This time of year, it seems a fine line exists between “Christmas presents” and “stocking stuffers.” Current usage suggests ‘stocking stuffers’ are simply more affordable, and/or physically smaller, items in the broader category of Christmas presents.
With that in mind, we’ve packaged up the best small and/or affordable outdoor items of the year that are sure to make any outdoor enthusiast happy.
This is a great tool for a variety of outdoor uses. I love it as a bike lock when paired with a simple nylon-coated steel cable. There’s no key to lose, and no fumbling with dials in the dark on a combination lock. Simply press your finger to the reader pad and your fingerprint opens the lock. Or use the companion app on your phone to open the lock. Great for bicyclists, but also as a lock on gear boxes in camp, on raft lockers, on Yeti coolers, etc. $99. Buy now.
Smith Freespool MAG sunglasses
After using the Freespool for several weeks, a team of pro anglers deemed these the ideal glasses for fly fishing. The Freespool sport great polarized lenses, but the hook for most of the pros was the MAG lock temple bars. With a simple squeeze and slide, a magnetic alligator clamp releases the temple bar from the front frame, allowing anglers to replace a simple, stylish temple with one featuring sunshield for better on-the-water performance. That means after fishing, you ditch the dorkish side shields and opt for something more stylish – essential two pairs of glasses in one case. $299. Buy now.
myCharge Adventure H2O 15K
Backup batteries are ubiquitous these days – you can buy cheap “portable chargers” everywhere from gas station mini-marts to tech stores. But when venturing into the rugged conditions of the backcountry, you need something durable and dependable. Once ‘out there’, you need reliable power to keep a steady charge in your GPS receivers, emergency locators, avalanche beacons, cameras, and even health trackers. The myCharge Adventure H2O offers 15,000 mAh of power in a shockproof, waterproof (IP67), body. Dual USB ports push 2.4 Amps out – we found that enough to charge an iPhone 8 more than 6 times (when the iPhone was run down to less than 20% charge each time). We recharged a Garmin InReach 8 times. $60. Buy now.
Pelican G40 “Go Case”
Skiers, kayakers, climbers: These are folks who go hard and fast in tough, abrasive environments. As such, their delicate electronics and personal possessions require safe storage. The Pelican G40 Go Case meets that need perfectly. This personal storage vault is IP67 rated for solid protection from water, dirt, snow & dust (i.e. IP67 equates to waterproof for 30 minutes when submerged to 1 meter underwater). The small hard case features a removal ‘shelf’ that cradles a large smartphone – it will support an iPhone Xs Max or Samsung Note 9 – and under that panel is space for a wallet, car keys, and other small personal effects. The case includes a large loop so it can be securely tied into a boat or hooked to a carabiner for safe transport. $40. Buy now.
myCharge Camping Lantern Power Bank
For folks who need versatility more than pure power, the myCharge Camping Lantern is a great gift. This device offers 10,000 mAh of recharging power, so you can tap it to keep your phone or camera charged. But the device really shines in its primary role as a camping lantern. The power LED panel can be dimmed to a soft ambient glow, or powered up as a room-lighting lantern. The dual USB ports can be used to provide secondary power to small electronic devices. We found a fully charged Camping Lantern provided plenty of light for a 4-day car camping adventure, while also charging (once each) an iPhone, a couple of digital camera batteries, and a Bluetooth speaker. $60. Buy now.
Yeti Camino Carryall tote
Sturdy tote bags can make life easier for gear-rich adventurists, but only if the tote can securely carry a load of expensive outdoor gear. The Camino Carryall lives up Yeti’s well-earned reputation for building (and perhaps overbuilding) ultra-stout products. The Camino features the same material used in Yeti’s dry bags. Not only is it waterproof, but it seems to be puncture-proof, too. The bag is big enough to swallow a pair of waders along with wading boots and fishing vest. But it is equally adept at toting a rack of climbing protection, rope, and helmet. Or ski boots, helmet, and apparel. The Camino Carryall handles are long enough to slip over a shoulder, but a secondary grab strap on each handle makes the carryall easy to tote as a handbag, too. $150. Buy now.