Gear Shed

What Should I Get My Outdoorsy Mom for Mother’s Day?

Let your mom know she rocks with an adventure-grade gift this Mother's Day.     Photo: Courtesy of Beth Rodden

Would your mother or wife prefer to be climbing, boating, or running rather than brunching this Sunday? If the answer is yes, read on. Skip the flowers and honor what she loves to do by following these gear suggestions from six dedicated moms who also happen to be elite athletes.

Emily Jackson: Professional Freestyle Kayaker

Jackson, one of the best freestyle kayakers in the world, will be competing at the Reno River Festival this Mother's Day weekend while her mom and 9-month-old son, Tucker, watch from a few feet away. "The biggest part of Mother's Day is actually being around your kids or your mom," Jackson says. "Time together is the best gift of all."

But adding some gear to your Mother’s Day date never hurts. Jackson suggests checking out Kokotat's new pink colored dry tops and drysuits. "When I’m out boating, I’m very excited to be wearing my violet gear," Jackson says. "That would make any kayaking chick happy."

Dara Torres: 12-Time Olympic Medalist

Professional swimmer Dara Torres and mother of three plans to spend Mother's Day in North Palm Beach, Florida with her mother. Torres suggested Koss FitClip earphones, athletic women-specific headphones the 12-time Olympic medalist helped design. "I did a bunch of work for Koss headphones and we created a headphone that is just for women," Torres says. "The ear bud is 33 percent smaller than a regular earbud."

She prefers the FitClip Series because those buds were built for movement, plus they come in some cool colors. "You can bounce around, jump, do whatever you want, and you don't have to keep pushing them in," Torres says.  

Nancy Bouchard: Former Professional Climber

Nancy Bouchard was a pioneer female gear tester in the nineties and continues to test and write about gear today. The former pro climber went on to be an editor at Rock and Ice, where she started the magazine’s gear-testing program.

She’ll celebrate Mother's Day by doing an outdoor-sport triathlon with her husband and three daughters in her hometown of Bend, Oregon. "We’ll ski and climb and add a third component," Bouchard says. "It would be sweet to go stand-up paddleboarding."

Bouchard’s gift recommendation? A pair of mirrored-lens sunglasses, in honor of the years spent watching her daughters ski race. A good pair of shades makes staring at a snowy slope all day much more bearable. "I like Wiley X P-17 with pol emerald green lenses—they’re indestructible, look seriously cool, and knock at least a decade off my age," Bouchard says.  

Zoe Hart: Professional Mountain Guide

Certified International Mountain Guide and Patagonia Climbing Ambassador Zoe Hart lives in Chamonix, France with her husband Max and her sons—2-year-old Mathias and 5-month-old Mika. Hart will spend Mother's Day in Arco, Italy with her family and a few other friends who also climb and have kids.

"Arco is the ultimate multi-sport venue," Hart says. She get's a ton of great gear from her sponsors, so she only wants gear she can't get from them. "I'd probably love a swanky new Suunto altimeter watch or a nice pair of Oakley sunglasses," Hart wrote in an email.

If you’re reading this, Max, we suggest the Suunto Vector XBlack for its reliable track record or Oakley's new handmade Frogskin LX sunglasses.  

Beth Rodden: Professional Rock Climber

Beth Rodden, one of the most celebrated crack climbers in the world, will only have been a mother for ten days this Mother's Day. Needless to say, she hasn't put much thought into what gifts she wants or what she’s going to do. "We'll probably just hang out," Rodden says.

She did suggest the Osprey FlapJill pack for other moms because of the bag’s versatility. "I've been using it for a crag or bouldering pack and now I'm using it as a diaper pack," Rodden says. It’s easy to access the gear thanks to multiple zippered entry points—turns out this feature works equally well to reach shoes or a jacket as it does to grab diapers or wipes.

Sarah McMahon: Ultrarunner

North Lake Tahoe resident Sarah McMahon and her husband got second place together in last year's 120-mile Transrockies Run. And because Mother's Day falls just a week before she has a 50K race in Reno, McMahon aims to go for a long run this weekend as well as spend time with her husband and three boys.   

She suggests Salomon’s Speedcross 3 trail-running shoe. Not only is this her favorite shoe to run in, it’s also available in a variety of fun colors. McMahon also suggested signing your mother up for a race and paying the entry fee on Mother's Day. "If you're pre-registered, you have that goal," McMahon says. "And if someone else paid for it, you're not backing out."

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