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The Great Outdoors and More: Pure Wander’s Holiday Gift Guide

By November 26, 2019December 10th, 20192 Comments

Get outside people! We don’t care if it’s snowing, raining or just plain blustery – you’ll feel amazing as you explore our big, glorious world. While mapping out your holiday gift giving, we hope to help you with goodies for the outdoor loving friends and family in your life. Whether they are huge hikers who love to camp on a pebbly beach, or are simply weekend warriors taking the dog to the park, we have some ideas for everyone. Let’s celebrate good old Mother Nature and explore together. Happy holidays from Pure Wander!

PS – We’re working on our annual giveaways too, so bookmark this page to find some of these items below as PRIZES!

Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag

Kelty Cosmic 20

Whether you are going on a weeklong road trip or an overnight backpacking trip through the mountains, staying toasty while you sleep is an important part of fulfilling those nocturnal 8 hours of rest. Kelty’s Cosmic 20° down fill sleeping bag keeps you comfortably snug and let’s you mind keep on dreaming. This ultra lightweight bag won’t break the bank or your back while climbing those distant peaks. Weighing only 2lbs 6oz. it’s 600 down fill compresses to a little bigger than a soccer ball.

With three different sized bags, short, regular and long it can fit most varieties of traveler on your gift list. Equipped with an easy to reach breast stash pocket you can store a small flashlight or headlamp for those nighttime forays to nature’s bathroom. The quick dry down fill, soft lining and robust exterior nylon make crawling into bed at night almost as good as that mountain top view! The gift of a good nights slumber is never a bad choice. -Jake

Pearl Izumi Men’s Versa Quilted Hoodie

As temperatures fall, that morning commute by bike or running can seem a lot longer and a lot more tiresome. Find the motivation to exercise in colder and often darker weather is hard enough! That’s where Pearl Izumi’s Versa Hoodie comes in. This jacket is stuffed with Primaloft Gold insulation in its quilted chest area, and the rest of the jacket is made of a soft shell polyester that blocks wind and light rain (or cycling spray!) I even use mine for brisk morning walks with the dog.

The colorful blend of function and style makes me feel confident to wear it into the office after a hard ride, but then also use it while getting lunch with colleagues. Pearl Izumi is an Italian cycling and style brand –  and I had to size up as I’m a little bigger in the chest! -Christian

Portland Daypack by Topdrawer

You’ll definitely want to check out Topdrawer when doing your holiday shopping for the creative nomad in your life. This innovative company focuses on making tools that are sustainable and can be used for a lifetime, rather than cheap products that will end up in a landfill. Environmental sustainability is a fixture of their company, so the Portland backpack is made of 100 percent organic canvas.

It’s lightweight and the perfect size for a carry-on or hiking backpack. I’m able to easily fit my laptop, a book or two, my wallet and miscellaneous objects that I might need on a daily basis. If you’re a bit more outdoorsy, you might prefer to stash a water bottle and some snacks for a day out on the trails. Either way, this versatile bag is sturdy and certainly built to last – a great investment for hikers, travelers and everyone in between. – Sara

Custom bottle by WellTold

WellTold hydration bottle

Custom gifts are often the best kind. They show you’re really thinking about your loved one and have them specifically in mind when gift them something special. We love WellTold products for this reason, because they have lots of wonderful outdoorsy and home items that work well for most budgets and can be made to be one of a kind. I’m hoping my husband doesn’t peep this guide because I had WellTold make a custom insulated map hydration bottle featuring his favorite U.S national park. It celebrates his love of hiking and his collection of flasks he brings everywhere while traveling. -Eileen

Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit keeps me accountable while traveling, which is so important to do. Plus, it can be fun to see you smash you steps records while sightseeing in a new city! If you’re looking for something a bit slimmer than a regular watch face that does most of the same features, the Fitbit Charge 3 can be an ideal option. Track daily habits like exercise, sleep and even your ovulation as a woman on the Fitbit with ease.

A new feature offers some guided breathing exercises, which is awesome to get heart rates down and manage either a tense workout session or even an anxious moment. The battery lasts up to a week, which is great for frequent travelers. I find wearing a fitbit invaluable for keeping a routine going while traveling to maintain my step goals and occasional exercise goals too. The app for fitbit is simple to navigate if you rather read data there. Sync up your phone as well to receive calls and texts on the fly. -Eileen

Klymit Static V2 Camping Air Mattress

Imagine you’re laying down, head up, your eyes scanning the cosmos and your back relaxed upon a cushioning layer of air. Klymit’s Static V2 lightweight air mattress allows you to tote the comfort of your own bed with you on your travels. It is the perfect weight for overnight backpacking adventures at only 1lb. In addition, this fist sized carrying sack takes up very little room in your bag. It takes less than a minute to inflate with a few deep breaths using it’s one way valve and it’s is easy to deflate when the morning comes. The stronger fabric on the bottom is designed to combat rugged conditions while the thinner top layer allows for less weight. Lay back, relax and let your dreams take you to tomorrow’s explorations. A perfect companion for both the adventurers on your holiday list and travelers of all sorts that won’t empty Santa’s wallet. -Jake

Maui Jim Spartan Reef Sunglasses

Hiking and backpacking…well, traveling in general can be really tough on sunglasses. I wanted something that wasn’t going to dim the colors of views that I’d worked hard to see – but any such glasses would have to be tough. I’m always taking them off when in the woods, and attaching them to the shoulder straps of my pack or putting them on top of my head around town. This inevitably leads to laying your pack down on rocks or walking through low hanging brush – and BAM! – you’ve scratched your glasses. So, when I found the Spartan Reef sunglasses from Maui Jim, I got excited. They use an HCL Bronze lens that offers excellent scratch resistance while still providing the crispest optics and popping colors. The frames are made to last as well. Features like anti-corrosive hinges mean the sea or the rain won’t bother them, and they’ve got small bits of rubber on the inside for comfort.

It might take a while for the sun to come back to New England, but we’re ready when it does! – Christian

Everyday Organic Cotton Dress by Indigenous

Last year, we loved reviewing Indigenous and their men’s line of handsome polo shirts created by a wonderfully ethical brand. This time, we had the pleasure of trying their timeless, flattering dresses that are made from organic materials. The gorgeous dress can come short or long sleeves, with a straight or plunged neckline. The organic cotton textile is super soft and light, yet substantial, allowing the dress to be worn in multiple seasons. You could easily dress it up with heels or wear it during the day with leggings and some hiking boots. Indigenous is a fair-trade brand that works to employ hundreds of local artisans and leaves a small carbon footprint with their environmental initiatives. – Eileen

Vasque Saga GTX Hiking Boot

We’re well into the autumn here in the northern hemisphere but some of the best hiking and rambling is still in front of us. Vasque’s Saga GTX boot is perfect for those long walks or even nights when you have to carry a heavier load because of the falling temperatures. This durable boot has a Vibram Megagrip outsole – tough enough to handle harsh rocks and roots, but still comes with a lightweight breathable mesh upper.  The boot also boasts a Gore-tex membrane, meaning you’ll stay dry and warm wherever the trail takes you.

For me, the most enjoyable part has been being able to lock my heels firmly down so that those tricky New England descents don’t ruin my ankles. While some hikers may not like the weight of these true backpacking boots, the support and comfort Vasque has crammed into these boots is quite remarkable. – Christian

Oros Endeavour JacketOros jacket

Oros Apparel’s Endeavour jacket is wildly different than anything I’ve tried before.  I’ve been skiing and hiking in temperatures well below zero. Often times, the only way to get through those days when you’ve paid $100+ for a lift ticket and the chairlift has stopped because of the Arctic wind – which literally leaves you hanging – is to add layer after layer after layer.  The problem with this approach is sweat. Working up a head of steam on a particularly difficult stretch of downhill will ultimately leave you wet and cold once your waiting in line for the lift (or stuck on it).

Oros has a different approach entirely.  While the jacket may seem like ‘just a shell’ it is quite the opposite.  The Endeavour uses NASA developed aero-gel technology – which Oros calls Solarcore. NASA apparently used it to insulate the space shuttle (not making this up!) This is amazing stuff is placed over the chest and sleeves in varying quantities to keep you both amazingly warm and moisture free.  Solarcore has gone up against all sorts of down and synthetic insulations, but has always come out the warmest. This leads to an interesting experience – where a lighter mid-layer and this jacket are enough for almost anything you’ll see out on the slopes. The jacket is also wind and waterproof, and holds it insulating properties even when compressed. The future is here, now! -Christian

Cloudknit Hoodie & Hudson Short by Outdoor Voices

Comfort is the key for any good road trip, and athleisure clothing is a great way to stay cozy and look effortlessly chic when hitting the road. Outdoor Voices carries a variety of clothing designed for recreationalists who love to keep moving. Travelers far and wide will appreciate the range of ultra-comfy leggings, sweaters, T-shirts and more. The CloudKnit hoodie is a great alternative to heavier sweatshirts for those who prefer a lightweight, more athletic style. If you’re travelling somewhere warm, the Hudson short is a trendy option that even comes with a handy zippered pocket for your keys or other small items. Plus, the pattern is eye-popping and unique. It’s the perfect outfit for your road trip with pals! – Sara

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent for Two

MSR Hubba Hubba 2 person tent(2)

Ready, set, camp! The feeling of accomplishment felt while climbing one of New England’s 4000 footers or one of the Rocky Mountains 14,000 footers is hard to put into words. The feeling of having too much weight on your pack while climbing is easy, agony. MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX2 two person backpacking tents lightweight will ease that load on your back. At 3lbs 7oz, this will literally take a load off. Designed for two people to tackle most conditions the three best seasons can throw at you, it makes a perfect portable home for those overnight treks through the wilderness.

This tent can be set up and taken down in about 5 minutes and compresses smaller than your sleeping bag. The rainfly creates two vestibules to store your pack while weathering stormy skies and can easily be taken off to give you a night under the stars while protecting you from bugs that fly in the night.  Not only is this a backpacking tent, it can be thrown into your trunk for the road tripper looking for adventure or to reconnect with Mother Earth. When it comes to gifts for those who love all aspects of the great outdoors, it does not get better than this. -Jake

AeroPress Go

I’m addicted to coffee. There I admit it. I crave fresh brewed coffee in the morning and the afternoon as much as I crave the open road or exploring a distant realm. Luckily with the new AeroPress Go, I don’t have to compromise the rich, bold flavor of coffee that I love while on the road. This device will brew a steaming cup in about 1 minute and deliver a glass of cold brew on those sweaty days in just a few minutes.  It’s compact and fits everything completely inside the travel mug that comes with it. Fill it with hot water and ground coffee and it’ll blow the socks off that hotel lobby carafe. This is a campers dream, an aromatic mug by the morning fire.  This holiday season the AeroPress Go will make a perfect gift for the traveling coffee lover in your life. -Jake


Who doesn’t want tunes on the road? TikiTunes is an adorable way to keep the party going. Some portable speakers can sound really tinny, or are too bulky to fit into a bag. One charge will give you many hours of music wherever you go – charge up via laptop or USB anywhere. The fun aesthetic also works great for the beach and nighttime barbeques with its cheery lights. It’s a tiny yet mighty speaker than can lay continuously for up to six hours and can be used in tangent as a pair. Whether outdoors or indoors, you can have the TikiTunes emit a cozy LED light to complete the experience. -Eileen

Uncommon Goods Topographical Wooden Coasters

Washington-based Uncommon Goods makes these beautiful wooden coasters showing topographic maps of the world’s highest peaks. A wonderful gift for the adventurer in your life, they can now claim the summit of Kilimanjaro – or at least place their drink upon the top of it!  Uncommon Goods also produces sets of US mountain ranges – so you can get topographic coasters of Yosemite and Mt. Shasta. So whether you’ve already accomplished these peaks, are hoping to, or just like the style of topographic maps like myself – these coasters are sure to stand out and add style to any room. -Christian

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Instagram @Pure_Wander.

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