Holiday gift guides always cause a bit of confliction with me. The website is already consumer-driven in a lot of ways and I feel like many of the products we feature here are good purchases, year-round, so it almost feels repetitive to culminate them all in a end-of-year gift guide.
That said, the way I feel about consumerism can be summed up in two statements: Consume only if you need to and buy local when you can. We live in a society, where, especially around the holidays, people are pressured to buy loved ones shit they don’t need. I know this is a relatively cynical or negative attitude to have around this time of year, but I just wanted to be lucid with my intentions here.
These products are (mostly) all made in the USA, built to last and will hopefully be around for many more holiday seasons to come. As with previous product lists we’ve posted over the years, all of these goods have been thoroughly vetted and abused to ensure they’re worth your hard-earned money. And yeah, they’re not necessarily cycling-related. I hope you enjoy and if you have any comments, concerns or would like to leave your favorites in the comments, feel free to do so!
Every year, I like to include a product from Portland’s Tanner Goods. Their wallets and leather goods are simple, well-designed and best of all, look better with age. Keep your passport and important cards with you safe while traveling with their Travel Wallet. It’s big enough to carry EU notes, your passport and other items without sticking out of your jeans (I guess it depends on your jean’s pockets but mine all work just fine.)
The best bell. Hands down. Do I even need to include it here?
I know a discussion on sandals in the winter might not seem appropriate but those warm days of bicycle touring are coming! I’ve been carrying these on my recent tours and have fallen in love with them. Bedrock’s sandals are made in California and feature Vibram soles, for extra-sticky traction. They even come in a more resilient, tougher version.
It’s a top, no, wait, it’s a stem cap. It’s pretty damn cool no matter how you spin it. NOTE: this item will only arrive if ordered by December 18th in the USA.
At first, this square duffle bag didn’t sit so well with me visually, even though it’s designed to sit perfectly on a porteur rack. Truthfully though, it’s quickly become my favorite on-the-bike and off-the-bike bag, having already logged countless miles with it around the globe. Made in the USA, available as a roll-top and backed with a stout warranty.
Made in the USA, with fast write speeds for even faster frame buffering, the Hoodman Steel cards are my absolute favorite for digital cameras.
Yes, it’s a $350 cooler, but it’s the last one you’d ever need. They’re resilient, bear-proof, made in Austin, Texas and best of all, they keep your stuff really, really cold for days upon days at a time. You’d have to pry mine from my dead hands.
Tired of your old watch? Don’t buy a new one, just get a new band. These Maratac Mil Series straps are made in the USA and will spruce up that old watch of yours.
When I’m out in the great outdoors, sometimes I have to charge my electronics. From cameras, to a laptop and everything in between, the Goal Zero Sherpa 100 is the lightest, high-capacity portable battery I’ve used. If you buy the add-on AC adapter, you can plug anything into it…
These key chains come in three colors and two finish options. They’re made in Santa Cruz by two rad dudes and are the perfect length to tuck your keys into your rear pocket.
No, it’s not just a t-shirt! There’s something about these shirts that have quickly devoured my shirt drawer. The fit, the material and the feel of these shirts by Buck Mason are unlike anything I’ve ever worn. They’re made in Los Angeles and come in a variety of colors.
Woah! That was my reaction when I first saw Shinola’s new MADE (not just assembled) in the USA power supplies. Available in black, white or blaze orange, you’ll want to display, not hide this beautiful object.
Ride all day in it, camp in it and then wear it out in the city when you return to civilization, just make damn sure you don’t get ember burns in yours the first time you wear it. Or maybe you’d want to if you’re into that sort of thing. The Kitsbow Icon is my favorite flannel I’ve ever owned.
If you like to venture out into the wilderness for days at a time with little or no cell reception, you should have one of these on you. With the push of a button, you can send a text or a SOS. There’s a yearly fee to use your Spot Tracker, but it’s worth the piece of mind.
Still Buy a 35mm point n shoot camera and film!
Go to your thrift stores, camera shops and yes, maybe Craigslist or eBay and find a compact, prime lens point-n-shoot 35mm camera. Then go to your local camera shop and buy film, a case or even a gift certificate. It’ll be the gift that keeps on giving.
If you or someone you know are the outdoorsy type, frequent national parks far and wide, then consider a National Parks Pass and don’t worry about entry fees.
I hope that helps and feel free to consult our previous guides for more ideas. They’re all listed on the left column for you.