Looking for the perfect gift for the outdoor lover in your life? From tough, adventure-focused bags and backpacks to camping gear and clothes, these are some of our recommendations as we head into 2022.
Travel Bags & Backpacks
Here are some bags and backpacks to consider, from waterproof camera bags to oversized, gear-swallowing duffels.
Remote Designs Waterproof Backpack
A pack geared towards those who like to play around water while snapping nature photos/videos, the Remote Designs Backpack will swallow bulky, expensive camera gear and keep it safe and dry. Fully submergible and designed by a kayak camper, the pack amounts to a large, wearable dry sack and is 100% waterproof – a great gift for a range of adventurers, including boaters, kayakers, fly fishers, rafters, and those who camp and travel via canoe.
Osprey Daylight and Transporter Luggage Lines
This fall, Osprey launched two brand new bag lines that remain outdoor focused while simultaneously crossing over into the realm of everyday travel. Known as the Daylight and Transporter Series, they offer the toughness, durability, and practicality that Osprey is known for while also accommodating to the needs of modern-day air travel with multi-pocketed, computer-safe backpacks and spacious wheeled carry-on duffels. Available in a variety of sizes, the Daylight line is made of recycled polyester ripstop and boasts the lightest weight, while the Transporter series has better weatherproofing and better conveniences, like more interior pockets for organization. Both lines are perfect for a Denverite, as they collapse down flat when empty and take up little room in storage.
Any campers in your life? Check out these ideas:
Sea to Summit Winter Sleep System
If you know someone who likes to go camping when it’s cold and there’s snow on the ground, congratulations, you know a pretty cool person! Winter camping isn’t for everyone, but it rewards those who brave the conditions with a pristine and calm wilderness experience. However, there’s a fine line between that romanticized version and reality; if you don’t have the right gear, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be shivering in your sleeping bag. Winter-rated gear is expensive, but it’s a game-changer.
Two new Sea to Summit products, a winter sleeping pad (Ether Light XT) and sleeping bag (The Ascent), were amongst our favorite products for their real-world impact – their ability to transform a cold, chilly evening into something not just bearable, but enjoyable. The Ether Light XT has an r-value of 6.2, insuring warm insulation even atop snow. Its 4-inch thickness provides comfort and protection from the cold ground, and its bag turns into a pump sack for inflation in less than 2 minutes. The Ascent is filled with 750+ Loft Ultra-Dry Down and has an internal pocket that keeps personal items close and organized. Its compression sack allows you to squash it down and mitigate the space it takes up in your pack.
X-Set 32 Collapsible Cookset
Don’t overlook the value of a well-designed cookset, as bulky pots, plates, and bowls can take up a lot of room in your pack and add serious weight. The X-Set 32 is a brand-new solution to such a problem, a camp kitchen set comprising of a 2.8 liter pot, 8-inch pan, and a 1.3-liter kettle that combines and collapses down into itself. The entire set weighs just 26 ounces and resembles a disc when compressed, allowing it to slide easily into any and all pack situations. How does it work? The bottom is made of aluminum, while the compressible sides are made of food-grade, heat resistant silicone. A stainless steel ring runs around the top and a strainer is built into the lid to make camp cooking easier.
273 Mini Adamas Knife
Want to give a gift that will be useful for years to come? One of the longest-lasting gifts you can give an outdoorsperson is a solid, all-purpose knife. Not only is it super practical in the wilderness, but it also serves a deeper purpose as an everyday, long-term companion that’s built to last. An example of such a knife is the Mini Adamas. It sports a 3.25-inch stainless steel blade, perfect for everyday use around the house as well as the backcountry: fishing, hunting, fire starting, and food prep, among others. Tough but lightweight and about a half-inch thick, users will barely notice it in their pocket, yet it will serve them again and again in a variety of circumstances.
Selk’Bag Wearable Sleeping Bag
Does your partner get cold at night when camping? Are they always wrapping themselves in blankets during the sunset? Are you looking for a fun way to keep your kids warm around camp? Consider the Selk’bag, which is essentially a Snuggie on steroids. Made from recycled materials, it is a wearable sleeping bag that equates to one of those giant snowsuits you may have worn as a kid – a puffy, thick suit with arm, leg, and head holes. It’s perfect to wear around camp at dusk, or as an extra layer when sitting around the campfire. Because it has individual arm and leg holes, you can walk normally (without having to hop) and still perform camp tasks. You can even wear it to bed on super cold nights, and because it fits snug to your body, it does a great job of retaining heat. We’ve seen a lot of gimmicky wearable sleeping bags over the years, and this is not one of them. Take a look and see how functional it can be.
As a British poet once said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather. Only unsuitable clothing.” Here are some ideas for how to stay warm this winter:
Jack Wolfskin Jackets
Whether you are physically on the mountain or simply in a mountain town, a good winter jacket can make all the difference. A warm core contributes to comfort and allows one to enjoy being outside in winter, and a proper outer shell will reduce the need for bulky layering. Jack Wolfskin Jackets come in a variety of designs, from a true lightweight winter adventure jacket like the Argo Peak Jacket to the more economical but still wilderness-worthy DNA Tundra Hoody. Both are made from recycled polyamide that creates a windproof outer protective layer, and both offer a down feather filling. Looking for packability? The Argo packs down into its own stuff sack that fits in your hand, making it an easy addition to your daypack. If you’re not familiar with Jack Wolfskin, it’s because they are relatively new here in the U.S. Started in Europe back in the 1980s, Jack Wolfskin just opened its first American outpost in 2020 in Salt Lake City.
Mountain Hardware Boundary Ridge Gore-Tex Jacket and Bibs
Is the skier in your life still wearing the same old jacket and snow pants from high school? If so, chances are they are lacking some key modern-day components. The brand-new Boundary Ridge Jacket and Bibs from Mountain Hardware features a Gore-Tex lining that protects against wind and wet snow while maintaining heat, and they performed well in testing even with minimal layers underneath. The jacket has an oversized hood that can fit over a helmet, and the bibs are easily adjustable with convenient side-entry (there’s a zipper on the side of the pant leg which allows you to step into them). Between the jacket and bibs, there are eight exterior pockets for stashing personal items, water, sandwiches, and more, making it easy to ride with everything you need without overstuffing one or two pockets. And because they are stylish and fashionable, you’ll look like a pro, even if you’re sticking to greens and blues.
KUIU Attack Pant
Traditionally a hunting-focused brand, KUIU has made a successful transition into the general world of travel and outdoor adventuring. Specifically, it has developed an impressive line of outdoor and travel clothing, including the tough, stretchy Attack Pant we highlight here, boasting tremendous value, comfort, and durability for hiking and backcountry adventuring. Made from Primeflex polyester, the pants stretch when you lift your leg – making it easy to go uphill – and they feel soft to the touch, meaning they are comfortable to wear in general. To help reduce sticky sweat build up, they are designed with hip vents, and a water-repellant coating keeps you dry in light rain. The Attack Pant comes in all kinds of colors and, surprisingly, they look nice enough to wear around town (assuming you don’t get them too muddy on your adventures!). If you’re looking for a pair of pants you can wear on and off the trail, these are a great choice.
Travel + Outdoor Toys
Looking for something a little sexier? Try one of these toys:
Did someone you know get into road tripping during the pandemic? Did they experiment with van life, or sleeping in truck beds or backseats on car mattresses? If so, they may find the Moonshade useful. It’s a portable vehicle awning that sets up using the side of a car or truck, providing a shady place to sit and effectively turning the exterior of your vehicle into useable living space. For someone who is a regular “car camper,” this extra touch could bring a lot of convenience and comfort.
TSL Snow Shoes
Got an enthusiastic hiker on your shopping list? Chances are, they will love walking in the woods during the winter, too, and a pair of snowshoes will keep them adventuring in the colder months. While there are many snowshoes on the market, both affordable and extravagant, many are made with simplistic binding straps that have an unfortunate tendency to loosen as you walk in deep snow (raise your hand if you’ve been frustrated by poorly-fitting snowshoes in the past!).
Indeed, it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles a snowshoe has if it doesn’t stay on your feet; the most important thing when it comes to purchasing a pair is how they fit – that is, how effectively the shoes secure to your boot and remain snug when stomping around through thick snow. The new Highlander Adjust snowshoes from TSL are designed specifically with this in mind, with a focus on binding, foot flexibility, and tightening. As you can see in the video above, TSL has designed a mechanism that, through a series of adjustable components, completely locks your foot in place and won’t slip out. Plus, it has options to release your heel when walking up steep hills, and its stainless steel construction mean it will last for years to come.
Brompton Folding Bike
Got a special someone who lives in a big city apartment with minimal storage? If they like to get around by bike, they will appreciate the convenience of Brompton’s folding bikes. Metro in style, the bikes are perfect for city commutes, with the ability to fold up to the size of a small box. Weighing between 20 and 30 pounds (it varies slightly across models), they can be carried up the stairs with ease and can fit under an office desk or inside a small closet. Brompton’s folding bikes also come in electric versions, great for people with longer commutes or who simply want a little assistance.