In search of the perfect gift for the avid backpacker in your life?
Whether your friend or family member already has their complete gear set up or are just getting started, this gift guide for backpackers will have something for everyone.
Each item on this list I personally own as use and can vouch for its usefulness, durability, and quality — or have placed on my own wish list (Cole I hope you’re reading this. hint hint).
Give the gift of stoke this year and help your loved ones spend more time outdoors. Check out my top 35 gifts this season for backpackers, ranging from just $6 to over $500.
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Unique and Practical Gifts for Backpackers
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that may earn me a small commission should you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). Thank you in advance for your support!
Gifts for Backpacker Under $30
Looking for an awesome and unique gift this year that won’t break the bank? Check out my top picks for gifts for backpackers under $30.
1. Nite Ize G-Series Carabiner Keychain
Carabiners are a great gift for backpackers because they are something you can never have enough of. These clips are small but mighty, made with strong stainless steel, and so light that you don’t even notice they are there.
When I’m backpacking I always have a handful of these clipped onto my pack carrying my hat, Kula Cloth, and cup, among other things.
2. Voile Strap with Nylon Buckle
Voile Straps are another great gift item for backpackers because again, you can always find a use for them.
For instance, when backpacking, I like to remove both my pillow and sleeping pad from their stuff sacks, tightly roll them together, and secure them with a Voile Strap.
The uses for these straps are endless, even if they don’t make it onto the backpacking trip.
Shop Voile Straps ($8)
3. REI Co-op Travel Kit
There’s nothing worse than having a ton of tiny little items floating aimlessly around in a backpack. I love this REI dop kit because it weighs practically nothing and keeps all of the where-do-put-these items all in one place.
As the name suggests, it also makes a great travel kit for any kind of trip — not just backpacking.
Shop REI Travel Kits ($17)
4. SeaToSummit Coffee Dripper
Looking for the perfect gift for a backpacker who would never dare venture into the outdoors without bringing along copious amounts of coffee?
The Sea to Summit pour-over is incredibly lightweight, easy to clean, and extremely affordable. All the coffee-loving, backpackers in your life will appreciate this one, trust me.
5. Nemo Chipper Seat Pad
The Nemo Chipper Seat Pad is a practical, and affordable gift that any backpacker will love to have.
The seat pad is perfect for both backpacking trips and longer day hikes. It’s lightweight, made from recycled sleeping bag materials, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Consider it the gift that no one knows they need, but everyone will love.
Shop Nemo Seat Pad ($20)
6. Base Camp Question Cards
Looking for a gift idea for a backpacker that’s more fun and unique rather than technical? These Base Camp Question Cards are always a hit. We have our own deck and we love to take these cards backpacking (or road-tripping) for an awesome get-to-know-you time-passing activity.
The questions range from light and goofy to personal and thought-provoking. The cards also double as a regular set of playing cards making the perfect 2-in-1 gift.
To make them even better, this outdoorsy gift keeps on giving: for every deck purchased, Basecamp Card Co. plants one tree!
7. Kula Cloth
I never make an outdoorsy gift guide without taking the opportunity to include one of my favorite women-owned brands: Kula Cloth.
A Kula Cloth is a reusable antimicrobial pee cloth that every female backpacker should have clipped to her pack. It’s an affordable gift for backpackers that weighs nothing, clips directly onto a backpack, comes in fun colors, prints, and patterns, and is good for the environment.
Shop Kula Cloth ($23)
8. TheTentLab The DirtSaw Deuce #3 Trowel
Am I suggesting you gift someone a shovel so they can bury their poop? Yes, yes I am.
Bottom line, every backpacker needs one. It’s not glamorous by any means but it’s necessary and will 1000% get put to use.
Shop Trowels ($24)
9. HydraPak Seeker 2L Collapsible Water Container
We recently made the shift from using traditional back-insert water reservoirs to these HydraPak water containers that we can slip into the side pockets of our backpacks.
This collapsible water storage system is an awesome gift for backpackers because it makes life on the trail easier. Who doesn’t love that?
These collapsible bottles can be used as just that, bottles, or paired with the Plug and Play Cap can be used as water reservoirs.
Shop HydraPak Water Bottles ($25)
10. National Parks Coast to Coast: 100 Best Hikes
Have a backpacker in mind who already has all of the bells and whistles to get them outdoors?
Consider gifting them this book from FalconGuides featuring the top 100 Best Hikes. This book belongs in the home of every avid National Park go-er and adventurer. It is complete with comprehensive trail profiles, maps, and stunning photos by Backpacker Magazine.
This is one of the only items on this list of gifts for backpackers that I don’t already own — but absolutely need. Hint Hint.
Shop Trail Guides ($26)
11. TOAKS Titanium 750ml Pot
This titanium pot from Toaks is a great gift for any backpacker who is working towards an ultralight setup.
While the pot only weighs a mere 2.6 ounces, it’s designed to withstand the wear and tear of trail life. The pot can nest the smaller 375ml Toaks cup (which I recommend also) or a gas canister.
There’s nothing flashy about this gift but it’s guaranteed to get used and loved for years to come.
Shop Toaks Pots ($27)
Gifts for Backpackers Under $75
Got a little more to spend but don’t know where to start? Choose from my list of favorite gifts for backpackers under $75.
12. AllTrails Pro Membership
The AllTrails Pro Membership is a membership every avid hiker needs but has probably convinced themselves that they can live without.
The pro version allows hikers to download offline maps, create trail “lists,” favorite hikes, and navigate in real time on the trail. I never step onto a trail or start a backpacking trip without it. — and the backpacker in your life shouldn’t either.
13. BioLite Charge 20 PD Power Bank
I’m a firm believer that every backpacker should go into airplane mode the moment they set foot on the trail and never look back. Unfortunately, sometimes our responsibilities say otherwise.
The BioLite Charge 20 PD Power Bank is a great gift for backpackers because it allows them to keep their devices charged, should they need it, without providing more power than is necessary. This no-frills design keeps the power bank small and lightweight, perfect for the backcountry.
Shop BioLite Power Banks ($40)
14. Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Travel Day Pack
Sea to Summit has done it again, creating a rad product in an absurdly light form. The Ultra-Sil Travel Day Pack is an awesome gift for backpackers because it can be used on the trail, on a trip, or just to have on hand in the car.
It’s the perfect summit bag to take backpacking because it weighs practically nothing, packs down to about the size of an egg, and can clip directly onto a pack.
Shop Sea to Summit Packs ($45)
15. Wondry Parks of the USA Bucket List Bottle
Again, maybe you know a backpacker who already has all the gear and gadgets — this Wondry Parks of the USA bottle is a fun and unique gift idea that all adventurers will love.
What outdoorsy girl or guy doesn’t love to have more water bottles than they need and to put endless amounts of stickers on said water bottle?
To make this gift even more enticing, Wondery was founded to encourage more women, all women, to get outdoors.
Who doesn’t want to support that?
16. Black Diamond Storm 450 Headlamp
Every backpacker needs a dependable headlamp to take with them on multiday mountain or camping trips.
The Black Diamond Storm 450 Headlamp is extremely bright in full strength as well as dimmable. It also offers red and blue night modes, perfect for those early or late nights around camp, and has a dependable lock mode so it can be stuffed worry-free into a pack.
17. NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow
Pillows are a bit of a controversy in the backpacking community when it comes to their necessity. I, however, never backpack without one. It’s hard to put in good miles if you toss and turn in your tent all night.
The NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow is a great gift for backpackers because it is a luxury item they might not be willingly to splurge on.
Weighing only 3 ounces, the Nemo Elite Pillow doesn’t contribute unnecessary weight, packs away tightly, surprisingly delivers on comfort, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Shop NEMO Pillows ($60)
18. Snow Peak LiteMax Stove
The Snow Peak LiteMax Stove is our newest upgraded piece of gear and is worth the switch. We’ve owned several stoves over the year but none as compact and lightweight.
The stove has a flame-controlled valve, weighs under 2 ounces, and is equipped with foldable arms for easy packing.
Shop Snow Peak Stoves ($60)
19. ENO Sub6 Hammock
Another gift for backpackers that is absolutely unnecessary in the backcountry and yet a non-negotiable in my book.
ENO outdid themselves with the Sub6 Hammock, creating an ultralight product that you don’t have to feel guilty about taking into the backcountry. It weighs less than 6 ounces, can hold up to 300 lbs., and packs tightly into a stuffsack pocket.
Do they need it while backpacking? No. Will they love it and be glad they brought it? Without a doubt.
Shop ENO Hammocks ($70)
20. Sea to Summit Thermolite Sleeping Bag Liner
New sleeping bags are incredibly expensive, especially if shopping for a low-degree bag.
Another option, and the one I opted for myself, is to get a sleeping bag liner. Sea to Summit Thermolite Sleeping Bag Liner adds up to 25°F while only adding 14 ounces to your pack weight.
Know a backpacker who wants a warmer sleeping bag but isn’t ready for the financial investment? Look no further.
Gift for Backpackers $75 and Over
Looking to spend a little extra for that special outdoor-loving girl of yours? Below are my top recommendations for awesome gifts for backpackers $75 and up.
21. America the Beautiful National Park Pass
Giving the gift of endless National Parks adventures all around the country is hard to top. Gifting epic items is always fun, but gifting an experience (that keeps on giving) takes the cake.
For the backpackers who don’t need any more gear, consider giving them the America the Beautiful National Park Pass and help them get one step closer to the new adventures waiting.
Who knows, maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to tag along on some of their park adventures.
22. BearVault BV450 Jaunt Bear Canister
This no-frills gift is perfect for backpackers living in, or planning to do a lot of hiking in, bear country.
Bear vaults our big and bulky but a non-negotiable when it comes to keeping both hikers and bears safe. Many hikers will postpone purchasing one until it’s an absolute necessity, making it the perfect gift option this season.
Shop Bear Vaults ($84)
23. Amazon Kindle
Know a backpacker who’s also a dedicated reader?
With a paper-like display and the lightest version yet, this Kindle is an awesome idea for hikers who like to lay under a tree after a long day of hiking and unwind in a good book.
The battery lasts an impressive 6 weeks and the device holds over thousands of books so there’s no fear of it dying on the trail or running out of storage.
Shop Amazon Kindles ($99)
24. REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair
Another controversial, is-it-necessary item is a camp chair. Take my word for it though when I say there’s nothing better than arriving at camp after a long day of hiking and getting to plop down into a chair.
The REI Flexlite chair only weighs 1lb, assembles and breaks down easily, and makes those nights at camp that much better.
Shop REI Chairs ($100)
25. Outdoor Research Tundra Trax Booties
Who doesn’t want a sleeping bag for their feet?
Now that I own a pair of insulated booties, I’m not sure how I ever survived the winter without them. Booties are a great gift for any backpacker who hates being cold.
Backpacking trips aside, They are also the perfect accessory for any camping trip, post-ski-day, or lazy evening around the house.
26. Katadyn BeFree Gravity Water Filter
I’m confident the Katadyn BeFree Gravity Water Filter would be a hit if gifted to a backpacker because it is on my own wish list this year.
This filter can hold 6 liters and filter up to 2 liters per minute — an absolute game changer when backpacking with friends. Not to mention, it only weighs .5lbs.
No one wants to have to constantly squeeze or pump to have clean water after a long day on a trail.
Shop Katadyn Water Filters ($110)
27. Saucony Peregrine 13 Trail-Running Shoes
I’ve tried them all: several brands of high-top boots, low-tops, trail runners — you name it.
After years of trial and error, I’ve finally found the perfect hiking shoes. The Saucony Peregrines have great grippy tread, a rock plate for rugged terrain, and weigh in at just 1lb.
Know a backpacker looking to upgrade their trail shoes? Look no further.
Shop Saucony Trail Runners ($140)
Gifts for Backpackers $150 and Up
Tis’ the season to go big — check out my favorite adventure items this season that I’m certain every avid backpacker will drool over. Here are my top gifts I recommend for backpackers over $150.
28. ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp
For the backpackers who love to Hammock camp, a trust tarp is a must.
Anytime we head into the backcountry with just our hammocks, we rely on the ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp to keep us sheltered and dry. Designed with an overlapping door system, this ENO tarp steps it up a notch by providing a fortress.
Despite its luxury design, the tarp weighs only 1.5 lbs and fits nicely into a stuff sack.
Shop ENO Tarps ($169)
29. Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad
Reasons I love this sleeping pad: it’s ultralight, comfortable, and quiet.
Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad is compact enough that it doesn’t weigh down your pack but large enough that you aren’t constantly rolling off it in the middle of the night. It’s a great gift for backpackers looking to level up their sleeping pad.
As with all Nemo gear, this sleeping pad is covered by a lifetime warranty.
Shop Nemo Sleeping Pads ($180)
30. Shokz OpenRun Pro Headphones
While I am not a music or podcast listener while backpacking, others are.
Shokz OpenRun Pro Headphones are a great option when it comes to using headphones on the trail because they use bone-conduction technology for open-ear listening. A.k.a. hikers can still hear their surroundings, while also listening to their favorite playlist or podcast.
These are Cole’s go-to headphones when he’s out adventuring — skiing, mountain biking, backpacking, you name it.
Shop Aftershokz Headphones ($180)
31. Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles
It took me years to cave and finally invest in a pair of trekking poles. Now that I use and love them, I’m kicking myself for being so stubborn.
These Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles are an epic gift for backpackers because they are ultralight, and 3-part foldable making them easy to stash when they aren’t in use.
The backpacker, as well as the backpacker’s knees will thank you.
P.S. — I also use my Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles as my ski poles! Win win.
32. Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag
The Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag is consistently a top contender for the best sleeping for your buck.
This award-winning bag is warm, durable, and quick drying. While it’s not as packable or lightweight as more expensive options, it’s an awesome budget-friendly alternative that any backpacker would be stoked to receive.
Shop Kelty Sleeping Bags ($215)
33. Gregory Deva 60 Backpack
Gregory is king when it comes to creating top-of-the-line backpacking packs.
I have personally used and loved the Gregory Deva 60 backpack for years and stand by its comfort, performance, and durability. 60L is also the sweet spot — big enough for multi-day trips but not too big that you overpack.
If the backpacker in question hasn’t quite found the pack for themselves, rest assured knowing this Gregory Deva 60L will be a huge hit.
Shop Gregory Backpacks ($330)
34. Garmin Instinct 2 Solar GPS Watch
Finally, a GPS watch without the shocking price tag (relatively speaking).
The Garmin Instinct Solar 2 manages to keep the price affordable while providing a durable, lightweight, and highly functional watch. Not to mention, this watch has an unbelievable battery life — lasting up to 65 days without a charge.
The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar GPS Watch is the gift for backpackers looking to hit the trail with confidence.
Shop Garmin Watches ($400)
35. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent
If Cole were to pick the tent of his dreams, it would be the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent.
This tent is incredibly durable, lightweight, and packed with features. From the off-the-floor storage to the awning-style vestibules this tent has thought of everything.
From multi-day backpacking trips to last-minute camping trips this tent will be used for countless adventures and years to come.
Shop Big Agnes Tents ($500)
If you still can’t make up your mind, you can never go wrong with gifting an REI Gift Card so they can choose the perfect gift for themselves that they will not only love but use.
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