21 Cool Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

10 Min. Read
21 Cool Gift Ideas for Outdoor Lovers

Outdoor Gift Ideas You’ll Want on Your Wish List, Too!

Our annually-curated list of gifts for outdoor lovers is no doubt one of our readers’ favorite posts each year. From gear we love to fun games and cool gadgets, these are some of the best outdoor gifts out there right now. Just don’t blame us if you find an item or two to add to your wish list, too.

Gear We Love

Two men at a scenic overlook using a Nocs monocle, a cool gift for outdoor lovers
Photo courtesy of Nocs Provisions
1) Nocs Zoom Tube 8X32 Monocle

Nocs are among our favorite waterproof gadgets. The brand’s rugged (and cool!) design, along with fogproof technology, makes their products a great and affordable option for outdoorsy folks. Whether it’s for wildlife viewing or to get a closer look at a cool rock formation on the river, the Zoom Tube Monocle is a compact option that you can keep handy in your pocket when you’re on-the-go. For those who really like to geek out on nature, the Inspector multiplier lens offers a 4x zoom microscopic view that turns the monocle into a hand-held microscope. (From $75)

2) Slope PRO-180X Chest Pack

The Slope PRO-180X Chest Pack is one of our team’s top outdoor gift picks this season. It’s big enough to stash all of the essentials you might need on the trail or slopes for the day—phone, keys, wallet, snacks—and according to Forbes, it’s “More comfortable than a backpack.” Opt for the hydration kit, and it’s the ultimate substitute for a bulky hydration pack on more active endeavors. (From $118)

3) Klymit Nest Bamboo Sleeping Bag Liner 

Bamboo trumps cotton, especially for hot weather adventures since bamboo is a cooling fabric. Klymit offers three different liners that are all compatible with Klymit sleeping bags, but the hot weather liner can also be used as a stand alone cover that’s super soft to the touch, lightweight and packs down into its own integrated stuff sack. We can picture laying in this luxurious liner on a riverside beach for the perfect night under the stars. For cooler weather campers, their fleece liner is highly recommended, as well. (From $65)

4) Luci Solar Site Lights

The next generation of Mpowerd’s popular solar string lights, the Luci Solar Site Lites ditch the string and take camp comfort to the next level for up to 20 hours without a recharge. The kit comes with six lights and a set of six stakes. Fasten them anywhere you need to illuminate a group common area like the camp kitchen, or stake them in the ground to shed light on an adventurous path to the tent. These solar lights offer ultimate flexibility and store nicely in a portable case for easy packing. ($80)

Outdoorsy gift ideas: The rugged Turtebox portable speaker
Photo courtesy of Turtlebox
5) Turtlebox Gen 2 Portable Speaker

With 120 decibels of volume, the Turtlebox brings quality sound to any outdoor hangout, but the biggest draw is its rugged design. The lightweight, lunchbox-sized portable speaker has built-in anchors so you can strap it down to just about anything and it’s 100% waterproof, which means it can stand up to the elements. According to the company’s site, “You can throw Turtlebox in a pool, drop it in a lake, wash it off with a jet hose, and it’ll still play loud and clear.” ($399)

6) Eddie Bauer Expedition 2.0 Packing Cubes – Set of 4

Whether you’re trying to squeeze everything into a drybag for a multi-day river trip or an overhead-friendly suitcase for a beach vacation, Eddie Bauer’s Expedition Packing Cubes are a must-have travel accessory that helps maximize space and fit all of the essentials no matter what the destination. Even for expert packers, these are a game changer. ($35)

7) Garmin inReach Mini 2

For the adventurous soul in your life who likes to go off-grid and out of cell service, the hand-held inReach Mini 2 can give both of you peace of mind. A satellite subscription is required to access some of its most powerful features like two-way texting and the emergency SOS system that alerts a search and rescue monitoring center, but it’s well worth it to be prepared for any backcountry situation that can arise. The newest model offers TracBack routing, which can help you retrace your steps on the device and find your way back if you get lost. (From $350)

Outdoor Gifts for Water Worshippers

A man loading two YETI LoadOut GoBoxes onto a kayak on a lake.
Photo courtesy of YETI
8) YETI LoadOut GoBox 30

This isn’t your average gearbox. YETI’s LoadOut GoBox 30 is built with braving the elements in mind, whether that’s 100-degree heat and whitewater at the bottom of Grand Canyon or sub-zero temps on a hunting expedition. These dustproof, waterproof, and ultra-durable storage containers also help keep you organized with included accessories like the Pack Attic, perfect for holding those notoriously hard-to-find small items. ($250)

9) Cold Case Thermal Phone Case

Cold Case Gear’s Thermal Phone Case protects against both water and big temperature swings that can disable or damage your phone when you’re outside. For water lovers, it’s a particularly good option because the case floats if you happen to drop it in the water. The insulated case did the trick for our staff tester and protected her phone on a recent Lower Salmon river trip. The phone stayed dry through stretches of whitewater and didn’t overheat (normally an issue on summer rafting trips), even when it was sitting exposed on a beach in the hot sun for long periods of time. ($60)

10) Echo Lift Fly Rod Base Kit

The Echo Lift base kit has been named one of the best overall beginner fly fishing rod and reel combos. For those looking to get into the sport, this set-up includes an Echo Lift rod which has a beautiful cork grip, reel, line, leader, backing, and a case. It’s a versatile rig that boasts being easy to set-up, enough sensitivity to learn the concept of loading line, and accurate casting. ($189)

11) Nomadix Quick-Dry Towels 

Nomadix quick-drying, sand repellent towels are made with post-consumer recycled materials and come in styles and designs for every personality. They pack down super small, leaving plenty of space in your luggage or beach bag for other essentials. They’re the perfect travel towel. (From $39)

We Would Definitey Wear That…

A couple sits in an outdoor setting near a lake
Photo courtesy of Rumpl
12) Rumpl Original Puffy Poncho

Perfect for wearing around camp on a brisk night, but truly, the possibilities for using this ultra-cozy blanket alternative outside are endless. It’s breathable, water-resistant and the sleeping bag poncho hybrid by Rumpl includes a hood and kangaroo pocket in front. Your always-cold partner or family member will thank you for this one. Bonus, it packs into a pillow for backcountry adventures. ($225)

13) Custom Chaco Sandals

If you want to show somebody how well you know them, capture their unique sense of style and design them a pair of custom Chacos. Go for a toe strap, or don’t. Mix tie-dye straps with orange polka dots. Finish it off with a lime green buckle strap. Whatever captures their personality best. And so what if it’s the middle of winter, the “Socko” look is definitely ok with us. ($130)

14) Chums Rover Cross Body Bag

For an everyday pack that’s great around town but also good on the trail when you don’t want to carry a ton, the Rover Cross Body Bag is a stylish and versatile option. Designed with four D-rings, it can be worn over the shoulder, as a sling, or around the waist and has various pockets for storage and organization without being overly big. OARS’ marketing coordinator brought it on a recent Cataract Canyon rafting trip and reports that it was perfect for carrying all of the essentials needed for side hikes (sunscreen, chapstick, small first-aid kit), but it’s also the perfect go-to bag for daily life. ($25)

15) YETI Presents: Whitewater

This gorgeous coffee table book produced by YETI in collaboration with American Rivers is an ode to the thrill of free-flowing water and the magic of our iconic rivers. Any water lover would delight in its 156 pages of spectacular photography and essays by notable storytellers like Kevin Fedarko, author of The Emerald Mile. ($100)

Just for Fun Outdoor Gifts

Two kids play Spikeball on a beach.
Photo by Cindi Stephan
16) Spikeball

Spikeball first rose to popularity after being featured on the hit show, Shark Tank. Now, everyone from elite athletes to our river guides have discovered this fun, volleyball/foursquare hybrid. Spikeball is also a lot easier to set-up than a full volleyball court and comes in a compact carrying case so it’s perfect to pack for camping trips, beach days, and even river trips. It’s an active game that will definitely give you a great workout as you play. ($99)

17) Stanley Adventure Cocktail Shaker Set + Camp Cocktails Book

For the person who likes to enjoy a good cocktail no matter where they are, Stanley’s cocktail shaker set will be the perfect addition to their gearbox. The rugged all-in-one shaker includes a dual-use lid that’s also a jigger, a removable juicer and two stainless steel cups that all nest together into one compact unit for easy storing. Make this fun outdoor gift even better and add a copy of Camp Cocktails to the bundle. Happy hour in the wild doesn’t have to be boring. ($40 + $15)

18) The Stars: A New Way to See Them + Astronomy Laser

Who doesn’t love staring up at the night sky and pondering our place in the celestial world? The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H.A. Rey is a beginner-friendly stargazing book that also appeals to those who want to take their stargazing skills to the next level with a more detailed section called “Some Hows and Whys.” Pair this with the Orion SkyLine Deluxe Green Laser Pointer to easily point out constellations and nights under the stars will never be the same. (From $60)

19) Sonic Snow Tube

The price tag might seem like a lot, but trust us, L.L. Bean’s heavy-duty Sonic Snow Tube is the only snow sled you’ll ever need again. Originally built for commercial tubing parks, it’s super durable, and with a polyurethane base, this thing flies in all types of snow. Opt for the extra-large size so the big kids (ahem, adults) can get in on the winter fun too. (From $159)

Stocking Stuffers for Outdoor Lovers

Outdoory gift ideas
20) Huckleberry Landscape Paint Kit

This travel-size watercolor set lets creativity blossom wherever inspiration hits. It comes in a portable wooden box with 8 different paint colors, 20 sheets of 4”x3” watercolor paper and a small brush. The Huckleberry Landscape Paint Kit is the perfect little on-the-go paint set. ($18)

21) Thermacell E55 Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller

Hanging outside during mosquito season has never been better. The Thermacell Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller uses an unscented, liquid-repellent cartridge that casts a 20-foot zone of protection. Place one on a patio, at a campsite, or any outdoor gathering area and enjoy the outdoors mosquito-free without putting DEET sprays or lotions on your skin. The handy gadget comes with a 12-hour repellent cartridge and lasts 5.5 hours on one charge, but can also be plugged in. ($40)

Bonus Outdoor Gift Idea: OARS Gift Card

We saved the best for last. Give your loved ones experiences, not things, and give the gift of adventure. OARS gift cards are available year-round through our partner QuickGifts for $25 and up. Trips range from 1/2-day adventures to two week expeditions in destinations around the world.

Cari Morgan heashot

Cari Morgan

Cari Morgan is the Content Marketing Manager for OARS. Since 2014, she has managed the company’s blog, The Eddy, and has been the primary “voice” behind the brand’s social media sphere.

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