GIFT GUIDE SECTIONS
The SteriPEN Ultra uses UV light to purify 1L of water in 90 seconds without any pumping, squeezing, or chemicals, which is really nice. It’s light, compact, and it has a USB rechargeable battery that will filter 50L of water per charge (that’s about 4-5 days worth of water for two people). It’s great for the backcountry, but also international travel.
No more squeezing, pumping, or ingesting funky tasting chemicals. This 2-liter filtration system is a lighter and faster version of Platypus’ gravity system, adapted for those fast and light backpackers. For camping, you may consider the more robust 4-liter Platypus gravity system.
These leggings may just be the softest, most comfortable leggings we’ve ever worn. They’re good for hitting the trails for a hike or run, but cozy enough to be your Sunday lounging attire as well.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Large DCF8 Stuff Sack Pillow is one of our favorite backpacking tools of the year. This stuff sack pillow weighs almost nothing (1.4 oz), feels soft against the skin, and has a rectangular shape like the pillow you use at home.
The Snow Peak Titanium Cup is durable, extremely lightweight, and functional. They’re also a bit on the spendy side, which is why they make a great gift for nature lovers. We love Snow Peak’s products and their Titanium Cup is no exception.
We love the mission of Cotopaxi, but we also really love their gear. The Teca Windbreaker is comfortable, super stylish, weighs under 5 oz. and will pack into its own chest pocket. It’s a great light jacket for days when all you need is to break the wind.
This may not be the most fun gift on the list, but it’s a tool we highly recommend for anyone who adventures frequently. The SPOT device allows you to reach emergency responders, share your GPS coordinates and check in with your loved ones when on the trail. Heads up: a subscription is necessary to operate the SPOT device.
We love Pendleton products for their focus on high quality materials and stylish design. The company totes this wool blanket as their “most luxurious throw their mill has ever made.” It’s ultra soft, lightweight, and will keep you toasty warm on cool nights.
The JetBoil MiniMo is an ideal cooking system for any outdoor adventure. It’s sturdy, light, compact, and highly efficient. The MiniMo also has simmer control, which makes cooking in the backcountry much easier. The JetBoil Coffee Press makes an excellent addition to this gift.
The Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Stove is a great cooker for car camping. It has a push button igniter, simmer control, each burner kicks out a ton of heat, it’s easy to clean, and it packs away nicely. That’s pretty much everything you want for a great cookout in the backcountry.
Do you have an outdoor gear nut in your life, but you don’t quite know what to get them? The CAIRN monthly subscription box service introduces subscribers to innovative new products and gear that inspires them to get outdoors. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
We are in love with these unique and fun whiskey tumblers. Each glass is handblown and molded with real topographical data of each mountain. Featured peaks: Denali, Matterhorn, Fuji, and Pike’s Peak. These make for an undeniably great gift for the mountain lover in your world!
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.
At only 7.2 ounces, the CAMP Corsa is one of the lightest ice axes on the market. For serious mountaineering, this is probably isn’t the right tool, but for early season snow crossings on backpacking trips, this ice axe is excellent. It’s light, it’s effective, and our go-to ice axe when there’s snow on the trail.
The new Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini rechargeable lantern is one of the lightest and most versatile lanterns on the market. Weighing only 8 ounces, it still gives off a mighty 210 lumens of brightness. It can last for 500 hours on the lowest setting and has a USB port to charge your handheld devices.
Although this pillow is a bit heavy to pack for lightweight backpacking trips, the NEMO Fillo is one of the most comfortable camping pillows we’ve used. It’s an inflatable pillow, but has an inch of foam on top, which means more head stability and comfort. It’s also covered with a super soft microfiber.
We almost never go into the backcountry without a backup power source for our phones and cameras. The IAUGO Power Bank is affordable, compact, and incredibly lightweight.
This hybrid moccasin (women’s and men’s) is like wearing a sleeping bag around your feet, but with a sole that has the durability of a running shoe. Stylish and comfortable, these mocs are great for around camp or around town.
The Osprey Talon 22 for men and Tempest 20 for women are great lightweight daypacks. They have a simple design, but still get the 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 a winner for day hikes and around town.
The Luzon Del Dia is a cool little daypack that’s full of style and function. I really like the story behind this pack and I love Cotopaxi’s mission to reduce global poverty. I would recommend this pack to anyone looking for a simple, stylish, and fun daypack.
The Flex Lite 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. We usually backpack pretty light, so we don’t generally take accessories like this into the field, but this table is light enough to consider.
While we don’t often take chairs on backpacking trips, we do love using them while car camping or on short jaunts with friends. The Flex Lite Chair is comfortable, sturdy, and packs down very small, making it an excellent gift for those on the go.
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 common gadgets you’ll want and it’ll withstand many years of heavy use.
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.
The Ursack gets our vote for 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’s bulletproof fabric will keep your food away from bears, but it will also keep out small critters, which is a more common annoyance.
We wear trail running shoes for most of our backcountry hiking trips (except winter treks). Check out our article 5 reasons to ditch your hiking boots to learn why. We’re currently rocking the Saucony Peregrine 7 (men’s and women’s)shoes and we absolutely love them. They have comfortable padding, fantastic traction, and a soft sole.
We love how lightweight and comfortable these updated Altra Trail Runners (women’s and men’s) are right out of the box. They’re great for trail running, but also have superior traction for rugged mountain hiking. There’s a reason you’ll see many thru-hikers wearing Altras on the trail.
Ray-Ban Polarized sunglasses were the best gear upgrade we 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? Time for an upgrade.
The Hummingbird Single is incredibly light and small (5.2oz), making it an excellent choice for anyone with an active lifestyle. Hummingbird Hammocks utilize the lightest materials and designs to keep their hammocks as portable, packable, and comfortable as possible. Hummingbird Ultralight Tree Straps are also the lightest straps I’ve found.
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.
The Solo Mini is a durable titanium cook set 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 a small canister stove to complete your cooking system. HotLips lip protectors make another good addition.
The MSR PocketRocket 2 is a dependable, durable, and effective backcountry stove. It has simmer control to make backcountry cooking easier and it pairs well any lightweight cook pot. This backcountry classic makes an excellent gift.
The Solo Stove Lite is an efficient and effective wood stove system. Air intake holes feed the fire from below and above, which makes for a hot and less smoky burn. Combine the Solo Stove with the Solo Stove Pot 900 for a completely nested cooking system and more space in your pack.
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.
The Camp Roll Table is an excellent accessory for car camping or hanging in the park. It sets up quickly and is compact when stowed. It pairs well with REI Camp X Chairs for maximum relaxation in the outdoors.
We’re not hauling this blanket into the backcountry, but we definitely bring it on our car camping or park visits. The X Lounger is waterproof, lightweight (1.5 lbs.), and easily shakes off sand or dirt. It also folds into a convenient portable carrying pack.
These minimal, versatile, and stowable daypacks are great for nearly any excursion and they make excellent gifts. They’re good for carrying light loads and can easily be stuffed into a larger bag on longer trips. We prefer the Flash 22 over the Flash 18 because of the lid pocket and water bottle holsters, but both packs work well.
Dri-fit half zip men’s and women’s tops are useful clothing items on the trail. They can be worn while hiking on colder days or around camp for comfort. They dry quickly and feel great against the skin.
Nike Dri-Fit running shorts make excellent hiking shorts. They’re super comfortable and they dry very quickly. They have built in liners – so you won’t need extra underwear on the trail – and pockets, which come in handy as well.
The Suunto M-3 D Leader is our top pick compass for reliable navigation in the field. One handy feature of this compass is adjustable declination correction, which is a calculation that trips up many backpackers in the field. The luminous markings are a nice touch as well for nighttime use.
The Sawyer Squeeze is the best water filter on the market for performance, weight, and cost. It makes a great gift for any outdoor enthusiast. It has a slightly better flow rate than the Sawyer Mini (2oz), which is also useful for shorter trips and trail running.
Hydro Flask vacuum bottles are great for keeping cold beverages cold (24 hours) and hot drinks hot (12 hours). They come in a range of sizes and colors, are great for packing beer, coffee, tea, and soup. They make excellent gifts for anyone with an active lifestyle.
If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with an REI Gift Card. Any outdoor gear junkie will salivate over a free trip to REI. So no matter what, you’ve always got this great option in your back pocket.
POPULAR CLEVERHIKER CONTENT
- BEST BACKPACKING TENTS
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKS
- BEST SLEEPING BAGS
- TOP GEAR PICKS
- 12 BEGINNER BACKPACKING BLUNDERS
- 5 REASONS TO DITCH YOUR HIKING BOOTS
- BEST BACKPACKING STOVES
- BEST SLEEPING PADS
- BEST HAMMOCKS
- 21 TIPS FOR THE FIRST TIME THRU-HIKER
- LIGHTWEIGHT GEAR TUTORIAL VIDEOS
- ESSENTIAL TRAIL SKILLS TUTORIAL VIDEOS
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.