goEast Approved: Top Finds in the EMS Gift Guide

Holiday shopping has officially started early(er) this year. This gave us a chance to do a deep dive into EMS.com and dig out some top tier gift ideas keeping category, price point, and activity in mind. Whether you’re shopping for a trail runner, car camper, backcountry skier, or an overall outdoor aficionado, you’ll find something for everyone on your list (and maybe a little something for yourself, too). Check out the full guide here and find a roundup of favorites below.

Top Tech

MPOWERD tops the lists of our favorite tech brands. Their Luci Lanterns use solar power and last way longer than you’d think on a single charge (some up to 24 hours). But it’s their String Lights that do it for me: Hidden inside the expandable unit, the lights pack 100 lumens into 10 nodes on an 18-foot cord. Along with mobile charging capabilities, it’s an easy take-along option for trips and a top notch gift for under $50.

The SUUNTO 9 GPS Sports Watch is our best-selling watch for good reason. It’s got up to 120 hours of continuous exercise tracking and, when paired with the Suunto App, keeps you on top of both your goals and incoming calls. A great ‘big gift’ for the multisport athlete.

PETZL’s NAO+ Performance Headlamp with Bluetooth Technology uses “reactive lighting” tech to adjust brightness depending on activity, making it an ideal companion for high-pace pursuits like trail running, alpine climbing, mountaineering and ski touring. And with the MyPetzl Light mobile app, athletes can consult in real time to check remaining burn time and adjust headlamp performance accordingly.

Under $25

The United by Blue Reusable Straw Kit checks off as both under $25 and eco-friendly. This kit comes with two stainless steel straws, a silicone tip and a bristled cleaning brush— all enclosed in a cool, recycled polyester ripstop case, which makes it perfect for gifting.  I’m personally a big fan of this brand, whose trademark is to remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways with every product sold.

Who doesn’t love a pint glass? And maybe a pint to go with it? EMS’s new(ish) logo pint glass boasts the EMS logo on one side and the #goEast trademark on the reverse so you can represent in style. Ringing in at a whopping $12.99, it’s an easy gift choice.

It’s official, fanny packs are cool again— and have actually always been very helpful in the hiking department. A personal favorite is this 80’s inspired Mountainsmith Trippin’ Fanny Pack one, but a close second would have to be the Karrimor X Lite Waist Pack, mainly because of its lightness in weight and price ($11.99).

Travel

I’m a fan of Osprey’s travel gear—particularly of the new Arcane Pack Family, where minimal design meets utilitarian function. The Tote Pack is a win-win in the gift department as it covers a wide range of life’s needs on-the-go (and is made from 13.5 plastic bottles). Also check out the Osprey Fairview and Farpoint wheeled backpacks if you’re looking for something heftier.

The North Face Base Camp Duffel is a classic that would make anyone stoked for adventure this season. Built for the long hauls, it’s made with super durable material and offers an ample 132-liter volume.

Here’s something that someone probably wouldn’t buy themselves but would be pumped to get— The Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube Set offers up plenty of space for separating and compressing clothing so you can spend less time digging through your bags and more time adventuring. Eagle Creek also offers a Clean/Dirty Cube which is also a great gift/hint.

Snow

The Smith Mission is a great all-around helmet at a fair price point. Lightweight with 14 vents, an adjustable dial fit system, and Outdoor Tech audio capabilities, it’s a solid gift choice for someone looking to round out their kit without the bells and whistles.

The EMS Altitude 3-in-1 Gloves and Mittens are a mainstay in our winter gear collection. Featuring PrimaLoft Silver insulation, you’ve got a lightweight and packable mitt with a removable glove liner that will keep up with you when the temps go down. Notable features are the improved grip, safety leash, and reflective elements to help keep you seen in low-light conditions.

Climb

The Black Diamond Momentum Harness Package is the gift of all gifts. It’s the perfect starter kit for someone looking to get into climbing, featuring their most popular harness, an ATC-XP belay/rappel device, a rocklock screwgate locking carabiner, chalk bag, and chalk. We have 5 different styles including men’s and women’s sizing (while supplies last). Also check out the Corax Kit from Petzl.

Hike

The Salomon Men’s and Women’s Quest 4d 3 GTX Waterproof Hiking Boots are an awesome all-around shoe featuring Salomon’s signature running shoe-adapted tech, meaning it has a light and flexible feel with support sturdy enough for backpacking endeavors. Add the tall ankle and GORE-TEX outer and you’ve got a very dependable boot for any situation out there.

Speaking of dependable, Deuter is a brand that comes to mind (it’s been around since 1898). The Speed Lite 26 Technical Day Pack is the lightest in the Deuter hiking pack series. It’s small in size but doesn’t lack in the comfort department with a hip belt and padded shoulder straps, making it suitable for an array of outdoor activities.

Camp

Here’s a kickass camp gift: The MSR PocketRocket Stove Kit includes everything needed to cook and eat for two in the backcountry. The stove delivers quick boil times while the insulated dish sets (mugs, bowls, folding sporks) keep things warm at camp. Everything nests in a 2L aluminum pot for space-efficient transport.

The Big Agnes Torchlight series sleeping bags are just about as comfy as they get. There are some Ultralight options for backpackers but here we’ll focus on the Torchlight 20. This bag features 2 expandable panels from shoulders to footbox for up to 10 extra inches of sleep space and is insulated with DownTek water-repellent down with baffle construction—A great option for those seeking added comfort in a mummy bag.

Apparel

EMS Feather Pack Jackets are a longtime fan favorite, and this year’s update in design puts them at the top of the list. As always you’ve got hood options, internal pocket packability, and plenty of color choices (see Golden Yellow in Men’s and Sea Moss in Women’s).

Our Expedition Pant is a new arrival worth noting. Constructed from 100% recycled polyester, this 2-layer insulated shell features 10K/10K water resistance, a DWR finish and fully seam-sealed fabric to repel water.  Sourced with 100g Hi-Loft Thermore polyfil, the Expedition is fully lined and has soft brushed tricot to keep you warm and ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

Top Picks

The find of the day goes to the Tubbs Xplore Snowshoe Kits. This is the ultimate gift for someone interested in snowshoeing and comes with the trio of must-haves: shoes, poles, and gaiters. They are available in two varieties for men and women and ring in at just under $200.

Not sure? An EMS Gift Card is always a good option (keep in mind that redemption is currently limited to in-store only). You can also use these at Eastern Mountain Sports Schools. What better gift is there than the gift of adventure?

Finding any other gifting favorites? Let us know below.