When shopping for a mid-price gift, our favorites range from rugged technology to cool weather gear. Have a look at our list of best gifts under (or around) $50.
Also check out our Gift Ideas for Him, for Her, and other gift guides from Active Junky, or ideas from our sister site, Tom’s Guide, with over 250 techy gift ideas. And don’t forget to sign up for Active Junky for the best deals and cash back on your gear and gift purchases.
Best Gifts Under $50
Photo Credit: Richard Forbes
|Crank Brothers||Katadyn||SOG Knives|
|Goal Zero||Mountain Hardwear||The North Face|
|GSI Outdoors||Outdoor Tech||Thule|
Goal Zero Switch 10 Recharger
Leave it to one of the portable power leaders to cram a 3000mAh battery into a cigar-sized tube complete with a built-in LED light. This is the one to take everywhere that wall outlets may be few and far between. Get a full charge for your smartphone, one or two charges for your cameras and a couple full batteries for your headlamp. At only 4oz, this is a great weekend backup, or pair with a Goal Zero solar panel to keep your device powered over several days.
Rokform Rugged Phone Case iPhone 7
The common thread in the Rokform system is the phone case. The Rugged case series is perfect for those living an active lifestyle. Enough protection to give you peace of mind, yet still slim and sleek enough to fit nicely in your pocket and not look out of place in the office. A magnet embedded in the case makes the phone mounting possibilities endless. One tester liked placing the phone on the side of his car with music playing as he strapped up his ski boots. Although powerful, the rare-earth magnet will not affect your credit cards, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. This is a solid phone case and we would recommend it even if the added benefits of mounting options were not present.
Outdoor Tech Buckshot 2.0 Bluetooth Bike Speaker
Twenty hours of battery life with a reach of up to 60ft from the source should put Outdoor Tech Buckshot on your list of gift ideas. Testers have carried, strapped, bounced and dropped this one around the world with zero problems. Quick to stash and easy to conceal if there’s concern about theft, the waterproof Bluetooth speaker is yet another inspired design from a leading outdoor brand. Complete with bike mount, take this speaker anywhere you go.
Crank Brothers b17 Multi Tool
Compact, lightweight and multi-functional, the Crank Brothers b17 Multi Tool is a great gift for the cyclist needing to make adjustments on the road or the trail. Housed in a case that doubles as a magnetic socket driver, tools include two chain tools, spoke wrenches, hex bits, screwdrivers and torx.
SOG Knives Switchplier 2.0 Multi-Tool
SOG Switchplier saws as if there’s no tomorrow. Deep wood penetration by the smooth ½ serrated blade meant quick carving with only moderate effort. On top of respectable nylon rope cutting and superior prying strength, Switchplier rates a superior value among similar and more expensive multi tools. Testers were able to open, close and operate this tool even with cold, wet and gloved hands. Almost squeezable in the same manner as pruning sheers, there’s plenty of power here in addition to admirable cutting capability.
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Canister Stove
When you’ve got a pile of group gear to divvy up among a crew of backpackers, a stove this small is a blessing. It performed well in the field, and testers were amazed by the compact packed size of this GSI Outdoors camp stove. Laid side by side with several MSR models, it’s smaller than the Pocket Rocket and comparable to (but 0.2 ounces lighter than) the Micro Rocket. The arms fold up ingeniously, and even our through-hiking, cold-food testers beamed with the possibility of hot coffee and food with the Pinnacle.
Hydro Flask 40 oz. Wide Mouth w/ Straw Lid
This is one of the most bomber water bottles we have ever tested. At 40 oz., this will last you all day and keep your ice water cold during long summer hikes or even sitting in your car. The straw lid is convenient for a bottle this size and makes drinking easier – although our testers did experience a little leakage when the bottle was rolling around the car floorboards. If you are a little more reckless with your gear, we recommend going with the flex cap.
Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System
For quicker and pump-free water filtration from Katadyn, the BeFree filtration systems is a great option. Simply fill the collapsible bottle from a water source (always avoid stagnant sources; the clearer the water the better) and you’re good to drink directly from the bottle thanks to the built-in filter, though make sure to avoid wetting the mouth piece in the source. Lightweight and packable, BeFree 0.6L weighs 2oz. empty and measure 9in. when full. Its EZ-Clean Membrane filter simply needs a shake or swish to clean. Tested to filter 1,000 liters, the BeFree will be a solid companion for seasons of filtration needs. Available in 0.6L (20oz.) or the newer 1.0L (33.8oz.).
The North Face Powerstretch Glove
To keep your giftee's hands nice and warm, we recommend the dexterity of the North Face Power Stretch Running glove. When temps drop even further, this TNF piece works as a base layer underneath a heavier glove or mitten. Made with four-way stretch material that is breathable and quick-drying, their hands will stay warm and dry as wind is blocked and moisture wicked away.
Mountain Hardwear Torsion Glove
For year-round rock climbing and scrambling, the winter months get a little bit chilly and these gloves will have the wearer covered on all bases: wind and water resistance, nose wiping patch and sewn loops for easy take off and hanging from a harness when it’s their turn to climb. Goatskin leather palms provide great grip for belaying and amazing dexterity for building an anchor when a lead pitch is over. Deflection softshell provides wind resistance, and the 60 grams of insulation will keep their hands warm as long as they stay active.
Thule Gauntlet 3.0 MacBook Sleeve
For a traveler who can’t leave their laptop at home, or even a city slicker commuting by bike, the third rendition of the Thule Gauntlet is a smart choice, and it is available for a variety of MacBooks and screen sizes. The padded interior and weatherproof, tough exterior are a match made in—well, Sweden—and they successfully combat the everyday jostling a laptop is sure to receive in any backpack.
Best for: Digital nomads, international travelers, and everyday commuters