Best Gifts for Hikers Reviewed & Compared
Hikers are not as hard to shop for as you might think, they simply want the right gear that fits their specific hiking adventures. This can include backpacks, water bottles, clothes, footwear, and general survival material for extreme cases. Since not all hikers perform at the same level, their needs may differ from one another. So having some knowledge about the products is a big plus.
Although finding the perfect gift can be a bit ambitious, many avid hikers are looking for the same set of features in hiking gear. They want their gear to be lightweight and resistant to the elements. This not only includes water-resistance but also the durability of the material and how it performs in nature. And of course, all hikers are looking for something that is comfortable as well. All these factors are important because it helps the hiker perform better while enjoying the outdoors.
- No Electrical Power
- Outlander Hiking Backpack
- Ultra-light design
- ROCKAY Accelerate
- Prevents Blisters
With so many different items and brands to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed. To better help with your search for the perfect gift, we went out and researched the best gift for hikers. Here are our top 15 choices.
15 Best Gifts For Hikers
1. LifeStraw Water Filter
The LifeStraw can filter this water without any electricity required. Acquiring gear that does not require electricity can better prepare you for a remote location and survival situations.
The LifeStraw is ultralight weighing in at only 2 ounces. Being only 1 inch in diameter and 9 inches long, it can fit in any backpack or oversized pocket. The LifeStraw is much more portable than alternatives such as iodine tablets and other large purifiers.
Cost and Value
LifeStraw is relatively cheap for its functionality. Providing clean water anywhere you go is more than enough value for the low cost. This makes it a great, unique gift for any hikers.
- Filters 99.999% of water bacteria
- Weighs 2 ounces and fits in any backpack
- Does not require electricity
- Allows you to drink from most water sources safely
- Requires potable water to clean
2. Outlander Hiking Backpack
The Outlander Hiking Backpack weighs only 7 ounces by itself. This adds no unnecessary weight to a hiker which can help conserve energy on longer distances. Additionally, it can fit into its own pocket to become less cumbersome.
This product is made of water-resistant and rip-proof nylon material. Further, the zipper is made of SBS metal reinforcing its durability while protecting you from the elements.
Cost and Value
The Outlander Hiking Backpack is extremely cheap. With high-grade nylon material and its featured portability, you can not go wrong with this as a gift to any outdoor enthusiast.
- Weighs 7 ounces
- Water-resistant nylon material
- Comfortable shoulder straps
- Made out of thin material
- Can not support extremely heavy loads
3. ROCKAY Accelerate
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. When you’re hiking--or when you’re performing any kind of physically taxing task--you’re bound to sweat. This much is obvious. If you allow sweat to build up, not only will be feel uncomfortable, but it can even cause microbial growth. To combat this you need something that can wick away that sweat with ease. And that’s exactly what these Rockay socks do.
If you’re an avid hiker, you know how prone to blisters hiking can make you. After all, you’re on your feet for long periods of time, and you’re traversing some tough terrain. Blisters are bound to form if you’re not wearing the right gear; chafing too. Prevent these causes of pain and discomfort by choosing Rockay socks.
Cost and Value
These socks are great not just for hiking, but for running, too, camping, too, and a wide array of activities. As such, you’d expect them to cost a ton--they have so many uses, it only makes sense that they cost many dollars too. This is one of those that are on the expensive side, but their value is second to none. They’re a great buy.
4. Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX
The Solomon Quest 4d 2 GTX comes with foot control and protection through its 4 layered chassis. While together these layers add stability, the first layer provides comfort and the fourth layer maintains excellent traction.
The Contragrip technology found in the Quest 4D is Salomon's branded grip. Its unique three geometric designs allow for the maximum grip strength making it great for all terrain and especially rock climbing.
Cost and Value
Although prices may change, the Quest 4D 2 GTX is on the expensive side for hiking boots. Even though this might be out of your price range, it will last long with durable, weather resistant leather material and contragrip technology all while maintaining a comfortable hold.
- Contragrip technology
- 4D Chassis
- GORE-TEX waterproof
- Extremely comfortable with removable ortholite footbed
- Less cost effective
- On the more heavy side of hiking boots
5. Polar Insulated Bottle
The Polar Bottle Water Bottle comes in 36 unique designs to allow for maximum customization. This includes not only colors, but designs for specific states, such as California, Arizona, and Texas, and amazing artistic compositions.
The Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle is made in the USA in order to support local economies and reduce carbon footprints. Being located in the United States, Polar Bottle guarantees lifetime warranty for those within the states. This excellent customer service puts them in our number 5 slot.
Cost and Value
The Insulated Water Bottle is fairly cheap when looking at water storage. With its lifetime warranty, thermal insulation properties, and clean water, this product has exceptionally high value. This is a great small present for any hiker without breaking the bank.
- Insulated to keep water cool for twice as long
- Durable polyethylene material
- Made in the United States
- Top can cause leakage after prolong use
- Is prone to condensation
6. Venture Pal Hiking Backpack
This product comes with multiple storage compartments including one main compartment, two front pockets, and two side pockets. In total, the backpack can carry 35 litters of storage making it perfect for any day hike or long weekend adventure.
The Venture Pal is popular because of it distributed weight evenly throughout the bag making it lightweight and easy to carry. The backpack only weighs in at 12 ounces while still being able to hold upwards of 35 liters of gear.
Cost and Value
The Venture Pal Hiking Backpack is less expensive than its competitors. With plenty of storage, lightweight attributes, comfortable features, and durability, there is no going wrong with this product. Any hiker would love this as a gift and it does not break the bank.
- Able to Compact by folding into itself
- Weighs only 12 ounces
- Can store up to 35 litters of gear
- Material is noisy
- Only 20 inches in height
7. CamelBak Chute Bottle
The CamelBak Chute Water Bottle comes with a half-turn cap design that provides little to no leaking. With durable material, this is meant to be leak-proof for a long period of time.
The angled spout is a unique design by CamelBak that delivers water without sloshing or spilling. Additionally, it can maintain a high flow of water without you expelling extra energy.
Cost and Value
The Chute Water Bottle by CamelBak is a low cost. With its tritan co-polyester material, unique spot design, and leak-proof cap, this water bottle delivers everything a hiker needs at no additional cost. This is an easy gift for any outdoors person.
- Angled spout for maximum water delivery
- leak-proof cap
- Tritan co-polyester material
- Susceptible to condensation
8. Vitchelo V800
One of the best things about this headlamp is the low energy required. It works with AAA batteries and can light your way for up to 120 hours, without changing the batteries.
Adjustable Light Mode
Vitchelo V800 is equipped with 2 light colors: white and red, with each one providing their own benefits. The white light can help you see as far as 350 feet and the red light is great for signaling for help.
Cost and Value
This water-proof item is really affordable and easy to use. You can choose from 6 different color and they all include batteries. The elastic headband is very comfortable and allows for a variety of different uses.
Includes Duracell batteries
Provides light for up to 110 meters
Features red and white LED lights
Water and rust resistant
Some found the buttons too small
Red light may be too dim
9. Swiss Safe First Aid Kit
Apart from being prepared in the outdoors while hiking, this first aid kit can be used in many situations including sports, boating, fishing, biking, etc. With so much versatility for disaster preparedness in many situations, there is no going wrong with this as a gift for those who participate in risky activities.
Mini First Aid Kit
Within the 120 piece first aid kit is another 32 piece mini kit. This is the perfect extension for those who want something in a small purse, backpack, or over sized pocket. The 32 mini first aid kit comes with sting relief, gauze, alcohol pads, and CPR kit.
Cost and Value
When it comes to preparedness and first aid, this product has an exceptional amount of value. The Swiss Safe First Aid Kit comes with all that value at a low cost. This makes it perfect for any risky outdoor activity.
- 100% money back guarantee
- Includes small 32 piece first aid kit
- Multi-functional medical grade first aid kit
- Only weighs 1.2 pounds
- Initial bag is bulky
- Items need to be replaced when used
10. Coleman Soft Cooler
The Coleman Soft Cooler comes with flexible and soft PEVA liner. This makes it easy to carry and clean when you come back from your adventure. The PEVA linear is FDA approved for food contact.
The inside of the Soft Cooler comes with two mesh pockets for organization and an outside zipper pocket for added storage. Further, the sides come with easy accessible mesh pockets for water bottles or other small gear.
Cost and Value
The Coleman Soft Cooler is relatively cheap for coolers. At a low cost you can get a great, easy to travel with cooler that protects food and hold up to 16 cans comfortably.
- Heat-welded seams
- Extra storage space
- Easy-to-clean liner
- Not the best cooler for extreme temperatures
- Best used with cooling packs instead of ice
11. Columbia Bora Booney II Hat
The Bora Bora Booney II comes with omni-wick sweatband and mesh vent panel. This circulates air through the hat and minimizes sweat dripping into your eyes. The quick-wick protection also comes with quick-dry properties even when the hat is completely submerged in water.
The omni-shade technology found in the Bora Bora Booney II blocks out 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. It features UPF of 50 and is Skin Cancer Foundation's number one choice for sun protection.
Cost and Value
The Bora Bora Booney II is around the average price for hats. With Omni shade and wick technology as well as multiple color designs, the hat is well worth the average cost and becomes a great addition to any hikers gear.
- Multiple color options
- Omni-shade technology is UPF 50
- Omni-wick mesh keeps you dry and cool
- Adjustable chin strap that keeps you protected from heavy winds
- Bill is generally flimsy
- Is not one size fits all but one size fits most
12. AS2 Paracord Bracelet
The AS2 Paracord Bracelet comes with survival tool kit which includes a compass, fire starter, fire scrapper, whistle, and knife. The bracelet also comes with a instruction manual on how to use each survival tool correctly and additional survival tips.
Military Grade Material
The AS2 Paracord Bracelet was built with military grade 550 parachute cords. The breaking point of the bracelet is 550 pounds of strength making it durable and long lasting.
Cost and Value
The Paracord Bracelet is extremely cheap. For such a low cost you can have a high grade military material and read-to-go survival tools. This makes it a perfect stocking stuffer for any outdoor enthusiast.
- 5-in-1 survival tool
- Military grade 550 parachute cord
- Extremely lightweight at only .15 pounds
- Fire starter is not a reliable tool
13. Wigwam Merino Wool Socks
For those looking to match the sock with the rest of the outfit, Wigwam offer over 18 unique colors of their Merino Wool Hiker Socks. Not only does it allow customization with style, but it comes in many different sizes for both men and women to obtain the right fit.
Comfortable and Secure Fit
Wigwam uses the optimal amount of elastic to keep the sock from falling down without squeezing the leg. Additionally, the sock was designed for comfort with full cushion throughout the foot and leg.
Cost and Value
The price for the Merino Wool Hiker Socks can vary depending on size. In some cases, they can be extremely expensive for a sock and in others they can be around the average price. Even with a lot of price variability, the sock provides a comfortable and secure fit that will keep the feet warm in cold weather or cool in hot weather. All together, this would be a great gift for a hiker making it last but certainty not least on our list.
- Full cushion throughout the sock
- Made in the US
- Elasticized arch
- Can keep the feet warm with 67% Merino wool
- Only 92% fit as expected
- Some sizes can be less cost effective
14. Columbia Glennaker Jacket
The Glennaker Lake Jacket is made with water-repellent nylon fabric to keep you dry and out of the rain. Additionally, the model comes with a hideaway hood to protect your head from the rain when necessary.
Columbia offers this jacket in 17 colors allowing the ability to customize to your style. With so many colors, this product can be picked up for both men and women (although sized for men).
Cost and Value
The Glennaker Lake Jacket swings from cheap to expensive depending on the size. Overall, it is around the average price for a good rain jacket. With water resistant material, a hideaway hood, and zippered pockets, this model by Columbia is a great gift to pick up for any outdoors person.
- 100% water-resistant nylon
- Hideaway hood
- 17 unique color designs
- Zippered side-entry pockets
- Sizing is different on Columbia products
- Not breathable material
15. Bear Butt Double Hammock
Bear Butt promises that it provides a lifetime warranty when purchased. This means they will replace your gear or give you a full refund if the hammock is damaged or you are not completely satisfied. This type of customer service put Bear Butt above and beyond its competitors.
The Bear Butt Double Hammock can hold 500 pounds comfortably and maxes out at upwards of 900 pounds. The nylon straps are extra durable making it a great hammock for up to two people while providing a great deal of functionality.
Cost and Value
The Double Hammock by Bear Butt has exceptional value with multiple colors, lifetime warranty, durable materials, and lightweight property. Together at a low cost makes it a great gift for any hiker.
- Lifetime warranty
- Can hold upwards of 900 pounds
- Only weighs 1.5 pounds
- Thin material can tear with prolong use
- can not be used like a rope hammock
Remember to get the most out of your hiking gear, you must take care of it. This includes where you store them, preferably not exposed to prolong rain or shine, and how you treat them. Depending on the type of hiker and what they already own will determine which hiking gift best fits their needs. While some products are better suited for those just getting into hiking, others are better for hiking enthusiasts. We believe that the products discussed today encompasses any type of hiking hobbyist. Ranging from Columbia jackets to LifeStraw, we are confident that one of these products can be the next best gift for the avid hiker friend or family member. With the holiday season right around the corner, don’t stall any longer and pick up a present today!
How to Choose the Best Gift for Hikers
Now that you’ve read through our list of the best gifts for the hiker in your life, how do you choose one? There are several things that you need to take into consideration before making your purchase. Like any gift, you want this to be well thought out and appropriate for both you and the recipient of your gift. Choosing a gift for a specific niche can be both fun and challenging. You have a theme that will help guide you in your efforts to choose the best gift, but if you’re not knowledgeable about that niche then it may be hard to choose something appropriate. Luckily, in addition to providing a list for you, we’ve broken down some of the things you need to consider before splurging.
Usability and Practicality
First off, the practical gift giver in me says that the most important consideration is usability. Will your gift actually get used? This may be gift giving 101, but is still an important concept to visit. You don’t want to end up with a dud gift.
What type of things does your hiking friend already have? Do they have several pairs of shoes but lack in the jacket department? Or maybe they are looking to up their hiking game by going on longer hikes and now require something to help get clean water or socks to help keep their feet cozy and dry even after many logged miles.
Moral of the story: Don’t get them something they already have – or have a lot of. Aim to buy a gift that they will want and use for many hikes to come. You want to get something that fits, is season/climate appropriate, and is actually something they will use.
Type of Hiking
What type of hiker are you buying a gift for? Is your friend or family member a hardcore hiker who goes for miles and miles or days and days at a time? If so, they likely need gear that is a little more intense and built around the ability to survive with nothing but what you can fit in your backpack and carry with you.
If this is the case, a water filter of some type is very high up on the list. As would be safety items – paracord, first aid kit, etc. Good shoes are obviously a must here as is appropriate clothing. There are even cool accessories – like hammocks – for taking a rest. Nobody wants to repeatedly sleep on the cold, hard ground, especially if there are bugs involved. There are lots of options and if you are attentive enough you can get something your friend will appreciate for a long time to come.
Or maybe, just maybe, your hiking buddy still needs a backpack? That’s obviously right up at the top because you need something to hold all the things you need to carry with you.
Perhaps, on the other end of the spectrum, whomever you’re buying a gift for only like hikes that are a couple hours at the most? Something like a cooler to keep drinks/food cold would be a great option. But things like shoes and hats are also big considerations here.
An important consideration when buying a gift for someone to use outdoors is what type of weather they will be dealing with. While many won’t brave the extreme heat or several feet of snow, your friend might just be the crazy one that does. The good news here is that there is something on this list for everyone!
Perhaps they are going to be hiking somewhere that is wet, and in turn, muddy? There are hiking boots for that. Keeping your feet clean and dry is critical to the success of nearly any hike. There is also a jacket that will help keep the rain off of their shirt, keeping them dry underneath.
On the other end of the spectrum, maybe they will be hiking in the bright sunlight! A hat may be the best option if that is the case.
There are things for all situations, however. Wool socks, for example, will help to keep your feet cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. They are good for either situation. There are also plenty of gifts that have nothing to do with the weather and might be a safer option if you’re not sure the circumstances your hiking pall will be facing.
Something that is always at the top of anyone’s gift list considerations is how much they are going to spend. The gifts on this list range from cheap to expensive and anywhere in between. One of the first things you should do when setting out to buy a gift is to determine your price range. This will let you know what type of gift you are able to get, within reason.
Maybe you’re only good for around a $20 gift? Perfect! Grab a first aid kit, Lifestraw, or a water bottle. These are all essential items that every single hiker needs. Perhaps you want to spend closer to $50 or more? Grab some shoes, a backpack, or jacket. Rest assured knowing that you can meet your friend’s needs – whatever your budget may be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do hikers need backpacks?
A: Many choose to go for hikes that require more than what you can carry on your person. The easiest solution here is to have a backpack! You can fit the items that you need to go for hours, or even days if needed. A backpack may be one of the first things a hiker needs to have in their possession.
Q: What do hikers carry in their backpack?
A: Only essentials are carried. You need to be able to carry all of your needs or potential needs but not have too much because you don’t want it to be heavy. Some examples include a first aid kit, sun protection, hydration and nutrition, and appropriate insulation.
Q: What do hikers wear?
A: Hikers wear a variety of clothing comprising base layers, shirts, shorts, pants, jackets, socks and shoes. Many companies make items specific for hiking. Find out where your hiker likes to hike and what the weather is like, find a company or brand that makes good items specifically for hikers choose appropriate items, and you should be set!
Q: What do hikers need?
A: Per the American Hiker’s Society, hikers need the following: appropriate footwear, map/compass/GPS, extra water and a way to purify it, extra food, rain gear and extra clothing, safety items (fire, light, whistle), first aid kit, knife or multipurpose tool, sunscreen and sunglasses, and a backpack to carry it all in.
Q: Why do hikers wear wool socks?
A: They are comfortably padded throughout the sock, the natural blend of fibers allows for the best heat retention system and provides a layer of sun protection. Plus, they typically fit comfortably and securely.
Q: How do Hikers Carry Water?
A: Hikers can carry in their water in water bottles, but that will only go so far because water is HEAVY and weight is not a hikers friend. The next best option is to get water as you go (if in an acceptable environment to do so) but a filtering system is a must here to ensure that no unwanted contaminants are in your water (see the next question!).
Q: What causes hikers diarrhea?
A: It’s usually in what they drink! Fix that problem by making sure the hiker in your life has a Lifestraw Personal Water Filter, or some means of filtering any water they intend to drink while they’re out and about.
Q: Why are hikers the best?
A: They are the best because you love them! For whatever reason, you know someone who loves to live life outside, moving, and seeing all that nature has to offer. Embrace that and embrace them. Your life is likely better because they are in it.