We’ve now shared our reviewers’ top picks for stocking stuffers and bigger gifts that you might need to hide in the garage, and here they’re chiming in with their thoughts on the best gifts to put under the tree.
These are the best sweatpants I’ve ever used. They’re soft, stretchy, they look just stylish enough that I don’t have to hide my face while wearing them in public, and they’re made of merino wool, so you can wear them for a disgustingly long period of time before you need to wash them.
In other words, they’re the perfect gift for someone who refuses to wear real pants.
While Mons Royale makes my favorite sweatpant, Everlane makes my favorite cotton t-shirts. Their T’s are super soft, durable, comfy, and they have what I consider to be a perfect fit — fairly slim and flattering, but nowhere near skin-tight.
Everlane’s T’s are on par with those that cost more than twice as much, meaning you can get your special someone a few (or just get a few for yourself).
This is a fantastic resort and sidecountry pack. It doesn’t move around when you’re headed downhill, it carries skis better than any other 20L pack I’ve used, and it’s proven to be very durable. I think it’d make a great gift for anyone who likes to carry some stuff when they’re skiing inbounds, or anyone who likes to go out for quick day-tours.
Some people love to wax their skis, but most of us just want fast skis with minimal time on the ski bench. DPS’s Phantom permanent glide treatment works as well as temperature-dedicated wax in most conditions, is more environmentally friendly than many waxes, and, after the initial application, you shouldn’t have to worry about your bases being fast again until it’s time for a new pair of skis or board. We recommend buying from a shop with a dedicated Phantom curing station (click here to find one) and have them do the application for you, since it makes things easier and more straightforward.
Climate change is real, human activity is the cause, and it’s eventually going to ruin winter for all of us and our next generations. Please consider donating money to POW (or another climate-change advocacy group such as the Natural Resource Defense Council) for your winter- and nature-loving friends and family in lieu of other presents.
I asked for this last year, and have taken it with me every time I’ve left the house for the mountains since. All the tools on it are handy and work well, but I find myself constantly using the bit driver. If you get the extra bit set you’ve got a full arsenal of screwdriver, torx, and hex bits that are all packable and easy to bring with you. It even has pozi-drive bits for working on your bindings. It doubles as a bike multi-tool in the summer, and has a good, sharp knife blade. Be prepared every time you head out the door.
Unexpectedly spending the night outside sucks. With a good emergency bivy, it sucks a lot less. Give your loved ones a warm hug (even when you’re not around) with a good backup bivy. Hopefully they’ll never have to use it, but there’s no reason for them not to have it in their pack.
A Donation to your local Search and Rescue Group
Just like insurance, you hope you’ll never need SAR, but if you do, then you really, really do. Any donations you give go straight toward making your or your friends’ rescue safer, faster, and more comfortable.
Whether you’re deep in the backcountry or indoors knocking back eggnog, there’s nothing quite like a high-quality merino-wool layer, and this is one of the best. And if the medium weight of the Quantum hoody isn’t what you’re looking for, Icebreaker makes similar pieces in both a heavier and lighter constructions.
For anyone using a GoPro 2-5, it might be time for an upgrade. The GoPro Hero7 Black offers some pretty sweet video features (including insanely good stabilization) and is an impressive still-photo camera to boot. Plus, GoPro is currently offering a deal where you can get $100 off a Hero7 Silver if you trade in your old GoPro.
My husband and I both purchased a pair of these pants three years ago in anticipation of cold, wet days of skiing in Japan. Fortunately, the temps weren’t as bad as we expected, but that didn’t stop us from wearing them around our rental house. And three years later, we both wear our R1 Fleece Pants multiple times a week throughout all but the hottest months of the year. These are super comfy and warm technical lounge pants that also work well as an extra layer under ski pants (or waders) for those super cold days.
While there are a number of outdoor gear companies making soft, warm blankets, my current favorite is the Oversized Down Throw from Eddie Bauer. This throw perfectly combines the warmth of a down blanket with the softness of a fleece layer. Yes — both warm and soft. I recently purchased a second so my husband and I can put a stop to our evening blanket battle.
Few things in this world make me happier than a good softshell, and at the moment, the R1 TechFace Hoody is my favorite. For high-output outdoor adventures in decent weather, the R1 TechFace strikes the perfect balance of weather protection and breathability. If there are any backcountry skiers, climbers, or mountaineers on your list, the R1 TechFace could make for a great gift. If you want to read several thousand words about why we think this jacket is awesome, check out our full review.
Yes, it’s expensive. But it is also a thing of beauty. The Rab Zero G has the highest warmth-to-weight ratio of any jacket we’ve ever used here at Blister. And it might be the most beautifully constructed piece of apparel we’ve tested as well. If someone on your lists appreciates ultralight gear, or works of down-stuffed art — check out the Zero G.
A classic piece, an American icon, and a really good jacket. The Mackinaw Cruiser has been made by Filson since 1914 and has remained essentially unchanged since then. And in the past few months, it has quickly become my favorite casual jacket in my closet. Formal enough to hit the town, and sturdy enough to outfit a gold miner, the Mackinaw Cruiser is simply classic.
I’m going to start with a recommendation that I offered last year, the Toad & Company Shuteye Pants / pajamas. Because I pretty literally live in these things when I’m at home, year round. (It’s also why I bought a 2nd pair of them, mostly to force myself to wash them on occasion and still be able to be wearing a pair. Is that weird? Yes. But is it true? Also yes.)
If you dislike cold feet, I can also vouch for the OluKai Moloa Slipper. I’ve been using the same pair for a few years now, and they are holding up very well. They are also very warm, which is why my girlfriend ended up requesting a pair of the women’s version, since (thankfully) mine were too big for her, which was stopping her from stealing them. I wear a size 10.5 street shoe, but as with all OluKai products that don’t come in ½ sizes, I drop down to a size 10, and have never had a fit issue.
While this isn’t billed as a coffee-table book, that is exactly what it has become for me, and it is a terrific one. The Art of Getting Lost offers a year’s worth of ideas for different adventures, “big and small.” And the book doesn’t merely show you some nice photos of faraway places — Brendan provides concrete information about how long you can expect the trip / adventure to take; the best time of year to do it; useful, short descriptions of each trip; and links to websites that will provide even more information.
And even if you only end up going on a few of the 50 specific adventures detailed in the book, I can’t overstate the value of flipping through this book and being powerfully reminded of what a great big interesting world we inhabit, and also, being inspired to seek out the adventures that await us quite close to home.
Lastly, as we always say, nothing tells that skier in your life that you care about them and want them to be happy like the gift of a Blister Membership!
(1) Gives you or your special skier friend access to every single bit of content on Blister (including Deep Dive articles, Flash Reviews, etc).
(2) Guarantees that we’ll get you answers to your questions on the site or the questions you email to us. Blister Members can think of us as their personal gear advisors.
(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 print and PDF copy of our 18/19 Winter Buyer’s Guide (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.