Gifts for Getting Out

The Best Outdoor Gifts to Give This Holiday Season

December 22, 2019 Buying Guides By
Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

If there’s a hiker, camper, climber, self-proclaimed survivalist or infrequent explorer on your gift-giving list this year, count yourself lucky. Outdoorsy types are the easiest people to shop for. Their adventure kit likely has some gaps in it, and even if it doesn’t, count on these folks to break and wear out clothing and equipment with haste.

What’s more, if outdoors lovers aren’t seeking an upgrade to the newer, lighter thing, they’ve probably picked up a new hobby since last year, opening up an entire category of gift opportunities. Thankfully, outdoor companies are making their best gear to date. This list could easily number into the hundreds, but to make your holiday shopping more efficient, we’ve whittled it down (campfire pun intended) to the very best.

Ikon Pass

Price: $799

Alterra Mountain Company’s Ikon Pass is one of the best ways to put all of your new outdoor gear to the test. With 41 ski and snowboard destinations worldwide, the Ikon Pass unlocks adventures from the west coast to east coast, north of the border and south of the equator, up and down the Rockies. This is a simple and easy way to take on as many adventures as you can.

1. Stasher Bags

Price: $10+

Plastic has become a pariah amongst the outdoors-loving crowd. Stasher provides a guilt-free alternative in the form of non-toxic, reusable silicone bags. Use them for snacks on the trail, or sous vide in the kitchen back at home.

2. Kuju Coffee

Price: $22

You may not have a scale, grinder and pour-over setup at camp, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without the perfect cup of high-grade joe.

3. Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Hiker Med Kit

Price: $25

Who is the most accident-prone adventurer on your gifting list? That’s the person who needs this curated medkit.

4. ClimbOn Ridiculous! Muscle Paste

Price: $25

Long day on the trail? Massage some of this food-grade paste into your muscles for some relief. It was made specifically for rock climbers but works for those of us who prefer to keep our feet on the ground, too.

5. Primus Essential Trail Stove

Price: $25

This is perhaps the most basic camp stove available, which makes it perfect for backpacking beginners.

Gear Patrol Magazine Subscription

Price: $39

Gear Patrol Magazine is a deep dive into product culture. Inside each issue, you’ll find seasonal buying guides, rich maker profiles and long-form dispatches from the front lines of product design. Get four print magazines — delivered quarterly — with an annual subscription.

6. Gerber Compleat

Price: $24

The Compleat is the last piece of campsite cutlery you’ll ever need. In one compact package, it boasts a separate spoon and fork, a dual-edge spatula (one edge serrated, the other rubberized) and a peeler-equipped tool that opens bottles, packages and cans. Combine the spoon or fork with the spatula, and you have one final tool: a set of tongs.

7. Coal Headwear The Bridger Hat

Price: $34

It’s a fleece for your noggin.

8. Nite Ize RunOff Waterproof Packing Cube

Price: $34

No matter what kind of trip you go on, or how long you’re going for, having your stuff get wet stinks. This little container prevents that from happening.

9. Parks by Brian Kelley

Price: $55

Any lover of those iconic, retro National Parks posters will be enamored by Parks. Its pages contain more than 300 photographs of NPS maps and pamphlets going back more than a century.

10. Outdoor Voices Merino T-Shirt

Price: $55

This merino wool active T-shirt is lightweight, wicks sweat, feels good against the skin and, most importantly, doesn’t get stinky.

11. Sea to Summit Sigma Cookset 2.1

Price: $70

Hefting a cast-iron cauldron into the woods might seem like a good idea if you’re only in it for the Instagram photo. In every other case, Sea to Summit’s lightweight Sigma Cookset should do the trick. Our favorite feature: a lid with built-in straining capability.

12. National Parks Pass

Price: $80

Sometimes, the gift of access is all the inspiration one needs to set off on a life-changing trip. It’s also a subtle nudge that says, “Take me with you.”

13. Vermont Glove The Farmer

Price: $100

Chopping wood? Shoveling snow? Do your hands a favor and protect them. With hand-stitched goatskin leather, perhaps.

14. Smartwool Intraknit 200 Base Layer Bottoms

Price: $120

Smartwool made its newest base layer collection with a 3D knit process similar to what Nike uses in its high-end running shoes. That means fewer seams and more comfort.

15. Backcountry Timpanogos Tech Fleece

Price: $91

Backcountry has been working wonders with its house brand the past few years, and this versatile piece is an excellent example. Featuring stretch fabric for natural movement and a water-repellent finish, it’s ready for action as a cool-weather hoodie or a cold-weather mid-layer.

16. The North Face Dolomite One Sleeping Bag

Price: $140

Casual campers may not need — or have space for — multiple sleeping bags for different temperatures. The North Face makes the choice easy with a 3-in-1 layering system that’s cozy from 50 degrees down to 15.

17. Jaybird Vista

Price: $160

Headphones in the outdoors? *Gasp!* Yes, thanks to a compact design, high waterproof rating and ultra-long battery life, these buds are perfect for trail running, hiking and YouTube tent screenings that won’t bother your base camp neighbors.

18. Orvis Clearwater 3-Weight 10′ Fly Rod

Price: $198

Orvis completely rethought its Clearwater collection while still providing anglers an incredible value proposition. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 3-weight 10-foot model, which is designed specifically for the growing mass of tight-line nymphing — also known as Czech or Euro-nymphing — enthusiasts. The unique taper creates a sturdy backbone at the butt section while maintaining an ultra-sensitive tip, resulting in an affordable rod even hardcore anglers will enjoy.

19. Patagonia Woolie Chore Coat

Price: $199

Patagonia’s most beloved piece of clothing might be its fleece pullover. Recently, the company let its clothing designers get creative with the plush, warm-when-wet material, and they turned out this cozy masterpiece.

20. Nemo Equipment Roamer

Price: $210+

Unless you’re hiking miles on miles to get to a campsite, you probably don’t need to worry about how lightweight and packable your gear is. For those who camp next to (or inside of) their car, there’s the ultra-comfy Roamer, an XL sleeping pad that’s still lighter and comfier than the plastic blow-up air mattress you might otherwise stuff into a tent.

21. Electric JJF12 Sunglasses

Price: $240

Professional surfer John John Florence knows what a decent pair of outdoor sunnies should do. Electric knows how to put together lenses and frames. It’s a match made in active lifestyle heaven.

22. Yeti LoadOut GoBox 30

Price: $250

Those who have lots of gear frequently ignore the bit about storing it. The LoadOut GoBox makes that part easy and, thanks to bomb-proof construction and strategic slots for tying down to the bed of a truck, secure too.

23. The James Brand Hell Gap

Price: $299

Sure, you could spend $30 on a hardware store blade to use around camp, but it won’t last. The Hell Gap, with a Crucible S35VN blade and micarta handles, will endure long enough to re-gift as a sacred heirloom during a holiday far in the future.

24. Houdini Add-In Jacket

Price: $350

All of us venture outside, even if it’s just to get from A to B. The Add-In provides the same lightweight warmth you’d find in a jacket for backcountry skiing, but in a longer cut that’s suitable for life around town.

25. Black Diamond Vision Down Parka

Price: $399

Thanks to a liquid crystal polymer coating, the Vision isn’t only Black Diamond’s warmest down jacket yet, it’s also the brand’s most durable. That helps with the potential scuffs and abrasions rock climbers and skiers might face, but it also makes for a tough, tear-resistant layer for wearing around town.

26. Red Paddle Co. Compact Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard

Price: $1,899

Paddleboarding is a relaxing way to get out on the water but a headache when it comes to transportation and storage. Red Paddle Co.’s Compact solves that issue with an inflatable construction that’ll fit in the trunk of a sedan and back of a closet.

Mystery Ranch Coulee 40 Pack

Price: $229

Since 2000, Mystery Ranch has been manufacturing packs and load carriage systems for military, hunting, wildland fire and mountaineering customers, with a focus on use-specific designs and hand-built quality. Featuring a suite of exterior, stretch woven pockets – two on the front and two (water-bottle-ready) on the sides – the Coulee 40 is all about grab and go convenience. Designed with dual composite frame stays for stability, the fully adjustable yoke affords a customized fit.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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