Active Folks’ Gift Guide 2014

Got active folks in your life? Here are four products I used and abused this year that I can wholeheartedly recommend. If I didn’t already own them, I would be more than happy unwrapping them come present-opening time.

The North Face Quantum Full Zip Hoodie

As one of The North Face Wisconsin Dirty Dozen, I worked on sharing news about the Endurance Challenge – as a thank you, they sent me a gift card, which was very cool and a total surprise since I had already gotten some cool TNF swag. I knew exactly what I wanted – a full zip hoodie. And, guess what, TNF makes one that fir my needs exactly! The Quantum Full Zip Hoodie has a snug fit, thumbholes, a secret key pocket, enormous hood, and is made of a stretchy fleece that is the epitome of comfort. Even if you’re not into getting outdoors, this is a might comfy hoodie to lounge around in.

GoalZero USB Rechargeable Lantern

GoalZero makes all kinds of great gear for use in lots of situations. They sent us a Lighthouse 250 Lantern, which has 250 lumens of bright, LED light, recharges quickly from USB, solar or the included hand crank, and has a built-in USB port to power small handheld devices to keep you connected. This is a well-thought-out, well-designed piece of gear that looks good, functions as it should, and provides safety and comfort both out camping (light enough to carry in a backpack) and on your back porch. Full review next week. (Received as a media sample.)

Olympia RG850 Flashlight

For the outdoors family, a must-have ultra performance flashlight would be the Olympia RG850, a rugged high intensity CREE LED flashlight built for the great outdoors. It is waterproof, impact resistant and has an anti-freeze non slip grip making it just as easy to use with gloves or without. These flashlights feature five unique light settings including high, middle, low and even a strobe and SOS setting for emergency situations. Little Worker especially loves the strobe setting, though it makes us think lightning is approaching if we’re not ready for it. Something I appreciate is that you can recharge the battery while it’s still in the flashlight, via an included micro-USB cable. I will caution that, at 850 lumens, this is MUCH brighter than a standard flashlight and care should be used – I accidentally shone it into my eyes and saw spots for a few minutes. The fact that it’s been played with, dropped, and still works with no problem is testament to how tough this flashlight is. (Received as a media sample.)

LifeStraw® Personal Water Filter

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter filters at least 1,000 liters of water (about 264 gallons), weighs only 2 ounces, removes up to 99.99999 percent of waterborne bacteria and 99.9 percent of waterborne protozoan cysts, so why wouldn’t you bring it with you on your next camping or backpacking trip? Since it uses no batteries or moving parts, no worries about keeping it charged or having it jam on you at an inopportune time. In fact, this is probably something that would be a good thing to have in your car’s emergency kit (you do have an emergency kit, right?). (Received as a media sample.)

I guarantee that any of these 4 products would be more than welcome by anyone who is active in the outdoors. 

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