Gifts for the Family (That Are Also Secretly for You)
Invest in these splurge-worthy gifts for the whole crew
The best gifts are the ones you can share with the entire family. We picked half a dozen of our favorite things, from next-level fire pits to luxurious tents, that make for perfect family-centric splurges this holiday season.
Size matters, especially when you’re talking about a family car-camping tent. The Kingdom 6 gives you 84 square feet of living space and a 75-inch ceiling. That alone is impressive, but the vertical walls make this tent feel even bigger than it actually is. A six-foot-tall person can stand upright and change clothes within it, which is downright luxurious when you’re camping. The Kingdom has a front and back door and can be divided into two private spaces, which is great because the kids absolutely need their own room. The Joneses will have to keep up with you when you show up with this portable mansion.
I have a lot of coolers sitting in my garage, but I reach for this one the most, partly because it keeps my beer cold for a really long time (the Venture won our Gear Guy’s most recent ice-retention test), and partly because it’s a size that I can muscle around solo. But really it’s the Venture’s mounting system and attachments that put this cooler above the rest. You can add accessories, like a bottle opener, cup holders, a side table, etc., and you can even slide dividers into it to keep your sandwiches separate from your beer.
It’s tempting to grab a fold-up aluminum cornhole set, which offers a more portable solution to the world’s greatest lawn game, but resist the urge. Cornhole is a pro sport now, and you need wood boards. Throwing bags of corn against aluminum just isn’t the same (there’s too much vibration). Keep it regulation size, whether you’re playing with your kids or training for the next season of the American Cornhole League.
Slacklining could have easily suffered the same fate as other trendy outdoor fads (RIP Rollerblading), but it lingers. Why? Because it’s suitable for the whole family. Mom and dad can use a slackline to work their core, and the kids can play on it while dreaming about American Ninja Warrior. The Classic is perfect for the whole crew, with a two-inch-wide, 49-foot line that can be stretched between two trees in the backyard or the campsite.
Is the Bullfrog system expensive? Yes, but hear me out: tunes from the package sound like a live concert in your backyard, thanks to dueling speakers that can give you 360 degrees of output. The Bluetooth connectivity has a robust 100-foot range, so you’re not tethered to your speakers, and they can play up to 20 hours on a single charge. The Bullfrog is also tough enough to handle rain, mud, sand, and even little kids throwing rocks at it.
Solo Stove was made for our Instagram generation, but it’s more than just a pretty picture—it also has a solid design. It’s built with a stainless-steel “can” equipped with vent holes at the top and bottom that feed oxygen to the base of the fire while the ash falls below a grate. The result is a fast, hot-burning flame that’s practically smokeless (depending on what you’re burning). I’ve been using this fire pit for a year, and what I like most is the hands-off process: build your tepee inside the pit, light the fire, and walk away. You don’t have to constantly tend to it, because the tubelike design forces the fuel to fall into itself as it burns. And yes, it also looks pretty on Instagram.