Family gear was a big attention-getter at the Snow Show, with numerous products to keep the kids warm and mom and dad happy. Phil Seibert runs Sports Accessories of America based in Wheat Ridge, Colo. His group finds people who have good ideas and he helps get those products into the marketplace.
"This is the Echo Boom generation of kids coming up into the market. Our kids are having kids and they are all coming into winter sports." Seibert says the entire front of his catalog is full of things for kids, as it is, "the future of the industry."
He says the Chairlifter is a great strap system that goes around a toddler and helps lift them onto a chairlift. Another new item is a 3-piece hat, scarf, and bear paw mittens set for toddlers with penguins, bears, kittens, and puppies all over them. Colors also are big with items like the Slamdanna, a tie-dye Batik print face mask with fleece on the inside.
Obermeyer says kids are loving lots of color in blocks of print and patterns. They also love the retro ski line which is a throwback to the '70s, alpine style.
Versatility is the theme for hats. Chaos Thermal Regulation makes hats with exchangable HUGE pom poms which are new this year. Buy one, get two poms. Beth Cochran expects them to be a hit with the teenage crowd. "The poms can match your mood and your outfit. They're an overstatement in bright colors, and they're huge."
The Trapper hats (no longer called bombers) also are big and versatile, in chunky knit, quilted, and lumberjack fabrics and models. All sizes of kid hats are bigger than ever, too, with crazy animals and monsters. Cochran says, "More than ever, the kids market continues to grow. We are meeting the demand with expanded variety and ages. We're making smaller hats to serve the toddler market as well as youth and adult."