The Best Gifts for Hikers

Make the view-seeking, ground-sleeping, trail-walking, outdoors-loving person on your list a happy camper with any of these 14 gift ideas.

Updated October 21, 2022

12 reviews with an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars
A backpacker inflates his pad while sitting in the door of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 tent in Colorado.

Shopping for the sort of person who prefers an inflatable pad and stars to a memory-foam mattress and a roof can be tricky. That’s why we rounded up the 14 hiking products that top our own lists. Perfect for day hikers and backpackers alike, these picks are sure to complete your favorite adventurer’s gear closet.


The uses for this pair of poles almost outnumber its five-star reviews: The Traverse poles from REI Co-op are ideal for hiking, snowshoeing and backcountry skiing. They can prop up a tent awning or create a backrest during trailside snack breaks. Backcountry air-guitar concerts? Check. Backcountry impressions of Gandalf, Inigo Montoya or Luke Skywalker? Absolutely. Best of all, the Traverse poles collapse small for easy transport and packing and are easily adjustable so your pal can share the fun. For you, wrapping them will require very little paper (or skill). And, not that it matters, but we editors will be very envious of your giftee—the recipient of the best hiking poles available at the co-op and an Editors' Choice Award. $109.95


Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent

What you see: a backpacking tent. What the backpacker in your life sees: a lot of space for a little weight. The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL fits sleepers easily and comfortably and tips the scale at just over a pound per person, making it a can’t-go-wrong shelter for three-season backpacking. You don’t make many sacrifices, either; you still get double doors and vestibules, organization pockets and double zippers, plus the beloved Big Agnes color-coded pole system for a more intuitive setup. The Copper Spur is available in a bunch of sizes (for two, three or four sleepers). $549.95


Nimble enough for day trips and scrambles and supportive enough for longer outings under an overnight load, the Flash hiking boot from REI Co-op is a do-it-all workhorse for the hiker on your list. It’s constructed with recycled materials, armored for protection and has a waterproof membrane, but this boot is surprisingly light and comfortable out of the box. $150 


Black Diamond Spot 400 Headlamp

Woman wearing a headlamp

Give the gift of light this holiday season with this super versatile ’lamp from Black Diamond, which is great for hiking, camping, climbing, running, commuting, dog walking, car fixing, shed searching and pretty much any activity where hands-free illumination is key. Its 400-lumen bright setting is enough for meticulous work at night, but it’s dimmable. It has proximity and distance modes (plus a red light), as well as a locking function. We love this intuitive light so much that we gave it an Editors’ Choice Award and feel confident that your giftee will feel the same. $49.95 


Best idea? Get everyone in your family, friend circle or hiking squad a Nano Puff. Not only will the team match, but everyone will be snug too. The venerable puffy from Patagonia is filled with 60 grams of synthetic PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco (55% postconsumer recycled content), which is better than the real stuff for the sort of inclement weather (and rougher use) it will endure when your hiking pal takes it on the trail. It features a full zip and hand pockets. Nice: It works as a standalone jacket or slides easily beneath a shell as a mid layer. $229 


AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press

AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press

The coffee drinker in your life deserves a good cuppa, no matter where they start their morning. The AeroPress Go delivers the goods in a compact design that’s small enough to take backpacking. Some of our editors even use it daily at home. (True story: We really like this thing.) It’s quick to learn how to use too: Put grounds into the chamber, add boiling water and stir, then affix the top and press down.  $39.95


No one can get gone as much as they’d like, but for the times we’re sidelined at home and dreaming of life on the trail, there’s this book from Falcon Guides to help pass the time. It’s filled with life-list backpacking trips across the country and the beta for how to make them happen. There are hikes in every state, plus some award-winning storytelling in between. Cue the wanderlust. $28


Grayl Geopress Water Purifier Bottle – 24 fl. oz.

Grayl Geopress Water Purifier Bottle

Here’s a gift that keeps on giving: The Grayl Geopress water bottle has a built-in purifier system so your friend can drink straight from the source, wherever they end up. It removes junk like viruses, bacteria, protozoa, microplastics and sediment, and the activated carbon absorbs chemicals and heavy metals, leaving you with crystal-clear water. You simply fill the canteen from the water source, then insert the inner bottle like a coffee press. $99.95


For the mama or papa bear on your list, a kid carrier could double as the gift of trail time. The newly redesigned Poco LT from Osprey handles mega loads (read: gear and squirmy kiddo) with ease and comes complete with helpful features like a built-in sunshade, tons of grab handles, a hydration sleeve, hipbelt pockets and compartments galore. It has up to 6 inches of play in the adjustable back frame, so multiple pack mules parents can dial in fit. $285


Garmin Instinct Solar 2 GPS Watch

Garmin Instinct Solar GPS Watch

You don’t need to be a techie to appreciate a nearly unlimited battery life, which is essentially what this watch offers, thanks to solar-charging capabilities. The Instinct Solar 2 from Garmin boasts three global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo, aka the best available), a compass and an altimeter like a standard GPS unit, but it’s all in a tiny smartwatch that can hold a charge up to 32 days (or more, with solar). That means your gadget-loving pal can ditch heavy power packs and solar panels on longer treks, as well as a clunky GPS unit. $450


Nocs Provisions Honor Native Land Binocular Bundle

Pair of binoculars on a railing

Enhance your pal’s hiking experience by gifting them a swanky pair of binocs. The Nocs Provisions Honor Native Land Binocular Bundle offers great bang for your buck—top-notch resolution, a wide field of view, rubber coating for protection and weatherproofing to keep them safe on rainy days. The 8 x 25 magnification will please most hikers who want to catch a closer look at their surroundings as they move along a trail. Plus, the bundle includes a limited-edition woven tapestry strap created by Indigenous artist Amelia Winger-Bearskin (she also chose the limited-edition tones of the binoculars). And for the pal who likes snapping photos on the go, it comes with an attachment that enables smartphone photography through the lens (compatible with most smartphones). $150


IceMule Pro Cooler

Photo of a top-loading cooler in the forest.

Give the gift of our favorite hands-free cooler: the IceMule Pro. This top loader fits about 18 cans, plus ice. And the best part is that this cooler took a cue from more traditional hiking packs and added padded straps and a back panel, making it a solid choice for long days on the trail. Your giftee will enjoy easy hauling, and you’ll benefit from the cold drinks at the end. $129.95  


Have a backpacker on your list? Send them off packing in this much-loved hauler that is as suited to quick overnights as it is multi-night epics. Devotees sing praises of the innovative Osprey Anti-Gravity (or “AG”) suspension system, which makes bigger bundles disappear on your back. In lieu of a thick foam back panel, the Atmos AG LT 65 uses a suspended mesh that minimizes pressure points and allows for superb load transfer to your hips. It also gets the bag off your back for solid airflow, which sweaty hikers will appreciate. $290 


Yellowbird Organic Hot Sauce – Set of 4

Yellowbird Organic Hot Sauce

Help your backpacker pal spice up their life (and their freeze-dried mush) with the gift of hot sauce. This set from Yellowbird includes serrano, sriracha, habanero and ghost pepper flavors, each in a hipbelt pocket-size squeezy bottle. They’re all certified organic, paleo-friendly and vegan. $24.95


Shop All Gifts for Hikers 


Need more inspiration? Check out our Best Gifts for Less Than $50Best Gifts for Outdoorsy KidsBest Gifts for RunnersBest Gifts for Outdoorsy Dogs (and Their Humans)Best Gifts for Campers, Best Gifts for Skiers and Best Gifts for Snowboarders