Over the years we’ve spent a lot of time being active with our kids, either at home or when we travel. We’ve also accumulated a lot of active gear for the kids and ourselves. Here’s what tops our list for gift ideas for active families.
Even for families looking to spend more time outside and wanting to find the best active gear for families, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in this list.
Some of the items in our active family gear guide are also ideal for traveling with kids.
It's not always easy to get to trailheads when we travel, especially if we haven't rented a car. By bringing our own portable booster seat, like the mifold, we can rest easy having our kids riding safely in an uber or taxi. They are small enough that we can stash them away and carry them for the whole hike.
Once your toddler is more interested in doing his own hiking, you'll be doing a lot less carrying. Little legs can get tired though, so we also brought along a toddler carrier. These are fantastic for giving little legs a break when hiking with toddlers.
We aren't just active at home, we love to find adventurous places to be an active family when we travel too. We've had several instances where we need to pair down what we travel with to just one bag. Having a shampoo bar is the perfect way to minimize waste and reduce what you are carrying.
As every parent knows, kids love to be independent. Our kids love having their own backpacks when they hike and getting them to carry water in their own hydration backpack is a great way to make sure they are staying hydrated!
We've all been guilty of choosing adventures that are just a bit too much for our kids. This tow rope is what every active parent needs. You can go further and for longer while giving your child a little help by pulling your child's bike. You could also use it for cross country skiing.
Never forget helmets for the kids! For travel with kids, unless we are booking a cycle tour through a company in advance, we would pack our kids helmets if we plan to cycle on holidays. This gives us the peace of mind that we will have suitable helmets for them.
Hands down the best mittens we have had for our kids. You can trust that advice from Canadians who often have their kids outside for long periods of time! These would make the perfect stocking stuffers or adventure gifts for kids!
While we haven't traveled with our Thule Chariot, it was one of the BEST pieces of adventure baby gear we owned. We used it so frequently as a bike trailer in the summer and with the ski attachment in the winter.
Waterproof hiking shoes are an absolute must! For the amount of hiking we do, we keep the kids feet warm and dry by using waterproof hiking shoes. While they aren't the perfect substitute for proper rain boots, it's much easier to travel with just one pair of boots.
If we know we will be doing any kayaking or stand up paddle boarding on our trip, we'll pack our own kids swim vests. This is especially true if we aren't confident that appropriately sized swim vests will be available for kids, like when we visited these family friendly beaches in Thailand (some of them by boat).
This might be the one piece of active travel gear for kids that shows up the most in our posts! We LOVE the Sunday Afternoons kids hats. They provide coverage of their face and neck, which is important when hiking all day in the sun. The best part is the kids love them and will happily wear them.
Take a look around our blog and you'll see our kids wear them all the time!
For those needing a waterproof camera, you can't go wrong with the GoPro. It's our first choice when we are heading to a beach or out on the water. It's also a great options for more active adventures like cycling.
This is one of the best gifts for an outdoorsy family to capture every moment!
For families that like to get off the beaten path, you still need to make sure you can get your electronics charged! We travel with a couple of portable chargers. This way we never need to worry about phone batteries dying. They are ideal for camping with kids.
When it was time for a new camera, we needed a camera that was small enough to fit our active lifestyle. It was a struggle trying to hike with a large DSLR around my neck. The Sony Alpha a6000 mirrorless was idea! It easily fits in my backpack and it's light enough to take everywhere!
Like the kids, we always carry water bottles even if we have our hydration bladders. The benefit of water bottles is that they aren't sweaty and keep water cool in a hot climate. They are also good for cold climates where the tube of a water bladder can freeze.
For extra long hiking days, especially in hot weather, we will pack our hydration bladders to make sure we have enough water for everyone.
We've been to several places where we couldn't have gotten by without our rain gear. We look for rain jackets with a hood and always pack rain pants as well. They also work well for layering with a fleece hoodie on extra chilly days.
One of the best gifts for outdoor lovers or gifts for active families is an light down jacket for everyone. These can easily be stuffed in a backpack in case the weather changes quickly (which often happens in the mountains). They are also perfect for traveling with.
For winter activities, you'll often find us in softshell pants with a thermal underlayer. They are perfect for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Here's an option for softshell pants for men.
We travel with water bottles and water bladders. Since we are often out hiking, we want to make sure we have enough water for everyone to stay hydrated. These larger water reservoirs make it easy to carry enough water.