A Pre-school River Trip, and Two New Kid PFDs from MTI

A river-inspired writing assignment from Casey.

Fresh back the night before from a trip to Alaska and Washington, the day before school started might not have been the best time to turn around again and head out on a daylong river trip on the Colorado. But our friends from Boulder were going (including Brooke’s BFF, Lexi), so we unpacked from one trip, packed for another and met them Sunday morning at the Pumphouse put-in.

Besides, with riverside hotsprings, easy rapids to swim, a 25-foot cliff to jump off of, and a stand-up paddleboard to play King of the Hill on, what better place to test two new kids lifejackets from MTI? So they arrived at school the next morning a little wet, sleep-deprived and frazzled? Isn’t that what being an Outdoor Offspring is all about?

Besides, look at the artwork it inspired from Casey…

Two Kids PFDs from MTI

Youth Reflex
When it arrived at our office, the Youth Reflex ($49.99) set off an instant reflex for our kids to grab it and fight over it. A stylish step up from a basic kids vest, it’s based on the popular adult version of the same name, only truncated for those who wear smaller trunks. It’s for kids 5-10, weighing 50- 90 lbs., and fits them snug as a bug. While they didn’t swim in it in the Northwest’s frigid waters, it stayed on tight during two half-day paddles, and didn’t rise to the cheek-chafing level or restrict them from helping propel the craft (whatever help that was). Made from 420-denier nylon and soft foam, it comes with four side-compression straps and two adjustable shoulder straps for matching a child’s growth. When our kids tested it swimming in the Colorado, the straps held the jacket firmly in place, even after a knee-shaking plunge off a 25-foot cliff. It’s available in red or mango (the color our kids fought over). Info: www.mtiadventurewear.com

Youth Discovery
The Youth Reflex ($69.99) ups the ante with the performance features of a premium adult jacket, fit for kids. Soft foam and a kid-tough Cordura shell provide comfort and style, while four side-compression straps and two adjustable shoulder straps and a waist keep it fitting snug. It also comes with two large mesh pockets so they can store their own snacks and sunscreen (hallelujah!), or things they pick up along the way like shells, snakes, rocks and sticks. Available only mango, it also comes with reflective tape panels on the front so you’ll always know where they are (except, of course, at dinner time). Info: www.mtiadventurewear.com.

Posted in: Gear, Paddling, Parent Tales

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