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Springing into Family Gear

It was a long and productive winter. Our local mountains successfully navigated Covid regulations – which meant we had ample opportunity for lift-served turns – and we were able to stay safe and healthy while earning our backcountry laps. Now, as the long-awaited warmth of spring arrives, our family is taking advantage of the change in weather (and maybe even the opportunity to pack fewer layers)! 

If you’re looking to get out on some spring adventures of your own, check out some of our favorite go-to gear for your next outing.

For the Family

Klean Kanteen TKCanisters

Soups and cereals and camp dinner leftovers and trails mix and smoothies and…we use the Klean Kanteen TKCanisters a lot. The canisters are double-walled, stackable and have an easy-carry loop so the kids easily grab them whenever they need a snack.

Klean Kanteen Food Boxes

Breakfast burritos, fruits, mid-day sandwiches, chips, cookies, salads…I’ve packed just about everything (edible) that you can imagine into these Klean Kanteen Food Boxes. They are light, made from non-toxic stainless steel and go just about everywhere with our family.

YETI Cameo Carryall 35

Whether we’re running around town, traveling cross-country or car camping nearby, our family packs the Yeti Cameo Carryall 35 every time. Sometimes, it’s full of post-ride snacks. Other times, we load it with spare clothes for river-side days. And still others, you’re likely to find spare diapers, my cell phone, all the snacks, mixed drink fixin’s, hot spring essentials…the list goes on. 

Honey Stinger Mini Waffles

Waffles will forever be a favorite snack for our entire family – and the Honey Stinger Honey Mini-Waffles make it even easier to share! Whether we’re biking, hiking or hitting the town disc golf course, good activity takes good fuel. It also helps when the good fuel is extra tasty!

For the Kids

Polarized MiniShades

I remember being a kid and wanting my own pair of sunglasses so badly that I saved up enough allowance to hit the corner store after school one day. I cherished those shades! Not just for the protection factor – I could actually keep my eyes open while playing kickball! – but for the style! Kids sunglasses have come a long way since then and Polarized MiniShades is a testament to that fact. Available in a range of sizes to fit babies to big kids, they block UV light, our kids love them and they look so hip and so cute!

INEX Better Mask for Kids

The weather might be warming up, but we’re still managing life with COVID. Our kids actually like wearing the INEX Better Mask for Kids. It features an embedded nano fiber filter and adjustable (and comfortable) ear loops, which allow us to get a nice snug fit while still having all the airflow they need to breath comfortably no matter how active they are throughout the day.

Matador Pocket Blanket

I feel like there is this unwritten rule that as a mom, you literally have to carry all the things in your bag. I love the Matador Pocket Blanket because it fits just about anywhere, it’s ultralight and it’s easy to clean. Plus, it gives me an easy mom-win and a big ol’ checkmark in the “always prepared” box.

Ridge Merino Kid’s Aspect Merino Wool Base Layer

While spring days stay warm, our overnights can get chilly. My son absolutely loves his Ridge Merino base layers. They are durable, comfortably and wash up really well. He loves the camouflage pattern, but they are available in several color options!

Morrison Outdoors Little Mo

Morrison Outdoors creates full-zip onesie style sleeping bags for big and little kids and their Little Mo – a personal favorite of our youngest – is available in either a 20-degree down or 40-degree synthetic option. Our daughter absolutely loved how cozy this bag was and – while I was first concerned about the closed-sleeves – she loved it. She actually enjoyed having her little fingers stay warm all night…and so did I!

Altra Youth Lone Peak

Available in “big kids” sizing, the Altra Youth Lone Peak trail shoe quickly became one of my son’s favorite hit-the-trail shoes. While the colors definitely caught his eye, the sticky sole, supportive footbed and stay-put laces were my favorite features.

For the Adults

Big Agnes Mica Basin Armchair

I have sat in my fair share of Big Agnes chairs, but I hadn’t experienced the Mica Basin Armchair until late this winter. And since then, it’s gone everywhere with us. Skiing, fishing, picnicking…all the ‘ings. This chair features shock-cord poles to keep it light and for fast setup, ultralight rip-stop fabric and not one, but TWO cup holders, so I can have all the beverages within arms reach. Best of all, a portion of every purchase of the new Elevation and Brown Trout versions will support the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and the Yampa River fund. 

VSSL Java Hand Grinder

If I were stranded on a desert island – with an abundance of coffee plants – and could only bring three items, one of them would be a grinder, specifically the VSSL Java Hand Grinder. Featuring stainless steel burrs and 50 grind settings, VSSL took a great concept and gave it a premium upgrade, allowing coffee drinkers to fine-tune their grind for a perfect pour-over.

GSI Collapsable JavaDrip

I am a firm believer in having coffee available at all hours of the day, no matter where we may be and the GSI JavaDrip is one of the lightest/compact options I have used to date. 

JetBoil Stash Stove

The JetBoil Stash is a super compact, easy-to-pack stove for all those #CoffeeOutside moments. Over the last few months, we’ve taken the stove on bikepacking trips, day rides, river-side hangouts and road trips between. It has definitely delivered fast-boiling water so we can get to our coffee faster!

Eddie Bauer BC Dura 3L Jacket

Whether I’m braving spring rains or spring winds, the Eddie Bauer BC Dura 3L Jacket has quickly become my go-to early this season. I was able to get some spring skiing in with this jacket and it was the perfect layer to cut the chilly breeze while keeping me dry and not limiting my movement.

Costa Sunglasses: Maya & Sampan

The Costa Sampan (for a larger fit) and Maya (for a smaller fit) – deliver on performance, coverage, comfort and style. What I love most about Costa sunglasses is the option to customize.

For bright, sunny days on open water, we use the Blue Mirror lens (of the Sampan).

On variable light, creek and river days, we go for the Copper Silver Mirror lens (of the Maya). Regardless of the lens though, we’ve found that Costa sunglasses definitely deliver a clear, crisp view.

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