A hiker wearing yellow stands on an edge with a blue lake behind him and granite peaks past that.

REI Gift Guide: 16 Gifts for hikers under $50

No one’s made of money… well, at least no one reading this is. Because of that, being price-conscious with your gifts is totally understandable and wise. That’s why we’re keeping these gifts for hikers under $50.

Now, my biases are going to have a role inside, but as a person who hikes a lot, I believe I have some good judgment on what gifts are not only practical and will be used but also what I think would be a lovely gift to give and receive. 

Happy shopping. And if you’re on the fence, go with an REI Gift Card and let them choose! That’s one of the gifts for hikers that is never a bad call!

PS: Make sure you’re an REI member. All Members get 10% back on full-priced purchases and will earn $30 toward your next purchase when you become a member from now until Nov 9, 2023.

Under $50 Guide: Gifts for Hikers 

1. Darn Tough Wool Socks

In my opinion, these are the best hiking socks on the market. I have multiple pairs, and they go with me on every adventure. Wool offers the best protection from blisters, wicks away sweat, and keeps your feet warm if you’re sleeping in them at camp.

I highly recommend these for any hiker, and it’s one of my top gifts for hikers this year.

2. Hanging Toiletry Bag

Everyone needs a little organization for their trips. Use this bag to keep everything in one place so you can spend less time looking through your suitcase and more time planning your hike! 

3. Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

Sun protection is key, and having a wide-brimmed hat is the best protection. This will last someone years, if not a decade, and they will get so much use out of it. I know I personally used mine two to three times a week when I was out hiking in the North Cascades. 

A hiker looks out at the Alaskan landscape. There's a blue lake below and mountains all around.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

4. Black Diamond Headlamp

Don’t let the night stop you from hiking! As a photographer, I’m constantly shooting the sunset, which means hiking back in the dark. Having a headlight you can trust is incredibly important. I either have this one or a similar Black Diamond headlamp and haven’t had any issues with it for years.

It’s a top-notch brand.

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

4. REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube Set – Small/Medium/Large

These aren’t flashy, but they’re practical. Help keep your loved one’s life organized as they hike and travel. I know these have made a huge difference in my life.

5. LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern

Keep your gadgets charged and get some light. It’s a win-win for me! Plus, it is super light, so it won’t add much to your hiking pack’s weight. This is one of my favorite gifts for hikers in 2023.

6. Smartwool Merino 250 Balaclava

Now, some gifts for hikers are weather-dependent. This is one of them. This balaclava is probably best for people who are out doing winter adventures and need to keep their head and neck warm.

If your special someone is hanging out in Arizona, it’s probably not the best idea, ha!

7. Smartwool Active Fleece Gloves

You’ve gotta keep your digits warm. Whether snowshoeing, out walking the dog, or on a hike in a nearby National Park, making sure your hands are warm is critical. If the hiker in your life is active in the winter, this might be a perfect gift! 

8. Peak Design Shell Camera Cover – Medium

A little niche for those gifting to photographers who are also hikers. But this is perfect for helping protect their camera while out hiking and exploring. Just know that this is primarily a covering while hiking. 

Speaking from experience, you can’t really shoot or zoom while it is on, so keep that in mind. 

9. REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie – Men’s and Women’s

I have the Sahara Shade Hoodie and really like it. It’s a bit warmer than other brands, so it’s perfect for winter and spring conditions. And for the price – under $50 – it’s a great gift for hikers! 

A hiker stands in front of a lake at sundown with big mountain behind him.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

10. Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Graphic T-Shirt – Men’s and Women’s

Who doesn’t like rocking Patagonia!? These are some of my favorite hiking shirts. I have one, and my girlfriend does too. They’re uber comfortable and quick drying, everything you would want from your hiking attire.

11. Stanley Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler – 40 fl. Oz.

I’ll be honest with ya’ll. I missed how this became the biggest thing on social media and planet Earth, but if you need something to keep your drinks cold/warm, grab one of these, and you’ll be set! 

Stanley says it will stay cold for 11 hours and hot for seven. For those winter adventures, your hot cocoa or coffee will remain warm when you’re back in the car!

12. Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail Tank Top – Women’s

Soak up the sun! Similar to the Patagonia above, just in tanktop form for the ladies. This is an amazing

13. CamelBak Crux 3L Reservoir – 3 Liters

I have this one and love being able to fill it up to three liters if I’m going on a long hike or backpacking trip. For most hikes, you’ll need 1.5L to 2L; there are those times when water will be scarce, and you’ll want to max it out so you don’t run into trouble. 

14. Patagonia P-6 Logo LoPro Trucker Hat

If I’m not hiking in my wide-brimmed hat, I’m in my Patagonia hiking hat. While I’d say I see more men wearing these, they are unisex. If you’ve hiked with someone whose hat looks gross, it might be time to give them a new one!

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

15. BioLite Charge 20 PD Power Bank

Keep your phone or other gear charged while hiking. Most of us use our phones as our GPS now, so ensuring your phone is always charged is crucial. This is a perfect gift for hikers.

16. NEMO Chipper Reclaimed Closed-Cell Foam Seat Pad

It looks funky, but I promise you it’s functional. This folds up and weighs hardly anything but gives the hiker a place to sit while resting without having to sit on the ground. It’s a perfect final gift for hikers. 

See it here

REI Holiday Shipping Notes

Holiday Shipping for the best gifts for hikers:

  • Get it before Dec. 25, when you order by Dec 19, 9:00am PT.
  • Shipping cut off for Gear and Apparel: Dec 19, 2023, 9:00am PT
  • Shipping cut-off gift card (free shipping): Dec 17, 2023, 9:00am PT >> but you can get e-gift cards after the 17th of December

REI Co-op Members enjoy free U.S. standard shipping—no minimum order required. Exclusions apply. All other customers get free U.S. standard shipping on orders of $50 or more. 

A hiker walk on a trail in Glacier National Park. He's heading towards Iceberg Lake and the massive rockwall in front of him.

Final Thoughts: Gifts for Hikers

As I mentioned earlier, don’t simply buy to buy. 

Think about the gifts for hikers in your life and get them something they will use and enjoy. The world is too full of “stuff,” and the more we can think about intentional buying, the better we’ll all be. 

Lastly, consider checking out the REI Outlet. You can find incredible deals up to half off. It’s hard to do a list, considering the supplies can run out, but I’d suggest taking a few minutes to browse it. 

You might find a steal!

Until next time, adventurers, take care and be safe.

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Recent Blogs: Hiking Angels Landing | Sedona Guide | Abiqua Falls Trail Guide | Cathedral Gorge State Park Guide

Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on ExploreWithAlec.com. Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside