Review: 5 family outdoor products to check out
Posted February 10
Updated February 11
THE GREAT OUTDOORS — The early weeks of 2017 have seen intense snowstorms, especially in the higher elevations. As a result, Utah’s snowpack report is looking pretty impressive. This is great news for snow sport enthusiasts, but may leave some of us pining for warmer weather.
This review looks at several family products that might be a good fit for your next snow-filled or warmer climate adventure.
PRICE: Varies by style
Every parent knows how tedious it can be to get small children into their snow clothes. Yet, it’s the price you have to pay. Comfort is the name of the game if you want a snow outing to last more than five minutes.
Trespass makes some great ski suits that help address this issue. They’re kid-friendly, but actually have sophisticated features like taped seams and articulated knee darts. The Chamonix, one of their top styles, has taped seams that make it windproof, waterproof to 3000mm and breathable to 3000mvp. Add in the elasticated cuffs, ankle gaiters and elasticated waist, and you’ve got a weather-proof suit that’ll keep your kids nice and toasty.
The Olsen is a new ski suit that Trespass will be releasing this fall. It has many of the same features as the Chamonix, while also adding a ruggedness that ensures it can really take a beating. The suit comes in unisex color styles and is durable enough that it can be passed down from one child to the next.
Burley’s commitment to quality is legendary and the Encore definitely lives up to the reputation. It’s one of the lightest and smoothest trailers around, with seating for one or two children. And it can easily be converted to a stroller, jogger or sled (with the optional conversion kit).
One of the most underrated features on Burley trailers like the Encore are the harnesses with Spring Integrated Technology. Basically, the straps are always held open and at the ready. So when you put your child into the trailer, you merely have to buckle them in, rather than needing to fish around for the straps underneath them. Burley’s harnesses are seriously the best on the market.
The Encore features an adjustable handlebar that accommodates parents of any height and doubles as an additional roll bar when folded forward in biking mode. And the seat collapses down for when you want to haul cargo. The Encore also offers UV-blocking windows, rear window ventilation, 20-inch wheels with push-button release, a water-resistant cover and a patented Flex Connector that allows your bike to lay flat even while the trailer is upright.
Keeping shoes on your little ones can be tricky. Toddlers simply love tossing their shoes, whether they’re slip-ons or Velcro. This may not be a big a problem when you’re hanging around town, but when you’re in the mountains, you need to know that your child’s feet are protected.
See Kai Run shoes are known for their impressive “stay-on-ability.” The Sawyer Boots have an oversized hook-and-loop strap that secures the shoes in place and is too big for a child to remove on their own. While they stay snug on little feet, they also have a larger than average toe box, which allows for comfortable movement. It’s especially nice for larger toddlers.
The Sawyer Boots have a scuff-resistant toe cap and a heavy-duty rubber outsole. They’ll keep your child’s feet warm even in colder weather and give them solid traction in the snow.
PRICE: Varies by retailer
Double strollers can be problematic because in order to accommodate two riders, serious concessions need to be made in the design. Because of this, you get clunky strollers that are so wide you can’t go down a store aisle without knocking items off the shelves or you get strollers that don’t fold down nearly as well as single-rider models. Or strollers that have strange wheel configurations that make them difficult to push.
The Revolution Pro Duallie is one of the few on the market to reverse this trend. It’s an all-terrain double stroller that can actually compete with single-rider versions in terms of function and convenience.
For starters, the Revolution Pro Duallie has a seriously impressive suspension system. Add in the air-filled tires on high-impact polymer wheels and your child will enjoy a comfortable ride regardless of the terrain. There are also hand-activated drum brakes for great downhill control. The included wrist strap provides added safety while running. The stroller even has a nine-position adjustable handlebar that can accommodate even the tallest of parents, making this one of the most versatile joggers on the market.
There are a lot of Wi-Fi monitors on the market, but this one from Baby Delight is unique because it comes with its own Android tablet. It frees you up from the usual range constraints of a monitor so you can essentially keep an eye on your child from anywhere in the world where there’s an internet connection.
Of course, you’re not limited to using the tablet included in this kit. If you prefer not to lug another device around with you, simply download the app to any Android or Apple device.
With its impressive clarity, the camera makes it easier to see the small details that often go unnoticed with some other monitors. You can easily take snapshots and videos, which can then be shared on social media through the app. Thanks to the sleek interface, all these functions are a breeze.
Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." You can contact him at www.grant-olsen.com.