Apparel

Best Gifts for Hikers Under $100

Posted by
Emily Pennington
November 24, 2023
Updated December 18, 2023

gifts for hikers

Hikers are a unique breed, but they can be a lot of fun to shop for. Find something special in our guide for your favorite trekker.

In case you haven’t noticed from the ever-present Mariah Carey crooning over your local grocery store speakers, the holiday season is upon us, and with it, the plethora of outdoor gift guides for every type of person imaginable.

Let’s be honest, though. Many of the gift guides floating around on the web right now are full of flashy, splurge-worthy purchases that are either too darn expensive to buy or too niche for the intended recipient to ever actually use. 

We’re here with a solution: a tried-and-tested list of expert-picked gifts under $100 for hikers and outdoor lovers. You can thank us later.

Cotopaxi Luzon 24L Pack

cotopaxi luzon backpack
Photo: Cotopaxi

Colorful, unisex, and designed with loads of thoughtful pockets, this 14-ounce knapsack is the perfect size for a day hike, while still being light enough to toss into a carry on or larger pack on a long trip. The reason it’s so psychedelic? These packs are made with discarded nylon remnants, to be more Earth-friendly.

Buy at REI

 

Hydro Flask Mug – 24 ounces

Hydroflask mug
Photo: Hydro Flask

This is the ultimate mug for car camping or backpacking coffee lovers. In fact, I often joke that mine is too good at doing its job, because it keep my cup of Joe hot for so long that it can be tricky to sip it. At 24 ounces, it’s the perfect size for a long session of sunrise watching.

Buy at REI

 

Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool

Leatherman sidekick tool
Photo: Leatherman

If you’d rather carry a multitool, then we have a lot in common. Smaller and lighter than many Leathermans, the Sidekick Multi-Tool is a must-have for hikers, campers, anglers, and backpackers alike. Boasting 14 tools in its compact package (including a serrated knife and a Phillips screwdriver), this is an excellent tool for tinkerers and do-it-yourselfers.

Buy at REI

 

Darn Tough Critter Club Micro Crew Socks

Darn Tough critter club socks
Photo: Darn Tough

Okay, I’m a huge fan of Darn Tough and its lifetime guarantee on all of its socks, and when I found this new print of a raccoon eating a jelly sandwich, I was honestly a little upset that I didn’t already own a pair. Not so into trash pandas on your Merino wool blend? There’s also a snazzy blue fox.

Buy at REI

 

Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV Hiking Sandal

Xero shoes sandals
Photo: Xero Shoes

Whether you clip them to the back of your pack for stream crossings and in-camp use only or go on a full-blown day hike with them, two things are for certain: the Z-Trail EV has a surprising amount of grip and is shockingly light (at just 4.3 ounces per shoe). Plus, at just $72, it’s an affordable minimalist hiking sandal.

Buy at Xero Shoes

 

Owala Free Sip Vacuum Water Bottle – 32 ounces

Owala warter bottle
Photo: Emily Pennington

These days, I don’t go anywhere without my Owala 32 ounce water bottle. It helps me ensure that I drink at least two liters of water each day, and its bright watermelon color means that I won’t lose it at a random Red Rocks concert. The option to sip through its straw or gulp through its larger opening is just icing on the cake.

Buy at REI

 

BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern

BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern
Photo: Emily Pennington

For fans of fun, colorful camping lights or avid music festival goers, the BioLite AlpenGlow is an awesome little contraption with a huge variety of luminescent color combos. It’s perfect for late-night camp cooking, stargazing, or locating your tent in the dark.

Buy at REI

 

Ortovox 185 Rock’n’wool Short Base Layer Pants

Ortovox base layer
Photo: Ortovox

For those who like to ski, or simply don’t want that bunched-up feeling of base layers inside your boots, Ortovox’s Rock’n’wool Base Layer Pants are an awesome (and ultra-soft) option for cold weather recreating. Not only is this brand a climate-neutral company, but its 185g of Merino wool classifies it as an ultra-warm midweight layer.

Buy at REI

 

Rumpl NanoLoft Puffy Travel Blanket

Rumpl hiking blanket
Photo: Rumpl

For picnics and campfire snuggles, you and your bu will likely want a fun, durable, and packable blanket that’s easy to clean and travel with. Say hello to the Rumpl NanoLoft. At just 11 ounces, it’s shockingly light and packs down to the size of a Nalgene, so you can take it with you on every adventure.

Buy at REI

 

Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System

Kahtoola microspikes
Photo: REI

Snow and ice don’t mean that your outdoor adventures have to end; they just mean you need to get smart about traction. These MICROspikes by Kahtoola are the best in the business, built to last and perfect for long treks on frigid trails, as well as icy morning dog walks around town.

Buy at REI

 

Peak Design Capture Clip

Peak Design Capture Clip
Photo: Peak Design

Got an amateur or avid photographer on your to-shop-for list? Look no further than this Capture Clip, also recommended in our contributor gift guide. This Peak Design camera clip is lightweight, super sturdy, and easy to transfer onto the outer strap of any bag or backpack, so that nabbing that perfect shot doesn’t involve fumbling around. I’ve taken mine on safari in Africa, trekking in the Alaskan backcountry, and to the remote Galápagos Islands. It rules.

Buy at Peak Design

 

Patagonia Women’s Happy Hike Studio Pants

patagonia happy hike studio pants
Photo: Patagonia

These will forever be known as the trousers that saved my butt on the John Muir Trail and got me obsessed with jogger-style hiking pants. With a lay-flat elastic waistband and deep front pockets, these are easily one of the most comfortable and functional pairs of trekking pants that I own.

Buy at Patagonia

 

Good To-Go Weekender Variety Pack

good to go hiking meals
Photo: Emily Pennington

Need to buy a gift for that gear-obsessed hiker who has everything? Good To-Go has launched a series of two different weekender meal packs (because every hiker has to eat, right?). Both packs come with three meals–a breakfast and two dinners–with a vegan option for your animal-loving friends.

Buy at REI

 

Arc’teryx Venta Mittens

venta mittens
Photo: Arc’teryx

Offering lightweight warmth and wind protection, these Venta Mittens feature a 3-layer Gore-Tex outer and a PFC-free water repellant for use in the gnarliest weather, The inside is lined with high-loft fleece, meaning that they’ll stay extra soft and toasty.

Buy at REI

 

Minus33 Midweight Ossipee Crew

Minus 33 wool sweater
Photo: Minus 33

Minus33 is the brand you want to go to for high-quality, well-priced Merino wool base layers, and the Ossipee Crew is a prime example of that. Designed in New Hampshire, the folks at this brand really know their way around the cold, and this garment’s 235g midweight fabric means that it’ll keep you toasty on the chilliest days.

Buy at Minus 33

 

REI Co-op Flash 18 Print Pack

REI flash 18 pint pack
Photo: REI

You’ve likely seen these adorable, lightweight packs popping up all over the trail the last few years, and that’s because they are small, mighty, and awesome. With 18 liters of interior space, a hip belt, and a hydration sleeve, it’s got just the right amount of storage and features packed into its tiny 9.5-ounce weight.

Buy at REI

 

Kavu Raven Ridge Jogger

Kavu jogger pants
Photo: Emily Pennington

Excuse me while I go live in these joggers for the rest of my winter hibernation. Not only are these babies ultra-cute with their multicolor flower print (say goodbye to boring black sweatpants), but they’re also ultra-warm and soft, like wearing a cozy hug on your legs all day.

Buy at Kavu

 

Skida Alpine Hat

Skida Alpine Hat
Photo: Skida

I’m convinced that Skida makes the perfect array of fun stocking stuffers, suitable for outdoor lovers of all ages (they even have uber-fun kids styles available). This Alpine Hat is a sweet, packable little beanie that comes in loads of great, high-vis prints, ideal for snowy wandering. Already have enough hats? Check out their balaclavas, too!

Buy on Backcountry

 

Landmark Project NPS Map Unisex Long Sleeve Tee

Landmark Project NPS Map Long Sleeve Tee
Photo: Landmark Project

Help your park-addicted friend show their pride for public lands with this comfortable U.S. map t-shirt, which showcases all 63 of the country’s national parks. Bonus points go to Landmark Project, because a portion of the brand’s proceeds goes towards conservation efforts.

Buy at The Landmark Project

 

Athletic Brewing Company Non-Alcoholic Beer Mix 12 Pack

Athletic Brewing beer
Photo: Emily Pennington

Sometimes, you just want to sip a dang brewskie and not feel hungover for the next day’s outdoor adventure. Athletic Brewing makes it possible to do so, with their just-like-the-real-thing array of tasty non-alcoholic craft beers.

Buy on Amazon

 

Prana Westbrook Flannel Shirt

Prana flannel shirt
Photo: Prana

Hands down, my favorite flannel shirts are those by Prana. Made from 100% recycled materials in a certified Fair Trade factory, these shirts are also stylish, well-cut, and super soft, ideal for lounging around at camp or hiking up a mountain when it’s nippy out.

Buy at Prana

 

Sunday Afternoons Artist Series Trucker Hat

artist series trucker hat
Photo: Emily Pennington

I am 100% obsessed with Sunday Afternoons hats, and these artist-backed truckers are the first thing I put on my noggin when I head out on a day hike or backpacking excursion. Colorful, adjustable, and vented with mesh across the back panel, it’s a great hat for three seasons of outdoor fun.

Buy at Sunday Afternoons

 

Salt & Straw Pick Your Pints Ice Cream Bundle

salt and star ice ceam
Photo: Salt & Straw

Let’s be real: half the reason any of us venture out on hair-brained outdoor adventures is that afterward, we can eat whatever the heck we want. Salt & Straw is my favorite craft ice cream shop, and they’ve made it easy to send a little creamy magic to your favorite human, with this pick-your-pints gift box, featuring flavors like honey lavender and chocolate gooey brownie.

Buy at Salt and Straw

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