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8 Ounces or Less: Featherweight Gifts

Our roundup of 2-ounce-or-less stocking stuffers last week confirmed that good things come in lightweight packages. For anyone still on the prowl for those just-right/very-light outdoor gifts, here are some winners in the 8-ounces-and-under category: Diamond Spot Headlamp (3.1 ounces including 3 AAA batteries): Many of us REI types who have handled dozens of headlamps are fairly amazed by this little jewel, with its 75-lumen maximum output, a max beam distance estimate of 70 meters (230 feet; about 77 yards), lock mode to prevent accidental switch-ons inside your pack, a battery-power indicator and a night-vision red-light mode that can be accessed without triggering white light -- all for $40. Go Smart Tri-Axis Pedometer (1 ounce including battery): Since everyone promises to start exercising in January, this handy little device is a good motivator. It measures distance using a "tri-axis" accelerometer, a motion-detecting instrument capable of accurately gauging your number of strides whether it is lying fat, horizontally or vertically. So you can toss it in your pocket and expect readings as accurate as if it was clipped to your belt. An excellent step-counter for the digital age. Microweight T-shirt (5.3 ounces for a men's medium; less than 7 ounces for an XL or a women's long-sleeve): Merino wool base layers are pricey, no question, but they're a revelation when you wear one for the first time. Told that lightweight wool was comfortable to wear even in warm conditions, I rolled my eyes. I had to try it to believe it and, as explained in the REI Expert Advice article How to Choose Wool Clothing, I am now a convert. Wool is an amazing natural fiber that's suitable -- desirable, even -- to wear on cool or warm days. Down side: It does not dry quite as quickly as a synthetic tee. Big plus: It does not harbor bacteria, making it almost stink-free. Energy Drink Mix (less than 1 ounce per tube; 3 tubes per box): Healthy, handy and, most important of all, tasty. If you need a vitamin B12 buzz, a tube of this fast-dissolving powder delivers 2,500 micrograms (mcg) of the stuff, which the nutritional content chart says is 41,667% of a human's daily value. No sugar involved; adds only 10 calories. Dishes out energy via ingredients ("25 nutritional vitamins") such as grape seed extract, green tea leaf extract, alpha-lipoic acid, American ginseng root extract, ginger root, folic acid and, of course, selenium-L-methionine complex. Can't be without that. Seriously, it tastes good and is simple to use: Dump a tube into 16 to 20 ounces of water, shake, slurp and go. The orange soda flavor really tastes as the name implies. The little tubes are even recyclable. Fizz on.

Posted on at 11:40 AM

Tagged: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp, Omron Go Smart Tri-Axis Pedometer, SmartWool Microweight T-shirt, Zipfizz, holiday gifts and rei

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where are the nuun hydration tabs on this list? all my stockings are stuffed with nuun tubes this christmas!

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T.D. Wood Staff Member

Good call, NNW. Nuun tabs ( are outstanding. You can't go wrong either way.


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