Snow Clothes & Gear

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Ski jacket for short woman

Nov 2010

I am looking for a ski jacket, warm and comfortable. But most have sleeves too long. Do you know of any maker that makes them a little shorter? thanks!

I'm short and all around small, and I've had success with boys' jackets. Girls' may work too, of course, but I like the boys' colors better. REI has a pretty good selection and the kids' clothes have the benefit of being a good deal cheaper but with many of the same features as adult clothing. always been small

Renting ski stuff (NOT at the resort)

Feb 2010

Can anyone give us advice on renting ski equipment for our family of 5 before we get to the slopes? What's the best way to do it? Rent here in the Bay Area, or rent up in the Truckee area? We'll need skis and boots for 2 adults and 3 kids 10 and under. Convenience, quality of rentals, cost advice? Recommendations for specific shops? Thanks for any tips!

We have rented for the kids for several seasons at California Ski on Gilman, below San Pablo (next to Royal Robbins). You can rent for the whole season and if your kid's feet grow out of the boots, just take them back in for the next size up. Very reasonable if you plan to ski at least 3 weekends. Otherwise, rent for the weekend. They also rent helmets and insulated ski pants for kids. They rent adult gear, too. kl

Try California Ski on Gilman near Hwy. 80. They are very knowledgeable and friendly. It will save you time on your vacation to take care of this business locally before you leave. Their prices are competitive with what you'd find in Truckee even considering you'll be renting for a few more days. Elaine

Cross Country Ski Rental

Jan 2010

Can anyone recommend a shop that rents cross country skis, boots, & poles in the East Bay? X-Country Skier

I believe Marmot Mountain Works on Adeline at Ashby still rents cross country skis. While I am at it, I will put in a recommendation for Royal Gorge, my favorite cross country ski place! The snow is great. I can hardly wait to get back skiing! kl

Marmot Mountain on Shattuck Ave. rents XC skiis+ xc 2

Marmot Mountain in Berkeley rents cross country ski equipment. jody

2004 - 2007 Recommendations

Ski gear for 4-year old

Nov 2006

My 4-year old will go to ski camp in Tahoe this ski season. We usually borrow a snow suit from friends but I am thinking it's probably time to get our own. However, I'm not sure what she needs. A lot of the catalogs have kids gear for really cold weather. I'm from back east and it just doesn't feel that cold to me in Tahoe. Does she really need something rated to -5 degrees? Should it be water resistant or water proof (more expensive? Recommendations for outerwear (jacket, pants, gloves) and other accessories (long johns, other layers, things I'm not thinking of) would be so appreciated! I don't think we'll ski more than a few weekends so I don't want to spend tons of money. And it would be great if the jacket/pants was one of those systems that we could let out so it would fit her for more than one season. Thanks in advance!
East Coast Mama/West Coast Skier

I've taken my two kids to Tahoe for the past few winters, and they have been fine wearing snow bibs from Target ($18), and layers underneath: poly (not cotton) long underwear (top and bottom), turtleneck, fleece pullover, puffy jacket. Also fleece hat and waterproof fleece-lined gloves from Old Navy. Wool socks, and bring an extra pair in case the first pair gets wet. We typically go to Tahoe in January or February so sometimes the weather can get pretty warm--that's why layers are key. Kid-sized ski goggles are useful but not necessary since the snow can be bright on the eyes. Be sure to rent a ski helmet from your child from the place where she is in camp. If your child is mostly skiing, rather than sledding, she is less likely to get her clothes soaking wet from the snow CC

We have had our twin 6 year olds skiing Tahoe area ( a lot!)for the past 3 years and been very happy with all our assorted gear. Since you are starting out with your son, to borrow gear from friends is a economical way to go until you want to spend the money. We are on year two or three of most of our gear: To summarize what we found worked:

If you are skiing in Dec - March, it can be very very cold during '' rainy'' SNOW! season. Jacket: you want a parka with a hood and a jacket length that covers the bottom. The systems from Land's End with zip out fleece area great deal and offer a lot of options with and without lining for early and late season skiing. Good quality. Don't deal with a cheap zipper when it's 30 degrees out. Ski bibs - Ours were from Target. bought size up for $20. got 3yrs out of them so far. Kids stayed plenty warm. Underlayers - bought nice soft poly pro layer from REI kids. top and pants. you want this! don't but cheap stuff they will sweat and get cold in You want a turtleneck on top to cover neck Head - ideally you want a helmet. Hat for sure. We ended up buying the fleece hoods that cover the neck and lower face last winter to go under our helmets. Super nice idea. Have fun!

We have skied a couple places at Tahoe and have lots of feedback on the kid's programs if you want to email me.Sugarbowl, Heavenly; Alpine and Squaw. We are converted to Bear Valley these days!! Very family friendly. Great value. Not as far as Tahoe! Great kids programs. MAURA

Ski Bindings Adjustment

Oct 2004

My husband bought new ski boots this summer so he would finally have boots that fit correctly. He needs to get his bindings adjusted, however his bindings and skis are 7 years old and it seems Any Mountain will not make the binding adjustments b/c the bindings they are too old or not on their 'certified' list. A few other places said the same thing. Recommendations on where to get the adjustment done? Thanks. hana

Try California Ski on Gilman. We've rented and purchased skis there, both new and rental sales and have always been pleased with the service and expertise of the staff. The shop was sold last year (year before?), and it's still a great place to buy or service skis. Never had them refuse to work on skis. The 'certified' list may be an insurance thing, but it sounds more like a 'we want to sell you new equipment' thing. it's snowing! yeah!

2003 & Earlier

Inexpensive snow clothes for kids

Dec 2003

Does anyone have any suggestions for where to buy inexpensive kids snow clothes? My two children have never been to the snow and really want to go and play in it. I want them to stay warm and dry so they will actually enjoy the experience, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on clothes that will most likely only be worn once before they outgrow them (they are ages 7 and 3). I am interested in snow boots, pants, jackets, hats & gloves. Any and all recommendations are appreciated. Thanks. Janie

A great place to get snow gear for kids (and adults) is the Marking Room at 799 Magnolia Ave, Piedmont. All the winter gear is upstairs (and is not included in the $5 bag sale on the last Sat of each month). It is a carriage house behind the pool and across from the high school. This is where donated items are sorted to be sold at the Dress Best for Less store (3861 Piedmont ave)to raise money for the schools. The Marking Room hours are Tue 9-1:30, Wed 9-4 Sat 10-12. I found snow suits for my 4 and 6 yr old boys and snow pants for a grand total of $14!!! When I was there they had snow boots, hats, etc... Good luck. Kathleen

everyone else's kids grow out of their snow clothes fast too!!! try good will, salvation army, those types of places - and keep going in to check on their selection because people are just now taking out their snow clothes and donatinn them realizing their kids have out grown them good luck anon

We've had some luck buying clothes on ebay. You have to be persistent and also have a good sense of the maximum amount you want to bid, because people will often swoop in at the last minute to outbid you. A sometimes successful bidder

I had good luck at Target. Try Old Navy too. My advice is to wait until after Xmas when everything is on sale. m

I saw a lot of sizes of kids' snowbibs (like pants with suspenders)at Thrifttown in El Sobrante for $5 each. (San Pablo Dam Road at El Portal, Goodwill is across the street too)but it was about a month ago so they may be cleared out now that it's getting colder. Chris

I have had good luck finding kids' snow gear at Thrift Town (San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante). If you prefer new stuff, you might try; their ''kids corner'' has good deals. If you're feeling brave, you might try Ross... I found a beautiful Osh Kosh snow jacket for my daughter (3T) for $20. Good luck!

Try ''Dress Best for Less'' - this is a consignment shop run by the Piedmont Schools to raise money for the schools. I have many times gotten my kids snow clothes there. They have two locations - one on Piedmont Ave down near Bay Wolf and another in Piedmont right behind the swim club in an old carriage house/garage. I believe they keep the snow gear only at the latter which has pretty restrictive hours but they are open on Sat. ams. I have gotten great deals on kids boots, bibs, coats, gloves - everything. You can definitely outfit a kid for less than $20. Shopper

I bought some at Target this week. J12

you can try the Northface outlet store on Gilman Street. terri

I regularly see children's snowsuits/ski wear in excellent condition at Goodwill (I like the one on San Pablo south of Ashby on the Berkeley/Oakland border)and other thrift/consignment shops precisely because as you said the suits aren't usually used very often. Karen