Friday, December 5, 2014

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for the Outdoor Lover: Under $50

Have an outdoor lover in your life? Not sure what to get them for Christmas? Check out this list of really cool yet affordable gear that is sure to satisfy adventurers of any level. These prices reflect the current regular price at REI.

                                                       Black Diamond Ion $24.95

This 80 lumen headlamp is one of the lightest and smallest on the market, and It only takes 2 AAA batteries (instead of the industry standard 3). But the coolest thing about it is the "power slide" function which allows you to control the settings without any buttons. Great for running because of the size and weight. It's still fairly new to the market so not a lot of people have them.

Buck 110 Classic $44.95

The Buck 110 Classic is a beautiful knife with a design that has stood the test of time. This is the knife your grandpa used to own and is sure to score big time for nostalgia and aesthetics. Made in the USA with 420HC stainless steel, it also comes with a black leather case that will attach to the belt.

ChicoBag Bottle Sling $9.95
Some hikers just hate to carry a backpack. If you know someone like that then buy them a ChicoBag. It hangs over your shoulder like a satchel, and will fit most water bottles. In Phoenix they're a real hit with seniors, who come in REI frequently asking for them.

                                                                                       Sawyer Mini $24.99

More of a specialty item but one that anyone will appreciate. The Sawyer Mini water filter will enable anyone to safely drink from water sources found in the woods. It is light, small, easy to use and guaranteed to 100,000 gallons. It's great for hunters and backpackers, and would make a good gift for any prepper in the family too.

                            Hydro Flask $24.95

The undisputed king of water bottles, a Hydro Flask will keep liquid hot for 12 hours and cold for 24. Great for morning coffee, hiking, camping, hunting, and just about any other activity you can think of. Owners are like a cult, and will swear by the Hydro Flask over any other piece of kit. Come in a variety of colors and sizes.    

                                                                            Brunton Torpedo 2600 $39.95   

Don't let the looks fool you, this is actually a sweet little gadget. Almost everyone carries electronics into the woods these days. With the Brunton Torpedo, you can keep your devices charged and not worry about battery life so much. The best part is you can charge it in your car on the way to the trailhead. This would be a good gift for anyone who uses a GPS or an MP3 player on the trail.

A best seller and winner of Backpacker Magazine gear awards, the Flash 18 offers mobility and versatility. Great for travel, it packs down very small and can easily fit into any carry-on luggage. Could also be great for bike commuting.

                                                                          Darn Tough Socks $19.00

You've never truly lived until you have worn merino wool socks. These from Darn Tough are made in Vermont, and are widely considered the best socks money can buy. Any outdoor lover would appreciate them, and they last forever.

                                                       Nathan Trail Mix $45.00

Runners come into REI all the time looking for hydration belts because so many of them hate carrying backpacks. This one from Nathan securely holds 2 10 oz. bottles and has a nice sized pocket for your giant cell phone, wallet and keys. Also nice for hikers who go light.

Maybe my favorite item on the list, this cooler is great for easily carrying cold drinks. You can use it for fishing, picnicking, concert going, or hiking into your favorite swimming hole. It will hold about a 6-pack, and features a variety of pockets for stashing other gear. Also works great on road-trips.

Disclosure: I work at REI, but I created this blog post separately and independently of REI. These reflect the top 10 items that, based off my own opinion and experience, would make great gifts.

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