Mothers Day Gift Guide
Mother’s Day (May 12) is fast approaching! Here are some last minute gift ideas for that special outdoorsy woman in your life that go beyond jewelry or flowers.
For the One with Fur Babies
YETI built its company on superior coolers and drinkware. When it expanded its product line to include accessories and gear, I was initially skeptical. Shouldn’t YETI just keep to what it knows best? Keeping things cold? I wondered.
Thankfully, YETI proved me wrong with the YETI Lowlands Blanket (MSRP $199) – the most practical and durable utility blanket ever. Designed with outdoor festivals, camping, and tailgating in mind, the blanket comes in two colors (fireside red and smoke blue), features a waterproof utility layer on one side and an insulated soft layer on the other, and comes with its own carrying bag for easy storage.
What piqued my curiosity was the claim that it was repellent to mud and dog hair. My four-legged fur baby is an Australian Cattle Dog- a breed that sheds like crazy. Over the years, I’ve gone through countless pet blankets for car, couch, and bed- none of them very efficient at repelling pet hair and often flimsy.
So I had to try the Lowlands blanket. YETI’s dog hair- repelling claim? Accurate.
While it does attract some dog hair, it only attracts a fraction of what other blankets have. The waterproof layer has also been a bonus to protect the bed from accidents or spills. It can also be thrown into the laundry machine and dryer for easy cleaning.
I keep it on my queen-sized bed in the evenings so that my dog can sleep with me and not damage the comforter. I like the blanket so much that I want to buy one for friends whenever they welcome a new fur baby.
In a world of multipurpose utility blankets, the YETI Lowlands blanket stands out for its thoughtfully engineered design and is the perfect dog blanket that will keep both fur baby and hooman mom happy. I am convinced it is the best utility blanket available for this purpose, and wish it came in more colors.
For the One Who Hikes
Got an avid hiker in your life? This is the year to level up her hiking with a new pair of boots or comfort insoles.
As a flat-footed hiker, I recommend Scarpa’s Zodiac Plus GTX Women’s hiking boots (MSRP $269) and SuperFeet Trailblazer Insoles (MSRP $49.95) to provide much-needed stability while hiking challenging terrain.
Well worth the hefty asking price, Scarpa’s Zodiac Plus GTX Women’s hiking boots are well worth the investment for both fit and performance.
Astonishingly light, the flexible Zodiac Plus GTX comes packed with technology (Vibram outsole, GORE-TEX performance lining, Activ Impact, Activ Fit, and Sock-Fit DV) I initially did not realize that I needed, but will never want to go without again.
From the moment I tried these on, the difference between the Zodiac Plus GTX boots and my old Merrell Moab hiking boots was obvious in both in weight (Scarpa’s claimed weight is 1 pound, while Merrell’s claimed weight is 2 pounds) and fit.
In addition to the weight, the most noticeable feature of the Zodiac Plus GTX is the Sock-Fit DV construction that provides a snug, glove-like fit with unparalleled comfort. Thanks to its asymmetric lacing system, laces stayed in place with no having to stop to adjust laces or pull up socks.
No other hiking boot fits quite precisely like these. The Zodiac Plus GTX boots are probably the closest a mass-produced hiking boot comes to being custom-fit to your feet. Twice the price of the Moab hiking boots, you get what you pay for: a high tech hiking boot with an unparalleled fit that can tackle any terrain.
Less glamorous than boots, but crucial to providing support to feet and ankles during aggressive hikes are insoles.
SuperFeet Trailblazer Insoles stabilize your feet on uneven terrain, reduces shifting with its deep heel cup, provides support that minimizes fatigue, prevents blisters, reduces impact on ascents and descents with HIT technology, and absorbs shock through its patented Aerospring™ Ascent dual comfort foam.
Insoles are ideal for hikers like me who suffer from fallen arches and need an insole to distribute pressure across my foot base. Like technical socks, good insoles as gifts are not necessarily exciting or glamorous, but absolutely necessary to protect feet in outdoor adventures.
For the One Who Does it All
The Mammut Runbold ML Hoody (MSRP $119) is a versatile mid-weight layer that can be used hiking, running or camping in cool temperatures. This is a piece you will find yourself borrowing from your roommate (just ask mine) until you buy your own because it looks good on everyone.
This midlayer distinguishes itself from other midlayers for its flattering athletic cut (neither too slim or too bulky) and adjustable feminine hood. Approaching my mid-40s, I no longer have the slim figure I had 6 or 7 years ago. Finding midlayers that perform well and are not too form fitting is a challenge.
The Runbold ML Hoody is flattering simplicity. I especially appreciate its soft, waffle backing fleece interior that keeps me toasty in cooler conditions. Constructed from quick-drying polyester/spandex, thoughtful features of the hoody include thumb loops, partial elastic hem, and a kangaroo pocket.
For the One Who Enjoys Aromatherapy
I am a fan of aromatherapy. From body wash to candles, I love creating a relaxing environment at home.
Some time ago, I stayed at a luxury ski lodge that had the most amazing scented evergreen body wash in the bathroom of my suite. Unfortunately, it was custom-made for the resort, so I could not go online and purchase it when I got home.
In vain, I searched for body washes with woodsy scents described as pine, balsam, cedar, etc. hoping to duplicate the resort’s body wash. From Every Man Jack cedar body wash to JASON forest fresh body wash, I tried them all.
To my dismay, none of them were close to what I had used during that ski trip so many years ago- until my recent introduction to Alpine Provision’s Pure Castile Soap.
A division of Pangea Organics, Alpine Provision’s Pure Castile Soap (I still refer to it as body wash) comes in three nature-inspired scents of Lavender + Juniper, Cedar + Sandalwood, and (my favorite) Fir + Sage.
I adore this product! The body wash lathers up nicely and the scents are incredibly realistic while lacking an overtly chemically manufactured scent and feel. Furthermore, Castile soaps are 100 percent biodegradable, natural, organic, and sustainably sourced. You can stay clean, smell great and know that you’re using a product good for the environment.
Another local favorite of mine, Mountain Lux Candles, offers a variety of nature-inspired scents in hand-crafted candles that include balsam fir, hops, pine needles, rosemary, and cedar to name a few.
For single wick candles, the Mountain Lux candles have a strong throw without being overpowering. Unlike scented candles produced by larger national chains, the scented candles do not have a chemically manufactured aroma. They just smell good.
For the One Who Needs Performance Work Wear
Carhartt is a name synonymous with performance work wear. However, the company has found itself in an increasingly crowded market as traditional outdoor recreation-oriented companies expand into performance work wear.
My two workwear staples are Patagonia’s Farrier shirt (MSRP $89) and Merrell’s Jungle Moc ESD Comp Toe Work Shoe (MSRP $130).
In Patagonia’s Farrier shirt, women finally have the multipurpose work shirt that men have had for decades.
Constructed from industrial hemp and recycled polyester designed to drape beautifully without sacrificing durability, the cleanly lined Farrier shirt is sturdy, yet super soft. Deep front pockets and pencil sleeves make it functional.
The comfortable work wear a variation of Merrell’s classic Jungle Moc, the ESD Comp Toe Work Shoe offers a composite safety toe for protection, GRIP rubber outsole to prevent slips, air cushion to absorb shock, and water resistant full grain leather.
I appreciate the ease of a slide-on shoe designed to work as hard as I do when I spend the day constantly on my feet.
For the One Who Uses Multifunctional Gear
One of the biggest strengths of YETI’s newer line of bags and accessories is that they are multifunctional whose uses are endless and keep you mobile. Two recent favorites include the YETI Camino Carryall (MSRP $149) and the YETI Fully Loaded Bucket (MSRP $129).
The Camino is an upgraded adventure version of that handy L.L. Bean canvas tote that you used to take every weekend to the farmer’s market. From fly fishing to beach trips, the Camino is the go-to bag for outdoor adventure.
Extremely durable and easy to clean, the Camino is made from waterproof materials that can either keep wet or muddy gear confined to one area or protect dry gear from the elements. Available in four colors (reef blue, storm gray, everglade sand, and sky blue), this is one gift that is certain to get a lot of use.
The 5-gallon Fully Loaded Bucket set (That’s right. I just suggested a bucket for a gift) is equally versatile and insanely practical; particularly for those who like to be organized.
The Fully Loaded Bucket set includes: 5-gallon LoadOut bucket, LoadOut Lid, LoadOut Utility Gear Belt, and LoadOut Caddy.
Practically indestructible, key features of the bucket include a Bearfoot Non-Slip Ring, Hefty Hauler handle, Anchor Point tie-down slots to securely fasten the bucket to your boat or ATV, and is also safe to store food.
While my original intention was to use the bucket to contain dog-related items (food, leash, gear, etc.) for camping trips, I ended up using it to store and organize bike-related accessories and tools that I could take on multi-day bike trips on the western slope.
For the One Who Likes to Travel
Ideal travel clothing requires little care and looks great in any situation. This season, Mountain Khakis and Toad & Co. offer trendy pieces constructed with technical gear technology.
Mountain Khakis Emma Strap dress (MSRP $74.95) is a feminine dress that will take you from al fresco patio brunches to music festivals.
Unlike many dresses made by outdoor clothing outfitters, the classic fit is forgiving and drapes nicely without unnecessarily accentuating every curve on the body.
Designed with summer fun and travel in mind, the quick-dry dress features thin straps that stay in place, and a whimsical floral detail printed on 100 percent 20+ UPF polyester fabric.
The lightweight Flextime Skinny Pant gives legs a slimmer appearance and features FlexForm waistband technology and welted back pockets that accentuate your rear and doesn’t sacrifice comfort for style.
Technology includes switchback stretch, DWR finish to wick moisture away, UPF 50+ rating, and quick dry bluesign® certified fabric.
The Sunhemp Quilted Jacket embodies this summer’s linen look without the linen hassle.
Made from an eco-blend of hemp and Tencel quick dry fabric and filled with recycled polyester, the Sunhemp jacket is rated UPF 25+ and wicks moisture away.
The Sunhemp jacket instantly dresses up your look without appearing too formal. Features include a snap placket, hand pockets, internal pocket for valuables, and a thoughtfully designed forward shoulder seam for pack compatibility. The easy-fit design is forgiving, but you’ll want to consider ordering a size down.
For the One Who Bike Commutes
Pearl Izumi’s Bike Style line was designed for bike commuters who demand clothing that looks great, doesn’t scream cyclist, and can take you straight from the bike path to the office.
As an urban bike commuter for several years, having clothing that looks good but has the technical features standard to cycling clothing is important.
Designed with cycling in mind, the Vista pant demonstrates that details matter. Made from super stretchy fabric that doesn’t restrict movement, the Vista pant’s differentiating features include angled pockets to hold items behind my leg while I pedal, and a wide waistband placed higher in the back for more coverage while on the bike.
Other features include: eco-friendly fabric is treated with C6 water-resistant DWR, BioViz® reflective elements for low-light visibility, side zip security pocket that can accommodate handheld devices, and classic five-pocket styling.
The Versa long sleeve henley is semi-fitted long sleeve shirt perfect for cooler days. Offering a flattering fit, the active moisture transfer fabric keeps me dry while subtle reflective accents enhance visibility to keep me safe.
For days that require short sleeves, the Boulevard Merino Tee is constructed from responsibly sourced merino wool and recycled polyester blend. The versatile top looks fresh after a ride and includes antimicrobial and thermal regulating technology.
For the One Who Enjoys Beer
I am all for keeping my beer cold and using reusable containers, so I was delighted when YETI introduced the YETI Rambler 16 oz. matching stackable pints (MSRP $49.99).
Sold as a set, the Rambler 16 oz. replaces the wasteful and ubiquitous single-use red party cups used at social gatherings everywhere.
Featuring the same Rambler technology (insulated and indestructible) as the original 20 oz. tumblers, the stackable pints take up less space (hence the emphasis on stackability) and can accommodate the variety of standard Rambler lids available so there is no need to buy a new set of lids.
Of all the Rambler drinkware available, this size is my favorite and get the most use. Available in seven colors (stainless, black, seafoam, brick red, navy, and white), the stackable pint set makes a great housewarming gift for someone who has limited storage space.
Did I mention I like beer?
Try the newest energy gel flavor from GU Energy labs, Hoppy Trails (MSRP $1.50 per single serve packet) inspired by beer. More savory than sweet, the gel balances flavorful hops with notes of citrus.
For The One Who Collects Day Packs
The CamelBak Pivot Rolltop Backpack (MSRP $60) is a lightweight day pack with slots for water bottles.
Roll top closure and internal organizer pockets make this a useful pack. Bonus – it is made from 50% repurposed materials.
See these other gift guides for more ideas!