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Gear for kids
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Michael Richey

Locale: Southern Utah
Gear for kids on 01/24/2011 21:56:40 MST Print View

My brothers and sisters and I have 19 kids under the age of 10 (there's 5 of us that are married) and we all like to go outdoors but we struggle to find good gear for our kids. We are particularly looking for companies that specialize or sell/make only kids gear. We've found Molehill Mtn Equipment (, but we want more options. Forum, can you help us out?

James Horner
(jbob19) - F

Locale: Ontario
kids on 01/24/2011 22:27:38 MST Print View

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is a store with its own brand of gear and they make a lot of kids stuff.. I purchased a MEC sleeping bag for my 2 year old and it is pretty high quality. 32 degree rating 575 duck down. My son loves having his own bag.

check the website for more options

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
+1 on MEC on 01/25/2011 01:30:20 MST Print View

I'd second the MEC call. They have pretty good quality, fairly priced gear, with a pretty active environmental policy.

It might sound crazy, but the other one to watch is Patagonia. They have some smoking Web Special deals on kids stuff, that seems to last REALLY well. I picked up some $23 fleeces about 4 yrs ago, that are still doing the rounds of our neighbour hood. These things were worn to school every day, as well as being thrashed in the bush. The same with their Cap 3 thermal tops for $13. The kids are happy to wear them as long t-shirts to school. Choose bright gender-neutral colours. This means I can spot the orange discarded fleece on the other side of the playground when I pick the kids up. Black and dark blue fleeces seem to last about 2-3 weeks before they get 'lost'. Stock up on various sizes when they're cheap.

Lands End have some, but the quality matches the price. Still, down vests for $9.00 in the off season are hard to beat.

I also just bought some Columbia shirts and zip-offs for my kids (11 &9) These are the first zip-offs I've found that actually work. Quite light weight. Not too many stupid pockets. Leg zips above the knee, not on it. They wore these every day on a week long hike and liked them.

Hope some of this helps, Rod

Scott Lehr
(lehrscott4) - F

Locale: Louisville - KY
Mountain Sprouts on 01/25/2011 05:40:13 MST Print View

Mountain Sprouts makes some cool kids outdoors clothes, and icebreaker has a kids line as well. ZOB makes some really cool recycled wool kids hats/beanies.


Locale: East Bay
MEC on 01/25/2011 11:15:42 MST Print View

I live in the US and tried to order sleeping bags from MEC about a year and a half ago for my young kids (they do make nice bags) and could not do it, I seem to remember it was some weird tarrif thing.

We ended up with North Face Tigger bags which are just over two pounds each with sacks and pack down small enough that the kids can carry them in small daypacks. If you shop around, you can get them new for under $100. We used them to temperatures right down around 30 degrees with no problem at all and like the fact that they are synthetic for obvious kid related reasons.

Jarod Fleming
(flemdawg1) - F

Locale: SE US
I like cheaper on 01/25/2011 11:53:23 MST Print View

1.Thrift Stores: For base layers, look in the pj section. Most TS people don't know the difference. And in some cases, we've used synthetic PJs as base layers. And even footed quilted PJs for snow layers (not usually much snow down here). I've also found kids backpacks, synthetic colthing, boots, even a Marmot Precip for my tween daughter.

2. Old Navy. Lots of decent fleeces and jackets. Not ultralight, but for kids that outgrow things yearly, its pretty good.

3.Target: C9 has stuff in the Kids sections too.

4. Hand me downs. Keep in contact w/ your siblings yearly and get the stuff your nephews and neices outgrow. Also try kids consignment sales, we have 3 bi-yearly ones in my town.

+1 For NF Tigger sleeping bags.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Gear for kids on 01/25/2011 12:16:20 MST Print View

the only new thing to add the the obvious, sierra trading post. Most of my daughter's clothing came from there. REI store scratch and dent sale can also be good. For example, we got a jr tioga pack (we use as a loaner) for $5, which needed a $5 strap to make it like new.

The other thing I would recommend is stopping by the patagonia outlet in Salt Lake the thursday before memorial or labor day. outlet is typically 30-40% of retail... sometimes less for clearance items, during the sale prices drop another 40-50%. We found not only did the patagonia clothing last longer than many others, and we found our daughters outgrew them less quickly than other clothing for whatever reason.


Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gear for kids on 01/25/2011 12:29:42 MST Print View

Target: Champion makes kids' base-layer-type tops and tights (often marketed towards sports like soccer or football).

REI: Look for marked down items that end in $.87 (I think that's it, maybe $.89. Ask a sales person), for instance, a jacket at $20.87. These things are marked down to that price first but then are an additional 50% off later during their annual clearance sales.

I got my girls Marmot Driclime jackets (exactly like the adult versions) for $4.99 each last year.

For a 40* bag, look at Sierra Designs Dragonfly bags (that's the girls name, I don't remember the boys) that is about as light as they come for a kids bag. Also, L.L.Bean has a 20* bag called the Adventure Sleeping Bag.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Gear for kids on 01/25/2011 12:41:43 MST Print View

When Ford was little it was even more impossible to find gear and clothing - much easier these days for Walker!

Anyhow....REI, Target, LLBean, Walmart, Lands End, Sierra Trading Post, etc. I learned to pick around and wait for sales. With Walker I am already buying 1-2 sizes ahead as I find deals :-)

And if you have used kid clothing stores check them out. I have found REI and Columbia clothing a plenty there.