Our kids were one and two years old when they started cross country skiing (also known as Nordic skiing). Now they are five and seven and we have some really great days out exploring the trails. I truly love the transformation that takes place to the forests when there is snow. It becomes a magical winter wonderland!
Many trails are free to use in Canada.
If there is a fee, it is considerably less than downhill skiing and snowboarding. Having kid’s cross country skis on hand can make the activity more accessible because you can go wherever you want! Kids can even enjoy goofing around in the backyard.
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If you want to shop online but still local then check All Out Kid’s Gear! They are based out of Red Deer, Alberta.
Here are a few tips to help make your experience cross-country skiing more fun.
These five cross country ski tips will help teach and motivate your toddlers to ski.
When you do take your kids out, make sure to teach them how to get up on their own to save your back!
The post and video tutorial “Teaching your Toddler to Stand Up while Cross-Country Skiing” will help teach any child (or adult) how to stand up after falling.
Full Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post but all views are 100% my own. I make a few cents off of each purchase that go towards my family pizza night!
Should I rent of buy cross country skis?
Before we dive in to choosing kid’s cross country skis to buy, I really think it is important to discuss whether renting is an option.
Renting cross country skis is a great option for families that are trying skiing for the first time, if your going on a snowy vacation or if your family will only go a few times in a year.
The very first time we took our oldest daughter cross country skiing we rented skis.
She was two years old. The problem with renting nordic skis for toddlers kids is that it can be really hard to find places that rent such small cross country skis and oftentimes they only have a few pairs available.
Places like the Strathcona Wilderness Centre in Edmonton are gems that actually cater to young kids and have multiple rentals. We have also rented at the Nordic Centre in Canmore and at Cypress Mountain in Vancouver. Make sure to call ahead to see if they are renting out because unfortunately, do to the state of the world right now, some of these places are not renting out equipment this year.
Renting a Sled for Babies
A sled for babies can also sometimes be rented at these places. Chariots with the ski attachment are the best option but some places have more of a toboggan look to them. The toboggan style has more drag making them a little harder to pull.
Best Kid’s Cross Country Skis
There are a few companies that create quality cross country skis for kids. Some companies do not make small enough cross country skis for really little kids.
For really little kids age 1-3 the question you need to answer first is whether you should buy Nordic skis that take winter boots or real cross country skis?
I break down the difference between the two types of cross-country skis in this post “Choosing Cross Country Skis for Toddlers”.
Boot skis are best for toddler’s age one or two and are cheaper at 1/4 the price of real cross country skis and boots. They also good enough for children age three if you don’t plan to go a lot and are fun to use in the backyard!
The best part is they take regular snow boots and they are wax less so there is not maintenance. Just buy them and off you go!
Purchase them for $54.99 CAD here.
Real cross country skis
Real cross country skis can be hard to find, and are more expensive. They are best for age 3+, and a smart choice if you plan to go 4 or more times. 3-4-year-olds can cover quite a bit of distance.
When you purchase real cross-country skis, you have to buy skis, bindings, and boots separately which can be very expensive. However, many trails in Canada are free to use which means that you just need the gear to enjoy the activity.
The smallest size of real cross-country skis for kids is the 90 cm from Rossignol and Fischer. Solomon has a 91 cm ski. Solomon has the smallest size boot at a size 7 Toddler!
Kid’s Nordic Skis Xt-Vent Jr Wxls from Rossignol are wax less and run at $159.00 without the bindings. They come in size 9-140 cm long.
Rossignol sells the Kid’s Touring Boot for $99.99 which our girls wore at age 2 with very big socks. It comes in a size 26 which is a 9.5 Toddler up to a size 39 which is a size 7 kids.
The Kid’s Nordic Bindings for the above mentioned skis run at $49.99
The wax less Sprint Crown IFP Junior from Fischer comes in sizes 90 cm up to 170 cm.
Fischer Bindings and Boots
The Tour Step- In Junior is the binding option from Fischer.
The Snowstar Pink and the Snowstar Black Yellow both come in a size 25 which is a size 9 Toddler. The Snowstar Black Yellow goes up to a size 38 which is a 6.5 Kids while the Snowstar Pink only goes up to a size 33 which is a size 2 Kids.
The Solomon Skis come in size 91 cm up to 171 cm. They also come with bindings and can be found for 179.00 here.
The Solomon Boots come in the smallest size boot which is a size 7T and they run at $99.00 here.
How do you find real cross country skis?
Actually finding the smallest size skis to buy can be REALLY hard. In some instances, renting may be your only option. Rossignol does sell them online but Fischer and Solomon does not.
The good news is that as kid’s get older, they can become easier to find both new and used.
All Out Kid’s gear has cross country skis from Solomon that come in a size 91 cm with bindings attached. Find there for $179 here.
If your local outdoor store does not have skis in stock, see if they can special order them in OR you can try to find them used.
Rental stores and used gear shops may also be the best places try asking if they will order the skis for you to purchase.
Funny enough, we have never bought brand new cross country skis. We tried to plan ahead for the next season and this is what we did to find used cross country skis when our kids were toddlers.
- We always asked rental places if they were selling their own gear at the end of season and sometimes lucked out.
- We also would check in with used stores often and leave our name to purchase the next kid’s pair to come in if that was an option.
Used stores to consider purchasing cross-country skis from across Canada:
- Vancouver – Sports Junkie
(Know a place in Canada that sells used cross country ski gear? Send me a message so I can include the link)
Buying a Chariot with Skis or Sleds for Babies
Since we are covering cross country skis for all kids, I thought it was important to touch on the sleds and strollers that can be used to pull kids.
The Multi Sport Chariot by Thule is the best option for families but is expensive even before buying the attachment. The high end stroller comes in both single and a double options.
Buying a ski attachment for a stroller can be a huge challenge because they are hard to find and they are very pricy. Used chariot ski attachments alone typically cost around $200 .
If you choose to buy a used ski attachment be careful on the model you purchase.
If you have a used Thule Chariot then you need to make sure the new ski attachment fits your chariot or find a used ski attachment. The newer model does not fit some of the older models so be aware when purchasing a used ski attachment.
The new model is called the Multi Sport Chariot Lite and the older model was called the Cougar Chariot.
Purchase the Multi Sport Chariot Lite for $899.99 CAD here.
Check out the Ski Attachment Multi Sport Chariot Lite here.
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