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Gear Guy

Is there a gear maker that sells good maternity duds?

Just wondering if you know of any companies that do any sort of maternity outdoor wear, the actual technical garb. I realize that a pregnancy only lasts so long and we already have to add to our wardrobe as it is, but it just so happens that my few biggest months will be the hiking season. I have tried on some of my other gear and think a few pieces will work, but is there a manufacturer who makes stuff that will actually let me and the baby hike comfortably? Charlotte Winnipeg, Manitoba

A: Wow, tough crowd. The short answer is: No, nobody that I'm remotely aware of tailors what I think of as outdoor-oriented clothing—fleece jackets, rainwear, that sort of thing—for the pregnant set. Your query suggests there may be a market for it, but I expect that the mothers who are still out there hiking and climbing right up to their due date are somewhat in the minority. Cheers for you, though—assuming you really feel like doing that sort of thing with a watermelon under your shirt.

My suggestion, then, is to make the best of what you can find. There are avenues to find some base layer-type items that will fit. Check the Mothers in Motion Web site ( There you'll find a range of maternity wear for active moms-to-be—shorts, pants, tops, that sort of thing. Not really outdoor stuff, but it could be used in conjunction with non-maternity outdoor wear.

Beyond that, consider buying one or two "up-sized" pieces that at least will fit around you, and can always be used again if you decide to give the new baby a sister or brother. Don't splurge here—buy house-brand stuff from REI, L.L. Bean, Lands' End, or Campmor. You can get a nice fleece jacket at Lands' End for $50, for instance. That and an inexpensive rainjacket like Marmot's Precip ($90) will get you halfway there. Alternatively, perhaps the male party responsible for this happy event has some bigger pieces that he will cheerfully loan to you.

Good luck! Send us a picture of the new arrival.

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