Make your friends feel special with these gift ideas under $10.
Looking for gift ideas for the gear enthusiasts in your life? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve handpicked and tested every item on this list, and we’re confident they’ll make great gifts. Plus, each section is split up by price, so you can stick to whatever budget you’re working with.
Read on for the best gifts for daily use, travel, and beyond! Plus, be sure to check out our Deals page for more gift ideas and deals for specific brands.
Gifts Under $10
If you know a frequent traveler who likes a type of toothpaste not offered in travel size, have we got a great idea for you. The Matador Refillable Toothpaste Tubes are travel-size tubes that they can refill with their preferred paste. They come in one- and two-week sizes, and we think the two-week version is perfect for travelers who will stay in one place for a while.
Are you the noisy sleeper in your group of travel friends? Gift them all a set of Matador Travel Earplugs before your next trip! They come in a carrying case that can pop onto a keychain and keep out dust and dirt, so they’ll have them on hand for a red-eye flight or in the hotel room. And hey, if you like to go to bed early and your friends are night owls, you may want to gift some to yourself, too!
This teeny tiny game is smaller than your average bar of soap, so it takes up hardly any space in a travel backpack, but it’s still fun to play when your flight gets delayed or while hanging out on the patio of your Airbnb at night. This pack comes with everything you’d expect of a regular-size UNO deck: cards, instructions, and a box to pack them away, so we think the size-to-fun ratio is just right.
As even Apple turns to USB-C, you wouldn’t think you’d need an adapter. However, there are plenty of places where you’ll find USB-A plugs, like hotel rooms. This tiny tech comes in handy for the traveler in your life who needs to transfer data between devices with different inputs or wants to charge their phone on the plane.
Buying a replacement for that jacket you ripped on your latest rock-climbing adventure isn’t always possible when you’re on the road (not to mention the environmental implications). This tenacious tape seals tears and prevents them from spreading, ensuring a ripped jacket doesn’t turn into a ruined one.
The humangear GoTubb is a great spot to store snacks, medication, or other little knick-knacks. The best thing about it? You can open it with one hand. It’s ideal for multitaskers, snack enthusiasts, and those after our own hearts—the organization-obsessed.
All seven tools in this compact, TSA-compliant multi-tool are handy to have when jet-setting around the world or lounging around the house. Your loved one will never have to deal with a wobbly chair or wire that needs stripping again. Plus, there’s a bottle opener when it’s time to reward all their labor.
This is perfect for everyone as bothered by unkempt straps as we are. Yes, we know some of you don’t mind having your pack’s shoulder or waist straps run free, but for the rest of us, Tom Bihn offers a solution for packs without their own strap management systems. Simply wrap it around whatever strap needs keeping, and you’ll be good to go.
We know deodorant doesn’t sound like the most ideal present to give over the holidays, but this really is the gift that keeps on giving. Chemical-free and long-lasting, this travel stick will keep up with your special someone through months (and months) of use!
We don’t think you can ever have enough S-Biners, and these even lock! Available in three sizes, tons of colors, and aluminum or stainless steel options, these handy little gadgets are easy to use and lock using a hard plastic tab that slides into the top of the clip. We use them for holding keys, attaching gear to a travel backpack, or pretty much anything else you can think of. A built-in lip keeps it from sliding off, so we rarely leave the house without them.
Sick of digging around in the dark for that tiny travel tube of toothpaste? Enter the Aurelle TOOB brush, which solves that problem by putting a refillable toothpaste tube right in the handle of the brush. Its flat base allows it to stand, which keeps it sanitary and off hotel counters, and the tube will hold about two weeks’ worth of toothpaste. The best part? It’s refillable with any toothpaste instead of having to purchase proprietary products. Perfect for the minimalist traveler or tossing in a bag for use after lunch.
If you’re traveling this holiday season, this is a gift you’ll want to give yourself to be ready for all that Christmas morning unboxing and assembly. With five tools in one tiny package, you’ll be ready for whatever gift lands in your—or your kid’s—lap. Also great for the frequent traveler, the DoohicKey includes a screwdriver, box cutter, ruler, wrench, and bottle opener on one convenient carabiner-like keychain. You’ll always be ready to open deliveries from Prime or Hello Fresh, and with its petite size, you can be prepared without having to bring the whole toolbox.
With 18 different uses, this soap is one of our ultimate packing hacks. It works for washing hair, body, an Airbnb, or even teeth (It still tastes like soap, though, so this might not be an application you want to recommend!). This is the original eco-friendly, minimalist cleaner, with scents ranging from peppermint and eucalyptus to tea tree, lavender, citrus, and rose. Bottled in 100% post-consumer recycled packaging, non-GMO and Fair Trade Certified, it’s good for head-to-toe cleaning and good for the planet.
If you’re really looking to impress the gear-obsessed friends in your life, find something they might not think to get for themselves. Luckily, some of our favorite gift ideas are less than $25.
Gifts Under $25
One of the most precious gifts anyone could give a friend is the gift of peace and quiet, a luxury your friend might not have if they’re traveling. Enter the Loop Quiet Earplugs. These block most noises around the 25-27 dB range, and they come in a compact travel case that your friend can easily toss in their toiletry kit or sling. They come with a few choices of earbuds, too, so they’ll be able to dial in the fit to their ear size.
While your phone has a built-in light, having a stand-alone flashlight is handy for travelers who are exploring a new destination and want to save their battery or for reading in bed while a travel companion rests. The TIKI is tiny, and it can clip to a keyring or travel daypack so they can have it at all times. They can use different brightness settings depending on how long and often they press the power button, and there’s also a UV light to detect forged bills and a white LED light for that bedtime reading. They won’t need to find extra batteries when it dies, either; the 130 mAh battery lasts up to 40 hours and recharges via micro-USB.
The DJ in your group probably loves being able to bring the playlist wherever they travel, and they can with this mini waterproof speaker. It weighs less than 4 ounces but still has pretty good sound quality. Plus, it’s waterproof in case it falls in the pool or they get caught in the rain. It won’t take up much room in their travel backpack, and they can even clip it to their bag with a carabiner. It has buttons to play and pause music, skip tracks, and even answer your call, although it doesn’t have a built-in microphone, so they’ll have to find their phone so you can catch up on old times.
Zip ties are useful, but what’s even more useful is a zip tie that you can use over and over again—that’s what the MODL Outdoors Infinity Tool is. Help your friends carry even more gear by handing them one of these and letting them strap shoes, bottles, and even tripods to their bags (provided their bags have loops to hang these off of). It’s very adjustable thanks to the entire length being made of loops where you can lock the nub in place. The silicon material has a decent amount of stretch as well, so it’s not too difficult to really wrap and cinch over irregularly shaped items. Oh, and yes, you can daisy chain these together—get different colors for different friends!
If you’re traveling to another country, it’s convenient to keep travel documents like your passport stored with your cash and cards. The Zero Grid Passport Wallet can carry it all, and it takes up less space than other travel wallets we’ve tested. Boarding passes and tickets fit nicely into a front stash pocket. Inside, there’s space for up to six cards, a passport, cash, and other necessary paperwork—like vaccination records. There’s even space for a tiny pen so your loved one won’t have to share with the rest of the passengers on their flight to fill out customs forms. Every ounce counts when traveling with one bag, and the lightweight ripstop nylon fabric won’t weigh them down. Plus, it includes RFID blocking to protect sensitive data.
Could your loved one use a mug upgrade? Enter the YETI Rambler 12 oz Bottle with HotShot Cap. The product name might be a mouthful, but it makes up for it with the mouthfuls of hot coffee it delivers all day long. As long as the extra weight isn’t a dealbreaker, this bottle keeps drinks just how they should be (hot or cold), and the lid allows easy sipping from any direction.
Stasher’s Reusable Silicone Bags are an eco-groovy alternative to single-use plastic sandwich bags. Use them for basically whatever you’d use a plastic bag for—makeup, snacks, sandwiches, lucky pennies, etc. Perfect for your favorite eco-warrior.
This pouch is great for the digital nomad in your life who has to lug chargers, dongles, SD cards, styluses, and a gazillion other tech accessories with them. It has exceptional organization—enough to keep everything tidy, but not too much to the point of being limiting. It’s densely padded for protection, although not weather-resistant (so it’s maybe not ideal for your digital minimalist/marine biologist friend).
Your loved one doesn’t need to be an environmentalist to enjoy this reusable, collapsible straw. It takes some time to get used to—both when it comes to cleaning it and remembering to bring it with you—but it eventually becomes more fun to use than a plastic straw. And, t does feel nice to know you’re not contributing as much to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
We’ve all experienced the horror of a shampoo crime scene in our luggage. But, it can be tough to spend the money on toiletry bottles when you can pick up a bundle for less than what a cup of coffee costs, which is why they make the perfect gift. Buy your favorite adventurer a gift they’d never buy for themselves: these awesome silicone toiletry bottles that are full of features, including a LoopLock™ system and a spill-resistant valve.
Available in cheerful colors and accents, the Topo Designs Square Bag is certain to brighten anyone’s mood. It clips onto a larger backpack or reusable shopping bag to keep cash, ID, credit cards, Air Pods, and lip balm within easy reach. Rest assured the heavy-duty nylon material and sturdy YKK #10 zipper will keep treasures secure while out on the town. The Square Bag easily clips to belt loops, purse straps, or backpack handles, making it a great addition to help stay organized on the go.
With the ability to slide into a wallet and its compliance with TSA standards, the Cold4ged Forkanife Travel Set is a great way to have your cake and (literally) eat it too. While the foldable fork and knife set is small out of necessity, it sure beats trying to stab the lettuce in your takeout salad with a flimsy plastic fork with tines that break off into your food. This is great for the eco-conscious traveler who is always on the run. The rounded edge knife isn’t sharp enough to cut into a thick slab of meat, but it gets the job done for a quick meal on the road.
Get your loved ones ready for the new year with this dateless planner so they can start organizing their adventures straight away. Check out the different colors and illustrations for every season while also providing the right amount of organization and space throughout the year.
Made using Merino wool, Darn Tough’s Hiker Micro Crew Cushion socks offer a long list of pros, including comfort, breathability, and antimicrobial properties. These are some high-tech socks that are built to last. Plus, they come with an unconditional lifetime warranty. Socks don’t seem like such a bad gift anymore with these around!
At just under 9 by 4 inches, the Heimplanet Simple Pouch is a great way to keep tech, toiletries, or other small items from getting lost in a bigger bag. It has two easy-to-grab nylon handles that are useful for hanging the bag once you’ve reached your destination and a full-length zipper that makes loading and unloading the pouch a breeze. Despite its small size, it can hold quite a bit, so whether there’s a need to lug chargers, adapters, and headphones, or toiletries, makeup, and a small hairbrush, it’s worth adding to any collection.
This clip easily attaches a hat to a bag or sling so your buddy can take off their headwear without packing it away. Plus, it’ll save space in their pack for other gear. It works especially well for fitted hats without an adjustable closure and keeps hats tidier than a standard carabiner.
While a hat is a packing list essential, it’s not always the easiest to pack! The KLIPSTA Hat Clip holds onto a hat tighter than a kid with a candy bar. The Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) clip wraps around a bag handle and sticks out about 5 inches, which is the perfect length for the super-strong magnets to grab onto a wide-brimmed hat. It also works well looping through the back of ball caps and around the mouse ears they bring home from the theme park. Pick it up in a hue that complements their pack, and they’ll find more uses for it as it hangs out on their bag.
These Travel Canisters from Matador have a lot going on. They’re waterproof, durable, and BPA-free. This makes them ideal for organizing smaller items like headphones, jewelry, food, snacks, or vitamins. Your gift-givee can toss this into a pack or sling and sleep well at night knowing their belongings are safe, secure, and easy to access.
Whether abroad or at home, it can be nice to have a reusable bag to lug home purchases from the farmers market or the holiday bazaar. Packing up into a pouch roughly the size of a phone that can be tossed in a purse or stashed in a coat pocket, the Peak Design Packable Tote is a great one to have on hand. The 100% recycled, self-healing ripstop nylon bag unfolds to nearly 17 inches square, so it has plenty of room for souvenirs, snacks, or even a laptop. Since the molecules in the nylon fabric are engineered to bond together after breaking, patching up minor tears and loose threads, this is a gift that will last.
Cords and cables are a fact of modern life, but you don’t have to trip over them or tear your hair out trying to detangle them. VELCRO Brand Cable Ties are an adjustable, easy-to-use way to organize just about anything. Made from a single piece of VELCRO with a hole at one end, they work just like a zip-tie: loop one end through the hole to customize the size you need. Need to go around something really big? Attach one or two (or ten!) together to make a huge tie that will tame anything from a thick cable to a travel blanket.
If the traveler in your life regularly takes to the skies, they’ll love having a more ergonomic way to watch content on their trip. The Perilogics Universal Airplane Phone Mount attaches to a tray table, even when folded up, allowing them to tilt and rotate their phone to get it at eye level for a better viewing experience. It’s super sturdy, although it does squeak a bit during adjustment. There’s no need to worry about that once it’s in the right spot, though— they can auto-play through the flight to help time speed by. Once they arrive, it also doubles as a travel tripod so they can take the perfect time-lapse shots and selfies.
Tangles happen quickly when every device calls for its own charger and cord. The iFory Magnetic Watch Charger cuts down on what they’ll need to bring, eliminating the bulky cord on the native Apple Watch charger. Instead, they can connect a USB-C or Lightning cable they’ve already got packed for their phone or computer to the tiny puck so it can serve double duty. Like the original charger, it will recharge a watch at lightning speed. Unlike Apple, there’s not another snaking cable to add to the mess kit of cords.
Plastic travel combs can snap and break, so opt for something stronger: carbon fiber. Chicago Comb Co.’s Model No. 2 is sturdier than many others on the market thanks to this durable and lightweight material, so it won’t end up looking like a witch with missing teeth after taming tresses or bullying a beard back into shape. The built-in loop provides a better grip and a way to carry it with a carabiner if they’re short on space in their Dopp kit. This comb’s so slim, though, it’s nearly impossible not to find room to slip in this travel essential.
You know what they say—mo’ money, less problems for your gear-obsessed friends who will benefit greatly from these useful gift ideas under $50.
Gifts Under $50
Slings are a great way to carry the essentials, and if their necessities include tech and video games, the Urban Sling Bag is a great gift. The divided main compartment of this 4.5L bag keeps their battery banks and dongles separate from cords and other small accessories. Plus, there’s room to stash a Nintendo Switch or Kindle inside for fun when work is done. There’s space in the front pocket for keys, AirPods, and a minimalist wallet, along with a rear zipper pocket for a passport. We like how it fits and find it comfortable to carry crossbody, though the vertical-to-horizontal design means they’ll have to switch shoulders to change the bag from back to front carry.
The Genki Covert Dock Mini is a great option for the gamer in your life who wants to relax without staring at a tiny screen. It lets you play Nintendo Switch games on the TV in a hotel room or Airbnb without bringing along the larger dock, so they won’t need reading glasses to stare at Mario for hours. It’s about the same size as an iPhone wall charger, so it’s easy to fit into just about any tech pouch, and it comes with a six-foot USB-C cord that connects to the game system, although you’ll want to include an HDMI cable in the gift bag, as well, since they’ll need that to hook it to the TV.
If you’re shopping for someone who will be spending the day exploring a new city or theme park, consier the Clutch Charger Pro. This thin, palm-sized battery bank sticks right to their phone with MagSafe technology and connects with a built-in cord, so they can keep looking up reviews for local restaurants, getting directions, taking photos, and checking ride line times without finding an extra pocket. It has a 5,000 mAh capacity, which isn’t the highest, but it is enough to recharge an iPhone to nearly full capacity. If they have smaller hands or don’t like messing with a cord running to their pocket or sling, it’s a great option. They’ll need a separate USB-C cord to recharge it at the hotel overnight, although there’s a good chance they already have one lying around.
Plastic bottles are bad for the environment, but drinking out of stainless steel bottles can taste, well, like drinking out of a metal can. The Purist Collective Mover 18 oz Bottle eliminates that problem by adding a thin layer of glass inside the stainless steel bottle. At 60 nanometers, it’s nearly impossible to see, but you get the best of both worlds: the insulation and sturdiness of a stainless steel bottle and the taste of a glass bottle. It’s available with the Union top (with a spout and a carry handle), the Element top (no spout), or the Scope top (no spout or handle).
Essentially, the Ranger Belt is a stretchy waistband that looks classy and wears comfortably. Plus, it’s lightweight and machine-washable! While it’s marketed toward men, its simple, clean look works for all adventurers, no matter their gender.
Ever pack a bag so very carefully, only to have turbulence or potholes make a complete mess of it by the time you reach your destination? The Eagle Creek Pack-It Isolate Packing Cubes are a great solution, coming in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. They’re made from washable, water-resistant, ripstop nylon. There’s even a shoe sac or a quick trip cube for more options. The zippered cubes fully open in a clamshell-style, allowing access to what’s inside, and a rolltop shoe sac is a great way to repack muddy shoes without getting dirt all over your other belongings. When you’re done, simply stow them one inside another, Russian doll style, ready for the next adventure.
Set them on the path to one-bag travel when you give them their first set of packing cubes. Osprey’s Ultralight Packing Cubes are a great place to start, with their durable and extremely lightweight construction. With three different sizes in one set, they’ll find it easy to organize their bag with socks and underwear packed in the small, T-shirts and shorts tucked in the medium, and pants and sweaters loaded in the large. Then you won’t have to circle the airport a dozen times as you wait for them to grab their luggage from the carousel and, instead, get right to your visit!
Whether it’s a need for a new kit for tech or toiletries, the Aer Split Kit will serve it well. Unzip the bottom gusset for additional stability on a desk or a hotel sink and zip it back together to save space in your backpack. The slender front compartment is good to keep cables, memory cards, or pens safe and separate, while the larger, expandable compartment is great for chargers, phones, and tech or toiletries, as the case may be. The sleek design and convenient handle are easy to hang and grab again.
Give more than just a gift this holiday season with the Hydro Flask Standard-Mouth Water Bottle. It keeps drinks cold (or hot) for over ten hours and is a solid way to be more sustainable and use less plastic. Plus, it’s available in a wide range of colors, so you’ll be able to find one to suit every personality.
A small, streamlined daypack, the Osprey Daylite Cinch has a built-in pouch for a hydration bladder, and closing it up for a hike is a cinch—literally. It has a tall profile that disguises its 15-liter capacity, the perfect size for a day on the trail. The front of the pack features daisy-chained loops for attaching keychains, carabiners, and luggage tags, and the strap system can be tailored for the perfect fit. Use some pouches to stay organized and fit everything you’d need for the day inside this spacious bag. Then it’s ready for a day on the trails, and it will still be comfortable when the day is done.
Staying organized is the key to smarter travel, and how better to start than with the keys themselves? The Jibbon Key Organizer keeps them tucked in an Italian leather strap, so they don’t scratch sensitive gear when sharing a pocket with your phone or sunglasses. It’s quick and easy to open and close and also includes an exterior D-ring for larger keys. To use it, simply slide keys onto the interior screw post and tighten it—the keys will stay loose enough to fan out like a Swiss Army Knife, then stay put when tucked away.
A sleek profile makes the memobottle A6 easy to pack in a bag or luggage without a dedicated water bottle holder, but its flask-like shape may also lead to curious looks, especially with the optional silicone sleeve on. Who doesn’t like to be mysterious, though? They can fill this easy-to-hold bottle with whatever their heart desires, as long as it’s not carbonated, and rest assured that it won’t slip their grip. Since it’s about the same size or smaller than an average tablet, it fits into whatever pocket is most convenient for that next great adventure.
Easier to dry and pack after a day of use, the geometric Tooletries Face & Body Scrubber is an eye-catching way to wash up. The cleverly-designed handle suctions to the shower wall after you’re done washing, so there’s no need to take up valuable shelf space (if you’re lucky enough to have a shelf in a hotel room shower). The silicone bristles leave you feeling completely clean without feeling like they’d scrub your face off and make for a much drier return trip than cloth if you take it with you.
It’s the digital nomad’s Holy Grail—finding the most useful, durable, portable charging cord. The Rolling Square inCharge X, with its sturdy braided cable and variety of connectors, may be just that. Both ends are magnetized and securely wrap around a keychain, making it always convenient and easy to find. The best feature, though, is its versatility—your loved one can connect via USB C, Lightning/Micro USB, and USB A combinations depending on their needs.
Liquids can slow the trek through the TSA line. With the Bite Body Balm Solid Moisturizer, they can cut a bottle from their 311 bag and feel good about doing it since it’s vegan and free of plastic. Its rectangular shape makes it easy to slot into a Dopp kit, and the moisturizer glides effortlessly onto their skin. Although it’s slightly drier than liquid lotion, sliding it onto damp skin smooths the application. It’s unscented, though it retains a mild scent of shea butter, and since it’s applied with an aluminum case, there are no greasy fingers to leave fingerprints. It takes practice to avoid over-applying, though when they need more, the refills come in an easy-to-swap cardboard cartridge.
Whether they’re planning on hiking through forest streams and waterfalls or on an international hostel trip, there are plenty of reasons they’ll love an ultralight towel. Since the recycled polyester and nylon Nomadix Ultralight Towel weighs just half a pound, it won’t drag down their pack and is absorbent enough to dry off after jumping in the lake. The microsuede feels soft yet durable and dries quickly, so they’ll be able to pop it back in their pack if they hang it to dry after their dip, and a loop allows them to hang it outside their bag with a carabiner if they want to let it air dry along the way.
Want to make them hoppy? With BruMate’s Hopsulator TRiO 3-in-1 Can Cooler, you can! It’s no ordinary koozie. Instead, it includes a freezable insert that will super chill a 12-ounce can. They can pull it out to slide in an already-chilled 16-ounce beverage, or forgo the can altogether and pour a drink right into the stainless steel interior. The see-through lid has a magnetic tab to keep it from smacking their nose, and it won’t transfer a metallic drink to their drink, even if they did leave their brew unattended that long. While this is a heavier piece of travel gear, it will be worth it if their road trip includes campfires or tailgating.
For an innovatively designed toiletry bag, check out the Aer Travel Kit 2. They can hang it up to see all their gear at once while saving precious counter space in tiny hotel bathrooms. A zippered mesh pocket below the hanging hook is perfect for makeup, contact lens cases, and other small toiletries. The lower half features a pouch with elastic loops inside to hold bottles in place. Add to that the two horizontal slots with garages for sliding toothbrushes, plus two holders outside the bag where they can dry at their destination, and two external pockets for quick access, and the only question they should have when they open it is, Where to next?
Nothing brings people closer together quite like the last socket available in an airport terminal. Even better, make your friends and family a hero among them by gifting them the MOGICS Super Bagel. More than just a plain ol’ extension cord, the Super Bagel can accommodate up to five charging adapters, plus charge additional devices through its own USB ports. It’s quite easy to bring on trips as well, thanks to how it packs down like an actual bagel and the fact that it supports a ton of socket standards, including the U.K., AU, and EU.
$100, eh? You must really like these people. They’ll really like you too after you give them one of our favorite top-tier gifts.
Gifts Under $100
Time for the gift that keeps on giving! This subscription to Pack Hacker Pro allows access to exclusive forums, giveaways, and deals. Plus, as a bonus, they’ll also receive a welcome kit (Pack Hacker Patch and stickers included) while also gaining entry to our Pro Community that’s thriving with discussions on bags, packing, and all things gear.
Have that one friend who’s always out of battery in the middle of a get-together? Then how about a 10,000 mAh power bank that’s not too big in the pocket? NITECORE’s Carbo 10000 Power Bank has been a solid pick for us because of its relatively feature-rich design, including fast charging, a USB-C port, and an IPX5 rating. But by far, its biggest advantage is its slim design, which makes it a very energy-dense power bank that packs more than a complete charge for a smartphone.
Umbrellas are often left behind because they’re bulky and add weight to your pack. However, when you wrap up the Montbell Travel Umbrella, you’re giving the gift of protection from the weather without adding unnecessary mass. It’s shaped like a churro, which makes it easy for your friend or family member to pack inside their pack. It holds up well in most reasonable weather conditions and is crafted from aluminum and iron to handle wind, too. It’s pretty tall, which is the only thing about this umbrella that’s hard to pack. This will keep it out of some slings; however, in a pinch, it’ll fit in most back pockets and any travel backpack.
The Peak Design Mobile Tripod is an excellent gift for anyone who likes to watch content on the go, be hands-free, or get the perfect shot for their next photo or video. This little device uses MagSafe to stick onto the back of a phone and pops out when needed to complete various tasks. Nail a group shot of the family on the Spanish Steps with the Trinità dei Monti towering in the distance, watch a movie on a long flight, or use it to make a meeting run more smoothly while on the go. It’s easy to use, crafted from durable aluminum, and has a stable enough connection to the back of their phone to stay put until they need it. What’s not to dig about that?
If you haven’t heard, sling bags are the edgier, far more hipster cousin of waist packs. And they are in. This sling from Patagonia is everything you’d expect from the respected outdoor brand. It’s made of quality, durable materials with an ideal amount of organization for day trips and quick jaunts up a mountain.
This is one of the most innovative tech pouches we’ve come across to date. It’s perfect for anyone who carries a lot of tech. And we mean a lot since this pouch doesn’t work well when not fully packed out. But when it’s full of stuff, the origami-style compartments, USB pass-through, and anchor attachment points make this thing far better than your average tech pouch.
Gift your favorite or digital nomad an excellent ergonomic workstation this holiday season. This portable laptop stand is lightweight, compact, and will make those long working days a little more comfortable.
Osprey is known for making quality gear that’ll hold up to any adventure you throw at it. The company usually skews outdoorsy, though it’s gone urban with this sleek, simple pack that’ll look at home on the cobblestone streets of whatever city you’ve ventured to.
The Fjallraven Passport Wallet is a bit on the larger side, but the convenience is hard to ignore. Its slim profile will easily slide into most pockets, and its numerous card and bill slots will hold everything from a passport to cold hard cash.
These beautiful, hand-blown whiskey glasses, made of premium lead-free glass, will enhance your friend’s sophistication and destination inspiration at the same time. Each glass features an impression of a majestic mountain, making it a great way to scratch that travel itch while at home (and planning the next trip).
Give two for the price of one this holiday season with the Tom Bihn Side Effect. Doubling up as a sling and an organizer pouch, this customizable piece of gear will get your loved one where they need to go and keep them organized at the same time.
This pack is built to hold whatever you need it to. Gym clothes, hiking essentials, groceries—the list is endless. Plus, if your loved one always likes to be prepared, there’s a ton of external storage at their disposal to go along with the ample space this pack provides.
Not just any sling, the heavy-duty Aer City Sling 2 is a jack of all trades for someone who wants to keep their belongings close at hand, organized, and protected. The magnetic Fidlock buckle snaps together easily, creating a sling comfortably worn cross-body or over the shoulder. Unbuckle it to stow the straps away in the back panel and grab onto the top handle to make it a pouch. The split-opening front pocket with a robust built-in key clip, rear security pocket, and main compartment with an array of pouches and zippered pockets make this a comfortable way to carry just about anything without a worry that contents will fall out on the go.
Your feet will thank you when you slip into Greys The Outdoor Slipper. The temperature-regulating wool blend slipper is breathable, odor-resistant, and moisture-wicking, with a sole that has enough cushioning to support your feet. The rubber sole provides traction and keeps you dry if you need to dash outdoors. Available in a variety of neutral colorways, the slippers are stylish enough that your neighbors won’t raise an eyebrow if you end up chatting at the fence with them still on (although we make no such guarantee if you wander out still in your buffalo check pajamas). They also have a stub-proof toe box to protect your feet as you shuffle through the house in the dark.
For the friend who likes to stand out in a crowd, the Topo Designs Rover Pack comes in a variety of colorways to match their colorful personality and unique style. Whether they’re off on a hike or about to explore the city, this pack will fit in and keep up with any adventure.
Created from 93% recycled polyester, The North Face Etip Recycled Glove isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for your tech. The silicone gripper palm handles a phone with ease and still offers enough dexterity to pluck those AirPods out of their charging case, and the Etip allows easy access to touchscreen devices on all five fingers. The slim gloves aren’t warm enough for shoveling snow, but they’ll work great for running errands, short walks, and keeping away the chill of the steering wheel. The gloves are available in an extended size range of XS-XXL to fit any size hand like a glove, and a range of colorways to fit anyone’s style.
Giving someone the gift of tech this holiday season? The Bellroy Tech Kit Compact is one of our go-to pouches for keeping it all organized. The compact size conceals elastic loops to hold accessories tight and stretchy mesh pockets to stash gear like an Apple Magic Mouse and a MacBook charger or extra batteries. The clamshell opening offers great accessibility when unzipped, and the magnetic slip pocket offers a place for a power bank and a notepad. Slip cords and your Apple Pencil inside the elastic loops and you’ll be sure not to lose anything in the bottomless abyss of your computer bag.
Heading for the trails, a game, or just a marathon shopping trip at the mall? The lightweight Patagonia Micro D Fleece Pullover, made from recycled fibers that wick moisture during active use, is a stylish way to keep warm. Use it alone or as a layer with a vest or jacket to look great and feel comfortable in colorways like Barn Red, Basin Green, New Navy, Feather Gray, and Black. The quarter-zip is a great way to warm up or cool down, making it truly adaptable to your plans and keeping you cozy without weighing you down.
When they need a way to keep their tech close to their heart, gift them the ALPAKA Elements Tech Case. Long, flat accessories, like battery banks, slide easily into the horizontally divided pockets, although it can take a bit of planning to pack bulkier gear like wall chargers. The front pocket provides easy access to gear, while the accordion style of the main compartment makes it easy to stay organized. The bright orange ripstop liner makes it easy to see everything inside. While they can toss the pouch inside another bag, they can also add a strap to carry it as a sling. The zipper pulls are a little jangly, and using the pen slot can interfere with the pockets below, but we like that the X-Pac material holds its structure so they can be confident their gear is safe.
Everyone’s a budding photographer with their smartphone, but how soon will that perfect shot be forgotten after scrolling through the social media feed? Help them remember the fun forever with FUJIFILM’s instax mini Link 2. The handheld device prints up to 100 small photos on a single charge so they can share them with family and friends. The free app will turn their pics into fun masterpieces with text, stickers, and cool effects like bubbles and spray paint. The instax also works as a remote control to take selfies, so everyone can be in the picture. After uploading, they’ll have a pic in hand in less than 15 seconds for a memory they’ll treasure forever.
What’s great about this all-in-one makeup kit is that it’s easy to travel with. Every module stacks with one another (hence the name), including an applicator brush and a flip-up mirror. You can pick among a number of pre-made Staks, or you can customize your own kit, choosing among different shades of smart control powders, blushes, bronzers, highlighters, lip & cheek tints, and eyeshadows—you’ll have to get creative on how to match your friend’s skin tone and pallet. As for the actual makeup, pigmentation is relatively solid and easy to apply, thanks to the included brush.
For the notoriously picky friend, these gift card suggestions and a selection of our highest-rated gift ideas should do the trick.
Other Gift Ideas
Perfect for the person in your life who’s always exploring—eating their way through Italy, shopping their way through Milan, or sipping coffee in the streets of Seattle. Huckberry has a ton of sophisticated, durable gear that looks good and works even better.
Whether your favorite gear enthusiast enjoys exploring the city or venturing into the great outdoors, they’ll be able to find the gear they need to get them there with a gift card from Backcountry.
Sometimes, the best gift is letting your loved one pick out their own gift. REI offers a huge selection of stuff for all kinds of travel, although it’s best known for all of its hardy outdoor gear. REI is also all about sustainability—perfect for your favorite eco-warrior.
Lightweight, warm, and responsibly sourced, this jacket will keep you cozy all winter long. While it’s not going to keep you dry in a heavy downpour, it does have some water resistance going on. You can also check out the funky colorways if your special someone loves a splash of color.
You’ll have a friend for life once they get their hands on your gift of the Tom Bihn Synik. One of our highest-rated travel backpacks to date, the Synik is perfect for the person in your life who knows what they want. With some awesome options for customization and additional accessories, they’ll be able to make this pack work for them.
Stay organized all day, anywhere you roam, with the Aer City Pack. It includes a grab-and-go pocket for sunglasses and smartphones; a front pocket for pens, a tablet, a mouse, cords, and more; and a main compartment meant to hold a laptop, plus plenty of additional pockets for additional gear and tech. Be sure to take advantage of the dedicated pocket for a Tile tracker or Apple AirTag, which eliminates the need for a separate pouch for Bluetooth trackers. Made from Aer’s ubiquitous, durable 168oD CORDURA ballistic nylon, everyone can appreciate the fact that with the City Pack, there’s a place for everything, and everything is in its place.
This is the gift they’ll never think they need until they get their hands on them. The ROAV Sunglasses come in a range of styles to suit all styles, and even better, they’re foldable. Yep! Foldable sunglasses that are lightweight, pocketable, and strong at the same time. Throw them in any pack, sling, or pocket, and they’ll always be there if they need them.
With a hard-to-beat warmth-to-weight ratio and some awesome packability, your loved one will never want to venture into chilly weather without their Micro Puff, and they’ll have you to thank! To add to that, it’s also filled with synthetic insulation that’s on par with the warmth to weight ratio of Goose Down—it’s even fooled some testers!
Keep your adventurous friend doing what they love to do with the GORUCK GR1. This thing is built to last, reliable, and has functional features making it an ideal companion for exploring in the city or the great outdoors. A great gift for your loved one who’s known to push their gear to the limit.
If this isn’t already on your list, it totes should be! Jokes aside, the Bellroy Tokyo Wonder Tote 12L is an excellent choice for the person in your life who crosses the city daily and enjoys the occasional picnic. With Bellroy’s signature internal organization and amply-sized external pockets, every piece of gear has a home and can be found easily. That means no searching for headphones while commuting to work or for the wine opener when the first bottle is gone after lunch in the park on a Saturday. The main compartment isn’t huge; however, for a tote, we feel the capacity is more than capable for most uses. Plus, it fits up to a 14-inch laptop!
If you’re buying for a traveler who does it all, you might as well get them a duffel that can, too. The EVERGOODS Transit Duffel 35L is crafted from durable materials, has wholesale organization that doesn’t get in the way, and has multiple modes to carry for a seamless experience, whether they’re traveling across town or the globe. Some may feel that the internal organization isn’t enough for their needs; however, we think that the segmentation offered by the Transit Duffel is enough to secure your gear but isn’t so limiting that you can’t use it for any trip imaginable. At the time of writing, it only comes in black, so it might not work for the person in your life who loves vibrant colors. However, black goes with everything, right?
And there you have it, Pack Hacker’s gift ideas for all the beloved travelers in your life! If nothing on our list sparked your interest, your friends miraculously have everything on it, or you just love reading about travel gear, check out our other gear reviews and subscribe to our YouTube channel. It’s pretty much the best way to stay up to date on the latest and greatest in travel gear. (To be fair, we’re a little biased.)