Sometimes, shopping for the outdoor enthusiast in your life can be tricky. You know they already own most of what they need, so the key is finding something they want or didn’t know they needed.
The best gifts for outdoor lovers (from weekend warriors to vanlifers, casual hikers to peak baggers) should always do three things: fuel adventure, maximize the stoke, and keep them outside longer.
Whether it’s hiking, biking, camping, climbing, skiing, surfing, or simply just exploring, I’ve rounded up a collection of my favorite outdoor gear that checks off all the boxes for every kind of adventurer and helps them get them outside, living their best life.
I hope they help simplify your shopping this holiday season so you can spend more time doing what you love.
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The Best Gifts for Outdoor Lovers, Adventurers, and Road Trippers
1. The North Face Homestead Bed: When I first saw this, I FELL IN LOVE with it and immediately placed an order! It’s like this sleeping bag and Garden Betty were meant to be. (My husband laughs at how “bold” it is, but that’s exactly what drew me in.)
If you have an outdoorsy friend who loves camping and gardening in equal measure, this gift perfectly marries both passions in a pretty package that’s not just all looks.
It has the quality and reputation of The North Face behind it, with a 20°F rating and a roomy mummy style to up anyone’s car camping game. $199.95
2. Rumpl Puffy Blanket: I’m a big fan of puffies (jackets, slippers, sleeping bags…) and this puffy blanket is no exception.
It’s extremely light and packable, so much that you have no reason not to leave it in the car for emergencies, tailgating, or campside cuddling. It also fits perfectly in a carry-on bag if your adventures take you far from home.
The special coating makes it resistant to light rain and dirt, so you don’t have to worry about using it outdoors. $99
3. Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler: The Yeti brand is coveted among road trippers, vanlifers, and campers, and deservedly so.
Their highly insulated coolers retain cold and ice far longer than the average cooler, and the rotomolded construction makes them impact-resistant and super durable. You can even padlock them to deter bear attacks!
I love this minty color (“seafoam” is what they call it) and the Roadie 20 is the ideal size for family day trips and weekend getaways. $199.99
4. IceMule Pro Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag: It used to be that if you needed a portable soft-sided cooler, you had to choose between a shoulder tote or carry bag, neither of which are conducive to hiking comfortably.
But no more! The IceMule Pro is my husband’s favorite cooler bag because he can carry our entire family’s lunch (drinks and ice included) on his back, leaving his hands free for wrangling a toddler, riding a bike to the beach, or scrambling to a waterfall. $129.95
5. Helinox Chair One Camp Chair: Every hiker and road tripper needs one of these lightweight, compact camping chairs!
When broken down and stored in its carrying case, the chair can easily be tucked into a backpack, tossed in the backseat, or squeezed into an already-packed trunk. It beats having to fashion a seat out of a tree stump or log, and I like using it for outdoor concerts too.
Helinox makes a few different colors, sizes, and styles of these camp chairs, but this one scores major style points, in my opinion. $99.95
6. Hydro Flask Wonder Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle: As an outdoor-loving family living in Bend, Oregon (home of Hydro Flask), we never leave the house without a few of their bottles.
We have them all, from the kids’ straw bottle (which our daughter loves and uses every day at school) to the wide-mouth versions that we’ve filled with ice-cold water which stays cold until the next day. (Hot drinks manage to stay hot for several hours.)
They’re durable, they don’t leak, and they come with different types of caps that can be used interchangeably. I’m really liking this new holiday design! $44.95
7. Holiday Camp Mugs: There are actually two mugs in this set (click through to see the other design) and they are both darling.
I like to keep a couple of basic mugs like this in my camp kitchen because they’re inexpensive (I won’t cry if I lose one, the way I do with my Hydro Flask) and they get the job done while looking cute to boot.
The mugs have double-wall insulation to keep your drinks nice and hot (or cold) for hours, along with snap-on lids that keep your beverage from spilling as you wander down to the lake. $30
8. Nite Ize SlapLit LED Drink Wrap: Does anyone really need a lit-up koozie? No. But is it fun to give and get? Absolutely.
This neoprene wrap looks like any other koozie by day, but once the sun sets, push the button on the sleeve and an LED strip lights up.
No longer will you fumble around camp in the dark, looking for your beer and trying to remember where you last set it down. $12
9. HeroClip: As someone who likes to travel and play outside, I always have a carabiner or two hanging off my pack. The HeroClip is one of those things I didn’t know I needed until I got one (and then two, and then four…).
It’s a hybrid gear clip: carabiner on one end, hook on the other, which makes it infinitely more versatile than a regular carabiner. You can use it to hang your bag off a table, your lantern on a tree limb, or your backpack on a tailgate. (I even just saw a clever use of it to hang a little kids’ bike off a utility rack in the garage.)
Trust me when I say you’ll find yourself getting a few of these in different sizes to use at home and on the road. $19.95
10. Matador Pocket Blanket: This versatile, lightweight blanket is the perfect stocking stuffer. It’s super compact (once it’s compressed into the stuff sack, it fits neatly in your hand) but unfolds into a blanket that fits two to four seated adults.
You’ll want one stashed in your glove box for impromptu trips to the park or beach, and another one living in your backpack so you’ll always have a clean, dry place to sit when you’re out on a hike. $30
11. Morph Bravo Collapsible Foam Roller: If you know a hiker, biker, climber, skier, or just general outdoorsperson, chances are, that person (maybe it’s even you?) has complained more than once about aches and pains.
When massages are out of the question, foam rollers are the next best thing, but they’re often too bulky to lug around on road trips and flights.
The Morph Bravo folds flat, so it can travel with you and support your next adventure. $68
12. goTenna Mesh: Techie adventurers will love these off-grid communication devices that turn cell phones into SMS-only walkie talkies.
They allow you to easily set up your own mesh network, send messages to other users, and share GPS locations so you can stay connected on your phone, even when there’s no wifi or cell reception.
This makes them incredibly useful on hikes, ski trips, and bike rides where people in a group are likely to get separated. If safety and accessibility are a concern, you need this. $125
13. Goal Zero Flip 36 Portable Phone Charger: I own and love this Goal Zero portable generator that comes along on our family’s car camping trips, so when I needed a smaller power bank to slip into a backpack, this was my first choice.
It has just enough juice to charge a couple of phones and headlamps on an extended adventure, and the power bank itself can be recharged via USB or solar panels. $44.95
14. Revel Gear Trail Hound Camping Lights: I can’t be the only person who loves to string up twinkly lights in camp, right?!
I’ve tried a variety of lights, from battery-operated LED strands to hanging lights that look like mini Coleman lanterns, but these are going on my list for sure.
It’s the first time I’ve seen USB-powered lights that are long enough to span across a whole campsite and provide a soft magical glow, so you can move around freely without a headlamp. $24.95