Review: Summer gear for families
Posted June 30
Updated July 1
THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Summer is here and it's the season for family trips. Whether you’re hiking your local canyon or road tripping across the country, it’s important to have the right gear for your kids.
Here are a handful of products to consider for your next big adventure.
Burley recently released this new trailer, which is a stripped-down version of its more expensive models. The Minnow is a single-seater and has all of Burley’s usual features, like a full aluminum roll cage, five-point harness, comfortable seat, great foldability, water-resistant cover and large cargo area.
The Minnow is perfect for year-round rides. It has 600D polyester water-resistant covers and seat fabric for when you hit unexpected storms, plus UV protected windows that are rated UPF 30 and block 97 percent of UV light. For added safety, there are reflective materials and reflectors on the trailer’s front, rear and wheels. Plus, the heat-treated 6061-T6 aluminum frame tubes and hinges and steel hitch are rugged enough to help keep your rider safe even in the event of an accident.
The Minnow can handle riders up to 75 pounds. The hammock-style seat delivers suspension that makes bumpy rides smoother. It has a recessed space in the seat area that makes it comfy for your child to wear a helmet. The 20-inch wheels can be removed with the push of a button. There’s also a huge cargo area in the back of the trailer.
This is one of Joovy’s most popular strollers, with lots of great features and a price that’s lower than comparable models. It’s truly lightweight, tipping the scales at about 25 pounds, yet can accommodate riders up to 75 pounds.
The Zoom 360Ultralight has a super smooth ride, with large pneumatic wheels that absorb bumps. The seat is high-set, so your child gets a great view. This may seem like a small thing, but it can actually help keep your kid content on longer runs. And the oversized canopy does a great job of keeping the sun out of their eyes.
This stroller also has lots of parent-friendly features, like a large storage basket, car seat adaptor ports and an included tire pump.
Based out of Cache Valley, Camp Chef produces stoves and other cooking items that are staples in many a campsite. The Pro 90X is the latest iteration of their long-running Pro 90. It has a trio of 30,000 BTU burners that provide the cooking power and surface area to handle meals for large groups.
The stove’s spacing allows for multiple cooking accessories to be used simultaneously, such as Dutch ovens and griddles. And with its convenient features, like matchless ignition and folding side shelves, the Pro 90X actually feels less like a camp stove and more like a backyard grill.
Of course, the Pro 90X is designed to perform in mountains just as well as on the patio. It’s built solid so it can handle the camp life and has mountain-friendly features like leg levelers and a three-sided windscreen.
PRICE: Varies by retailer
Thule products usually stand out because of their precision components. They’re lean, mean machines. This is unsurprising, considering the company was born in Sweden, which is known for its efficient design techniques. In fact, the company is still based in Malmö, Sweden.
The Urban Glide 2 certainly lives up to the family name, and one of its best design elements is the folding function. Unlike most strollers on the market, it’s truly a one-handed operation with the Urban Glide 2. And once folded, it can stand upright without support. So transporting and storing it is a breeze.
Other features include a swivel wheel up front that can be locked for jogging, an adjustable handlebar that can easily accommodate tall parents, and rear suspension for a smooth ride. The seat is quite padded and can even recline to a flat position, so your little one can comfortably nap while on the go.
These shoes may look a little dainty, but they have rugged grip that’ll give your kids confidence on nearly any terrain. The non-marking rubber outsole is perfect for everything from mountain trails to wet pool decks.
Like many of Keen’s shoes, they also have a reinforced toe to guard against toe stubbing and other collisions. And the Moxie Mary Jane is made with quick-drying materials so your kids won’t be squishing around all day if they get wet.
Other cool features include a cushioned footbed, Cleansport NXT odor control, breathable mesh lining and a removable EVA footbed. They have a simple design, but shoes like these really can help your kids have a better experience.
For family road trips where you’ll be staying in a room or condo and will have plenty of space, you can bring some of the more robust gear that you wouldn’t take camping. One of those items is a highchair, and if you’ve got space for it, the ZAAZ is one of the best around.
This chair is loaded with great features, which may seem like overkill for a highchair. But the whole idea behind it is that it's super easy to use and can grow with your kid, providing several years of use.
The ZAAZ is great for reducing messes because it has a no-crevice design that keeps crumbs and spills from getting caught, making it super easy to wipe it clean. It’s adjustable, so you can get it to perfect table height. You can use the harness as either a three- or five-point version. Plus, all the plastic components are removable and dishwasher safe.
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.