Thanksgiving is always a great time here in the States. Friends and family gather together to catch-up with one another, enjoy some great food, and relax for a few days. But, it also kicks off the frenzy of the holiday shopping season, with millions of consumers heading out to stores in search of the perfect present for their loved ones. If you have an outdoor adventurer on your shopping list this year, then perhaps I can suggest a few items that they might find under the tree. Without further adieu, I present to you the 2014 Adventure Blog holiday shopping guide.
Osprey Rev 12 Pack ($110)
The perfect gift for the trail or ultra runner in your life is, without a doubt, the Rev 12 pack from Osprey. It is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and packed with features. For instance, it comes with with a 2.5L hydration bladder, an innovative media pocket that keeps your phone close at hand at all times, and plenty of pockets and compartments for storage of essential gear. This is simply one of the best packs ever made for trail running, and it is sure to be a hit with your favorite outdoor athlete. The Rev is also available in 1.5 liter, 6, liter, 18 liter, and 24 liter sizes depending on the needs of the runner.
Mountain Hardwear Sereaction Jacket ($600)
Looking for the ultimate high performance jacket to keep your favorite adventurer warm and dry in the mountains? Then look no further than the Sereaction Jacket from Mountain Hardwear. This shell features the company’s proprietary Dry.Q Elite fabrics, which were developed for maximum breathability and ventilation during rigorous alpine activities. Designed to allow the wearer to remain comfortable at all times, without restricting movement, this is a jacket that will perform well in nearly any kind of environment and conditions.
Bikes From Cannondale
One of the best presents that anyone can find under the tree on Christmas morning is a new bike. That was true when we were kids, and it remains true to this day. Cannondale always has excellent models to fit every type of rider. The Trail SL 29 ($2060) is a great ride for all-mountain performance, while the Quick CX 1 ($1620) is a fun hybrid for comfortable off-road and city riding. But for the top of the line mountain biking experience, check out the Trigger Carbon Black, Inc. ($10,830), a lightweight, nimble beast that can both climb and descend like no other. This is quite possibly the best mountain bike available today.
CamelBak Forge Travel Mug ($30)
If you’ve been looking for the ultimate travel mug, your search is over. CamelBak (yes, the makers of all those hydration packs!) has gone to great lengths to design the best travel mug imaginable. The Forge features a double-wall, vacuum insulated container that will keep your coffee, tea, or hot chocolate warm for 4+ hours. Its innovative lid features a leak-proof design that is built to keep your hot beverage going inside of you, not down the front of your shirt. Best of all, CamelBak has come up with a way to make it easier than ever to keep you mug clean, with a design that is so simple, you’ll wonder why no one thought of it sooner. This is a wonderful product that is perfect for just about anyone on your list.
Outdoor Technology Big Turtle Shell Wireless Speaker ($230)
These days, Bluetooth wireless speakers are everywhere, and have become a popular accessory for our outdoor adventures. But few of them are built from the ground up to survive in the backcountry, while also delivering high quality sound in the process. The Big Turtle Shell from Outdoor Technology has been designed to not only provide great audio performance, but it is also water resistant, dust proof, and shock proof. That means, music lovers don’t have to compromise on sounds when they go camping or backpacking. And with a battery life of 16 hours, they’ll be able to listen for a long time between recharges.
Sugoi Cycling and Running Jackets
Running and cycling apparel also make for great gifts, and Sugoi has some of the best gear for both sports. Take for example the new Zap Bike Jacket ($160), which features the innovative Pixel fabrics that are designed to be both highly waterproof and incredibly reflective. This is the kind of jacket you want your loved one wearing when the rain sets in, or darkness starts to fall a bit earlier than expected. Similarly, the Alpha Hybrid Jacket ($175) is tailor made for runners. It provides plenty of warmth for those cold weather outings, with great breathability to ensure overheating doesn’t become an issue. Wind and water resistant, the Alpha will quickly become a favorite piece of gear for your favorite runner.
Vasque Grand Traverse Shoes ($130)
Adventure travelers looking for a lightweight, highly packable, and very comfortable shoe to take with them on journeys will want to consider the Grand Traverse from Vasque. Good looking and versatile, these shoes are perfect for light trail duty, traipsing around town, or shuffling through an airport. Depending on the type of activities that are part of the itinerary, the Grand Traverse just might be the only shoe you need to take with you on that next adventure abroad.
Nite Ize Inova STS Headlamp ($35)
There are a lot of headlamps available on the market today, but what sets the Inova STS from Nite Ize apart from the competition is its unique swipe-to-shine technology. This allows the wearer to quickly and easily dial in the exact level of brightness they need without having to fumble with buttons, special modes, or switches. The headlamp is capable of putting out as much as 142 lumens of power, and is waterproof to one meter, as well as drop resistant.
Goal Zero Sherpa 50 Power Pack ($200)
Keeping your electronic devices fully charged in the backcountry can be a real challenge these days. In addition to smartphones and digital camera, we also have to be able to keep your GPS devices, rechargeable headlamps, and other gadgets working too. It would be nice if that extended to tablets and laptops as well. Enter the Sherpa 50 Power Pack($200) from Goal Zero, a battery pack that can provide plenty of juice for everything you take with you on your adventures. Charge it up before you leave home, or pair it with a Nomad 13 solar panel ($160) for a portable charging solution.
Buffs have been around a long time now, and they remain one piece of gear that I never leave home without. These versatile pieces of headgear can serve as a scarf, balaclava, do-rag, face mask, and so much more. Available in dozens of colors and styles, they make great stocking stuffers for the active outdoor enthusiast. Personally, I’m a bit partial the new National Geographic Everest design, but there are so many to choose from, it’s tough to decide which is best. And don’t forget there are Buffs designed specifically for cold weather use as well.
Chums Gizmo PED Case ($25)
Keeping our electronic devices safe while in the backcountry, or on a trip to the far side of the planet is of the utmost importance. That’s why Chums has introduced a new set of products designed to do just that. The Gizmo case is offers padded protection for a smartphone, digital camera, or similarly sized device, with an interior that is lined with soft fleece to protect delicate screens. The outer shell is made of ballistic nylon to help provide further protection, while a couple of interior pockets are great for organization. The case is perfect for an iPhone 6, charger, and cable, with enough room left over for a few other items too.
Vessyl Smart Cup ($99)
Fitness and workout nuts will love Vessyl, a smart cup that can keep track of everything they drink, and provide nutritional feedback. With its sophisticated set of sensors, the Vessyl is capable of detecting the brand, flavor, and contents of just about anything that is put into it, and store that data for analysis over time. The device can then break down the “liquid calories” consumed by the user, making them more aware of what they are drinking. When linked to a smartphone, the device can help users lose weight, stay hydrated, regulate sugar and caffeine intake, and more. The Vessyl will ship in 2015, but can be preordered now at a special introductory price.