The 8 Best Outdoor Gifts to Buy in 2018

Give your loved one the a present they can enjoy in nature

When it comes to birthdays or holidays, there’s nothing better for that active person in your life than to get them a great outdoor gift. Outdoor gifts can be so much better than traditional presents because they’re both functional and fun. If you buy someone a brand new pair of hiking boots, they’ll appreciate the utility of the gift and be ready to hit the trail.

Even if your friend or family member isn’t an avid nature lover, an outdoor gift may still be a smart option. The right outdoor gift can be great way to introduce your loved one to the fun of outdoor activities, whether that's hiking, fishing, swimming, or simply playing a backyard game. Check out some of the best outdoor gifts to find the right option for everyone on your list.

Best Overall: Newdora Ultralight Hammock

A great gift option for the outdoors lover is a portable hammock. Popular with college students and anyone who has access to two trees, these simple hammocks easily roll up into a bag and can be carried in a small backpack or purse. Held up with only two easy-to-attach straps, there’s no annoying knot-tying or hook-screwing to worry about. You can pop the hammock out of the bag, set it up in seconds, and then relax whether you’re on a mountain top or at a local park.

There are dozens of brands selling similar products. Amazon points to the Newdora Ultralight Hammock as a Best Seller. It has a 4.5-star rating with more than 400 reviews. Made of parachute material, Newdora’s hammocks are lightweight, but strong. Reviewers praised the hammock’s simplicity and utility for adults and kids alike.

Whether you're buying for someone who you know spends a lot of time outside or you need a unique gift for someone who loves to lounge around, this hammock is useful for all types of folks.

Runner Up, Best Overall: Coleman Brazos Cold Weather Sleeping Bag

One of the best outdoor gift options for people of any age is a sleeping bag. A sleeping bag is great for any type of camping, from in the backyard with the kids to on the banks of a river during a kayak trip. The Coleman Brazos Cold Weather Sleeping Bag is a great gift option because of its versatility and high ratings. This Coleman sleeping bag is rated for use in temperatures as low as 20 to 40 degrees, making it perfect for summer and fall nights. Also, the easy-zip bag has more than 1,400 Amazon reviews and 4.5 stars. Reviewers report the sleeping bag keeps them warm and snuggly throughout the night.

Best Budget: The Camelbak Chute Water Bottle

If you’re looking for a useful and fun outdoor gift while managing your budget, consider a reusable water bottle. The Camelbak Chute water bottle is inexpensive and can last almost forever. BPA- and BPS-free, these hard, plastic water bottles can handle hot and cold liquids so you can use it to hydrate with water or to warm up with campfire coffee. This Amazon Choice water bottle is ideal for hiking because of its one-liter size, but it can offer everyday uses as well, like a handy office companion or refreshing beverage holder on a day of sightseeing. With about 3,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5-star rating, this is a quick, cheap and easy gift option for just about anyone.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best water bottles

Best for Him: L.L.Bean Hiking Backpack

Outdoor gifts are a popular option for men. From hunting and fishing to camping and mountain biking, many men in the United States like to head outdoors in their free time. If the guy on your list fits this category, consider an L.L.Bean hiking backpack as a versatile outdoor option that can bolster nearly any outdoor activity he chooses to do.

The All Conditions Waterproof Day Pack is an example of an L.L.Bean backpack that fits everyday uses as well as rugged, rainy hiking needs. The pack includes a IPX6 waterproof rating and a roll-top opening to protect your gear from the elements. It also has a number of utility pockets and straps to easily stow all of your gear from a smartphone to camping equipment.

Best Tool: Leatherman - Wingman

Another great outdoors-related gift option is a multitool. These durable items are a step up from the well-known Swiss Army knives. For example, the Amazon Choice option, the Leatherman Wingman, includes pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, scissors, a knife and a small saw, among other tools. It’s perfect for cutting rope while camping, trimming line while fishing or just being prepared for any outdoor need that may arise. These pocket-sized tools can be stored in a pocket or backpack for easy access and are a must-have for any nature lover who is out and about regularly.

Best for Her: L.L.Bean Trail Model 4 Hiking Boots

Whether you’re buying for someone who lives near a small city park or a world-renowned National Park, an excellent gift option is a pair of hiking boots. These useful and durable pieces of footwear will excite nearly anyone and can easily be paired with a promise of a summer backpacking trip or lots of day hikes.

The L.L.Bean Trail Model 4 hiking boots are a fun and functional option, although the Freeport, Maine-based store has plenty of other boot options for men and women as well. The Trail Model 4 boots work well because they are waterproof but breathable. There are both wide and standard sizes available for any type of feet. These boots are designed for comfort as well as durability, with heel and toe bumpers, features that you won’t find that in every pair of hiking boots.

Best for Athletes: Cherainti Hydration Pack

If you’re looking for a gift for an avid outdoorsperson or an athlete who trains outside often, a great option is a hydration pack. Perfect for hiking, biking, or running, the hydration pack allows you to drink water from a long tube straw out of the large water pack in your backpack. One of Amazon’s best selling hydro packs is one from Cherainti, which is inexpensive and fits in existing backpacks. Combined hydration pack and backpacks are available as well.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best hydration packs

Best for Kids: PLUSINNO Fishing Equipment

For the child in your life, a starter set of fishing equipment can be the perfect way to get him or her excited about outdoor life. Consider the set of fishing equipment from PLUSINNO, which is popular and well-rated on Amazon. Featuring a light fishing pole, line and tackle, the PLUSINNO set will give a kid all he or she needs to learn to fish. The pole is specifically designed for small hands and is light enough to be easily maneuvered. The Amazon reviews for this product come from many parents and grandparents who bought the gift and are happy with the child’s reaction and the product’s performance.

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