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Nine Useful Gifts for Kids Who Love the Outdoors

Your kids have made their holiday wish lists. You’ve checked them twice. And yep, most of their requests involve screens, batteries, and power cords. Go off-script this year and give them something that will promote more time outside by ensuring your youngster remains warm, stays safe, and looks rad. These 9 gifts put the “fun” in “functional” for your favorite Colorado kids.

Orage Shefford and Slope Insulated Jackets

Those ski passes you bought last spring are sure to fit, but what about their parka? If it’s time to size up, consider the Shefford and Slope Insulated Jackets from Orage. Both are designed to keep the elements at bay with 120 grams of insulation in the body, hand gaiters, and a powder skirt. Mechanical two-way stretch ensures your little rippers can move freely in the trees and terrain park. $215-$225,

Houdini Jr’s Mono Air Houdi

In 2020, the Mono Air Houdi (men’s, women’s) from Sweden-based outdoor brand Houdini earned an ISPO Gold Award. In 2021, it took home an Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award. In 2022, it ranked among Outside Magazine’s best fleeces. And for 2023, the junior-sized version of this comfy and environmentally friendly mid-layer–it sheds significantly less microfibers compared to conventional fleece–is sure to wow the hardest audience yet: our kids. $140, 

Lazer Jackal KinetiCore

Whether they’re biking to school, hitting the trails, or tackling jumps at the bike park, it’s hard to beat a bike helmet when it comes to functional gifts for young riders–but all helmets are not created equal. Look for a brain bucket that protects against both head-on and multidirectional impacts like the line-up from Lazer equipped with KinetiCore technology. Their Nutz KinetiCore and Pnut KinetiCore–designed for small and smaller riders–include this next-level tech and come in fire-breathing dragon designs and rainbow-chic patterns. For older kids with more serious objectives, check out the Jackal KinetiCore, which has optimized ventilation and a built-in camera mount ready to capture epic moments. $219.99,

ewool Heated Glove Liners with SnapConnect

Cold hands, warm heart? Yeah right. Any parent knows that cold hands mean misery, whining, and tears–and not just for your little person. Prevent unexpectedly short days on the ski hill with the three levels of heat and up to seven hours of warmth offered by the ewool Heated Glove Liners. Sized for older kiddos, the gloves heat each finger individually and feature touchscreen-compatibility to facilitate chairlift check-ins. $339,

Rudy Project Spinshield Air

Have a budding cycling star, cross-country runner, or triathlete on your hands? Help your teen complete their kit–and, importantly, protect their peepers for the long-term–this holiday season with a pair of Spinshield Airs from Rudy Project. These sweat-ready shades weigh less than an ounce, include no-slip grip on the temples and nose pads, and (of course) offer full protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The wide lens further boosts coverage–and style. $132.99 (on sale!),

icebreaker Kids’ Merino 200 Oasis Long Sleeve Crewe Thermal Top and Thermal Leggings

Long johns, long underwear, thermals, or base layers: Whatever your family calls them, they’re an essential component of any strategy for staying warm–and playing longer–when the Mercury drops. We dig icebreaker’s Merino 200 Oasis line-up, which feels soft and snuggly next to skin and features itch- and friction-preventing flatlock seams, both for our kids and ourselves. (The collection includes plenty of adult-sized options too.) $60,

The North Face Antora Rain Jacket (Girls’, Boys’, Tiny Tots’)

The Antora by Denver-based The North Face might look like just a raincoat, but this hooded, waterproof, breathable layer is actually a passport to fun when the rain, rain, rain comes down, down, down. Available in sizes 2T through 18/20, the jacket is ready to be a just-in-case layer for first-ever hikes, a tried-and-true resource for their last adventure before college, and everything in between. $80-$90,

Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Blanket

The car’s front seat is too hot, but the back seat is too cold. Yep, we’ve had that argument too. Wrap up the 100% alpaca fiber All-Paca Blanket from Appalachian Gear Company for your little ones this holiday season and you can put those complaints in the rear-view mirror. Lightweight yet cozy-warm, this go-anywhere blanket is perfect for road trips. Then again, it also makes a great layer for post-adventure movie nights. $195,

Vertra Coconut Vanilla Body Spray SPF 50

Sunscreen probably didn’t show up on your kiddos’ wishlist for Santa. But it turns out, in addition to keeping tabs on us when we’re sleeping and awake, the man in red also stays current with news from the World Health Organization highlighting the dangers of sun exposure. That’s why he thought a bottle of SPF 50 sunscreen free from oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens, sulfates, and PABA would make a nice addition to that stocking. $20,

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