It’s that time of year again! How did this year zoom by so fast? To take my mind off the increasingly cooler temps, one of my favorite things to do is create gift guides. This past year, I’ve tried a lot of new things and I’ve developed a deep love for the outdoors.
Not only am I learning more about the deep health benefits of being out in nature, but I’ve realized that getting outside is important for everyone—regardless of age, weight or fitness level. There’s just something extra special about moving your body while you’re out in the elements.
When I was younger, you’d find me skiing on the weekends in the winter or biking along a greenbelt to commute back and forth to school. Being active took a backseat to the daily demands of motherhood for a while, but now I’m committed to enjoying those things as a family. Along the way, I’ve met a lot of parents who are trying to do the same.
So, in honor of this amazing transition in my life, I’ve put together this holiday gift guide full of ideas for outdoor moms (the products are also available for men through the company’s website, though!). There are no affiliate links, nor is this a sponsored post.
Altra Solstice XT
Altra just released the SolsticeXT, their first pure workout/cross-training shoe so it’s not meant for long runs on the treadmill. Compared to other shoes in this category, the SolsticeXT has more flexibility—it works for almost every type of activity! Lightweight and breathable, it’s perfect for quick workouts, short runs, and weight training. At the same time, despite how robust and durable it is, the SolsticeXT looks good too!
If you’ve never tried Altra’s shoes you’re missing out. For my entire life, I’ve struggled to find the right and now I’ll never wear anything but Altra. That’s because Altra’s unique FootShapeTM and Balanced Cushioning provide greater stability, added strength, natural alignment, and increased comfort. In our family, we all have different foot shapes and this is the one brand that magically works for all of us. It’s life-changing!
We love living near and spending time on trails. We lived in the Canadian Rockies outside Banff for a decade, spent five years roaming Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains, and now we live in Boise, Idaho (with regular trips down to Utah!). Despite this, I never realized that my life would be so much better if I owned trail shoes. Now that I’ve tried a pair, I’m never going back.
The Altra Grafton is an outdoor adventure shoe that combines a trail hiker with an approach/canyoneering shoe twist. This outdoor style is highly adaptable and provides functionality and versatility along with all of the design features that make Altra special. I keep my pair of Graftons in my van in case I need them, especially on road trips. You never know when you’ll need them!
Altra Superior 4
If I had to wear a shoe for the rest of my life, it would be the Altra Superior 4. Honestly, from the very first moment I first tried them on, it was love. I’ve only owned them for a few months, but I’ve been on so many adventures with them—from jogging through the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, to trekking through the Samalayuca Dunes in Mexico. Okay, I’ve also worn them while running errands because I’m obsessed, but let’s not get sidetracked here.
I’m not a technical person, but I can tell you that this shoe is ridiculously light and sleek. As I recovered from a knee injury this year, I appreciated how grippy the soles are on the Superior 4. Along with the knit, wrap-around style upper, I felt secure and supported in these shoes which gave me the confidence to try new and more difficult outdoor activities. If Altra made a pair of Altra Superior 4 house slippers, I’d own a pair. That’s how much I like them!
icebreaker Quantum Long Sleeve Zip Hood
Real talk for a minute, okay? Outdoor gear is expensive, and if you’ve got kids, you’re probably watching your budget. I’m careful with my money, so I try to buy things that can be used in a variety of situations. The icebreaker Quantum Long Sleeve Zip Hood is a perfect example.
The hooded merino wool midlayer is perfect for staying warm while skiing, hiking, or climbing, but it’s also comfortable enough for everyday wear. You can pack this for a weekend adventure or throw it on to grab groceries. Over a t-shirt and under a heavier jacket, you won’t even know it’s there—aside from the much-appreciated additional insulation it provides!
icebreaker Hyperia Hooded Jacket
For something a little heavier with added protection, check out the icebreaker Hyperia Hooded Jacket. This technical hooded jacket is great for mountain adventures (we love tubing, for example!) because it’s lightweight and effective. This is perfect paired with a balaclava and some mittens!
Unlike so many cold-weather jackets, the Hyperia’s shape gives me a feminine fit. The most important thing is staying warm, of course, but if I can accomplish that while still feeling cute, then that’s a bonus, right?
Arc’teryx Zeta SL Jacket
Now that I’m an outdoor expert (okay, I’m still working on this!), I have to say that everyone should have a shell jacket! It’s great for when you have on the layers you need but want added protection against wind, rain and/or snow. Personally, I’d recommend the Arc’teryx Zeta SL jacket.
It’s incredibly lightweight and packs up super small. I’ve even rolled it up and put it in a side pocket of a backpack! Then, if you need it, just roll it out and allow that GORE-TEX fabric to shield you from harsh conditions. The waterproofing on this thing is outrageous. I’ve been in a downpour while wearing it and stayed completely dry. The hood is also designed to help block out the weather, keeping your head warm and cozy while you explore.
Lifeproof Phone Cases & Accessories
One of the most important things I’ve purchased this year is a phone case. Not only have I been out there climbing over boulders and running down hills, I’ve also enjoyed riding roller coasters. If the special mom in your life loves to live on the edge, it’s reassuring to know her phone is safe in case of emergency.
Lifeproof makes all kinds of cases designed to keep devices safe. I’d recommend the products that are waterproof as well as those that prevent scratching. While running through a crazy airport, my phone flung from my hand, flew across the air, hit the ground and then slid into a wall. The only damage it sustained was some chipping to the screen protector!
While you’re on Lifeproof’s site, be sure to check out the power packs. There are not enough words to describe how having an additional power source has saved me when my phone battery has died in an emergency situation.
Eye protection isn’t just for the summer months, you know. Year-round, the sun’s rays can cause damage to our eyes and impact our vision. In fact, that glare off of a snowy mountain can be downright brutal. Plus, it’s just so much easier to see when you’re not squinting!
Smith Optics makes sunglasses and goggles that are designed for active lifestyles. You can even have your prescription added to the lenses! The innovative brand has been leading the way for more than 50 years by pioneering new ways to improve polarized lens technology.
Stanley Outdoor Gear
I’m not a coffee drinker, but I have at least three cups of tea a day. The best way to take a break and warm up after a morning of hiking is to enjoy a hot drink. Only, that’s not always practical in the middle of the forest! From a young age, though, my family has relied on outdoor gear from Stanley to make the most of our adventures!
Two of my favorite things—the Classic Legendary Vacuum Bottle and the Adventure Stainless Steel Vacuum Food Jar—are must-haves, in my opinion. One is for my creamy warm tea and the other is for a delicious midday meal (stews and chilis are perfect for this!). Of course, you could spend an entire year looking through their amazing collection of products, so scroll through the site for gift ideas!
Is international travel on mom’s itinerary for 2020? If so, you should check out the Skyroam Solis. This thing really is so handy! It provides portable WiFi for up to five devices and power charging in one small, brightly colored little gadget!
Before using it, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but during a trip to Japan, this worked seamlessly. The internet was reliable and fast while allowing us to stay connected SIM-free and hassle-free!
Eagle Creek Packable Daypack
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s being weighed down by a bulky bag. Whether I’m making my way through a national park or the middle of Times Square, whatever I carry needs to be light. That’s why I absolutely adore the Eagle Creek Packable Daypack.
It looks like a small pouch but unfolds into a wonderfully roomy backpack. I’ve easily fit a couple of large water bottles inside along with snacks and essentials, while the outside pocket is perfect for a slim wallet, lip balm, and hand sanitizer. This is one of my favorite pieces of travel gear!
We hope this gift guide gave you some ideas for the special mom in your life. If you see something you love, though, don’t wait for someone else to buy it. You deserve to be happy, and if the perfect piece of outdoor gear will make you feel good, get it for yourself! Life is short, so enjoy the journey. Happy adventuring!