Gadling Gift Guide: Gear For The Adventure Traveler And Outdoor Enthusiast

Few people appreciate great gear as much as adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. They demand good performance, often under the harshest of conditions, and they’re usually willing to pay top dollar for the best equipment. Their exacting standards can often make it a challenge to find them the right gift, particularly when they already have a closet full of gear.

If you have someone on your holiday shopping list that fits the description above, then take heart. Here are some excellent suggestions for gifts that are sure to delight the adventurer in your life.

Eureka Tetragon Tents ($95-$370)
The key to any great camping outing begins and ends with a quality tent. After all, if you’re not able to get a good night’s sleep, you’re probably not going to enjoy the rest of the experience either. The new Tetragon series of tents from Eureka has everything you need to sleep comfortably in the great outdoors. They are spacious, lightweight, provide plenty of ventilation, and will keep campers dry when that unexpected rainstorm rolls in at 2 a.m. These freestanding shelters are tough and durable, which makes them the perfect option for backcountry escapes. Available in six sizes, ranging from a small two-person option up to a palatial version that sleeps ten, the Tetragon is a classic camping tent at an affordable price.

Brooks Range Mojave Down Jacket ($299)
When it comes to cold weather adventures, nothing beats a good down jacket for keeping us warm when the mercury begins to plummet. The problem is that traditional down doesn’t perform well in wet conditions, becoming a clumpy, cold mess that is virtually useless. That isn’t the case with the new Brooks Range Mojave jacket, however, as it is one of the first products on the market that uses a new water-resistant down from a company called DownTek. This revolutionary new jacket performs incredibly well, even in the worst of conditions, keeping the wearer warm and dry when traditional down gear would have failed. This is the future of cold weather gear and your favorite mountaineer, winter backpacker or skier will undoubtedly love this amazing product.Pyle GPS Watch with Wireless Heart Rate Monitor ($150)
Designed for the runner or cyclists who obsesses over their performance, this watch is a high-tech marvel that will give them everything they need to track progress over time. The included wireless heart monitor makes it easy for outdoor athletes to pace themselves while working out and the built in GPS accurately tracks distance, route and speed. This timepiece allows for five different profiles for use in different activities and the screen can even be customized to display just the information that is important for the current workout. Water resistant to 100 feet, the watch includes an electronic compass, interval timer and much more. Pyle managed to deliver all of that functionality in a package that is far more affordable than similar offerings from the competition.

Guerrilla Tags ID Systems ($30-$35)
Outdoor enthusiasts and adventure travelers don’t seem to mind taking a few risks to pursue the activities they love, but unfortunately those activities can sometimes lead to untimely accidents. Guerrilla Tags offer a bit of insurance during those unfortunate incidences by providing the name of the person involved as well as their emergency contact numbers, known allergies, blood type and so on. That information is engraved by hand on a metal tag that is then worn either as a bracelet around the wrist or as dog tags around the neck. This is one of those pieces of gear that you hope you never need, but you’re glad you have it nonetheless. They even make great gifts for loved ones who never travel abroad or participate in risky outdoor sports as it never hurts to have this information close at hand.

Hydrapack Tamarack ($110)
Compact and comfortable, the Tamarack hydration pack makes a great travel companion for everything from day hikes on local trails to excursions to the far corners of the globe. It features thickly padded shoulder straps and back panel, plenty of storage capacity for essential gear and a host of pockets to keep it all organized. Durable and tough, this little pack is capable of carrying up to thee liters of water in its included hydration bladder, ensuring the wearer always has plenty of liquids close at hand. That same bladder seals up tight to prevent leakage, is resistant to punctures and is surprisingly easy to keep clean.

Liberty Sport Trailblazer Sunglasses ($139)
A great pair of sunglasses should be essential gear for any outdoor adventure and Liberty Sport makes good looking and functional frames for nearly every kind of activity. But the Trailblazer is an especially good choice because they are versatile enough to be used while running, cycling, hiking or just about any other active endeavor. The large, wrap-around lenses provide plenty of coverage and protection from the bright sun and the fit is snug enough that you don’t have to worry about them falling off at an in opportune time. They even come with a set of cleverly designed magnetic eye cups that when installed seal off the outside world, keeping dust, snow and other debris out of the eyes. This is an especially great option for travelers who may routinely find themselves in demanding environments.

Schwinn Quick Release Collapsible Basket ($20)
Here’s one for the not-so-serious cyclist who enjoys riding their bike everywhere but could use a convenient and safe way to haul more stuff with them when they go. This collapsible basket securely attaches to any set of handlebars while riding, but quickly detaches upon arrival at your destination. Made out of durable polyester fabrics the basket is tough enough to survive exposure to the elements while providing plenty of protecting for the contents inside. A drawstring top extends that protection even further while ensuring that the precious cargo never accidentally pops out.

GoPro Hero 3 Action Camera Black Edition ($200-$400)
A few years ago a little company called GoPro released a lightweight and rugged video camera that was perfect for capturing or favorite moments while mountain biking, snowboarding and rock climbing. They didn’t know it at the time, but the company had launched an industry and inadvertently created a market for the extreme sports viral video all in one fell swoop. Today, the GoPro Hero 3 remains the top action camera on the marketing, capturing video in full 1080P and 12 megapixel still photos. The device can even pair with a smartphone via Wi-Fi for remote control functionality and for instant sharing of videos on social media. GoPro even managed to greatly improve low light performance for capturing the best shots no matter the time of day. All of that comes in a package that weighs just 2.6 ounces, giving aspiring filmmakers a powerful tool that easily attaches to helmets and handlebars to capture all of their spectacular adventures.

Click here for other Gift Guides.

[Photo Credits:Eureka, Hydrapak, GoPro]

Gift Guide for Warm Weather Adventurers

As December approaches and the holiday season draws near, those warm summer days that we enjoyed just a few months back are already a distant memory. But no matter what the calendar says, I guarantee the adventurer on your shopping list is already plotting his or her next warm weather escape. Considering summer really is just a short plane ride away, here are some suggestions for what to buy them for their next adventure.

Keen Voyageur Hiking Boots
A good pair of shoes are essential for any adventure and the Keen Voyageur hiking boots are a great option for any summer escape. Both comfortable and durable, these shoes are well ventilated, keeping your feet cool and dry, while also preventing unwanted moisture from getting in. Amazon has them starting at $87.21, making them a bargain for trail shoes of this quality.

Gadling Gear Girl Pam Mandel is a fan of Keen shoes too, recommending the McKenzie as a versatile warm weather shoe for a variety of activities. ($85)

ExOfficio Sol Tech Tee
Staying cool and dry is one of the most important aspects of enjoying any outdoor activity in warmer weather. The ExOfficio Sol tech tee not only wicks moisture away from the body, it is also highly breathable, and provides UPF 50+ sun protection as well. All of that is marketing speak for “it’s comfortable to wear when it’s warm outside.” Available in a variety of colors, the Sol is perfect for hiking a local trail or traveling to the far side of the planet, and is a perfect addition to any adventurers closet. ($25)

Pam also recommends the BugsAway line of shirts from ExOfficio as well. The shirts earned high marks in her review of a variety of mosquito repelling gear. ($40)

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts
A good pair of cargo shorts are a necessity for any warm weather adventure, and Columbia delivers a comfortable, durable product with the Silver Ridge. Super lightweight and breathable, these shorts are quick drying and include large pockets, as well as an adjustable waistband. With a UPF rating of 30, they also provide solid protection from the sun, and look as good around town as they do on the trail. ($20)Marmot PreClip Safari Hat
Staying protected from the suns rays is an important aspect of any warm weather adventure and a good hat helps considerably. I’m a big fan of Marmot’s PreClip Safari Hat, as it has a wide brim, is comfortable and cool to wear, and is highly packable. It is also waterproof and so lightweight that it actually floats. I’ve carried mine with me on six different continents and it remains one of my favorite pieces of gear. ($35)

Sierra Designs Meteor Light 2 Tent
The summer months are tailor made for camping and a good tent is an essential part of enjoying evenings in the backcountry. The Meteor Light 2 from Sierra Designs is a perfect 3-Season option that stays warm on cooler nights, but provides plenty of ventilation when it gets warm. It sets up in just minutes and sleeps two comfortably. ($210)

Kelty Cosmic Down 20º Sleeping Bag
While a tent is important for any camping trip, when it comes to getting a good nights sleep, it is only part of the equation. A good sleeping bag is essential as well, and the Cosmic Down 20º is a great choice for warm weather outings. Kelty has managed to make a comfortable, lightweight, down sleeping bag that won’t break the bank. ($75)

Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack
Nothing inspires adventure like a good backpack and Osprey makes some of the best. Their Stratos 24 daypack provides plenty of storage for a long day (or even overnight) on the trail. Its size makes it perfect for peak bagging or other short, yet gear intensive, adventures. The Stratos’ integrated suspension system helps you to stay cool on the move and the pack is hydration ready, keeping water close at hand at all times. ($89)

If you’re looking for something a bit smaller, Gadling gear reviewer Mike Barish recommends the Raptor 14, also from Osprey. He found it to be the perfect options for day hikes in warm weather destinations such as Zion Natoinal Park. Read his review here. ($81)

Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle
Staying hydrated on our warm weather adventures is vitally important, but that doesn’t mean we have to settle for drinking warm water while on the trail. The Polar Bottle uses an insulating foil to reflect back the heat of the sun, keeping the liquids inside cooler for a lot longer. These bottles make fantastic and affordable gifts for the hiker, trail runner, or cyclist on your list this year. ($11.25)

The Gadling gift guide for the outdoor traveler

In our third gift guide this season, we’ll show off some of the best gear for the traveler who loves the great outdoors, or at least for those travelers that pretend they do, because most of these gadgets will work just as well for someone who thinks of a Holiday Inn as “camping”.

Other guides in our 2010 lineup: gifts for iPhone/iPad owners and gifts for the business traveler

T-Mobile Motorola Defy

The Motorola Defy (on T-Mobile) is the first rugged 3G Android phone. This smartphone will actually survive a swim, or a drop on the ground. Its Gorillaglass screen means it won’t shatter when impacted.

Price: $99.99

Product page: T-Mobile

Gadling review

Scottevest Pack Windbreaker

Imagine a lightweight and waterproof windbreaker that folds into a package compact enough to also act as a small pillow. Now imagine that jacket with handwarmer pockets, an integrated cable management system and 17 different pockets. That is, in a nutshell, the Scottevest Pack Windbreaker.

Price: $75

Product page: Pack Windbreaker

SteriPEN Traveler

Only able to find “questionable” water? Once passed through a filter to remove particulate matter, stick the SteriPEN in your container, and lets its UV light purify it to drinkable quality.

Price: $59.95

Product page: SteriPEN

Pelican i1015 rugged Phone case

Who says enjoying the great outdoors means you can’t travel with some music? The Pelican i1015 iPhone case will let your device survive just about anything your throw at it. A pass-through headphone jack means it can stay in its case, while you enjoy your tunes.


Product page: Pelican

Otterbox cases

Otterbox cases provide protection in several levels – their basic case will protect against scratches, and their top of the line cases will handle water, drops and more. Best of all, the cases look great and are reasonably priced.

Price: from $19.95

Product page: Otterbox

Cannondale Jekyll bike

If you are looking for the ultimate bike for outdoors, then you won’t find anything better than the Cannondale Jekyll. This bike also has the honor of being the most expensive product in all of our gift guides, and at $4,249 it may not suit those that usually settle for the $200 bike at the local mega-mart. Its dual shocks, torsion control and carbon or alloy frame make it the ultimate in outdoor pedal power. Other models in this range start at $2,999, up to $7,999

Price: $4,249

Product page: Cannondale bikes

Gorillatorch Switchback lantern/headlamp

Gorillapod made a name for themselves with their neat flexible camera tripods, but this year they expanded their assortment with flashlights. One of the most impressive additions is the Switchback. This ultra-bright headlamp turns into a powerful lantern. Its five different LED’s can switch from a red night vision lamp to a 130 lumen floodlight.

Price: $59.95

Product page: Gorillatorch


The new ContourGPS HD camera is at home in outside – but it really gets in its element when you strap it to your helmet and take it downhill, or when you try to record a really stupid stunt to show off on Youtube. But best of all, the camera also records your location, making it easy to plot your trip on a map.

Price: $349.99

Product page: ContourGPS

Goal O solar panel

Need some REAL power on the road? There are plenty of small solar power kits that promise to recharge your phone when they get a day or two of sunshine, but the Goal 0 Nomad 7m delivers 7 watts of power in 5 volts (USB) or 12 volts (DC plug). This will charge your phone just as fast as a wall outlet, assuming you get enough sun.

Price: $99.99

Product page: Goal 0

Top 5 luxury travel gifts for the holidays

‘Tis the season of giving! Whether you’re looking for something that sparkles or maybe just something to set the mood, we’ve found a few things sure to please any intrepid traveler (especially those with a taste for the finer things). Of course, it might cost you a little extra, but isn’t the excitement worth it? We think so, which is why we’re naming our top five luxury travel items for the holidays:

The Oscar de la Renta iPad clutch in Red Python. Why should anyone with an iPad not have a designer iPad clutch to keep it safe and fashionable? It’s a logical question and we turned to our friends at Oscar de la Renta for the solution. The iPad clutches come in a few various colors and styles, but the red python certainly makes a statement. At $390, your iPad will be safe in the comforts of luxury.

LUXE Bespoke Travel Guides. Heading to a new destination and need a new guide? Go luxe! With LUXE Bespoke, you can choose your own exquisite handcrafted box and select from our range of 31 LUXE City Guides to fill it, making a truly personalized gift. The LUXE Bespoke Box in Red Velvet holds 5 LUXE City Guides and comes embossed with the gold LUXE logo. LUXE prices range from $55 to $125 (excluding gift wrap) + Shipping.VIP Las Vegas Experiences. If you’re going to do Las Vegas, you might as well do it in style. Total Experiences is offering an “Ultimate Holiday Gift” card that provides lucky recipients with an unforgettable VIP Las Vegas getaway to Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas or Planet Hollywood. This exclusive gift includes two nights’ accommodations, exclusive “Diamond Level” status, elite VIP treatment; $200 food & beverage credit for use at any of Harrah’s Entertainment’s Total Rewards resorts in Las Vegas; Round-trip limo transportation and their own personalized trip concierge to assist with all arrangements. The “Ultimate Holiday Gift” package is available for purchase through December 30, 2010, and costs $899 for stays at Caesars Palace, $749 for stays at Paris Las Vegas and $769 for stays at Planet Hollywood (two-night minimum).

Noise-canceling earbuds from Shure. No one looks good in those big, bulky, black headphones. Sure, they cancel out the noise of the plane (and those aroundyou) but you can do better. Shure’s SE535 noise-canceling earbuds for $500are a much more fashionable way to fly, and you’ll look good, too.

Kelly van Halen luxury travel blankets. Everyone likes to be comfortable in flight, and Los Angeles interior designer Kelly van Halen has just released a new line of luxury travel blankets available exclusively at Fred Segal. The Kelly Van Halen Cashmere Travel Blankets are 4″x6″ and made of 2-ply cashmere. For $425, you can choose your color: black, charcoal gray, heather gray, chocolate brown, red, peony, light pink, blue, ivory and orange. (We’re partial to the ivory and red, but the options really are endless).

OK luxe-lovers… we’ve armed you with a few of our favorites, no go forth and purchase! Remember: a little luxe around the holidays (or anytime of year, really) is always a nice treat.

Daily Pampering: Holiday wine packages from Destination Cellars

Nothing says love around the holidays like a box of wine. No, not that box of wine. This box of wine is much more civilized, and a lot more luxurious. Destination Cellars, the luxury wine club, has released its holiday offerings and the wine packages are sinfully extraordinary.

Ranging in price from $150 to over $700, you can find something for everyone from this list. The best part? Each gift box of wine comes with personalized recipes from Michelin-starred Chef Sarah Heller.

Recipes include seared duck breast, grilled striped bass, and slow-roasted beef tenderloin. Each dish pairs perfectly with one of the wines in the gift box.

Here’s a little taste of the wines you’ll find:LUXURY CABERNET SELECTION 6 bottles $649

Hestan 2006, Hestan Cabernet Sauvignon
Lamborn 2005, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Lamborn 2006, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Meteor 2005, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard 29 2006, Aida Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Terlato Family Vineyards 2005, Episode


Chanson 2007, Clos des Féves Beaune 1er Cru
Chanson 2005, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Chapoutier 2004, La Sizeranne Hermitage
Gaja 2005, Barbaresco
Il Poggione 2004, Brunello di Montalcino
Two Hands 2007, Bella Gardens Shiraz


Lail 2009, Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc
Lail 2007, Blueprint Cabernet Sauvignon
Vnyd 29 2007, Cru Vab $54.00
Clark-Claudon 2009, Wild Iris S. Blanc
Tamber Bey 2006, Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Tamber Bey 2008, Rabicano

With these wine gift boxes, there’s absolutely no excuse for not making it through the holidays.

Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.