by Melissa Norris and Nelli Williams

Best kids boots, coats, rainwear, waders and more as rated by the creators of Fish Alaska magazine. Two Alaska Moms offer their sage advice as industry experts who spend a lot of time in the outdoors with their kids. Publisher Melissa Norris goes through her top choices for gear to make outdoor life easier on your Alaska fishing and hunting family. The best kids boots, hats, gloves and outerwear can be hard to find but here are some tips from experts with 20 years of gear testing in harsh climate of The Greatland.  Helping identify some key tips and tricks when bringing your minis in the outdoors Trout Unlimited Alaska Director Nelli Williams brings her ample knowledge to the table and offers positive solutions for families.

Nobody is a tougher critic than these Mama Bears, especially since nobody wants to cut a day on the water short! Here is what you need to look for to use in variant Alaska weather from rain to snow. Keep their feet dry with the best kids boots and their core warm with the right coat.

Plus follow these tips to make the day safe, simple and fun. The best kids boots and apparel are subjective but with an eye for a few details and couple of thrifty Mama tips, you can get your littles into the best kid’s gear your family can afford and get outside!

Here are some of the best kids boots, waders, coat, rainwear, hats, and more to keep your loving littles warm and dry from head to toe.

  1. Best kids hat — Sunday Afternoons makes a great kids called the Kid’s Shasta Trapper Hat.
  2. Neck Gaiter — We are BUFF fans in this household—lightweight or fleece, we have a bunch of BUFF neck gaiters for Maizie and they get plenty of use.
  3. Base Layers — Hot Chilly’s makes great apparel for active outdoor people. Their Youth Pepper Skins base layers for kids are reasonably priced and top quality.
  4. Mid layer — Vests like this one by Columbia vest and midweight fleece like this from Patagonia.
  5. WadersCaddis for youth breathables and Oakiwear for neoprene waders.
  6. Coat — Big Agnes hands down.
  7. Rainwear — Drift Creek Outdoors, Grundéns Children’s Zenith 293 Hooded Sport Fishing Parka and Bibs.
  8. Gloves — Waterproof, neoprene
  9. Wool Socks — Try Darn Tough, Wigwam, and Smartwool
  10. BootsXTRATUF, Muck Boots, Bogs, Baffin, KEEN

Here are some of the best kids gear brands to check out:

Oakiwear, Drift Creek Outdoors, Big Agnes, The North Face, Carhartt, XTRATUF, Muck Boots, KEEN, Sunday Afternoons, Mayu Mayu, Columbia Sportswear, Patagonia, Caddis, Grundéns, Helly Hansen and more.

Tips for buying Kid’s Gear:

  • Buy the best quality you can afford.
  • Buy big and layer up.
  • Buy bright colors for safety and to spot your kid in a crowd.

Following the tips above will keep your kiddos happy in the outdoors and allow you to get the most bang for your buck when you pass quality and well cared items down to kids in the same household and friends.

What are some of your tips and tricks? Let’s see your LITTLES all geared up.


Melissa Norris is the Publisher of Fish Alaska and Hunt Alaska and is mother to Maizie Anne. Nelli Williams is the director for TU in Alaska. She and her husband have two kids; Mason and Morgan.