Every year, we see a plethora of gift guides; Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and Birthday gift ideas. And while it’s wonderful to honor your spouse, your parents (and the parents of your kids), your kids, and your friends, it’s also a good idea to treat yourself now and then.
In honor of selfish gift-giving, we offer this self-celebration gift guide. We’ve found some great gear that anyone who loves the outdoors would appreciate gifting themselves.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro smart watch
Smart watches are everywhere these days, but only one has served the outdoor community for decades: Suunto. In the 1990s Suunto offered award-winning barometric altimeter watches and in the early 2000s, they introduced their wrist-based GPS receiver (the Suunto X9).
Today, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro offers an unmatched collection of features for the tech-savvy outdoor adventurer. The Suunto 9 Peak Pro pairs via Bluetooth with iOS and Android devices, providing a quick link to their Suunto App for activity and mapping transfers. The 9 Peak offers health and fitness data thanks to an efficient health sensor on the back of the watch, and route data via GPS and barometric altimeter. In short, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro is a full-function Smart Watch as well as a stand-alone training and adventure tool. $409. Buy now.
REI Basecamp 6 tent
The REI Basecamp 6 stands as a shelter big enough for a family of six along with their canine companions. In total, you’ll have more than 84 square feet of interior floor space (110-inches by 110-inches) and nearly 50 sq. ft. of vestibule space (27 sq ft on front door, 17 sq ft in back).
With its 4-pole (in sleeves) structure, with a 5th pole extending the front vestibule, the tent is sturdy though a bit slow to set up. The tent vents well, with zip-out panels over door windows and lower vents, but buttons up tight to seal out even the heaviest rains. With an interior peak height of 74 inches, I found that I (6’2” tall) could stand comfortably inside. The Basecamp 6’s full-coverage rainfly protects the tent from drenching rains, and it proved strong enough to withstand sustained winds of 35 mph during use in North Idaho with a fall thunderstorm.
The Basecamp 6 weighs 20 lbs., 10 oz. $384. Buy now.
Jack Wolfskin Tapeless 2.0 Jacket
The search for the perfect waterproof shell continues but perfection is one step closer to us thanks to Jack Wolfskin’s new technology in the Tapeless 2.0 jacket.
Rather than stitching and taping seams in the jacket construction, Jack Wolfskin welds the fabric seams, creating a bonding seam that is completely waterproof without secondary technology.
The Tapeless 2.0 jacket features a slim fit that allows good freedom of movement without excessive draping. The generous hood and drawstring hems allow you seal the garment at the top and bottom so even in drenching rains, you’ll stay dry and comfortable. The proprietary Texapore Core membrane is fully waterproof and breathes well. With deep side pockets and all the weather-tight features, the Tapeless 2.0 Jacket is great option for hikers and climbers. $520. Buy now.
Redington Bass Field Kit
Fly fishing truly is a sport for anyone who wants to enjoy the poetry of casting an imitation fly to a feeding fish. Traditionally, fly fishing has been a trout-centric activity but Redington now encourages anglers to use their fly rods to target bass.
The new Redington Bass Kit includes rod, reel, and line designed specifically for warm-water fishing, and the kit brings it all together for less than half the cost of many premium rods. The medium-fast action rod in the Bass kit proved perfect for the first-time caster as well as experienced fly casters. We threw big surface poppers to smallmouth bass from kayaks on lakes around the South Puget Sound region of Washington and hauled in some personal best fish with this rig.
The Bass Field Kit makes fly fishing fun for all species of fish, at a great price. $390. Buy now.
Zenbivy Core Bed system
Zenbivy has earned a stellar reputation for crafting comfortable camp beds. Zenbivy beds meld sleeping bags with pads, creating an integrated sleep system that is warm, cozy, comfortable, and affordable. Their latest offering, the Core Bed, takes these concepts to the pinnacle of design perfection.
The Core Bed boasts a 650-fill down quilted cover featuring a 3D foot section – dubbed the Fast Footbox – that allows sleepers to move into any position through the night without having your feet tangle in the bed. The Core Bed also replaces hard, snag-prone zippers with a sleek clip system for trouble-free coziness.
The quilt pairs with a sleek sheet that cradles the sleeping pad, offering unified bed over unconditional comfort. The Core Bed is available in a number of styles, including a 10ºF down version, and 25ºF down or synthetic versions. We tested the 25ºF Down bed. $189. Buy now.
Cascade Mountain Tech lantern and flashlight
Sometimes the best gifts are the simplest. And what’s simpler for campers than the need for lights.
Cascade Mountain Tech offers some great options for camp lighting, but their best products are their new Monahan Rechargeable Retro Lantern, and the IPX8 LED flashlight.
The Retro lantern boasts a 450-lumen LED ‘bulb’ that can be asdjusted from a warm yellow glow to a bright white orb of light. The USB-chargeable battery provides light for up to 60 hours, though we found that normal camp use on medium setting usually gave us at least 30 hours of light – more than enough for most long weekend camps. $30. Buy now
The Cascade Mountain Tech IPX8 Flashlight uses 4 AA batterys to generate 1000 lumens of LED light. This waterproof flashlight is a workhorse around camp, or around home. We used it to help set up camps after long drives into the backcountry, and to help us keep an eye on our dark chocolate lab puppy as she explored our unlighted back yard at home. The IPX8 is priced low enough that every camper and homeowner should have a couple on hand. $20. Buy now.