The Vital Piece of Gear All Outdoor Lovers Need

What if I told you there was one, vital piece of gear that could be used year-round, was affordably priced at around $50, had flexible sizing so it could be easily shared among your family members, and would improve the quality of multiple outdoor experiences?  There is.  And they are commonly known as hiking gaiters. In the past, I'd noticed people wearing hiking gaiters on cross country ski trails.  Not being aware of the advantages of wearing them, I was curious to try out a pair of Hillsound Equipment Armadillo LT Gaiters. After a few uses, I've decided they are game changers!  I've been converted to the Leg Gaiter Camp, and I feel pretty strongly that they are a vital piece of gear all outdoor lovers need in their lives. Hiking Gaiters ~ Many Outdoor Play Uses   Call them what you will:   hiking gaiters, trail gaiters, SNAKE gaiters (yikes), walking gaiters, or waterproof gaiters.  They are easy to put on, and add awesome protection without adding any weight, … [Read more...]

Ella’s Wool Keeps Outdoor Kids Warmer

When a mom from Norway gives you a tip on how they keep their kids warm in winter, so they can still have fun playing outside - you listen.  Because you know she knows what she's talking about.  That's why I was so intrigued with the story behind Ella's Wool.  Founder Vibeke K Johansen wanted to share this solution with all parents, so their children can play outside year-round and stay warm, too. That solution is wool.  The most natural, warm, soft and reliable thing you can dress your kid in when it’s cold.  A single, thin layer of super soft merino wool under your kids’ clothes can make all the difference.   Ella's Wool offers a quality line of onsies, undershirts, long johns and more for young children. Ella's Wool Tubes An exciting new addition to the Ella's Wool lineup is a type of soft pants called Tubes.  Tubes are thick, unisex wool rib-knit pants that come in a nice size-adaptable design.  Becca told me that every child in Norway has at least two pairs of Tubes.  … [Read more...]

The Merrell Jacket She’ll Love

For years, Merrell has been my go-to maker of awesome hiking boots.  They know outdoorsmen and their adventure needs well, and definitely build a quality, comfortable boot.  Now they've also branched out to offer a clothing line.  I was recently able to try out the gorgeous Silversun Featherless Puffer Jacket, and have been enjoying its use in higher altitudes where we've found early snow. If you're looking for a great gift for that outdoor lover in your life (maybe even for yourself?)... this is a Merrell Jacket she'll love. Merrell Silversun Featherless Puffer Jacket The Silversun Featherless Puffer jacket is made from 3M™ Thinsulate™ Featherless Insulation - 600g fill power.  This technology mimics or surpasses the performance of natural down in fill power, loft and performance when wet, and certainly seems to deliver as a down alternative.  It kept me cozy warm when I recently tried it out on a sledding adventure.  The temperature that day was in the 30's.  The jacket was … [Read more...]

Outdoor Families #ThankfulForFamilies ~ Outdoor Gear Giveaway

I'm affiliated with an inspiring group of outdoor family bloggers, who provide encouragement to help get your kids outside more often to enjoy nature.   We recently decided to pull our collective contacts together, and round up some fantastic outdoor gear prizes to host a huge giveaway.  Because we are all family bloggers, #ThankfulForFamilies was selected as our instagram contest theme.  There are nearly 40 prizes up for grabs! You select which prize you'd love to win, and then post a photo on instagram for an entry (see details below).   I may be biased, but I think the Colorado Mountain Mom sponsors put up some of the best goodies in the entire giveaway!  Take a look and then just find that prize's image in my instagram feed if you'd like to win. Haiku Bags ~ To Go Convertible Bag Known for their eco-friendly use of recycled materials, gorgeous colors and details, and well thought out bag designs, Haiku Bags has a new hit this season:  the To Go Convertible.  I personally use … [Read more...]

Nutcase Helmets ~ “I Love My Brain”

In the past I had read good things about Nutcase Helmets, including their slick and easy "magnet closing" clasp.  Peruse the website and you'll quickly detect a creative and funky vibe, via their atypical and fun helmet designs.  And last but not least, because we concur with their motto.... "I love my brain"... we were quick to jump on board with a gear review! Nutcase Helmets for Kids Nutcase has a great line for the wee ones called Little Nutty.  I absolute adore some of their styles in this line.  But be sure to check their sizing guidelines. My just-turned-5 year old son was outside the top measurement for Little Nutty, and got bumped up to the regular, full sized biking Nutcase Helmets.    (Which was too bad, cause just look at that adorable dinosaur one!  Oh well... he has a big head for his BIG BRAIN.  We've come to terms with it.) In our experience as parents of kids who love all-things-wheeled... there are two crucial elements to getting them to wear a protective … [Read more...]

One Week of Adventure in prAna #7DayStretch + Discount Code

A few years ago, I purchased my very first pair of what I call "outdoorsy" pants, made from durable fabric with some stretch to it.  They were made by prAna.  The comfort factor blew my mind, and they warmly welcomed me to my new "Life Beyond Jeans".  I was hooked.   Now prAna pants are better than ever. I was recently approached to try out a #7DayStretch test in some prAna pants, and quickly accepted the challenge.  Excited to see they come in three length options, I selected a tall pair of Women's Halle Pants. My mission:  To sport my new prAna Halle pants for 7 days straight, testing out the fit, fabric, and wear. Unfortunately for me, I can't really go play outside for a week straight. But fortunately for me, prAna Halle pants look great and work for just about anything you plan to do during your day. Are you ready?  Here we gooooo.....!  (Plus there's a prAna discount code for Colorado Mountain Mom readers at the end.) One Week of Adventure in prAna Halle Pants … [Read more...]

2015 Outdoor Gear Essentials Roundup

We're just about to wrap up July, and in my humble opinion the local Colorado kids here are heading back to school waaaay too early.   This summer my family was more determined than ever to get out and camp, bike, and hike as much as possible.  Personally, I've got A LOT of warm weather play and quality mountain time left in me for this season! One of the perks of being an outdoor blogger is getting to try all sorts of gadgets, technical clothing, and gear.  Sometimes it doesn't live up to the hype, or the price tag.  But other times I find quality items that we end up using time and again, which to me truly seem worth the investment. So without further ado... I present to you the Best-of-the-Best that I've found for outdoor adventuring this year:  My 2015 Outdoor Gear Essentials Roundup. Pelican 20QT Elite Cooler Pelican coolers have a reputation for being virtually indestructible.  Although we didn't personally try loosely strapping ours to the back of an ATV, then … [Read more...]

Keep Bugs Away With Insect Shield Clothing

Did you know there's an awesome fabric technology available that repels insects?  This season I've noticed many of the outdoor gear brands have started incorporating it in with their product line. Insect Shield clothing allows you to keep bugs away, and avoid having to use sprays and lotions which can be stinky, too strong for sensitive skin, and at times ineffectual. Insect Shield is actually a proprietary permethrin formula that is tightly bound to fabric fibers.  It's completely odorless, and offers long-lasting, effective and convenient protection.  Insect Shield apparel has been proven and registered to repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums). A concern for many, especially during the summer months when we often spend more time outdoors, is ticks.  In one of my more popular blog posts Tick Safety for Families This Outdoor Season, I mentioned Insect Shield technology as a good option to try. Now my family and I have had a chance to test out … [Read more...]

SPF Protection for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

As we head into some glorious, longer, sunny days... the month of May is dedicated to Skin Cancer Awareness. It's the perfect time of year to give thought to this topic that is ever increasing in importance.  And it's the time to make sure your family is ready to have safe fun this summer - with SPF protection from sun hats, sunscreen, and SPF clothing. Did you know that more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined?  It's been described as a "lifestyle disease", affecting people of all ages.   One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. The good news is, because skin cancer is primarily a lifestyle disease, it is also highly preventable.   SPF Clothing All clothing is not created equal, when it comes to sun protection.  It's the same concept as sun screen, which have varying SPF levels of protection. Well, the same holds true of that tee shirt you think is keeping harmful rays off of you while … [Read more...]

Outdoor Gift Idea ~ Olympia EX550 Waterproof Headlamp

Looking for an outdoor gift idea, for that outdoor enthusiast in your life?  With a durable and waterproof housing, Cree technology LED light with a max output of 550 lumens, and a comfortable and adjustable head strap - look no further than the powerful Olympia EX550 Waterproof Headlamp. Headlamps are extremely useful, and are what most outdoorsy folk would consider necessary gear.  They can make the difference in keeping you safer during that nighttime adventure.  They can equip you for that middle-of-the-night trek to the bathroom when camping, making it much less treacherous.  And at times they are just plain lifesavers, basically any time you find yourself needing to do something in the dark, with both hands... like riding your bike, night skiing, trail running, exploring a cave, changing a tire, or pitching a tent. And you don't have to worry if your gift recipient already has one, for a couple of reasons: Because you can always, always use a 2nd headlamp!  For those … [Read more...]