Trail Mix: The Best Outdoor Gifts of 2019

Our staff delivers 13 can’t-go-wrong gear picks for the giving season.
Rate this story:

Need gift ideas? You’ve come to the right place. Our editors dug deep, drawing from their own gear testing and, yes, wish lists to cull this roundup of the best nonessential (yet highly desirable) products for holiday gifting. Find a packable camp blanket, a cozy jacket, an action-ready camera and more.


ENO DoubleNest Printed HammockENO DoubleNest Printed Hammock

The only thing better than hammocking alone is hammocking with a friend. ENO’s DoubleNest, which packs down to the size of a grapefruit, unfurls into a palatial sling for two. Its category-defining suspension system (sold separately for $29.95) is now lighter and reflective—great upgrades for taking your hammock on the go. If your friend isn’t into sharing their cocoon, look into the ENO Fuse Tandem Hammock System ($29.95), which uses aluminum poles to hang two hammocks side by side on the same anchor points like playground swings. $79.95


GoPro MAX CameraGoPro MAX Camera

One camera to rule them all: The latest-and-greatest from GoPro is essentially three in one, with abilities like a traditional HERO, a 360 cam and a selfie-style vlog cam. New built-in mounting keeps it slim (it can slide easily into a pocket), while dual lenses, a touchscreen, six (not a typo) mics and ultra-improved stabilization cement it the year’s best action cam. Even better? The GoPro app makes it easy to reframe 360 footage without third-party software. The techie in your life won’t be disappointed. $500


Black Diamond Forged Denim PantsBlack Diamond Forged Denim Pants - Women’s

There are two types of people on Earth: those who wear performance jeans and those who haven’t tried them yet. Convert your friend into the former with the Forged Denim from Black Diamond. They look like “normal” jeans, but wear like climbing pants. Or if you’re looking for something a little less technical, check out prAna’s Bridger Jeans ($89) and Kayla Jeans ($89). Traditional five-pocket pants, both have just enough stretch for hiking. (The Kayla is available in an array of sizes: tall, plus and short.) $119; women’s sizes 2–12


Purist Maker Vacuum Water Bottle with Element TopPurist Maker Vacuum Water Bottle with Element Top

When it comes to drinking vessels, you have approximately one million choices. Consider this fun-size bottle one in a million: Small enough to palm like a true drinking glass (and sit nicely in a cup holder), the 10-ounce Purist Maker is fully sealed with a screw top, so you can toss it in your pack without fear of spilling. The handle, which nests seamlessly in the top, pops out for easy grabbing. Its stainless-steel interior is coated in a microscopic layer of glass to give your beverage the purest taste (no tinniness and no notes of last week’s coffee). Looking for something bigger? Purist also makes an 18-ouncer ($48) and a 32-ouncer ($56). $40


Leatherman Signal Colors Multi-ToolLeatherman Signal Colors Multi-Tool

As it turns out, a multi-tool can be functional and fresh. Leatherman’s Signal packs 19 tools into the compact, 4.5-inch long body (about the size of a candy bar), and now you can pick an aesthetic to match the user. It’s currently available in aqua and pink, cobalt and cranberry, and gray and yellow—or go for the one with a topo map printed on the blade for maximum backcountry cred. The Signal has various blades, a saw, a whistle, pliers, a bit driver, a hammer, a can opener and a handful of other features that can all be operated with one hand. $119.95


Pendleton Carry Along Motor Robe BlanketPendleton Carry Along Motor Robe Blanket

Not all blankets are created equal. This one from Pendleton, for instance, is made of 100 percent virgin wool (meaning it’s softer than wool obtained from a sheep’s second or third shearing) accredited by the Responsible Wool Standard. It’s 66 inches by 52 inches—standard blankie size—perfect for a couch throw, a long flight or even a picnic. The included leather strap might seem gimmicky or like an Instagram prop, but it does make for easy grab-and-go storing. $99.50


REI Co-op Flash 22 Print PackREI Co-op Flash 22 Print Pack

The ultimate do-anything daypack, the REI Co-op Flash 22 has tons of trail-ready features that belie its scant weight (it’s just 13 ounces). Padded, meshy shoulder straps and a basic hipbelt attachment can support modest loads, stretchy side pockets are great for water bottles or wet clothes, and it even has a removable back panel that doubles as a sit pad. If you’re shopping for less of a statement piece, look at the Flash 22 in solid colors. $54.95


Forsake Lucie Mid Waterproof ShoesForsake Lucie Mid Waterproof Shoes (Women’s) and Phil Mid Boots (Men’s)

No one needs technical sneaker boots, but it’s pretty hard to go back to a life without them once you’ve started. The versatility of a pair of true trail-to-town kicks is a gift in itself: The suede-and-nubuck Lucie Mids and leather-and-mesh Phil Mids from Forsake are waterproof with a gusseted tongue, which suits them just as well to the trail or shoveling snow as the (casual) office or city commute. $139.95; women’s sizes 6–10, men’s sizes 8–13


Hyperice Hypervolt Cordless Vibration MassagerHyperice Hypervolt Cordless Vibration Massager

Here’s the gift that keeps on giving: Not only will the receiver get massages, but you’re off the hook. Through vibration therapy, the Hyperice Hypervolt (which is about the size of a hairdryer) allows the user to increase circulation and relieve stiffness in sore areas (called myofascial release). It has three power settings and four different head attachments for customization. Browse other massagers here. $349


Stanley Master FlaskStanley Master Flask

Give the gift of merriment this holiday season (libations not included). The 8-fluid-ounce Master Flask from Stanley is adventure-ready, made of durable, rust-proof stainless steel that won’t retain the flavors of last trip’s drink du jour. It’s contoured to actually fit well against the leg when in a pocket, and its mouth is big enough for easy filling. Starting at $35


Thule Subterra Wheeled Duffel - 22”Thule Subterra Wheeled Duffel - 22''

Got a world traveler on your hands? Take a flyer on the slick Subterra from Thule. It tows smoothly on two wheels and flays open like a clamshell with two large pockets on either side. A mesh divider that fits small sundries doubles as a load compressor; it affixes to one side via easy-to-operate toggles, then you smush it down to crush the load below. The Subterra slides neatly into most overhead bins. If you’re buying for more of a Type-A packer, check out the pocket-happy REI Co-op Tourwinder Rolling Luggage ($219). Browse other carry-on luggage here. $299.95


AfterShokz Aeropex HeadphonesAfterShokz Aeropex Headphones

Queue up the Jock Jams. The sub-1-ounce Aeropex from AfterShokz uses bone conduction technology for better sound (like some hearing aids); the headphones wrap around the neck and sit on the cheekbones, keeping your ears open to hear other noises in the gym or on the trail (say, a cyclist trying to pass). The Aeropex is dust- and waterproof and sure to woo the fitness lover in your life. $159.95


Patagonia Down Sweater HoodiePatagonia Down Sweater Hoodie (Women’s)

Equally suited to Everest and Milan, a good puffy is a wardrobe staple anyone would be lucky to receive this winter. There are so many great down options (for men and women), but we love the versatility of the Patagonia Down Sweater, an 800-fill powerhouse of warmth. Its goose down meets the Global Traceable Down Standard, and the polyester ripstop shell is 100 percent recycled, so you can feel good about where it came from. $279; men’s sizes XS–XXL, women’s sizes XS–XL


Need more inspiration? Check out more product roundups in our Trail Mix series, or stay tuned: Well be publishing four more gift guides before the holidays, including The Coziest Gifts, The Best Gifts for Skiers and Snowboarders, The Best Gifts for Campers and The Best Gifts Under $50.

be_ixf;ym_201911 d_22; ct_150
  • be_ixf; php_sdk; php_sdk_1.4.26
  • https://origin-coopjournal.rei.com/blog/camp/best-outdoor-gifts
  • https://www.rei.com/blog/camp/best-outdoor-gifts
No Comments