For four days, the SNEWSÂ® team of editors ducked in and out of booths while desperately clutching our souvenir coffee mugs filled with life-giving elixir during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market to ensure we could bring you the most comprehensive take on trends, directions, colors, styles and innovations. Our reports have been running each week since Jan. 31. No, each report is not complete, and we apologize in advance if a company feels its product was not mentioned when it should have been. We're only covering product that stood out to us, so if you're not mentioned, we were either too hyped up on caffeine to see you, we didn't think your product stood out sufficiently, or we were just plain clueless -- you pick one. With that in mind, here's a quick peek at a few products that target the children, and no, we don't mean simply the child in all of us:
Old Friend Footwear -- Old Friend Footwear will make friends with little girls with its new Cotton Candy Scuff in pink (what else!) that incorporates a cotton candy smell. For the boys, Camo Moccasin is a sure-fire hit 'cause it's just like dad's.
Mountain Sprouts -- Besides having a catchy name, the Stand Up Down Jacket is a kid (and Mom) pleaser. It's insulated with 550 premium goose down, reversible in case the kid gets tired of the color, has color-coded zip-off sleeves, a stuff sack and, best of all, cowkid styling. The size range is from X-small (2Toddler) all the way up to X-large (9/10 years).
Mountain Sprouts has added new colors in all existing styles, tweaked and simplified the sizing, so it's now easier than ever to figure out what size to buy -- just go by the child's age. Duh!
Molehill -- Pink rules, and Molehill is right there with shelled snow gear in pink with black trim for girls and red/orange with black and blue color-blocked with black jackets, vests and snowsuits.
Molehill brought back its Apex Award-winning print Cosmic Creatures, and made it up in the Fleece Bunting Bear Suits, hooded jackets, vests, neck gaiters, scarves and hat styles. In fact, all of Molehill's prints, including Elephant Walk and Funky Monkey, are winners and sure to please kids and parents alike.
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Alpine Sweaters, missing from the line the last four years, are back and better than ever in Polartec Thermal Pro with updated raglan sleeves and mock turtleneck styling.
Chuck Roast -- Printed fleeces are big with kids, and Chuck Roast has a couple of winners. Chief among them is the flower-printed Tec Leggings for girls with matching Jr. Whistler Top. Dinosaur prints, paisleys and stripes are used in everything from jackets to headbands, with the 4-point Earflap hat being a particular favorite. Other fleece jackets combine prints with solid colors. Great stripes and whimsical patterns in vests and jackets make this line a Grandma magnet for sure.
7 A.M. Enfant -- This elegant line of baby blankets and sleeping bags is truly unique. Born of the designer's need to insulate her child from the rigors of New York City winters where she lives, the four styles offer a range of applications
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The LeSac40 Igloo is the top of the line ultra suede faux shearling bag that is washable and resistant to wind and cold. The hood snaps to cover the head or lies flat. The LeSac15 Igloo comes in a water repellent/quilted, poly-insulated anti-pilling microfleece. The Blanket212 looks like a sleeping bag with its quilted microfleece and opens up into a blanket. The Igloo styles can be used when baby is in a car seat or stroller. Large openings allow for easy insertion of any standard 5-point harness stroller or car seat straps. Sizes range from 0-6 months up to 4Toddler.
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The company has great ideas, but the best aspects of the line are the colors. Pink and orange, lime and orange, turquoise, purple, and chocolate are used alone or in interesting combinations. If you're looking for a truly unique product, 7 A.M. Enfant has it.
Julbo -- Julbo sunglasses for kids rock! The new "Looping" line of glasses made for babies up to two years old feature no-hinge, molded and flexible earpieces that are virtually indestructible. The nose pads are the same on both top and bottom so a child can put the glasses on upside down and there's no difference in the wearing. Mom will love the fact they come with holes that accommodate cords. The colors are vibrant, and the lenses are made of category 4 (stops 100 percent of sun rays) smoked polycarbonate.
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For kids ages three to eight years, there's the Keedz model with wrap-around styling, re-shapeable sides and a flex system built into the ear pieces to prevent breakage. Other styles both kids and parents will appreciate are the Peekaboo and the Dino for kids six to 12 with their cool styling and colors. Â Â Â
Fox River -- Kids are king this year at Fox River. Before, honestly, the socks were pretty much downsized versions of adult toe covers. Not anymore. The company has done anatomical analysis and made a kids' AXT (cross training) sock line that is, great gadzooks, made for kids! They are of course smaller, but like a woman's sock have a narrower heel and a less roomy toe box to eliminate bag and possible bunch or chafe. While the socks are functional, they look great with patterns of cute little flowers. Retail: $7.50.