Sweet Spot Gear
RAY-BAN NEW WAYFARER POLARIZED SUNGLASSES
Ray-Ban Polarized sunglasses were the best gear upgrade I made all year. You’re going into nature to see pretty things right? Then why wear crappy $10 gas station sunglasses that distort your vision? That’s what I had been doing for years, so these polarized lenses literally changed my world. Trust me, the upgrade to polarized lenses is well worth it.
OSPREY TALON 22 & TEMPEST 20 (1LB 7OZ)
The Osprey Talon 22 for men and Tempest 20 for women are excellent lightweight daypacks loaded with convenient features. These packs utilize a simple pack design, but still get the important details right. Hip belt pockets, water bottle holsters, a hydration pouch sleeve, back mesh pocket, trekking pole attachment loops, and a comfortable back pad make this pack great for lightweight day excursions.
REI FLEX LIGHT TABLE (2LB 5OZ)
The Flex Light Table is a surprisingly light and convenient backcountry accessory. It pairs well with the REI Flex Light Chairs for a luxury setup when you really want to put out the vibe. I usually backpack pretty light, so I don’t generally take accessories like this into the field, but this table is surprisingly light and compactable enough to make most pack lists.
THE LEATHERMAN WAVE (8.5OZ)
The Leatherman Wave is a bit overkill for ultralight backpacking trips, but it does make an excellent gift for general backpacking, camping, and use around the house. This heavy duty multi-tool has all the gadgets you’ll ever need and it’ll withstand many years of heavy use.
NATIONAL PARKS PASS
Why not give a gift that will inspire outdoor travel and support a good cause? More than 80% of the proceeds for the National Parks Pass go straight into protecting and improving our national parks. And if you purchase your pass through REI, they’ll donate 10% of sale proceeds directly to the national park foundation as well.
REI FLEX LITE CHAIR (1LB 10OZ)
I don’t bring a chair with me on most backpacking trips, but I do love using them while car camping or on short jaunts with friends. I also find them useful for park chilling, BBQs, and rec sporting events. The Flex Lite Chair is comfortable, sturdy, and packs down very small, making it an excellent gift. It pairs nicely with the REI Flex Lite Table.
URSACK S29 ALLWHITE BEAR BAG (7.8OZ)
The Ursack gets my vote for the best food protection container on the market. It’s much easier to pack in a backpack than a bear canister and it’s heck of a lot lighter too. It’ll keep your food safe from bears, but it also keeps out small critters, which is a much more common problem.
KAHTOOLA MICROSPIKES TRACTION SYSTEM (11OZ)
Microspikes are the best tools around for adding traction on icy winter trails. They fit nearly any type of hiking footwear (even my trail running shoes) and they’re tough enough to withstand years of heavy use.
GRAND TRUNK NANO 7 HAMMOCK (7.4OZ)
Few things feel better than kicking back in a hammock after a long day of hiking. But most hammocks are too bulky and heavy to take on multi-day treks. That’s why I love the tiny, durable, and lightweight Nano. The Nano weighs a mere 7.4oz and packs up to the size of a baseball.
ENO DOUBLENEST HAMMOCK (22OZ)
The spacious and durable ENO DoubleNest Hammock makes an excellent gift for outdoor lovers. It’s perfect for camping trips, is large and strong enough to fit two people, and it comes in a variety of cool colors.
ALITE MONARCH BUTTERFLY CHAIR (17.6OZ)
If you’re looking for a chair light and compact enough to take on backpacking trips, the Monarch just might be your jam. It utilizes a two leg design requiring a bit of balance from the user, but it’s very comfortable and a lot of fun too.
NIKE STRETCH WOVEN PANTS
Among my friends and I, we simply refer to these dri-fit pants as “the best pants ever.” They’re crazy comfortable, light, and useful. I own three pairs of these pants and I wear them all the time for all types of activities and lounging.
SNOW PEAK TI MINI SOLO COOK SET (5.5OZ)
The Solo Mini is a durable cook that's ideal for lightweight backpacking trips. You can combine your pot, lid, cup, stove, and fuel into one small and convenient package. Pair it with the MSR PocketRocket Stove (3oz) to complete your cooking system. HotLips lip protectors make another solid addition to this set.
LEATHERMAN JUICE S2 (4.6OZ)
The Juice S2 is a great multi-tool for backpackers looking for maximum functionality while keeping weight to a minimum. The pliers, scissors, and knife come in handy in the field for general use and gear repair.
Disclosure: The trust of my audience is of the utmost importance to me. That’s why I only recommend equipment I love from companies I trust. I have not been paid to review any of the products listed above. A couple of items were provided to me for free to review, but I purchased most of this equipment myself. Also, I am under no obligation to give positive reviews to any of the products listed above. This gear just rocks. This page contains affiliate links. Check out my terms page for more info.