Toddler Tested: Summer Gear

Introducing a little one to the wonderful outdoors is a fun-filled adventure in and of itself. Whether in the air, on the road, or out in the woods, gear is a key factor in developing a lasting sense of wunderlust in your wee one. The right gear can help tame mood swings, prevent boo-boo’s from popping up, and keeps comfort paramount. While summer may seem like an easy season of bathing suits and sun hats, it provides its own challenges if you plan on really getting out there. Here are some necessities to keep your wee wanderer happy while exploring the great outdoors.

HAUPINColumbia Rain-Zilla Jacket
The only thing worse than a grumpy toddler is a soggy grumpy toddler, so when a summer storm hits, be ready with Columbia’s Rain-Zilla Jacket. The Rain-Zilla will keep your tiny one dry while still giving them the mobility they need to explore in a rain storm. It has functional pockets, an adjustable hood and it is fleece lined, providing the softness and warmth that kids love. $50 |

12803_730_ALT110Crocs’ Handle It Rain Boot
The Handle It Boot is a dream for both kids and parents. The “Handle” design allows kids to pull on the boots themselves, boosting independent confidence for little ones and giving parents one less thing to help with pre-storm. They are, of course, waterproof, and very lightweight, making it that much easier for your kid to walk longer without getting tired. $35 |

Keen Water ShoeKeen Toddler Seacamp II CNX Water Shoes
While endless grassy summer fields and the soft sand of the beach are great places for little ones to run barefoot, more ardent adventures usually call for a bit more protection which is where Keen’s classic closed-toe sandals are a perfect fit. The excellent traction and wide forefoot provide comfort and stability in and out of the water. Our little adventurer often asks for her Keen’s by name regardless of what she’s headed out to do, from riding her Strider bike to heading for the beach. $50 |

TNF Sprout PackNorth Face Youth Sprout Backpack
In our humble look on life, one gauge of success we feel we can claim for the time being, is to have raised a fairly independent young girl. The Sprout Backpack is one of the key ways she’s able to express her freedom. She loves being able to have all of her things together including diapers, wipes, water and most importantly, her little toy kitty. The pack has padded straps, a Velcro sternum strap, and is well balanced when full. $35 |

KidCo Travel BedKidCo Travel Pod
Between hotels not having cribs to use or if you’re camping and needing to be totally self-sufficient, the piece of mind of having a secure place for your little one to hang out really is priceless and the KidCo Travel Pod has proven itself in a range of situations. The trapezoidal shape is perfect to prevent rambunctious toddlers from climbing out and it helps prevent accidental tipping over. Assembly is easy and the small footprint means it won’t box you out of even the tiniest of hotel rooms or family tents. $170 |

CHAGRAAvex Freestyle Autospout Kids Water Bottle
This water bottle is not only as cute as your little one, but it also provides a lot of fun while drinking. The push-button open is great for littles who are just discovering “how things work”. And the covered nipple closure is ideal as it prevents the mouthpiece from getting mucked up while on adventures. Finally, a little handle makes it easy for small hands to carry. There are six designs to choose from that will surely please even the quirkiest of tots. $13 |

pocopremium_side_blackOsprey Poco AG Premium Child Carrier
It is hard to believe that Osprey has a pack that we like more than the original Poco Pack but the latest Poco AG Premium pack has all of the features of the old pack with the addition of Osprey’s Anti-Gravity harness technology. The 3 way-suspension technology gives users full mobility while carrying heavy loads. And if backpacking or long hikes are in your adventure repertoire, a solid, comfortable pack for you and your babe is an absolute must. $330 |

PegPeregoPeg Perego 10+ Bike Seat
Adventures can be near and far, and for the latter, getting there can be part of the fun with the 10+ bike seat. The two part system which includes a bracket that is attached to the lower seat tube allows for easy attaching and detaching of the bike seat depending on if your little one is going along or not. The two stays that hold the seat in place add extra shock absorption as needed. The mounting bracket also includes a combo lock to ensure the seat doesn’t walk away from your locked bike. The seat holds children up to 40 pounds, has a reclining system and an adjustable and secure one-click harness. Let’s roll. $150 |

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