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Gifts for Winter Adventure

By: Matt Hart - November 07, 2017

Gifts for Winter Adventure

There is a lot of pressure to get the perfect gifts for loved ones during the holiday season. If they are the type that doesn’t let the winter cold keep them inside we’ve got the gift recommendations to make them all happy and warm when they head out into the elements.

Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Mittens

The new Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Mitts are warm even without the heating element. But for those gnarly days when the ski turns are great but the mercury is so low you can’t feel your face, these gloves give you three levels of electric heat over your entire hand (not just the fingers). The small rechargeable batteries are stored in the wrist gauntlet of the glove and are barely noticeable. If you are buying for someone who suffers long before anyone else gets cold, this gift will change their lives. $359.00

SOLE Performance Thin Insoles

Swapping out the wafer that comes with ski boot liners for a performance insole can make a world of difference in your overall comfort on the hill. SOLE worked with ski-mountaineer and big-mountain skier Chris Davenport to create this insole—which adds support and increases performance at the same time. Plus, $1 from each pair goes directly to Protect Our Winters. $50.00

Altra Women's Lone Peak 3.5 Trail-Running Shoes

The updated Lone Peak 3.5 is a vast improvement to what was already a great shoe. Our testers loved that they were ready to go out of the box, with no break-in phase. The aggressive tread is perfect for winter trail conditions and the roomy toe-box allows for extra thick socks, if needed, but it also lets your foot splay naturally, which provides exceptional ground feel and stability. And for the days when the snow or mud runs deep, the Lone Peak’s feature a built-in gaiter attachment system to keep out debris. $120.00

Arc'teryx Women’s Atom LT Insulated Hoodie

The Atom LT Hoodie is a performance piece with an athletic cut that your loved one will find themselves wearing all the time. This hoodie has achieved the powerful alchemy of a warm, fictional jacket with old-sweatshirt comfort. It provides superior warmth, while still breathing well and it won’t restrict athletic movement. $259

G3 Alpinist Climbing Skins

A durable skin for the price point, the G3 Alpinist is an all-conditions climbing skin that’s perfect for the beginner backcountry skier. The nylon construction offers a great weight to glide ratio and a lightweight, self-aligning stainless steel tip connector stays where you put it. And all G3 glues are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. $169.00

Native Eyewear Eddyline Polarized Sunglasses

Native sunglasses have been a tester favorite for being light weight and having durable frames in a stylish package. The Eddyline is a great fit for large faces on people who push hard in the mountains. All Native Eyewear is backed by a lifetime warranty. $149.00

Darn Tough Shortcake Women’s Ski Socks

These are the socks you’ve been looking for. Stylish and comfortable with medium cushion, the Shortcake Ski Socks are constructed with a 65 percent merino wool, 31 percent nylon, 4 percent spandex mix and no seems. Your feet will finally be happy after a long day and they will literally last forever—or your money back. $26.00

Flylow Sinclair Men’s Insulated Flannel Shirt

Every guy needs a heavily-insulated flannel for the winter months. The Flylow Sinclair is a multi-purpose shirt that is as comfortable chopping wood as it is shoveling snow or keeping your core warm as part of your ski layering system. Packed with 40g spaceloft synthetic polyester this shirt stays warm even when it gets wet and won’t embarrass you during après. $125

Arc'teryx Tantalus Men’s Shell Downhill Ski Jacket

Give the gift of the perfect ski jacket that will last for season upon season. The Tantalus Men’s Ski Jacket is the premier piece for any skier exposed to the elements day after day. It’s made of two types of durable Gore-Tex: the shoulders, lower back, hood, and forearms of the jacket are made to resist the elements and provide abrasion resistance, while the rest of the jacket is built to provide more of a comfort feel and achieves that slim, athletic fit custom built for resort skiing. $675

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate Monitor Fitness Tracker

Smaller than your average fitness tracker the Charge 2 allows you to get a complete picture of your health in a less imposing, more comfortable device. It tracks you fitness, heart health, and sleep through a wrist-top heart rate monitor (which eliminates the need for a chest strap). This device has everything you need and nothing you don’t. $149.95

My First Summer in the Sierra Hardcover Coffee Table Book

A great gift for anyone in or dreaming of being in a mountain town, My First Summer in the Sierra is a classic recounting of John Muir’s first experiences in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. As our country’s foremost philosopher naturalist and conservationist Muir captures the spirit of the Sierra in his fascinating journey through the California wilderness. $30.00

Kodiak Women’s Alma Boots

For the working woman who wants to look professional and stylish but often has to trudge through snowbanks, the waterproof and seam sealed Alma boots from Kodiak are a fashionable way to get through the winter slush. The slip-on design and anti-slip rubber outsoles keep her upright and stable when the ground is a sloppy mess—while looking good. $165.00

Patagonia Women’s Better Sweater Quarter-Zip Pullover

Few outdoor pieces feel as wonderful to put on as Patagonia’s Better Sweater. This soft quarter-zip pullover with durable sweater-knit fleece interior is comfortable to wear every day but will also become part of your winter layering program. And since it’s Patagonia, they are dyed with a low-impact process that significantly reduces the use of dyestuffs, energy, and water compared to the conventional process and they use Fair Trade Certified sewing. So, in this case, the tagline “It's like a sweater—only better,” actually holds true. $99

Black Diamond Spot LED Headlamp

This is the do anything headlamp perfect for a stocking-stuffer. The 300-lumen of the BD Spot Headlamp is great for camping. This is a daily go-to light for early morning trail runs or alpine starts. The touch-sensitive housing lets you transition between full and dimmed power with an easy tap of your finger and has a spot mode for distance out in front of you and proximity beam for searching at close range. $40

YETI Rambler Tumbler with MagSlider Lid - 20 fl. oz.

Everyone needs that go-to coffee mug for 20 ounces of liquid courage on the way to the mountain. The stainless steel YETI Rambler Tumbler might be the best we’ve ever seen, with double-wall vacuum insulation to keep your drinks hot or cold, in a shatterproof, BPA-free, and dishwasher-safe, high-quality stainless steel package. $30

Patagonia Small Black Hole Cube

Anyone who travels a lot will appreciate the Small Hole Cube from Patagonia. If you’ve ever had trouble finding what you are looking for in the chaos of your pack or luggage, these small cubes make getting organized easy. Made with heavy-duty 450-denier polyester ripstop and highly weatherproof thermoplastic urethane laminate, this single compartment stow sack comes with an exterior daisy chain for lashing on to packs or clipping in to luggage. $29

REI Co-op Big Haul 60 Duffel

With its innovative strap system the Big Haul 60 Duffel can be carried as a backpack or duffel and is the sized to fit airplane carry-on luggage standards. Featuring 60 liters of room for multi-day trips and tough 1680-denier fabric, this bag is designed to stand up to rigors of travel. $109

Eagle Creek Pack it Original Full Cube Set

Anyone will appreciate the gift of packing organization with this set of 3 full-sized cubes from Eagle Creek. Keep your gear and clothing organized while traveling or camping with 10.5-liters of total gear capacity. They feature mesh tops for visibility and breathability and machine washable. $33.95

Jetboil Flash Cooking System backpacking stove

Probably the most efficient stove on the market, Jetboil’s Flash Stove is the perfect winter camping stove for when you need to heat food or liquid fast. It can make two cups of boiling water in just over two minutes, allowing you to take less fuel with you on your next trip. The award-winning design weighs just 15.25 ounces and is wonderfully compact and easy to setup. $99.95

Outdoor Research Men’s Echo Duo T-Shirt

For the guy that goes hard in the winter time, but doesn’t want to stink at the bar during après, the Echo Duo T-shirt will be a great gift. Whether hiking, spring skiing, or running, OR’s AirVent fabric provides excellent breathability but won’t hold onto the workout stink. $39

REI Co-op Flexlite Chair

Ready for the fireplace or the concert the Flexlite Chair from REI is a supportive and easy-to-pack chair in a lightweight and low-profile package. $79.95

Black Diamond Trail Women's Trekking Poles

The women specific BD Trail Trekking Poles feature dual FlickLock adjustability and comfortable foam grips in a great multi-use pole that will meet all your trail needs. They include low-profile baskets for general use and powder baskets for winter hiking, snowshoeing, ski-touring, or split boarding. $99.95

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

Nothing ruins winter camping worse than an inadequate sleep pad. The NeoAir XLite pad is easily the best-in-class three season sleeping pad on the market and is ounce for ounce the warmest in its category. The 2.5 inch thick pad weighs only 12 ounces and packs down to the size of one liter water bottle. $199.95

Smartwool PhD HyFi Training Gloves

Anyone who heads out into the cold to ride or run through winter will love the full fingered HyFi Training Gloves from Smartwool. The keeps fingers warm with a nylon, merino wool, elastane blend that has silicone grippers on the palms. The thumb and forefingers work with touch-screen phones so you don’t have to take them off to access your email or text on the run. $45

Black Diamond Whippet Backcountry Ski Pole


An essential piece of gear for any backcountry skier who ventures out into no-fall terrain. The BD Whippet combines two necessities into one package, a stainless-steel pick adds to your ski pole the security of having an ice axe and being able to self-arrest on steep terrain, while still functioning perfectly well as a ski pole. $99.95

Nathan SpeedView Insulated Running Bottle with Phone Case - 18 fl. oz.


Most runners only take water and their phone with them on runs. The SpeedView Insulated Bottle from Nathan is custom built to make sure both of these things are easily accessible. The BPA-free soft plastic, double-wall design keeps liquids from freezing in the cold and the see-through, zippered pocket keeps your phone protected but also touch screen accessible. $40

REI Men’s Co-op Boxers

The polyester and spandex blend of the Co-op Boxer wicks moisture away from the body and dries extremely quick—which makes them perfect for hiking. REI’s version of this popular boxer style is less expensive than other brands and are so comfortable you’ll probably find yourself wearing these more than your old cotton versions. $22.50

Smartwool Men’s Midweight Long Underwear Bottoms

Made from merino wool, the Midweight Long Underwear from Smartwool should be the base of everyones winter layering system. Their wool just feels better than most competitors. Whether on the skin track or on the lifts the unparalleled next-to-skin comfort and chafe-free flatlock enhance comfort on the move. $95

Sea to Summit X-Cup

The X-Cup is the perfect winter camping cup that packs away to nothing and will make a great stocking stuffer. It holds 8.3 fluid ounces of hot liquids as well as cold and is dishwasher- and microwave-safe. $10.95

GoFit Hand and Foot Cold Massage Roller


If you’re gonna go hard on the slopes you better do some self-care when you get home from a long hard ski day. This ingenious little roller combines two treatments into one with cold therapy and massage. $29.95

Hydro Flask 25 fl. oz. Vacuum Wine Bottle

You can’t take the wine bottle with you, but you can take the wine if you have the Vacuum Wine Bottle by Hydro Flask. This stainless steel, BPA-free bottle will easily fit in your hiking or skiing backpack. Plus, it’s easy to clean and won’t retain old flavors and comes with a lifetime warranty. $44.95

Oakley Flight Deck Men’s XM Snow Goggles

Oakley has applied their groundbreaking Prizm lens technology to their goggle line to much fanfare. We’ve tested these lenses extensively and can say with confidence that the rimless Flight Deck XM will improve your field of vision by improving contrast and visibility in moderate to bright skiing conditions. $200

Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System

For that person on your list that doesn’t let ice and snow stop them from heading out on a run, the updated MICROspikes allow will allow them to easily add traction to any shoe. With 12 heat-treated stainless-steel 3/8” spikes per foot, Kahtoola has reinforced the eyelets but while keeping the weigh down, at 11 oz. They are light enough and small enough to stuff in your pocket or backpack when you don’t need them. $70

Marmot Refuge Men’s Downhill Snow Pants

An exceptionally comfortable and durable ski pant for the price point, the Marmot Refuge is a high performing outer layer that’s designed to last. Seam-taped with 2-layer MemBrain fabric, these pants provide superior waterproofing while maintaining a comfortable level of breathability. $200

Original Buff Men’s Headbands

Never has such a simply idea become so essential and impactful for outdoor sports. The Original Buff can be worn a thousand different ways for a thousand different sports, but there’s a reason they have become ubiquitous on the ski slopes: They’re brilliant when you need to protect you face from the harsh winter weather and pack away into nothing when you don’t—so why not stow one in every jacket? $20

prAna Henna E.C.O. Yoga Mat

All those days on the hill have to be accounted for with some body maintenance. Yoga mats have improved greatly in the last few years and the Henna E.C.O. yoga mat might be one of the best. Made from nontoxic thermoplastic elastomer, it’s perfectly tacky so there is no chance of slipping and at 5mm thick will feel better on your knees than your haggard old roll-up. $50

Manduka Go Play 3.0 Yoga Mat Carrier

You’re going to need to carry that yoga mat through the winter months and the Go Play carrier is the best we’ve found. The sleek sling-style has quick-release buckles and a storage pocket for your valuables while you are getting your Om on. $32

About the Author

Matt Hart

Matt Hart

Matt is a contributing writer covering snow sports for Gear Institute. He’s a former professional runner and endurance coach turned adventure-journalist who lives with his wife in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

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