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The 30 Best Outdoor Gifts for the Adventurer in Your Life

From ultralight down jackets to recycled cork massage balls, there’s something to please every outdoorsy person on your holiday gift list this year

gifts for outdoor lovers

People who thrive in the outdoors are often simultaneously low maintenance and incredibly picky about their gear. With this in mind, we’ve selected a wide variety of some of the most reliable, ingenuitive, and functional outdoor-oriented items, whether your outdoors person is most at home setting up their car camping system or hitting the slopes.

The gifts in this guide range from sustainable sunscreen and protective lip balm to the lightest down jacket we’ve ever tested… and everything in between. These 30 picks are all ideal for the general outdoors person, along with plenty of specialized picks for ultralight gurus and car-camping aficionados.

More gift ideas: 47 Well-Designed Gifts for Cycling Enthusiasts | The Best Gadget and Gear Gifts for the Holidays | 37 Great Gifts for DIYers

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Best for Cold-Weather Adventures
FVSA Rechargeable Hand Warmer

These convenient hand warmers can fit nicely into a pair of gloves or mittens, or be stashed in a pocket for hours of warming. More environmentally friendly than disposable hand warmers, these compact units heat up to 140 degrees and last up to 18 hours before needing to be recharged.

Best Backcountry Coffee
Treeline Geo Single-Serve Coffee
Treeline Coffee Roasters

Gone are the days of suffering through burned instant coffee during camping trips. Treeline’s sustainably sourced coffee comes in handy single-serve pour-over packets that hook right onto your travel mug for custom-tasting coffee. Treeline uses seasonal, single-origin coffee and their beans are roasted in Bozeman, Montana.

Best for Camp Lounging
GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker
GCI Outdoor

A simple push unfolds this super-comfortable camp chair. This chair is stable, with a hinged rocker on solid legs. It comes with a cup holder, and folds up for compact storage. This chair is made with powder-coated steel and can hold up to 250 pounds.

Best Accessory
Original Buff
$14.60 (27% off)

This is one of the most handy items in an outdoorsy person’s accessories wardrobe. Wear this incredibly versatile piece as a neck warmer, beanie, headscarf, ear warmer and more. Made with a technical, stretchy, moisture-wicking material, this is a go-to accessory no matter what the weather calls for.

Best Light for Car Camping
BioLite Alpenglow Lantern

A whole range of light and brightness settings make this one of the most versatile and relaxing lanterns on the market. With a range of warm tones to bright lights to fill a room, the BioLite Alpenglow Lantern works in everything from a car-camping setup, to a tent, to a cozy night in a cabin. This lantern is rechargeable and comes with a power cord.

Best Adventure Book
‘Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage’ by Alfred Lansing
Basic Books

This is one of the most engrossing true survival stories out there. Written over five decades ago, this tale of Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole is captivating from start to finish and is nearly impossible to put down.

Best for Staying Cozy at Camp
Nemo Equipment Puffin Insulated Blanket
Nemo Equipment

This insulated blanket is perfect for cozy nights around the fire. It’s made with synthetic insulation for easy washing, and is the perfect size for one person. Use this outdoors without worry thanks to the ripstop surface fabric, and it comes with its own stuff sack that can turn the blanket into a pillow when packed. 

Best Headphones for Outdoor Use
Anker Soundcore Wireless Earbuds

These earbuds last longer than AirPods and cost a fraction of the price. They stay securely in ears, and come with six different soft rubber attachments for a custom fit. The case is rugged and compact, and holds three full charges for the earbuds. These stay securely in ear during high-impact activity, and charge quickly with the included micro-USB cord.

Best Recovery Tool
Rawlogy Ultralight Cork Massage Ball

No athlete’s arsenal is complete without one of these ultralight recycled-cork massage balls. The cork provides just enough resistance and density to roll out sore muscles after exercise to help with recovery and injury prevention. The balls come in a variety of sizes for rolling out feet, arms, shoulders, calves, legs, hips, and back, and are compact and light enough to stash in a pocket or pack without noticing it’s there.

Best for Practical-Minded People
PEET Electric Shoe and Boot Dryer

Never find yourself without a dry pair of shoes again. No matter how soggy or snowy the outing, slide your boots or shoes onto this boot dryer when you get home and have dry footwear by morning. This boot dryer uses minimal electricity and works so quietly you’ll never know it’s on.

Best for On-the-Go Drinks
ORCA Walker Tote

Keep your brews, snacks, and outdoor picnic goods in one place in this rugged cooler tote. This bag is waterproof, has a reinforced, sturdy base for setting down on uneven surfaces, and a hefty zipper that stays shut once sealed. This cooler keeps ice or ice packs frozen for up to 24 hours, and the burly handles have magnetic attachments for convenient carrying.

Best for Camp-Cooking Backpackers
Jetboil Stash

This lightweight, all-in-one camp stove and cookset is the perfect gift for the backpacker on your list. Jetboil makes a no-fuss system that boils water in 2.5 minutes and weighs just over 7 ounces. This is a compact, nesting set that comes with a stove, ignitor, and insulated pot—just add fuel and you’re good to go.

Best Lightweight Beanie
Headsweats Skullcap Beanie

This packable beanie fits snugly against your head and sits comfortably under a helmet. Made with performance-wicking polyester, it keeps sweat off your head and forehead while trapping heat. The beanie is cut long enough to cover most people’s ears, and the four-panel design fits comfortably without feeling too tight.

Best Updated Classic Mittans
Give’r Frontier Mittens

Take a classic style of hand protection and upgrade it with newfangled liners and insulation materials, and you have a leather mitten with top-of-the-line performance for anything winter weather can throw at you. These are made with a waterproof membrane, a leather outer, a reflective heat shield, and a Thinsulate insulation system.

Best Lightweight Running Jacket
Janji Rainrunner Pack Jacket

High-output runs and rides are no match for this waterproof, highly breathable jacket. This jacket packs down small but provides maximum protection in a lightweight package. The hood cinches tight, and the breathability comes from 360° panel venting around the core for heat venting without losing protection.

Best for DIY Repairs
Leatherman FREE P4 Multitool

This is the first and last multitool most people will ever need. This model has 21 tools, including scissors, knives, pliers, and wire cutters. Every tool is on the outside of the unit, making for quick one-handed deployment. These are made right in Oregon, and each unit comes with a 25-year warranty.

Best Outdoor Speaker
JBL Charge 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Kick your outdoor adventures up a notch with this waterproof, durable, long-lasting bluetooth speaker. This speaker connects easily to bluetooth-enabled devices, and has up to 20 hours of playback time with its rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This speaker is also equipped to take calls from connected devices.

Best Light for Nighttime Adventures
Nitecore NU20 360 Rechargeable Headlamp

Weighing less than two ounces, this humble headlamp has some of the best ratios of weight-to-lumens-to-battery-life on the market. With a maximum brightness of 360 lumens and multiple battery-saving settings, this headlamp will last for hours of after-dark outdoor play. It’s also rechargeable, waterproof, and highly resistant to the elements.

Best Classic Travel Mug
Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug

Does anything bring back nostalgic memories more than this style of thermos? This is a double-wall, vacuum-insulated mug that keeps hot drinks hot for up to seven hours, and ice for up to 30 hours. It’ll fit into most cup holders, and the trigger-action lid makes it spillproof and easy to use with one hand.

Best All-in-One Camp Cookset
GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Base Camper Cook Set
GSI Outdoors

Get your favorite car camper all set up with this nesting set from GSI. Complete with plates, covered plastic mugs, and multiple pots and pans all neatly packaged in a handy fabric wash tub, this set has everything a family needs to cook in the great outdoors.

Best Athletic Socks
Swiftwick Pursuit 7 Socks

These crew-length socks are a simple design that doesn’t need updating or anything fancy. They have plenty of arch support, reinforced toes and heels, and a wicking blend of materials that doesn’t slide around in your shoe—all while keeping your feet dry and comfortable during exercise.

Best On-the-Go Fueling
Honey Stinger Waffles Variety Pack
Honey Stinger

Honey Stinger’s classic waffles fuel like an energy bar but taste like dessert. These are a terrific alternative to energy bars or gels, with a thin layer of honey pressed between two chewy waffles. Mess-free, easy to digest, and packed with complex carbs for a tasty pick-me-up before, during, and after activities.

Best for Runners
Nathan Peak Hydration Waistpack

This pack is designed to stay close to your body with little to no bounce, and the flask can be pulled out with one hand while on the move. 

The insulated cradle keeps water thawed during longer runs or hikes, and it has a zippered stretch pocket to keep a snack, keys, and other small essentials. The pack has external shock cords for shedding layers without having to wrap them around your waist, and it comes with a .5-liter water bottle.

Best for Ultralight Layering
Norrona Trollveggen Superlight Down850 Jacket

At just 7 ounces for the men’s version, this is one of the lightest, most packable down jackets on the market. This is ideal for ultralight layering and fits under a shell but comfortably over a base layer. 

The jacket is packed with RDS-certified 850-fill goose down, and has a longer back hemline for added protection. The windproof surface is recycled nylon, and it packs right into its own pocket.

Best Sport-to-Town Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar Women's Waterwoman Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar
$154.96 (32% off)

Combine style with performance with these wide, 100% UV-protected polarized lenses. These have wide coverage, which makes them ideal for water sports and on-snow reflection. The arms are smooth with rounded ends that won’t pinch after long hours of wear, and they stay in place during activity while looking pretty dang fashionable.

Best Versatile Travel Bag
Osprey Packs Daylite 40L Carry On Wheeled Duffel
Osprey Packs

Osprey is known for their backpacking packs and daypacks, and they took that portable-carry mindset and transferred it to this durable, convenient carry-on. With three carry options (straps, wheels, and handle), this bag travels and packs with ease, then folds down into itself for compact storage.

Best for All-Day Hydration
Nuun Sport Four-Pack
$24.82 (11% off)

This variety pack comes with Strawberry Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Grape, and Tropical flavors, for a total of 40 servings of Nuun’s non-GMO electrolyte drink tabs. Perfect for stashing a tube in a gym bag, running pack, or ski pack and adding a subtle flavor to water while getting the benefits of replacing electrolytes lost through sweat.

Best Lip Balm for Dry Lips
Joshua Tree Lip Balm
Joshua Tree Products

This smooth, soft beeswax lip balm is the answer for windy cold days and the chapped lips that accompany them. This all-natural lip balm is made with sunflower oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and a blend of essential oils that changes based on the variety. Keep a tube in the pocket of every jacket for long days outside.

Best On-the-Go Smoothie Snack
Fuel For Fire Smoothies 12-Pack

For anyone who’s sick of the same tired protein bar, these delicious smoothies have a high-energy blend of protein and carbs, and come in a variety of delicious flavors from coffee-themed to fruity. These were developed by athletes and are a perfect grab-and-go food with pronounceable ingredients.

Best for Keeping Water Thawed
Takeya Insulated Water Bottle With Straw Lid

This insulated, stainless steel bottle comes with a convenient straw lid for one-handed hydration. It keeps beverages hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours, and has a durable powder-coated finish in a whole rainbow of colors. The straw insert is removable for easy cleaning and the bottle top has a handle for on-the-go carrying.

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