Our Favorite Online Outdoor Retailers for Holiday Gifts
You're welcome, procrastinators
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
This year, a large percentage of us will probably buy presents from Jeff Bezos, because he’s made online shopping so easy and efficient. But in my opinion, there’s more shopping out there on the internet than Amazon. Other sites do a much better job of putting together guides that help you narrow down the perfect gift. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right thing for everyone on your list.
Best For: Men’s gifts
Started in 2010, Huckberry curates gear that falls right at the intersection of stylish and outdoorsy. Looking for a waxed jacket or leather boots? There are tons. The site also does a damn good job of categorizing product picks. Right now it’s featuring smart guides that list everything from bestsellers to gifts under $50. Some personal favorites that I’ve tested include the Mystery Ranch Hip Monkey fanny pack and the Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker jacket.
Best For: Women’s gifts
Founded by friends Jainee Dial and Lindsey Elliott back in 2016, Wylder got off the ground through a Kickstarter campaign and then became the world’s first online outdoor-gear retailer for women. The site’s selection is broad and deep, so you can find everything from roamer-alls and long underwear, to earings and brimmed wool hats. When possible, Wylder sources products from women-led companies as well as brands that have a strong commitment to environmental and social justice.
Best For: Outdoor gear
Yes, Backcountry pissed off a lot of people when it recently sued dozens of smaller brands for trademark infringement. It was a dick move, but I’m still recommending the site for one reason: the Gearheads. These folks are like in-store sales reps that can help you browse. Just click the chat icon and a Gearhead will answer detailed questions like, “How do I pick the right ski jacket?” Having a knowledgeable and quickly accessible person to help you shop makes a big difference when you’re sifting through thousands of choices.
Best For: The socially responsible
Patagonia is almost a cliché choice because the company is always at the forefront on environmental and social issues. But it’s worth mentioning again because of a recent giving project. From Black Friday through December 31, the brand is encouraging people to visit its Action Works site, where donations can be made to a variety of Patagonia-endorsed community and environmental groups. (It recently achieved its goal of reaching $10 million in matched donations.) But back to shopping: you can’t go wrong with the Nano-Air Hoody.
Other Outside-Approved Places to Check Out
Imaginary Authors: This company makes a ton of clever and smart unisex perfumes that will make your favorite scent-lover very happy.
Beyond Clothing: If you don’t live in Seattle where its one brick-and-mortar is located, you’ll need to buy online. The company makes one of the smartest outdoor layering kits we’ve tested, and much of the brand’s gear is made in the USA.
Powell’s: You should be buying your books from independent sellers like Powells, which is famous for its giant Portland bookstore.