The one thing I was concerned about before our trip to Finland was the cold. Finnish Lapland is a wonderful holiday destination for families but it is cold. Very cold. Temperatures dropped to -25C while we were there, and it can get even colder! But as someone from Quebec once told me (and they know a thing or two about cold weather), there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
With that in mind, I set about organising our cold weather packing list so that we would all keep warm throughout our arctic adventure. Please note that if you are travelling with a package tour, they will usually provide items such as snow suits and gloves. If, however, like us you are travelling independently, you will need to make sure you have everything with you.
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What to pack for Lapland for Kids
Base Layers: Keeping warm in sub zero temperatures is all about layers. Make sure you have a good pair of thermals (or a couple of pairs), ideally made from Merino wool. My youngest had a set from Polarn O. Pyret that were great. The older kids have base layers from Mountain Warehouse that are also very good and aren’t terribly expensive. If you want to go high end, then Helly Hansen have a good range of thermals for kids. Whatever you do, however, don’t forget the base layers!
Socks: A good pair (or pairs) of ski socks are crucial to keep the kids’ feet warm. My three kids all had Barts Basic Socks and no one complained of cold feet!
Boots: Make sure you invest in a good pair of snow boots before your trip. My youngest had a pair from JoJo Maman Bebe and the older two were each given a pair of Keen boots to try out and they were very good; incredibly comfortable, easy to get on and off, and waterproof.
Fleece: Don’t bother with normal jumpers or sweatshirts, they just won’t keep you warm enough. Instead, a good quality fleece will do the job. My oldest two had fleeces from Peter Storm and they were very good and great value for money.
Ski Suit: A ski jacket and trousers or an all-in-one snowsuit will make sure no-one gets cold. My youngest got to try out this amazing snowsuit from Polarn O. Pyret, which was just brilliant. It is fleece-lined, has straps at the bottom to put over the snowboots (to stop any snow getting inside) and a detachable hood. If you’re looking for a snowsuit to keep toddlers warm, then this is it!
The big kids got to try out these Dare 2B jackets, which they loved. I especially liked the girl version as it was so bright – and even my daughter who hates pink and would much rather “dress like a boy” was happy to wear this coat (she’s still wearing it now that we’re home!). For good quality ski trousers, try some like these from Dare 2b Kid’s Take On Snow Pants or these Mountain Warehouse Falcon Extreme Kids Ski Pants. Personally, I like salopettes for kids that come with over-the-shoulder straps rather than the trouser style ski pants as there’s less chance of snow going down their back during sledding / snowball fights etc..
Balaclava or snood: A balaclava or a snood are very important to keep kids’ faces warm when they’re outside. We liked these from Barts.
Hat: And finally, a hat! My youngest had a fleecy one from Jojo Maman Bebe and the oldest two kids wore hats from Look Mum No Hands that my sister had given them.
Goggles: If you’re planning to go skiing while you are in Finland (and I highly recommend that you do!), make sure to bring some ski goggles with you. You can rent skis, poles, boots and helmets but you’ll need our own goggles.
What to pack for Lapland for Adults
Base Layers: I swear by my thermals from Patagonia. I first used them when we went to Quebec (where it was -25C!) and have subsequently used them on ski holidays. They are very good. My husband has thermals from Under Armour that he is equally evangelical about.
Socks: Good ski socks such as these from Falke are key to keeping your toes warm!
Fleece: I have two fleeces from Odlo that I love. My husband has traditionally worn a Berghaus fleece such as this one but has recently purchased a new one from The North Face, which he is very happy with.
Ski Jackets & Trousers: Because we’re a family that like to ski, we already had a lot of kit that we could use for our holiday to Lapland. I have a jacket from Odlo and Columbia ski trousers. If you’re looking to purchase ski jackets and trousers for the first time, then take a look at somewhere like Blacks, which has a good range at affordable prices.
Boots: My husband and I were both given a pair of Sorrel boots to try out for this trip. Nick’s were from the 1964 Pac T range and were excellent (we saw many locals wearing the exact same boot so they must be good!). Mine were the Cozy Carnival boots and they were very good, although they were not quite as waterproof as Nick’s were.
Hats & Snood: Like the kids, we both had a snood from Barts and a hat.
Gloves: Make sure to bring warm, waterproof ski gloves or mittens with you. If you tend to get really cold hands, try these heated gloves.
Googles: Again, if you’re planning to ski during your time in Finland, make sure you bring your own ski goggles or you will have to buy one when you are there (like we did!).
Other things to pack for Lapland
A supply of Hot Hands hand warmers for hands and feet are invaluable.
Two cameras: the cold drains battery life so make sure you don’t miss any photo opportunities by having a back up camera or phone.
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This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking after clicking on the link then globetotting receives a commission; if you don’t then we don’t! These are not pay-per-click links. We received several items of clothing to review during our trip including Keen boots for the big kids, Sorrel boots for Nick and myself, the Polarn O. Pyret snowsuit for Sam and the Dare2B jackets for the big kids. All opinions are, as always, entirely my own.