Help the outdoor enthusiasts and fitness freaks train hard and recover better with these athlete-focused gifts.
Whether you know someone who loves hitting the gym, working out at home, or training for backcountry adventures, we have a gift for them. We’ve waded through the enormous and sometimes dubious options (neoprene “altitude mask,” I’m looking at you) to find the best fitness-related gift options.
Happy holidays! Here’s to continuing fitness efforts to enhance enjoyment of the great outdoors.
Top Fitness Gifts for 2020
This waterproof multisport GPS watch carries Polar’s activity tracking in a lightweight aluminum case. That includes sport-specific modes that track heart rate and location as well as unique performance tests to track progress and gauge recovery.Sponsored by Polar
Janji’s midweight Mercury Knit running pants are a godsend for cool-weather runs. The pants have a slimmer fit (but aren’t restrictive like leggings), cropped ankles, two side zipper pockets, and one back zippered security pocket. The band sits nicely just above the hips, and the material keeps you warm yet wicks sweat away.
New for 2020, the Bose Sport Earbuds offer what the brand calls “lifelike sound with a comfortably secure fit.” The proprietary technologies make music sound clear and balanced regardless of the playback volume. Using touch controls, you can pause or play music, answer calls, and set up custom shortcuts through the Bose app. We’ve been using these for everything from work jams to hard workouts, and they have yet to let us down!
These socks tick all the major boxes: soft, moisture-wicking, and made in the USA. Made for running and cycling, the seamless construction keeps you blister-free. And the moderate compression keeps socks in place no matter what. Available in a variety of prints, including our new favorite national park designs, Swiftwick socks are as fun as they are useful.
SAXX made a name for itself with amazingly comfortable and supportive men’s underwear. That same design is also integrated into its line of workout shorts. One GearJunkie editor has been wearing the Kinetic Train and Pilot 2N1 shorts all month for his workouts and says they are dialed. The light compression in the liner feels good, and the materials are plush. As you’d expect, they dry fast, and the legendary BallPark Pouch keeps everything in place whether you’re running or doing burpees.
Like having a personal trainer in your home, the NordicTrack s22i Studio Cycle is more than just a bike. The 22-inch touchscreen gives you access to an expansive library of classes and personal trainers. And the LIVE Interactions option means you can join trainer-led classes where the instructor digitally adjusts your LIVE incline and resistance, so you can stay focused on training. With 20% incline, 10% decline, and 24 digital resistance levels, there’s no limit to your fitness goals.
The Superior 4.5 is one of Altra’s staple trail running shoes that are built for fast movement in rugged terrain. A redesigned upper provides improved foot stability and security, and a grippy rubber outsole offers traction in varying conditions while keeping the overall shoe weight under 9 ounces. Topped off with Altra’s trademark FootShape toebox, you’ll be ready for whatever the trail throws at you.
This one-inch-thick, extra-cushioned mat turns any room into a home gym. It prevents slipping and provides enough padding to comfortably move, stretch, and flow through asana. And with a 4.6-star rating and more than 7,800 reviews, it’s obvious we’re not the only ones who think this is a winner.
The Garmin vívo family of fitness trackers covers all the bases for the data-hungry on your gift list. The range of vívos goes from children’s models that encourage daily movement to full-blown smartwatches, like the vívoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch, currently 40% off. The smartwatch tracks and records exercise parameters such as heart rate, GPS positioning, and VO2 max, and it can also suggest specific workout routines.
A great alternative to a chest-strap monitor, the TICKR HR Monitor comes with two different-size straps so you can adjust for fit and comfort. It measures heart rate and calorie burn during exercise. The armband has a water-resistant IPX7 rating and a 30-hour runtime.
It also connects via Bluetooth so you can pair it with Strava, Zwift, a Nike Run account, and more.
Help a friend or family member stay hydrated on the trail with this well-designed hip-mounted hydration system. The Deuter Pulse 3’s specially shaped bladder ensures comfort and stability while providing 1.5 L of fluid. Well-ventilated back panel mesh ensures ample cooling, and zipped exterior pockets carry other essentials.
Do you have fitness freaks on your list who are always on the go? Help them maintain a civilized level of hygiene with the NEMO Helio Pressure Shower. This shower system packs small in an included stuff sack so it can stay in the car at all times.
And it delivers 5-7 minutes and 11 L of pressurized water via a 7-foot hose and spray nozzle. A foot pump charges the system, which can be filled anywhere without a hose and can heat up in the sun. This shower system is perfect for rinsing off after a sweaty or muddy workout, surfing, or paddleboarding. It also works on four-legged training partners.
SCARPA’s Spin RS, available in both men’s and women’s, is designed for the masochistic high-mileage trail runner. The Spin RS is light (verified 10.6 ounces in a men’s size 10) yet well-cushioned. It has an 8mm drop, Vibram Megagrip outsole with Lite Base technology, a TPU toe cap, and a quick-drying, highly breathable synthetic mesh and leather upper.
Whatever your preferred ride style, it’s imperative to protect your noggin while you’re in the saddle. Bollé offers the Trackdown MIPS for hard-charging trail riders. The Trackdown features a 360-degree retention system that is fully adjustable to your head size. The Furo MIPS is Bollé’s most aerodynamic cycling helmet, making it a great choice for serious miles on the road. Removable “aero-shells” give you options for additional venting when needed. Both helmets offer MIPS (multidirectional impact protection system) to keep you safe in case things don’t go to plan.
Iconic brand Vuarnet can protect your eyes from wind, damaging rays, projectiles, and that one branch that always gets someone. Available in four different lens tints with varying degrees of light spectrum absorption, the Racing Medium is sure to please even the most stylish athlete with its curved shape and not-too-flashy looks.
TheraBand’s Kinesiology Tape is designed to support muscles and joints and provide pain relief for people at all levels of physical capability. The cut-your-own roll is made of an allergy-tested, non-latex cotton-spandex blend and is available in seven different colors.
Take hydration to the next level with a tasty mix from Colorado-based Skratch Labs. Add the powdered mix to water for an electrolyte boost. And feel good knowing each mix is gluten- and dairy-free. It’s available in a variety of flavors, including Fruit Punch and the winter favorite, Hot Apple Cider.
Honey Stinger nailed these peanut butter and chocolate recovery snacks. The Recovery Chocolate Cracker Bars are a favorite after a long ride or challenging training session. Packed with healthy carbs and plant-based protein (10 g), these bars have a nice balance of sweet and salty flavors. Trust us, you want to give these a try.