Keeping the little ones dry, warm and safe from head to toe with the best kids’ outdoor gear is our number one job as outdoor parents. Our young field testers at Fish Alaska magazine spend countless hours on the boat, riding snow machines, watching tip-ups, hiking, fishing, even flying into Bristol Bay. They have the first hand experience to share the best kids’ outdoor gear. We sure do want our tiny besties with us doing what we love.
Onyx All Adventure Child Vest
Lightweight and constructed of durable foam, this children’s PFD features brightly-colored shoulders with reflective piping for increased visibility, seven segmented hinge points to offer more mobility and greater comfort and a zippered front with waist belts plus a covered leg strap to prevent the vest from riding up. A Type III U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type III Life Jacket/PFD, the All Adventure Child Vest fits children 30- to 50 pounds. For older anglers, there is an All Adventure Youth Vest available as well.
Activ8 Toddler Girls’ Snow Bib
These are top-quality winter snow bibs for kids, and they won’t break the bank, as they’re priced at less than $55. Even better, they are made by the Alaskans at Big Ray’s, inspired by one of Big Ray’s owners, Monty Rostad, in Fairbanks. Monty had a problem to solve when his own kids needed to play outside in -20° weather. The knees and seats are reinforced, plus reflective piping helps them be seen in the dark for safety. They are built like the best brands but at an affordable price. They are available at Big Ray’s in Anchorage, Kodiak, Fairbanks and online.
Oomingmak Child’s Igloo Hat
Super-soft and incredibly warm, our darling field tester loves this hat. It’s made from 80% qiviut and 20% silk and in a pattern designed by members of the cooperative.
The Muck Boot Company Kids Muckster II Ankle
Our tester likes how easy it is to put on these Muck Boots, and that they keep his feet completely dry and warm, because this young angler loves to walk in the water. He also said they are comfortable to wear and he gets good traction in a range of conditions, and he needs that to run away from his other brothers.
Oakiwear Trail Fleece Lined Jacket
Our 7-year-old tester likes to stay outside no matter the weather and puts his clothing through the ringer. After using and abusing this coat in 2017, he proclaimed that he stayed warm and dry and thinks this coat should get an award.
Helly Hansen Jr Block It Jacket
Wind- and waterproof, this jacket is a good top layer for your young anglers. It’s got a removable hood that easily snaps on and off and a pair of zippered hand-warmer pockets.
KidORCA Rain Boots
The bright yellow color of the boots and black orca logo are appealing to our little tester. They are fleece-lined so the little’s feet stay warm. The drawstring interior extends boot height almost to the knee.
Carhartt Toddler Girls’ Stripe Mitten
These mittens are warm and waterproof, and now our mini-tester can hold her ice-fishing rod and her snowmachine hand grips for hours outside in the Alaska cold.
Eddie Bauer Girls’ Downlight Hooded Jacket
This is a cozy, warm jacket for mild winter days in the 25- to 30° range. It’s a solid choice that’s sure to last through the year.
Darn Tough Via Ferrata Jr. Micro Crew Socks
Wool socks for Alaskan kids are necessary practically year-round,and these performance socks by Darn Tough are exactly perfect. They are tough and warm and will help extend your kids’ time in the outdoors.
Western Chief Kids’ Youth Chloe Dot Neoprene
Available in a host of patterns and colors, these kids’ winter boots are insulated with a memory-foam footbed and offer a treaded rubber outsole for traction, while being cold-rated to -30°. Easy-on and easy-off, these are great winter boots for active Alaskan children, some of the best we’ve tried.
All Good SPF 50+ Kid’s Sunscreen Butter Stick
Water-resistant, easy to apply and easy to transport, you’ll want one of these with you on all your summer outings.
Seirus Junior Fleece Knit Hat
With a fleece outer and fine-gauge, acrylic liner, this is a great winter hat for the little ones. It’s warm and comfortable enough that our youngest field-testers were happy to keep it on all day long, which means more hours outside for mom and dad to fish.
KEEN Oakridge Low WP
These functional Keen low-top shoes for kids are perfect for the trail or for running around the campsite. Sturdy and well-built, these hikers also feature waterproof properties as well as the fact that they’re easy to put on. Keen consistently makes some of the best kids’ outdoor gear for Alaska.
Klymit Static V Junior
This junior version of Klymit’s most popular sleeping pad has been trimmed to a three-quarters length that’s perfect for ounce-counting backcountry hunters and kids. The Static V Junior packs to the size of a soda can and weighs a scant 13 ounces. The body-mapped V-chamber design limits air movement to help maintain insulating performance and ergonomic comfort, while dynamic side rails keep you centered on the pad.
Molehill Mountain Long Underwear Top/Bottom
These unisex kid’s long underwear base layers are ideal for keeping the little ones warm and comfortable while on family excursions. Made from Cocona fabric, which uses natural technology to help provide moisture-control, odor-resistance and UV-protection, a set of these will help extend your days afield when fishing, hunting or camping with your kids.
Oakiwear Kids Neoprene Waders
Our youngest field-testers absolutely love their camo neoprene waders, which are easy to put on, even by themselves, and keep them dry and warm all day long. Featuring a full rubber boot, this is the ultimate suit for your little one and comes in sizes that fit toddlers through children who are already able to make casts on their own.
Smartwool Kids’ Hike Crew Socks
A smaller version of the classic hiking socks for adults, the Kids’ Hike Crew line offers an elastic arch brace and flat-knit toe seam, keeping the sock in place without bunching. These socks are available in both light- and medium versions, ensuring there’s something for your any-time-of-year adventure.
White Sierra Girls Bug Free Capri Legging
With built-in Insect Shield protection, these leggings are ideal for getting your young one out into the field in comfort and style. Moisture-wicking, quick-drying and travel-friendly, this is a great lightweight bottom to pickup for your kid before heading out on the water in 2018.