Some people are just hard to buy gifts for — but not outdoorsy people. Trust me. We all have a list of apparel and gear we wish we had for our next adventure. However, in the event that you’re buying a gift for an outdoorsy person and you don’t know their outdoor gear wish list, this blog may help.
Below is a list of new outdoor products that have turned heads this year. Many of them feature new materials and technology that is truly amazing.
To find these products, I perused 2018 gear lists published by Backpacker magazine, Outside magazine and several outdoor gear blogs, then simply selected the items that most intrigued me and did a little research. In the process, I tossed out many items because they were either too expensive (for anyone I know to consider an appropriate gift), out of stock or not exactly “new.” Then I whittled it down more based on what I thought was most interesting and useful.
I’m well aware that this list, instead of helping you buy gifts, may just expand your own wish list. But here it goes:
For the winter explorer
With distinctly different designs for women and men, these gloves are made to fit comfortably and are constructed out of quality materials, including GORE-TEX, which makes them waterproof, and PrimaLoft Aerogel insulation, which has been used in NASA space travel.
DPS Phantom 2.0 — $99
Phantom is a permanent, waxless base treatment that eliminates the need for waxing skis and snowboards. You just need to apply it once, let it bond by setting in the sun, then your pair of skis or snowboard is set for all conditions and all temperatures. For anyone who has played around with applying different waxes to their skis to match ever-changing conditions, this new product should be intriguing.
Spy Ace EC Snow Goggles — $275
If you’re looking to buy a super special present for the skier on your list, check out these goggles. They’re the latest thing in high-tech ski gear. It’s the first goggle to feature SPY’s new electrochromic One Lens Technology, its lens changes tints with the touch of the button, so you can adjust it quickly if the sun becomes blinding or ducks behind the clouds.
For the survivalist
LifeStraw Universal — $34.95
This new gadget, used for quickly filtering water, is an upgrade to the old LifeStraw because it includes two caps that fit most narrow and wide bottles. The product instantly protects you from bacteria, parasites, microplastics and chemicals found in water by filtering it out as you drink. It’s compatible with most Nalgene, Camelbak, Hydroflask, Klean Kanteen and other water bottle models.
For the runner
Petzl BINDI headlamp — $59.95
This new ultra-light headlamp is great for evening runners and bicyclists. With 200 lumens of power, it weighs just 35 grams and has an easily-adjustable strap that can be worn around the head or neck. It can also be charged via USB cable.
For the hiker
New this year, the Fourteener 20 and Sequoia 18 packs are ideal for day hikes, with a revolutionary Air Support back panel for maximum ventilation and a new 3-liter Crux reservoir for all-day hydration. The Fourteener was designed to fit men, while the Sequoia was designed to fit women. However, I always suggest trying them on and deciding what fits best for yourself. I personally own a Camelbak designed for men because it felt most comfortable.
eNZees Foot Soother — $14.95
This all-natural remedy for blisters and hotspots would be great for any hiker. It’s simply lambswool combed to be soft and fluffy. You simply place the material on the problem area, hold it in place, and put your sock on to hold it in place. The material will cushion the problem area while also wicking away moisture and soothing the spot with lanolin — also known as wool wax or wool grease.
For the camper
A small, efficient solar panel mounted on top of an inflatable lantern, this new product serves as a light and charger for electronic devices, such as cell phones, through its 5V USB output port. The device recharges fully in 14 hours of direct sunlight or by USB input in 1-2 hours. Once charged, the light can run upto 50 hours on low mode and as many as 5 hours on its brightest mode.
ENO Hammocks — $59.95-$99.95 per hammock, $29.95 tandem system
Eagle Nest Outfitters is famous for their camping hammocks, which are made to string up between two trees. They have hammocks built for one (Singlenest) or two (Doublenest), as well as a relatively new tandem system to string two hammocks up side by side only using two trees. They also have hammock models with Insect Shield technology to keep away bugs. And if you’re looking for something visually fun, they make hammocks in several patterns, and they have a model that’s lined with tiny lights powered with AAA batteries.
Wenzel Shenanigan teepee — $119
The new Shenanigan tent by Wenzel combines modern materials with a teepee-like shape. If you don’t mind standing out at the campground, this may be a fun item for you, and it fits up to five campers.
For the paddler
Seal Line Blocker Compression Dry Sack — $24.95-$36.95
New for 2018, these compression dry sacks are the most versatile, feature-laden packing system sack by Seal Line, a well-known brand among paddlers. The waterproof sacks feature a waterproof valve to vent out trapped air and ease compression. This item is great for anyone on your list who spends time on the water, especially those who paddle to campsites.
For the traveler
This new pack is a daypack with a cargo bag that secures onto its back, making it an ideal carry on for frequent travelers. I personally always travel with a day pack because I so often go on hikes or other backpack-worthy adventures once I reach my destination, but sometimes I find that my daypack isn’t big enough to carry everything I need on a plane. This new Osprey product is a great solution to this problem, and it has plenty of organizer pockets and a padded sleeve for laptops and tablets.
For the bicyclist
Camelbak K.U.D.U. Protector 10 pack — $200
This backpack would make a great gift for any mountain biker on your list, and it recently received a few upgrades. The pack actually has a back panel built to absorb impact in event of a crash, serving as some protection for your back. It’s big enough to carry a helmet, and it features a 3-liter water reservoir.
Making Backpacker magazine’s editor’s choice list in 2018, the Helen Knows Best all-natural Extreme Weather Lip Balm is great for any person who spends a great deal of time outdoors, whether it’s during a hot, sunny summer day or a day on the ski slopes.
UCO Stormproof Sweetfire Strikeable Fire Starter — $15.99 for a box of 20
Made from sugarcane waste — these fire starters each burn for 7 minutes, making them a great for getting a fires started.
Matador NanoDry Shower Towel — $34.99
A towel fitting into a stocking? Yes. This one will fit. Compacting down to fit in the palm of your hand, this shower-sized packable towel is ultra-light, super absorbent and quick drying. It’s perfect for the beach, camping, backpacking and many other outdoor activities.