Ask A Gear Guru: What Are the Best Mother’s Day Tri Upgrades?

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and we’ve got the gear/advice to help upgrade that special person in your life.

Photo: Getty Images

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First off, you might be thinking, “Why is this guy giving me gift advice for mothers? He’s not a mother!” You’d be right. But I have a mother. And I have years of Mother’s Day gift-giving experience. And what do they say about failure—that it gives you invaluable experience? Well, I’ve learned more about gift-giving through failure than I know about gear, and I know a lot about gear. (They don’t call me the Gear Greenhorn now, do they? Do they?)

So I’m here to combine my years of Mother’s Day gift-giving with my years of gear buying, trying, and destroying to help shed some light on your maternal shopping list. This Mother’s Day, as we get closer to that much-anticipated race season, think about enhancing the tri-mom’s training and racing. Rather than getting them something completely new they might not love, get them something that will upgrade what they already love. Who doesn’t enjoy that boost in their smoothie or that Outside+ membership? But think bigger,  of course—think betterer! Make her faster, more agile, more aero, and more comfortable, because you know being a mom isn’t easy, and being a 2021 mom is about the toughest thing there is.

Best Mother’s Day Tri Upgrade: Running Tights



No, these tights aren’t cheap, but at least they’re not as expensive as the Maloja shorts I reviewed last week. And to be fair, quality tights are never cheap—the ubiquitous Lululemon leggings that everyone probably already owns run from $80-120, so quality costs. The good news is that our testers actually say these Maloja tights are better than the standard Lulu offering. Yes, you read that right, better. The GOLDSTERNMs (name notwithstanding) have excellent compression, great fit, and a super silky feel along with a small pocket inside the rear waistband and a larger, phone-sized pocket on the right thigh. Upgrade those Lulus now.

Best Mother’s Day Tri Upgrade: Trail Shoes

Altra Lone Peak 5


If you’re looking to upgrade the offroad run for the mother in your life, then look no further than the zero-drop Lone Peak 5s from Altra. These shoes are low-to-the-ground for excellent feel and agility, and their deep, widely-spaced lugs work for all terrain from dry and dusty to wet and muddy. Add in little extras like a gator loop in the front and tab in the back, and this upgrade to the Lone Peak line will have her bounding from rock to rock with control and protection—thanks to the abrasion resistant toe-box and heel cup.

Best Mother’s Day Tri Upgrade: Aero Road Cycling Helmet

Specialized S-Works Evade II with ANGi


Boasting four stars from reviewers in our Spring 2021 Triathlete Helmet Buyer’s Guide, this super fast aero road helmet has all kinds of upgrades: a magnetic chin strap for quick on/off, a MIPS safety system for concussion prevention, and even super cool ANGi technology that pairs with a smartphone to provide notifications to emergency contacts in the event of a crash—something every parent wants. This is a particularly good choice if the mother in your life has a narrow head, as the Evade II has a thin fit.

Best Mother’s Day Tri Upgrade: Superfoods Superfood Nutrition Products

Starting at $35,

Like we said before, everyone loves to upgrade their smoothie with little boosts, and with a subscription (or one-time purchase) you can now upgrade your smoothies and other foods at home. Using organic, non-GMO, plant-based blends with names like Magic Mushroom, Energy Bomb, Moon Balance, and Golden Mellow, you can order these little add-ons to enhance the whole life of the mother in your world. Each blend has a different function (we love Power Matcha and Super Green), but all of them help support a triathlete’s active (and busy) lifestyle.

Best Mother’s Day Tri Upgrade: Tri Kit

Giordana Vero Pro Tri Women’s Doppio Suit


This is a new kit that also earned high marks in our Spring 2021 Triathlete Race Kit Buyer’s Guide with four stars. Our testers raved about the one/two-piece construction with a front panel that runs from the bottom on the shorts to cover the stomach. The compression on the Vero Pro gives it what testers called a “premium feel,” and the colors and cut were a big win as well. It’s probably been a while since the mother in your life got a chance to put her tri suit on, so this is an upgrade that’s been a long time coming.

Best Mother’s Day Tri Upgrade: Bodywork

Sports Massage

Prices vary

Sports massage: Moms love massages, and triathlete-moms love sports massages. “I had not idea how sore I would be from training for an Ironman!” said one Women for Tri group mom. This is a gift she’ll really appreciate.
It’s a Mother’s Day staple because it works. Assuming the mother in your life is fully vaccinated and feels comfortable with getting some in-person massage work done, then there’s a good chance they’ve been waiting for some hands-on therapy. Your percussive massager may have outlived its novelty during this past year and a pair of real professional expert hands might just be just the thing to upgrade their body as the season gets near. Check out this piece on which type of massage you should order up for the mother in your life.

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