Editor’s note: This year’s a bit different—shop early to avoid lines in-store and get your gifts delivered with plenty of time to spare. Shopping in-store? There might be a line. Join the virtual waitlist from anywhere to save time.
Shopping for a tech lover is tough. They tend to already have what they think they need and, if they don’t, said item can blow your bottom line fast. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of outdoorsy gadgets, which start at just $25. They also span activities, so you’ll be sure to please the techiest hiker, camper, skier or snowboarder on your list.
And while there’s something to be said for a tech-free outdoors experience, these 10 products propose to work in the background to elevate any adventure. Happy gifting!
Used to protect your favorite techie’s favorite tech from bumps and water, the 1040 swallows small items like a smartphone and credit cards inside a tough, polycarbonate case. It’s clear, so your giftee can see inside easily, and a purge valve automatically adjusts pressure. A soft rubber interior absorbs shock, and the exterior attachment point comes with a carabiner to prevent the Pelican from slipping away. $25
Any adventure is going to look awesome through the lens of this compact camera thanks to the best-in-class built-in image and video stabilization. And the techie in your life is sure to geek out over the upgrades of this model like dual screens, a touch display and more powerful specs (5K video resolution, 23.6MP sensor, 1,720 mAh battery, etc.). Like previous generations, the 9 is waterproof and mountable and can be controlled remotely via the GoPro app. $450
Playing in the snow gets everything wet (especially with kids). This collapsible system from DryGuy has two telescoping ports that deliver gentle, 105ºF heat for drying saturated shoes, ski boot liners and gloves. The intuitive dial works like an old-school cooking timer, and most items are sufficiently dried in about an hour. $50
This watch is ready to record any kind of adventure from simple workouts to extended, multi-day expeditions. Solar-charging capability means the battery can last for weeks, depending on use, and it showcases the most elite offerings in the Garmin ecosystem, including heart-rate tracking, a pulse oximeter, all of the activity trackers and global satellite navigation. It has extensive customization, including apps, data fields and the watch face. The fenix 6S is for smaller wrists. $850–$950
Give your favorite gadget lover the gift of endless power this season. The Flip 24 from Goal Zero, which is about the size of a smartphone, holds enough power to juice most phones twice or boost a tablet. When it’s sapped, recharge it via USB or the sun. $29.95
Electric coolers don’t need ice and, in fact, this one can even make ice. Perfect for the gadget lover in your life who’s into a more refined camping or road-tripping experience, the Dometic CFX3 55IM efficiently refrigerates and deep-freezes to -7°F (it has to be plugged into a 110-volt socket or a battery like a vehicle’s 12-volt). Techies will love the high-resolution display and that the cooler can be controlled with the smartphone app. $1,100
Phones go everywhere, so if your pal logs a lot of trail time, that means their phone does, too. Help them protect their phone with the durable Lander Moab case, which should prevent impact on drops up to 10 feet. It also shields the phone from extreme temperatures, which can muck with the battery life. $39.95–$40
Osprey Soelden Pro 32 and Sopris Pro 30 Avalanche Airbag Packs
An avy pack is, of course, no substitute for standard rescue equipment or know-how, but if your buddy is already an experienced and safe backcountry rider, they may love adding one to their kit. The Soelden Pro 32 and Sopris Pro 30 use the rechargeable Alpride E1 system, a battery-driven supercapacitor that inflates the airbag extremely fast (and makes techies swoon). The pack itself boasts the hallmarks of an Osprey: comfortable, organized and spacious. $1,200
With a quick charge, your cold-footed friend can enjoy a comfortable trip out into the elements with these heated insoles from Yaktrax. Your giftee simply trims them to fit (one size), then slides the battery-powered, remote-controlled insoles into their winter boots for between 105ºF and 119ºF warmth. Nice touch: The battery nestles into the insole behind the heating elements, so there are no wires to manage. $99.95
Perhaps the techiest headlamp offering at REI, the versatile Petzl IKO CORE flaunts 500 lumens, an IPX4 waterproof rating, three brightness levels and a rechargeable 1,250 mAh battery. That’s all contained in a unique, lightweight design that lets the wearer use it as a standard headlamp or a necklace. It’s perfect for hikers, campers, runners and general after-dark-enjoyers. $89.95
Need more inspiration? Check out our Best Holiday Gifts for Less Than $50, Best Holiday Gifts for Outdoorsy Kids, Best Holiday Gifts for Runners, Best Holiday Gifts for Hikers and Campers, Best Holiday Gifts for Outdoorsy Dogs (and Their Humans), Best Holiday Gifts for Snow and Winter Lovers and more product roundups in our Trail Mix series.