The Best Holiday Gifts for Adventure Kids
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If you’re like me, you probably still have some holes (ahem, a lot of holes?) to fill on your holiday shopping list. Have no fear: There’s still time to score the season’s most coveted loot for little rippers, naughty or nice.
Icebreaker Bodyfit Base Layers
This retro set of woolies will take you back to the bad old days when your mom would bundle you in itchy long underwear and a snowsuit and shoo you out to build igloos in the backyard. With one HUGE difference: Icebreaker’s machine-washable, 100% pure merino base layers are buttery soft, never scratchy—right down to the no-chafe waistband—and light enough to be worn through spring. Bonus: Trace the journey sustainable wool from New Zealand sheep farm to long underwear shirt using the “Baacode” sewn onto the label. Kids’ Bodyfit200 leggings, $45; matching Oasis Crewe, $45. www.icebreaker.com.
Mountain Boy Bambino Classico Sled
A few years ago, on a ski trip to St. Anton, Austria, we sprung for a sweet, old-fashioned kids’ sled with a wooden runners and a woven seat—standard transportation for snow-bound Alpine babies. We’ve been a sucker for them ever since, and were happy to discover that you don’t have to fly to Europe to get the goods. Mountain Boy’s handmade Classico pull-sled, designed in Crested Butte, Colorado, has birch planks and a willow backrest with steel runners for easy towing on hard packed snow; with a carrying limit of 100 pounds, even bigger kids can score a ride. Reversible sled pad and hand engraving are must-have accessories. $139.99. http://mountainboysleds.com.
Nutcase Little Nutty Snow & Bike Helmet
Simplify your kid’s lid collection with the Little Nutty Snow & Bike Helmet, tricked out with fleece lining and detachable ear pads for snow riding, nine air vents and 360-degree reflectivity for warm-weather biking, and nutty designs for year-round cred. Rear spin dial ensures a custom fit every time, and the clever magnetic buckle means no more pinched chins. $79.99. www.nutcasehelmets.com.
Eddie Bauer Paradise Down Jacket
When it’s so cold the down sweater du jour won’t do, outfit her in this full-fledged, 550-fill European goose down parka with all the trimmings: detachable faux-fur trim on the hood (straight outta the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics!), snug fleece snow cuffs, adjustable waist, and pockets galore. Perfect for staying warm between ski races.(The boy's Superior Down Parka sports a retro EB shoulder patch and the same faux fur.) $129, www.eddiebauer.com.
Sevylor Samoa Stand Up Paddle Board
Yeah, it's a splurge, but think of it this way: The inflatable, 10’ 10”- paddle board is stable enough for your seven-year-old and bomber enough for you—two gifts for the price of one! The large, grippy foot pad will help keep them on their feet in Class I riffles, yet it’s soft enough for kneeling when rapids get bigger. Lake and sea-worthy, too. $799, www.sevylor.com.
BOB Revolution SE Jogging Stroller
You’ll dig how shockingly lightweight, peppy, and maneuverable it is, and baby will appreciate the generous sun shade, ample pockets for storing cheese sticks and milk bottles, and all that fresh air. It folds down fast and compact for easy travel and is quite possibly the only stroller you will ever need. Period. Seriously. (Until, that is, you need the Duallie.) $449, www.bobgear.com.
Kids’ Blundstone 530 Boots
Sure, you could get them shearling Uggs or knee-high Bogs, but for grownup style and playground durability, baby’s first leather Blunnies are a no-brainer. Elastic cuffs make them easy-on, easy-off, and the burly, lugged soles combat even the wobbliest of walkers. Paired with thick Smartwool socks, they’ll beat back winter’s chill but they can also do triple duty come spring and fall. J.Crew sells them in black, dark raisin, and oiled brown. $90, www.jcrew.com.
Patagonia MLC Wheelie
The sooner they can haul their own gear, the better. Make it easy on them with the MLC Wheelie, a roller duffle sized to fit in the overhead bin (that’s Maximum Legal Carry-on), with plenty of pockets, zip-away straps that convert it into a backpack, and Patagonia’s lifetime guarantee that puts the typical plastic SpongeBob wheelie to shame. Theirs for the long haul. $229, www.patagonia.com.
Dining Table Tennis
Jonesing to play Ping Pong but don’t have a table? This compact travel set—complete with net and posts, two rackets, three balls, and a pair of terry towel wrist bands (nice!)—turns any flat, table-like surface into an instant table tennis court! Ideal for restless jetsetters with long layovers. $28. www.flight011.com.
J.Crew’s Donegal wool “glittens” (above, $28) are mittens and gloves all in one—tricky! Smartwool’s cozy merino neck gaiter ($18) will make powder days last a little longer. There’s no right-side-up or upside down when it comes to wearing Julbo’s Looping toddler sunglasses ($32), custom made for little faces with comfy, curved temples and a detachable elastic strap.