We have just a three short weeks until Christmas, which probably means that more than a few of you are looking for some suggestions for what to get your favorite outdoor enthusiast this holiday season. If you’ve been struggling to come up with some ideas on what to get them, we can be of help. Here are our suggestions for the best gifts to give the hiker, backpacker, camper, or outdoor athlete this year.
The North Face Summit L5 LT Futurelight Jacket ($450)
There has been a lot of hype surrounding The North Face’s new Futurelight fabrics, but having tried the material for myself, I can tell you that it meets — and even exceeds — the lofty expectations. Futurelight really is highly breathable, to the point that almost no moisture builds up on the inside. That’s what makes the Summit L5 LT jacket so exciting for active outdoor adventurers, as it means one shell that can keep you dry, comfortable, and protected from the wind at all times, without having to take it on and off constantly. Yes, the price tag is pricey, but for someone who is frequently active in the outdoors, it is well worth it.
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Explorer Cooking Set ($49.95)
Every backpacker and camper needs a good stove to help create backcountry culinary creations. GSI Outdoors not only offers that, but a complete cooking set, at a very reasonable price. The Glacier Stainless Explorer set includes an 11,000 BTU stove, a lightweight 1.1 liter pot, a canister mount, a folding fork/spoon combo, and more. The entire kit weighs just 18.6 ounces (525 grams) too, which means it won’t take up a lot of room or weight down a backpack.
Vasque Coldspark Ultradry Hiking Boots ($139.99)
If your favorite hiker or backpacker enjoys being out in the cold conditions, than a proper boot is needed to keep them warm. The Vasque Coldspark Ultradry has everything you could ask for when it comes to winter footwear, including good insulation, a waterproof membrane, and solid breathability. They also happen to be quite comfortable, offer a good range of motion for an insulated boot, and they look great too.
Osprey Talon 33 Backpack ($140)
A daypack doesn’t need to be especially large if all you’re doing is going for a short hike on a local trail. But if your adventurer wanders further afield and into alpine spaces, he or she will want the Osprey Talon 33 to take along on those excursions. This pack is roomy, has plenty of organizational pockets, and is built to survive in harsh environments. It is designed with outdoor alpine athletes in mind and is versatile enough to be used in a variety of sports. It is hydration ready of course and comes with Osprey’s famous lifetime guarantee.
Adventure Journal Notebooks ($12.95)
Once again proving that good things come in small (and affordable!) packages, the new Adventure Journal Notebooks make great stocking stuffers. Available in white, tan, and black, these handy little notepads are surprisingly durable, while featuring topographic maps of famous peaks such as Mt. Whitney, Grand Teton, and Mt. Katahdin. They include 48 pages of grid-style paper, measure 3.5 wide x 5.5 inches in size, have handy information stored on the inside cover, and are sold in packs of three for just thirteen bucks. How can you beat that?
Goal Zero Yeti 200X Portable Power Station ($299.95)
Now more than ever, portable power is of the utmost importance, both at home and at the campsite. No one makes better portable power stations than Goal Zero, and the Yeti 200X is proof of that. This unit comes with a 187 watt-hour battery, USB-A, USB-C, USB-C PD, AC and a variety of other power outlets. It weighs just 5 pounds, and yet still offers the outstanding build quality that we’ve come to expect from GZ. It can even be recharged via AC power outlet, 12-volt car charger, or a solar panel for extended use in the field.
Customized Otterbox Elevation Tumblers ($29.99-$99.99)
Otterbox has put a new spin on the upscale tumbler market by allowing customers to customize their coffee mugs, water bottles, growlers, and other drinkware. The company now gives you the option of adding special logos, artwork, photos, and other items to these tumblers, making them even more distinct and fun to use. Prices vary based on the size and model of drainkware you’re ordering, but this is a very unique and fun gift for just about anyone.
Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hooded Stretch Insulator Jacket ($280)
One of my favorite outdoor insulating layers, the Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hooded Stretch Jacket is comfortable, good looking, and warm. The fabrics used in making this jacket not only stretch nicely to give the wearer a full range of motion, but they happen to be water resistant too. The jacket uses a synthetic insulation from Primaloft to provide plenty of warmth, but without adding a lot of bulk. Great for hitting the trail or just wandering around town, this is likely become a favorite option for anyone who will be spending time outdoors this winter.
Kelty Late Start 4 Tent ($239.95)
If a high-quality, lightweight, and easy-to-setup tent is on your holiday shopping list this year, than look no further than the Kelty Late Start 4. This model is built to go light and fast and is made to be setup in just a few minutes. This three-season model is made to comfortably hold four people, comes with a waterproof fly, and weighs just a bit over 6 pounds (2.83 kg). A tent with this much capacity, at that weight, should cost more than this, but thankfully Kelty has delivered the goods at a great price.
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