tales of a mountain mama I iksplor adventure blanket 

Iksplor’s very first product, their merino wool adventure blanket, is often overlooked as a must-have item for babies and kids. However, it has quickly become my go-to blanket for everything AND my favorite gift to give to newborn babies. This post will explain why a $119 baby/kid/travel blanket is the only one you need! Psstt….it’s not just for kids!

read more

gear junkie I the best kids’ snow gear of 2021

Get outside and have fun with the whole family this winter. We found the best kids’ snow gear to keep the little ones cozy.

Honestly, there are some mornings I look outside and think, “Maybe we should just stay inside today.” It would be so much easier. But, inevitably, after a few minutes, my adventurous self gets the best of me, and we’re headed out the door all bundled up and ready to brave the elements.

No matter how long it takes to get ready, I never regret it once we’re outside. Because kids and babies are just like us — or are we just like them? — they love to be out in the fresh air.

teton family magazine | little company. big impact


No, the name is not Scandinavian; it’s the phonetic version of the word “explore.” It’s also the name of an innovative, Jackson-based, family-owned business with the mission of outfitting little ones in proper adventure wear. Iksplor helps families get outside and create lasting memories.

“We had a very active, outdoor family growing up,” says Karissa (Tuthill) Akin, co-founder of Iksplor. “When we look back on our childhood, those are the moments we remember—being outside together.”

Growing up in Colorado provided ample opportunity for the Tuthill family to ski, mountain bike, fish, kiteboard, windsurf, hike and camp together, with each adventure drawing them closer. This deep bond formed outdoors helped Karissa and Kailey (Tuthill) Gieck, her sister and business partner, through some of life’s major ups and downs. From the tragic loss of their brother, Michael, who was in his twenties when he passed away, to the adjustment of becoming parents themselves, and, most recently, to the loss of their beloved dad, William Tuthill (affectionately known as “Wild Bill”), the sisters turned to what has always grounded them—their family’s connection to nature. Now, both neck-deep in the throes of motherhood, they aim to cultivate this value in their own families by encouraging others to unplug from everyday life and connect during outside activities. 

tales of a mountain mama I iksplor adventure wear 

We have been lucky enough to watch Iksplor grow from the very beginning right here in Jackson, Wyoming. While we literally wear them every single day and I talk about them a LOT on our social media channels, I just realized that I have never written a full dedicated post on the brand. The good news is that this review is our honest thoughts after wearing them hard over the past two years.

read more

wyoming business report | merino base layers help Jackson startup court adventurous parents 

In a world of disposable textiles, especially in the kids’ clothing market, one Jackson startup is betting on high-end materials to increase longevity and encourage outdoor adventure.m“We just knew we wanted to create a business about kids getting outside and the lifestyle that we grew up with with our parents,” said Karissa Akin. So Akin and
her equally outdoorsy sister, Kailey Gieck, started Iksplor in 2018 as they began having children and both realized they wanted something better for their children than the throwaway clothes flooding the market. “Children getting wet and dirty can be a little rough,” said Gieck in 2018 on stage, alongside her sister, announcing
the arrival of their company to Jackson’s entrepreneurial community. “Choosing the best clothing for your children shouldn’t be.” At the time, the sisters were presenting at Pitch Day, a Shark Tank-style event where startups strut their stuff in front of an audience and investors.

blister review | blister's holiday gift guide 2020 - kids & parent edition

Another favorite of ours is the 100% ZQ-Certified merino wool Iksplor Neckie. Designed specifically for toddlers and kids, the Neckie comes in a variety of colors, and are soft and comfortable. Both items work well to keep your little one’s neck warm, especially when they hate to have their jacket zipped all the way to the top.

bring the kids | kids merino wool that's built for adventure 

I’m sure that you’ve probably heard the saying “There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing”, and when it comes to kids, this couldn’t be more true. My kids don’t care if it’s -10 degrees or if it’s a scorching 105 degrees – they all seem to have this innate desire to get outside as much as possible.

After nearly 13 years of motherhood, I’ve learned that there’s little I can do to keep them inside when they’re getting that itch to be outdoors and run wild. But, the one thing that I can do is make sure that they’re comfortable while they’re outside. That means that I’m constantly on the lookout for clothing that will keep them warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. For me, it’s also a necessity that it’s excellent quality so that I can buy it once and pass it down through all five of my kids.

I recently was introduced to a new brand of Merino Wool Adventurewear for kids made by the brand Iksplor, and it’s already a major hit at our house. See also Base Layer Round Up by Bring the Kids. . 

the FUNemployed family | the best winter travel gear for kids

Wondering what to pack for a winter vacation with your little ones? They key to a successful winter getaway with kids is being prepared, keeping them comfy, and keeping them fed! Today we’re partnering with Iksplor to chat about our favorite gear for winter travel! Be sure to read to the end of this post for our printable packing guide. We’ve made a travel essentials packing list of everything you’ll want to pack for a winter getaway with your kids.

jackson hole news and guide | Iksplor set for Kickstarter campaign to launch base layers for kids

Iksplor, a Jackson startup specializing in cuddly clothes for tots, will begin a Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday to fund the introduction of a new line of base layers. Iksplor is looking to raise $20,000, said Kailey Gieck, who founded the business with her sister, Karissa Akin. The new merino wool shirts and bottoms come in sizes zero to 6P and "six really fun, bright colors," Gieck said. They'll be ready for delivery in January.

mountain mama tails | best gear for outdoor babies

This blanket is fairly new to the outdoor kid scene and is a local brand here in Jackson, WY. Let me be honest with you – I didn’t really think it was going to be all that different than what I already have, but has now become my #1 suggested baby gift.

It’s merino wool so breathes well and is super soft. Plus it has a great stretch so makes an AMAZING swaddle blanket. We keep ours in the car and ready for anything – traveling, picnicking, hanging out by the water, keeping warm when Mama forgot extra layers….you get the idea.

I can also attest to the fact that they wash and dry very well since ours require that WAY more often than I care to admit.

mountain mama tales | christmas in july: travel & adventure

We are so excited about this brand new company based here in Jackson, WY who are making awesome merino wool products for outdoor kids. This month we took their Adventure Blankets with us to Alaska and they were SOOOO much better than I had even hoped.

Not only are they super soft, have a great weight AND are packable, they also machine wash and dry very well. A wash was required after the germs of the airplane/airport.

jackson hole news and guide | iksplor unveils 'adventure blanket'

Nearly a year after winning a prize at Pitch Day the sisters behind the young children’s clothing company Iksplor have released their first product and are taking orders for a second.

Karissa Akin and Kailey Gieck have begun shipping a merino wool blanket they’ve had manufactured by a woman-owned business in Minnesota. The “Adventure Blanket,”48 by 48 inches, comes in navy blue and teal and costs $120 at

jackson hole news and guide | entrepreneurial family ready to iksplor

When Karissa Akin went shopping for base layers for her daughter, Everleigh Akin, now 2, she didn't like the items she found. They were made of cheap material that deteriorated quickly and stained easily.

“Fast fashion has not only invaded our closets, but also our children’s closets,” Akin said. “We wanted to create something better.”

wonderkin | Q&A with co-founder of iksplor, karissa akin 

Karissa Akin and Kailey Gieck are the co-founders and sister duo behind Iksplor, a 100% merino wool clothing line for newborns and kids. Their mission is to create functional layers born for adventure, to help get kids get outside and stay outside longer! Iksplor is currently in the prototype phase, and Karissa and Kailey are excited to be building a community passionate about getting little ones outside in quality clothing that lasts! 

At Wonderkin, we’re passionate about quality gear and highlighting female entrepreneurs and thought leaders working to advance the children’s nature play movement. We know you’ll enjoy learning more about Karissa’s story…

local news 8 I jackson start-up wins kickstart grant 

JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) - A Jackson "startup" company has been awarded a $50,000 Wyoming Business Council "kickstart" award.  

Iksplor is a Jackson apparel designer that creates multi-season, essential layers for babies and children. The company focuses on the outdoor consumer market.

Their product line includes a swaddle, long-sleeve shirt, pant, neck warmer and hat all made of Merino wool.  

jackson hole news and guide | two sisters, mom ready to launch their line of woolen kids’ wear

Everyone in Jackson Hole knows the secret to dressing for playing outside in mountain weather is layers.

But when Karissa Akin shopped for her young daughter, Everleigh Akin, she couldn’t find the type of clothing needed for a Jackson lifestyle. The clothing wasn’t durable. The only base layers she could find were made of cheap material that deteriorated quickly and stained easily.

“Fast fashion has not only invaded our closets, but also our children’s closets,” Akin said. “We wanted to create something better.”

silicon couloir | pitch day 2018 winners

The Bob Arndt Community Caretaker Award:

Invitation to join Silicon Couloir's TEAMS Program

The Bob Arndt Community Caretaker Award is presented to that entrepreneur or venture whose person/ team and company best embodies the core values and mission of Silicon Couloir, which is to align entrepreneurship with community vision to promote a diverse economy and healthy environment for current and future generations.