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Summer Outdoor Retailer is the premier showcase of outdoor gear and culture. So, we made a beeline to the 2019 show in Denver, Colorado, to see the best outdoor gear for kids.
Of course, all the big, well-known outdoor companies have an awesome lineup of outdoor kids clothes, hiking shoes, and outdoor gear, but we searched for smaller companies on the cutting edge of outdoor kids gear designs and found 7 who knocked it out of the park.
One thing all these kids’ outdoor companies have in common is the belief that kids thrive in the outdoors. They share Wilderdad’s belief that everyone benefits when kids set down their screens and engage with family and friends in the outdoors. So, check out the best new outdoor gear for kids and let the family fun begin.
Based in Denver, Colorado, B4 Adventure believes there is no better place for kids to play than the outdoors. It’s the inspiration for all their outdoor gear for kids. They specialize in outdoor games, toys, zip lines, slack lines, and kids’ climbing gear. Even cooler, they have a whole line of official American Ninja Warrior hanging obstacles for kids to use outdoors. This stuff is fantastic as it gets kids outside, encourages exercise and play time. Check them out here: B4 Adventure
Fulfill the quintessential dad dream of teaching your kids to fish with Kid Casters fishing poles. These kid fishing poles simplify the whole fishing process so you can really focus on the whole reason you’re outside with your kids: to have fun. Don’t be fooled by their cartoony designs, these fishing poles are really well designed and super high quality so they’ll last for years. Kid Casters fishing poles are so easy to use, you’ll find yourself sneaking in a cast or two yourself. I’m not kidding. I demoed the No-Tangle Telescopic Fishing Pole at Summer Outdoor Retailer and was hooked immediately. (See what I did there?) Easy to cast and never a worry of getting their fishing line tangled, these poles are a seriously cool must-have for your next outdoor family adventure. See the whole line here: Kid Casters
Tenalach is headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada, and they’re on a mission to get people off their screens and outside playing with friends and family. Many of their outdoor games use natural wood materials and appeal to a wide range of ages. They’re high quality and durable, so they’ll stand up to any abuse your kids can throw at them. One of the coolest features is that many of their outdoor games light up and can be played at night. Perfect for backyard playtime, but portable enough for camping adventures, choose from Bean Bag Toss, Ladder Toss, Yard Dice, Frisknock, and more. Read more about them here: Tenalach
These guys are cool. They’re French, so no surprise there. Nobody likes spraying mosquito repellent all over your skin and clothes, least of all kids. So, Para Kito came up with a genius solution to concentrate mosquito repellent into a bracelet that can be worn on your wrists and ankles. Even better, the mosquito repellent pellets last for two weeks and can be replaced when they wear out. Best of all, their repellent is DEET-free, made from all-natural plant-based oils, is even waterproof. Perfect for camping, backyard BBQs, and days spent on the lake. Try them out here: Para Kito
There are a few kids bike seat options out there but none as simple and effective as these. Do Little’s kids bike seats solve a lot of problems that other solutions have. Bike trailers are big, bulky and heavy. Rear-mounted bike seats make your kid a passenger that limits their experience because their view is blocked by your backside. And most top-tube mounted solutions are expensive and complicated. Do Little has created a simple, elegant solution to the kids bike seat that fits almost all bikes, and at $160 it’s a few bucks less than other kids bike seat options out there. Based in New Zealand, Do Little just made their kids bike seats available worldwide this year, so order one up here: Do Little
Sawyer started with one focused idea: make great gear that gets kids outside. Located in Park City, Utah, Sawyer makes a range of kids’ apparel to help your whole family embrace the outdoors. They’ve got hip designs of t-shirts for warm days, long sleeves, hoodies, and beanies for your colder outdoor adventures, and hats and caps for anytime the sun shines. You’ll also appreciate that Sawyer has their outdoor kids apparel manufactured in WRAP Certified Facilities that are certified to be safe, lawful, humane, and ethical. See all their kids apparel here: Sawyer
Not exactly made for kids, but Eton still makes the list of best outdoor gear for kids for a few reasons. Eton makes hand-crank and solar-powered radios and communication devices that are absolutely critical equipment for any outdoor adventure. Most of their devices feature reliable weather alerts on a rugged, durable radio that can be charged with solar power or the built-in hand crank. Stream your favorite music anywhere while charging your mobile device with the rechargeable lithium battery. Trust you’re getting a solid product as Eton has been around for 30 years and is based in the tech capital of Palo Alto, California. Get yours here: Eton
Steve Lemig is the founder of Wilderdad. He's been a lot of things over the years. Skateboarder. Mountain biker. Climber. Snowboarder. Bike mechanic. Forest firefighter. Woodworker. Creative director. These days he's a runner, writer, husband, and father. He writes stories to empower dads and encourage them to share outdoor adventures with their kids as a tool to strengthen families and build respect for the environment. He has also been the Communications Director at Road Runner Sports for the last 13 years.