Q+ A with Malcolm Johnson & Kira Hoffman
Writer at Patagonia & Biologist. Bumbleride Family.
What does a typical weekend look like for your family?
I have good flexibility with my work hours, and Kira does too, so we try to get out in the water every day of the week. We definitely embrace the “Let My People Go Surfing” philosophy. Weekends are that much better though, because there’s more time to go have fun together as a family. If the waves are good, we’ll go down to C Street in the morning with the stroller and take turns surfing while the other one walks our little guy along the foot path. If the waves aren’t so good, we’ll usually head to Solimar or Pierpont beach and post up with friends and a sun tent. Then it’s home for a nap, and since it usually gets windy in the afternoons in Ventura we’ll go inland and get out on one of the trails up in Ojai. The Speed is really rugged, so it works great on the dirt trails in the river preserve.
Has your commitment to the environment changed since becoming a dad?
It’s deepened for sure. I’ve always been passionate about environmental and wilderness issues, but once you have a kid it just seems to hit you so much harder. I think a lot about what the world is going to be like for our son as he grows up. So many of the environmental problems we’re facing are avoidable—we just have to start making better choices, both personally and collectively, and we probably need to start making some bigger sacrifices too. Not buying things we don’t need, not being so reliant on toxic and throwaway products, and reducing carbon footprints as much as possible. I want there to be clean air to breathe, good food to eat and clean rivers to drink from when he’s our age. That’s what is really motivating me these days.
What do you look for when purchasing baby gear for your family?
I probably get my perspective on baby gear from working at Patagonia, where there’s a lot of focus on durability, less harmful materials and reducing consumption. Kira is a passionate thrifter, so we’ve gotten almost all of our baby gear at second-hand stores or as hand-me-downs from friends. For the new things we buy, we go for items that are reusable and as non-toxic as possible, like glass bottles and food containers instead of plastic ones. In terms of gear, we’re always looking for things that are well built, won’t fall apart, and help us get out as a family to do the things we love. The Speed definitely falls into that category. We’ve got our boy a baby lifejacket, a bike seat and a good carrier backpack, so we’re pretty set for adventuring now.
Which is your favorite feature of the Speed? What about your little one’s favorite feature?
I love how sturdy it is and how nicely it rolls on different kinds of terrain—we’ve had it on pavement, dirt trails and gravel roads, and it always feels like he’s getting a smooth ride and not bouncing around. We live close to Ventura High School, so we’ll go do some laps on their track sometimes too when we want to run. You get some odd looks running laps with a stroller, but it’s fun and keeps us fit. Our kid always seems super content in the Speed, so I’d guess his favorite feature is that it gets him outside where he can look at trees, cars, clouds and all the other outside things that seem to fascinate him. He’s a really curious dude and he loves to get out of the house.
Anything we can improve on Speed’s next version?
The zippered pocket up by the handle could be a touch bigger. And then maybe a version with bears or dinosaurs on the canopy. Most of our boy’s shirts and onesies have dinosaurs, so he’d probably be pretty stoked if his ride did too.
Follow Malcolm on Instagram @malcolmrjohnson
Learn more about Speed.
Malcolm and Kira received a Speed stroller in exchange for their photos and honest opinion.