If it is time for our 2021 Christmas Gift Guide it must be time to share some festive gifts with your favourite outdoor person. We’ve rounded up twenty great products that should offer ideas for any adventurer. Please read on to find out more.
Is it really a year since we were all prepping for Santa’s 2020 arrival? Oh well. Despite some global challenges we hope the intervening months have allowed you some great adventures. We also hope the approaching winter has your prepping for more. Which, conveniently, is a very a handy lead in to the theme of this year’s Christmas Gift Guide. We thought some gift ideas focussed on the colder months would be just the ticket.
These ideas are items we’ve had chance to test ourselves or ones we look forward to getting in action soon. Either way, we hope they offer some options for that winter campaigner in your life. We have been sure to choose items at varied price points and ones that are suitable for different pursuits. We’ve included ideas suitable for climbing, mountaineering, skiing and mountain biking. Having said that, some will be just as suitable for life about town and other cold weather activities.
Finally, we’ve also focussed on sustainability. This includes products made from sustainable fabrics, to have a long life span or to minimise packaging.
Darn Tough Socks
No Christmas present list could be complete without some socks and so our 2021 Christmas Gift Guide is no exception. But, these aren’t any socks. Darn Tough is a long established dedicated sock manufacturer based in Vermont, USA. Winters in Vermont are tough enough to hone the skilled of any sock manufacturer and we’ve been Darn Tough users for many years. They also prioritise the use of Merino wool throughout their product range a their sock manufacture meets the standards of the Responsible Wool Standard. Oh, and all their products are backed by their unconditional lifetime guarantee. Darn Tough have a variety of models and the different options vary in price. They are widely available from retailers.
Petzl Nano Traxion
Maybe your recipients adventures involve travelling in crevassed terrain or they are planning on doing some hauling, roped soloing or solo top roped climbing? Or maybe all of them? If so, Petzl’s new Nano Traxion might be of interest. The Nano Traxion is a smaller and lighter version of the much loved Micro Traxion and we reckon it’s a beaut of a product. For someone trying to lighten their load while seeking the benefits of a capture pulley, we reckon this is very hard to beat. The Nano Traxion is available from various retailers and costs about £65.
You can’t beat a cosy hat on a winters day and hat supremos Tilley have some lovely Beanies that will keep any head protected. Their new 100% Merino rib knit beanies offer a stylish and practical outdoor hat. They also have have some lovely 100% cotton options. Both types are available in a range of colours and in plain or striped styles. Both styles also have a small hidden pocket for storage of small items.
Muc Off Punk Powder & Bottle For Life Bundle
Wet and muddy winter trails are hard on bikes and riders need to keep keep on top of cleaning and maintenance. This can mean extensive use of chemical products and associated packaging. Recently, Muc Off decided to tackle this by creating Punk Powder. Punk Powder comes in small sachets that can be mixed with water to create a litre of their superb Nano Tech cleaner. A brilliant plastic free option. Muc Off also offer a durable Bottle For Life Bundle featuring a high quality aluminium spray bottle with a protective silicon base and two sachets of cleaner. A great option for any cyclist. Punk Powder costs
Hydro Flask Cooler Cup
Hydro Flask are world leaders in insulating drink bottles and related food and drink accessories and we’ve had a long history with this prestigious manufacturer. They also have a very strong environmental ethos. Any of their bottles would be gratefully received as a present, but for our 2021 Christmas Gift Guide we’ve selected one of their stylish Cooler Cups. These neat cups are designed to keep a drink can or beer bottle cold, but can also be used as a compact high performance insulated drink cup. A cup for all seasons. The Cooler Cup is widely available from retailers and costs about £30.
Primus Firestick Ti Stove
Whether you are stopping to brew up during a day walk or enjoying a multi-day trip, a reliable stove is an essential item. Recently we reviewed the Primus Firestick Ti gas stove and decided to also make it one of 2021 Christmas Guide choices. It features an innovative design along with a compact and lightweight size. The stove is ideal to tuck in a day sack or to add to your bigger load. It is also extremely simple to use and built with legendary Primus quality. Please do check out our detailed review here. The Firestick Ti is available from the Primus website here or various retailers. It costs about £105. There is also a non titanium version available for £80.
Petzl Ultralight Crampon Pouch
Is it that time of year to get the crampons ready for action and, with that in mind, it pays to have something to store them in. Petzl’s ultralight crampon pouch is an innovative way to protect both your crampons and other items of equipment from your crampons. It its compatible with all types of crampons and manufactured from strong but lightweight X-Pac material. When we say lightweight, how about only 50 grams! The bag can also be used as a protective layer when sitting in the snow and for storage of other items when you crampons are in use. It also comes with a 3 year guarantee. The pouch is available at various retailers and costs £24.50.
Arcteryx Rho Liner Gloves
We wanted to include these as they are undoubtedly the best base layer gloves we’ve ever used. The Rho is made from warm and durable Torrent 190 fabric and is patterned with next to skin fit. They are perfect worn under a shell glove but they also, for many activities, work extremely well on their own. We’ve found them to last well, wick moisture well, be very dextrous and to insulate well when wet. They also feature sensor pads on the thumb and forefinger so you can update your Insta feed at belays! They come in a range of sizes and in men’s and women’s versions. The Rho is available either directly through the Arcteryx website here or at various retailers. They cost £30.
Kelty Bestie Blanket
Whether wanting to stay warm having notched the heating down a degree or you want to stay warm while sitting watching the northern lights. There are lots of times a lightweight blanket will become your best friend. In this case, it is the Bestie Blanket and we reckon these make great gifts. With cheerful designs, a layer of synthetic performance insulation and handy stuff sack, there is nothing not to like. Kelty Bestie Blankets are available online from Trekkit here and costs £22.00.
Nemo Fillo Elite Luxury Pillow
If you are packing a blanket then you may also want to include a pillow. In which case, we reckon the inflatable Nemo Fillo Elite Luxury option is as good as they come. It has everything you could need for a great sleep whether on a flight, in a car or while camping. It features a luxuriously soft washable cover, and baffled support. The insulation is 100% post-consumer recycled and it features an easy inflate valve and integrated stuff sack. It also offers a bouncy 3 inches of loft while packing down small and only weighing 112grams. This really is the Rolls Royce of inflatable pillows. The Fillo is available from various online retailers and costs £45.00.
Finisterre Abrolhas Wrist Warmer
We discussed the benefits of wrist warmers in our recent advice article on keeping your hands warm (please check it out here). Of course, if they are sustainably manufactured that’s even better. Finisterre is a manufacturer of top quality clothing and accessories based in Cornwall and their Abrolhas Wrist Warmer is the best we’ve found. They are made from top quality New Zealand Merino and fit comfortably under gloves. The Abrolhas’s have proven durable enough to wear on their own for cold weather crag climbing. They also benefit, unlike some on the market, from being one size fits all. They are available online from Finisterre here and cost £22.
Sea To Summit Ultra Sil Dry Bags
We discussed the benefits of dry bags for rucksack storage in our recent top tip here. Of course, there are endless uses for these versatile items. We can’t imagine any outdoor person would be unhappy to receive some as a present. They come in all shapes and sizes and with lots of variations in design. You can really find a dry bag for every use. But, the type we find ourselves reaching for the most are the Sea To Summit Ultra Sil models. They are extremely light, easy to use and reasonably durable. They are a great product. Ultra Sil dry bags are available from lots of retailers and Sea To Summit also sell them direct from their website here.
Nikwax Cleaning & Proofing Products
We’ve been proud to work with Nikwax for many years. We trust all of our clothing, equipment and footwear cleaning and proofing to the care of their products. Their strong environmental ethos and sustainable products set them apart. Of course, though, it is also essential their products perform. They certainly do. So, we have no doubt any outdoor friend or significant other will love to get some Nkwax products in their stocking. Nikwax market handy care kits or you can buy their range in individual bottles or sachets. You’ll find something to suit any budget. Nikwax products are very widely available from outdoor retailers.
Rab Guide 2 Gloves
Gloves are a vital item for so many cold weather activities and the choice of models available is simply huge. Different models for different sports and for different conditions. The reality is that no one model suits all situations and most outdoor people collect a selection of options. We wanted to add one idea to the guide and so selected one of our favourites. A model that we find ourself reaching for different activities and one that suits a range of cold and snowy conditions. That model is the Rab Guide 2. These gloves are warm but not too warm, reasonably dextrous and waterproof. They are also durable and offer good value. They are also made by Rab, a manufacturer committed to sustainable manufacture. The Guide 2 gloves are available direct from the Rab website here or from various retailers. They cost £115.
Primus Trek Pot Pan Set
If you are going to be cooking outside you’ll need some thing to cook on like the Firestick Ti Stove featured above. But, of course, you’ll also need something to cook in. We recently reviewed the Primus Trek Pot Set here. The set features 1 litre and 0.6 litre non stick cooking pots along with a frying pan/lid combo. It packs into a compact package weighing 410 grams. It will suit solo adventurers while having enough capacity for a duo set up. We have been very impressed and thought it should feature in our 2021 Christmas Gift Guide. The Primus Trek Pot Set is available from the Primus website here or via various retailers. The set costs around £70.
Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer
In our recent article on Keeping Your Hands Warm here we shared the idea of a rechargeable hand warmer. There are actually plenty of disposable hand warmers on the market. These can be really useful but do inevitably create waste. An alternative would be reusable options and these come in various forms. We’ve been trialling a battery powered model and think it’s worth including it here. The model we’ve been using is made by Ocoopa and combines a beefy 10000mah capacity battery with a quick acting heating element. It also has the facility to be used as a device charger. The Ocoopa has worked really well for chilly weather cragging and we think it will be great for full on winter adventures too. Details are available on their website here and they cost £26.
Arcteryx Alpha SK Ski Straps
Ski Straps (often termed heli straps) are really useful for skiers to fasten ski together or attach their skis to a rucksack. But, they can also be used to secure other items of equipment or be used to improvise a splint. They can be used for repairs to skis, bindings, boots or even ski poles. Mountain bikers will also find them useful for everything from fastening your bike to to the trailer to trail side repairs. Their uses are only limited by the imagination! Lots of companies make them, but for the purposes of our 2021 Christmas Gift Guide we have featured the Arcteryx Alpha SK model as a favoured choice. We have found these efficient and durable. They are available online from Facewest here.
Thermic Electric Boot & Shoe Dryers
Whether for skiing, hillwalking, mountain biking or climbing, wet feet can often be an issue. It is almost inevitable that moisture will build up inside your footwear even if your boots don’t let water in. Drying them after a day’s activity will really make a difference to your warmth and comfort of your feet. Their are various boot driers on the market, but for travel we really like the Thermic Electric version. These feature two compact heater units that can be slid into each boot to offer a gentle drying action. A bonus is that they can also be used for some gloves. These driers normally cost £25 but at the moment they are available on the Skiers Lounge website here for only £15.
Wild Nature Calendar & Diary
Formed in 1983 and based in Scotland, the John Muir Trust is the UK’s leading wild land conservation charity. Muir is considered a founding father of modern conservation and the trust aims to continue his pioneering work. Each year the trust produce both a calendar and diary and this year’s offerings are as stunning as ever. The diary and calendar both feature stunning and inspirational photography edited by wildly renowned local photographer John Beatty. Purchase of these items supports the vital work of the trust and they will make a very welcome inspirational addition to any desk or wall. They are also printed on paper from sustainable sources. They are available from various retailers or direct from Northern Lights Publishing here.
Peak Mountaineering Gift Vouchers
Our 2021 Christmas Gift Guide wouldn’t be complete without sharing the best gift option of all! The gift of adventure is surely the best thing anyone can receive. In which case, we can definitely. Our Peak Mountaineering Gift Vouchers are the perfect gift. Whether it is a place on one of our taster sessions, courses or adventures. Whether for the full cost or as a contribution towards the total amount. We can help. We can also send a beautifully crafted voucher to give to the lucky person on the special day. Full details on our Gift Voucher service is available on our website here. We can even offer vouchers for our Double Black Bike Repair company and full details on our services are available here.