What are the best budget gifts for a woman?

I'm on a tight budget. What are some quality, practical holiday gifts for my wife that won't require a second mortgage?
The Editors
Santa Fe, NM

Dec 7, 2010
Outside Magazine
Hi-Tec Sundance Peak Parka

Hi-Tec Sundance Peak Parka


Hi-Tec's Sundance Peak Parka ($110; hi-tec.com) is an impressive down jacket for the price. The 550 power-down fill has a semi-glossy exterior and comes in red, which makes it extra festive for the holidays. It also has two exterior and two interior pockets, a drawcord-adjustable hem, and nice little standup collar to keep the wind off your neck and chin. It's warm and functional enough to wear for an epic day outside, but it's also so comfortable that it will become your default throw-on for runs to the grocery store, picking the kids up after school, or anything else that takes you out of the house on a chilly winter day.

The beauty of Smith Optics' new Evolve line of sunglasses (smithoptics.com) is that, in addition to having Smith's signature lightweight, practically indestructible lenses (that you can beat up while biking, hiking, skiing, cycling, surfing or running), the frames are made from plant-derived nylon instead of petroleum-based nylon. And since no frame fits every face, the Evolve comes in more than 20 styles. To further reduce your post-Christmas consumer guilt, the Evolves come in recycled packaging.

If your wife is an athlete, fill her stocking with energy snacks. My current favorite is the Tram Bar, made from all-organic rolled oats, honey, peanut butter, dried bananas, and lots of milk chocolate brought to you by Kate's Real Food in Jackson, Wyoming. Buy a holiday box with ten Tram Bars and six other tasty treats ($37; katesrealfood.com).

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