For the outdoor explorer in your life, check out our holiday gift guide for the coolest in camping gear.
By Amy Whitley
Every year, the outdoor industry outdoes itself at the bi-annual Outdoor Retailer show in Denver, CO, showcasing the best new camping, hiking, watersports and outdoor lifestyle gear from the industry’s top brands, as well as from lesser-known innovators and newcomers to the field. Seasonal and annual trends tend to sweep the showcase floor, from insulated water bottles taking center stage several years ago to the introduction of lighter and lighter weight material solutions. This year, the coolest camping gear and outdoor lifestyle products had several things in common: sustainability, responsibly-sourced materials, and user comfort.
Composing your holiday gift list? Here are 10 amazing products to look for as you holiday shop for the outdoor people in your life this season.
No power? No problem. Go green (and still see your deck of cards at night) with this lightweight, easily-packable, solar-powered lantern that doubles as a charging station. The Mpowered Luxe Pro Solar light lasts up to 50 hours on one charge, and for every light you purchase, Mpowered delivers one to a home without power in need. MSRP: $34 for the Lux + Mobile Charging
It can be hard to regulate your temperature while sleeping outdoors, in any season. Chill Angel produces temperature-managing and moisture-wicking sleepwear made of Merino wool to keep you warm at night, whether at home or in a tent. MSRP: Shown here are the Celestial Cardi in Raspberry - $139.00 and the Siesta Pant in Raspberry - $140.00.
Yes, we’ve all seen mummy-style down sleeping bags before, even the type that pack down small and weigh just over a pound. What makes the Nitro different? The unique toe box with a built-in slit to allow you to cool your toes in the open mountain air, if desired. If you’ve ever felt constricted by mummy bags while needing their warmth, the Nitro is the way to go. MSRP: $299 for the women’s regular, 35-degree version.
Yes, inflatable paddle boards have been on the market for a while now, but I’ve never seen one as compact as Red Paddle’s newest offering, and I bet you haven’t either. It folds down into a third of the space my other inflatable boards take up, and even the paddles and pump fit into the relatively-small backpack. MSRP: $1899
GoLite combines the trends of sustainability with comfort and eco-eco-friendliness with their ReGreen line. Their new windshell, which comes out in February of 2019, is made of 100-percent green bottle recycled poly, and it’s perfect for hiking, running, or biking. MSRP: $100
Costa sunglasses have been a long-time fan-favorite to keep eyes safe and protected with their polarized lenses in the outdoors, and their new Untangled Collection offers up the same high quality you need on your next camping, paddling, or hiking trip, plus they are constructed using fish netting collected from the ocean, as a way to beautifully recycle waste. MSRP: $199
If you haven’t enjoyed the comfort of OOFOS sandals and flips yet, you’re missing out. Now, they have come out with an even better recovery shoe for the campsite. Their High Shoe gives you the ohhhhh of their squishy sole combined with the support you might need in camp. MSRP: $129
Want to up your cocktail game in camp? Or are you looking for that signature gift that says “class?” Vargo’s incredibly lightweight, very sleek new camping flask comes with a rubberized funnel that folds up as needed, so you never miss a drop in your glass. MSRP: $75
My favorite backpacking tent ever got a fresh new redesign, so now is the time to snag the Fly Creek, if you haven’t already. What I love: the new, steeper walls to create more space without a bigger footprint, and the vertical door. The two-person model feels downright roomy now, and it’s still as lightweight as ever. MSRP: $349
If you’re already sold on Rumpl’s lightweight, down and down-alternative blankets, which are versatile enough to go from campground to tailgate party, you’ll want to get your hands on their new ponchos next. What you get: the same comfort and warmth as with their puffy blankets, with the convenience of portability and wearability. MSRP: $179
We hope you’ve found at least one item that’s moved to your ‘must have’ list. But remember, you’re supposed to be shopping for other people this holiday season. The folks on your camping holiday gift list are lucky, indeed!
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About the Author: Amy Whitley specializes in outdoor travel writing for families with children. She is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids, a family travel site dedicated to resort, attraction, and outdoor activity reviews for kids. Amy writes regularly for U.S. News Travel and Southern Oregon Magazine as is an editor for OutdoorsNW Magazine and Twist Travel Magazine.