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The 2017 Holiday Gift Guide: $125 or Less

Ah yes, the holiday season is finally upon us. That special time of year where families and friends come together, communities are filled joy, love, and charity, and we eat all the fattening foods we know we shouldn’t. It’s also when most of us are faced with one of the year’s most dreaded tasks: choosing the perfect gifts. Well, fret not fellow overlanders, we’ve taken the guesswork out of this year’s shopping by assembling three awesome gift lists for 2017. There’s one for every budget, and you’ll find the first below: gifts under $125. Keep your eyes peeled for the next one later this week.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Expedition Portal and Overland Journal!

Overland Opener – $15 USD

We all love to open a cold drink at the end of a great day on the trail. Whether you’re popping the top to a beer, Coke, or Topo Chico, the Overland opener can get the job done. With thick black powder coat and Overlander laser etched onto the top, it’s sure to work hard and look great wherever your adventures lead. This cool accessory is priced at just $15 USD and can be purchased on the Mountain State Overland site.

Black Diamond Moji Lantern – $16 USD

The Moji lantern has become a favorite among many campers, including a few members of our team. At just under $16, it’s a seriously affordable option for lighting up your tent, camp table, or vehicle during those dark nights. The Moji can emit up to 100 lumens on its maximum setting, and is powered by three AAA batteries. Check it out on the Black Diamond site.

Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit – $115 USD

We love a good campfire, but we also love preserving the many beautiful locations we have the privilege of visiting. For those times when a ground fire is impossible, or just wouldn’t be treading lightly, Primus has a solution: the Kamoto. Available in two sizes, these fold-flat pits are made of stainless and powder-coated steel. The sides provide wind protection, while carefully placed vents underneath provide air for combustion. An ashtray underneath catches any falling debris and protects the ground from embers. Each model can also be paired with an open fire pan which can be set up to stand over the flames with its legs or sit directly on top of the fire pit as seen here. The Primus site indicates a retail price of $129, but REI and other stores are currently selling them for $115. To find out more, visit their website.

Rigid Ignite Backup Lights – $130 USD

We’ve all probably wished for a little more visibility when backing up now and then. Trouble is, LED lights are really expensive. Thankfully, Rigid has released an affordable set of backup lights that can be mounted flush with the bumper, or externally. They’re called Ignites, and they put out 1,000 lumens up to 59.5 meters. Pricing starts at $130 for a pair, and they can be purchased on Rigid’s website.

WARN Epic Snatch Block & Shackle – $28 – $96 USD

We picked up WARN’s epic recovery kit just over a year ago, and we can say it certainly earns the name. These shackles and snatch blocks are built to last, and work like a charm on the trail. Each are available in standard and heavy-duty variants, and can be purchased individually or in the medium or heavy duty kit. To learn more about each, check them out on WARN’s website here, and them buy them at one of their authorized retailers here.

Prometheus Design Werx A.G. Watch Cap – $39-44 USD

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from cold weather camping, it’s that making the right choice in headwear is vital. Skimping on a hat or beanie to warm your noggin can result in headaches, poor sleep, and even sickness, which is why I recently bought an A.G. Watch Cap from Prometheus Design Werx. It’s made from premium grade, machine washable and dryable merino wool sourced from an American supplier, and knit near the company’s home base in California. While it may cost a tad more than your Walmart-variety hat, this cap is sure to fit comfortably and last for years to come. Check it out on the Prometheus site.

ARB E-Z Deflator and Adventure Light 600 – $40, $59 USD

We’ve been huge advocates of the ARB E-Z Deflator for years, and to tell you the truth it seems almost silly listing it in this gift guide, but there are still a surprising number of people who haven’t used one. This fantastic accessory will save you bundles of time on the trail, and encourage you to air down more often. The wireless Adventure Light, however, is a new addition, and one we’ve totally fallen in love with. You can read our full review here, but it’s one of the best 4×4 lights we’ve ever used. Both can be seen on the ARB website.

Expedition Portal T-Shirt or Overland Journal Subscription – $26 and $45 USD

This year we dropped a new T-shirt design in two colors: blue, and cardinal red. It sports an FJ-40 exploring one of our favorite places in the world: Utah. It’s the perfect way to show your love for the outdoors and passion for four-wheel drives on any occasion. Of course, if graphic tees aren’t your thing, a subscription to Overland Journal is another great choice. Packed with beautiful imagery, powerful stories, and advice from travelers all over the world, it’s sure to give readers a taste of adventure all year long. Find both in the Overland Journal and Expedition Portal Store here.

SOG Baton Q1-Q4 – $54 – $120 USD

I’ve always been a fan of the utility of a multi-tool, but could never bring myself to carry one. They’re bulky, heavy, ugly, and in general become very annoying to keep on your person, which is why SOG’s new Baton series caught my eye. They describe it as a multi-tool for the lifestyles and aesthetics of a modern user, and I would have to say that’s accurate. It’s no bigger than your average marker, weighs six ounces, and wouldn’t look like you’re going to battle every time you pull it out. More importantly, it’s incredibly useful The Q4 even packs a magnetic hex driver with 12 different bits! Honestly you’ll need to check these things out to understand everything in them, so be sure to look at the SOG website here.

A Map, Atlas, or Gazatteer – Pricing Varies

Many people are fascinated by maps, but they serve a more practical purpose for those of us wandering out into the backcountry. Before a trip, they play an important role in route planning, and once in the field, they are vital for backup navigation should your GPS fail. While they are available in a range of sizes, types, and prices, we’d recommend starting with maps from Benchmark, DeLorme, National Geographic, or Hema Maps.

Spot Gen 3 – $75 USD + Subscription Plan

While we all try to be safe in the field, bad things can occasionally happen, and when they do it’s best to be prepared. Spot devices allow their users to check in with friends and family, send predefined texts and emails, and should the occasion arise, to call for professional help. I’ve been carrying a Spot device for years now, and while I can happily say I’ve never pressed that SOS button, I feel much safer knowing it’s there should I need to. SPOT is currently running a holiday sale for half off these devices, and they may continue to lower their prices even more through the holidays. Check them out on their website.

Leatherback Writer – $95 USD

When I travel, I tend to keep my wallet, phone, and notepad close at hand. The trouble is, it can get bulky to carry all those things on the go. This great Leatherback Writer solves that problem by giving you a place to store everything you’ll need in a package just bigger than an iPhone 7 plus. For more information, check it out on their website.

Yeti Rambler Lowball – $20 USD

Let’s pause for a moment to talk drinks. Cold drinks should be kept cold, hot drinks should be kept hot. Easy, right? Unfortunately, most of us end up with drink temperatures somewhere in the middle. You could certainly solve this by purchasing a larger and more expensive bottle, but then you’re the only one in camp keeping those temperatures under control. To solve this, we’ve been using the Lowball Rambler from Yeti. At just $20 they’re cheap enough to buy a few for your camp kit, making sharing hot cocoa or cold margaritas easier than ever. Check them out on the Yeti website here.

Helinox Chair Zero – $90-120 USD

Helinox chairs have become incredibly popular thanks to their slim, lightweight designs, and now they’re getting even better. The new Helinox Chair Zero has a total weight of just 1.1 pounds, is surprisingly comfortable, and packs down to about the size of a water bottle. With a design like that, it’s little surprise that it won Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Award for 2017, as well as the love of many new fans. Although this chair retails for nearly $120, we’ve been seeing holiday pricing in the mid to high $80 range. Check it out on the Big Agnes website, but be sure to shop around to find the best deal.

Adventure Tool Company Tool Rolls and Bags – $20-99 USD

We’ve mentioned how much we love the Adventure Tool Company before, but after releasing a few new products this year we’ve fallen in love with them all over again. Made in Colorado from MILSPEC components like high-quality waxed canvas, these bags and rolls are as durable as they are attractive, and come with a lifetime warranty to back them up. We’ve used them to organize and sort everything from bicycle components to our vehicle repair kits, and they never fail to do their jobs. Whether you’re looking for tool rolls, small sorting bags, duffels, blankets, or a completely custom product, ATC will have what you need. Check out their full line of products on their website.

Get Lost Box – $38-119 USD

If you have no idea what products your adventurer would love, or you’re simply looking for a little surprise each month, the Get Lost Box is a perfect choice. Each month you will receive a new box of gear and equipment based on one of three subscriptions levels, the adventurer, the explorer, or the overlander. The gear inside each box ranges from recovery equipment and tools to cooking and camping supplies and everything in between. Check it out on their website.

Luci Lamp – $15-20 USD

Luci Lamps have managed to make their way into just about every one of our company vehicles. These brilliant little solar lanterns are perfect for camping and pack flat for easy storage when not in use. Seven hours of charging will provide 24 hours of light, and the case is dustproof, shockproof, and waterproof. If you choose the new Outdoor 2.0 model, pictured below, you’ll find an adjustable strap for hanging it, four different light modes, and a percentage charge indicator. To learn more, check them out on their website here.

Factor Equipment Verve Titanium – $139 USD

I’m a firm believe that if you’re going to purchase something that you use every day, it needs to be the right tool for the job. In other words, buy the quality product the first time and you’ll never be disappointed. That mantra is clearly something that Factor Equipment believes in as well, and it has resulted in products like the Verve Titanium Folder. Hand crafted in short runs within the company’s custom manufacturing facility, each knife is carefully produced and scrutinized by Factor Equipment staff. This particular blade has undergone a ceramic bead-blast and stonewash, which results in a stronger and more protected exterior. Factor states that this helps to hide scratches, reduce maintenance and support your blade’s original appearance over time. Ceramic ball bearings contribute to an efficient deployment, and a titanium frame lock keeps the blade secure when not in use. To find out more, visit the Factor website here.

Gator Jaw Synthetic Shackle – $43 USD

Synthetic shackles have changed the way we look at many recovery scenarios. Lighter, safer, and just as affordable as traditional shackles, products like the Gator Jaw are quickly finding their way into many recovery kits. This award-winning wonder withstood more than a 41,000-pound load in Overland Journal’s recent recovery gear comparison (2017 Gear Guide). It will make someone’s Christmas and cost you less than $50. Check them out on their website here.

Mountain Series Weekender Medical Kit – $60 USD

We know, medical kits aren’t generally fun, but they are vital for every four-wheel drive trip. If you or a loved one is hitting the trails without one, this should be your first choice for a holiday gift. The weekender is Adventure Medical Kit’s most popular product. At $60 it’s quite affordable, and carries all of the basic supplies you would need in an emergency. View the full list of contents here.

Leatherman Wave Multi-tool – $90 USD

The Wave’s 17 tools and blades provide numerous reasons to gift one to that adventurous soul in your life. I’ve used a Leatherman for everything from cleaning fish to rerouting fuel lines and fixing my eyeglasses. It’s a Leatherman, what more does one need? Check it out on their website here.

Sea to Summit Aeros Pillows – $42.95 – $69.95

The last thing anyone wants when camping is a crappy pillow that gives them a stiff neck, but toting around a full size pillow is rarely an option. Fortunately, Sea to Summit has just the thing, a range of inflatable pillows that collapse into travel-sized stuff sacks. With products stretching from an ultralight backpacking model to a premium deluxe model with air-sprung cells and quilted face fabric, there’s a solution for every taste and budget. To check them out or purchase your own, take a look at the REI website here.

Front Runner Camp Kitchen, Drop Down Table, Stratchits, or Wolf Pack Box – $30-126 USD

If you have ever browsed the Front Runner website, you’ll know it’s basically an endless list of things you want to buy. From roof racks and drawers to full access hatches to replace your vehicle windows, it’s astounding just how much cool gear they have. Truthfully, I had trouble paring down to just four items under $125 on their site, but I eventually arrived at the products you see below. The utensil set contains everything you’ll need for cooking on the road, and comes in a tidy little roll that is easy to store and may be hung on a rack or other surface. The Strachit is a truly diverse tool that works well for securing small cargo on your roof or the interior of your vehicle. The Drop Down Table is intended for the Jeep JK, however, they’ve designed it with the ability to be mounted on any flat surface, so the possibilities are nearly endless. I’m personally debating mounting one to the rear gate of our Ford Excursion Project. The final item is the Front Runner Wolf Pack box. We’ve used these things all over the world, and they are truly a phenomenal product. Tough, stackable, and affordable, they’re the perfect way to store your gear on your next expedition or weekend outing. Find them all at the links below.

Treaty Oak Off-Road Kinetic Recovery Rope – $115 USD

It always surprises me how many people attempt dynamic recoveries with static straps and ropes. The right choice is a kinetic rope, and if you don’t have one in your kit, consider this a must-have item for your winter wish list. The Treaty Oak Kinetic Rope is made right here in the USA down in Houston, Texas. It boasts double-braided nylon construction, a working load of 5,660 pounds, and a tensile strength of 28,330 pounds. Purchase yours on their here.

Coast FL65 Headlamp – $49 USD

Coast has established a reputation for building some seriously amazing flash lights, but sometimes you absolutely need the use of both hands, which is why they developed the FL65 headlamp. Sporting a wide angle flood beam optic with both white and red lighting, this headlamp allows you to preserve night vision or truly light up the night when the time comes. It also has high, medium, and low settings, is impact resistant, and carries an IPX4 weatherproof rating. To learn more, view it on the Coast website here.

Anker PowerCore 26800 and Powerport – $87 USD

For many of us, escaping the world and its technology is a huge part of camping, but there are always a few things which need to stay charged. This is especially true if you take photos or work from the road. For charging any device, the Anker PowerCore has a stellar reputation. This particular model can charge laptops, cell phones, and tablets on the go. It features a USB-C charging port for quick charge abilities, has a 26800mAh capacity, which is enough to charge phones and tablets for a week or a laptop once. Anker also offers several other models with prices starting at just $18 USD. To see this model, check it out on their website.

Gear Aid ARC LED Light & Power Station – $99.95 USD

The ARC LED light is a relatively new product, and features 60 LED bulbs and a 10,400 mAh battery, giving you light and power for up to 4 days. It’s weather resistant, has three color temperature and ten brightness settings, and can be transformed into a lantern using the included light diffuser bag. As an added bonus, this light can double as a power station for your small electronic devices, charging a cell phone up to five times. To learn more, visit the Gear Aid website here.

ARB Tire Repair Kit – $42 USD

Flat tires happen, and when you’re in the middle of nowhere that can spell disaster. That’s why it’s imperative that enthusiasts traveling into the back country carry a spare tire and tire repair kit like this one from ARB. It’s packed with everything you’ll need to clean and plug a leak, getting you back on the road and on with your adventure in no time. This kit costs just $42, which is an easy investment for peace of mind on the trail. Learn more on ARB’s website here.

Ultimate Ears (UE) Roll 2 – $64 USD

We tested the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker back in December and January of last year, and it quickly became a permanent addition to our kit. The sound quality is surprisingly good, it’s packed with cool features, and it is waterproof and shockproof. I have actually taken to using it as my secondary stereo in our Excursion since the truck has no auxiliary input for a phone. After months of daily use it is still going strong. Retail price is $99 USD, but it is currently available on Amazon for $64 USD. Check it out before it’s gone here.

Snow Peak Folding Torch – $58 USD

The Snow Peak Giga-Torch has become one of my favorite camp items to use in the field. It’s basically as close as you’ll get to a mini-flamethrower, and will light your fire, barbecue coals, or just about anything else up in moments. It appears a new version is out, and this one has a wooden handle to keep you from freezing your hand on the fuel canister, or burning it on the torch itself. If you ever find yourself camping in wet climates, cold conditions, or just want a neat party trick, be sure to add one of these bad boys to your holiday wish list. Check it out on the Snow Peak site.

Field Notes – $13 USD for Three

For better or worse, we live in a digital age. We communicate by email and text messaging, video chat with people on the other side of the globe, and are constantly being bombarded with updates from social media. With the exception of signatures, I’d be willing to bet that many of us haven’t put pen to paper in months, something Field Notes is hoping to change. Their awesome notebooks are great for jotting down information on vehicle maintenance, remembering that shopping list, or just sorting through your thoughts without the constant stream of technology trying to interrupt. It may not be the only way you write, but we think you’ll be surprised at just how relaxing putting a good pen to quality paper can be. Buy yours on the Field Notes website.

Gerber Freescape Camp Saw & Explore Hat – $59 & $20 USD

Axes and hatchets are useful in the field, but sometimes you just need a good saw. Of course, carrying a saw can be a real pain, which is why Gerber’s Freescape Camp Saw makes so much sense. With the ability to fold nearly flat and a 12 inch cutting surface, it’s the perfect trail companion for your next trip. Check it out along with their Explore hat at the following links. Freescape Camp Saw – Click here Explore Hat – Click here

Sea to Summit Hammocks – $69.95 – $89.95 USD

I’ve never met anyone who said they don’t like hammocks, so we’re betting these might be a pretty safe bet for your next gift. Available in single, double, and ultralight models, Sea to Summit’s hammocks are a great way to kick back on any camping trip. Each is available in multiple colors, and are compatible with the brand’s suspension straps, bug net, and nano tarp which are sold separately. Weight limits of the single and double hammocks is 400 lbs, while the ultralight is 300 lbs. See all the details, or make your purchase on the REI website here.


Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.