‘Tis the season to do, say, and / or give some nice things to the people you care about, so this week we’re sharing a few of our own favorite gift ideas.
(And don’t feel bad about picking up one or two of these items for yourself. Because screw it, you probably deserve it. Here’s to you, too.)
If you’re shopping for anyone that refers to where they live as “Up North,” then they’ll probably appreciate one of these super-soft, warm hats. They’re made in Minnesota, and for every North Hat sold, Askov Finlayson makes a donation to organizations working to fight climate change as a part of their “Keep the North Cold” campaign.
- Peak Designs Capture Pro ($79.95)
Of all the reviews I’ve done for Blister, this is the one that the most people have responded to along the lines of, “I read your review and bought this for my girlfriend / boyfriend / dad!” It’s one of those things that is just really simple, works really well, fills a real need, and makes life easier as a photographer. Peak Designs recently launched an updated Capture system on Kickstarter that’s slimmer, lighter, prettier, and easy to use. This is a really good gift for anyone on your list who owns a camera.
- Be More Stoked T-Shirts ($25-$30)
Because nothing says “Happy Holidays, you are really important to me” like giving people shirts with my own artwork on them!
- Skida Wheelock Knit Hat ($82.00)
If this seems a bit pricey for a ski hat, just know that this is a 100% cashmere ski hat, it’s a steal. Besides being ridiculously soft, this hat looks good and is comfortable on small to large heads sizes. We’ve worn this hat just about everywhere from skinning up the mountain to strolls through the city.
- Stoic Merino Performance Boy Brief (currently on sale for $24.97)
I’ve never been a fan of boy briefs until I tried the Stoic Merino Performance Boy Brief. Made from 100% soft merino wool, the boy briefs not only help prevent a cold butt on those chilly ski days, they are also ideal for travel, sleeping, cruising around town on a bike, nights at the cabin, or basically anytime. I own multiple pairs and have gifted these to many friends and family members.
- Cacoco Drinking Chocolate ($13.99)
We first sampled Cacoco Drinking Chocolate at a farmers market and have enjoyed it so much it’s been reordered multiple times. As a chocolate fiend, this is by far the most delicious recovery drink. And it’s also surprisingly easy to make as all you need is hot water and a blender or shaker.
Every rider needs a multi-tool, and the Park IB-3 has the tools you need in a tidy, reasonably priced package. There are fancier tools out there with more gadgets, but the IB-3 cuts out the fluff and keeps the most important options.
No skier can have too many of these socks! With merino blend, this sock has nice, thin, continuous stitching that does not obstruct the fit of your boot. And I find these very-thin socks to be warm enough for cold days, and they never bunch in the heel or toes.
This bluetooth and wireless headphone set is easy to use, can work with most helmets (with headphone capability), and makes music a readily-available gift to any skier.
- Outdoor Tech Yowie ($11.95)
This is pretty much the only piece of gear I own that comes with me every single day I go outside from October to June. I’ve used pretty much every thin facemask/tube on the market and I keep coming back to the Yowie. It’s the thinnest and most comfortable one of the market.
- TCHO Chocolate (3.99 and up)
I’ve tried more kinds of dark chocolate in the last few years than I have skis, and TCHO is my current favorite. All of their offerings are tasty but I’m particularly fond of the Mint Chip Gelato which, as the name implies, is a 64% dark chocolate bar with tiny chunks of freeze dried gelato blended in. Perfect for the skin track or after dinner snack!
- Nikwax Techwash and TX Direct (Duopack available for $20.75)
Waterproof / breathable fabrics work better when they’re clean, and to clean them properly requires appropriate products. I’ve been using the Nikwax branded products for as long as I can remember, and overall, have been pleased. If you haven’t gotten in the habit of routinely washing your outerwear, give it a try and enjoy the resurrection of your favorite clothing!
- The Push, by Tommy Caldwell ($17.70)
The best book I read in 2017 was, without question, The Push. I first read it when it came out in hardback, then I listened to the audiobook version of it, then I drove to the home of Tommy Caldwell himself to make him talk about the book (you can listen to our conversation here.)
Biggest thing: if you already like climbing, read this book. And if you aren’t into climbing, read this book anyway. Because you will be hard-pressed to find a more transparent and adept self-assessment of growing up; figuring out who you’re supposed to become in this world and what you’re supposed to do; dealing with adversity; setting expectations; not letting other people’s expectations define you; and more.
I’m going to try to flesh some of this out further in a full review, but for now I’l just end by saying that this book is definitely a gift.
- Arcade Belts ($26-$32)
These are basically the Blister Pro of belts, and everyone should own at least 1 pair. So If you don’t know what to get the skier, snowboarder, mountain biker, or backpacker in your life, just buy them 1 – 5 pairs of these. Done. They’ll be psyched.
I personally make use of the Arcade Adventure Belt, Smartweave Belt, and Crossover Belt every week, so just choose how dressed-up you feel like going. Get these for any of your loved ones who wear pants, and be sure to also order a pair or two for yourself.
- Dry Guy Travel Dry DX ($39.95)
I wrote this last year, and if you didn’t listen to me then, get your act together because I mean it: Every skier and snowboarder on earth should have this product. It is super portable (just stow the Dry DX in your boots), quiet, and it works — after a day riding lifts or backcountry touring, plug in the Dry DX (into your car outlet or wall outlet), place them in your boots, and your boots won’t be wet the next day and your liners won’t stink. It’s a win / win, and I use this product every single time I ski.
Because there’s a ton of good info about ski gear in here, and even if your loved one can’t read, it looks great on a coffee table and has lots of colorful photos.
- 12-Month Blister Membership ($59.99)
The Blister Membership:
(1) Comes with the buyer’s guide + gives you or your special skier friend access to every single bit of content on Blister (including Deep Dive articles, Flash Reviews, etc) plus access to a growing number of exclusive Blister deals.
(2) Guarantees that we’ll get you answers to your questions on the site or the questions you email to us (we get so many questions, we simply can’t reply to everyone anymore, or else we would sleep even less than we already do)
(3) Gets you a growing list of great deals that will actually more than pay for the cost of the Blister Membership.
(4) Includes a copy of the digital-edition of the Blister Winter Buyer’s Guide — and a print copy of the Guide, too, if you hurry up and purchase a membership before we run out of Guides.
So grab a Blister Membership for yourself, your dad, that weird uncle of yours … we don’t discriminate.