When I received an invitation to the Puddle Jumper Pool Party in Miami, I almost passed it up. Puddle Jumpers are flotation devices for young children learning to swim, and my boys are well past that stage. However, what I didn’t know is that Puddle Jumpers is a line of flotation devices by Coleman. Now that is a brand I know a lot about, and so I jumped (bad yet irresistible pun) on board.
I’m not kidding. I have started writing a series of camping posts and if you see them, you will see Coleman all around. These are pictures from past camping trips and here you see our Coleman tent, air mattress, sleeping bags, flashlights, and gas stove. What you don’t see is the air pump, gas canister, and all sorts of other indispensable equipment we use…all from Coleman.
The pool party was at the Royal Palm hotel on Miami Beach, and it just so happened to be the day before the South Beach Triathlon, which I have raced on several occasions. I people watched as we drove there, and I could spot the triathletes from a mile away. I love the pre-race vibe.
We made it to the party and found a bunch of younger kids with their Puddle Jumpers on in the pool. My boys rolled their eyes as I prohibited them from implementing their signature cannonball. All of a sudden a torrential rain began; that was all my boys needed to go ahead and jump in. Thankfully there was a lifeguard as they met up with other kids and I didn’t hear from them for a few hours. This gave me plenty of time to mingle around and learn more. I met up with Erica from Mama’s Mission and ended up chatting for a long time with the Coleman folks. Like I mentioned, I know a lot about their products but what I learned is that what I knew was just the tip of the iceberg. For example, I had no idea Sevylor which makes inflatable boats, kayaks and paddleboards was part of the same company. I used their kayak at the same South Beach Triathlon when pulling my disabled friend in her first race.
Then, I met up with Matt who designs several of these products. He used to focus on coolers and I learned Coleman makes bear proof coolers (a new must have item.) Matt has now added flotation devices to his repertoire. Speaking of flotation … below is a picture what I have for Fearless when we go on boats. As you can see, he loves it (NOT). This is the Steams V2 Series Boating Vest that Matt gave Fearless.
Now which one do you think he likes better? Apart from the visibility and the shape, the vest is made with neoprene that any triathlete can tell you is sleek but also SO SOFT.
But that wasn’t the only swag we got from the Puddle Jumper Party. We received the super ingenious Coleman Quad LED Lantern which I CANNOT WAIT to use. This is a frequent scenario on our camping trips: it’s getting dark at the campsite, no one knows where their flashlight is except for the lantern (which is always on the table), it’s then a mad dash to find the other flashlights before we can’t see anything at all!
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This lantern is awesome because you can set it on your table top and it provides 190 lumens, which is enough to see what you are eating and more. But then, if you have to go somewhere, you take one of the four panels off the lantern and use it as a flashlight. No more losing flashlights!
We also received a four person Carlsbad Dome Tent with Screen Room. OMG! This tent is literally super cool because it blocks 97.5% of sunlight (think, mid afternoon nap) but also reduces heat by up to 9.5%. The tent fits one queen airbed, and has a screen room to lounge around or even sleep on during a warm night. I forsee the boys taking over this one …
And finally, as we were leaving we got a bonus! Coleman also has a line of outdoor games including badminton, croquet and this super cool Bean Bag Toss. This we did try out as we had a family tournament on Sunday morning. Sadly though, I came in last. It folds up neatly and takes up very little space, so it is easy to take on trips. I know this is one game that we will be using a lot between camping, sleep overs, and parties.
Sure, swag is nice, but in truth if you get swag and really don’t like the people responsible for designing them then it’s just stuff. It was so nice to share stories with Matt, his wife and the rest of the Coleman team. I learned what went into designing some of this gear, and left feeling there was genuine care and thought for the products they put forth and that I’ve been purchasing for years.
So, given this awesome swag and great people, how happy do you think I am I didn’t pass up on the Puddle Jumpers party? The boys exhausted themselves in the pool, but the only downside I see here is that the quiet car ride home gave me time to make up a whole new wish list!