At GearJunkie, we test a lot of outdoor gear. But that doesn’t mean our staff doesn’t have a holiday wishlist like everyone else.
The world is full of endless gear and gift options for the holidays. So, we asked our staff to pick the one item they’d love to get, or give, as a present this year. Feel free to steal a few of these items for your own wishlist, or get one as a gift for someone in your life who loves the outdoors.
Need more ideas? Check out our gift guides, where you can find more of our top gear picks, and shop by activity or price.
Stephen Regenold, Founder: Leatherman Skeletool Topo Multitool
“One of the most iconic multitools on the market gets an upgrade (that we’d love to receive) with a topo motif. I have the original Skeletool from years ago, and its streamlined set of tools, stainless steel blade, and ’biner clip have served me a million times outdoors and around home. Bonus: The Skeletool Topo is made in the U.S.”
Adam Ruggiero, Editor-in-Chief: REI Co-op Big Haul 28 Recycled Duffel
“It’s just about impossible to pick a single piece of gear I’d recommend. So instead, how about something to carry all the gear to bring on an adventure? A good duffel is almost as important as a good friend when it comes to getting after it.
“While anything that stands up to the elements and holds what you need will do, I use the tough little Long Haul 28L duffel from REI as my personal go-bag. It’s a surprisingly stout, versatile, durable duffel that carries all the staples I need for a weekend (or weeklong) adventure.”
Jake Ferguson, Digital Marketing Manager: SAXX Ultra Boxer Briefs
“I have been wearing SAXX underwear for several years, and they are a favorite. There’s always a pair on my wishlist because the BallPark Pouch is just so comfortable. TMI! Plus, there’s a style to match what I’m doing that day, whether it’s physical activity, travel, or just everyday stuff.
“I’m a big fan of the Ultra Boxer Briefs and Quest 2.0, but honestly, they are all amazing. Dudes, if you haven’t tried them, it’s worth every penny. And ladies, these are a perfect gift for any man in your life.”
Nicole Qualtieri, Hunt & Fish Editor: BioLite HeadLamp 330
“My pick is the BioLite Headlamp 330. For months, it’s been stashed in the center console of my truck and at the ready whenever I need it. Last week, I forgot to bring it to a hunting camp, and I kicked myself the entire time. The sense of annoyance at my old-school headlamp (that’s not even that old) was proof that I’d been changed.
“Having the headlamp’s center of gravity at the back of your noggin rather than above your eyes is liberating. The charge lasts forever. And at $60, it’s competitively priced. Honestly, there’s nothing else I want to wear at this point.”
Mary Murphy, Reporter: Patagonia Nano Puff Vest
“I really love the Patagonia Nano Puff line. And while you really only need so many jackets, you can never have enough vests. This vest is a great-quality item, is versatile, and the synthetic insulation provides plenty of warmth. I also appreciate this vest’s slim fit and torso length, which is long enough for us slightly taller women. It’s one of my outdoor wardrobe staples.”
Alex Kirk, Assistant Editor: Purist Collective Union Top Founder 32oz Bottle
“I highly recommend this water bottle for its Union drinking spout and tasteless glass interior. The spout stays put when I drink and stays closed at all other times. From being stuffed in a carry-on to being thrown down a rocky hillside, this water bottle has never leaked or popped open accidentally. And there is zero aftertaste.
“This water bottle keeps ice all day in the Florida sun; it keeps drinks hot for daylong snowy outings. And after over a year of use, the only signs of wear are some chips in the paint and a dent in the steel exterior from where it hit pavement. (The brand’s claim of the ‘unbreakable’ glass interior sure seems to hold up!)”
Sean McCoy, Editorial Director: Benchmade 551-S30V Griptilian Fine-Edge Knife
“One of Benchmade’s most popular knives, the Griptilian is a great entry to the quality knife world. Packing great S30V steel, a wonderful AXIS locking mechanism, and a glass-filled nylon handle, it’s pretty much perfect for everything from EDC to hiking to fishing. The 3.45-inch blade is long enough to be useful but short enough to not be spooky. Overall, it’s just a great knife at a fair price for quality, U.S.-made blades.”
Mike Santi, CFO: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes
“With miles of snow-covered lakes and trails outside my door this year, I’m going to hit them all. I have had my eye on this lightweight pair of snowshoes from a respectable brand for some time.”
Kurt Barclay, Digital Marketing Manager: GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip Coffee Maker
“I use this filter camping, bikepacking, adventure coffee-ing, and even at home. This little thing is super portable, light, and very packable. And it makes a solid cup of joe anywhere you take it.”
Kyle Nossaman, Director of Sales: Helinox Chair Zero
“I’d be more than happy to add one more pound to my pack if it meant being able to relax in a comfortable chair at the end of a 12-mile backpacking day. The Helinox Chair Zero is at a price point that, for many, is hard to justify. Thus, it’s a perfect gift to receive and one that my legs and feet would be forever thankful for.”
Jenny Hansen, Affiliate Marketing Manager: Women’s Osprey Dyna 15
“I’ve been a longtime fan of Osprey backpacks — they are super comfortable and durable. My sister backpacked the John Muir Trail for 30 days with an Osprey and had no complaints. This hydration pack is on my wishlist this year.
“It’s the perfect size to fit a water reservoir and a few other trail essentials. Plus, I love the front panel pockets for easy access to my phone and snacks.”
(And don’t worry — it also comes in a men’s/unisex version.)
Zach Burton, Director of Sales: Sea to Summit Spark SpII 28 Sleeping Bag
“Winter camping is a magical experience that is both epic and required if you want to spend time outside of your home year-round in Minnesota. This bag is light, packable, and oh-so warm.” Not winter camping? Check out the 40-degree Spark bag.
Julie Robichaud, Sales Associate: Cotopaxi Bataan 3L Fanny Pack
“Cotopaxi has been on heavy rotation in my gear closet for a long time. I love the company’s do-good philosophy and sustainable product design. This year, I’ve swapped out a lot of my adventure travel and backpacking gear for items more suited for day trips and local hikes.
“I’m saving a hook near my front door for the Bataan Fanny Pack, which is perfect for the everyday adventurer. It’s durable, lightweight, adjustable, and fits the essentials. Plus, it’s made from leftover fabric from other companies’ larger productions. Definitely a gift you can feel good about receiving.”
Katie Jedlicka Sieve, Project Manager: Tracksmith Turnover Tights
“Tracksmith is a brand I’ve been following for years now, and I just adore them! Not only do I love their classic look, the quality is solid. The Turnover Tights have become my go-to cold weather running pant. They make running in 30 degree temps a lot easier!”
See more holiday gift ideas here: