Experience of the great outdoors is one of the best gifts you could give your child but knowing what is the best outdoor gear for kids can be a daunting task.
Hiking outdoors is an incredible way to bond with them, to give them exercise, and to get them to experience and understand nature.
In the modern world, kids are bombarded with digital media, so it is very important to help them unplug and take them outdoors to show them that there is more to life than just computers, video games, and TV.
But what are the essential items your child will need in terms of outdoor gear? Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what the most important pieces of outdoor gear for kids might be.
If you find yourself trying to figure out what items could enhance your child’s outdoor experience, then you’ve come to the right place!
This article will take you through some of the most vital pieces of outdoor gear for kids that they will need to fully experience the outdoors. We’ll take you through some clothing and some accessories that will enhance your time outdoors.
We’ve also included an extensive buyers guide to highlight some of the most important things to consider when shopping and making your purchases, and a short FAQ section to answer some of your more burning questions.
Let’s strap up our hiking boots and explore the world of outdoor gear for kids!
Best Outdoor Gear For Kids - Clothing
We have decided to first take you through some of the most essential items of clothing that your child will need to enjoy their time outdoors.
Making sure your child has suitable outdoor clothing gear for whatever terrain you’ll be traversing is very important and can make them much more comfortable on whatever adventure you’re currently involved in.
OUR TOP PICK
Good hiking boots are the foundation for any successful outdoor adventure. Outdoors often means you’ll have to be traveling long distances on foot, and the difference between a good and bad pair of shoes will be noticeable for your child.
You want to make sure you’re buying a pair of shoes that will support their feet and protect them over rough or uneven terrain.
This pair of waterproof boots is going to be a great purchase. They come in a variety of different sizes and colors for kids, including brown, green, pink, purple, and blue.
What’s particularly impressive about them is that they have been designed to be waterproof despite their low-top nature.
We’ve added these to the list because they will give your child a lot of the same protection as more bulky hiking boots, but without any of the fuss. They are lightweight, flexible, made of leather and mesh for easy breathability.
We recommend these boots for long hikes outdoors over dry terrain. Having the correct boots is a staple of outdoor gear for kids.
- Lightweight - made of leather and mesh with simple laces
- Sizes - a massive variety of sizes.
- Coors - many different color choices
- Waterproof - very good quality waterproof material
- Snow/ice - not suitable for snow or ice, so if you’re planning on staging an outdoor adventure somewhere cold, these are not the boots for your child.
Like shoes, a good hoodie is going to be a great investment.
Hoodies are a great middle-ground, allowing your child something warm to wear during the colder months, but also something to put on in the summer once the sun has gone down over the horizon and the heat of the day has loosened a little.
That’s why we’ve included this lightweight hoodie from Patagonia.
Patagonia is a great company when it comes to outdoor gear for kids. Founded in Ventura, California in 1973, they have grown from a small independent outdoor clothing company to a worldwide brand that can be relied upon for great quality pieces.
When you buy a piece of clothing from Patagonia, you know you’re getting good quality.
These hoodies are a great mix between cozy and lightweight, made with organic cotton and polyester blend. It’s also fair trade certified, from a company that is influential in helping various environmental projects across the world.
If you’re looking for a hoodie your child will live in, this is going to be the one for you.
- Stylish - good quality and stylish.
- Warm But Lightweight - gives you the best of both worlds.
- Fairtrade - an ethically conscious company.
- Extreme Weather - doesn’t cater to more extreme weather conditions
Best Outdoor Gear For Kids - Accessories
When we say accessories, we mean additional pieces of equipment that will enrich their outdoor experiences. In the list below we’ve included some of the best outdoor gear for kids that they will need to get the most out of their adventures.
Say you want to go on a camping trip - what is one of the most important things you can buy your child? It’s a sleeping bag! You want to show your child that camping outdoors can be fun and exciting, but also comfortable.
That’s why we’ve chosen this sleeping bag from Luffield, to give you an option for a piece of outdoor gear that is very practical and is bound to be used multiple times.
It’s been created for all seasons, with a waterproof and a 100% polyester filling. It’s surface has been made to be comfortable for your child’s neck, as well as warm.
It also comes in a variety of different colors that you can allow your child to choose from. It’s also slightly larger than a regular sleeping bag for extra comfort when sleeping.
- Easy ToFold Up - which allows you to get on the move much quicker once the morning comes.
- Warm And Waterproof - for peace of mind even when it’s cold or wet.
- Color Choices - gives you or your child the option!
- Insulation - doesn't have the complex insulation you might find on other sleeping bags.
Just like shoes, another essential for hiking trips is a good backpack. Having your child pack their own backpack can help prepare them for future hiking trips when they’re older.
You’ll want to get something big enough so that they can bring everything they would need - but you don’t want something so large that they won’t be able to move freely.
That’s where this hiking backpack comes in - we’ve selected something that is both good in terms of storage, but not so bulky that it will be uncomfortable for your child. We were impressed, first and foremost, with the large array of different options of color there are.
It comes with padded areas along the back which allow for air circulation, as well as a large carrying capacity for drinks, books, and anything else you might need
As hiking bags go, this is up there with one of the best outdoor gear for kids options you can choose.
We would also like to highlight the sternum strap that is included - this can be great for long hikes as it will offer your child more support when carrying the weight of their backpack.
It also comes with an interior nametag so that your child can let everyone know it’s their backpack!
- Sternum Strap - for extra support on long hikes.
- Color Options - so many color options!
- For School - also suitable for school if you’re looking for a backup backpack.
- Size - it’s quite a small backpack, so if you have an older child this might not be the one for you.
Now for something really fun! Something your child can take with them on long outdoor adventures to look far into the distance with! Binoculars are a great way to get your child interested in bird watching, or just appreciating the landscape further.
But with binoculars it can be hard to choose the best ones - for example, how can you know if you’re getting something suitable? You don’t want to get your child some high-tech binoculars for adults that won’t fit their eyes.
These Kids Binoculars are perfect outdoor gear for a young explorer, They’re lightweight and comfortable, with padded rubber eye holes that can be looked down without rubbing eyes painfully.
They are also made of fairly bulky, shockproof material which means they will last for a long time, even if your child drops them during your outdoor adventures. We were also quite impressed with the HD lenses that these binoculars have, with very clear images.
- Shock Resistant - for if your child drops them!
- High Definition Lenses - for clear images.
- Comfortability - comfortable support for eyes.
- Range - not as high-tech as other binoculars available.
Now that we’ve given you a list of some of the best pieces of outdoor gear for kids we could find, let’s move on to our buyers' guide. Below are some of the most important categories you should consider when buying outdoor gear for kids.
Hopefully, these will allow you to make more informed decisions, no matter what your purchase ends up being!
First, it’s important to consider what the adventure or outdoor activity is that you’ll be embarking on. If you’re going on a camping trip, for example, you might want to prioritize camping gear for hiking.
In this case, a good sleeping bag can make the difference between a successful, comfortable trip and one that is difficult for the child.
Similarly, if you’re going on a long hike, we recommend considering buying a pair of hiking shoes that are strong and will be supportive of the child’s feet.
When buying outdoor gear for kids, you’ll want to first think about the kind of terrain you’ll be traversing. This is particularly important for shoes.
For example, if you live somewhere snowy then waterproof boots are going to be a must, but if you live somewhere dry then you might need to look for a pair of shoes that have much more breathing room.
Considering terrain can be vital for the fun and safety of your outdoor adventure.
You’ll want to also make sure that any items you’re buying are suitable for the weather. This is vitally important when buying clothing. Make sure your child has the right amount of insulation, or lightweight clothes if it’s sunny.
Items such as wooly hats (for the cold) or visor caps (for sunny days) can make or break a trip!
As with all things, you often pay for quality. Whatever item you’re looking at, whether it’s clothing or an accessory, you’ll want to make sure of its quality.
You can do this by reading the product description - or checking it out in person if you’re at a store - and making sure it is made of the appropriate materials for its desired job.
You can also check out previously written product reviews, to see what others have to say about how the outdoor gear lasts over long periods. There’s nothing worse than buying a new pair of shoes, only to find that they wear out after a few weeks of outdoor activities.
We hope that this article has given you some ideas for the best outdoor gear for kids that you can choose. Going outdoors with your child is a rewarding experience that will forge memories that will be remembered for the rest of their life.
Hiking and outdoor activities are great ways to build self-confidence as well as friendships. When buying outdoor gear to support these memories, we suggest making sure you’re getting good quality products that will last for a long time.
We wish you the best on future outdoor adventures, and hope that the outdoor gear you buy for them is the perfect fit! Enjoy your hikes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Kids Need A Sleeping Bag?
When camping we very much recommend introducing your child to a sleeping bag. They are very important for keeping them warm at night in a tent, but also a fun new way to sleep that will be a different experience for them.
What Age Child Can Use Binoculars?
We generally recommend binoculars to kids over the age of five, though you can find binoculars made for those under this age.
When Should I Take My Child Hiking?
Providing they are given water and proper breaks, you can probably go hiking with your 4-year-old. You just want to make sure they are safe and not walking on their own for too long periods of time.