O.F.F. = Outdoor Fashion Friday. Our (almost) weekly segment featuring our favorite styles for the season. Everything I share are pieces that can be worn all day long and stand up to the “use and abuse” of serious adventures. As a family, we appreciate clothing that is worth our hard-earned money. It’s what we wear and trust!
Oh Oakiwear – we love what you’re doing with great, affordable gear to keep kids happy outside!
They’re one of our favorite kid-gear companies and they’ve stepped up their game this year with improvements on their previous styles and some new ones that have become favorites around here.
If you don’t know Oakiwear, check them out. A smaller company (though gaining in popularity quickly) that really and truly has quality gear that you can afford AND holds up through serious kid abuse.
While we are just starting to see some relief in the weather, we got a chance to test out some of their gear this summer on a trip to Alaska (there are perks to rainy, cold days there!)
Trail Fleece-Lined Coat:
The testing will certainly continue throughout the fall, but so far this may be my favorite kids’ jacket ever. It’s built like all of Oakiwear’s quality gear, and L’s owl design totally won me over (not to be shallow over designs or anything….) It’s also available in basic colors (on J). This is the coat I’ll be purchasing more of.
What else we love:
3 zippered pockets
Easily cinched at waist and velcroed at wrists to accommodate bodies smaller than the jacket (for growing into, of course)
Super soft interior fleece
Waterproof, tough, exterior that is still very pliable
New and Improved Trail Suit:
To be honest, Oakiwear’s previous rain/trail suit was good, but not great. There were some adjustments that I thought really needed to be made to have it stand out as gear that I would 100% recommend. The good news is that this year’s is SO much better in the small details and one we really, really love.
Fully waterproof, but also not too stiff. Kids can definitely comfortably move in it
Ability to cinch in the waist on the inside for the perfect fit (even when your suit is much too big for a peanut like P).
Adjustable wrist and ankle cuffs
Lots of great pockets
I still wish Oakiwear would put a brim on their hoods to help keep the rain out even more and foot stirrups would come in handy too. But, in general, great, great suit and one we highly recommend!
The best thing about these suits? You can let your kids get crazy muddy and dirty and just peel it off before you throw them in the car. Parenting for the win!
Neoprene Rain/Snow Boots:
Neoprene boots are tough. They can be SOOOO awesome, or can really be a bummer in super cold weather. As a comparison, I’ve had really mixed results with BOGS. These are NOT Bogs, but the idea is the same. Here’s the trick – they HAVE to fit right. If they are too small, air can’t be trapped in them to keep your feet warm. Oakiwear only rates their boots to 0 degrees F, which I think is a fair rating. I’ll update this post as we get into some colder weather, but I have it on good authority that they really do keep feet warm.
The PLUS side to neoprene boots is that they are AWESOME for wet weather. The Oakiwear ones have great traction, easy pull-on handles and 5 mm neoprene. They also come in TWELVE sizes starting at 6 toddler. They do run big, however, and Oakiwear (and we agree) recommends sizing down.
Personally we have not had any success with Neoprene boots (Bogs, etc.) keeping feet warm in below zero temperatures across the board. It usually really depends on the person and how warm they run, which is what makes temperature ratings so tough. So…Bogs are rated lower in many circumstances, but are also more expensive and personally I don’t trust them when the temperature really drops. Just my two cents! Again, every kid is different. J is fine in them to -30. P is most certainly not. Know your kids, know your weather and know your gear.
Today marks the NPS’s 99th birthday and the beginning of a year of celebrations leading up to the centennial birthday. And oh how far we have come over the last 99 years!
Honestly, we are literally almost drowning in a sea of visitors here in Yellowstone this year. We’re breaking records all over – if you have visited, you aren’t imagining that it feels a little crowded. Throughout the month of July (2015), Yellowstone saw 980,702 visits. That’s huge. And while that can be a bit of a bummer if you’re looking for solitude in the Park, it’s also a clear indication that people are flocking to Yellowstone and ALL national parks. And that’s a beautiful thing! Pssttt – if you prefer to avoid the crowds, fall in Yellowstone is spectacular.
We’re also big here on getting families outdoors, and that starts with kids. Kids everywhere – not just privileged kids who are able to take a long road trip and see the wonders of our country. As an educator myself, I’ve seen the value in getting kids outside. I also know how crucial it is for an education including personal experiences with nature. You are only going to take care of what you connect with and know about.
The Centennial Challenge will allow NPT to be able to work with up to 60 Title 1 schools to provide multiple park experiences — at least one to a national park unit — throughout the school year, plus classroom toolkits full of resources and so much more! $10 provides bus transportation for one child for one park trip. There are more than 400 national park units across the country!A $5 donation to NPT will become $10, and that is enough to get one child out to a park unit. For $5, the price of an (overpriced) latte, you can be part of a grassroots movement and help children have a park experience who wouldn’t otherwise have one. Donate to NPT’s Centennial Challenge here: https://donate.parktrust.org/
I can’t encourage you enough to set aside even $5 this month to help educate our youth and bring them to our Parks. They are the future.
And one more thing: The National Park Service Centennial Year coincides with President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park Initiative, which will allow every 4th grader in the U.S., and their families to have a park experience during the 2015-16 school year. Be sure to not miss this opportunity if you have a child in 4th grade!
I was invited by National Park Trust to participate in their Centennial Challenge Campaign, however the views expressed are my own.
Sometimes it’s just too hot to go hiking or biking or anything not involving water. And our family happens to be a pile of heat wimps – it hits 90+ and we become mush (there’s a really good reason we don’t live in other parts of the country…)
While we are working on getting the right amount of boats (to add to our “gear fleet”), we managed an awesome family float from Carbella to Point of Rocks (on the Yellowstone River, outside of Gardiner, MT).
The boys purchased these great 6′ Lifetime Kayaks with their own money earlier this summer. They have been the perfect toy for gaining independence on the water, challenging them and having fun on their own. Plus they’re easy to steer, haul and store. We highly recommend them.
L and I rocked a tube. Not ideal, but it worked on calm water. This is a stretch of river that tons of people tube down since it is flat and manageable.
We packed all the snacks (which, as always, I was so glad to have) and water in our Outdoor Products 50 L Rafter Weather Defense Duffle, along with a diaper change just in case. That was easy to attach to the SUP. More about our thoughts on the duffel at the bottom of this post.
And we floated. And practiced some little rapids. And dealt with a Baby/Toddler who wasn’t so sure. And talked about how we definitely need to get a boat. And were so happy to be in the water.
A great duffle for families or for longer river trips. It has a large capacity (50 L, as the name implies) to be able to actively haul a bunch of gear all in one spot. For this trip we had a change of clothes for everyone, 3 large water bottles and a boatload of snacks (as always) and it barely touched the capacity. I love that it rolls down so you can easily NOT use that full amount of space and not feel loaded down by a bag that is too large.
Plenty of space
100% water proof
pliable and light
handles for easy carrying
GoPro photos taken with some help from The Pole <– favorite accessory!
This spring Mtn Papa got me a GoPro, which has been so much fun as far as taking photos out adventuring. I must stay I still have serious reservations as far as buying into the “selfie stick” revolution, but it’s fun to get some different angles that I never would have been able to with a regular camera.
My photos have been boosted immensely by the help of The Pole. Based out of Canada, the company specialized in mounts for GoPros specifically. The “regular” model of The Pole is the one I have and it retails for $39.99 CAD. I love that it is super lightweight, retracts to only 9″ and extends to 28″ with a twist of the handle. It’s super durable, very affordable and light enough to keep attached to my GoPro all the time.
Outdoor Products & The Pole generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. A few of these links are affiliates. Thank you so much for clicking through them to make your purchases – it helps offset the cost of this blog in a (VERY VERY) small way! You can find my full disclosure here.
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