Well, now that I’m at 24 weeks and well into maternity wear at this point, it seemed fitting to review the clothing I’ve received from one of the most innovative and outside-the-box thinking companies I’ve had the privilege to work with. Mountain Mama was born after founder Teresa Delfin realized very quickly during her first pregnancy how inadequate regular maternity clothes are for adventuring mamas-to-be. While maternity leggings, full-paneled cotton trousers, and knit cotton tees are plentiful across every department store in America, a quick google search for wicking, technical apparel will land you at one website – Mountain Mama.
My first connection with this company was via a sponsorship offer in March of 2010 – just one month before my due date, and 5 months before the first Mountain Mama threads hit the stores for the fall season. I proudly sported my 2 pieces of prototype clothing for two weeks…and then C decided he was ready for the world! But since those early years, this company has expanded to include a full line of clothing suitable for every season – everything from bathingsuits to thermal fleece jackets! So you can imagine my excitement when I got a chance to work with them again for baby #2 – THIS time from the very beginning!
Here’s a sum-up of the pieces I’ve tried, and how I’ve enjoyed each of them.
Tenaya V-Neck Eco Tee – This might just be my favorite fabric ever. Made from tree pulp(!) and spandex, the EstiraTec 2 fabric is unbelievably soft (think well-worn pajama pants soft…), lighter than air, but wicks like a performance tee. The length is curved in the front, which means a bigger baby bump stays hidden, but it drapes nicely over a smaller bump without looking sloppy.
Anya Performance Tee – Same great fit as the Tenaya, but in a slightly thicker and more durable opaque mesh fabric. This has been my go-to climbing tee for a while now. The added length keeps the shirt under my harness without bunching up, and the durable fabric holds up well to abrasions on the rock and shrubbery snags on the approach.
Lumni Crossfront Tank – This is one of several Mountain Mama offerings that are intended to double as both maternity and nursing wear, which I for one think is a brilliant idea. Even better, this comfy tank is made from the same silky soft fabric as the Tenaya tee, which I’m sure baby will love nuzzling against just as much as you’ll love having it on! One word of advice, however – the crossfront neckline makes for a pretty deep V-neck, so unless you are VERY well-endowed, you’ll probably want to wear a sports bra or camisole rather than a regular bra, as it will most likely be seen.
Marni Movement Tank – Finally, a maternity tank that took a climber chick’s love for strappy tank tops into account! A thin line of racerback AND over-the-shoulder straps make for a combination that is as supportive as it is flattering. As far as sizing goes, this top is very customizable – it’s offered in XS through XL in two different shelf bra options – one made for A-C cups, and the other made for C-E cups. (And ladies, if you’re in the middle, don’t forget to factor in an inevitable increase in cup size…)
Alba Wide Leg Pant – These pants are comfortable beyond belief, and are now my go-to pants for climbing, hiking, or just playing in the woods with my son! At first I was afraid that the wide leg would cause issues with seeing my footwork while climbing, but it hasn’t caused a problem, and the bottoms roll up easily anyway. The fabric is a lightweight, stretchy nylon, similar to the utility stretch fabric in several of my fave climbing pants from Athleta. There is no panel in these pants, which makes for one less thing to bulk up under a harness or a backpack, but this also means that they come down a little low. When I first started wearing them at the 20 week mark, they were a tidge too loose and I spent a lot of the day worrying about whether or not my butt crack was hanging out as I was being lowered from my climbs. A couple of weeks later and the problem had significantly decreased as the pants fit better – and in the interim a bellyband did the trick!
Lassen Hooded Jacket – Ah, Polartec, Powerstretch fleece – comfort defined on chilly morning hikes! Functionally, I appreciate how the pockets both have zippers, which means that I don’t have to worry about my phone/keys/etc falling out. The only con is that while the fit is mostly great with plenty of extra room for layering, the sleeves seem a bit tight around the forearms compared to the rest of the jacket…although admittedly that may be a climber’s build thing?
Clouds Rest Baselayer Bottoms – This piece gets the value award, as the “below the belly” fit and the stretchiness of the fabric and waistband means that you can more likely wear this as a comfortable baselayer any time, pregnant or not! Once again, the fabric is top-notch – tight enough to support and layer without bulk, without inducing a muffin top. These pants work just as well when worn alone, and they even have a cargo pocket on either side for phone, keys, etc. As a bonus feature, they even come with detachable suspenders for those last few weeks of pregnancy where pants insist upon falling down. My only complaint is that the waistband is not very stiff, which makes it want to roll, especially in the back.
Clouds Rest Baselayer Cross Front Top – A nice mid-weight layer that can be worn as a baselayer or on its own. The fabric is super stretchy, and the cross front allows for easy nursing access during the “fourth trimester.” It’s worth noting that, for my body anyway, the sizing between the Clouds Rest Tops and Bottom seemed to be a little inconsistent. I got an XS in both, and the top still has PLENTY of room, whereas the bottoms might be a little more comfortable in late pregnancy had I gotten a S.
Isabelle Midi Dress – I’m generally not much of a dress-wearer, but this dress has proved to be an exception, especially on occasions where I want to look nice without “feeling” like I’m dressed up. When I wear it, I feel like I’m wearing a t-shirt…but look like I’m ready for a night on the town, especially when paired with a cute pair of boots and leggings.
Although I received all of my clothing for free as part of my sponsorship, all opinions expressed are my own and unbiased. I can’t say enough what an excellent value these clothes are. While they are indeed more expensive than what you’d find at Old Navy, Target, or Pea in a Pod, the fabric is top-notch and made for outdoor adventuring rather than sitting on the couch with pickles and ice cream (although I can vouch that they handle post-climbing ice cream dates with a particular amount of style ;)) And unless of course you WANT to, there’s no need to replace your entire wardrobe – a splurge on a few select items should be plenty to get you through the season that you need them for!
Since I’ve still got plenty of time left to “expand,” I’ll be posting an update closer to the end of my pregnancy about how all of these clothes are faring with a 3rd trimester belly. I’ll also soon be posting a glowing review of the Mountain Mama Climbing Harness – the ONLY harness designed for pregnant women. In the mean time, you can read about fellow Mountain Mama Ambassador Amelia Mayer’s favorite maternity picks here!