Shred Dog Gear Review
My youngest son, Tanner, was born a Freerider. I should have known he would share my passion for skiing when he was leading his older brothers down the ski hill at just three years old. A few years later, he picked up a snowboard and decided that was fun too, now he does both. He logs around 250,000 to 300,000 vertical feet of riding in a season and I wouldn’t be surprised is he surpasses that this year! Oh yeah…I forgot to mention…he’s still only 10.
I have always supported his passion for freeriding any way that I can. Teaching lessons to earn free season passes, taking him riding even when I have been sick but, honestly…making sure he has the proper gear has always been my biggest challenge!
Because let’s be honest…these sports are expensive. Trying to outfit growing children every season is hard for most families. Single income family here, we get it! Being the youngest, he most often has worn hand me downs and learned to make do, even when the sleeves were too long or the pant legs hung down over his boots. Yes, he has worn bibs that I have stitched up several times because we have found that most affordable children’s gear is just not made to last the years and vertical miles we put on it.
But, this season we have come across a new company who has set a goal to outfit the children of winter with high performance clothing that is more affordable than comparable brands. They call themselves Shred Dog and they understand that we need gear that can grow with our children and hold up through the seasons to be handed down. They understand that we need high performance gear that is well made and effective at keeping our children warm and dry. They understand that we need all of this at a more affordable price. They are accomplishing this by eliminating the usual retail mark up and instead selling direct to their customers.
I reached out to Shred Dog out of curiosity. Wanting to really test their gear and see if it holds up to the hype because I get questions about children’s gear all the time! Boy would I love to be able to recommend a company and clothing that I can stand behind. They agreed to let Tanner test out their new line of clothing this season and are happy to receive any and all feedback. In fact, they have used a co-design process from the beginning, working with parents to create a line of clothing that meets all their requests.
Here’s our first impressions:
Hardshell Jacket -
When we opened the box, this was the first thing Tanner tried on. I could tell immediately that it was a well designed, high performance shell. The fabric is incredibly water resistant and the seams are outstanding. Listening to parents, they designed two features on this shell that I personally think are wonderful. The first is a rubberized wrist gasket that keeps the end of the sleeves from getting soaking wet and creates a tight cuff that can slide more easily under a pair of gloves. The second, is a stiff and tall collar that a child can literally hide behind, keeping all cold and snow away from the neck and face during stormy windy weather. Unfortunately, this collar was a little too tall for Tanners liking, he felt it affected his range of motion when doing tricks with the freestyle team, so he won’t be wearing this shell this season but, he could see how it would be nice for keeping him out of the weather, especially when riding the chair. I shared this feedback with Shred Dog. They will be taking this into consideration when creating future designs. Meanwhile, I’m over here wishing I had a collar like that!
Insulator Jacket -
This was the second thing Tanner tried on. His first comment, “WOW! It’s so comfortable!” Shred Dog promotes versatility in layering and the Insulator Jacket is a part of their layering system, designed to be able to be worn as an insulating layer under their Hardshell, it can also be worn alone, or not at all. I was happy to see that even though Tanner will not be wearing the Hardshell, the Insulator Jacket is so thin and form fitting that when he threw it on under his insulated ski jacket from last year, it fit perfectly. This means that this lightweight, warm layer will be the perfect addition for those -10 degree days in February when we add all they layers we can find. I can also see him wearing this Insulator Jacket alone, over just his baselayer, when we get into spring skiing and the temps warm up. This may just alleviate his constant struggle in the spring between being too hot with his fully insulated ski jacket on and yet too cold with it off. Yes, the struggle is real! Though the Insulator Jacket is not waterproof and will need to be worn with other layers on wet days, it is water-resistent which will be enough for Tanner, who doesn’t spend a lot of time falling or laying in the snow. If you have a child who runs hot during Spring skiing and needs a more waterproof option, I would take Shred Dogs suggestion and simply wear the thin, breathable Hardshell Jacket (talked about above) with just a base layer underneath (no Insulator Jacket). I love the versatility this whole system offers!
Convertible Bib Pant -
Last but not least, he threw on the convertible bib pants. He loved the fact that he could zip the top of the bibs off and convert them into pants. On the hill he prefers a bib, to keep snow from going down his backside but, we live in the snow all the time and converting the bib to pants will make him more comfortable and keep him cooler when we’re just roaming around town. Tanner ran outside and grabbed his sled to give these bibs a good trial before heading up the mountain. The first thing he said, “I love these bibs! They are so warm but, not bulky”. He felt like he had more range of motion with these light weight bibs but, without sacrificing warmth. As a mother, there are a whole list of features on these bibs that I love! The front zipper for easy access when having to use the bathroom…no more having to take EVERYTHING off. The zippered inner thigh ventilation…my son tends to run hot! The reinforced fabric on the knees and ankles…remember the stitching I mentioned above…it has always been the fabric on the knees and around the bottom of the legs that gives out first. Last but, not least, the adjustable waist that allows for this skinny wasted boy of mine, who does not like belts, to wear them as pants without falling down.
Adjust-A-Fit System™ -
There’s one more thing I’d like to share before I end this review. Something I don’t think Shred Dog talks about enough on their website but, I think every mother will love. I’m talking about their Adjust-A-Fit System™, which makes it oh-so-easy to hand this clothing down to the next little Freerider coming up in the ranks. This system allows you to EASILY adjust the legs and sleeves, longer or shorter, to get the best fit for the season. What Tanner would have given to have this system in all the hand me downs he’s received over the years. Did I mention…he absolutely hates wearing clothes that are too big. I think oversized hand me downs have ruined his ability to tolerate anything even slightly too long and that’s a tough one when you are looking to purchase clothing that you want to last more than one season.
I’ll be posting another review of this gear at the end of the season, after he’s had a chance to really put it to the test. I’m hopeful that it’s going to meet our expectations and hold up to all he has to throw at it.
Check them out yourself at www.shreddog.com
Until then…Happy Shredding!