by Edith MacHattie
My husband and I are avid cross country skiers. When we had kids, the idea of leaving them at home while we went skiing just wasn't an option. First of all we enjoyed skiing together, and childcare isn't always easy to find. Secondly, we wanted our children to grow up with a love of being outdoors in winter.
When our boys were infants we carried them in a Baby Bjorn under our jackets and skied that way. It makes you a little top heavy, but at least you're out there and your baby is warm. Other skiers were always polite and never stared even though I must have looked like a behemoth on stilts wearing my husband's massive jacket (to fit over the baby) and my ski tights.
Then we discovered the Thule Chariot. We purchased it originally as a bike trailer and got the jogging kit. It was amazing. But our minds were truly blown when we bought the ski attachment and gave it a go.
It was just in time, too. Our baby was growing out of the Bjorn fast and our eldest was shuffling along on his first skis by this time. We started skiing in our parkas because the pace was agonizingly slow.
Our youngest was happy in the Chariot because it had a comfy seat and enough room to pack a cozy blanket around him. He had a great view with windows out the sides and front - plus you could open up the front on warmer days so he felt part of the world.
Our eldest would shuffle/ski until he pooped out, then jump into the Chariot for a snack. (And then out again, and in again, and out again... you get it.) We would simply tuck his skis into the back storage pocket and keep on going.
A great perk we discovered was using the detachable handlebar. When our little skier got tired, he simply kept his skis in the track, grabbed on to the handlebar and hitched a ride. This was very helpful going up hills and a good workout for mom or dad!
The hip belt was comfortable and the poles were adjustable to fit both my husband and myself. There was enough room to ski naturally and the Chariot glided extremely well on the snow. The skis and poles were uber-simple to attach and take off in only a few seconds. The entire Chariot itself folded flat to fit into the back of the car.
We were thrilled with this outfit. It helped us enjoy skiing as a family and I truly believe it encouraged my kids to love the sport. Because there were comfortable solutions for everyone we all had a good time on the trails, and that's what it's all about.
Check out Thule Chariot products here.