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.
Active Family Gear Guide
Universal Waterproof Case
We've lost our share of phones in the water, which is never a fun way to start a holiday. Trust us when we say, these waterproof cases are a must and one of the best gifts for outdoorsy people.
Kids Polarized Sunglasses
When spending a lot of time outside, you want your kids eyes to be protected too. These flexible rubber sunglasses are perfect for active kids.
Floating Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack
If your active family loves spending time around water, then add this to your list of gifts for outdoor lovers. A roll top dry sack is ideal for kayaking or paddle boarding with kids.
mifold Comfort Grab-and-go Car Booster Seat
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.
The Bubblebum inflatable booster is another good option for active families.
Deuter Kid Comfort Pro
Any new parent who wants to get out in nature with their baby or toddler should have a good hiking backpack carrier. It's the perfect gift for adventurous new parents.
We've owned two Deuter Kid Comfort backpack carriers and we think it's one of the best backpack carriers for toddlers and babies.
LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow 3-in-1 Ergonomic Toddler Carrier
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.
Whiff Shampoo Bar & Conditioner Bar
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.
CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. Kids Hydration Backpack
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!
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak,
For outdoorsy families that love to be on the water, this 2-person inflatable kayak is one of our favorite gift ideas for active families!
Snorkel Package Set for Kids
We often find, traveling with small kids, it's hard to get rental gear that is small enough or works well for kids. Snorkel gear is one piece of kids active gear that we would bring ourselves.
Don't forget to buy snorkel fins for kids.
This is a good snorkel set for adults and we like these travel size fins.
Peak Design Capture Camera Clip
I was so pleased when we switched from our Canon DSLR camera to the compact Sony A6000 mirrorless camera. It was so much easier to carry on our active adventures.
Then I got a camera clip for my backpack strap. It's the perfect setup!
Tow Rope for Bicycle
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.
Anyone looking for a family cycling adventure like this family cycle holiday in Ireland could make good use of this!
SHOTGUN Kids Bike Seat for Mountain Bikes
For avid mountain bikers who still want to get out with their kids! This front mounted seat is good for kids 2-5 years old.
Kids Bike Helmet
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!
Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game for Kids
While we try to keep what we pack for our active adventures to a minimum, this is the perfect small game to pack for road trips with kids.
While in the car with kids, we also use podcasts and audiobooks to keep our kids entertained.
Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision
Whether you are searching for the California Condor while in Zion National Park with kids or spotting wildlife in Banff National Park, don't forget to pack a good pair of binoculars.
These would make a great stocking stuffer for outdoorsy kids!
Thule Chariot Cross Sport Stroller and Bike Trailer
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.
Two accessories worth adding on are the jogging kit and a bunting bag for winter.
Thule RideAlong Lite Child Bike Seat
If you have one child riding a bike and one still in a bike trailer, this Thule child bike seat is ideal for getting out on family bike rides.
Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction
For winter hiking with kids, we never leave our microspikes behind. This is especially the case if we are carrying a child in a backpack carrier!
Ice Cleats for Kids
For kids that do all their own hiking, these are the best adventure gifts for kids.
Headlamp for Adults and Kids
Headlamps should be on everyone's list of outdoor family gifts! They'll get plenty of use, especially for camping with kids.
Ella's Wool TUBES Knit Leggings
Our kids each own a pair of Ella's Wool Tubes. These knit leggings in merino wool are our go to pants for all our outdoor adventures with our kids. They are flexible, cozy and warm!
KEEN Waterproof Hiking Shoe for Kids
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.
KEEN Sandals for Kids
Keen sandals are another must for us, whether we are visiting Thailand with kids or on a hiking adventure in Colombia with kids.
Don't forget the adults! Here are Keen sandals for women and for men.
Fleece hoodies are ideal for family adventure holidays. They work great for layering to keep warm on cooler days or on their own when starting a hike on a cool morning.
We always recommend getting one with a hood, as that can keep kids extra warm with it pulled up.
We love convertible pants for hiking holidays with kids, like when we hiked up to the Lost City in Colombia. They allow us to pack less and often dry super fast.
Kids Swim Vest
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).
Sunday Afternoons Kids' Hat
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!
DJI Pocket 2 Gimbal Stabilizer with 4K Camera
Looking for a way to capture all your adventures! The DJI Pocket is the perfect lightweight option!
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!
Deuter Casual Daypack
We rarely use suitcases anymore. Backpacks are the easiest way to get around with kids, especially when we are moving around by bus, train and many other modes of transportation!
The North Face Kids Backpack
Our kids always bring their own backpacks. We try to keep them small and ensure they pack them with only their essentials. We also like to get school backpacks that also work for traveling.
These North Face backpacks are ideal! Our kids currently each have one for school and we'll use them for traveling and hiking too.
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.
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera
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!
Whether it's for a hike or a plane ride, we always have water bottles with us. Our current favorite for kids is the Thermos Funtainer. We like the larger 16 ounce size and that it doesn't leak.
Sand Free Beach Blanket
Having your own beach blanket is a must (rather than carrying multiple towels). Get one that oversized to have room for everyone!
Packing microfiber towels is well worth it. We use them for showering when camping or when we have an swim in a river. They are ideal gifts for outdoorsy people.
24oz Ascent Water Bottle
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.
Garmin inReach Explorer+ Handheld Satellite Communicator
Have the ability to communicate even when you are out of cell service! The Garmin inReach should be in everyone's hiking backpack. This one comes with Topo Maps and GPS Navigation.
Bluefin Stand Up Paddle Board
We love paddle boarding with our kids and can't wait for them to be big enough for a junior stand up paddle board.
Amazon also carries a junior inflatable stand up paddle board for kids
Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket
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.
For women, these rain pants are a good option. We like this rain jacket for men with these rain pants.
For kids, these are good rain jacket options for girls and boys. Don't forget kids rain pants!
Osprey Hiking Backpack
We use our hiking backpacks for both our airplane carry-on and also for hiking. I currently use a Deuter Futura 28L and find it's a good size for both.
Snowshoeing is a fun way to get the whole family out in the winter! Our kids love to run, play and jump in the snow!
These are a good option for snowshoes for kids just starting out.
Waterproof Hiking Boot
We also make sure our hiking shoes are waterproof. No one wants to hike in wet feet and you just never know when you might get caught in the rain.
Waterproof hiking boots for men.
Ultra Light Down Jacket Winter
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.
Insulated Snow Pants
Insulated snow pants are must for keeping kids dry and warm in the winter. We like a bib style to keep snow out.
These are the actual snow pants we own with a reinforced knee and plenty of room to grow.
Our daughter has snow pants with a fleece vest instead of the bib style for some extra warmth.
Winter Softshell Pants
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.
If we are out sledding or playin in the snow with kids will wear insulated snow pants.
Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir for Hydration Backpacks
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.
Other items that we have at home and use frequently are our ice skates, bikes and skis.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check out our gifts for outdoorsy kids and gifts for traveling families.
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