Child Carrier Safety Tips

So, now that you’ve chosen a backpack-style child carrier like the Pathfinder child carrier, how do you use it? Lifting a backpack-style child carrier with a child in it is a multi-step process: Lift up the carrier by the top handles, slide the shoulder straps over your shoulders, and buckle the waist belt. Tighten the shoulder straps and waist belt as needed for a secure, yet comfortable fit.

When removing the child carrier from your back, start by loosening the shoulder straps. Then unbuckle the waist belt, reach your arm behind your head to grab the top handles and rotate the child carrier around to the front. Hold the top handles as you slide your shoulders out of the shoulder straps and set the carrier on the ground.

Some child carriers include special features such as detachable day packs, gear storage areas, and removable rain or sun hoods and bug netting.

To check out and try on a variety of child carriers, visit your local Sun & Ski Sports store.

How to Care for Your Cycling Clothes

To get the most out of your cycling clothes, treat them right and wash them correctly. Keep these tips in mind to prolong the life of your favorite cycling shorts, jerseys, and sports jackets:

  • Follow the instructions. Look for the instructions for washing different types of cycling clothes and follow them. Some types of cycling clothes can be washed in warm water, but others will be damaged unless you use cold water. The instructions might be on a tag, or they might be imprinted onto the cycling clothes themselves (inside, below the neck is a popular spot). For a sports jacket, washing instructions might be hidden in the pocket.
  • Treat oil early. Oil stains on cycling clothes are almost inevitable, but they don’t have to ruin your cycling clothes. As soon as possible after the stain occurs, rub a cleaning solution into the stain and let it set for a few minutes. Wash in warm water if possible, or use cold water if that’s what the label recommends. Hang the item to dry.
  • Just say no to fabric softener. The ingredients in fabric softeners can break down the breathability, moisture-wicking properties, and water-repellant properties of cycling clothes.
  • Use the right wash. Use gentle detergent, such as Woolite, or a special wash designed for athletic clothes.

Put a Beast in Your Ski Boot Bag

Some things become classics for a reason, and the Nordica Beast ski boot is one of them. The Nordica Men’s Beast 10 ski boot offers all the features that skiers want, and it works well for a variety of skiing styles and conditions. If you have room for just one pair of boots in your ski boot bag for a ski weekend that could include both moguls and deep powder slopes, the Nordica Beast has the versatility to handle both.

The Nordica Beast’s key features include:

  • Comfort-fit, custom-moldable liners to keep your feet cushioned and secure during a long day of snow sports.
  • Trademark Energy Driver closure straps with Velcro to allow plenty of active rebound when the leg flexes. It also helps minimize impact on the shinbone.
  • Buckles open and closed easily, and the shell’s overlapping flaps pivot in two directions to make the boots even easier to put on and to ensure a 45-degree angle of the foot.

Visit a Sun & Ski Sports shop near you to try on a Nordica Beast and other top-rated ski boots.

How to Keep Your Hands Warm During Winter Sports

You might spend plenty of time checking out the latest styles of skiing clothes, snow jackets, and skiing pants, but be sure you don’t forget about your hands. Frosty fingers can detract from a great day of skiing or snowboarding, so keep these tips in mind for warm and happy hands:

  • Consider mittens. Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves because your fingers are kept together. If you prefer more finger flexibility, look for gloves with a fold-over mitten top. When choosing mittens for snowboarding or skiing, look for gripping material on the palm or fingers for a steadier grip on your snowboard or ski pole. Gordini RM-1 performance mittens are available in both men’s and women’s sizes and feature a waterproof shell, fleece lining, and cinch closure to keep out wind and snow.
  • Look for handwarmer pockets. Handwarmer pockets can be invaluable and provide that extra bit of warmth when you need it while you’re waiting your turn for the ski lift. Many brands of snowboarding and skiing clothes, including North Face Winter Jackets and Burton jackets, have handwarmer pockets located on the torso.

Tom’s Shoes: Shoes with a Soul

Tom’s shoes, an up-and-coming brand of casual footwear, certainly gets points for goodwill. For every pair of Tom’s shoes purchased, the company donates one pair of shoes to a child in a developing country.

Tom’s shoes are not meant to be athletic footwear—these are before- or after-workout shoes or casual shoes. They’re available in several fabrics, including linen and canvas, and you can find solid colors or prints to suit any taste, and match (or not match) any outfit. The Tom’s website even notes that wedding parties buy men’s shoes from Tom’s to put a different twist on a tuxedo.

The basic, yet comfortable Tom’s shoes are the Classic Canvas Slip-Ons, which are available for men and women. These shoes feature a soft insole and durable outsole, as well as breathable canvas. Tom’s shoes have basic, comfortable support in the arches and heels, but they’re not designed to be worn as workout shoes, unless you’re wearing them to and from the gym.

Get the Most Mileage from Your Bike Helmet

Bike helmets are more than just a good idea—they’re required in many states. You can choose from road cycling helmets, mountain bike helmets, or touring/sport helmets, each of which has pros and cons:

  • Mountain bike helmets: Mountain bike helmets are the most expensive, but they provide the highest level of protection, in case you should wipe out on a rocky trail. Most mountain bike helmets provide a greater degree of protection in the back of the head, and they often come with visors.
  • Road bike helmets: Road bike helmets are designed for maximum aerodynamics.
  • Sport helmets: Sport helmets are significantly less expensive than other types of helmets, and they can be used interchangeably for cycling, snowboarding, or skiing.

Any bike helmet can be worn for any type of cycling. If you have a road bike helmet, you can wear it for mountain biking, and vice versa. The Giro Pneumo helmet falls into the road bike category, but its durability and light weight make it an ideal choice for most cycling conditions. Special features of the Giro Pneumo helmet include:

  • Inside: Full internal reinforcement with “super fit” engineering.
  • Outside: An aerodynamic shape with wind-tunnel style ventilation.

For expert bike helmet advice and a wide range of styles, visit your local Sun & Ski Sports shop.

Sports Jacket for Rainy Rides

Choosing a sports jacket for wet weather can be challenging. The issue of water protection vs. breathability remains the main question when selecting a rain-resistant sports jacket. Many options for a rainy day sports jacket are available in waterproof/breathable fabrics, but the waterproofing and breathability fall into two basic categories:

  • Laminates: Laminates (such as Gore-Tex) usually have slightly more breathability than coatings. This type of sports jacket is recommended for cyclists, runners, cross-country skiers, kayakers, and hikers.
  • Coatings: Coatings (such as Hyvent) usually have a bit less breathability and more waterproofing. This type of sports jacket is recommended for travelers, birders, and fitness walkers.

The Rainshield O2 Cycling Jacket is an example of a laminate-style jacket that’s ideal for cyclists. The jacket features a drop tail to provide extra protection from road spray on a rainy day, but the fitted, aerodynamic style won’t slow you down. In addition, a stand-up collar keeps the wind and water from running down your neck, and the jacket stuffs into its own sack for when the rain ends.

Visit a Sun & Ski Sports shop in your area for expert advice and to try on sports jackets and other cycling clothing for rainy weather.

Be Ski Rope Savvy

Ski ropes might be the most important piece of equipment in your ski tube kit. A poor quality ski rope puts the rider at risk, as does improper rope attachment. Be sure that you and everyone who uses your ski tube know how to attach ski ropes correctly and how to take care of them.

Keep these points in mind for safe use of ski tubes and ski ropes:

  • Go long. Don’t use ski ropes shorter than 20 feet (even for kids). Any rope shorter than 20 feet places the rider too close to the exhaust from the boat, where he or she is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Think straight. Don’t use ski ropes made from elastic material. These ropes are more likely to break or cause injuries.
  • Check it out. Inspect your ski ropes before each use. Don’t use ski ropes that are frayed, and check the connector for signs of wear.
  • Store it safely. Consistent exposure to sunlight can deteriorate ski ropes; store them in a cool, dry place when not in use.

Some ski ropes are sold together with handles, such as the Straight Line Cutting Edge Deep V, which includes a water ski handle and 70-foot rope. These products are appropriate for both recreational and intermediate use.

Visit a Sun & Ski Sports shop near you for expert advice on selecting the right ski ropes for your water sport needs.

Smart Women Stay Warm

As women’s snowsports increase in popularity, so do women’s clothing choices for snowboarding and skiing. The principles of layering for snowsports remain the same for men and women: a moisture-wicking base layer, insulating middle layer, and a wind- and water-resistant outer layer.

Some useful features to keep in mind when buying women’s thermal underwear to layer with ski and snowboard clothing:

  • Lightweight: Women’s thermal underwear, just like men’s and children’s thermal underwear, should be light in weight and made of moisture-wicking synthetic material. Cotton women’s thermal underwear will leave you feeling cold and clammy as soon as you break a sweat. To maximize warmth and minimize bulk, seek out base layers made of microfiber, such as Hot Chillys’ Peachskins collection.
  • Flattering shape: Many manufacturers of women’s thermal underwear recognize that women want their sports gear to look as good as it performs.

The Hot Chillys Peachskin Women’s ¼ zip turtleneck addresses both of these issues. The top includes a drop tail to help keep you toasty, as well as a zip front for when things heat up. The Hot Chillys Peachskin thermal underwear is soft to the touch; it also contains antimicrobial fibers to reduce odor and bacterial buildup, and it features flat seams to minimize bulk.

When Sandals Get Sporty

Sport sandals are a worthwhile summer investment, regardless of your athletic activities. When you’re looking to buy men’s shoes for warm weather, don’t ignore sport sandals. Even men who don’t consider themselves sandal-wearers might be converted after trying some of the many comfortable and functional styles available. Sport sandals can be categorized into two basic groups:

  • Athletic sport sandals: This type of sport sandal, such as the Teva Brigade, offers contoured soles to help protect your feet from rocky trails or large waves. The many styles of Teva men’s sandals are appropriate choices for several water sports. The Teva Ominum Watersports Sandals feature reinforced toes, quick-release buckles, and antimicrobial linings for durability and comfort.
  • After-sport sandals: This type of sport sandal is what you want to put on after a workout or wear as part of any casual summer outfit. Look for a Reef sandals sale for many choices of stylish, comfortable sandals, such as the Reef Men’s Leather Smoothy Sandals.

Visit a Sun & Ski Sports store near you to try on variety of styles of sport sandals to meet your warm weather workout and casual wear needs.