It’s easy to let time get away during the holidays and just turn to Amazon Gift Cards. But if you really want to stoke people in your circle of family and friends, consider a gift that will make their travels — even their everyday — more enjoyable.

The following 20 gift ideas cover a range of prices, but all touch in some way on travel. They’re based not only on what our team is thinking of giving (or dreaming of getting), but also on the companies and individuals we really admire — people creating exceptional things in the world and doing it the right way.

Here’s to grateful gifting this season, and deep travels in 2018.

 

Tentsile tent

Photo: Tentsile

Why we love this gift:

Tentsile is the ultimate hammock shelter, or in their terms, the ultimate “tree tent.” Their innovative design allows you to sleep off the ground, opening up a whole new world of potential campsites over uneven or rocky terrain, and keeping you drier.

Why we love this brand:

Tentsile’s founder is a conservation-minded architect who had a longtime vision for a shelter built entirely from tension. The company donates three trees for every tent sold and has done some sweet projects setting up unique shelters for eco-settlements.

 

Embroidered Mexican blouse from Siempre Viva

Why we love this gift:

A flowy Mexican blouse is beautiful and timeless; these are handmade by indigenous women in Oaxaca.

Why we love this brand:

Siempre Viva promotes social responsibility in their work with different indigenous groups in Mexico, providing living wages and sustainable working conditions.

 

Leatherman Skeletool multi-tool

Photo: Leatherman

Why we love this gift:

Most multi-tools are jammed with gadgets that are way too small to use effectively and end up making the handle so fat that you can’t even grip or carry it comfortably. The Leatherman Skeletool is the perfect solution. It’s lightweight, has a good blade, and is a size you can actually use well (particularly the pliers). Just remember to check it in your luggage when you get to the airport.

Why we love this brand:

It all started with a vision Tim Leatherman had in the early 70s while traveling — the need for having multiple tools in one handy place. A decade later he was producing and selling the original American “multi-tool.”

 

T shirt, hoodie, or beanie from the Parks Project

Why we love this gift:

The Parks Project makes really cool modern casual wear that support the National Parks.

Why we love this brand:

A few years ago, Cofounders Keith & Sevag had a profound experience volunteering in the Santa Monica Mountains. They were able to turn their newfound appreciation for parklands into a successful company that partners today with over 30 park conservancies and is helping provide hundreds of hours for volunteer projects in parklands around the country.

 

ENO hammock

Photo: ENO

Why we love this gift:

If you or your friends don’t have “relaxation gear” in your travel setups, you’re missing out. ENO hammocks have blown up around the US because they’re such a perfect design: a parachute hammock that weighs almost nothing and takes up very little space in your pack. Once set up, it puts your body in such a natural position that it makes any random spot into something gorgeously meditative and relaxing.

Why we love this brand:

ENO started out as two brothers slinging hammocks on the festival circuit and the rest is history. They’ve literally turned the word “hammock” into a verb, and have one of the coolest Instagrams anywhere.

 

Basecamp Journal from Feral Mountain Co.

Why we love this gift:

The Basecamp is basically a traveler’s dream journal, with cool sections (packing lists, National Park checkoff list, etc.) and an awesome layout for documenting your travels. It’s available in December via Indiegogo.

Why we love this brand:

Feral is a rad little indie outdoor store in Denver and this journal is their first in-house product. They’re doing all the work with a small staff of 3-4 people and sourcing Colorado leather and other local materials. The owner, Jimmy, left a corporate job to open the shop, and now lives in a campervan and does endurance races in his free time.

 

Roark Revival Missing Link drybag backpack

Photo: Roark

Why we love this gift:

Aside from kayakers and bike messengers, most people have never used a drybag and don’t realize what a game changer they are. Having a quick waterproof setup to toss your laptop, phone, sweater, etc. into makes rainy day walks/rides a lot more fun. The Missing Link is a perfect daypack size, and somehow Roark has managed to make a typically ugly piece of gear look cool.

Why we love this brand:

Roark has a rad brand story based around a mythical traveler (Roark) a “bar-brawling adventurer that disappears into Mexico for six months camping, only to surface in Paris drinking Bordeaux…” The story advances each season with a printed book, and two new collections of “clothing, luggage, and trinkets” inspired by the climate and culture of Roark’s adventure.

 

Street Plant skateboard

Photo: Joey Jett via Street Plant

Why we love this gift:

Who doesn’t need a skateboard?

Why we love this brand:

Mike Vallely is a legend in skateboarding for shunning all notions about what skating should or shouldn’t be and forging his own original, hard-charging style. Now in his third decade of changing people’s perspectives on skateboarding, his company Street Plant produces boards right from their garage in California and has an awesome “battalion” of skaters from all skill levels and backgrounds around the world.

 

Chiapan small bags and totes from Yo’on Ixim

Why we love this gift:

As authentic a handmade bag as you can get. Yo’on Ixim notes, “Our totes are woven and embroidered in the traditional style of Mitontic and Tenejapa. Men and women proudly wear these bags in most communities in the Chiapan Highlands.”

Why we love this brand:

Yo’on Ixim benefits indigenous women and their families through an artisans’ cooperative (with fair wage work and training in business development), as well as literacy programs and other educational opportunities at the Yo’on Ixim Community Center School in Puebla.

 

Astral Designs Brewer

Image: Astral

Why we love this gift:

Best water/adventure shoes ever made, and they look cool even to wear to town.

Why we love this brand:

Astral is an indie footwear and outdoor gear company based in Asheville, North Carolina, and beloved by wilderness athletes for their amazing products and approach to conservation. Starting several years ago with this flagship model — a kind of “skate shoe” alternative to Chacos or Tevas — they’ve perfected the water shoe. They also carry a variety of other trail-running/hiking and casual designs, and their production facilities and innovations with materials are all about reducing environmental impact. If you’re considering any kind of new shoes this season for yourself or as a gift, definitely check them out.

 

Gerber Gator Combo Axe

Photo: Gerber

Why we love this gift:

This micro-hatchet makes real fire-making much easier in the backcountry. Check here for a proper lesson on using this hatchet.

Why we love this brand:

Gerber has been around since 1939, designing and engineering some of the best knives and tools in the world right from their base in Portland, Oregon.

 

Outdoor skills classes from We Are Wildness

Why we love this gift:

WAWU offers rewarding experiences that you can do from anywhere, and that will help motivate you to get outside and reconnect with nature in new ways.

Why we love this brand:

WAWU was started by our friend Alissa, who found reconnecting with nature as a way to overcome anxiety and depression. She’s since built a hub for connecting others through simple and accessible experiences and a great online community.

 

Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug (16oz)

Photo: greggboydston via Stanley

Why we love this gift:

Versatile and rugged, it’s a classic mug for everyday carry and on the road.

Why we love this brand:

Yes, Stanley has been gobbled up by a multinational and had its manufacturing outsourced to China, but it’s a storied brand going back over 100 years that’s rooted deeply in the outdoors and the protection of public lands. Even B-17 pilots flew with Stanley bottles in WWII.

 

Gnarbox

Photo: Gnarbox

Why we love this gift:

Backcountry travel (ex: river trips) and laptops just don’t mix. But up until now, if you were in there taking pics or shooting video, there was no easy way to backup SD cards and other data from your GoPros, cameras, and drones, other than plugging into your external hard drive via laptop. Gnarbox solved that problem with an inexpensive device that’s water resistant and pretty bomb.

Why we love this brand:

Gnarbox is based out of Santa Monica and has a pretty awesome success story on Kickstarter.

 

First Ascent instant coffee

Why we love this gift:

All you need is hot water! It’s locally made and tastes way better than Starbucks Via!

Why we love this brand:

First Ascent is a tiny little coffee shop in Crested Butte, Colorado. The roasters and baristas are all passionate climbers, bikers, and skiers. They roast this product right in the shop, and it’s perfect for travel when you can’t find decent coffee or a backcountry adventure when you don’t feel like bringing a heavier coffee setup.

 

Echoview Trekker socks

Why we love this gift:

Alright, socks are boring. And yet, if you’re cheap like most people, there’s no better gift to receive than a really good pair. I scoffed at Echoview’s claim that these socks are “like slipping your feet into a cumulus cloud,” but was quickly hooked. Echoview figured out how to make the perfect alpaca socks by blending in nylon and reinforcing the heel. These things will save you in the winter.

Why we love this brand:

Echoview Fiber Mill is a mom-and-pop spinning-mill-and-knitting operation based out of a Gold LEED certified facility in Western North Carolina. Their whole ethic, from raising animals to dyeing textiles, is based on sustainability and being environmental stewards.

 

#WOKE: an ebook on travel from Damon and Jo

Why we love this gift:

It’s been epically fun (and not at all surprising) to witness our travel amigos Damon and Jo blow up on YouTube. This year they wrote their first ebook called #WOKE. In their own words: “We wrote this ebook for anyone and everyone who needs a life detox, wake up call, or push in the right direction.” Gift for that traveler or special person in your life here.

Why we love this brand:

Damon and Jo are kind of a brand, actually. In the best way. They represent total fearlessness in travel (Jo was shot in her native Brazil, ok?), and a beautiful ethos of embracing and sharing what they learn about other languages, customs, and ideas wherever they go and wherever they’re at in their lives.

 

Rumpl down blanket

Photo: Rumpl

Why we love this gift:

Rumpl has made the ultimate blanket for snuggling with your kid, partner, or dog. It’s puffy and filled with down. One of the Matador Network editors recently used one by the fire in Moab. With 20 degree temps, they wrapped up their little one and everyone was super cozy.

Why we love this brand:

Rumpl has taken the most basic and overlooked item and turned it into a luxurious, must-have piece of gear. They also have a rad media presence.

 

Tentree clothing

Photo: tentree

Why we love this gift:

Tentree has some of the raddest casual designs (hoodies, sweatshirts, tees, pants) you’ll find anywhere, and great organic cottons and other materials. It’s also very affordable compared to other boutique manufacturers of this quality.

Why we love this brand:

These guys plant ten trees for every item sold, enough said.

 

Black Diamond Megalight tent

Why we love this gift:

The Black Diamond Megalight (aka the “megamid”) is in many ways the ultimate traveling shelter. You can set it up in infinite variations, from a sun shelter to the roof of a snow cave, to a roomy camp kitchen that you can cook in.

Why we love this brand:

While not as well-known outside the climbing and ski world as other companies, Black Diamond is a legacy brand whose designs go back to 1957. They continue to make some of the best designed and highest quality gear on the planet.

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