23 Gift Ideas for River Lovers

Whether you’ve got a serious paddler in your life, or just someone who loves spending time on the water, these gifts won’t disappoint.  We’ve put together a list of some of our favorites (or things we wish we had) at every budget level.  Take a peek…

Red Paddle Co Ten Six Inflatable SUP

FOR SOMEBODY WHO HAS BEEN REALLY NICE…

Red Paddle Co. Ten Six Inflatable SUP – Our Idaho manager searched far and wide this year for a good all-purpose inflatable SUP to bring along on river trips and landed on Red Paddle Co.’s versatile Ten Six Inflatable SUP. Great in flat water and diverse enough to handle some wave action, it’s no wonder this board is the most popular inflatable SUP in the world.  It’s also the perfect new “toy” for anyone who loves to spend long days on the water exploring. ($1299)

Drinktanks Growlers

UNDER $200

Drinktanks Growler – The Drinktanks Growler is a super cool and environmentally-friendly way for beer lovers to bring along their favorite brew to enjoy at camp after a long day on the water, or any outdoor adventure for that matter. Opt for the Keg Cap which can extend the life of the beer for up to five days.  ($114 with Keg Cap)

NRS Bill’s Dry Bag – Every paddler needs a good waterproof bag and NRS is our go-to brand when it comes to dry bags. “The original,” Bill’s Dry Bag, is a good size when packing for multi-day river trips, super durable and comes in a variety of colors too. (From $120)

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket – It’s warm, lightweight, wind-blocking, compressible, and water-resistant, which is exactly why Patagonia’s Nano Puff Jacket is a must-have for anyone who likes being active and outside year-round.  It’s also a great piece of spring and fall paddling gear. Just don’t go swimming in it. ($199)

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Kit – O.A.R.S. Guide Joslin Fritz reviewed the Goal Zero Guide 10 Solar Charger a while back and it’s still our top pick for keeping devices like headlamps and GoPro’s charged on multi-day river trips and backcountry adventures.  Not to mention, it can give you a little bit of luxury when you’re on the road or car camping. Check out the review. ($120)

NRS Big Water Guide PFD – After a while, a well-used PFD can get a little bit funky. So why not treat the serious river runner in your life with a brand spankin’ new life jacket.  NRS’ Big Water Guide PFD brings more peace of mind in big water, as well as all day comfort on easier paddling days.  ($125)

Catalyst Waterproof iPhone Case

UNDER $100

Catalyst Waterproof iPhone Case – With iPhones replacing many people’s cameras, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more of them on the river.  That’s why it makes sense for boaters to have the Catalyst Waterproof iPhone Case, which is not only waterproof up to 16 feet, but can withstand things like sand and being dropped off a small cliff. ($65)

Mophie Powerstation PRO – For something reliable and a bit more rugged than a solar charger, there’s the Mophie Powerstation to power up devices in the backcountry.  Using a high-output, lightweight battery, these portable units can charge a smartphone two times or more which would be ideal on a multi-day adventure.  And get this, it’s water-resistant too.  You know, just in case somebody decides to charge their phone in flat water and gets an unexpected splash. (From $70)

Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp – Headlamps have become the flashlight of choice for, well, just about everyone.  And when you’re digging through gear in the back of your boat in the middle of the night, they’re a blessing.  And sure, there are a ton of options to choose from, but the rechargeable Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp is the Cadillac of headlamps. Your loved one will thank you.  ($95)

Roll-A-Table – If the river lover in your life doesn’t have a Roll-A-Table yet, it’s time to make it happen. These are standard gear on O.A.R.S. trips and we couldn’t live without them.  Flat surface on a sandy beach?  Yes, please.   Plus, it’s just a really great portable table for all occasions. ($80)

Patagonia Wavefarer Board Shorts – Speaking of durable gear, Patagonia products are known for lasting a lifetime.  And when sitting on a boat all day or in a kayak, men and women alike will appreciate a comfortable pair of shorts. All the better that Patagonia Wavefarer Board Shorts look good too. ($59/Men’s – $34/Women’s)

Tula Hats on the San Juan River

UNDER $50

Tula Hats – When it comes to personal river style, there’s something for everyone with Tula’s wide selection of hats. Made out of sustainable fibers, these packable hats also offer  the added perk of UPF50+ sun protection.  (From $35)

Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated BottleOutside Magazine has tested the heck out of insulated bottles and Klean Kanteen’s 20 oz. Insulated Bottle withstood drops from cliffs, bullet holes and more. While that doesn’t necessarily matter on the river, what does matter is that it keeps hot beverages hot for hours and cold beverages cold for hours (even in the most extreme temps). ($30)

Pelican Case 1150 Dry Box -These durable, water-resistant cases are perfect for protecting things that matter on the river most like cameras.  For this reason, we like the size of Pelican’s 1150 Dry Box with customizable pre-cut foam on its interior to customize it for your needs. ($50)

GSI Outdoors Java Press – There’s no need to sacrifice good coffee on the river. With the GSI Outdoors Java Press, a more durable French press-like contraption, fresh, sludge-free coffee is guaranteed.   ($33)

The Handler – If the river lover in your life loves adrenaline, then chances are they already own a GoPro to capture their craziest whitewater moments.  But why not help them accessorize with The Handler Floating Hand Grip, which will keep their GoPro steady and afloat for the most creative water-based shooting. ($30)

ENO LED Twilights

UNDER $25

ENO Twilights LED Lights – Spend enough time on the river and you’ll know that you have to bring a little flare to your camp.  That’s where the ENO Twilights LED Lights come in. Not only will they provide some much-needed light when the sun goes down, but in a variety of colors, they’ll also bring out the fun vibe. ($20)

Exofficio Give-N-Go Underwear – Nobody actually likes getting underwear as a gift, but we promise the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Underwear will put a smile on anyone’s face. Highly breathable and quick-drying, these are the perfect undies for paddlers and adventurers alike. Check out our review. (From $18)

Sea to Summit Pocket Towel – When you spend all day on the water you get used to being wet, but that doesn’t mean a towel isn’t needed.  That’s why the quick-drying and compact Sea to Summit Pocket Towel is ideal for river rats who probably only pull out the towel after taking a “shower.”  ($15)

Groovers Calendar – Anyone who’s ever done a river trip will appreciate Semi-Rad’s Groovers Calendar, which highlights some of the Grand Canyon’s finest views from the loo.  And feel good with this gift because a portion of the proceeds from each calendar sold will be donated to American Rivers, a national non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s rivers.  ($14)

Chums

STOCKING STUFFERS

Chums – Nothing can ruin the perfect day on the water like losing your favorite sunglasses.  That’s why everyone needs a solid eyewear retainer like Chums.  (From $7)

Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal – Is it just us, or does being in the great outdoors inspire the creative soul in all of us? Just in case inspiration hits, your river lover will always be prepared with the Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal.   ($6)

Super Salve – Essential for dry conditions, Super Salve offers fast relief for dry skin and is a favorite among river guides. (From $3)


Last updated 12/15/2016 | Photos:  James Kaiser, Drink Tanks, Catalyst, Tula Hats, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Chums

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