2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Men’s Holiday Gifts

Saxx Vibe Boxer $31.95

Gone are the days of uncomfortable chaffing and rubbing downstairs.  Saxx completely revolutionizes the boxer brief by creating a compartment to keep everything in place called the BallPark.  This compartment has mesh lining on each side of a guys compartment which keeps the goods from rubbing the sides of your thighs.  If the male in your life is involved in any type of athletics, you will absolutely make his day by purchasing him a pair of the Saxx Vibe Boxer Briefs.

Living in the mountains of Colorado, I am preferential to the skier and snowflake patterns, but there is a style and pattern for almost every style.  Take a look at their website and you will see designs from NYC skylines, polka dots,  camouflage, artsy patterns, and more. SaxxUnderwear.com

Toad & Co Bear Creek Tee $35

Toad & Co has been coming on strong lately with some solid men’s options.  The Bear Creek Tee is a 100% organic cotton screen printed tee with a fun graphic that will match with the personality of any outdoorsmen.  How can you not love the graphic of a bear in a canoe paddling towards a teepee tent?  On a side note, Toad & Co has also been making some sweet pant options for men lately that are a must try on, my favorite is the Seward Pant as can be seen in our fall fashion guide.

Mountain Khakis Camber 106 Pant $74.95

For the mountain man or aspiring mountain man in your life, the Mountain Khakis Camber 106 is a new style to the Mountain Khakis lineup that is a mix of classic mountain khakis styling with an urban flair.  The Camber 106 has a low profile fit, so for the guy who likes to wear his pants on his hip bones, it’s a great option.  These pants are 97% cotton and 3% Spandex which give these pants the structure and durability you come to expect from Mountain Khakis, but still have a little flexibility.  There is also a gusseted crotch which allows for a little more side to side movement in the pants.

The cuffs of the Camber 106 fit nicely over a pair of shoes or boots, sorry, no skinny jean look hear.  To keep the cuffs from taking on too much damage, the cuffs are reinforced in the back, something Mountain Khakis calls mudflaps.  Having worn other Mountain Khakis pants for many years, I am here to tell you the mudflaps work.   These pants work great in both casual work environments and out on the town. MountainKhakis.com

Outdoor Research Transcendent Mitts $59

After taking in a little too much mountain air, the designers at Outdoor Research decided to soak their down jackets in water and then put them in the dryer on high heat. 45 minutes later and the Transcendent Mitts were born.  The Transcendent mitts are made with 650-fill responsibly sourced goose down that offer plenty of loft for those bitter cold days. To keep weather out and warmth in, the Transcendent Mitts use a water-resistant 20-D ripstop nylon fabric.  For the big snowball days, there is a silicone print on the palms to keep the palms from wetting out after excessive use with wet snow.

With all playing aside, these mitts have some great uses for the cold weather outdoorsmen.  As someone who gets out backcountry skiing a decent amount, being able to have a lightweight mitt that will keep my hands warm and not take up a lot of room in my jacket or pack is major bonus.  These mitts tend to run a tad narrow near the tips of the fingers for some, so I recommend sizing up if you’re not sure on sizing.  OutdoorResearh.com

prAna Rogan Jean $85

We all need a new pair of jeans from time to time, but the last thing most guys want to do is go to the mall and try pants.  The prAna Rogan Jean is a relaxed fitting jean that allows for a little extra room compared to a traditional fitting jean. This jean is best for guys that have a little bigger build and is not intended for guys with a skinnier endurance/athletic cut.  To ensure the Rogan jean can take years of wear and tear, prAna uses a triple stitch on the main seams.

For those who are looking for a regular fitting jean, prAna also offers the Axiom Jean which offers a more traditional fit.  The Axiom Jean fits a little better for those with more of an athletic or slender cut. prAna.com

Duckworth Vapor Tee $60

Duckworth, a new player in the wool scene has heads turning with it’s offerings including the Vapor Tee, socks and more. All of Duckworth’s wool is sourced out of the Helle Ranch in Montana, located at an elevation of 9,500 ft were the sheep endure some of the harshest climates.  Over time, this helps make the wool fibers perform better as they are spun into socks and shirts.  The benefit to wool is that it doesn’t hold onto the stink of activity, so you can wear this shirt time after time without the smell of the typical poly t-shirt. Duckworth.com

Holiday Gifts for All

Braven 405 Waterproof Speaker $79

The Braven 405 waterproof portable speaker is designed for that person who loves their tune and wants be able to listen in nearly every type of environment.  This speaker is truly built with the active and outdoorsy person in mind as it’s waterproof up to 30 minutes in one meter of water, can take a few good drops and last for a full day of playtime.  This makes it a great speaker option for camping as you don’t have to worry about the occasional rain storm, dropping the speaker in the dirt, kids stepping on it, or running out of juice.  If you’re cell phone or rechargeable headlamp is running out of power, the 405 speaker also can act as a charging station with a 2100 mAh battery.  These charging batteries alone can cost $79.  For sound, this speaker packs a punch for it’s size.  The speaker can easily fill up your backyard, campsite, pool side and even inside with just the right amount of base and volume.  For distance, the speaker works up to 33 feet away from your bluetooth device such as an iPhone.

The Braven 405 comes in a variety of colors, so whether it’s for a 10 yr old ripper girl who loves bright pink or plain Jain who likes black or white, you have plenty of options.  zagg.com/braven


Decibullz Custom Molded Wireless Earphones $149

With bluetooth earphones being all the rage, it’s hard not to consider getting a set as a gift for a loved one or closed friend. While preformed rubber or plastic earphones will work, Decibullz custom molded wireless earphones allow each person to customize their earphones to their specific ear shape.  As someone who has weird looking ears (or so I’m told by my wife), I am hear to say that having earphones that exactly fit my ears is a nice plus.

To get the exact fit to your ear, Decibullz provides a moldable plastic that you let sit in hot water for a few minutes.  Next, you press the plastic against the inside of your ear and the end result is a custom wireless headphone.  Since the Decibullz wireless earphones fit your ears exactly, there is little to no outside noise getting in whether you’re at sitting next to the coffee grinder at your local coffee shop or trying to tone out your coworker sitting at the cube next to you. Decibullz.com

Lander Neve Lightning Cable $22.49

Case the cable comes in
Durable lightning connector
Reflective when lit.

When it comes to charging cables for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, you can never have too many.  Over the years, I’ve purchased so many cables that it is hard to count.  Lander, a relatively new company focuses on electronic accesories with an outdoor focus. The Neve Lightning Cable is much more than your typical iPhone cable in that it has some small features that add up to make life a little easier. For starters, this cable is reflective when light is shined on it in the dark.  This means no more tripping over your cable when taking a nighttime bathroom break and it’s also much easier to find in the tent.  The cable is made of nylon to ensure durability and is flat to keep it from getting tangled.  Last, the connectors are beefed up where most iPhone cables break after 6-12 months.  Lander.com 

Park Tool Bottle Opener $6.95

Park Tool, a well known brand in the cycling industry has one of the best bottle openers I’ve ever used.  I often get lots of bottle openers as swag from various companies, but the Park Tool Bottle Opener makes opening a bottle effortless.  This bottle opener has quickly become a popular item at bbq’s and dinner parties.  At $6.95, you will be amazed at how many praises you will get for such a low price.  ParkTool.com

Hydrapak Seeker 2 Liter Reservoir $17.99

When you’re heading into the backcountry and you’re looking for a water container that takes up as little room as possible, the Hydrapak Seeker 2L is the perfect answer. This collapsible 2 liter reservoir allows you to store plenty of water and as the amount of water goes down, so does the amount of space this reservoir takes up.  This reservoir comes in sizes 1L, 2L, 3L and is BPA free. Water can also be frozen or heated up to 140 F degrees in the Seeker 2L for those hot and cold days. Hydrapak.com

Red Paddle 10’6″ Ride MSL SUP $1299

Yes, we’ve all been dreaming of getting a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board, but with most price tags above $1,000, it’s not a choice many people make quickly.  Red Paddle, a company out of the United Kingdom has been perfecting inflatable SUP’s since 2008. The focus for this company has been making inflatable SUP’s that are stiff to the point where the board isn’t going to sag in the middle. This sounds simple in theory, but there are a number of SUP’s on the market that prove otherwise.

Testing the Red Paddle 106

The Red Paddle 10’6″ Ride MSL is a best seller among SUP’s and there are some good reasons for this.  One of the best features aside from the stiffness I enjoy is the ease of setup and how light it is.  Included with the SUP is a high pressure hand pump that takes half the time to pump up compared to other SUP pumps on the market.  The Ride 10’6″ also includes a travel bag that is easy to use for storing and traveling.  The bag comes with wheel and backpack straps, so whether you’re looking to wheel the SUP out to the dock or carry your board on your back at the beach, you’re covered. RedPaddleCo.com

Acorn Main Slipper Socks – Men & Women $89

One of the best things about winter is a cozy pair of slippers.  After a long day of skiing, hiking, running, or just shoveling the driveway, it’s nice to slip off cold and sometimes wet boots or shoes shoes and slip on a pair of warm cozy slippers. The Acorn Maine Slipper Socks have to be one of the coolest and unique slippers on the market.  When I first saw these slipper socks, I thought to myself, great, another goofy looking slipper.  After weeks of wearing the Maine Slipper Socks, I’ve changed my mindset to sweet, I get to wear my slipper socks!

The Acorn Slipper Socks were one of Acorn’s first entrances into the slipper market and as someone who values people trying to start a business, I have a newfound respect for this product.  They come with a bison hide leather for the outsole and the look of combining a sock and the bison leather is truly unique.  The Maine Slipper Socks will last for a long time if you take care of them. These can handle an occasional walk to get the Sunday newspaper, but to keep the leather looking nice, it is best to keep these slippers primarily as in indoor slipper.

For those who are looking to buy American, the Maine Slipper Socks are made right here at home in Dexter Maine.  Acorn.com

AVEX 20 oz. Recharge Autoseal Travel Mug $29.99

Whether you need a good travel mug for work or traveling into the great outdoors, you don’t want to skimp on quality. The Avex Recharge Autoseal Travel Mug is one of the best travel mugs on the market, hands down. We’ve been testing this mug for four months now and only have good things to say about it.

The container is made of a brushed stainless steel that not only has a great look to it, but it is extremely durable.  That’s right, no plastic containers that are going to start cracking and losing their seel after a year or two here.  The Recharge also keeps your liquids inside your mug as it is leakproof.  It’s also super simple to clean out if you find yourself switching between different liquids and don’t want to mix flavors.

Grand TRAIL Ultra Running Coffee Table Book $45

Grand Trail: A Magnificent Journey to the Heart of Ultrarunning and Racing

For the ultra runner on your list that you have no clue what to get, the Grand TRAIL ultra running book by Alexis and Frederic Berg is a great way to say, I understand you.  This hardcover book goes into detail about some of the world’s most challenging trail races along with getting into the minds of some of the people who have made trail running and ultra running what it is today. https://www.velopress.com/books/grand-trail/

Yeti Rambler Bottle 36 oz $49

Do you have someone hard to buy for on your list? If so, check out the Yeti Rambler Bottle. Yeti has taken their wildly successful Rambler Tumbler and added a cap to take advantage of all the great qualities of the Rambler Tumbler in a leak-proof design.

The Yeti Rambler 36 oz: 10 3/4 inches tall (including the cap) 3 3/4 inches wide

The Yeti Rambler Bottle features a TripleHaul™ Cap that is easy to grip when wet, wearing gloves, or rummaging through your pack. The Yeti Rambler Bottle is constructed of 18/8 Stainless Steel (kitchen grade) that is puncture, rust, and adventure resistant. The double wall insulated water bottle keeps your drinks cooler longer and has a No Sweat™ design that prevents condensation from forming. My favorite feature is the ability to drink out of the bottle without creating a mess thanks to “Over the Nose Technology,” aka your nose is covered by the bottle when drinking instead of smacking into the top of the bottle.

The Yeti Rambler Bottle is available in three sizes: 18 oz, 36 oz, and 64 oz. I found the 36 oz size to be the most versatile for work and play, as it eliminated needing to stop and fill up and met my hydration needs for longer periods of time. New this year, you can customize your Yeti Rambler Bottle with a monogram, selection of stock designs, or upload your own image for an additional $10. Yeti.com 

Stocking Stuffers

Nite Ize Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp $49.99

Upgrading from 75 lumens to the Nite Ize Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp for trail running has been mind blowing.  I can tell you all of the specs, but hands down the easiest selling point has been running buddies turning off their headlamps and just following the Nite Ize Radiant 250 when in spotlight mode: it lights up the trail, doesn’t bounce with each footfall, and casts light up to 92 meters out in front.

The headlamp is simple to use too. One quick click on the button on the right (referencing directions based on the headlamp sitting on your head) and you have two spotlight options, high and low. Click through the options to turn it back off. The button on the left controls the high and low flood options. You can leave the flood mode turned on and utilize the spot modes for added light. I use the headlamp twice a day on dog walks or while running and charge the headlamp once a week.

Here is a breakdown of the light distances and battery life of the rechargeable lithium ion battery based on mode.
Output / Runtime:

  • High Spotlight: 250 lumens / 4 hours
  • Low Spotlight: 47 lumens / 12 hours
  • High Floodlight: 40 lumens / 9 hours
  • Low Floodlight: 8 lumens / 43 hours
  • Red LED: 12 lumens / 12 hours

The Nite Ize Radiant 250 Headlamp is weighs a mere 3.2 oz and fits comfortably on your head with a no non-sense adjustable strap. The strap adjustment is a cinch and doesn’t cause pinching or digging like other headlamps on the market. The headlamp is water and impact resistant, two features I haven’t had to test too much.

When the headlamp is nearing the end of its’ battery life, a red light comes on just above the charging port. You can turn the light on/off quickly to test the battery life and a green light comes on if you are charged. Charging the headlamp via the micro USB charging cable takes about 2 hours with a standard outlet, a bit longer when hooked to a computer or mobile power pack.
The Nite Ize Radiant 250 Headlamp offers an easy to use and bright headlamp at an extremely affordable price point. The Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp retails for $49.99,but I’ve seen it listed for as low as $39.99 online. Niteize.com

Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee $8.49

Getting an alpine start to your day, whether climbing, hiking, running, cycling or skiing requires a good cup of coffee to jump start the day. Alpine Start Instant Coffee provides the necessary kick with 100% Columbian Arabica Coffee that can easily travel with you into the backcountry. Alpine Start Instant Coffee comes with 8 easy to carry packets per box. The packets are easy to tear open and pour, as the coffee doesn’t get stuck at the bottom of the packet like cheaper brands of instant coffee. Simply mix the packet with 8 to 12 ounces of water for a delicious brew. I felt that the coffee itself was smooth, without the bitterness that I’ve experienced with Starbucks Via packets. My travel mug is 16 oz and I like a strong cup, therefore I used 2 packets each morning!

Currently, Alpine Start is available in Original Blend. AlpineStartFoods.com shows that soon the Original Blend will come with milk mixed in, including organic soy, coconut, or almond milk. Yum, looking forward to additional options. Retails for $8.49 for 8 packets.

humangear GoCup $9.99 – $12.99

Green GoCup with lid in place

The humangear GoCup is a perfect gift for a your world traveler or frequent camper. The GoCup is a collapsing silicone cup that features FDA food-grade silicone, is BPA-PC-and phthalate free (bad chemicals!). The cup is leakproof, can hold hot or cold beverages, features line markings to double as a measuring cup, and has markings for 1 and 2 shots. Thankfully the GoCup is top rack dishwasher safe, which can help eliminate the whiskey taste the next time you use the cup for water.

The GoCup also features a lid that has an integrated “DoubleDecker” tray that gives you the option to organize medications or vitamins if you choose. I also used the GoCup to carry snacks, such as nuts, raisins, and other dried fruit. The uses for the GoCup are endless.

Compressed for increased portability

humangear offers the GoCup in 2 sizes: 4 fl oz ($9.99) and 8 fl oz ($12.99). I tested out the 8 fl oz version and loved how compact the cup becomes when not in use, collapses to the size of a hockey puck, yet only weighs 2.5 oz. The GoCup is available in 4 colors: clear, green, blue, and black. https://www.humangear.com/gear/gocup

Hydro Flask 18 oz Standard Mouth Water Bottle $25.95

If you have a big stocking to fill, then I suggest you check out the versatile Hydro Flask 18 oz Water Bottle. There are new colors for this season and a new cap design as well. The 18 oz Standard Mouth Water Bottle features 3 cap options: standard loop cap to easily clip to a backpack, sport cap for sipping on the go without spilling, and the new flex cap that allows you to move the loop to the side to adjust to your pack and decrease the total height of the bottle.

Hydro Flask offers the Standard Mouth Water Bottle in 4 different sizes: 12 oz, 18 oz, 21 oz, and 24 oz. I liked the 18 oz size for in the car, short hikes, and at the office. For longer all day adventures, I would select from one of Hydro Flasks’ other options, such as the Wide Mouth 32 oz or 40 oz.

Wide Mouth with Flex Cap
Standard Mouth Sport Cap

No matter the bottle size or mouth design (standard vs wide), all Hydro Flask water bottles feature 18/8 Pro Grade Stainless Steel (BPA free of course) that works to keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours. Due to the bottles size, I never really worried about keeping my drink cold as I refill it throughout the course of the day. However, when using it for hot tea, I did notice that I have to leave the lid off for awhile, otherwise the tea stays too hot to drink. No matter the beverage, hot or cold, the powder coat finish doesn’t sweat.

The Hydro Flask 18 oz Standard Mouth Water Bottle is now available in 11 colors and is available for $25.95. Seems like a steep price, but you are backed by a lifetime warranty. Hydroflask.com

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