Certain sacrifices have to be made when kids enter the picture. It’s a reality that can hit travel life especially hard, as trips we used to plan at the drop of the hat turn into nightmares of diaper bags and foldable strollers. That doesn’t mean you should ditch the family road trip—in fact, there have never been more options to keep our little ones happy on the road or in the big outdoors. For parents keen on starting them young, here are a few of our favorite tools.
Rumpl Jr. Original Puffy Blanket ($65)
Keep Junior toasty through crisp fall nights with this Rumpl Jr. Original Puffy Blanket. Made with the same insulation as Rumpl’s premium sleeping bags, the mini puffy blanket is light, warm, and easily packable. It’s also machine-washable but will clean just as well with a good shake-and-dust.
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib ($209)
Nap time is relaxation time, so make sure your little one is well tucked in with the Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib. Small enough to fit in an overhead bin and taking just 15 seconds to assemble, this crib features a side zip that allows you to comfortably place your kiddo inside without dropping him or her from above. Breathable mesh walls allow the crib to double as a playpen at the beach or in high places.
Mountain Buggy Pod Portable High Chair ($60)
When it’s time to eat, don’t limit your trip to restaurant high chairs. From campground picnic tables to Airbnb dinner tables, the Mountain Buggy Pod Portable High Chair is one of the most portable and durable eating stations on the market. Featuring strong aluminum clamps to keep your youngster secure, the Pod is lightweight and folds into a tight-enough package to store in the bottom of a stroller or inside a packed trunk.
Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier ($320)
Built for hiking but equally useful at the grocery store or a summer concert series, the Sapling Elite is designed for Mom and Dad, with adjustable hip and back panels and a mirror for letting you check on your monkey at all times. Maybe the best part of this child carrier is that it’s a legitimate pack, so you can store water, diapers, snacks, and whatever other goodies the trail requires.
Willie Gear Daddy Diaper Bag ($125)
Keep the mess in check with a diaper bag built specifically for the outdoor parent. In addition to the organized interior storage system, Willie Gear’s bag is equipped with a built-in changing mat, giving Mom or Dad an easy, clean work surface, even when you’re out in the wilderness.