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The Best of Outdoor Gear for Spring 2021
As you may know, getting outside with my family is top priority. We play outdoors in all seasons, but we gear up differently depending on the weather and time of year. Spring gear can be tricky because the season oscillates between cold and snowy, and warm and sunny. Maybe it rains. Sometimes all of that happens in the same day.
I got together with four other outdoor and travel bloggers to compile a list of the best outdoor gear for spring to help your family get out and explore more.
From base layers to keep you warm to coolers to maintain the cold, we found the absolute best gear to use while you’re camping, stomping in puddles, running rivers, biking slick rock, or however else you like to play outside in spring.
Spring nights can still be chilly enough for camping that a warm sleeping bag is required.
The Little Mo is for babies 6-24 months and the Big Mo fits kids 2-4 years. The bags are shaped like bunting bags with arm sleeves with closed cuffs for the little ones and adjustable open-close cuffs for the big kids.
The beauty in this design is that kids can’t kick them off while they are sleeping — I could have used this when my kids were little. Both come in 20-degree and 40-degree versions.The 20-degree bags are filled with down and the 40-degree bags are synthetic.
These down sleeping bags are so warm and cuddly that you will want one for yourself.
We are always on the lookout for a tent that fits our whole family. There are only four of us, but we take up a lot of room. Enter the House Party™ 6 — a great tent for big families or families of big people.
From the expandable walls, quick setup, extra-large front and rear doors for ease of loading cots and air mats this tent has a lot of features that make spring camping easier and more enjoyable.
The color coded poles make it easy for you or your kid to set up and large vents keep condensation out (not to mention the funk that can build up in an unaired tent). You can use the guy lines to pull out the sides of the tent to make it even roomier inside, which is especially nice when on those rainy trips where you end up spending time inside playing games and hanging out.
There are so many reasons to wear wool and Nui makes it easy with their simple, beautiful women’s collection.
Merino wool is soft on the skin and not itchy. It’s breathable so you stay warm when it’s cold out and cool when it’s warm out — it’s an all season fabric. Their tops, bottoms, sweaters, socks, and accessories and fashionable and functional.
I LOVE that Nui’s wool is organic. Their mission “is to champion the message that sustainability is simple with natural fiber clothing that causes no harm in the making. It’s a lifestyle and way of life that helps people and the planet thrive.”
My favorite bonus is that it stays odor-free and you don’t have to wash it after every wearing.
Check out the Bernard Cardigan with the Waffle Lounge Pants - it doesn't get cozier than that!
Tifosi makes a slew of sunglasses to keep the spring sunshine out of your eyes while you play outside.
We like the Shutout series for kids. These multi-sport sunnies come in five colors and lens combinations.The frame provides all-day comfort an anti-bounce fit. Shutout’s polycarbonate lenses provide 100% UVA / UVB protection.
For adults, the Swank series has a no-slip fit and is equipped with shatterproof, scratch-resistant lenses covering a spectrum of popular colors
Combine these two Reima products to suit your kids up for spring.
The soft shell jacket has a fleece liner for cozy spring hikes or hanging around the campsite. The water- and dirt repellent finish makes clean up easy (goodbye hot chocolate stains) and the detachable hood is perfect to lighten up the jacket when it isn’t needed.
For spring hiking you can’t beat these kids zip-off hiking pants. Start with pants in the cool mornings and zip off to shorts when the day warms up. Plus, the UPF 50+ protection means you don’t have to deal with sunscreen.
No more boring helmets! These fun helmet accessories add some pizzaz to almost any helmet. Dress up your bike helmet, ski helmet, climbing helmet, etc. They are tested to 180mph so you don’t need to worry about them falling off while you are bombing down a hill.
They have a bunch of cute designs including kitty ears, a unicorn horn, a banana, large and small horns, and rhino horns.
The Helmet Flair attaches to a magnet, which is held by adhesive, and is interchangeable with any of the models. Be a kitty one day and a unicorn the next.
This portable campfire grill set is perfect for camping, picnicking by a lake, or tailgating. One of my favorite things about this set up is how quick and easy it is to get it going.
The “trio” includes a grill to cook on, a portable fire pits, and ferro rod fire starter for consistent sparks that get the fire started every time. You can burn wood or charcoal in the Fire Safe and cook anything from burgers to marshmallows.
The Espin Nesta e-bike makes spring riding easy. With a top speed of 25mph and up to 40-mile range on one charge, the Nesta is perfectly suited for a long commute or multiple errands.
The bike folds up for easy storage and unfolds easily for a stylish and convenient ride. It’s small enough to take on a train or carry in a car trunk. A low standover height of only 15” makes it easy to mount and dismount.
Attach one end of the Tow Whee Adventure Tow Bungee to your bike seat and the other end to your child’s bike to help them conserve energy on the uphill. Or use the giant bungee as a dog lead, to tow a kayak while paddling, or for any other activity where some one needs a bit of assistance, but can do some of the work themselves.
Friends report that this is a great way to help kids out on mountain bike treks where a little help goes a long way.
When you are hiking in bear country you need to carry bear spray and know how to use it. This Sabre bear spray combo lets you practice before you meet a bear. Even those of us who hike a lot rarely, if ever, need to use our bear spray, so it’s nice to know you are practiced and ready if the time comes.
The Sabre bear spray is better than some other brands thanks to its 30-foot range, no need to wait until the bear is on top of you to spray. It delivers 40 percent more spray/burst than other brands in a heavy fog delivery for added defense.
The Adventure Stainless Steel All-In-One Food Jar (18 oz) will keep your food hot or cold for 12 hours. Put your porridge, soup, or cold pasta salad in the vacuum insulated jar to eat on the trail. It comes with a spork and a compartment in the lid to keep nuts etc. dry and sog-free.
The Adventure Stay Hot Camp Crock (3 QT) keeps food hot for 12 hours or cold for 16 hours. Fill the leak proof, vacuum insulated camp crock with soup, casserole, or whatever hot food you want and have a no-prep meal at the campsite or cabin.
When you want an adventure somewhere new, it’s great to have a certified guide along to show your the ropes (or ski line, or fishing hole).
57 Hours pairs you up with a local outdoor adventure guide. You will get local knowledge, a safe experience, personalized tour, worry-free trip planning, and more. They offer single and multi-day guided tours.
You can search by adventure type and locations which is ideal for family vacations. So take a hike in Yellowstone, go rock climbing in West Virginia, try mountain biking in Utah, or almost any other adventure you can imagine.
The Kids Ride Shotgun is a children’s bike seat that allows kids to ride up front with their parents and get a full view of what's going on on the trail. The seat is especially helpful for mountain biking, where most other bike seats for children don't work well.
The handlebars give your kiddo something to hang onto and the seat works well even with a full suspension bike. The kids get a smooth ride since the bike is seat is attached to the frame of the bike and won’t bounce around
Cruisn’ and Campfires offers a myriad of games and activities to make camping and RVing with kids fun. Play with your kids with Campfire Tic Tac Go, Crusin’ Activity Box, Constellation Activity Book, National Parks Playing Cards, and Gnome on the Roam Activity Cards.
Their “RV Camping With Kids 101” course explains what to bring, what to do, and how to be safe for first time RVers with kids.
The Mozzie Gear Jacket is an attractive bug jacket that blocks mosquitoes, ticks, black flies and biting gnats. It's designed like a zip up hoodie (pockets and all). Made with a no-see-um grade mesh, it is attractive, lightweight and comfortable even when it’s hot outside. And it’s not dipped in chemicals — it’s a physical block.
The vintage-style tees will have you feeling nostalgic this spring. The long sleeve microfiber t-shirts aren’t just stylish, they are performance wear. The material wicks sweat away keeping you dry and comfortable. They are odor resistant, quick drying, and easy to care for.
They come in men's and women's cuts and several colors. I recommend the Yellowstone National Park shirt, of course, but I am guessing your favorite park is represented too.
We are big fans of Grizzly Coolers here. They have all the technology to keep your food cold for a long time, are rotomolded to make them strong and imperfection-free, and they are IGBC Bear Resistant Certified, which is important if you are in bear country.
The Grizzly 20 is perfect for a day trip to a lake, to leave in your car for a celebration after climbing a peak, or for a road trip. The Grizzly 60 holds a week’s worth of food (or four days for my family of four) and keeps it cold the whole time. We used the Grizzly 60 on a 5-day river trip (in the sun) and still had ice when we were done. Plus, they both come in fun colors - I got turquoise.
Friend and fellow outdoor family blogger, Amelia Mayer just came out with her second book: Camping Activity Book for Kids: 35 Fun Projects for Your Next Outdoor Adventure, and it’s a winner.
It’s packed with survival challenges like building a shelter, making a compass, and tying a bowline knot and fun outdoor projects like designing a treasure hunt, crafting a walking stick, and making a sundial. Kids aged 6-9 will have a blast with these activities.
Get DETAILS about where to go and what to see WITH Kids! Figure out options for flying, driving, camping, lodging and sightseeing. Copy parts of the trip you like – tailor to your own family style.
Learn insider tips from a Yellowstone vacation coach who lives at the park’s doorstep.
SAVE money on your trip by sticking to our simple and mostly free activities list. Save time a you normally spend searching through general guides for family appropriate advice. Contains a grocery list, itinerary, and a packing list used on an actual family trip.
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