Holiday gift guide for those who love the outdoors
It’s already mid-December, and if there are any outdoor adventurers on your holiday gift list we have you covered. Here are a dozen of our favourite gear items that we would love under our tree this year.
Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX
Our gear review team loved these boots for all their grit and glamour. The outsoles are incredibly grippy and tough. The Gore-tex membrane is absolutely waterproof, so much so that our reviewer stood in the middle of a mountain stream to make sure. But the Cross Hikes are also versatile and nimble and come with a great midsole that gives up a lot of rebound and will have you hiking for hours on end.
Polar Unite fitness watch, $215
This is a super-powered fitness watch complete with a wrist-based heart rate monitor, connected GPS and sleep tracking. This will help set a path that leads directly towards achieving your fitness and wellness goals. The Polar Unite is that perfect assistant to keep you on the path to better fitness. Get better sleep, trainer smarter by listening to your heart, and look good doing it by matching the watch to your style with multiple wristband options.
Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Soft Cooler, $329.99
Everyone needs a good Yeti in their lives. The tough-as-nails soft cooler is absolutely leakproof and built to last. The Hopper Flip 12 has a wide-mouth opening for easy loading of beverages and food on trips to the crag, or to throw in the middle of the canoe on a day of paddling. The cubed body makes it so easy to carry, and versatile. We love it.
Arc’teryx Alpha FL backpack
This durable and weather-resistant pack will look pretty fantastic sitting under the tree for the rock, ice and alpine climbers in your life — or to just buy for yourself, natch. The Alpha FL is light and strong with a top strap to secure a rope and six lash points with an integrated bungee system to provide an array of external carry options. The redesigned shoulder straps are a dream as is the roomy front pocket and a new internal pocket for essentials.
Saucony Ride 13
Looking for that perfect pair of running shoes for training? You know the ones. They always fit perfectly, run like a dream and just don’t quit. That’s the Saucony Ride 13. These shoes hug your feet with a special 360-degree fit, as well as a durable outsole and fantastic cushioning. These are shoes to be relied upon for daily runs and are the go-to training shoe of choice for us. And who doesn’t love a good pair of shoes on Christmas morning?
Baffin Impact boots, $280
Looking for serious winter boots to tackle serious winter weather? These boots from Baffin’s Polar collection are rated to perform at -100 degrees celsius. They are tested at both the North and the South poles. That is some serious protection for those who will be spending extended periods in very cold or extremely cold weather whether ice fishing, winter camping, or trekking. These boots are made for the depths of winter with Baffin’s proven quality and care.
Mountain Hardwear Super/DS Stretchdown Hooded Jacket, $370
This one is a gem. It’s the next step on the traditional puffy insulated jacket and it’s one that extends the range well into the cold winter weather. It’s baffled construction cuts out the migration of down that can create cold spots. And, it is powered by 700-fill down. The woven construction makes it very durable and ideal for a day of climbing, or any mountainous pursuits. Plus, it looks pretty fabulous.
Burton Wheelie Double Deck 86L travel bag, $399
Because, you know what, as soon as we get the all-clear it is back to some adventure travel, and we’ve got to get a new travel bag to make things easy. It’s got a huge capacity. The IXION skate wheels make travelling through the airport a breeze. It’s also got all kinds of compartments with mesh dividers, and an external backpack attachment. There is plenty to love about this bag, perfect for a two-week adventure.
Arc’teryx Seyla winter coat, $600
For those who want a contemporary style matched with incredible performance, the classic long and hooded Seyla coat from Arc’teryx is ideal. The large down baffle construction contains an awesome 750-fill of European grey goose down, which is pleated on the outside enhancing loft and creating some serious warmth that will defy the nastiest weather that winter will send your way. It’s water repellent and has a two-way main zipper. An amazing winter coat that is built to last.
Royal Robbins sweater, $130-$140
A cozy outdoorsy sweater is the perfect holiday gift, and there are few out there that do them any better than the venerable Royal Robbins. For women, try this gorgeous Mystic Canyon Cardi, a classic cardigan made from Royal Robbins’ wool blend. Think soft, warm and easy to care for. For men, the Banff Novelty Sweater is designed to keep you warm during the colder seasons. This beautiful merino wool sweater will have you looking good at the chalet, or out for a brisk hike Christmas morning.
Fitbit Versa 3 fitness watch, $359.95
If FitBit does anything better than anyone else, that’s motivating people to look at all aspects of fitness and wellness. It’s not just a GPS tracker to map a run and track goals. It’s a way to look at and optimize your sleep, track your heart rate, and achieve a greater sense of well-being. It’s for everyone. It’s got options for music, it’s equipped with built-in Amazon Alexa for hands-free communication and much more. There is much to love about the Fitbit Versa 3.
Mountain Hardwear Oven Mitts, $110
Everyone loves a good puffy, well, how about a puffy for your hands! We know, it's brilliant. These mitts are made with the same 100% recycled fabric as the MH Ghost Whisperer ultralight jacket, so expect plenty of warmth with very little weight. Synthetic palms are perfect for gripping trekking poles, or a cup of warm hot chocolate.
Columbia Autumn Park Down Hooded Jacket, $229
Everyone needs a puffer in their lives, and this entry from the fine folks at Columbia Sportswear is impressive. What we love is the Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining and 650-fill-power down that provide some serious warmth with all winter long. And the hood. We love the hood, and it’s fur lining. So cozy. The cut is fantastic, the angled baffling creates a sleek, well-fitted jacket.
Be sure to check out our YouTube gear channel for hundreds of reviews of the latest and best gear to get you there.