20 Top-Rated Gifts for Outdoor Lovers Under $60
How do you know if the gift you've chosen is good quality? We're here to help take the guesswork out of your holiday shopping season. All these items are highly rated on Amazon, and we've tried most of them ourselves, too.
For the Coffee Addict
The coffee lover in your life will become the hero of their camping or hiking crew with the Minipresso, which makes a perfect cup of espresso in a package smaller than an insulated mug.
Buy It: Amazon, $50
For the Ultralight Backpacker
For its size and weight-to-comfort ratio, Therm-a-Rest's Z-Seat is a no-brainer. This small piece of foam with a heat-reflective coating on one side easily fits in the waterbottle side pocket of any backpack and offers a much more comfortable place to sit than a jagged rock. Extra bonus? It weighs only 2 ounces.
Buy It: Amazon, $15
For the Electronic-Addicted
For the hiker or backpacker who needs constant access to battery power, help them go solar. BioLite's SolarPanel 5 won't turn into a brick when all the juice is used up; it recharges in the sun and can be strung up on a backpack for maximum sun exposure throughout the day.
Buy It: BioLite, On sale for $48
For the Backpacker Who Can't Live Without Dessert
Stanley's Master Vacuum Mugs are about as hefty as they come. I once kept ice cream frozen in this very bottle for 24 hours. If you're gifting with that in mind, include a note with instructions: put the empty, open bottle in the freezer the night before, pack it full with a lower-sugar ice cream in the morning (ice cream that freezes harder will stay frozen longer), and keep it sealed until the last possible moment before eating. No peeking!
Buy It: Amazon, $35
For the Campfire Lover
Make it easier (and faster) to start a roaring, cozy campfire, even in stormy conditions, with UCO's Stormproof Sweetfire Strikeable Fire Starters. These little triangles have match-like heads and burn for long enough to get that fire going.
Buy It: Amazon, $7.15
For the Dog Lover
The best part of Stormy Kromer's classic, cozy plaid hats is that the brand makes matching hats for dogs, too. A matching set of hats is the perfect gift for anyone who's always hitting the trail with their dog. Other hikers won't be able to handle the cuteness.
Buy It: Amazon, $35
For the Ultralight Backpacker
MSR's Pocket Rocket 2 campstove will provide boiling water for many, many years to come, and it's a must-have for anyone starting out as a backpacker. It weighs just 2.6 oz and boils a liter of water in just 3.5 minutes.
Buy It: Amazon, $34
For the Aspiring Thru-Hiker
Therm-a-Rest's classic Z-Lite Sol sleeping pad is the bed of choice for many thru-hikers because it's super-light, requires no inflating, and easily straps to the outside of a pack. There are definitely cushier sleeping pads out there, including Therm-a-Rest's own LuxuryMap self-inflating mattress, but it's hard to beat the functionality of the Z-Lite for the price and weight. It's only 14 ounces.
Buy It: Amazon, $34 and up
For the Nature Writer
Rite in the Rain waterproof notebooks are the ideal gift for the nature lover who's always bringing around a notebook. Whether it gets caught in the rain, dunked on a kayak expedition, or accidentally spilled on, notes and drawings are protected. No fancy writing utensils required. A standard pencil is all you need.
Buy It: Amazon, $4 and up
For the Hungry Hiker
Trail food has come a long, long way from "great if you're really hungry" to "delicious any time." And it makes an amazing stocking stuffer. Backpacker's Pantry's Chicken Picatta with Tagliatelle Pasta and Good To-Go's Pad Thai are both top-notch meals. And for day hikers, the only worthy rival to Honey Stinger's chocolate-covered Cracker N' Nut Butter Snack Bars is a Snickers.
Buy It: Amazon, $5 and up
For Skiers and Aprés-Ski Lovers
Baffin's Base Camp Slippers are like sleeping bags for your feet. They're excellent for staying cozy around a campfire, wandering around the ski lodge after a day out on the slopes, or just staying warm at home.
Buy It: Amazon, $33 and up
For the Glamper
A good pillow can make or break a good night's sleep. Sea to Summit's Aeros Pillow Ultra Light packs down small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and the fabric cover feels much nicer against your face than many other inflatable pillows.
Buy It: Amazon, $30 and up
For the Night Owl
Light up a campsite and set the mood with Goal Zero's flat-packing Crush Light, which functions as both a normal lantern and has a flickering candle setting to make a chilly evening just a bit more cozy. The Chroma version also has settings to change the light into one of eight different colors. These solar lights hang easily on a backpack with a carabiner so they can charge throughout the day.
Buy It: Amazon, $20 and up
For the Frequent National Park-goer
An annual pass to your friend or family member's favorite national park not only helps fund much-needed park maintenance projects, but it's also a great deal. At Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, for example, a 7-day pass costs $35, while an annual pass costs $70. And at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, just south of Washington, D.C., it's $30 for one 7-day pass or $55 for the whole year. For the road tripper in your life, consider an America the Beautiful interagency pass. For $80, this pass grants a whole year of access to every national park, monument, forest and other recreation areas managed by the federal government.
Buy It: National Park Service, Varies
For the Camp Chef
Wilderness Wash should be a staple in every backpacking kit. This super-concentrated soap can be used for showering, doing dishes, washing hands and even washing hair. And it's biodegradable, so it's safer for the environment than standard hand, dish and body soaps.
Buy It: Amazon, $4 and up
For the Hostel-Hopping Adventure Traveler
The adventure traveler in your life can free up valuable space in their carry-on backpack (which is to say, their only luggage) by packing just two pairs of ExOfficio's Give-N-Go underwear, available in both men's and women's styles. It's easily washed in the hotel room sink with whatever soap is on hand, and it dries super fast. I tested it out and no longer travel without a pair or two.
Buy It: Amazon, $8 and up
For the Constant Hiker
Darn Tough socks are some of the most durable you can find. And if you do get a hole in the toe, you're covered: These Vermont-made wool socks come with a lifetime guarantee. The brand makes socks for every type of sport and activity, but the hiker-friendly crew socks have cushioning in all the right places and are great for everyday wear, too. It's hard to go back to cotton after you've switched to wool.
Buy It: Amazon, $22 and up
For the Sunrise Summiter
Every hiker and backpacker has a need for a small, ultralight daypack, and Sea to Summit's 20-liter Ultra-Sil Day Pack packs down into an attached pouch smaller than a lemon. It's great for travelers as well as long distance hikers who need a small daypack for sunrise summit excursions from camp. Backpacker Magazine has also given this pack a coveted Editors' Choice award for its 2.9-oz weight and versatility.
Buy It: Amazon, $32 and up
For the Multi-Sport Traveler
For cold-weather travel, long-distance backpacking where there's little opportunity to do laundry, and everyday comfort, Icebreaker's wool underwear, available in both men's and women's styles, is a must-have. It dries fast, repels odor and puts cotton to shame. It's not cheap, but it's absolutely worth it.
Buy It: Amazon, $18 and up
For Everyone Else on Your List
You almost can't have too many BUFFs. Their official name, "multifunctional headwear," doesn't come from nowhere. It can be worn as a headband, neckwarmer, sweatband on your arm and more, and it's a must-have for hiking in dusty environments. I also use mine to protect cameras and other more fragile equipment in my pack.
Buy It: Amazon, $10.50 and up