Best Hiking Gear for Moms (Mother’s Gift Ideas For Outdoor Moms)

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Let me start by saying you do NOT need specific hiking gear for moms to get out on the trail! I often just wear regular old leggings and a t-shirt and it works just fine. But sometimes I feel more comfortable pulling out a few specific items to be a bit safer and more comfortable on the trail. And I love that I can find all of these items at REI – it’s an easy one stop shop for all my outdoors needs and to find any gifts for outdoor moms.

And with Mother’s Day right around the corner, this is a great time to look for some unique gift ideas for outdoorsy moms.

Here is all my favorite hiking gear for moms, with tried-and-true favorites to help enjoy the trail!

1. Best Women’s Hiking Boots

I used to think I preferred low-cut trail runners no matter what the hike. Turns out I hadn’t tried out these boots found at REI quite yet. They are so comfortable and don’t feel too heavy or bulky, but still provide ankle support with their perfect mid-height. This is especially important when wearing a baby or toddler! I noticed that when I have a kiddo on my front or back, my center of balance is just a little off and having supportive shoes with great grip is critical.

I also love that these shoes are waterproof, so helpful when I’m paying attention to a baby instead of a big puddle. They really are such fantastic hiking boots for women!

2. Best Women’s Hiking Pants: Hiking Pants for Moms

When I want more breathability and durability for a hike, and just a tougher outer layer if climbing or sitting on rocky surfaces, I love these prAna hiking pants. Hiking pants are just not usually that cute but these are actually fairly decent looking! I love the leg pocket for a phone and they’re really durable and comfortable.

I also love that these pants have a bit of extra room in them so I can wear base layers under if needed – see below for my favorites. You can purchase all of these items at REI!

3. My Women’s Hiking Top: Hiking Gear for Moms

I love the cut and material of this REI Co-op women’s tank. It’s a bit longer in back and moves really freely. It’s a good one and keeps me cool by wicking moisture.

4. Women’s Wool Base Layers

Wool base layers are maybe my #1 most important outdoor gear item for women. Put it on your list for gifts for outdoor moms if you know someone who doesn’t already have a pair!

I absolutely love this merino wool base layer top and bottom set found at REI. They’re so cozy and keep me warm when it’s cold and stay cool when it’s warm. I love that they’re stretchy and not stiff and I sleep in them as pajamas all the time. These are tried and true from one mom to another – this would be a Mother’s Day gift that keeps on giving!

5. Women’s Shade Hoodie for Hiking Gear for Moms

I love that this REI Co-op lightweight sun hoodie provides comfortable, lightweight sun protection without having to slather in sunscreen. It’s super soft and stretchy and doesn’t feel hot! It would be perfect for travel, too.

6. Women’s Rain Jacket for Hiking

I always like to carry a rain jacket with me if there’s any possibility of moisture in the forecast. I love this REI Co-op rain jacket because it’s totally waterproof but still lightweight and folds up so small. It’s one of my favorite pieces of hiking gear for moms! I like to pair it with the REI Co-op women’s rain pants if it’s supposed to be a bit more wet.

7. Best Women’s Insulated Jacket for Hiking

When it’s a bit cooler, I love having a warm insulated jacket to stay comfortable while on the trail. I adore this jacket because it’s warm but still breathable, and has some great features like pit vents to stay cool even while hiking with a baby. I’ve had mine for several years and it’s still in perfect condition! I love that it also has multiple zip pockets to keep track of things when hiking.

8. Women’s Hiking Day Pack

I love this 25L REI Co-op women’s hiking day pack. If there’s one things about moms it’s that we always end up carrying what seems like the whole house every time we go out. Right? This hiking pack is the perfect size for all kinds of trips – from hiking to camping to an outdoorsy weekend away. The perfect gift for Mother’s Day!

This pack is roomy enough to carry all my stuff as well as everything for a baby or toddler, but doesn’t feel bulky or too large. I actually also super love the REI kids Tarn 18L pack. It’s the one my older kids all have and I adore it for them, but it fits great on me, too, especially since I have a short torso. I love that it’s just a bit smaller and lower profile, but still is plenty roomy for a day hike. I love using either of these when wearing a soft structured carrier on my front. (More on my favorite toddler hiking carrier that has built in storage below.)

I like to keep a waterproof rain cover handy in case it rains. These work great and weigh almost nothing. I usually like to hook it to the outside of my daypack with a simple carabiner so they’re always ready for use.

9. Child Hiking Carrier

When my babies are smaller (usually up until about 6 months or so), I typically wear them in a soft structured carrier (this is my favorite one) and a day pack on my back (I love the two I shared above), or Dan wears a backpack if we’re heading out together.

When my babies get a bigger – usually around 6-8 months, I often start wearing them in a child hiking carrier with built in storage so it’s all in one piece on my back.

This is the very best toddler and child hiking carrier – it’s comfortable and distributes weight evenly, is really comfy and secure for kiddos up to 48 lbs, has a built in sun shade (and the rain cover is great for wet weather or wind), makes it easy for them to look around or nap, can be set down on the ground standing up, and has a giant storage compartment. It easily fits our food and camera equipment for our whole family, and has lots of pockets for things like diapers, insect repellent, sunblock, and more. We love it! It’s pricey, so it’s a great piece to purchase with the 20% off one full-price item for REI Co-op members during the Anniversary Sale. Plus, it would make the most amazing Mother’s Day gift for new moms.

10. Best Women’s Wool Socks for Hiking

I feel VERY strongly about only wearing wool socks when hiking. They’re odor-resistant, so comfortable, help prevent blisters, and regulate temperature so well. I personally adore the Darn Tough merino wool socks found at REI, although the Smartwool and REI Co-op merino wool socks are also excellent. The perfect cozy gift for Mother’s Day!

11. Best Women’s Sunglasses for Hiking

I tend to have trouble with sunglasses because they always fall off of me. That is, until I got this pair of Sunski sunglasses available at REI. I love that these fit so well and actually stay on my face! They’re also so cute and are a great brand. I highly recommend them!

12. Emergency Satellite GPS Device

This little device is a must for me, especially when hiking solo. It’s a terrific device that allows for satellite messaging and can also trigger an emergency SOS. It can also navigate you back to your starting point, but is still tiny and adds barely any weight to your pack. This thing saved us when our RV broke down when we didn’t have cell service, and we were SO grateful we’d set it up. I always bring it along on hikes!! It’s available at REI and would make a great gift for an outdoorsy mom. I gave it to Dan for Christmas a few years ago and it’s been an essential for us ever since!

13. Water for Mom Hiking Essentials

Water is an absolute must for any hike. If it’s a shorter one, I’ll be sure to pack all my own water, and will either take this water bottle or carry water in a bladder in my backpack (easiest when wearing a baby). If it’s a longer hike or one where I know I’ll be able to find fresh water, I love packing along this amazing filter water bottle.

14. Headlamp for Women’s Hiking Essentials

It’s always a good idea to carry a headlamp when hiking, even if it’s during the day. This one available at REI is adjustable, reasonably priced, powerful, and will last a long time. This is a really powerful one that is comfortable to use, as well. Plus, they’re just fun to use, and a great safety item to have on hand when hiking solo or with babies and toddlers.

15. Hiking Poles for Women

While I don’t always use trekking poles to hike, I really prefer using them when wearing a a baby or toddler, especially when hiking solo. It just really helps with balance and stability, and helps with conserving some energy, too. These poles from REI Co-op are great for women or those with smaller frames. The REI Co-op kids trekking poles are also terrific quality and are a great height for me (I’m 5’4″).

16. First Aid and Hygiene Items For Your Hiking Gear for Moms

I always want to be prepared with first aid and hygiene supplies when hiking solo as a mom. Here’s a complete list of all the first aid supplies we usually pack. A fun Mother’s Day gift idea would be to get the day pack and fill it with some essentials like these!

Here’s a great first aid kit available at REI that’s perfect for day hikes. Some other favorites items I take along:

Finally, if I were hiking in bear country, I’d absolutely carry bear spray along. It’s essential to have handy!

There you have it – all my favorite hiking gear for moms with tried-and-true favorites to help enjoy the trail! I hope you got some great Mother’s Day gift ideas, too! Psst: some of these mom-friendly hiking essentials are even on sale right now through 5/29 during REI Co-op’s Anniversary Sale!



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