Outfitting the Kids for Summer + iPlay giveaway

    While it always takes longer that I expect it to, we have finally REALLY made it to summer around here. Days (entire days….) are spent outdoors and naps come easily (for all of us!)

    Staying safe while playing outside is top priority for us, and we work hard to make sure we are protected from the sun.  Our higher elevation means skin burns come easier and quicker.  While there are plenty of incredible sun-protective clothing lines out there for kids, here are some of our must-have favorites:

    Available in sizes 3M – 5T in blue, green and pink
    Both of our boys have these shirts and we wear them almost daily.  They are a quick alternative to sunscreen and comfortable for them!
    What we love:
    – Certainly light and cool
    – They cover the back of their neck well
    Not so crazy about:
    – While they are not necessarily designed for water-use, the boys wear them for time in the kiddie pool. They DO dry fairly quickly, but not as quickly as I had hoped.  They also tend to stretch out when wet.  
    – Like most Patagonia infant/baby/toddler clothing, they run big!  Plan on sizing down or buy their normal size (what we did) and know they will have room to grow.

    Available in sizes Child (ages 2-5) and Youth (ages 5-9)
    J wears his daily in the summer.  Like most kids and hats, he resisted it at first, but now wears it happily.  He wore it all last summer and we did some minor adjustments (which the hat allows) so he can wear it this summer too.


    What we love:
    – They breathe well, wash up well and protect from sun AND rain.
    – Adequate face and neck coverage (though they do also sell hats  – The “Play Hat” – with even MORE neck coverage)
    – Cord inside hat allows for a wide range of size adjustments.
    – Both blue and pink colors (not all shown above.)
    – Instead of velcro, there is a clasp for the strap under the chin.  He needs help to get it off (which means he won’t take it off on his own!)
    Not so crazy about:
    – They don’t pack down easily like a floppy beach hat does (the brim is fairly rigid.)  However, this also means that coverage isn’t being compromised by a flopping hat!
    iPlay Mod Swim Diaper Wear ($22 boys and $34 girls) *swim diaper included!*
    Calling all parents with kids in diapers – THESE.ARE.AWESOME.
    Despite the fact that we are a cloth-diapering family, we were still buying swim diapers for swim lessons/outdoor play and felt horrible about the waste (and cost).  I discovered iPlay swim wear at Backcountry Baby (definitely check them out if you travel through Jackson, WY) and haven’t bought disposable swim diapers since….
    What we love:
    – Not having to buy or use disposable swim diapers!
    – “Snug-fitting around the legs and waist and feature a waterproof layer to prevent leakage, an extra absorbent layer to absorb wetness, and a wickaway liner to draw moisture away from baby’s skin, for ultimate protection and comfort.”
    – Quality fabrics that don’t fade in the sun
    – UPF 50+
    Not so crazy about:
    – Fit must be snug so “stuff” doesn’t escape.  This means you can’t improvise quite as much with sizing.  However, they really are snug around the legs, so this isn’t a huge problem.  P easily wore a size 12 months at 15 lbs and 9 months (he’s a tiny one!) 

    These vests have been around for a while and you can certainly find a range of colors on sale.  They are an excellent staple for both cooler summer days and an extra layer for winter.  Our kids wear them year-round.  The turtle vest that J is wearing, I have only been able to find at the Patagonia shop.  But, Backcountry.com and Tiny Trekker both have different colors!

    What we love:
    – A great quick layer to help warm the core without needed a whole jacket.
    – Relaxed fit allows for layers under the vest, but minimal enough fabric to easily fit under a jacket.
    – UPF 50+ 
    Not so crazy about:
    – The colors this year, trivial as that is!  P’s yellow is BRIGHT! 🙂

    J has been wearing Keen shoes for summer adventures for the past 3 years.  This is his third pair (lucky kid, right?!?) and by far the best for his age.  The back strap makes it easy for a toddler to get their own shoes on (and easier for the parents too.)  As always, they provide excellent coverage for his toes and traction for water play and hikes.  We say skip the sandals and splurge on protection for kids’ feet.

    What we love:
    – The back strap means easy-on and quick adjustment
    – Great toe coverage
    – Traction is pretty good for water and ground.
    Not so crazy about:
    – Like any shoe of this style, rocks have a tendency to sneak between the cracks.  Not fun on any playground with lots of little rocks!  The shoes are taken off (by me, by him) just to get the rocks out A LOT.

    I want to know!  What are your go-to pieces for summer?  And yes, I know this review leaves out the important protection of sunscreen.  I am no longer happy with our normal Coppertone and am working on some research/testing in that area….  Stay tuned! 🙂
    iPlay Giveaway!
    iPlay so very generously offered the chance for one of you to win some swim wear for your diaper-wearing babe (or toddler… ;))  Winner can choose girls’ or boys’.  Color will be based on availability.  
    Congrats to lucky #23, Laura! Email me to claim your prize!
    To enter (3 entries possible):
    Required: Leave a comment on this post with your favorite summer clothing for kids.
    Extra Entry #1: Like Tales of a Mountain Mama on Facebook and leave an extra comment saying you do.
    Extra Entry #1: Like iPlay on Facebook and leave an extra comment saying you do.

    This giveaway will be open until Midnight MST on June 12th.  A random winner will be chosen after that date and posted here and on Facebook.  MAKE SURE you leave your email address on your comment so I can find you!  Winners will have 3 days to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen.  Good luck!
    The Patagonia products, Keen shoes and iPlay board shorts were generously provided for this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.  Additionally, some of these links are affiliates which help us (in a VERY small way) keep this site up and running and us out adventuring.  See my full disclosure here.


      1. love love iplay swimsuits…they are a necessity in our house! I also think a good hat is important for kids…love our iplay ones!ykatrina at hotmail dot com

      2. I love iplay too. For sunscreen I like the Honest Company’s sunscreen. You can even put it on infants! My email is aimeeclimbs at gmail.com.

      3. I love iplay’s bucket sun hats…we use those all of the time when we go outside!danielleaknapp at gmail dot com

      4. I like iplay on Facebook (Danielle Knapp)danielleaknapp at gmail dot com

      5. I bought one of the Iplay Babywear Brim hats for C last summer and I LOVED it, unfortunately I left it at Thermopolis so I had to buy another one for this summer. They are also adjustable to fit a variety of sizes and UPF 50+ and come in lots of fun colors. I bought the white one so she could wear it in the pool. I have been using the Skin So Soft sunscreen/insect repellent (we have lots of skeeters already)and loving it. It doesn’t stink and is very safe for little ones, I highly recommend it.

      6. I like Iplay

      7. I like Tales of a Mountain Mama (of course!)

      8. Hats are our summer essential! Amy loves her summer hats, and Max…well, he will LEARN to love them. ;)ebb709 at gmail dot com

      9. I already like Tales of a Mountain Mama, does that count? lol.

      10. I like iPlay on Facebook! ebb709 at gmail dot com

      11. We live in the desert and need clothes with added SPF for our baby boy-at all times!

      12. I liked Iplay on FB.

      13. Pio hasn’t really had his first summer in Seattle yet. So..that means we don’t have much to say about favorites. At this point, a hat is a must…and Pio is awfully cute in it! 🙂

      14. I like Tales of a Mountain Mama on fb. 🙂

      15. I liked iPlay too. 🙂

      16. My baby girl would love iPlay swim apparel! We could spend everyday at the pool 🙂

      17. Like you on FB!

      18. Like iPlay of FB!

      19. ack! my first comment disappeared, will try again! you nailed our go to list too! we’re out of diapers, but i did love the iplay swimsuits when we used them! we are also HUGE fans of the Patagonia sun shirts– the kid sizes even have a hood, which we love. we are also huge fans of the sunday afternoons play hat with the longer neck protection. can’t say enough about those great hats. and our main summer shoes are keen newport H20s… best summer shoes for kids, hands down. it’s like you read my mind when you made this post 😉

      20. For our little one…our iPlay swim diaper trunks and for our one big one…the REI paddler hat

      21. I like you on Facebook.

      22. I like iPlay on Facebook.

      23. SANDALS!We are huge sandal people/sandal family and find Keens to be the most durable! My oldest is now in an adult shoe and the challenge is that they don’t come small enough for the men so the stores (REI) refer us to the woman’s for his size which leaves the boys with a complex!

      24. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tales of a Mountain Mama on Facebook! Visit you often!

      25. I recently Liked iPlay on Facebook with the comfort of your recommendation!

      26. i love tales of a mountain mama on facebook!

      27. i love iplay on facebook!

      28. i love our iplay swim diaper. i also love our rosk spf 30+ sun cover on our stroller and use it on our ergo

      29. Mary Jo says:

        I love baby sunglasses- iPlay flexi specs are great!

      30. Liked Mountain Momma on FB kascade@aol.com

      31. i like iplay on facebook katrina troyykatrina at hotmail dot com


      1. […] out our similar post from last summer.  We still love the Sunday Afternoon hats, iPlay swim suits (cloth diaper included in them) and […]

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