What’s the Best New Winter Gear for $30 or Less?

Coming to a store near you this fall

Jan 28, 2015
Outside Magazine

Juice up Goal Zero's Flip 10 through a USB port, then take it along to charge your phone on the go.    Photo: Joe Jackson


We spend a lot of time at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market—the outdoor industry’s largest U.S. trade show—looking at really expensive toys. While we love drooling over $5,000 backcountry ski setups and $600 shells, it’s also our duty to hunt for new products most of us can actually afford.

Sure, the following list is heavy on alcohol-related products, but booze and the outdoors go hand-in-hand, right? So let’s embrace the party with these seven items, all for $30 or less.

Avex Claret ($20)

  Photo: Joe Jackson

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to drink cheap wine. And thanks to Avex, which unveiled its first spirits line in January at Outdoor Retailer, you can now buy a vessel worthy of your fine claret.

The Claret Glass is as burly as the company’s signature water bottle (the one we riddled with bullets), but looks so elegant it wouldn’t be out of place at a gourmet restaurant. A lightly padded base keeps this shapely, stainless steel wine glass from falling off a rickety cooler, and it’s also vacuum insulated to keep your whites cold and your reds at room temperature.

Hydro Flask Pint Glass ($22)

  Photo: Joe Jackson

Boasting one brewery for every 4,500 residents, Bend, Oregon, is a craft beer lover’s paradise. So when Bend-based Hydroflask—makers of some of our favorite double-walled, vacuum-sealed water bottles—created a vessel for beer, they had to do it right. Designers studied German beer glasses to come up with the perfect aesthetic and shape. The result: a round-rimmed pint with an interior angle designed to give your pour the perfect head and aroma every time. The Hydro Flask Pint is built from stainless steel with a powder coating, just like the company’s signature water bottles. 

Stanley Mountain Mug ($25)

  Photo: Joe Jackson

This 16-ounce insulated mug keeps coffee piping hot for about six hours. Screw the lid all the way off to enjoy the coffee’s aroma without sipping through a narrow mouthpiece. That lid is attached to the base, but can easily be swung out of the way while you drink so it won’t get lost or hit you in the nose. A large carabineer-compatible metal loop on the Mountain Mug lets you stow in on the outside of a pack during an adventure.

Mountainsmith Hemp Cooler Tube ($22)

  Photo: Joe Jackson

With no room for ice, the Hemp Cooler 2 isn’t designed to keep your beer cold for hours. But this minimalist shoulder strap is the easiest way to transport a six-pack to a campsite or concert. The tube-like pack is 100 percent waterproof thanks to its polyurethane EVA liner, and the hemp exterior gives it a casual aesthetic.

Snow Peak Silicone Cups (From $25)

  Photo: Joe Jackson

Silicone cups are an excellent choice for camping because they’re nearly impossible to break. But they often seem more like a kid’s accessory than a classy adult vessel. Not so the new silicon models from Snow Peak. We like these cups because they look almost identical to glass. The Portland, Oregon-based company gets this sheen through a proprietary engineering process, and the result is a crystal clear wine glass that wouldn’t be out of place on your dining room table.

Goal Zero Flip 10 Recharger ($30)

  Photo: Joe Jackson

Away from an outlet? This cordless, lighter-size charger can restore your phone to full power from a dead battery. It attaches directly to a USB port and takes about three hours to juice up. The 3.6-volt Flip 10 is compatible with all of Goal Zero’s solar chargers, and at 2.5 ounces, you’ll hardly notice it in a pack or pocket. The best part: you can charge your phone and the Flip 10 simultaneously in your house thanks to a smart two-way USB port.

United By Blue Trail Socks ($14)

  Photo: Joe Jackson

United By Blue is not the world’s first Benefit Corporation, a certification given to companies committed to social and environmental change. But they do have one of the cooler business models we’ve seen. For every product sold, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from waterways—and they handle all of that cleaning in-house. They’re projected to remove more than a quarter million pounds of trash by the end of this year. And not only do these socks help the environment, they’re also super warm and cozy thanks to a weave of American-raised merino wool. 

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