You don't need to spend a lot to impress. Make everyone on your list happy without shelling out more than $50. We've got travel pillows, sunglasses, pocket knives, headlamps and so much more.
Best Adventure Book
Chronicle Books Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors
Author(s) Rue Mapp
Number of Pages 192
”Nature Swagger,” writes Outdoor Afro founder and CEO Rue Mapp, is "your standing invitation to reconnect with nature, and write your own story and transform within it." In this inspiring collection of photographs, essays and profiles, Mapp, Outdoor Afro volunteer leaders and Black outdoor enthusiasts share stories to empower Black communities to rebuild their relationship with nature and celebrate the rich history of Blackness in the outdoors. ”While enthusiastically focused on Black American experiences,” Mapp writes, the collection is ”a universal roadmap to discover the delights, joys, and possibilities of transformation for anyone through nature.” Read an excerpt from the book—an essay about the transformational power of time outside to unite and heal—on Uncommon Path.
Best Travel or Backpacking Pillow
NEMO Fillo Pillow
Pillow Fill Synthetic
Dimensions 17 x 11 x 4 in.
Weight 9 oz.
Being on the road doesn’t mean sacrificing a good night's sleep. Give the gift of comfort with the Nemo Fillo pillow. Easy to inflate and packs down to the size of a potato, this pillow is the perfect option for backpacking and travel. But don’t let its compact size fool you. Soft, luxury foam ensures that even if you're sleeping on the ground, your head will feel like it’s resting on cloud nine.
Best Keychain Knife
Swiss Army Classic Knife
Knife Blade Type Straight Edge
Max Blade Length (in.) 1.5 in.
Weight 0.7 oz.
One tool to rule them all. You can’t go wrong with the Swiss Army Classic knife, which weighs less than an ounce. With scissors, a nail file, a screwdriver and so much more, this 2.5-inch blade is the epitome of a can’t-leave-home-without-it tool. The lanyard makes it easy to attach to keys or a travel pack, making sure your gift recipient will always have it when they need it.
Best Multisport Sunglasses
goodr Circle Gs Polarized Sunglasses
UV Protection 100%
Frame Material Polycarbonate
Your gift-giving mojo is bound to be bright with these goodr Circle Gs. Grippy nose coating keep them on while a featherweight frame maximizes comfort even during strenuous activities. And you can be confident they’ll never miss a step with the anti-glare, polarized lenses. Several color options to choose from, so you’ll be sure to find one that pleases even the pickiest person on your gift list.
Best Travel Game
Outside Inside Basecamp Chess/Checkers
Recommended for 12 years and up
Dimensions 9.5 x 9.5 x 1 in.
Weight 15 oz.
This Outside Inside chess and checkers set made for indoor and outdoor adventures keeps boredom at bay during camp downtime. With its small carry bag and magnetic board and pieces, there's no need to worry about transporting this set or restarting play if the board gets knocked. But make sure you’re confident in your chess and checkers skills, because this gift might mean that a challenge is coming your way!
Best Roll Top Dry Bags
Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sacks - Set of 3
Gear Capacity (L) 1 / 2 / 4 L
Gear Capacity (cu. in.) 61 / 122 / 244 c. in.
Dimensions 4 x 9 / 5 x 10 / 6 x 12 in.
Weight 1.1 / 1.3 / 1.6 oz.
For the watersports enthusiast in your life, what better way to say "paddle on" than with a set of Sea to Summit dry sacks. With three different sizes—1, 2 and 4 liters—you can store and keep gear and electronics dry while on the water. They're lightweight and easily packable—the only question when snagging this gift is, water you waiting for?
Best Small Packing Cube
REI Co-op Roadtripper Pod - Small
Gear Capacity (L) 2.5 L
Gear Capacity (cu. in.) 153 cu. in.
Dimensions 8.6 x 4 x 4 in.
Weight 3 oz.
When it comes to packing, the little things matter a lot. The small REI Co-op Roadtripper Pod is a compact place to secure little or loose items. Rugged and made with recycled materials, this organization pod is made of water-resistant, recycled polyester. A top zipper provides easy access to contents, and with an integrated ID window for labeling, you'll never have to guess what's inside. (These handy packing cubes are also availabe in many sizes).
REI Co-op Graphic Bandana
Fabric Organically grown cotton
Dimensions 22 x 22 in.
With so many uses, this REI Co-op graphic bandana made of organically grown cotton is sure to please anyone on your list. The possibilities are practically endless: Wick away the sweat on a hike, use an impromptu face covering to protect from dust and dirt or tie your hair up. With several colorful designs to choose from, you won’t have any trouble finding the right one, two or three for your giftee.
Best Indoor Slippers
Acorn Mule Ragg Slippers - Women's
Footwear Height Ankle
Upper Knit uppers; 78% acrylic/20% wool/2% spandex
Lining Moisture-wicking Berber fleece
Don’t worry, these are not your grandmother’s house shoes. With a soft Berber fleece lining and Cloud Cushion insole, these slippers make lounging around the house as cozy as it gets. A slip-on mule design and thick rubber sole makes them the perfect indoor-outdoor slipper. Comfortable yet versatile, the Acorn slippers are the perfect practical gift.
Help them kick their fear of the dark with this headlamp, an REI Editors’ Choice Award winner for its sleek design and a variety of brightness modes. Not only does it offer an extraordinarily long battery life, the waterproof Black Diamond Spot 350 can also be used to illuminate adventures in the rain. And for your fashionable friends, match this product to one of their favorite outfits by picking from six different colors. $26.73
Best Duffel Bag
REI Co-op Roadtripper 40 Duffel
Gear capacity (L) 40 L
Gear capacity (cu. in) 2,440 cu. in.
Dimensions 21 x 10 x 10 in.
With 40 liters of space for clothes, gear or take-home souvenirs, the REI Co-op Roadtripper Duffel is the perfect getaway bag for a weekend trip or a weeklong escape. Made of bluesign®-approved recycled polyester, this carry-on is abrasion and water resistant, so it can hold its own on a rugged adventure. And when you give it to your loved one, you can wrap the duffel up in its included packing cube or use the bag as gift wrap for other items on this list.
The only thing better than waking up at camp is having a hot mug of coffee ready before you hit the trail. Luckily, the AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press makes hot coffee in minutes, so your gift recipient will enjoy both quick coffee and caffeine control. This REI Editors’ Choice Award winner also comes with a mug that neatly doubles as the system’s packing container. $39.95
Best Jump Rope
TRX Weighted Jump Rope
Length 10 ft.
Give the gift of cardio and strength to your favorite fitness buddy. This TRX Weighted Jump Rope could be the perfect piece of gear to break up their boring workout routine. The vinyl-coated cable can be adjusted to various lengths and each handle weighs 9 ounces to target their arms while they jump. The best part? They can take it with them, so they can exercise in the world’s biggest gym—the outdoors.
Whoever says comfort can’t come from closed-cell design hasn’t tried this sleeping pad from NEMO. Thanks to its hexagonal nesting pattern, this pad also packs down smaller than other closed-cell foam pads. And with an abrasion-resistant foam and thermal reflective film, the Switchback Sleeping Pad will stick it out through hardy trips and cold nights. Pro tip: They can fold it smaller for a cushy sitting pad or bed for their pup. $44.95 (short)
REI Co-op Flash 18 Pack
Gear Capacity (L) 18 L
Gear Capacity (cu. in.) 1,100 cu. in.
Dimensions 18 x 10 x 8 in.
Materials Recycled nylon (bluesign®-approved)
With several detachable components that can save weight, including a back panel that doubles as a sitting pad, this pack from the REI Co-op is perfect for day hikes when lightweight storage is key. Top rated by customer reviewers, one purchaser says, “My teenage son, who is very hard to please, was beyond thrilled with this gift … His dad even went back and got himself one.”
Is it a headband? A helmet liner? Face and neck protection? Yes—all of the above! Made of recycled materials and offering UPF 50 sun protection, the Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear has a large following of fans who love the product because, as one customer review put it, “it’s fashionable, functional, comfortable, easy to wash and dry.” Pick one up for a friend or relative who loves to spend time outside. $20–$24
Smartwool Performance Hike Light Cushion Crew Socks
Fabric Merino wool/nylon/recycled nylon/elastane
Sock height Crew
Cushioning Light cushioning
Every hiker needs a pair of Smartwool socks. That’s it. This pair has “no noticeable hot spots, good breathability and moisture wicking," raved one customer reviewer, adding that that the cushioning "helps protect your feet when walking long miles.” This sock is all about durability, breathability and sustainability. Smartwool uses recycled materials and is ZQ-certified. Maybe you should gift yourself a pair of these too.
By now we hope everyone on your list shirks single-use plastic, so this Hydro Flask bottle should be a hit for all. It up-levels standard reusable vessels with double-wall vacuum insulation that will keep bevvies hot or cold for hours, plus it has a supersized mouth for easy fill. We also appreciate the slim build that fits in most cup holders and, of course, the plethora of flavorful colors. $39.95
Best Minimalist Backpacking Stove
MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove
Number of burners 1
Weight 2.6 oz.
Know someone who needs a camping stove that will boil water in a flash? Look no further than the MSR PocketRocket. Beginner backpackers and outdoor experts alike rave about its fuss-free design and low weight (just 2.6 ounces). Using this stove is easy: Attach a fuel canister (not included), light the burner and wait 3 1/2 minutes for your water to boil.
This scarf from REI Co-op may be the closest you can get to actually hugging your giftee this year. The wool blend is cozy and warm without any scratchiness, which adds up to a most snuggly hug in scarf form. And at 6 feet long, there’s plenty of squeeze to go around. $49.95
You know you’ve hit adulthood when socks actually make the top of your wish list. And with these, you won’t have to add them year after year. Darn Tough socks live up to their name with an unconditional lifetime guarantee and a reputation for accompanying thru-hikers from Mexico to Canada. These options use a merino, nylon and elastane blend for Goldilocks-like comfort, moisture management and durability. $25
Some might say you’d be unoriginal for choosing a gift based on its number of five-star ratings. We know of at least 23,000 people who’d disagree. One of the highest-rated products on REI.com, this 20-ounce YETI tumbler features double-wall vacuum insulation that keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold to the last sip. A large mouth lets you dump in ice cubes aplenty on scorching summer days (or fill straight from the source), and its BPA-free stainless steel doesn’t retain flavors from last week’s rum and Coke. Will your giftee be the next five-star reviewer? $35
“I never thought I’d fall in love with a fanny pack, but it happened,” writes REI customer Hollybee. Give the gift of love this season. When the Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hip Pack isn’t in use, it packs into its own pocket. When it is, the hip pack fits oodles into its lightweight yet durable pouch (one person on our staff uses it like a purse, while another stuffs it with pick-up bags and treats for her dog’s morning constitutional). There’s no wrong way to use a hip pack—love is love. $35
Best Camp Towel
Nomadix National Parks Maps Original Towel
Material Recycled polyester/nylon
Dimensions 72.5 x 30 in.
Weight 1 lb. 3 oz.
Part hot-yoga sweat catcher, part wrap-ready beach towel, part national-park study guide—what can’t this Nomadix do? Its recycled fabric is quick-drying, slip-resistant and absorbent, making it ready for anything. So, if your master plan is to help your loved ones do more with less, you can’t go wrong with this gift.
“Just the right size to bake a deep-dish chocolate chip cookie for two after dinner or melt butter for popcorn,” writes REI customer Erasmus. (Take a second to wipe up the drool before we move on.) Built brutally tough for a lifetime of unparalleled, even heat retention, this miniature skillet from Lodge is just as great as its more standard-size brethren, but a bit more portable. And cuter. $9.95
Turn any campsite into an Instagram-worthy set with this lantern from LuminAID. It charges via solar or USB, then spits out up to 150 lumens at five brightness settings. You can also use it to juice up your other gadgets. Even if your loved one isn’t a digital influencer or device enthusiast, the PackLite Max is a no-brainer for any first-aid kit, car emergency supply pack or bug-out bag. $49.95
BioLite HeadLamp 325
Hello, sunshine! This beauty slips under the $50 mark. Any friend would be lucky to receive this 325-lumen BioLite lamp, but backpackers will especially appreciate it. A sleek rechargable power source sits at the front of the head so you can kick back and relax, and it’s a scant 1.8 ounces. It also comes in a handful of fun colors.
Add a twinkle to your pal’s backyard or backcountry adventure with this string light from MPOWERD. Ten LED nodes decorate the 18-foot-long cord, which you can charge via USB or the sun. What’s even cooler: Your giftee can use that same port to power up their mobile devices while enjoying the dreamy glow. An easy-to-parse LED indicator shows when it’s time to plug back in, so your friend is never caught in the dark. $49.95
Best Vacuum-Insulated Mug
YETI Rambler Mug with MagSlider Lid - 14 fl. oz.
Liquid Capacity (L) 0.4 L
Liquid Capacity (fl. oz.) 14 fl. oz.
Weight 13 oz.
This vacuum-insulated mug from YETI will keep your friend’s joe hot for up to six hours, making it as appropriate for morning commutes and alpine starts as evening camp warmers. It comes with a removable sipping lid and is dishwasher-safe too. And most importantly, at 14 ounces, it fits enough coffee to actually make a dent in drowsiness.
Need more inspiration? Check out our Best Gifts for Outdoorsy Kids, Best Gifts for Runners, Best Gifts for Outdoorsy Dogs (and Their Humans), Best Gifts for Hikers, Best Gifts for Campers, Best Gifts for Skiers and Best Gifts for Snowboarders.