Shred Dog Gear Review

Shred Dog Gear: Ski Gear for Kids!

Shred Dog Gear Review

Parents, if you struggle to find high -performing, great gear for your kids that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, you’re not alone. It’s tough navigating through the outdoor industry to find a balance between what you can afford and what is actually going to perform. Shred Dog is here to change all that.

Over the past two winters we have been using their gear and are excited for this winter.

The smallest Shred Dog size available (4t)

The Shred Dog Gear System

The video below shows how the Shred Dog Gear system works.

Getting psyched for ski season

Unique features of Shred Dog gear in general:

  • Adjust-a-Fit system allows the pieces to add (AND take away) 1.5″ of growth. This is unique compared to other systems that only allow you to release a seam (and then not be able to put it back for the next child).
  • The pants have a removable bib module + straps so you can use them as bibs OR pants.
  • Underarm and thigh vents
  • Integrated layers that can be separated (removable zip-in insulator jacket that is also body-mapped so the insulation is just where it needs to be…and not where it doesn’t)
  • Ruberized Wrist gasket
  • Fully seam-taped
  • Anti-abrasian reinforcement at knees, ankles AND bottom hems
  • We LOVE their super bright colors!
Helmet-compatible hood (last year’s colors of shell)

Shred Dog Foundation Baselayer Top and Bottoms

For this season, Shred Dog released their Foundation baselayer top and bottoms. They are a fantastic wool-alternative for kids aged 4-16 with a super soft next-to-skin comfort that even my pickiest kids are ok with.

Both the top and bottom are moisture wicking and have 4-way stretch which means they can be worn for multiple years. The wide waistband keeps them up and comfortable.

My girls wear them with their dresses too.

Note on sizing: The small of the bottoms is still a bit big for a size 4, though it does fit my 4t daughter. I would love to see them come out with an XS small size next year that would better work for a size 3-4.

Shred Dog Essential Fleece Jacket

Made to be worn as another layer over the Foundation base layer top and under the insulator below, the Essential Fleece Jacket is great on its own too. It’s one of the styles that works from fall through spring and as a layer too.

Personally, while I (and my kids) LOVE this jacket, I think it’s the one piece that we don’t NEED in the Shred Dog System. A combination of the Foundation base layer top + Essential Insulator + Elevated Shell does the trick for us. That said, the fleeces are worn all the time on their own.

The interior of the jacket is grid fleece which helps with warmth and wicking. The outer part of the jacket is a smooth jersey which makes it easier for layering too.

We love the zippered pockets for stashing snacks and extra gloves.

Available in size 4-16.

Shred Dog Elevated Hardshell and Elevated Insulator

Elevated Hardshell

Of all the Shred Dog pieces, the Elevated Hardshell (which happens to be quite soft) with or without the zip-in Element Insulator is my favorite.

The Elevated Hardshell has a 20k/20k waterproof/breathability rating AND is fully seam-taped which is virtually unheard of in the kid gear world, especially at their price point.

Shred Dog Review hardshell

While it’s called a “hardshell”, this jacket is in fact very soft and doesn’t “swish” when you move around, which is huge for many kids.

It is perfect for layering and is used year-round in our home. My kids love that they have an option for staying dry in spring or wet skiing conditions without the bulk of a heavy ski jacket. The shell also has “pit zips”, ideal for those warmer days.

Shred Dog Review

Elevated Hardshell features:

  • 20k/20k waterproof/breathability rating
  • Pit zips
  • Fully seam-taped
  • Rubberized wrist gaskets
  • Helmet-compatible, adjustable hood
  • Large interior pockets for snack/water bottles
  • Adjust-a-fit sleeves to lengthen and shorten as your child grows/it gets passed down

Element Insulator

The Element Insulator zips into the shell for another layer of warmth. It is super lightweight and has a low profile, which my kids really love. They often wear it on it’s own.

Element Insulator features:

  • Body mapped insulation with more (100 grams) in the core than the sleeves (60 grams)
  • Synthetic insulation so no risk or being ruined if wet
  • Low profile
  • Face fabric treated with DWR (durable water repellency)
  • Can be used on it’s own or zipped into the hardshell
  • Adjust-a-fit sleeves to lengthen and shorten as your child grows/it gets passed down
Shred Dog Review pants
Insulator zipped into harshell

Shred Dog Elite Kids’ Bib/Pant

The updates made this year to the Elite Kids’ Bib/Pant are the ones we are most excited about. To be honest, my kids thought the previous version bibs were too tight around their legs. Shred Dog opened them up a bit to make layering easier, and also added some great stretch on the back of the bibs to make moving easier. That said, these pants/bibs really do layer best over base layers (opposed to jeans, etc.)

Shred Dog Review bibs

We love that kids can remove the bibs if they don’t like them or can add them back on if the weather is colder. There is an adjustor on the waist too, which helps a ton.

Shred Dog Review pants

They have the same 20k/20k waterproof/breathability rating as the hardshell and also are insulated and warm AND reinforced. My kids are SO hard on gear – the Shred Dog pants have held up to the abuse very well.

Finally, the legs have thigh zips, which is ideal for backcountry skiing or warm ski/winter play days.

Shred Dog Review pants

What we love abut Shred Dog Gear

  • Really and truly fully waterproof AND those wrist gaskets really work wonders for cuffs not staying wet and bugging kids
  • Soft and pliable so kids can easily move around and play hard
  • Hood fits over helmet (see above photo) and is removable
  • Super durable. The reinforced areas are holding up perfectly to serious kid abuse (including pant cuffs dragging on the ground)
  • Layering system means you don’t need anything more
  • The hardshell can be used in the off season in rain too.
  • The fact that it will last 2-3 years of growing AND then can be passed down due to the Adjust-a-Fit and quality

About Shred Dog Gear, an interview with the brand

What need are you trying to fulfill with Shred Dog gear?

From a gear perspective, we are filling what we view as a hole in today’s market:   high-performance outdoor apparel for kids that is also affordable.

Most other brands leave off important features because they would cost too much and, even so, the best gear is still very expensive considering kids outgrow everything in a year or so.

Our goal is to create top-of-the-line performance but at a price point that works for more families. But the gear itself is also a means to a broader purpose.

We want to provide gear that helps kids and their families get outside and stay outside regardless of the weather because of what that allows them to do.

On one hand, we are in the apparel business but we also view our business as helping families make lifelong memories of camping trips, ski trips, hikes, and all the other outdoor adventures we cherished as kids and are now passing on to our own kids.

Who is your target audience?

We believe SHRED DOG will most resonate with active, outdoor families that are discerning about the gear they buy and are willing to pay for high performance.

SHRED DOG gear will be higher performance than most other options on the market AND more affordable but also not inexpensive.

We’ll likely over time have a range of “good, better, and best” style options with varying price points between them but we are starting at the top with premium performance.

Finally, while the buyer is obviously the parent, our target audience also certainly includes the kids.

We hope the family sees SHRED DOG as a great performance value but we design with kids in mind, we include kids in our design process, and of course we hope the kids will want to wear SHRED DOG because they think the gear is cool!

What pieces do you hope to carry in the future?

We will of course continue to expand our winter line with more colors, potentially toddler to 3T sizes, a mid-layer fleece to fit into our layering system, baselayer bottoms, and additional styles, but we are also already working on evolving into a year-round outdoor brand.

We will continue to focus on the outdoors (think hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, etc), but with many pieces that are styled and designed to also be worn to school or the playground). For example, one new product already in development is a fully waterproof rain shell.

In general, we will move into categories where high-performance products carry a high price tag, giving us the opportunity to offer families the combination of elite yet more affordable performance.

How do you keep your price point so reasonable?

The #1 driver is simply the fact that we do not sell through retailers such as chain stores, local ski shops, online sites like backcountry.com, or even Amazon because those retailers would all take their cut and increase the price you pay.

Basically, the way the math works is, if a brand spends $50 to make a jacket, they sell it to the retailer for $100, and then the retailer sells it to us parents for the retail price of $200 (and if you buy it from the brand’s website, the price is still $200 because they are not allowed to undercut their retailers).

So by eliminating the retailer “middleman” and their markup, we are able to pass much of those savings on to parents.

This also means we can invest more in higher quality materials, more features and still sell for a lower price than an inferior competitive product (for example, if we spent $70 on a better jacket and sell it for $150, you are getting a better performing jacket AND paying less versus that $200 jacket sold through retailers).

What makes your gear different than other outdoor gear for kids?

In terms of performance, our pricing model enables us to increase quality and add features where most brands can not. For example, higher waterproofness and breathability ratings in our fabrics. Full seam-taping instead of just sealing the “critical” ones.

Extra features you don’t often see on kids’ gear such as underarm/thigh zippered vents, and more. We also design specifically with kids in mind and are trying to innovate in a few areas.

In particular, the ability to rip a seam on a sleeve or pant leg to get another season out of a garment was a pretty good idea for growing kids… but what do you do when it’s time to hand that garment down? You can’t put the seam back!

We created a system we call Adjust-a-Fit™ that lets you shorten or lengthen the sleeves and pant legs for growth, hand-me-downs, or just a custom fit.

Your product tags say “Co-Designed With You”… what does that mean?

At SHRED DOG, we don’t want to guess at what features, colors, or other design elements families will want and, as importantly, we want our customers to feel like they are part of building this brand.

So rather than guess or employ small focus groups like other brands, we open up our design process to include any parents (and their kids) that want to participate.

We use an anonymous online tool where we present design options for people to vote and comment on. It starts at a high level (e.g. should we make backpacks or rain shells next?), then includes feature/price options (e.g. would you want a removable hood even if it costs a little more?), and finally, includes color and pattern selection (this is the part the kids like joining the parents to do!).

So, our winter line arriving this fall as well as all future products will be “co-designed” with families that want to have a voice and a part in the gear we design and make for their family.  

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

The one other thing to mention right now is that we want to do more than just help individual families get their kids outdoors. This is our first year but we decided that from day one, we would invest in this broader mission.

We have created a program we call More Kids Outside™ that will grow over time in a number of ways but, to start, we will be donating 1% of all sales to non-profit organizations that share our passion for getting more kids outside.

So every SHRED DOG purchase made this year and forever will help get more kids off the couch and into the outdoors – hopefully making memories that will last a lifetime!

Related Links

Shred Dog Gear Review

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3 thoughts on “Shred Dog Gear: Ski Gear for Kids!”

  1. Gear looks nice but I don’t quite get the affordable part. The prices seem similar to other high end kids gear. If you have to buy the outer layer and insulating layer and pants I feel like the cost is more then just buying a snowsuit from MEC or something for younger kids (though I get that it’s is more versatile). Just doesnt seem that affordable. Very curious to see how this performs when tested.

  2. Carrie, thanks for your comment – it highlighted the need for us to clarify a bit further. Affordable or ‘more affordable’ are of course relative terms. Relative to a family’s budget and relative to what other products we’re comparing against. We may not compare well vs a one-piece snowsuit and that’s okay (we start at size 4 and don’t make one-pieces). It’s the total combination of a) performance level (MEC and others do also have great options), but also b) added features (like underarm vents) and c) the versatility (layering system) that we are focused on. As an example, even without our pre-order discount, our hardshell plus insulator (for sizes 8-14) would cost $184 and is the equivalent of other brands that sell for $250-$300 at that performance level. And, with SHRED DOG, the insulator stands alone as a “puffy” jacket a family doesn’t have to buy in addition to that $250 ski jacket. As we said in the Q&A, we’ll likely have a good/better/best range at 3 different price points eventually… but we elected to start with the top level of performance first. Hope that helps clarify!

  3. Pingback: Best Winter Gear for Kids - Tales of a Mountain Mama

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