Cross-country skiing is a great activity for families. To go cross-country skiing all you need is gear for the family and trails to explore. It is easy enough to switch kids gear in as they grow to get a bigger pair. Trails are either free or significantly less expensive than downhill skiing. This makes it affordable for the whole family. My husband has been an avid skier with his family since he was 3 years old and so it only made sense to get our girls out skiing under the age of 2!
The big question that we had before buying cross country skis for our toddlers was whether we should buy the skis that use our daughter’s regular outdoor boots or get her real cross country skis with bindings and boots. After weighing out the pros and cons of both styles we knew what we wanted. Once we knew what we wanted we searched used stores and finally got the skis we needed for both of our girls.
Here are 2 questions to ask yourself before buying your toddler cross country skis:
How old is your child?
If your child is under 2 and you really want them to ski then get your kids the cross country skis that use her boots. She probably will not ski for very long and it will save you quite a bit of money. Then when you are ready, trade them in and get a real pair of cross-country skis or same them if you have another baby on the way! Our 18 month old uses these. She has fun for about 10 minutes and then she is done but it is so cute and so fun when she is using them.
If your child is over 3 then you might want to consider getting regular cross-country skis and boots. Before you splurge make sure to answer the next question honestly!
How much will you go?
Consider either renting or buying your toddler cross-country skis that use regular winter boots. Remember you can always either trade them in or resell them later.
If you plan to go that much then your toddler is probably used to watching you ski already and has the ski ‘bug’. Consider buying your toddler cross-country skis, bindings and boots. Don’t bother buying ski poles until they are older. Poles just get in the way of the kids ability to learn to ski. Our 3 year old already loves to ski and has skied over an hour on her own. She has not skied far but she has shown that she loves it.
For tips on how to teach your toddler to ski check out “Cross-Country Skiing with a Toddler: 5 Tips”