Shopping for ultralight backpackers means you've got to know what performance gear & technologies to look for.
Any clunky or heavy sleeping bag from a big box retail store just won't do.
Here we highlight some of our top recommendations for anyone who enjoys backpacking, hiking, & spending time in the outdoors. From stocking stuffers to more "main event" style gifts, we've got you covered.
Each of these gift suggestions will help any backpacker or outdoor enthusiast enjoy their adventures more comfortably & confidently by helping them lower pack weight, stay warm, and focus more on the outdoors!
The best part is, you can avoid busy shopping malls and long lines at checkout by ordering online!
Best "Backpacking Essentials" Gifts
Whether you're shopping for a new backpacker or someone that's been at it for years, these gifts are not only necessary for backpacking, but will help them lighten their pack weight and stay more comfortable on the trail:
Topquilts are one of the best ways to shave weight in your backpack while staying just as warm and comfortable at night! StormLoft Down Topquilts are almost half as much weight as a similarly rated down sleeping bag. In addition to weighing less, they pack smaller & are sure to make any backpacker happy!
These brand new 2022 tents not only weigh pounds less than traditional free standing style tents, but they are built to withstand high winds and bad 3 season weather with extra storm points & guy out lines! Fortius Tents come in both a 1 person & 2 person option.
These ultralight backpacks weigh under 2 lbs, and come in both a 60L & a 45L configuration. Choose the perfect frame & hipbelt sizes for an incredibly lightweight and comfortable backpack! Receiving a Shadowlight Ultralight Backpack will be extra exciting for any backpacker!
Best Gifts For Her
These 3 season exterior layer jackets were JUST LAUNCHED in October, & have created waves! The women-specific fit, zippered pockets, 50% recycled insulation, and amazing warmth are something she will enjoy and use often. Vario Jackets weigh just 9 oz & pack down to the size of a grapefruit.
NovaPro Jackets are even warmer than your typical 3 season down puffy! Make sure she stays warm this holiday season with a jacket that has 10,000 fewer stitch holes and DownLT insulation that doesn't "wet out."
These hoodies were included this year in Outside Magazine's summer Gift Guide, and are the perfect mid layer for active use or daily wear. Ventus Active Hoodies only weigh 7 oz, and pack down to the size of a grapefruit!
Best Gifts For Him
These 3 season exterior layer jackets were JUST LAUNCHED in October, & have created waves! The sleek fit, 50% recycled insulation, and amazing warmth are something he will enjoy and use often. Vario Jackets weigh just 9 oz & pack down to the size of a grapefruit.
This impressive 3 season puffy jacket has 10,000 fewer stitch holes than many similar puffies (we counted). That means less down loss & better water resistance. Plus, the DownLT™ insulation doesn't "wet out" in case moisture does get inside! NovaUL Jackets are a 12 oz layer he'll use all the time.
Launched just earlier this year, the Tushar Rain Jacket uses advanced dual waterproof membrane lamination technology to maximize both waterproofing and breathability in an ultralight rain jacket that weighs just 7.4 oz!
Best Gifts Under $50
As far as we are aware, the Altitude Hoodie is THE LIGHTEST weight sun hoodie currently available. As a fully synthetic ultralight hoodie, use it as either a sun shirt or base layer. It dries quickly, breathes well, and weighs just 4 oz!
These Merino Wool Neck Gaiters can be used for a plethora of things on the trail from protecting your face to use as a trail rag. The natural properties of merino wool give these gaiters odor resistant properties, and also allows them to insulate when wet.
Whether you're looking to keep your inflatable sleeping pad from sliding or protecting it from punctures, these 1/8 inch Close Cell Foam Pads weigh just 2.5 oz & are a no brainer for any backpacker! Use them as a sit pad on the trail, to increase the R value of your sleeping pad, or as a mat to kneel on while setting up your tent!
Bet Gifts For Adventure Travelers
These ultralight backpacks were built with performance & comfort in mind! KotaUL Adventure & Travel Backpacks give you tons of flexibility in how you use them, & are equally worthy of both the airport terminal and the backcountry trail!
The Tern Hoodie or Tee are perfect for any adventure, whether in the backcountry or exploring the globe. Merino Wool fabric makes it odor resistant even after extended use, and it's ultralight weight makes it easy to pack & take anywhere. The hoodie weighs 5.4 oz and the Tee weighs 4.1 oz.
Satu Pants are built with a Japanese mechanical stretch fabric that performs perfectly on the trail & around town. These pants are great for both urban use and hiking without looking baggy or like "hiker trash." You could even wear them to the office!
Best Gifts For Those That Are Always Cold
Looking for a great gift for someone that's always cold at night on the trail? Summit Down Sleeping Bags have recently been refreshed with new fabrics and a new design for increased loft & warmth. Plus there's even a -15 degree F option!
One of the first areas of our bodies to feel cold is our feet. These ultralight LoftTek Hybrid Booties are super warm & super compressible. Plus the LoftTek Hybrid insulation won't "wet out" or collapse with moisture! With these booties, you're basically guaranteed warm feet at the end of any day!
Another place we often lose a lot of our body heat is through our heads. LoftTek Hybrid Balaclavas can cinch around your nose and mouth to keep you warm all night, plus the LoftTek Hybrid insulation won't wet out with moisture. That's a big deal for something that you'll potentially be breathing into all night!
Looking for something more to layer up with? These hoodies were included this year in Outside Magazine's summer Gift Guide, and are the perfect mid layer for active use or daily wear. Ventus Active Hoodies only weigh 7 oz, and pack down to the size of a grapefruit!
Best Gift For Backpackers That Have Everything
This membership subscription is perhaps one of the BEST gifts on this list. By subscribing, members get at least 10% off any order year round, free upgraded shipping, rebates back on non-OV branded gear items, & have access to a closed FB community of like-minded backpackers!
Perhaps the best part is that this membership is essentially FREE.
That's right, each month members get $10 of store credit that never expires. Basically it's like you load $10 into a "savings account" for backpacking gear plus get a ton of other benefits!
Live Ultralight Members also get access to Member Exclusive products, and retail items not designed by Outdoor Vitals. If you already have all the gear you need, then another GREAT use for the membership is to use it as a backpacking food fund!
It's one of the most affordable ways to get backpacking food on the internet!
Definitely a no-brainer gift for any ultralight backpacker.
We hope this 2022 Holiday Gift Guide helps point you in the right direction for some meaningful gifts for those you love.
May your holidays be filled with love and adventure!