Hikers love two things: the hikes themselves and the gear that goes along with it. In case you don’t already have a hike planned for the Day Hiker in your life, we’ve created a guide to help you out with the gear. We know that there’s basically too much gear to make fully informed decisions on your own, so we created a curated guide of some of our favorite hiking products.
We’ve split the products into High-End Gifts, Mid-Range Gifts, and Budget Gifts, because we know you have a budget in mind for that lucky Hiker. These gifts are specifically tailored to the Day Hiker — the people in your life who are always trekking to some peak, down a nature path, or out for a stroll with the dog. It’s easy to find something to give them, but hard to find the right thing. Enjoy the highly curated list of gifts your Day Hiker buddy, relative, or significant other will love.
Osprey Manta AG 28 (and Mira AG 26) — $165
Osprey’s packs are loved by all types of backpackers and hikers, and the Manta AG 28 is no exception. A fairly large day hiking backpack, the Manta series is meant for long hikes when you need support. The Anti-Gravity suspension is basically more comfortable than any other day hiking pack, and can hold up to 30 pounds. And the included Hydraulics LT 2.5 hydration bladder is a nice touch. There’s tons of storage, hip belt pockets, and an included rain cover. The Manta AG 28 won our Premium Pick for the Day Hiker and is meant for serious hikers.
An excellent gift for Hikers who love to go on long hikes, be extremely prepared, and be in charge of a group. Also works for extreme ultralight backpackers who want a very small pack to overnight with.
Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody — $299
Patagonia’s Nano-Air Hoody is a light yet durable puffer that you’ll never want to take off. A dollop of stretch means this jacket moves with you, and extreme breathability keeps you comfortable on those heart-pounding, catch-your-breath hikes. Four handy pockets make it easy to stash the items you need most, and the jacket is a distinct statement in terms of style. This jacket works for casual walks around town and extreme ascents in alpine environments.
An excellent gift for those who complain about being too hot or too cold during a hike — the breathability is incredible. Also great for Hikers who like versatile gear they can wear on a hike or around town.
Marmot PreCip — $100
The PreCip rain jacket from Marmot is arguably the most-used rain jacket in the outdoor world. It recently got an upgrade and has lighter fabric and improved breathability. Velcro and draw-string adjustments make it easy to fend off rain, and a relaxed fit means you can layer to your heart’s content — even with a puffer. We’re impressed by the packability this jacket has, as it packs down into one pocket. The PreCip is a go-to choice for anyone shopping for an under $100 rain jacket, and is won our Budget Pick award for the Wilderness Backpacker, Day Hiker, and Car Camper, so you know it’s versatile.
An excellent gift for Hikers in wet climates, and the person on your list who always forgets a rain jacket. Also great for Hikers who want a single rain jacket for any active pursuit.
CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 — $85
CamelBak is known for hydration and hiking, and the Cloud Walker 18 is built for both. This backpack was built for the more casual day hiker, so don’t expect a full hip belt. But it works for just about any activity, from walking the dog to beach trips to getting to class (or work). Easy zippered pockets, water bottle holders, and a separate compartment for the hydration bladder all make this pack super functional. It comes with CamelBak’s new Crux reservoir, too, which is one of the best around.
An excellent gift for any Hiker. They will be stoked, and find a use for it no matter what. Also great for anyone that says they want a backpack that works for trail hikes and city commutes.
Check out the CamelBak Cloud Walker 18.
PrAna Zion Stretch Pants – $85
The PrAna Zion Stretch Pants are something of a legend. They have been called “zombie-apocalypse-survivor” pants by our team, and are one of those pieces of gear you find in countless pack lists. They have deep pockets, they are crazy durable, and they breathe surprisingly well. Sun protection, too. But the main claim to fame is the “Stretch” fabric, which PrAna perfected and uses in this pant, the women’s Halle pant, and other iterations. It’s amazin and helps Hikers scramble rocks very effectively.
An excellent gift for any Hiker, Backpacker, or Camper. Any active person, basically. The Stretch Zion’s (or Halle’s, the women’s version) will last an extremely long time, and are cut a bit tighter than most of those safari-looking hiker pants. Give the gift of leg coverage!
Check out the PrAna Zion Stretch collection of pants and shorts for men and women.
AquaMira Frontier Max Filtration System — $49.99
AquaMira is best known for water purification, and they recently released the Frontier Max Filtration System. It’s actually a purifier, and gets rid of pathogens and viruses, which is safer than most similarly-priced filters on the market. It’s built to be used inline with a hydration bladder, and comes equipped with all the attachments you need to make that happen. The Frontier Max comes with the Series IV RED Line filter inside it, which is good for 120 gallons. You can easily unscrew the housing and put any Aquamira Series IV filter inside. The biggest claim on this product, though, is that it’s the only outdoor and tactical filter system that has been certified by the EPA and to NSF/ANSI standards. If you want legit, it doesn’t get better.
An excellent gift for hikers that are concerned about clean water. It’s small and light enough to always take with you, and will work in international travel as well because it gets rid of viruses.
Check out the Aquamira Frontier Max Filtration System.
REI Flash 18 — $39.95
REI’s Flash 18 is a popular pack, and for good reason. It’s not too pricey, it is small, and it carries a simple day hike’s materials without issue. Shaped like a stuff sack, you simply open the drawstring, shove your stuff inside, and hit the trail. It has attachment points on the outside so you can carabiner stuff to it, and a basic strap system.
An excellent gift for the Hiker who needs an easy bag to take on the trail. No hassle, no fuss, and no real moving parts or pockets to speak of.
Check out the REI Co-Op Flash 18 pack.
Geigerrig Hydration Engine 3L — $49
You may not know Geigerrig, but you should, and you should specifically get to know their Hydration Engine bladders. They can be used like a normal hydration bladder to sip water while you hike, but they also come with a pump, which creates pressure in the bag when used. This means water flows out crazy fast — either in your mouth or as a shower. You can use this bladder to rinse off, hose down wet dogs, or just drink extremely fast. The design is easy to clean and fill due to the slide-off top, and is thin enough that it doesn’t bulge in your backpack.
An excellent gift for any Hiker that uses a hydration pack. The Hydration Engine is a step up from other bladders due to the pressurized pump, and your Hiker will love it. Also can be used easily with Aquamira’s Frontier Max filter, or other inline filters.
Check out the Geigerrig Hydration Engine.
Hydro Flask 24 oz Standard Mouth — $34.95
Hydro Flask is everywhere, and their 24 oz Standard Mouth bottle is the reason why. Material grade stainless steel is coupled with a host of pleasing colors to create one of the most useful water carrying devices on the planet. The Standard Mouth is big enough for any ice cube, but not so big that you spill every other time you drink. The 24 oz bottle is long and thin, fits in cup holders and backpacks, and will keep your ice in its natural state for hours. Piping hot stays that way, too. The lid is dreamy, too.
An excellent gift for pretty much anybody, but Hikers will love being able to keep a drink cold on a hot hike, or a cup of coffee scalding on a cold hike. This bottle will last a lifetime, too.
Check out the Hydro Flask 24 oz Standard Mouth bottle.
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp — $49.95
Black Diamond’s Spot headlamp is the epitome of an outdoor light. The newest version has 300 lumens on high, which is more than enough for trail finding. It is waterproof, has full dimming capability, and red and white lights. The PowerTap technology lets you flick on the brights easily, the headlamp remembers the last setting you were on, and there’s an easy locking system so you don’t lose battery by accidentally turning it on. The Spot won our Classic Pick award for the Day Hiker, Urban Hiker, Car Camper, and Wilderness Backpacker — in short, it’s great for almost every outdoor activity.
An excellent gift for any Hiker that wants to go out at night. Headlamps are an emergency item, and the Spot won’t take up much room. Also incredibly versatile, so it works for anyone who gets outside often.
Check out the Black Diamond Spot headlamp.
Stasher Sandwich Bag — $11
Stasher Bags are an awesome product — they are self-sealing, air-tight, and made of plastic-free silicons. Think of a Ziplock that will last forever, can be boiled, thrown in the dishwasher, or frozen, and is inherently food-safe. The Bags come in three sizes — Half Gallon, Sandwich, and Snack — and can be used to safely store just about anything. They’re nice to touch, too.
An excellent gift for any Hiker that wants to take a sloppy sandwich or handful of fruit on their trip. They also work to store tubes of liquids on planes or organize your supplements. Since you can boil them, the Half Gallon size is excellent on for backpacking trips.
Check out the Stasher Sandwich Bags.
Croakies Terra Spec Cord Adjustable — $5
Never lose your sunglasses (or regular glasses) again. Croakies’ Terra Spec Cord Adjustable is a handy device that secures to the ends of your sunglasses, creating a reliable necklace so your shades don’t get lost. They are easily adjustable so you can get the right fit. They are easy to slip on and off, so you can swap between glasses.
An excellent gift for any forgetful Hiker, or anyone that likes to keep their hands (and pockets) free.
Check out the Croakies Terra Spec Cord Adjsutable.
Nalgene ATB — $8
Some products never get old, like Nalgene’s ATB Bottle. Meant primarily as a sports bottle, this basic, BPA-free plastic bottle has a protected dome lid, a pop cap, and a comfortable squeeze design for all your active hydration. It slips into almost any pocket, and doesn’t leak. You can twist off the whole cap and throw in ice cubers, too!
An excellent gift for any Hiker who needs a bottle — and who doesn’t, really? Also great for Hikers that occasionally bike or run, and those who like to trek through super dirty terrain.
Check out the Nalgene ATB Bottle.
Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks — $21
We know, nobody gets excited when they’re gifted socks. Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks are the exception because they are trail-tested and Hiker approved. Extra padding in all the right places protects the feet from blisters and keeps toes warm. They have a lifetime warranty, which means you’re basically gifting your Hiker a pair of socks for life.
Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks are a great gift because no one buys expensive socks for themselves. If the Hiker on your list is always complaining about not having the perfect socks, here’s your answer.
Anker PowerCore 5000mAh — $17.99
We don’t do a ton of tech at Backpackers.com, but the Anker PowerCore 5000mAh is a portable USB charger worth talking about. It holds roughly two charges for a standard smartphone, comes in a tiny tubular form, and weighs only five ounces. Slip it in any pack and know that you’ve got an extra charge. Anker is also one of the best companies for electronics like this, so you know it’s quality.
An excellent gift for any Hiker that likes to snap photos and videos on their hike. Or those who want to make sure they have a charge wherever they are. Can upgrade to the Anker PowerCore 1000 if you need more juice.
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