On this Mother’s Day we have the traces in our heads more than ever. Going on adventures and getting some fresh air with loved ones is the ultimate goal, but the right equipment can make this time a lot more enjoyable. Here are some gifts that won’t collect dust in your closet.
(Photo: Courtesy Nocs Provisions)
Binoculars are an excellent addition to any hiking equipment: you can use them to see distant peaks and enlarge the wildlife. “It’s easy to spend more than $ 500 on binoculars, but for the novice or intermittent enthusiast, Nocs are a solid pair at an affordable price,” wrote Aleta Burchyski in her Bird Watching Guide. We’ve also included Nocs (pictured above) in our Summer 2020 Buying Guide: “A high-end prism improves sharpness, and the textured handle and waterproof case are ready for adventure,” wrote tester Stephanie Pearson.
In 2020 we asked our mothers about their favorite gear, and the Nikon Monarch 5 made the list: “It’s a phenomenal buy for an amateur bird watcher,” wrote Claire Hyman’s mother, the former editorial assistant. At $ 300, it’s a slightly bigger investment than the Nocs, but you get an improved zoom for spying on nature far away.
A storage blanket
(Photo: Courtesy of Nemo)
Storage ceilings have improved significantly in recent years. Today, some models function as both a groundsheet and quilt, while others are light enough for backpacking trips. Their versatility makes them solid accessories for outdoor adventures and spontaneous picnics. For this reason testers Gabriela Aoun and Joe Jackson have included the Kelty Bestie blanket in their summary of Christmas presents: “The Beast is compact enough to be stowed in a bag for most outings. It’s durable and affordable, ”they wrote. Much like the beast, Nemo’s two-person victory blanket (pictured above) is one of columnist Jakob Schiller’s favorites for family car camping. For a plush option, consider Rumpl’s original puffy, which we called the Cadillac of Backcountry Quilts.
A smartwatch for hikes and workouts
(Photo: Courtesy Garmin)
Garmin fēnix® 6S Pro Solar ($ 849.99)
This multisport GPS watch is just like mom: tough. The fēnix® 6S Pro Solar has a solar charging lens that remains efficient for weeks. Whether it’s climbing, surfing, walking or cycling, mom can now monitor her progress and track any type of exercise.
An isolated water bottle
(Photo: Courtesy Hydro Flask)
An ice cold drink is essential on a hot day hike. Unlike plastic bottles, insulated bottles hold back the ice for longer and don’t make the exterior sweat. They can also keep your coffee hot. Start with the GSI Microlite, which won our Gear Guy’s test for its favorite isolated models. At 13.7 ounces, it’s relatively light given stiffer competition like the bomb-proof Yeti Rambler, but it still kept its water cold after 36 hours. If you’re looking for an even more portable option, consider the Hydro Flask Trail series (pictured above). The 32-ounce version weighs just 12.5 ounces. “This and the GSI are the only insulated water bottles I would bring for a backpacking trip or an extended ski tour,” he wrote.
Main photo: Steve Glass / Cavan