Holiday Gift Guide - Gear Edition

Friday, November 29, 2013

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Holiday shopping season is fully underway.  Looking to find that perfect something for the outdoorsy type on your list?  We have gathered up a collection products that are can't-miss gifts for Paddle Junkie Nation.  So, without further adieu, here are a dozen gifts that your outside loving family member of friend are sure to love.


Bergan's Glitterind Shell Jacket:  Available in both a Men's and Women's version, this jacket is simply unbelievable.  Made from a revolutionary new 3-layer Dermizax 4-way stretch material, you get bomber weather protection while still having the ability to move.  Forget the crinkly plastic garbage-bag feeling, this material is soft, breathable and light.  It packs down small, and weighs less than a pound, and is easily the most protection per ounce of anything in my pack.  An athletic fit, long underarm zip vents, and articulated elbows make this jacket perfect for everything from ice climbing to spring fishing.  In a market space crammed full of "waterproof breathable" jackets, this one raises the bar.  From wear-ability to performance, out of all the shells we have ever tested, this one is at the top of the pile.  For $499, it should be, but you'll never need to buy another shell again.

Thermarest Z-Lite Sol:  Whether you are swaying in the breeze in a hammock, or hunkered down in a tent for the night, a quality sleeping pad makes a world of difference in a good night's sleep.  The Z-Lite series from Therm-a-rest is their lightest and warmest closed cell foam pad.  In canoe country, the closed cell foam prevents any water retention, so when (not if) things get wet, your pad won't be worthless.  A reflective aluminized surface shoots your own body heat back at you, delivering 20% more warmth on chilly nights.  Light, rugged, waterproof and warm; yup, that'll work.


Sanborn Canoe's J.A Fallman Bucksaw:  A master-crafted modern version of one of the most classic outdoor tools ever invented, Sanborn's Bucksaw is a gift that is steeped in history while making short work of a firewood pile.  With 6.5" of cutting clearance, you can cut logs not just twigs.  Coming in both Hickory or Walnut, it breaks down and is stowed in a waxed canvas roll that's only 24" x 2.5" x 2.5" and fits easily in the side pocket of your canoe pack.  Replacement blades are readily available and cheap, so your saw can last for years with proper maintenance, and having a back-up blade is always a good idea. Give the gift of a classic woodsman tool, that will be passed down from one generation to the next. For even more style the guys at Sanborn will adorn the saw with their custom painted Red & White design.  $75 unpainted, $89 painted.

IceBreaker Oasis Base Layers:  100% merino wool...  That, at the core of all Icebreaker gear, sets the stage for the most comfortable, warmest, moisture managing base layers ever conceived.  The Oasis Crew is so luxuriously soft, I wear it regularly all by itself.  Even though the Oasis series is a part of the icebreaker "200 Lightweight" level of insulation, when paired with your standard outerwear, it keeps you cozy warm without the bulk.  Available in a L/S top (on sale now for $67.49) and bottoms with a fly (on sale now for $67.49), whether you are on a fall hike or a snowshoeing adventure in the dead of winter, the Oasis Base Layers are a perfect companion.


MSR Flex 3 System: This all-in-one cooking set up leaves little to be desired when packing up a mess kit for 3 people.  Whip up an Emeril Lagasse like dinner over a campfire and have plates and cups too. The set includes: (1) 2.3L Nonstick hard-anodized aluminum pot, (1) 3.3L Hard-anodized pot, (1) Aluminum Strainer lid, (3) DeepDish™ plates, (3) Stainless Steel Insulated Mugs, (1) Talon pot handle.   You can chose the right pot for the job, both are made from hard -anodized aluminum with the smaller 2.3L having a non-stick coating.  The best part of the set is how efficiently it nests in itself. The entire kit packs down into the 3.3L pot and weighs under 2.5 pounds.  There is even room in the mugs to hold the MSR Folding Utensils $129.95

Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain SL Sleeping Bag:  Even the casual gear fan knows how effective down insulation can be, especially compared to most synthetics.  Problem is, down + water = bad news.  Enter the Big Agnes DownTek line of sleeping bags.  This down has been coated with a hydrophobic coating, so the down feathers retain basically no moisture.  This old-school mummy shaped bag delivers a warm, dry cocoon down below freezing, yet packs down small to save precious pack space.  Now Down and Canoe Country can live happily together.  $299

Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler:  Yeti's motto is "Wildly Stronger - Keeps Ice Longer" and that isn't just marketing fluff.  The Tundra 45 cooler is bear proof and can keep ice for over a week.  You will be amazed at what a beating this cooler can take.  Slip a padlock through the molded holes in the corners and keep out both nosy bears and unscrupulous neighbors at the state park.  Available in White, Tan or "Ice Blue", and ranging in size from the afternoon sized 35 liter to the gargantuan 420 liter, you can get exactly what you need. We tested the 45 liter and it's a great weekender size for a family of 4.  If you are looking for a gift that will last for years, look no further.  $329.95

Platypus GravityWorks Filter:  Quite possibly my favorite piece of back-country gear.  When purifying your drinking water is a must, why make it work?  Let gravity do all the heavy lifting.  Simply fill the "dirty" bag with untreated water, hang it in a tree, and watch as the "clean" bag fill up with perfectly clean safe H2O.  Clean 4 liters of water in 2.5 minutes, while sitting by the campfire with your feet up.  Who doesn't like the sound of that?  $119.95


Dakine Bronco Gloves:  From shredding the mountain to shoveling the driveway, keep your fingers toasty warm with these frost bite beaters.  The rugged and waterproof nylon/poly shells refuse to absorb water, while the inside is made up of fleece and a high loft synthetic pile, they are always soft and dry.  The zip wrist closure keeps the snow out and a strip of soft washable fabric on the thumbs is designed to eliminate nose-sicles.   $65

Sierra Designs Mirage 4 Tent:  Family camping luxury and "anyone can do it" ease of use made this 3-season 4-person tent an immediate Team Paddle Junkie favorite.  Far larger than a simple 4 man dome tent, the Mirage 4 offers a sleeping area that easily accommodates 4 adults. It's the gigantic vestibule, which nearly doubles the footprint, that makes this tent special.  Having ample storage and a place to escape the weather when things get ugly, makes this tent a family camping winner.  Kids can stretch out or hang out and you're not trampling your sleeping area.  The Mirage 4 transitions quickly from a "sleeping under the stars screen room to a weatherproof bunker in a matter of a couple minutes.  Sierra Design's swivel hub and Jake's feet pitching system makes it a breeze to set up too.  $699



BioLite Stove and Kettlepot:  Heading out in to the woods doesn't necessarily mean you completely unplug.  Cameras, GPS units, lights, even cell phones all find their way to camp.  Plugging into an wall outlet isn't an option, so how do you keep your toys from going dark on day 3?  The Stove and KettlePot combo from BioLite solves a whole gamete of issues.  Forget hauling fuel canisters with you; twigs, pine cones, and bark chunks are all the fuel you need.  While you are boiling up a liter and a half of water for coffee, or cooking up dinner for a family of 4, the BioLite stove generates electricity which powers a small fan inside the stove stoking the fire, excess energy is sent to the USB port for charging a huge range of electronics.  Boil a liter of water in 4.5 minutes, charge your iPhone in about 20.  When your done, the stove packs up inside the KettlePot for easy transport.  BioLite Stove $129.95 KettlePot $49.95 or add the Portable Grill as well in the Holiday Bundle for $224.85.



Maui Jim Longboard Sunglasses:  My affinity for quality sunglasses is no secret, and Maui Jim's Longboards are a great addition to the active guy or gal's arsenal.  Super thin and light, you barely notice these things on your face.  They come in just about every lens MJ makes so you can get the right level of sun protection for whatever your passion.  The Grilamid TR 90 material these frame are made from is more flexible than your average plastic frames, so the bend without breaking and then snap back into shape.  So whether you land on your face, or squish them in our pocket, odds are they'll come out the other side looking like brand new.    $219


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