Our family lives and breathes water. Whether exploring high country lakes, roaming tidal zones on far-off coastal adventures or simply indulging in the mighty Rio Grande in our own town, a week isn’t complete without some form of water-based recreation. But, for all the technical gear it takes to paddle, fly fish or float with the kiddos, sometimes, comfort is king (and queen).
Conventional gear round-ups stand aside – here are some comfort-inducing must-have items for your next day near the water!
Big Agnes Big House
Available in a 4-person and 6-person option, this newly redesigned castle of a tent has a little something special packed into it. Capable of being set up as a sun shelter, the Big Agnes Big House 4 and 6 are easy-to-carry, thanks to a great backpack-style carry case and stands as the ultimate shade station for all those sunny Colorado days. It’s also perfect for rain protection during the beloved monsoon season.
Radio Flyer Build-A-Wagon (Folding)
Ready for a go-anywhere, haul-everything powerhouse that can still fit it in the truck of your car? The folding version of Radio Flyer’s Build-A-Wagon lineup is compact for travel, but fully equipped to handle a day of adventure. Featuring all terrain tires and a steel frame, this wagon can carry loads up to 150lb. and handles mixed surfaces really well. When the kids don’t want to hike around the lake, let them jump in and take the two-track to your favorite spot.
Every mama knows that a day of adventuring can also mean a day of kiddos crawling all over her. So, when you’re ready to rip off your full-coverage shoes, slip into a pair of ultralight Chaco Chillos for some real chill time by the river. Because, let’s be honest: Mamas need comfort. The latest colorful collaboration option (Chaco/Saucony) also pair well with equally-colorful FisheWear eco-friendly nail polish. Your feet are sure to thank you. And don’t worry guys, they make them for you, too!
Sun-blinded eyes, be gone! We wear a lot of sunglasses, but this summer, we found ourselves enjoying the fit and function of Costa’s Waterwoman 2 and Sampan a lot. The second recondition of the Waterwoman line, this female-specific style is wider than its predecessor, while still featuring all the polarized UV protection you need for a day on the water. And for the guys:
The Sampan has all-day comfort and might just be unstoppable, thanks to it being designed by water sports pro, Mark Healy. Need we say more?
Mystery Ranch Hip Monkey
Large enough to fit your favorite beverage vessel, but compact enough to for comfortable wearing all day! The Hip Monkey is one of my favorite packs for a day on the water or hanging out near the lakeshore. I appreciate the roominess of the large, main compartment for carrying all the sunblock, snacks and other odds and ends I need for the day, and the strategic ness of the mini front pocket, so I can quickly grab my wallet, lip balm, or other small essentials without them getting lost among the larger items.
Is anyone else guilty of living in their baggies?! I absolutely love both patterned 3” and solid blue 5” for women and patterned 7” for the guys. They are insanely comfortable, made of 100% recycled nylon, quick drying and come in sizes for the whole family! Whether you prefer a solid color or fun pattern, Patagonia has all the options – and they are sure to stand the test of time. We love them off and on the water – add a pink flamingo and it only gets better!
Ridge Merino Journey & Solstice
I have a few favorite fibers when it comes to comfortable clothing and one of them is wool. Wool is moisture-wicking and dries quickly, and the Ridge Merino Journey Merino Wool Dress is all of that and more. I have worn this dress for days on the water, road trips to high country creeks and bike rides to the river – plus, it’s super comfortable and cute! And for the guys, if you’re looking for a comfortable pull-over for a day in the sun, go with their Solstice Lightweight Pullover Hoody. It is functional, cozy and has all the benefits of wool mentioned above – with added UPF30+ sun protection!
New Belgium Purist Lager
This one is for the big “kids” out there! We have come to know and love New Belgium for their classics like Voodoo Ranger and Fat Tire, but their latest lager is the perfect easy-drinker for sun-soaked water days! Purist is light, crips and made with organic, traceable ingredients so you can feel good about feeling good.
Yeti Tundra 65
When you need to fit everything but the kitchen sink into a day at the (river) beach, the Tunda 65 delivers. But what does a cooler have to do with comfort, you might ask? Have you ever been lakeside on a hot day and really needed an ice cold seltzer (or Purist for that matter)? Yep, that’s what we’re talking about! When we’re exploring a vehicle-access lake or pulling up to one of our favorite creeks, we keep the Tundra in the truck bed and plenty of beverages and snacks to last the whole weekend.