20 Best Gifts for Hikers on and off the Trail in 2023


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Hiking, for a relatively simple activity, requires a lot of gear, and many hikers (myself included) geek out about their favorite products and brands. So they should be easy to shop for, right? With so many options, it’s easy to get decision fatigue. Whether you’re shopping for seasoned trekkers who have explored the most remote trails or beginners taking their first steps into the world of hiking, finding the perfect gift can be quite a journey in itself. 

As an outdoor gear writer and former backpacking guide, I’ve spent countless hours outdoors with other hikers of all abilities. Suffice to say, I’ve learned what hikers truly value, and more importantly, what they need to stay safe and comfortable when they hit the trail. Below, 20 gifts for hikers that we hope will bring a smile to the nature lover on your list (and make your life a little bit easier as you navigate the complex world of outdoor gear shopping.)   

20 best gifts for hikers they’ll love on and off the trails

Hiking clothes and shoes

The North Face, Circaloft ¼-Zip Pullover — $220.00

Available sizes: XS-3XL

Sure, many hikers like a little bit of a challenge, but hiking doesn’t need to be uncomfortable. Give the gift of warmth and comfort with this lightweight pullover—that shoppers say even feels “squishy and cozy like a high-end sleeping bag”. It’s ideal for hiking because of its packable, synthetic insulation that stays warm when wet and zipper pockets that will keep items secure even in rough terrain.

Danner, Mountain 600 Leaf Gore-Tex Hiking Boots — $220.00

Available sizes: 5-11, in half sizes and two widths

A good pair of boots is a must-have for any avid hiker, and Danner’s Mountain Leaf 600 are about as comfortable as boots come. They’re perfectly classic (hello, brown-and-red color combo) yet functionally modern with a grippy outsole, waterproof liners, and durable cushioning. And while boot fit can be hit-or-miss, the casual design of these accommodates a range of feet so as long as you know your giftee’s shoe size, you won’t be playing a guessing game.

Keen, NXIS Speed Hiking Trail Sneakers — $145.00

Available sizes: 5-12, in half sizes

Shopping for a speedgoat? Keen’s NXIS Speed Trail Sneakers will have them blazing through trails, thanks to their featherlight design and sporty profile. The bottom sports a serious tread for better grip as they walk and run, while the protective toe plate will keep them safe from the occasional stub. Just a warning: good luck keeping up.

Janji, Repeat Merino Tech Sleeve — $88.00

Available sizes: XS-XXL

The right hiking clothing can really make or break an experience, and merino wool is the go-to material for many because it is moisture-wicking and odor-resistant. So, a base-layer long-sleeved shirt is a great gift because hikers can never have too many. This one is silky smooth, has cozy thumb holes, and comes in unique colors or with bold graphics, which is no surprise, as Janji is known for its seasonal artist collaborations.

Kari Traa, Ane Hiking Pants — $140.00

Available sizes: XS-XL

Cute and functional hiking pants? Sign us up. These cargo-style pants are water-repellent with an adjustable velcro waist belt and flexible four-way stretch material for freedom of movement. While most hiking pants aren’t roomy enough to accommodate strong legs, these are a breath of fresh air.

Houdini, The Orange Jacket — $300.00

Available sizes: XXS-XL

This jacket is a splurge, but for serious hikers and backpackers, it’s one of the most compact, functional pieces you could get. It feels like a lightweight windbreaker but offers the total waterproof protection of high-end rain jackets. True to its name, this jacket packs up to the size of an orange so it barely takes up any space and weighs only 6 ounces. (And if you’re shopping for a thru-hiker, they’ve probably talked your ear off about the importance of keeping pack-weight low.)

Chaco, Ramble Puff Clogs — $75.00

Available sizes: 6-11

These camp slippers are the perfect accessory for people who spend long days outside. Your giftee can slip them on after a hike or just wear them around the house when winter hits. What sets these apart from house slippers is the lugged, rubber sole that grips dirt or rocks: I wore mine all last winter while camping and around town, and the soles look as good as new.

Hiking gear

Garmin, InReach Mini 2 — $420.00

The Garmin InReach Mini 2 is more than a communication device; it’s a safety lifeline that will give you peace of mind just as much as your giftee. No matter where they roam, the hiker on your list will have a reliable connection to send a message in case of emergency—or just to check in on an extended trip—even when cell phone reception is miles away. Keep in mind it does require an active subscription to use, so consider adding on an annual package, too.

REI Co-Op, Trail 2 Waist Pack — $30.00

When a backpack is overkill, a convenient waist pack is all a hiker needs for a quick trek or daily walk. It provides enough storage for the basics, whether that’s keys, phone, snacks, or other trail necessities. And it’s sure to see use off the trail, too, because it has a secret pocket on the back for a wallet or passport.

Leki, Legacy Lite Trekking Poles — $100.00

Are you shopping for a hiker who doesn’t know what’s good for them? Trekking poles. As a former backpacking guide, so many hikers that I know denied that they needed them for years, but once they started using them, it was game over. They reduce strain on joints, allowing hikers to travel farther, and pain-free (as well as exert less energy on the uphill, which we could all use some help with.) This pair from Leki is affordable, lightweight, and has ergonomic cork grips that feel natural in the hand.

Osprey, Sirrus 24 Pack — $180.00

For the hiker that’s still lugging around that uncomfortable backpack without a waist belt, it may be time for an upgrade. Osprey is one of the most highly rated backpack brands because of its supportive harness systems that disperse weight and give the shoulders some much-needed relief. This one is the perfect size for day hikers who like to be prepared with layers and plenty of snacks and comes equipped with a rain cover so they can hike in any weather.

Yeti, Hopper M12 Backpack Cooler — $275.00

If the hiker on your list already has the 10 essentials, you can have a little more fun with your gift-giving. And this backpack cooler is sure to get the party started because it can hold up to 20 cans of their favorite boozy beverage or sparkling water. The straps are padded for comfortable carrying, and in classic Yeti fashion, the material is so durable that no matter how heavy handed your giftee is, they couldn’t damage this beast.

Black Diamond, Cosmo350-R Headlamp — $51.00

One of the ten hiking essentials is a light source, and this Black Diamond headlamp is much more practical than a flashlight because it allows your giftee to go hands-free. It has a rechargeable battery and multiple settings, like strobe and red light. Pro Tip: Grab it in a bright color like alloy, octane, or lilac so it’s easy to find in the dark.

Stocking stuffers

Buff, Neck Gaiter — $22.00

When it comes to outdoor adventures, I never go anywhere without a Buff because of its versatility. I mean, a neck warmer, face mask, and headband all in one? Talk about a multi-functional gift. But I’ll admit it’s not the most exciting present to unwrap (it’s basically the equivalent to gifting socks—only the most practical giftees on your list will be elated), so it can also make a great stocking stuffer.

Quad Trek, All-Terrain Snow Cleats — $25.00

When the trail is covered in snow, microspikes make it possible to keep going. They stretch onto nearly any pair of shoes and the spikes bite into the ground to prevent slipping. Your friends and family in icy climates will appreciate them.

Smartwool, Athletic Targeted Cushion Crew Socks — $23.00

Socks are a great gift for hikers because 1) every hiker needs a good pair of socks (or five), and 2) hikers never want to buy them. This pair from Smartwool is my absolute favorite because they offer a bit of cushion without feeling too bulky or warm. They fit like a glove—no awkward bunching around the heel or extra fabric to create blisters. Plus, they’re not just your basic hiking socks; they have a cute floral print that somehow looks good with all of my shoes.

The Landmark Project, National Parks Poster — $26.00

It’s true that many hikers care more about the outdoors than indoors, so if their home needs a little love, get them an illustrated poster of their favorite national park or hiking destination. From Yellowstone National Park to Big Sur to the White Mountains, this collection has something for everyone in a colorful, screen-printed style. And this gift will become a household staple for many years to come: Each poster is printed on museum-grade archival paper that never yellows or fades.

Arc’Teryx, Rho Glove Liners — $40.00

Extremities are one of the first things to get cold, so a good pair of glove liners should be a first line of defense. These glove liners are all about warmth but still have a slim, discreet profile so it’s easy to complete tasks like unzipping a backpack or sending a quick text.

Hydro Flask, Food Jar – 20 oz. — $40.00

For the eco-friendly hiker on your list who prefers to ditch the plastic, Hydro Flask’s food jar comes in clutch for carrying a hot meal while on the trail. Perfect for oatmeal, soup, or a steaming bowl of chili when they reach the summit, this container is leak-proof and will keep food hot (or cold) for hours.

Hoka, Coldsnap Fleece Headband — $24.00

Keep their ears warm on and off the trails with this fleece headband from Hoka. While other headbands get scratchy and uncomfortable, this one is made from the softest fleece, so they can wear for hours in comfort. And the panels are big enough to *actually* cover their ears without slipping or sliding all over the place. It’s the little things…

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.



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