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The Best Gifts for Moms of 2023

Is there anything better than a mom? How about a mom fully kitted out in the best outdoor gear around? Yep. That's better!

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Let’s just get this out of the way. You won’t find bath soaps or lotions in this gear guide. The mom in your life is a total bad-ass, and she needs bad-ass gear. So you’ll find nothing but the most rad, most gnarly, most momtastic gift options here. Because being a mom is hard enough, but being a mom without the tools you need to shred? Unthinkable.

So, read on to find the perfect gift for the mom in your life this year. She deserves it.

Best Gifts for Mom

Fjallraven Expedition Mid Winter Jacket

Made for the depths of winter, the Fjallraven Expedition Mid Winter Jacket is perfect for everything from frigid jaunts around town or to longer days spent on the ski hill in sub-zero temps. Its synthetic fill insulation holds up to damp weather, so it’ll keep retaining heat even on days with light rain or wet conditions.

The longer rear hem keeps your behind protected against gusty chill, and the numerous zippered pockets let you stash all of your essentials safely and securely on every adventure, from city to mountainside.

Check Price at Fjallraven

Wondery Outdoors Isabel 2.0 Outdoor Pants

GearJunkie’s reviewer for the Isabel 2.0 Outdoor Pants teaches at a forest preschool. That’s a job that requires rugged pants that can still look dressy when needed, and this stylish but tough number did the trick for her.

A high-rise cut and adjustable waist bring the comfort, while deep pockets afford plenty of space for mom-friendly everyday carries (knives, flashlights, acorns handed to you by children, hairbands, you name it).

As GearJunkie’s reviewer noted, the mostly cotton fabric doesn’t dry quickly and probably isn’t great for wet and cold adventures. But for everything else, the mom in your life should be all set.

Check Price at REI

Shotgun Pro Child Bike Seat + Handlebar Combo

If the mom you’re shopping for has an ankle biter ranging in age from 2 to 5 years old, the Shotgun Pro system is a dream. The child seat mounts high up on the top tube, making for way better control and center of gravity than the more typical bucket-seat style options that mount to the seat post. Even better, tiny handlebars give her budding shredder the feeling of riding a real bike — invaluable for making the leap from strider to something with pedals.

And when she wants to hit the trail by herself? The Shotgun Pro system is low-profile enough to stay out of her way as she sends it.

Check Price at REI

Smartwool Smartloft Pull-On Skirt

Person Winter Trail Running in the Snow

My wife absolutely loves her Smartwool Smartloft Pull-on Skirt because it provides just enough insulation to keep her warm without overheating while working hard. And if you’ve ever hauled a 25-pound toddler up a mountain, you know that “working hard” is a bit of an understatement.

The wool insulation handles moisture better than down, and the color choices are way, way better than the pink and powder blue most women have to put up with in their gear.

Check Price at REI Check Price at Smartwool

Norrøna Falketind Alpha120 Zip Hooded Jacket

Editor Mary Murphy in the technical Norrona Falketind Fleece midlayer and a beanie as she hikes in fall
Editor Mary Murphy in the technical Norrona Falketind Fleece; (photo/Mary Murphy)

For many, a fleece is a non-negotiable midlayer that’s absolutely crucial for moving fast when the weather turns cold. So don’t be lame and get the cheapest thing you can find at TJ Maxx, you dolt.

GearJunkie testers raved about Norrøna Falketind Alpha 120 Zip, pointing to its high levels of breathability and superior warmth-to-weight ratio. A drop hem and generous length keep things nice and toasty, while thoughtful features like thumbholes, collar and hood, and a zippered chest pocket (rare in women’s fleeces) abound.

GearJunkie tested the Norrøna Falketind Alpha 120 Zip while ski touring, mountaineering, hiking and backpacking, climbing, and more. It excelled at everything they threw at it. And somehow, it manages to look both cool and cozy at the same time. Perfect.

Check Price at Backcountry Check Price at Norrøna

Benchmade Mini Bugout Knife

Though her hands may be but little, she is fierce. That’s why the Benchmade Mini Bugout knife is perfect for her — it’s sized just right to fit in a smaller mitt without sacrificing any of the quality or style that made Benchmade’s name.

Give the knife a little extra touch with Benchmade’s customization options. Even with the added cost of personalization, you should be able to get this gift in under the $250 mark. GearJunkie’s managing editor called the Benchmark Bugout Mini “worth every penny.”

Check Price at REI Check Price at Blade HQ

iksplor Baby Adventure Zippy

 A parent changes the diaper of a baby wearing a iksplor Baby Adventure Zippy

If the mom you’re shopping for regularly holds forth on the thermoregulatory properties of various fabrics — and I’m assuming she does — you can’t go wrong with this merino wool onesie. It’s got everything you love about merino (insulates well, is antimicrobial, can shrug off a decent amount of moisture, a natural fiber) in a pint-sized package.

Plus, iksplor has a second-hand online platform for shopping and reselling your gently used items. That’s a huge win — because, as you know, whatever size that baby is right now, they won’t stay that way for long!

Check Price at iksplor

Solo Stove Mesa Tabletop Fire Pit

Two people roast marshmallows over a solo stove mesa tabletop firepit

Time to herself is mom’s most precious commodity. Help her make the most of those all-too-fleeting moments of solo relaxation with the Mesa Tabletop Fire Pit — a Lilliputian version of Solo Stove’s popular products. Svelte enough to fit easily almost anywhere she feels like chilling, the Mesa Tabletop is also great for cooking up some s’mores — either with the fam or solo style.

Check Price at Solo Stove Check Price at Scheels

Picture Skarary Insulated Jacket

Lightweight, warm, and ready for winter adventure, the Picture Organic Clothing Skarary Jacket is the perfect way to infuse some colorful coziness into your chilly outdoor exploits. Recycled synthetic-fill insulation keeps your warm, even if slightly damp, and the PFC-free durable water repellant treatment keeps gentle precipitation from raining out your day. A zippered chest pocket stows valuables and an ergonomic hood lets you bask in the cozy warmth.

Check Price at REI

YETI Rambler 8 Oz. Stackable Cup

YETI Cups in Camping and Backpacking Gear Photo Credit @MShaw

As long as she’s out on the back deck making herself s’mores for one, you might as well bring her a little hot cocoa to go with it (bourbon optional, depending on mom’s preference and/or stress level). YETI’s 8 oz. Rambler size is new this season, and it’s perfect for just the right amount of any hot or cold beverage you can throw in there. You may as well get yourself one while you’re at it — these bad boys do stack, after all.

Check Price at YETI Check Price at Amazon

Kari Traa Rose Half-Zip Base Layer

kari traa quarter-zip detail
(Photo/Mary Murphy)

If she’s particular about what goes next to her skin, you can’t go wrong with the Kari Traa Rose Half-Zip Base Layer, a 100% merino garment that routinely tops GearJunkie’s yearly Best Base Layers for Women roundup. Our testers give it major points for breathability, versatility, and style.

They’ve also used the base layer for several seasons in a row. Given that the ladies of GearJunkie go harder in the paint than anyone else I know, that’s saying something.

Check Price at REI Check Price at Backcountry

Why You Should Trust the Author

As you may have gleaned, I’m not a mom. But I am married to a mom, which makes me the *checks notes* third-best thing (after Grandma).

To create this guide, I started by asking moms and female-identifying humans in my immediate orbit what sorts of outdoor gifts would make their day this holiday season. The women of GearJunkie are a knowledgeable and experienced lot, and the gifts here reflect decades of outdoor experience.

As I said at the top of the story, I wanted to select gifts that weren’t 100% child- or baby-related. Being a mom is great (I’m told), but sometimes a mom just needs to get outside and have a child-free experience both for her own well-being, and to come home and be the best mom she can be. That thought was at the forefront of my mind as I chose these products.

How to Use This Guide

Mom Carrying Kid in Osprey Poco LT Child Carrier Backpack on a Hike in a Pacific Northwest Forest
(Photo/Jake Ferguson)

This guide is a curated blend of apparel and hard gear, because it ain’t just about the clothing, folks. On top of that, I made the selections based on the following idea: motherhood is part of some women’s identity, but it needn’t be the entire identity. Revolutionary, I know (he said dryly).

So, as you scroll, you’ll find a few items here or there that relate directly to children or being a mom. But you’ll also find plenty to appeal to the full-send version of the mom in your life — the woman who gets out there and crushes it outdoors with a baby in tow, or not.

Also, you should think of this guide as a starting place for gift-giving, an idea generator. Maybe the Benchmade Mini Bugout Knife isn’t right for the mom you’re shopping for. But maybe she’ll like a fixed-blade number. Or a multitool! You get the idea.

And because GearJunkie has such a knowledgeable team, you’ll find that we’ve had our hands on most of these products for extensive testing. Feel free to follow links to reviews as you find them so you can make the most informed gift-buying decision possible.

(And if you happen to find something for yourself in the process? Hey, she’d want you to have it. She’s your mom!)

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