14 Unique Ways to Say "Happy Mother's Day!"

Help moms unwind, relax, and get outside

By Katie O'Reilly

May 6, 2017


Moms who get outside (photo courtesy of Hike It Baby)

A great Mother’s Day gift is a balancing act—you want to make your mom proud, with environmentally responsible gifts that encourage and/or reflect her green sensibilities. Yet you also want her to truly relax, get out, and have some fun. Not only does she deserve it (motherhood, after all, is all-consuming at every stage), but now marks the ideal time of year to get Mom savoring Mother Earth’s bona fides. Whether the mother figure(s) in your life enjoy hard-core adventure, seeing the world, tending a garden, or simply dipping her toes in the water, these gift ideas all lend themselves to al fresco leisure.  


Courtesy of Sunski

Proving that style doesn’t have to stop at the trailhead or shoreline, Sunski’s line of affordable, polarized sunglasses for adventurers was inspired by the vintage shades spied in the surf shops and thrift stores of Australia. You might say primitive-glacier goggles meet iconic cat-eyes in the company’s summer collection. Eco-conscious moms will appreciate that the company gives back via 1% For the Planet, and many will dig the pop of bright color found in the playfully feminine Makani ($55) variety, too.


Courtesy of Flowfold

Geologists use the term “flowfold” to describe layers of rock that fold smoothly over one another, over time, without breaking. The ethos of flexibility inspired the eponymous, Maine-based adventure gear company to create a lightweight, water-resistant, 16-liter tote ($78). Designed for a day spent beaching, boating, or perusing a farmers’ market, this minimalist, mostly nylon bag is also vegan, zippable, and available in several colors. Plus, it easily doubles as a carry-on for moms who are going places.


Courtesy of Lula's Garden 

There’s sending flowers, and then there’s giving the lasting gift of a sustainable mini-garden. Inspired by the rise of drought awareness in the West, Lula’s Garden allows you to send loved ones anywhere in the country California-grown succulents (hand-delivery is an option in Los Angeles), which arrive in an attractive gift box that doubles as a planter. We recommend choosing a fresh, sustainable gift from among the Mother's Day Collection ($35 to $85).


Courtesy of Compas Life 

Imagine if the optimists behind Life Is Good got into outdoor exploration. It would probably look something like Compas Life, a clothing brand that aims to inspire people to get outdoors and embrace positivity. Choose from among plenty of tees, hoodies, trail-marketing patches, keychains, and other clothing and accessories. We’re partial to the New Mexico–inspired Abandoned Enchantment collection, however. Got a quirky mom who has everything? She likely doesn’t yet have her hands on this Adventure Is Out There” tee ($29), created in the image of the alleged (and storied) 1947 UFO crash landing in Roswell.


Courtesy of Nomadic State of Mind

Show Mom the ropes this Mother’s Day—literally. From Nomadic State of Mind, handmade Mountain Momma sandals ($42, including shipping in the United States) are crafted from recycled and reused rope. Give her a new, nautical look—one free of animal cruelty and rope burn—for the beach, pool, or barbecue, while helping to keep materials out of landfills.

rain shell

Courtesy of Eddie Bauer 

Give sporty, adventurous moms the gift of staying dry, via Eddie Bauer’s newest rain shell, the Cloud Cap Flex ($129). This nylon, machine-washable jacket comes with an adjustable hood, “pit zips” to help prevent overheating, adjustable drawcord hems, and zippered pockets. With proprietary “stretch zones,” this waterproof shell is designed to move along with a hiking, paddling, or jogging wearer, and compresses to the size of a lemon for easy transport. Available in aquamarine (our recommendation), white, and gray, it’s also far more stylish and soft than your standard-issue shell.


Courtesy of Skinerals

As any outdoorswoman with allergies will tell you, nature can irritate skin, fast. Skinerals founder Michael Shindele launched this organic brand following his daughter’s diagnosis of severe eczema and skin allergies, with a mission to craft products from plants and minerals that could help manage and repair skin damage and irritation. Give the gift of safe, daily moisture with Sweet Jasper Body Lotion ($20), a formula using plant extracts and essential oils to bestow a protective layer of moisture on all skin types. It’s gentle yet deeply moisturizing, and won’t bog Mom down with any greasy residue.

bluetooth speaker

Courtesy of Yatra

Know of any cyclist mamas who love their music and/or podcasts? The weather-, dust-, and shock-proof all-terrain Aquatune 9612 bluetooth speaker ($65) from Yatra makes for a choice adventure companion. Mom can clip it to her bike or backpack and enjoy up to 12 hours of crisp sound.


Courtesy of Krimson Klover

Mothers tend to prize versatility. And who doesn’t appreciate a warm-weather statement piece? The Sundae Poncho ($138) from Boulder, Colorado’s “slow fashion” mavens Krimson Klover features hand-painted, sorbet-like patterns over natural and sustainably sourced yarns. World traveler and Krimson Klover founder Rhonda Swenson recommends layering this 80 percent linen/20 percent nylon piece over work and play clothes. One size drapes nicely over most.


Courtesy of Chaos Hats 

Chic meets practical in Chaos Hats’ summer headwear collection. Choose from among dozens of new and classic hats that’ll lend Mom some outdoorsy style, plus much-needed UV protection. We recommend the Tia ($22), a wide-brimmed, straw panama hat sporting a denim ribbon. It’s available in three earthy colors, and Sierra readers can enjoy 20 percent off—just use the code CHMOM17 at checkout.


Courtesy of Tu'el  

A pampering gift is a Mother’s Day classic. But you want to make sure you don’t bestow skin-softening chemicals on Mom! Tu’el’s Skin Care is botanical-based and designed to treat specific skin types and conditions. Help the jet-set mothers in your life keep their skin youthful and healthy with the Mature Skin Travel Pack ($58). This kit contains TSA-friendly, refillable quantities of cleansing oil, herbal toner, antioxidant cleanser, scrub, and moisturizing creams. Also available? Tu’el travel kits that specifically target dry, reactive, acne-prone, oily, and combination skin types.



Courtesy of GrowOya

You can team up with Mother Nature herself on this one—a pretty ceramic oya from GrowOya ($25 to $40). Give the mother(s) in your life the gift of hands-off gardening. She can simply fill her oya with water, leave it in the ground, and retrieve come fall, when it will have naturally borne her flowers, herbs, and vegetables. The bounty, however, will be a surprise—plant life seeks out these containers, which draw water runoff naturally (no over-watering necessary) and come with a cap to keep mosquitoes, slugs, and other pests out. After this year’s mystery harvest is unearthed, her GrowOya can be cleaned and used again next season. What’s more, the company is a 1% For the Planet member.


Courtesy of Deuter

Know of any ladies who like to supplement the epic journey that is motherhood with thru-hiking or backpacking endeavors? Consider splurging on a brand-new women’s pack designed to lighten heavy loads and that's adjustable to her back length. The Aircontact Pro 65+15 SL ($349) from Deuter is constructed to distribute weight optimally for long, equipment-intensive treks, keeping the load close to the wearer’s center of gravity. Plus, it comes in a rich, easy-to-match denim, deep red, and pine hues, and with a pretty yellow flower.

mother and baby hiking

Courtesy of Hike It Baby 

For new moms especially, there’s something to be said for the gift of community. Enter Hike It Baby, one of the fastest-growing groups in the country, counting 310 branches and 172,000 families that participate in more than 5,000 hikes each month. Hike It Baby started in 2013, with a handful of Portland moms who sought a nontraditional new parent group that would help ensure that outdoorsy moms would still get outside, post-kids. Today, Hike It Baby’s 563 branch ambassadors organize mom-centric, kids’, full-family, and dads’ hikes. Give moms and families a reason to get moving with a $10 gift membership.