Best Hiking Gear for Kids

    As much as I know it can be hard to swallow because of how fast they grow, kids do benefit from proper hiking gear just like adults.  Here’s a list of some of our favorites that we have used and loved this summer.  Many of these links are affiliates.  Thank you so much for clicking through them to purchase.  They simply help offset the cost (time and energy) of running this blog in a very (VERY) small way.  We appreciate it!

    As always, we want to know YOUR top gear picks too.  Feel free to comment on this post with them!

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + Giveaway


    Columbia Silver Ridge Shirts

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + GiveawaySometimes I just get TIRED of having to douse my kids in sunscreen (and so do they.)  This summer we decided to go ahead and buy some long-sleeve hiking shirts to keep both the sun and the bugs at bay.  My boys wear them hiking, biking, playing in the river and everything in between.  I will be buying them a second (or third) one for next summer since we use them so often.  The sleeves can be fastened in the rolled-up position, so they are easy to buy big and grow into them.

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + Giveaway




    KEEN Pagosa Low Shoes $70

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + GiveawayNew for this fall, the Pagosa Lows are perfect for some hardcore kid adventures.  They have been mountain biking, hiking, bouldering, hiking some more and around the block again and again and again.  They are a little stiffer because they are hiking shoes, but therefore add the perfect amount of support for playing in the mountains.  Their aggressive traction means no slipping on the trail, rocks or the playground.  They are also easy to get on thanks to their toggle-pull lacing system (three cheers for kids getting their OWN shoes on!)  These breathe a bit better than the Altitude boots above because of a breathable membrane (while still keeping feet dry.)  They also come in a “high” version and are available in three different colors.
    Also available at Amazon

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + Giveaway


    Columbia Kids’ Bora Bora Jr. hat $30

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + GiveawayI am a stickler about hats living at a high altitude.  The air is thinner and the sun is intense.  We’ve been strict about them from the beginning (just like helmets) so the kids don’t put up TOO much of a fight usually.  However, this year J was embarrassed by the hat he had and wanted something different.  We agreed on the Bora Bora (me to buy it, him to wear it) and we’ve both been impressed.  It has a cinch on it that keeps it on even in the wind (and means no annoying chin strap) and keeps him covered and cool (another pet peeve for the kids – hot heads!)   If you have a kid that doesn’t like that chin strap, this is one to look into.  It fits kids ~ age 3-7?? (that’s an educated guess.)

    **Note, the Fossil color doesn’t actually have an orange band like the photo shows.**
    Available at Amazon


    Sunday Afternoons Fun Bucket Hat $25

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + GiveawayWe’ve had this hat for 3 years now and it was passed down to P after J grew out of it this year (he has a big head.)   We highly recommend any and all Sunday Afternoon hats, and this one is no exception.  The chin strap connects with an easy-for-little-fingers clip (instead of velcro), it is lightweight, protects from the sun and dries quickly.  It comes in sizes for a better fit and a bunch of colors.  Great, great hat!
    Available at Amazon

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + Giveaway



    REI Sahara Convertible Pants (for the whole family at REI):

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + GiveawayI don’t know why it is SO hard to find hiking pants for little kids (these are available in sizes 12 month – 4 T), but not too many companies make them.  Hopefully in the near future more will.  But these zip-offs from REI are used on a daily basis around here (either in the pants or shorts form).  They are light and breathable, have a cinch-up waist for growing kids (or parents who buy big so they can grow into them) and wash fairly well.  The zip-off legs are color coded which makes putting them on and off so much easier.  The Sahara also comes in a toddler girl pant, but it is a roll-up instead of a convertible.  Personally, I’ll be just be buying the “boy” pant for my daughter so she can convert hers too.  Another hiking staple in our home and yet another item that comes in kid AND adult sizes.


    Deuter Kids’ Packs:

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + GiveawayWe love Deuter packs for kids because they fit little bodies, have a sternum strap to keep them on, are full of pockets for little treasures and are comfortable.  Ours will be passed down again and again.  They are built incredibly well and withstand the abuse of some serious trail (and school) time.  The Kikki ($45) is our current favorite.  It fits even a 2 year old, but the 5 year old can use it too (though he has lately been opting for a larger one they don’t make anymore.)  The smaller side pockets are perfect for small rocks or sunscreen and it just FITS well.
    Available at Amazon

    Favorite Hiking Gear for Kids + Giveaway


    Per our request, Hi-Tec, KEEN and Deuter generously provided some of this gear in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here.

    © 2014, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

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      1. This could not have come at a better time – I have been looking everywhere for new hiking boots for Addie and can’t seem to find a brand small enough for her feet. Plus I LOVE the Deuter pack – going to go check out all these suggestions now!

        • Jen – I forgot to mention in the post (so I will update shortly) but finding hiking boots for tiny feet is near impossible. Timberland is the only ones I know of that make like size 4-7 for kids about age 2 (or are smaller like my kids!) Frustrating!

          • I found a great pair at Marshall’s once that Addie used when she was 3, but she’s outgrown them. She’s tiny though (still wearing toddler size 8-9) and it’s been so hard to find her new boots. We need some good ones because she’s hiking mountains now. We saved her Keens and hiking boots for the twins at least. Man, someone needs to start making these for our little hikers!

      2. cait holmes says:

        I could absolutely use all of this I have 2 Lil ones getting older and seriously lacking good outdoor gear. I shared this giveaway on facebook

      3. Great recommendations. Matthew has had the Hi-Tec Altitude boots for three years now. We love them! He loves them! He’s just about out of his current pair so this would be great. He’s also had the Deuter pack since he was two, he’s just growing out of it, or rather his needs are growing out of it. He even took his stuff backcountry in it (water, clothes, toys). It carries enough without getting to much for a little one. Why is it such a difficult concept for companies to create pint size hiking clothes – I’m going to have to look at those convertible pants… we’re in need again and they’re difficult to find.

      4. Thanks for your recommendations (almost two years later!)…unfortunately, it seems like it’s getting *harder* to find toddler hiking pants! REI no longer carries the Sahara convertible pants in toddler sizes, and the “similar items” just sends you to boys versions. So frustrating! Which I communicated in an email to them. 🙂

      5. hey there – we are outdoors all the time and I am having a hard time finding durable, quality gear for my 3 y.o. but small (size 2T) daughter. Specifically, quick-dry pants. The REI ones you mention above don’t exist. She attends an outdoor forest preschool and is in the forest, crawling around in all weather in VT. Love it! Yet, having a tough time finding gear. I try to get all clothes and toys used, but not finding good stuff used OR new that fits the bill in the pants department. Any tips?

        A tip on affordable woolens; Three Bags Full is a great brand. Also, upcycling wool sweaters into kids’ pants. Check out etsy for that type of cool thing!

        • Yes! We discovered the Patagonia Summit Baby Baggies and LOVE them. Worth every penny – my girls are literally wearing them every other day this summer. They are a bit hard to find this time of the year, but the Patagonia site still has some:
          I just recommend checking out the sizing chart – Patagonia tends to run a bit big. And take into account if she is wearing a diaper or not 😉

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