Looking for that perfect holiday gift to warm the heart of a winter adventurer? How about eco-conscious clothing that looks as good as it feels? These shoes, shirts, bags, and base layers make the perfect outdoorsy presents.
Mizuno Breath Thermo Running Crew and Pant
Whether you’re a runner, biker, climber, paddler or snowsports enthusiast, you need a breathable layer that’s lightweight and moisture-wicking. Mizuno’s Breath Thermo running crew and pants wicked away body moisture on long trail runs in sub-freezing temperatures. Even after several hours of sweat, the crew and pants were dry and featherlight. Mizuno built these threads specifically for runners, but the crew and pants worked equally well on the slopes and on the rock. We even wore them underneath a waterproof shell while paddling downriver. The material is tough and durable; even after months of heavy use, there’s not a loose seam or any sign of wear. $60 crew; $60 pants. mizunousa.com
Patagonia EVERMore Trail Shoes
At a mere 7.8 ounces, the EVERmore is incredibly durable and supportive, handling tough trails with responsiveness and fluidity. The breathable air mesh upper includes drainage ports to dissipate water quickly after stream crossings. The integrated footbed and flexible midsole and outsole allow the foot to naturally connect with the terrain, and it provides just the right amount of cushioning: 10mm in the heel and 6mm in the forefoot, along with a rock plate for ultra distance protection. Unlike many shoe manufacturers, you can feel good about running in Patagonia with their commitment to 1 Percent for the Planet and numerous environmental causes. $110. patagonia.com
SmartWool Midweight Crew Base Layer
Finally, a next-to-skin base layer that doesn’t stink! Made from pure merino wool, the soft, warm crew naturally resists odor and regulates temperature and moisture better than any synthetic. The form-fit base layer follows the contours of the body for snugness without feeling suffocatingly tight like synthetics. It warms the body while still breathing, trapping heat close to the body while wicking sweat away, even on all-day hikes and long runs. $95. smartwool.com
Big Agnes Storm King Sleeping Bag
When we needed a zero-degree bag that could keep us warm on a cold winter backpacking trip, we turned to the Storm King. The down-filled bag weighs only 3 pounds, 3 ounces, yet it is roomy and toasty inside, even on a sub-freezing night camped on snow. The accompanying Big Agnes inflatable pad helped, too. For the first time, I awoke from a winter overnighter with warm toes and a refreshing night’s sleep. $299. bigagnes.com
Merrell Bare Access Arc Shoe
The Arc is one of the best minimalist shoes on the market. The barefoot-inspired shoes encourage natural motion while providing ample midsole support for long runs in the mountains. Ideal both for beginning minimalist runners and elite, experienced ultra athletes, the Arc have a glove-like fit and are super-grippy on the trails. $90. merrell.com
If eco-conscious clothing is important to you, then grab some threads from Recover.
The Asheville-based apparel manufacturer RECOVER makes 100-percent recycled clothing. Hoodies, t-shirts, beanies, and performance wear are made from recycled cotton and polyester. Eight plastic bottles can make one t-shirt at Recover, but you’d never know it: the shirts are soft and super-comfy. Recoverbrands.com
Craghoppers Kikimo Jacket
Looking for a jacket that’s both stylish and functional? The down-filled Kikimo is both sleek and insulating. The slim-line, ergonomically designed baffles create channels of cloud-soft down that trap heat close to the body’s core for optimal warmth. $120. craghoppers.com
Keen Bryce Low-Cut Hiking Boot
Keen cut this shoe low, but didn’t cut out this shoe’s ability to keep your toes dry or protect them from tough terrain. Ditch your boots for the Bryce shoe; it’s just as durable without the unnecessary weight and clunkiness. You’ll also appreciate the breathable waterproof construction and the durable foam-based cushioning, which provides a broken-in feel from your first step. $125. Keenfootwear.com
FireStarters Fire Packets
Looking for a quick and easy way to get the campfire going this winter? Each FireStarter packet, the size of a matchbook, burns at 1500 degrees for about 10 minutes, easily enough time to get a good fire going. Just put a packet under the fuel and light one corner, and you’ve got a guaranteed fire for cooking dinner or warming frozen toes on your next winter adventure.$9. gratechef.com
Outdoor Research Vert Gloves
Looking for the toughest all-terrain gloves for any kind of winter adventure, from cross-country skiing to cross country running? Leather palms and a free-moving soft shell make these fitted gloves ideal for technical mountain activities in cold weather. They allow plenty of dexterity for fingers while still keeping digits toasty and snug.
Carhartt Force Shirt
Whether you’re working or playing outdoors this winter, pound the wet right out of sweat in Carhartt’s Force, a lightweight polyester fabric that wicks away sweat. Nothing is tougher than a Carhartt shirt for a winter adventure. The Force features the comfort of a rib-knit crewneck collar and tagless neck label, as well as a side-seamed construction to minimize twisting. $25. carhartt.com
Whether commuting to work or shredding singletrack, Nutcase helmets protect your head in style. With over 100 different helmet designs, Nutcase helmets ensure that you’re visible. They fit snugly and protect more of your noggin than most other helmets, and they breathe well, with plentiful vents. The helmet is comfy and snug, and the anti-pitch buckle makes for easy removal. Make a statement—or make a splash. $60. nutcasehelmets.com
Darn Tough socks
Shoes get all the love, but socks take much of the beating. A good pair can make the difference between a smooth ride or run and a soggy, blistered nightmare. Darn Tough socks are the ideal choice for outdoor adventurists. Through many miles of mud, sweat, and gears, the socks provided durability and comfort on and off the trail. They also wicked away moisture while keeping feet warm and protected. The Merino wool provided comfort without getting bunched. Made in Vermont, Darn Tough socks can handle any weather thrown at them. ACoolMax options are also available. $18. darntough.com
Craft Siberian Split Finger Glove
For winter riding, nothing keeps fingers warmer than a Craft Split Finger Glove. The hybrid glove-mitt maximizes the warmth of a mitt design while retaining the dexterity of a glove with its two-fingered claw, enabling bikers to switch gears and maneuver easily. Don’t let the wind chill keep you out of the saddle. For cold weather commuting or winter mountain biking, Craft’s lobster claw is the smartest way to keep your hands warm and toasty.$30. craftsports.us.
The North Face Kishtwar Jacket
Looking for the best soft shell? The Kishtwar has become the industry standard, the model that all others aspire to. The Kishtwar is ubiquitous in winter, both in town and out on the trail. Its versatility is one reason for its success: it provides maximum weather protection paired with maximum breathability for the widest comfort range in the most conditions. The Kishtwar relies on Power Shield Pro, Polartec’s new fabric that provides a waterproof, breathable polyurethane membrane underneath the jacket shell. Thanks to the stretchy fabric’s microscopic air channels, the Kishtwar wicked away moisture and provided unrestricted movement during the rocky, slippery ascent. $279. thenorthface.com
Pura Water Bottle
Many water bottles claim to be BPA-free, but Pura ensures that every component—from lid to lining—is made from 100%, BPA-free stainless steel. Even the lid is steel, ensuring no sneaky endocrine disruptors leach into your water. It’s also 100% recyclable and made from 60% recycled steel. No other water bottle offers the safety and durability of the Pura. $25; purastainless.com
Looking for the best new minimalist trail shoe? The Neo offers the featherweight, nimble agility of barefoot-stlye running with the grip and tread of a trail shoe. The multidirectional lugs on the bottom provide great traction on slippery, leaf-covered winter trails, and the water- and puncture-resistant upper can handle anything Ma Nature can throw at it. $115. vivobarefoot.com