Take care of Mom this Sunday with a thoughtful gift. Bonus points if it helps her get outside. I interviewed six elite athletes who juggle the responsibilities of motherhood while competing at the pro level to get tips on the best gear for your mom, wife, or girlfriend.
Pro Skier Jessica Baker
Professional skier and mountain guide Jessica Baker is about to embark on a two-week expedition into the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness in Alaska. Since that means she won’t spend Mother’s Day with her 19-month-old daughter, Baker wants a Delorme InReach to communicate with her family via text and email while she’s off the grid. “If I am not going to be with them, the next best thing is to be able to communicate,” Baker says.
NRS Imperial 6 Stand-Up Paddleboard
Pro Gear Tester Nancy Bouchard
Gear tester, outdoor writer, and former pro rock climber Nancy Bouchard will spend Mother’s Day running, biking, and climbing with her three daughters in Bend, Oregon. She lives a stone’s throw from the Deschutes River and really wants to enjoy paddling it on an NRS Imperial 6 SUP. The inflatable board is incredibly versatile, making it ideal to share with her husband and daughters. “The nice thing about a paddleboard is that it isn’t body- or build-specific. You can pass it around, and anyone can have fun with it,” Bouchard says.
Yakima Fourtimer Rack
Freeskiing Champion Wendy Fisher
Wendy Fisher, former Olympian, freeskiing champion, and mother of two, wants a better bike transportation system. “If I go somewhere, I’m throwing in all the gear I can—the bikes, skateboards, soccer ball—because I don’t want the boys to be bored,” Fisher says. She currently uses a hitch system on her car that accommodates just two bikes—enough for her boys, but not the whole family. I suggest the Yakima Fourtimer because it holds bikes of multiple sizes, meaning she won’t have to upgrade as her sons get bigger.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Pack
Outside Correspondent Katie Arnold
Raising Rippers columnist Katie Arnold wants an entire Hyperlite Mountain Gear setup for Mother’s Day. The highly accomplished ultrarunner and mother of two already has most of the gear she needs for her sport, but a lightweight bomber pack would be nice to have while she trains for an FKT attempt on the Grand Canyon. “One of the great things about ultrarunning is that you can really have an adventure and still be home by dinner,” Arnold says. “But the more I run, the more I want to get away from it all.”
Salomon Elevate Mid W Midlayer
World Mountain Running Champion Kasie Enman
Enman will spend Mother’s Day recovering from a race, so she plans to carve out time for a leisurely trail run. “As a mom, I need my gear to be as versatile as possible,” the mother of two wrote in an email. “I love a midweight shirt that has a full-length zipper if I need to do any quick post-run nursing and looks fashionable enough to leave on all day,” she says. Ensman’s midlayer of choice? The Elevate Mid.
Jaybird Bluebuds X Wireless Earbuds
Pro Runner Lauren Fleshman
The two-time national 5K track and field champion suggests Jaybird Bluebuds X as a Mother’s Day gift. “Hands down, the best wireless headphones for working out you can find,” Fleshman wrote in an email. She also suggested getting the $18 Comply Foam Ear Tips. “Women in general seem to have a harder time with wireless buds staying in their ears, and the Comply ones make them stick like glue and boost the sound quality,” Fleshman wrote.