If the holidays with the family inspire one thing outside of joy, compassion and a sense of familial love and the brotherhood of man, it’s the desire to get the heck out of doors and leave the noise behind. But in the interest of sharing the love with the outdoor enthusiasts on your list, we’re listing a few of our top picks for gear for getting outdoors, and a few for those of us who like to stay inside, too.
Smartwool Cushy Socks*
Less than $60 will get you a package of three pairs of Cushies, from Steamboat Springs-based Smartwool, when ordered online from the Sundance Catalog. That price alone makes them a perfect stocking stuffer, but add in the fun stripes and the marino wool construction and you’ll realize that socks can not only be fun, but amazingly warm as well.
Eider Belledone Jacket*
Most down jackets are big, puffy and awkward. That’s not the case with the Belledone, which combines the warmth of down with the flexibility and lightweight of a softshell thanks to Eider’s judicious use of Windefender Softshell Stretch panels that allow for freedom of movement while complementing the warmer insulated sections of the parka. The combination works well as a layer for arctic days while also making the Belledone an incredible standalone piece for hiking, climbing and skiing.
Liberty Envy Powder*
Avon, Colo.-based Liberty Skis has been quietly building a reputation for quality products that win magazine ski test awards. The company has recently turned its attention to developing a comprehensive series of women’s skis, headlined by the Envy Powder. With a rockered tip and environmentally friendly bamboo core construction based on a 135-105-125 platform, the Envy Powder comes in lengths of 164cm and 167cm, offering advanced and expert skiers a lightweight, playful ride.
Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail, by Suzanne Roberts
When it gets cold outside, sometimes the best plan is to sit in front of a fire and read about someone else’s adventures. In the summer of 1993, author Suzanne Roberts and two other women set out on a month-long backpack trip in California’s Sierra Mountains. The result is an introspective, raw portrait of her psyche melded with a travel narrative that garnered top honors at the 2012 National Outdoor Book Awards.
Micro-Max 19-in-1 Multi-tool
You just might be able to fix your car with this tiny tool that packs a big punch. A total of 19 tools grace this clever device, including two hex wrenches, six screwdrivers, pliers, a hand drill and most importantly, a bottle opener. We’re still unsure why we need two rulers, though.
Boulder’s very own Zeal Optics is known for developing revolutionary goggles, but the company also makes stylish and functional sunglasses. The Snapshot features a Hyperion Lens which filters out 100 percent UVA, UVB, and UVC, and 95 percent of HEV light (the bad kind which gives you cataracts) and the frame is constructed with eco-friendly Z-resin, a bio-based plastic from Switzerland, which is easy on the environment, and looks good, too.
Sole Insulated Response Custom Footbed
OK, let’s admit it. Custom footbeds are not sexy. They’re boring. But ask any bootfitting pro and they’ll tell you that if you ski or snowboard, you need to customize your boots to get the most performance out of your equipment and have the most fun with your day. Sole provides an affordable way to do this with their do-it-yourself system. Their Insulated Response footbed features 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation so your boots are warmer, too.
Jones Snowboard Solution Split
There’s no argument that snowboarders are at a disadvantage when it comes to backcountry touring. Enter the snowboarder’s secret weapon. Developed by legendary rider Jeremy Jones, the Solution Split features directional rocker, Magnetraction edges and a traditional underfoot camber. Designed to be “split” for backcountry touring approaches, before being reassembled for the ride down, this board is the choice for adventuresome big-mountain snowboarders who find their bliss in backcountry powder.
Justin’s Nut Butter Chocolate Peanut Butter*
Forget the frozen energy bars that taste like cardboard. Justin’s makes a wide variety of peanut and almond butters that come in squeeze packaging. The packets fit easily in our pockets, are simple to use and the choice of flavors keeps campers happy. Our favorite is the chocolate peanut butter.
*Colorado-based brand. If you are looking to support local or regional businesses, check out these local companies or their local and regional affiliates. Keep it Colorado!