Have an outdoor lover in your life? A hiker, biker, camper, or other adventurer? In most scenarios, a gift card to an outdoor store (like REI) will make them happy, allowing them to purchase exactly what they need or want.
But if you’re looking for a physical gift/something more personal this holiday season, we’re here to help. We’ve combed through some of the newest gear on the market and have plucked our favorites across a variety of outdoor segments. Plus, some other products that fit the outdoor mentality.
Know someone who has invested in a nice bike recently? This bike alarm can help prevent theft and give owners some peace of mind when locking their bikes outside during pit stops.
The alarm installs discreetly underneath the water bottle cage, and, once armed, any movement will set off an 85-decible siren. If the owner is within Bluetooth range, it will also send a notification to the owner’s phone (it connects to Apple’s ‘Find My’ app). At $59.95, it’s an affordable gift that will get lots of use from those who often lock their bikes outside storefronts or on their exterior patios.
If there’s one thing everyone tends to lose, crush, or leave somewhere, it’s sunglasses. The result is that people are hesitant to buy themselves a nice pair, figuring it’s only a matter of time before they’re gone. Instead, they buy cheap pairs from gas stations and hope for the best.
While understandable, this strategy overlooks the value a professionally-designed pair of sunglasses can provide. When recreating outdoors, it is important to protect your eyes from the sun and reduce the glare that reflects off the water.
Costa sunglasses are made with large frames, fully-adjustable and vented nose pads, top hooding and side shields (to keep light out), and sweat channels for added comfort. The lens are polarized and “color-enhancing,” ensuring your eyes stay protected while allowing for improved vision in and around water.
The Reefton PROs are especially good for the fishermen in your family; the lens will help you spot fish in the water. But the Costa brand is also a solid choice for any person who frequents the outdoors given their detailed approach and attention to sun protection.
Hand-held massagers have grown in popularity in recent years, especially amongst professional and amateur athletes (bikers, triathletes, etc.). The problem is that they can be large, expensive, and noisy, making them impractical for the casual user.
The R1 from Roll Recovery flips the script on that. It is not much bigger than the size of your hand, and it operates with relatively low noise compared to competitors (you can still hear the television well when using, for example).
At $129, it won’t completely break the bank, and it has more than enough power to provide after-activity therapy, with four different attachments included. Surprise the outdoorsperson in your life with this one, and watch them purr in appreciation.
You can be sure that a camp shoe like the Whakata Puffy won’t go unappreciated, especially since its something many adventurers wouldn’t buy for themselves, preferring to spend their cash on more essential field gear.
But every outdoorsman will make good use of a shoe that’s easy to get on, warm, and tough enough for around-the-campfire terrain.
The Puffy is designed as a comfortable, inviting shoe that can stand up to the rough terrain of the outdoors. This slip-on shoe has a cozy interior made of recycled synthetic fiber to go along with lugged sole, making it the perfect after-activity shoe.
Many outdoor technologies – most notably headlamps and radios – operate on battery power. This requires the user to constantly monitor battery levels, and to guestimate the remaining charge between trips. Are they half full? Will they last through the trip? Should I bring extra?
The Pale Blue Earth Rechargeable Batteries solves this dilemma. The batteries can be charged between adventures to ensure you always start out with the fresh set, and it eliminates the need to carry replacements on shorter trips (because you know they are full when you start). These batteries can also be used around the house in everyday equipment such as remote controls.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, rechargeable batteries reduce waste by eliminating the need for disposable batteries and packaging. Starting at $30 for a pack of four, they will save money in the long run over traditional batteries.
This year’s gear list also provides a solution to another long-standing problem for adventurers – this time as it relates to their cooking fuel canisters.
Cooking fuel canisters lack a gauge, and it becomes very difficult to tell exactly how much fuel is left in each canister once you begin using them (not unlike the battery dilemma above!).
This leads to a problem when trying to figure out what to do with partially-used fuel canisters. You don’t want to worry about not having enough, and you don’t want to carry two canisters. So, most people just opt to bring a brand new one, and leave their partial ones to pile up in the garage (ask any adventurer, and they will happily show you their stack).
Enter FlipFuel, a device designed to transfer leftover fuel from one canister to another, allowing you to combine your used canisters back into a full one. It’s simple to use, and at $35, this product will prove extremely valuable to any frequent camper, cutting down on waste and making it easy to consolidate partially-filled canisters.
Any kind of whiskey pairs well with the outdoors; however, Wyoming Whiskey has taken it a step farther with its National Park Limited Edition bottle featuring Grand Teton National Park.
Not only is the park depicted on the label, but the whiskey is sold as a partnership with the National Park Service, with part of the proceeds benefiting the National Park Foundation.
This is the first of what the distillery says will be an annual offering going forward, with different parks benefiting and being featured on the bottle. It’s a neat idea as a start to a collector series, or simply a fun companion on the next weekend outing.
If you plan to play around in the winter, it requires the proper gear to withstand the elements. The new Sky Ridge Pant ($300) is a dream gift for skiers and snowboarders, or anyone who makes routine journeys into snow-covered lands (cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, winter campers, snowshoeing, etc.).
The weatherproofing comes from the outer Gore-Tex layer that repels snow and water, while side vents allow for airflow when building heat. In heavy snow, use the jacket-to-pant attachment loop to bunker down and stay on the slopes.
The pants are lightweight, weighing just 19 ounces, so they won’t hold anyone back. But they are also strong and durable – the Sky Ridge Pant will last for years and keep your favorite adventurer going for many winters to come.
Last but certainly not least is the big ticket item for someone special this Christmas: The Norrøna Trollveggen Pro Jacket ($789). Its appeal comes from not only its winter-worthiness, but from its year-round versatility in a variety of outdoor conditions. In all cases, its durability and weather protection make it a favorite of adventurers who need a reliable shell in changing weather.
Armed for high-alpine adventures and cold-weather climates, the Trollveggen is constructed with an outer layer of Gore-Tex Pro, making it both water and wind-proof. The zipper can come all the way up to your chin for wind/water protection, and the oversized hood can fit over a ski or climbing helmet. Meticulous engineering of the cut ensures it fits comfortably over mid-layers.
The Trollveggen can also perform well in warmer conditions. A variety of vents can be opened to keep the air moving when you start to sweat, allowing the jacket to breathe and avoid interior stickiness. And it’s not bulky like some other winter gear: When not in use, it can roll up and pack down to the size of a Nalgene, making it easy to stash in your pack. Looking or a complete setup? Pair the jacket with the Lyngen Pants.