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 12 gift ideas.

Updated November 15, 2021

8 reviews with an average rating of 4.0 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 12 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 outnumbers 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. $99.95


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 Big Agnes’s beloved color-coded pole system for a more intuitive setup. The Copper Spur is available in a bunch of sizes (for one, two, three or four sleepers). $449.95


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. $130 


Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp

Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp

Give the gift of light this holiday season with this super-versatile ’lamp, 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 350-lumen bright setting is enough for meticulous work at night, but it’s dimmable. It has proximity and spot modes (plus a red light), as well as Black Diamond’s 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. $39.95


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. Patagonia’s venerable puffy is filled with 60 grams of synthetic PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco (55% post-consumer recycled content), which is better than the real stuff for the sort of inclement weather (and rougher use) it will fave 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. $199 


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 go backpacking with. Some of our editors even use it daily at home. (True story: We really like this thing.) It’s quick to learn, too: Put grounds into the chamber, add boiling water and stir, then affix the top and press down.  $31.95


No one can get gone as much as they’d like, but for the times we’re sidelined at home, dreaming of life on the trail, there’s this book 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. $89.95


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 loaded 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. $260


Garmin Instinct Solar 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 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 charge up to 54 days via 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. $400


You may not love birds, but you love your friend who does, so gift them a swanky pair of binocs. The new Monarch M5 offers great bang for your buck—top-notch resolution, a wide field of view and Nikon’s extra-low dispersion glass for preventing any distortion. The 8 x 42 magnification will please birders who want to search for flickers of movement in a wider field of view (roughly 330 feet at 1,000 yards). And operation is pretty intuitive thanks to a large central focus knob, so you can likely take them for a whirl if you ask nicely. $289.95


YETI Hopper Flip 18 Soft Cooler

YETI Hopper Flip 18 Soft Cooler

Upgrade your pal’s cooler situation with this portable option from YETI. It’s watertight and leakproof with a giant clamshell opening for easy loading, unloading and cleaning. The high-density exterior is tough enough to withstand mildew, UV rays and scrapes, but the Hopper Flip 18 is still soft-sided, so it weighs less than the alternative and you won’t take your hiking partner out at the knees if you accidentally bump them. It fits about 20 tinnies with ice. $299.98


Well wouldn’t you just be the best gift giver of all-time? The venerable Granite Gear Blaze 60 is a workhorse of a pack that will serve your giftee on everything from quick overnights to multi-night epics, thanks to its supreme suspension and just-right weight. The top-loader swallows a ton of gear in its main compartment, and a vertical zipper allows you to access it all without unpacking. The top lid holds easy-access items like a headlamp and map and can be removed and converted into to a lumbar pack, while a giant stuff-it pouch on the outside is great for extra layers or wet clothes. $269.95


Yellowbird Organic Hot Sauce – Set of 4

Yellowbird Organic Hot Sauce

Help the backpacker in your life 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 organic, paleo and vegan. $24.95


Have a rookie on your list? Perfect for the budding backpacker who’s sick of renting or borrowing gear, the REI Co-op Backpacking Bundle contains a two-person shelter, a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag (available in long dimensions) for a discounted price. The trio is fit for three-season use and light enough for carrying far, far away without weighing your friend down. And, because the tent sleeps two, chances are good you’ll earn yourself a standing invitation when you gift this bundle. $295


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