,000 mm (ISO 811) Breathability: 4500 m2/24 h (ASTM E-96BW) Taped seams: Yes Available sizes: 80-140 cl Available colours: 6: Navy, Deep Green, Plastic Pink, Multi (2 colour choices) , Printed (1 colour choice) Impregnation: Yes (Rudolf– Bionic-Finish®) Machine washable: Yes Maximum washing temperature: 40°C Tumble dry: No Drying cabinet: Yes. For faster drying time, turn the overall inside out Maximum drying temperature: 40°C Other: 100% recycled, animal-free padding. Animal-free fur. The Extend Size feature extends sleeves and legs for one more season of wear. Solution Dye colouring of the plain overalls + the lining in other the other colour choices, which requires up to 80% less water during the dyeing process.
Didrikson's Björnen is a warm and extremely durable overall, which not only handles slush and water, but can also easily be brushed clean your child has been outdoors playing on the ground. After drying, mud and sand will easily fall off. This is great, as a simple wash is followed by a slightly longer drying time.
Didrikson's Björnen is equipped with the Extended Size feature, which means that you can extend the legs and sleeves when the overalls begin to get too short for your growing child. However, there is more space in the length than in the width, so rounder children may feel cramped before their Björnen overalls get too short.
The insulating straps are well thought-out. The cuffs are have both elastic and velcro, and have a tight cuff that fits snugly around the wrist. The ankle cuffs have both a velcro closure and an inner insulating strap. There is no risk of snow getting in at all, but for smaller children the insulating straps mean that an adult must help them to position the overalls properly over their shoes and gloves.
The outer fabric has a slight tendency to absorb moisture, so the overall can feel wet after a while outdoors. But children never get wet, not even when playing in deep puddles. Moreover, children don't get cold when wearing Björnen. However, young children will find the overall a bit colder, and will need an extra mid-layer of clothing. Older, more active children keep a perfect temperature in Björnen – neither cold nor sweaty.
Didrikson's Björnen suffers from mild wear and tear. This can mainly been by a small amount of lint on the knees and bum. On one pair of overalls, there was a small hole on the inside of the trouser leg – a common weak point, as the seams rub against each other when the trouser legs are a little too large. Besides that, the Björnen overalls were in very good condition after the winter season was over. There is no doubt that the overall can be used again, by passing it down to siblings or by reselling it.
One of the best features of Didrikson's Björnen is how adaptable the overalls are. Most aspects can be adjusted to suit your child. Don't forget that the fit is narrower, although most children can still play and run easily while wearing Björnen. The design is functionally stylish. As usual, it wouldn't have hurt to add more reflectors, primarily on the back of the overalls.
Björnen is a highly appreciated winter overall that, quite rightly, tends to place well in tests and evaluations. The functional adaptability feels well thought-out, and at a cost that means Didrikson's Björnen cannot be described as anything but good value for money
Flexible and warm overall that is easy to keep clean, and suitable for cold, snowy winters
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: SEK 1799 Materials: 100% PU laminate Water resistance: 12,000 mm Breathability: 7000 m2/24 h Taped seams: Yes Available sizes: 92-140 cl Available colours: 8 Impregnation: Flourcarbon free water and dirt repellent Bionic finish Machine washable: Yes Maximum wash temperature: 40°C Tumble dry: Yes Drying cabinet: Yes Maximum drying temperature: 40°C
Reima Stavanger might look like any classic winter overall, but behind its modest design there is a high level of functionality and quality. Stavanger was highly appreciated by the children who used it. The hood is lined with faux fur and felt cosy, and the overall was easy for children to handle during their daily dressing and undressing.
The size was perceived as normal in terms of space, and it was possible to dress a child with an extra layer of clothing without the overalls feeling too tight. However, not many extra layers of clothes were needed. All the test families agreed that Reima Stavanger is a really warm overall. Unless the weather was exceptionally cold, a sweater and ordinary sweatpants were all the children needed – and they never felt cold.
Stavanger is a very wind-resistant overall, with a collar that effectively prevents icy winds from entering around the neck. In milder weather, children can remain as active as usual without feeling sweaty. The water resistance level was also highly rated. Sometimes Stavanger could feel wet and get heavy at the bottom of the trouser legs, but generally mud and puddles were not a problem.
In addition to the fact that the reflectors are too few and too small, a criticism that can be given to almost all sets of winter overalls, Stavanger was felt to only have one weak point. Two out of three pairs of overalls managed to get through day-to-day use in winter with no more than some light fraying on the knees and bum. But the third pair of overalls was more worn out.
Both knees had several tears in the fabric. On the right leg, the rips were so great that a large hole appeared on the knee, and several small holes could be found at the ankles. It’s like the fabric was not really able to resist playing and climbing. Which is a shame. For other exposed areas, such as zippers, shoe straps and reflectors, you could hardly tell that the Stavanger overalls had been used.
Stavanger is available in a wide range of colours and, because the overalls are very easy to keep clean, you can dare to use bright colours. Dried dirt and mud can easily be shaken off. If you need to do a proper wash, it’s a big plus that Stavanger can withstand tumble drying and can therefore be used again just a few hours later.
Reima Stavanger is an exceptionally well-designed overall, possibly with wear and tear resistance on the knees being its weak point. Reima Stavanger gives you a winter overall with an excellent fit, top-performing heat-retaining capacity, and a very nice design – appreciated by both parents and children.
Warm and breathable winter overall with a design that is loved by children
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: 1700 SEK Materials: 100% polyester. Water resistance: 10,000 mm Breathability: 5000 m2/24 h Taped seams: Yes Available sizes: 104-140 cl Available colours: Each pattern has its own name Impregnation: BIONIC FINISH ECO Machine washable: Yes Maximum washing temperature: 40°C Tumble dry: Yes Drying cabinet: Yes Maximum drying temperature: Information missing
Hummel Icy often offers colours and patterns that stand out from traditional designs. Adults' opinions on Icy’s appearance vary, but the children who spent the winter in their overalls love it. A fact that, together with a roomy fit, may also have contributed to Hummel Icy being easy for the children to put on by themselves.
Hummel Icy's water resistance is good. Wet snow remains as moisture on the surface. If the child is kneeling, some moisture can be absorbed into the overall's fabric after a while, but there have been no regular leaks. The overall's sleeves have tight cuffs with thumb holes. These completely seal around the wrist, but also mean that you have to put on your glove on top of the cuff.
There is no insulating strap in the legs other than an elastic at the ankles. If you thread the rubber shoe strap under the shoe, however, the overalls stay in place, so snow cannot get in. Hummel Icy has a well-functioning zip with a soft chin guard.
Hummel Icy gets the highest rating for heat retention. The overalls have been described as keeping the child at just the right temperature. Regular trousers and a sweater underneath were enough of a layer for many of the winter days. Ventilation also scored top marks. Icy is so well ventilated that intense sledding with lots of running on the slopes does not result in the child feeling sweaty.
The same high rating is given for the durability, but there are a few sensitive points here. The seam at the bum lost its thread and been worn away by play, but there were still no holes. Some wear and tear could also be seen on the reflectors, primarily on the back. Hummel Icy has an okay amount of reflectors, but there could be more, and the narrow straps on the back provide limited visibility.
There are usually divided opinions about fur trims on winter overalls' hoods, but Hummel Icy leaves room for the family to choose. The faux fur is attached to the hood with a zip, which means that it won't be lost during playtime, and has been appreciated by children as a cosy protection around the face when it’s windy and snowy.
Hummel Icy is a good winter overall, with high functionality and a design that is appreciated by children. The only thing that draws down the rating is that, at this price level, one expects a bit more of a wow factor, or at least for some extra foot straps to have been included as spare parts for when those that accompany the overalls were torn off. But if you have a child who has fallen in love with Hummel Icy's looks, you won't be disappointed with how the overall performs during the winter.
Very warm and water-resistant winter overall that is best suited for tall and slim children
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: SEK 1,500 Materials: 100% recycled nylon (PVC-free and fluorocarbine-free), lining 100% recycled polyester Waterproof: 10,000 mm Breathability: 5000 m2/24 h Taped seams: Yes Available sizes: 86/92–122/128 cl Available colours: Information missing Impregnation: Information missing Machine washable: Yes Maximum washing temperature: 40°C Tumble dry: Information missing Drying cabinet: Information missing
Tretorn Expedition is a classic winter overall, and is available in a lovely colour scale with clearly reinforced sections over the knees and bum. The timeless design of the overalls appeals to both children and adults, and when winter is over, the functionality and quality of Tretorn Expedition are just as appreciated.
In terms of size, Tretorn Expedition lands somewhere between small and regular. This is probably linked to Expedition’s perceived long and slim fit. For children with slightly bigger bellies and bums, the overalls may feel tight, which affects the children’s ability to put on the overalls themselves.
The possible difficulties of putting on the overalls may also be related to the zip being slightly short. If the opening on the Tretorn Expedition overalls had perhaps been made wider, children would have been able to get in and out more easily. The overalls have good mobility as well as good breathability.
On one pair of overalls, holes occured at the seam on the inside of the legs, at knee level. This is relatively common and often occurs when the trouser legs rub against each other if the overalls are slightly large, or as a result of a taped seam rubbing against the outer fabric. However, the general durability of Tretorn Expedition is good – the bum and other exposed areas do not even appear to be roughened. The other two pairs of overalls tested had no holes at all.
Tretorn Expedition’s ability to retain heat was given the highest rating. Children stay at the perfect temperature, and don't get sweaty or frozen. In sub-zero temperatures, you are able to add a middle layer of clothing, but everyday clothes underneath is enough around zero degrees. The overall's water resistance also received the best reviews. Children never got wet inside the overalls, and the insulating straps at the legs and cuffs did their job well.
Tretorn Expedition scored well on the amount of reflectors provided, even if they could have been bigger. The winter overall is easy to keep clean. If it gets muddy, the mud can easily be brushed off as soon as it has dried. If you need to wash the overalls, then dry them overnight. No effects from the washing can be seen.
The fit is excellent for the taller and slimmer children, but can be problematic for children who need a little more width to their outerwear. Apart from that, we can only say that Tretorn Expedition is good value for money. The overall retains heat very well, does not let in a drop of water, and can easily be sold or donated after your child has outgrown it.
Warm and water-resistant winter overall with smart braces. Suitable for children who like colour
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: SEK 2000 Materials: 100% Polyester, Waterproof: 10,000 mm Breathability: 8000 m2/24 h Taped seams: Yes Available sizes: 86-152 cl Impregnation: Water-repellent PFC-free impregnation (does not contain PFOS, PFOA, or the like) Machine washable: Yes Maximum washing temperature: 30°C Tumble dry: Yes Drying cabinet: Information missing Maximum drying temperature: 60°C
Polaris is an overall design that has been in Molos’ range for many years, and is available in an impressive collection of patterns and colours. The fact that the range does not only consist of dark, practical overalls can make it easier for children to find an overall they want to wear.
Polaris has a fairly straight fit, but still feels spacious. The overalls have a regular size and offer great mobility for your children. Children can put on Molo Polaris by themselves, but the slightly tighter snow locks in the trouser legs mean that especially younger children need adult help to ensure that it has been put on properly. The cuffs work well with winter gloves.
The ventilation in Molo Polaris is excellent, and works well even for children who otherwise feel sweaty. The soft fleece-lined collar provides a tight and well-functioning wind protection for the throat and neck. However, if you do not want to pull up the zip all the way, we found that the zip continues to open downwards when the child moves. A small but annoying characteristic for the child.
The main weakness of Molo Polaris is the durability of the fabric. To some extent, the amount of wear and tear seems to be linked to how active your child has been. But a good winter overall should be able to withstand children playing and climbing. However, in such circumstances, Polaris becomes thinly worn, and the colours and patterns begin to fade away in certain areas. On the most exposed areas, such as the bum and knees, Polaris experiences enough wear and tear for holes to appear .
Molo Polaris offers excellent heat retention properties that are consistently rated the best by test families. Only the coldest days is an extra layer needed between your child’s clothes and the overalls. The overall's water resistance is also very good. However, the overalls that experienced heavy wear and tear to the outer fabric after half of the winter season tended to absorb moisture, felt wet on the outside, and became heavy. But the water never leaked inside enough to reach the child.
In many respects, Molo Polaris is an extremely well-performing winter overall. But it also comes with a generous price tag. At this level, you expect something that is practically flawless. Therefore, if it had a lower price tag, the rating would have been higher.
Molo Polaris hits the spot for families with an unlimited budget for overalls, who want to keep their kids warm and dry, as well as choose from a wide range of patterns and colours. Molo Polaris deserves praise for its innovative details, such as built-in braces for when the child wants to walk around with their overalls partially removed, and an admirable amount of reflectors. With a slightly better level of durability, Molo Polaris would have placed itself in the top tier of the test.
Inexpensive winter overall with a good fit, but with clear deficiencies in terms of durability
Test year: 2021/2022 Price: 1099 Materials: 100% recycled polyester Water resistance: 10,000 mm Breathability: 5000 m2/24 h Taped seams: Yes Available sizes: 86-128 cl Available colours: 2 Impregnation: BIONIC-FINISH® ECO Machine washable: Yes Maximum washing temperature: 40°C Tumble dry: No Drying cabinet: Yes Maximum drying temperature: 40°C
Lindex FIX is a winter overall that appeals to children and adults who like colours and patterns. The brand often offers affordable and functional outerwear, but the winter overall doesn't really live up to these expectations, especially in terms of durability.
The fit of the overall feels tight and body-hugging. This could make Lindex FIX more suitable for smaller children. The overall is generally perceived as flexible and easy for children to move around in, as it is not bulky. The zip worked well, and the collar on the overall was perceived as just the right height and, perhaps most importantly from a child's perspective, soft against the chin.
Lindex FIX’s ability to retain heat received mixed ratings. One child complained that it was cold despite several middle layers, while another child felt warm enough after playing outdoors. Lindex FIX was generally perceived as being a slightly thinner overall, and so it required extra clothing when the temperature dropped below zero.
All the testers experienced Lindex FIX to be well ventilated, and children could run and play actively without getting damp from sweat. The overalls' water resistance was not as good. In wet and slushy winter weather, Lindex FIX sometimes absorbed moisture and, after a sufficiently long time, moisture was able to penetrate the fabric.
Insulating cuffs straps would have been appreciated. Lindex FIX has both an inner cuff and an outer insulating strap that can be tightened with velcro. There is elastic at the bottom of the legs. This seems to slide up slightly too easily, as the inside is not rubberised and the trouser legs cannot be tightened around shoes. However, the strap that is threaded under the shoe was impressively durable.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the other materials used to make Lindex FIX. All three overalls became worn to the extent that several holes were made, both in the seams at the knees and bottom, as well as directly over the legs. The overalls were given a big plus for their very generous amount of reflectors; however, these were also worn out by the end of the winter.
Unfortunately, the overall impression of Lindex FIX was negatively affected by the fact that no overalls remained in a good enough condition to be used for another winter. Even though the price of Lindex FIX is at a very good level, you do want more for your money. It's a shame, as the overall has a lovely design and children liked it. But design and materials need to be improved in order for Lindex FIX to be a recommended winter overall choice.
There are now more quality snowsuits for children than ever before, and the best ones are fantastically high quality. But if you want the best possible performance in your child's winter clothes, you do have to pay for it. A really good snowsuit generally costs about £150, but you can also get good value for money snowsuits for less than £100. However, these can’t measure up to the very best snowsuit in terms of quality, and often the fit and wear resistance aren’t quite up to the mark either. And the fact that the very best snowsuits have a high price doesn’t mean that they’re expensive in the long run. High-quality outerwear can be worn over several seasons by younger siblings or the toddler in the family when they grow up. Some models of snowsuit can be sold for a good price on the second-hand market, which also reduces the overall cost. Some children prefer thermal trousers and a winter coat, which makes it easier to just use the coat, for example, if they’ll only be outdoors more for transport than for playing in the snow. The advantage of a snowsuit is that there’s only one garment to put on and that there are fewer areas where the cold snow can get in. When it comes to ski clothes, a snowsuit can be the best choice for an adult for the same reason.
A more expensive snowsuit can be expected to perform better than a cheaper one. We think that if you buy a quality snowsuit it should be able to cope with a lot and have a long lifecycle too. So, it isn’t sufficient for the snowsuit to perform well when you buy it – this performance must also be maintained over time. But the most expensive isn’t always best either, and the quality of a snowsuit can vary from one year to another as most snowsuit manufacturers will change their designs.
When you choose a snowsuit, you should also keep in mind the age of your child. A larger, more mobile child is tougher on their snowsuit than a baby who’s primarily sitting in the pushchair. If you’re choosing a snowsuit for your baby, the most important thing may be plenty of padding in the bottom because small children spend more time on the ground, sitting in the snow, than they do running around. Another thing that’s important to bear in mind is that a snowsuit with a good theoretical performance doesn’t always live up to this in practice. In other words, you shouldn’t worry too much about how many millimetres of hydrostatic head a snowsuit can cope with. Or how many grams of water per square metre per day the breathability figure indicates. In other words, a snowsuit with a lower theoretical performance can be better than one with a higher one. Thus, we always test snowsuits as they should be used by normal children going to preschool or school, sledging with their families at the weekends and building snowmen or climbing on heaps of snow.
To determine which snowsuit was the best in test in the different price categories, we took into account a number of different properties divided into several categories. You can read in detail below about these properties with explanations of how and why they are important and advice about what you should consider in terms of your child's needs.
There are many different materials on the market which are waterproof, and different snowsuit manufacturers use different materials. In the outerwear industry, water resistance is traditionally measured by how high a hydrostatic head the material can support. To understand what this means, you can picture a glass tube several metres high and open at both ends. You set the glass tube upright with one end on the material you want to measure. Then you fill the tube with water from above and see how full it gets (in other words, how high what’s known as the hydrostatic head gets in the tube) before the water penetrates the material at the bottom of the tube.
The industry requirement for a garment to be classified as waterproof is 1300 mm – in other words 1.3 m. Some high-performance snowsuit materials are claimed to withstand hydrostatic heads of up to 20,000 mm – that’s 20 m! Although it’s hard to see what a water resistance of more than 4000-5000 mm would actually achieve in practical terms, our tests showed that snowsuits with very high water-resistance values were in fact the most waterproof ones and withstood moisture extremely well. The snowsuit that came out as our best in test had a value of a full 10,000 mm. At the same time, several snowsuits with a theoretical water-resistance of 8000 mm didn’t stand up to moisture sufficiently well.
Just because the snowsuit material is waterproof doesn’t necessarily mean that the snowsuit itself is waterproof. As well as the openings for the feet and hands, and at the neckline, water can also penetrate through zips or seams. So the snowsuit should have as few seams as possible, and the seams it does have should be taped, which was the case with all of the snowsuits in this test. Zips should also have a folding protective strip. All of this should prevent water or moisture from entering. Several of the snowsuits we tested had excellent water resistance and consequently didn’t just have sufficient waterproof external material. They also had arm and leg openings protected well enough that the water couldn’t enter there either.
Together with the water resistance, the heat retention capacity is the most important characteristic in a snowsuit. This is primarily determined by the material and the quality of the snowsuit lining. And of course, the colder the climate where the snowsuit will be used, the more important the heat retention capacity is. But the heat retention capacity often has an inverse correlation with its breathability and flexibility. So the better the heat retention capacity, the lower the breathability and flexibility. But the very best snowsuits have a balance of good heat retention and are breathable - and allow the wearer to move around freely.
Some snowsuits have removable quilted linings, so they can be used from autumn right into spring.
Wind resistance is a property closely related to heat retention capacity, as the latter is often dependent on the former. When you want to know how much colder the outdoor air makes something, you measure the wind chill. As well as the temperature, the strength of the wind also affects the wind chill. For example, if the outdoor temperature is -10 °C, and the wind is blowing at 10 m/s, this wind chill corresponds to a temperature of -30 °C when there's no wind. In other words, for a snowsuit to be able to keep warm in all weathers, it must be sufficiently wind resistant. At the same time, it should also have good breathability and the best children’s snowsuits fulfil both of these requirements.
As well as a wind-resistant material, it’s important that the wind doesn’t make its way through the openings of the snowsuit. The snowsuit should have sleeve and ankle cuffs, as otherwise cold air is easily sucked into the sleeves and along the trouser legs, cooling the child down. Some snowsuits have sleeve cuffs with holes for the fingers. Sleeve cuffs help the arms of the snowsuit to seal tightly on the arm and keep the warmth in. One potential problem with this can be that the cuff sticks out from the sleeve and can absorb water. So they aren’t really suitable for children who love playing in puddles.
A snowsuit’s wear resistance is closely related to its second-hand value. For a snowsuit to have a high second-hand value, it obviously has to last long enough to be sold in good condition. The type of snowsuit you can buy cheaply in supermarkets generally have a much shorter lifetime than the high-quality ones that cost more than £100. So choosing a cheap snowsuit actually turns out not as cheap as you might hope, because the less expensive ones have a significantly shorter lifetime than the more expensive and better quality snowsuits. This is particularly true if the child has younger siblings who could use the snowsuit or if you plan to sell it after the child grows out of it. A durable snowsuit often has a high second-hand value. A high-quality snowsuit wears less quickly than a budget one and generally performs better in terms of heat retention capacity, breathability, fit etc.
The tear strength of a snowsuit is its ability to resist tears if the garment gets stuck on something sharp. Children tend to not only be more active than adults but not particularly careful about their clothes. So they easily get their clothes stuck on things, especially if they’re playing outdoors in the woods or on a playground. It’s therefore important that a good snowsuit is made of a material that's sufficiently strong not to rip when the child is playing. This will often be branches and other wooden objects, but unfortunately sharp metal is a common cause of tears. A good snowsuit should cope with the child getting stuck on branches, roots and fences. Resisting an iron nail is probably too much of an ask for even the most tear-resistant snowsuits, however. Then again, there shouldn’t be too many metal objects near places where children are playing, so tears caused by nails, scrap metal etc. shouldn’t be a problem if your child is playing in safe outdoor spaces.
The breathability of a snowsuit is important because if it doesn’t let out the moisture it can’t keep the child dry. For example, if your child gets sweaty while they’re playing, or water manages to penetrate the snowsuit in some way, good breathability means that this moisture gradually seeps out of the snowsuit. But if the snowsuit isn’t sufficiently breathable, this moisture will instead remain and risk cooling the child if they're inactive and not keeping themselves warm by moving about. And we all know how unpleasant it is to wear a garment that’s damp on the inside and won’t dry out. It’s like the difference between the good breathability of a pair of jeans and the poor breathability of a pair of leather trousers.
There’s often an inverse correlation between a snowsuit’s breathability and thermal insulation. A snowsuit with good breathability therefore often has poorer thermal insulation and vice versa. Paradoxically, a snowsuit with very high thermal insulation can have a poorer heat retention capacity than a snowsuit with good breathability. But there are also effective snowsuits with both good breathability and good thermal insulation.
The clothes the child wears underneath the snowsuit also affect breathability and therefore heat retention capacity. With the right clothes under the snowsuit, even a snowsuit with poor breathability can perform well, and with the wrong clothes even a snowsuit with good breathability can perform poorly.
Safety is often a slightly neglected but still important aspect when considering a snowsuit. Basic safety functions, such as the snowsuit not having loose strings or anything else that can pose serious dangers to the child, are obviously important. But fortunately, this type of safety risk is unusual today as the industry has learned from past accidents. Instead, it’s more often snowsuit visibility that is the most common weakness from a safety viewpoint. It’s important for the child's safety that the snowsuit is clearly visible. Reflectors are perhaps the most important factor in ensuring good visibility during the winter months, particularly close to traffic. A snowsuit should therefore have several reflectors on different parts, so that at least one reflector is clearly visible regardless of the child’s position and the angle from which the viewer sees the child. Reflectors on the limbs are particularly visible, as reflectors in motion are most easily seen.
For optimal visibility, however, it isn’t just a matter of the right number and right position of reflectors. The snowsuit’s colour is important for visibility too, at least in daylight. Even though the days are short in the northern hemisphere during the winter months, there are still many hours of daylight, and this is when your child is most often outdoors. So in daylight, a colour that stands out from the surroundings is essential to make the snowsuit clearly visible. And at dusk, clearly visible colours are just as important as reflectors. But good visibility in daylight isn’t just important from a road safety perspective. If your child gets lost on a countryside walk, a snowsuit that’s clearly visible in daylight can make it much easier to find them again quickly. And in really cold weather, finding the child before darkness falls is often vital as the cold night air can quickly lead to hypothermia. However, visibility often takes second place to fashion when it comes to colour, as neither manufacturers nor parents take into account the importance of colour in making the snowsuit visible from a distance. But several manufacturers offer at least one bright option amongst the various colours available for a given snowsuit model.
The fit is another important property when assessing a snowsuit. It isn’t easy to create a one piece snowsuit with a perfect fit. This is because children have different body shapes and the snowsuit will be worn by a growing individual, often over an entire winter season, during which the child can grow several sizes. However, in recent years we have seen an impressive move towards snowsuits with an increasingly better fit, at least among the high-quality snowsuits.
It should be easy for both parent and child to dress the child in a well-fitting snowsuit. The cuffs should be sufficiently large for the child to keep their gloves on when putting on the snowsuit, and it should be easy to get the snowsuit legs over shoes or boots. At the same time, the snowsuit should be close fitting at both wrists and ankles. Children become stronger and develop better motor skills as they get older, and snowsuits should be designed with this in mind. This means that the cuffs should be looser for younger children and more tightly fitting for older children. Our experience is that if this isn’t the case there’s a risk that the cuffs will be too tight or too loose. It is most common that cuffs are too tight for the smallest children.
It’s also crucial that the collar is tight fitting while not restricting the child's neck. Nor should it be so high that it pushes the child's hat up from the back of the neck. Zips should reach right up to the top of the collar so the neck isn’t exposed allowing cold air to leak in, as this can affect the heat retention of an otherwise warm snowsuit. For the best fit, a snowsuit should ideally have functions to allow fine adjustment of the size. One such function is an adjustable waistband, ensuring the snowsuit is tight enough and doesn’t slide down. Another function is adjustable cord in the leg openings to adjust the leg length and prevent the legs from sliding down and getting in the way or dragging on the ground. Functions such as adjustable cords can contribute to a snowsuit fitting for an entire winter despite the child growing several sizes in their normal clothes. The snowsuit should also have elasticated straps under the feet to keep the shoes in place.
Outdoor play, with all the movements it entails, provides great exercise and builds up your child’s muscles, coordination, motor skills etc. So it’s really important that the child’s clothes don’t hinder their movements. At the same time, the lightest and softest snowsuit isn’t necessarily the best one for your child. If you expect the winter to be less cold, it’s perhaps better to choose a thinner, lighter snowsuit with more mobility. But if you think the winter will be a cold one, a slightly heavier and stiffer snowsuit with a more warming lining is preferable.
Good snowsuits will keep your child warm even at very low temperatures without significantly impairing mobility.
Snowsuits with adjustable cords at the waist and leg openings can also be good for mobility, if they prevent the snowsuit from sliding down over the feet.
A snowsuit is exposed to a lot of dirt, as unlike adults, children often enjoy playing in water, mud, soil, sand etc. A snowsuit that can easily be washed and dried is important. On the best snowsuits, the dirt barely adheres at all as they repel it like a Teflon frying pan. If the snowsuit does get dirty, it’s easy to wash off and you can often simply run the shower head over the snowsuit or rinse it in the sink.
But even the most dirt-repellent snowsuit needs washing sometimes, for example, if the child has soiled themselves while wearing it. Unfortunately, modern snowsuits are often not as easy to wash and dry as you’d like. This is not least because many snowsuits offer water resistance (and in some cases breathability too) that’s based on a waterproof membrane close to the outer surface of the snowsuit. This coating is often quite sensitive, particularly to heat, which can destroy it completely or weaken it. This is often what happens if you wash the snowsuit with fabric conditioner or on too high a setting in either the washing machine, drying cabinet or tumble dryer. It’s also common for the tape covering the seams to be damaged and come loose if the snowsuit is exposed to high temperatures.
As a result, you should wash snowsuits as rarely as possible, and if you do you should make sure the water temperature isn’t too high. You should also avoid machine drying the snowsuit as far as possible, and only on a low-temperature setting. Of course, you should always carefully follow the washing instructions to risk damaging the snowsuit. Many manufacturers recommend that you renew the impregnating agent on the snowsuit when you've washed it a few times, to extend the lifetime of the waterproof membrane. This is usually easy to do and something that really makes a difference.
When the snowsuit gets dirty you can often wash it without having to use a washing machine by leaving it to dry and then simply wiping off the dirt with a cloth or kitchen roll. This is particularly true of the best children’s snowsuits, as the dirt is unable to stick to the material they're made from. But the best snowsuits can cope with both machine washing and machine drying at relatively high temperatures without losing their water resistance.
The most important design aspect for most people is that the snowsuit looks good. But at the same time, the design of the snowsuit mustn’t be at the expense of functionality. Perhaps the most common example of how fashion can negatively affect snowsuit functionality is the colour. Often trendy colours don’t make the child as visible, and to meet consumer demand the manufacturers sell snowsuits in colours such as grey. It’s naturally difficult to blame the manufacturers for this, as they only produce what they think customers want. But some manufacturers are conscious of this problem and always have colourful snowsuits in their ranges. Sometimes as a complement to the trendier colours when clearly visible colours aren’t so fashionable. You will probably have to take into the account of the colour snowsuit that your little boy or girl wants to wear as well.
If the snowsuit has a hood, it should ideally create a tunnel that keeps out the wind, rain and snow. It should also be detachable to avoid impeding the child's field of vision. And ideally the hood should be adjustable to the child’s head size.
The zip should be long enough to make it easier to put the snowsuit on and take it off. On snowsuits for smaller children, two zips can be more practical as this means it’s easier to dress and undress the child.
There should ideally be extra lining and fabric over the bottom. As well as keeping the child warm when they're sitting on a cold surface, this extra padding also acts as a shock absorber if the child falls onto their bottom.
The outer fabric shouldn’t have too smooth a surface, as the child will slide too easily over a snowy or icy surface in their snowsuit. The fabric should ideally be coarse but simultaneously difficult for dirt to stick to its surface.