Parenting through a two-year pandemic has been a lot like achieving anything tough outdoors: challenging, sometimes overwhelming, a few tears, but in the end, rewarding. Now it’s time to reward the women who hold it all together. We asked the moms, mother figures, and caregivers of Basecamp—a Facebook group for folks interested in the outdoor and active lifestyle industries (now 34,000 members strong)—what they wanted for Mother’s Day this year. Here’s what they told us.
Before you spend your money on gear, consider a babysitter. The most requested thing by moms was a little time to themselves—a day of childcare to go hiking guilt-free, a night away, or just a few quiet hours to relax alone. If you can provide them that time, do it. If you also want to get them something to help them better enjoy the outdoors, here are a few solid options.
Best Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy Moms
Trusty Trail-Running Shoes
Our Pick: Salomon Sense Ride 4 ($120)
Trail runners were the most requested piece of gear in our callout. One mom wanted shoes that could also double for running errands. A pair that can do it all is the widely-loved Salomon Sense Ride 4, an all-around shoe suitable for technical trails and everyday use. They feature Salomon’s quick-pull lacing system, which takes some getting used to but ensures you won’t be tripping over your laces mid-run. There are more specialized trail runners on the market, but the Sense Ride 4s are comfortable out of the box, excel at breathability, have solid traction on slick rocks and mud-covered trails, and ample cushioning that lets you put in long miles. For a shoe that can tackle most types of terrain and fit a wide range of foot types, you won’t find better options at this price.
A Reliable Packable Daypack
Our Pick: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Daypack ($60)
One mom wanted a packable daypack for outdoor adventures when traveling, asking for “something that won’t take up much space in the suitcase, but has plenty of room once we hit our destination.” Sea to Summit’s Ultra-Sil Dry Daypack fits the bill. The waterproof roll-top sack packs down to fit in the palm of your hand, and the straps are surprisingly comfortable despite the lack of padding. Twenty-two liters of space is enough for essential hiking gear, beach stuff, and whatever you need for a day spent exploring a new city. It’s great for traveling because it weighs practically nothing (3.8 ounces), takes up little space in your luggage, and keeps everything dry if you get caught in the rain.
A Leak-Proof Coffee Flask
Our Pick: Hydro Flask 16 oz Coffee Tumbler with Flex Sip Lid ($33)
“I like teaching my kids that it’s all about the little things that matter and add up to make a big difference,” said a mom looking for a colorful 16-ounce coffee mug to cut down on her use of disposable cups for pre-hike lattes. Unlike many travel mugs, the Hydro Flask Coffee features a leak-proof lid that can be taken apart and deep cleaned, and the parts are labeled, to make reassembly easy. The double-wall vacuum insulation will keep coffee hot for longer than it takes to drink it, and the flex strap makes it easy to carry or clip onto your backpack. The mug is dishwasher safe, fits in most cup holders, and the new deep berry color is pretty.
A Stylish Bandana
Our Pick: Bandits Bandanas Endless Bloom ($30)
Bandanas are a versatile backcountry staple. One mom asked for a new bandana “to add a little flair to her outdoor outfits,” but this simple square piece of fabric also works as a neck covering, cool compress, medical bandage, toilet paper, and even a menstrual pad, in a pinch. Bandits’ Endless Bloom is an organic cotton GOTS-certified bandana with a vibrant artist-designed coyote and floral motif. All Bandits bandanas are manufactured in a Fair Trade Certified factory in Kolkata, India, with ten percent of proceeds donated to charities chosen by the artists they partner with. Every Bandits print is gorgeous, and when worn classically, they’re accessories that will elevate any look.
Leggings With Pockets
Our Pick: Outdoor Research Ad-Vantage Leggings ($99)
Every mom needs a pair of leggings with pockets. One mom wanted a pair for “use both on the trail and at home running around the neighborhood”. The Ad-Vantage were designed in collaboration with climber Quinn Mason, so they’re built to move in. These high-waisted leggings are reinforced in high-abrasion areas, so they’re tough enough to take a beating in the outdoors, and the seam placement is sporty and flattering, so you can look sharp pushing the stroller on city streets. Plus, they’ve got pockets. There’s enough room to stash your phone and other small essentials with two drop-in side compartments, and a hidden waistband pocket.
A Backpacking Quilt
Our Pick: Kammok Firebelly 30-Degree Down Trail Quilt ($300)
“My 12-year-old son got me into backpacking last year, and it’s something that we are slowly getting into; just the two of us,” wrote one mom, asking for a sleeping bag that’s warm, packs down small, is comfortable for side sleeping, has roomy shoulders, and isn’t a mummy bag. My initial reaction was to recommend the Nemo Disco Sleeping Bag ($300) because it’s a non-mummy bag good for side sleeping, but she told me that’s what she has; she likes it but wants a little more wiggle room. Enter: the backpacking quilt.
The Kammok Firebelly is an outdoor quilt insulated with 750-fill power duck down that’s Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified. With snap fasteners along the sides and drawcords at the top and bottom, it can be configured in several ways for use on a sleeping pad or as a hammock underquilt (it comes with the straps and conversion kit to do both). The Firebelly also turns into a poncho that can keep you warm while setting up camp. It’s a bit heavy at 28 ounces, so if you’re looking to pack less weight into the backcountry, the Arcos 20-degree ($360) is the lighter (and warmer) option.
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