Call it what you want: small gifts, trinkets, stocking stuffers … there are plenty of great things you can gift that aren’t too crazy or expensive (specifically, that are under 25 bucks). Why write a guide for gifts under $25? Because that’s what nearly everyone shops for at least once during the holiday season!
And for outdoorsy people and gear nerds like us, don’t even think about the default of a gift card. There are so many other small, affordable, nifty budget items you can gift that will be just as thoughtful as REI store credit. Trust us.
When you think about it and start scouring online, there are nearly endless things that you could gift someone for under $25. Camp chef apron, a mug, socks … the list goes on. So, how the heck do you choose? For me, it’s the little things, the gear accessories and the supplemental items, that enhance all of our outdoor experiences. (Like a new string of camp lights for my tent, or sunglasses that can flex from casual hangs to trail runs.)
What does your special someone love to do? Simple: Get them something from this list that helps them do that. We’ve got gear that spans the camping, EDC, hiking, traveling, running, van lifing, skiing, boarding, sports-loving, cycling, backpacking, adventure racing, survivalist, and everyday outdoors categories. There’s decidedly way too much gear out there, even under $25. With this list, we’ve done a lot of the work of weeding and sifting for you.
In short: These 25 pieces of gear are where our GearJunkie editors recommend you start when shopping for the under-$25 benchmark.
The Best Outdoor Gifts Under $25
Smartwool Hudson Trail Pattern Slipper
Cush and cozy, Smartwool’s knit-striped Hudson Trail Pattern Slipper is Holiday-certified to help you (and your feet) feel warm and fuzzy. A recycled wool interior is built for maximizing relaxation and lounge-ability for long days off. And the cushioned, yet grippy, foam sole adds padding and support to your steps, while helping prevent unwanted slippage during runs to refill that hot cocoa.Check Price at Smartwool
If you walk into a store, or search online for a headlamp under $25, you’ll be hard-pressed to find … any. Even Black Diamond’s kids’ headlamp costs $30. So finding an actual quality, reliable, and easy-to-use headlamp under $25? We’d pick this Petzl Tikkina. Even if you aren’t a frequent camper or outdoor expert, there are plenty of uses for a headlamp.
The Tikkina has three LED light modes (low, medium, and high) and one button — there’s no complicated sequence of clicks or various buttons to push. It has 300 max lumens and a max flood-type beam distance of 65 m, but that’s plenty for general nighttime tasks, infrequent use, and perfect as an alternative or backup.
It’s comfortable, adjustable, and even easy to find in the dark. This is a cheap yet quality headlamp that would be great to gift into any stocking … er, pack.Check Price at REI
This is a $7 tool, and one of the best small tools hands down we’ve seen. One of our editors has had his for 10 years. It’s a great tool for random and smaller tasks. You’d be surprised how far a pry bar, flathead, and bottle opener can take you. Plus, if you travel a lot, you don’t have to worry about carrying it on a plane.
The Shard is a great gift for any type of outdoor person, but also a thoughtful touch for someone breaking into the EDC world. Sometimes, a little goes a long way.Shop the Gerber Shard at Amazon Shop Shard at Gerber Gear
If you are strapped by an under-$25 budget, sure, there’s less exciting gear than a sleeping bag, Ford Bronco, or new fishing rod to choose from. But that doesn’t mean the gift has to be boring old socks or a catch-all like a gift card. Originally, I figured a hat wasn’t that creative of a gift, until I came across these.
Headsweats consistently takes the cake for budget-friendly hats that accommodate a wide range of head sizes and hair types (as our testers have noted). However, when I think Headsweats, I think simple, plain monotones. Not this one.
The Print Crusher Hat ($25) comes in two stock patterns, and then a bunch of other outdoor-themed ones: Mountain Waves, Saguaro Cactus, Rainbow, and even LNT and Bigfoot versions. There’s something for everyone’s style. It’s not uber-lightweight or crazy high-tech: it’s just a good ol’ fashioned, get-the-job-done, fun piece of sun protection. It also comes in a visor version for $25 flat.
Small, packable, and definitely ultralight, Sea to Summit’s Ultra-Sil dry bags are some of my favorites when it comes to keeping small items secure and dry on my paddleboard trips. Weighing next to nothing (approximately 1 ounce), they work great for traveling, thru-hiking, and backpacking, and they fit in even the smallest of places like vests, brains, fanny packs, and pockets.
The smaller 3L and 5L varieties are both under 25 bucks. These are great for stashing things like your phone, wallet, and keys, but also accessories you want on hand, like a map or extra gear straps.
The Ultra-Sil bags may seem paper thin, but in this case, the light weight comes in addition to performance — my multiple bags have held up, with their 30-denier Cordura ripstop nylon fabric, waterproof seams, reinforced stitching, and a 2,000mm waterproof rating.Check Price at Sea to Summit
Coast G22 or G32 Flashlight
I own both the Coast HX5 ($22) and G22 ($15) — and aside from my toolbox, they are some of the most convenient items in my entire house. You never know when you’ll need a flashlight. But here’s what’s cool about these: the G32 won our vote as the best value zooming (aka telescoping) flashlight. And its cousin, the G22, offers a fixed beam that packs a punch — both are a steal under $25.
They both offer a bright 100-500 lumens. The G22 is a bullseye spot that can throw a beam a max of 55 m in a sleek 1-ounce package. The G32, a slight bump in investment, offers the cool telescoping beam feature, and while it’s a lot heavier, also offers more lumens. GearJunkie has tested both the G22 and G32, so you’ll find options for both here with our recommendation.Shop G22 at COAST Shop Coast G22 at REI Shop Coast G32 at REI
Made to keep your beverages cold during the heat of your ride, the Camelback Podium Chill 24oz Bike Bottle puts your lukewarm sports bottles of yesteryear on ice. Double-walled construction doubles the time your liquids stay cool, making it a big step above other bike bottles. And an optimized cage fit and cleanable design ensure that this 100% BPA-, BPS-, and BPF-free bottle is your go-to source for cycling hydration.Check Price at CamelBak
Over 25 color choices for frames, and just $25? Tifosi’s hallmark Swank sunglasses sound too good to be true. Over the years, we’ve found they beat out other budget sunglass competition (like Knockaround and Goodr) in performance and quality, and specifically, offer a much sportier look — whether you plan to gift them to someone for running, cycling, or just casual use.Shop the Swank at Tifosi Shop the Swank Blue Light at Tifosi
Any skier who understands the importance of keeping their skis clean, waxed, and ready to go would love to receive a tin of this stuff. For anyone who doesn’t have the patience to take their skis into a shop and wait to get them waxed (or wants an alternative when you are out in the backcountry), there’s this — mountainFLOW’s “quick” wax.
MountainFLOW makes its wax as sustainable as possible — with plant-based materials and no fluorocarbons. The quick wax is easy to apply; just rub on, and off you go. Or, opt for mountainFLOW’s Hot Wax versions, which come rated to different temperatures (a good gift only for someone who you know can wax their own skis in-house).Check Price at Backcountry
Benchmade Zilch Knife
It’s not the fanciest, not the best steel, and definitely not a carbon fiber handle, but is it still a stellar blade? Absolutely. Why? Largely because of the attractive, low price. This knife was a whiz at everyday tasks at home and office in testing and was durable enough when we carried it into the outdoors as well.
The drop-point style blade, the pocket clip, the thumb nick, the textured handle, and lightweight feel — this knife isn’t just 25 bucks, but it’s also a pretty good quality for the price as well. Is it the perfect gift for a knife nut? No, but for everyone else who might need a tool, sure.
The Zilch comes in new colors mustard and lichen, as well as classics like black, red, or coyote brown. We guarantee that most hikers and campers would be stoked to have this tool on hand!Check Price at Gerber Gear
Klean Kanteen Rise Tumbler
A tumbler is a tumbler, we know. And pretty much everyone has a stockpile of various camp mugs and everyday vessels in their kitchens. But this Lowball Rise Tumbler is still worth gifting if you are considering a mug, and here’s why.
The 10-ounce Lowball Rise ($25) is sustainably made, with certified 90% post-consumer recycled 18/8 stainless steel. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions in production by about 50%, meaning you can impress with a gift that won’t leave a giant impact on Planet Earth.
The Klean Kanteen Rise vessels are finished with a splashproof flip lid, muted earth tone colors in a chip-resistant coating, and on the mug version, an added ergonomic handle. If you can swing it, splurge for a set of 2!
Nite Ize Gear Ties
These gear ties are useful anywhere! Seriously, if you need a gift in a pitch for someone you know who goes hard in the paint — or on the trails or on the skintrack — wrap up some of these guys. The Nite Ize Gear Ties come in a variety of sizes (lengths 3-24 inches), are durable, and are versatile in packing, stashing, and securing all kinds of gear.Shop at Amazon
Badger Balm After-Sun Balm Tin
I love the products that women-owned, USA-made Badger Balm is making. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you I don’t buy a lot of beauty products (forget makeup, I’m counting staples like shampoo and lotion). That being said, the salves from Badger are something I’m grateful to have on hand.
The after-sun balm ($11) is especially one I’d recommend to anyone who loves getting outside. Other balms include lotions and butters, sunscreens, soothing salves for joints, bug repellent, skin repair, and more (all sold in plastic-free tins).
Brass Wren Compass
I’m a sucker for functional yet stylish gifts, and this one is a perfect crossover. Especially if you know someone who is more old school and prefers a map to an app when they hit the hiking trails. The Wren Brass Compass ($20) is made with a full brass case, luminous compass detailing, a folding face protector, a built-in magnifying glass, and of course, the compass itself for orienteering wherever the trails may take you.Shop at Bespoke Post
Best ultralight backup backpacking stove under 1 ounce? This one wins in my book. We have tested it, and it did make the cut in our Best Backpacking Stoves review. Why? This wicked small stove is just 25 g, but can support a full liter pot of water, boil fairly fast, and keep the heat running.
It’s consistently performed for me in various conditions outside. And at the end of the day, this miniature little stove just looks so darn cool. If you know someone who has gotten into backpacking, and would appreciate a cool and functional piece of gear, this is it.Check Price at Amazon
So, $25 can get you … none of the performance-driven or luxury watches we’ve reviewed, but it can still get you something functional! Casio has been a budget favorite for a long time running, and this Casio F-108WH Quartz Watch is a prime example. The watch has a digital display, LED light, daily alarm, hourly time signal, and a 1/100-second stopwatch.
The actual watch is built with a 42mm stainless steel case, mineral dial window, digital display, quartz movement, and a durable resin rubber band. This watch is simple and cheap, sure, but is highly functional, light, durable, and even water resistant — and can be worn into the ground.Check Price at Amazon
For less than 24 bucks, you can get a stellar pair of ToughCutie’s comfortable and durable women’s-anatomy-specific hiking socks. (Tough Cuties used real input from women on what they need in a sock, and is the only women-owned sock brand with a majority women-owned value chain.)
I’ve tested both the Hiker Crew and Hiker Quarter ($20-24), and they have felt comfortable with medium cushioning and good support for miles and miles. Plus, they’ve lasted months of hard use on trail and have been through the wash. Socks aren’t too exciting, but ToughCuties are well worth trying, and gifting, in this case.
Just founded in 2022, Tough Cutie socks are now available in over 30 REI stores nationwide and online. The socks are 45% wool, 51% nylon, and 4% spandex, and are made by women, in the USA. (Recommendation: the Twilight Blue and lavender colors are the obvious winners.)Check ToughCutie Hiker Crew Price at REI Check ToughCutie Hiker Quarter Price at REI
These little notebooks are hands-down some of the best items I keep by my side — whether as an editor at GearJunkie, a writer traveling the world, or just a person enjoying time in nature outside. This is a great gift for anyone who likes to journal, doodle, birdwatch, sketch, color, and more — specifically, outside.
Why? The notebooks are made with a special type of nonporous paper that passes tests in waterproofing, visibility (bound in hi-vis covers), wind and flame resistance, ballistics, compression, tensile strength, and more. One book contains 48 dot-graph pages of this durable Yupo synthetic paper, printed with soy-based ink, and is always made in the USA.
A three-pack will run you $15. We recommend checking out the Expedition Notebook for anyone who is hard on their gear; and the limited-edition colors and patterns as well (featuring snowflakes, trailheads, letterpress artwork, and more).Shop All Notebooks at Field Notes Shop 2023 Limited-Edition Notebooks
This is a fairly specific gift, but hopefully is a unique idea in general. For anyone you know who has a VSSL kit, consider gifting these add-on tins ($11) to customize what’s inside. A few years ago, VSSL turned the idea of a bulky soft “first-aid kit” into a super-honed, fully military-grade aluminum, water-resistant, space-saving package.
We really like the ingenuity here with the compact fire kit, plus, the striker works really well. VSSL has thought of add-ons for everything from medical gloves, a wire saw, extra medicine supplies, and paracord to this. Pair with a VSSL First Aid Stash kit, Backcountry Supplies, or Camp Supplies Flashlight kit — the refill tins fit in all types of VSSLs. Know someone who doesn’t have a VSSL who would love the idea? Right now the VSSL First Aid Stash is on sale for half off — $22.50.Shop Tins at VSSL
Abstract Hikes Gear Stickers
Even if 25 bucks can’t buy all the gear, it can buy swag for your gear! I’m talking a trail almost-essential: stickers. For your Nalgene, your notebook, or whatever else. Abstract Hikes’ stickers are designed and made by a hiker for hikers, and come in lots of beautiful and colorful varieties.
You’ll find everything from AT and PCT trail logos and thru-hiker-specific doodles of “cold soaks” and “hiker trash” — to silhouettes of hikers, tandem cyclists, campfires, campervans, yogis, and more. Individual stickers run $3-7, or check out a sticker pack for $15.Shop All Abstract Hikes Stickers
If you are afraid to gift a piece of physical gear someone might already have (socks, hat, camp slippers, etc.), consider this experiential, National Park-related gift. Not just for kids, the National Parks passport offer 100 pages, categorized by region, for collecting stamps at each of the 64 U.S. National Parks along the way.
It also contains maps and trail recommendations for National Monuments, National Rivers, and the National Scenic trail and other trail systems! To be honest, mine has also collected some stamps from state parks and Provincial/Canada National parks because it’s easy to carry along, and is a convenient place to stash extra park maps away for later. It’s simply a great gift for anyone who loves both travel and the outdoors.Check Price at America’s National Parks Shop
Like two gifts in one, this backpack converts into a stuff sack when turned inside-out. Lightweight, yet strong, it’s a great choice for day hikes, commuting across town, or quick jaunts from basecamp. And really, you can never have too many backpacks, especially when they’re as packable as this one.
The Flash 18 (and my personal choice, the Flash 22) also come in a handful of different patterns and colors, so there are plenty of options of when gifting. When on sale, this pack rings in under $20 — which is pretty unheard of for a backpack!Check Price at REI
This one is for anyone who’s always on the move — but especially trail runners and hikers, you are going to love this dog bowl. I typically have no fewer than three dog bowls floating around my home, car, and office — and this is the only one that I don’t have to remember to transfer from trunk to bag to backpack.
Wherever the adventure takes me, this Nano Bowl literally fits in my pocket. It has a minimalist cord that can aid in strapping the bowl to a leash, and to also help fold it up small. Ultimately, this bowl won’t be the most durable one you’ll find, but it is definitely the most packable and convenient. And, it’s just $25.Check Price at Stunt Puppy
Stasher bags are all the rage in reusables. There’s an everyday sandwich-size bag, and several other Stasher bag sizes, including standup wide-base options. These heavy-duty silicone food-grade bags are an excellent alternative to single-use plastics — plus, you can cook in them! They are perfect for backcountry food and camp cooking as well. Just throw them in the dishwasher when you get home.
The uses are endless — you can bake, microwave, sous-vide, boil, and freeze in these airtight silicone suckers. Investing in a few or a set for camp (maybe filled with some Christmas cookies or other foodie goodies) makes a great, easy gift that any camp cook will appreciate.Check Price at REI
Mystery Ranch Zoid Packing Cubes
We’ve had several testers vet these packing cubes. And if you know someone who loves to travel, really any packing cube would make a good gift … but these Mystery Ranch Zoid cubes take good to great. The cubes are made of 210-denier Hitra Robic nylon with YKK Zippers — a combo we’ve found quite durable.
The small to medium offer 245-500 cubic inches of storage, with lots of lash points and a translucent top so you can see what’s organized inside. (Note: You can find both the small and medium sizes under 25 bucks, depending on where you shop.)
Bag Balm Mini Tin Gift Set — 125th Limited Edition
So, 125 years of anything is a pretty stellar run. Bag Balm has been around for that long, and there’s a reason why — this petroleum-based moisturizer has a few simple ingredients, and works wondering on dry hands, cracked lips, sunburns, or damaged skin.
For anyone who works or plays outside, this anniversary edition gold tin would make a great gift. The formula is safe for people and animals, and has been made in Vermont, USA, since 1899. And let’s face it, this special clover-adorned gold, red, and green tin is as Christmas-y as it gets.Shop the 125th Anniversary Tin at Bag Balm Shop the Bag Balm Original Tin at Amazon Shop Gift Set at Bag Balm
Pickleball Central Kanga Wood Paddle
Pickleball was probably one of the fastest-growing sports of the past year — if you haven’t played, it’s similar to tennis, badminton, heck, even ping pong. While it does require a court to play on, you can set up a net almost anywhere: like chalk lines in a driveway, or stick boundaries at a campsite.
We’re putting pickleball paddles on this gift list not because it’s such a popular sport, but because it’s fun. You play two on two, so a set of two or four paddles is a perfect gift ($16-25). And since we really don’t need any more plastic in this world, I’d highly recommend checking out OG wood-ply paddles like this one.
The Kanga is a great value, and while heavier than plastic paddles, the maplewood is surprisingly light and easy to handle. These paddles dink nicely and are a great value.Shop Kanga Paddles at Pickleball Central
How to Shop for Gifts Under $25
Success! We hope this guide of outdoor accessories and gear has helped you find plenty of gifts under $25.
But if you are still unsure of what to gift, or how to shop on a budget, let me offer this advice: don’t stress. A gift is a gift, and especially if it’s thoughtful and related to any of their hobbies, they’ll probably love it!
If you are still really unsure, consider a more general outdoor-themed gift that can flex from the workshop to home to the outdoors, or across activities — maybe you’re not sure if your friend would love a tin of ski wax. There are so many other things to gift that a skier would love! Say, a waterproof notebook that will still last in the snow … or maybe pair a fun set of stasher bags paired with a homemade trail mix or a winter cookie recipe!
Use this list to guide you, but get creative. Have fun! On a minimal budget, it helps to maximize thoughtfulness. It’s not just about what you gift, but how you gift it. There are plenty of items out there that make great gifts for under $25 — and at least on my list this year, even way less.