Holiday Gifts for Paddlers

If you’re looking for gift ideas for the paddler(s) on your list, your holiday shopping chances have officially entered the last minute. Don’t hit the panic button yet – you’ve come to the right place for all things river, lake, and sea this giving season. Most of the items below can still be delivered before Christmas and many, like a subscription to your buddy’s/uncle’s/sister-in-law’s favorite paddling magazine (C&K, of course), have no size or color preference. Shop away!



Big Agnes Milner Mall Booties
Like sleeping bags for your feet, theses booties feature 50-percent recycled PrimaLoft insulation to keep toes toasty by the fireplace or aprs cold-weather paddle. The booties are easily compressible, with a durable sole made from recycled material and a naturally odor-resistant bamboo/polyester lining. They make a great addition to any gear bag. $44.95, bigagnes.com



NRS DuraSoft Coolers
Pick the cooler envied on many a river trip – one with amazing beer-chilling capacity and the ability to squeeze into the nooks and crannies of a gear-laden raft. Closed-cell insulation keeps contents cool, while the tough Cordura exterior features D-rings for tying down your bounty. Best of all, the lining zips out for simple cleaning of post-trip funk. The 9-by-5-by-6-inch “six-pack” size fits, well, a six-pack, while the 19-by-12-by-11-inch “large” easily holds a half-rack plus the Christmas turkey. $19.95-$39.95, nrsweb.com



American Rivers or American Whitewater Membership
American Rivers advocates protect our water and support Wild & Scenic designations to keep our streams free-flowing and clean. American Whitewater supports local river cleanups and access rights for boaters. Donate to either of these, or a similar ocean-based organization, like the Surfrider Foundation, in the name of a paddling friend or relative this holiday season to give their on-water karma points a boost. Dollar amounts vary, americanrivers.org, americanwhitewater.org, surfrider.org



C&K subscription
All the paddling news that’s fit to print, plus gear reviews, athlete profiles, interviews, and captivating trip reports from near and far. It’s the gift that keeps on giving all year long. $14.95 for six issues, canoekayak.com



Paddling Lesson or Getaway
Even the most serious, lifelong paddler could stand to brush up on their skills or simply enjoy a guided trip in a new locale. Nationally recognized programs like North Carolina’s Nantahala Outdoor Center feature top-notch instruction, cozy lodging, and kayak, canoe and rafting trips ranging from mild to wild throughout the Southeast U.S., Mexico, and Chile. A gift certificate makes a great present for the boater who has it all, and is perfect for couples—keep it local by finding a similar school or outfitter near you. Prices vary, noc.com



Fishpond Timberline Vacuum Flask and Insulated Carry Case
Flyfishermen in Colorado know a thing or two about cold days on the water, and one of them, John Land Le Coq, designed a whole line of bags and accessories based around this concept. Fishpond’s bombproof, stainless-steel Thermos keeps 750 ml of liquid hot all day, while the insulated and stylish nylon carrying case lashes to a boat and looks good doing it. $39, fishpondusa.com



NFCT Membership
The 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail traces historic Native American travel routes across New York, Vermont, Qubec, New Hampshire, and Maine. What’s more, the nonprofit group that oversees it promotes preservation of watersheds and cultural heritage in the Northeast. Membership includes NFCT overview maps, a window decal, route descriptions, and two annual newsletters. $35 and up, northernforestcanoetrail.org



Kleen Kanteen Water Bottles
Most paddlers have probably swigged gallons of water from traditional plastic or Lexan bottles. It’s time to stop. Besides the recent buzz about bisphenol A (BPA)—a nasty chemical used in many food-grade plastics that disrupts human development and reproduction—plastic is forever. So once you discard or, more likely, lose that water bottle out of a flipped raft, it litters a landfill, riverbank, or ocean, never decomposes, and continues to leach toxins into the environment. Enter Kleen Kanteen, a Chico, Calif.-based company that makes a stainless steel alternative. With a range of sizes (from 12 to 40 ounces of plastic freedom) and cap options (from the kids’ “sippy spout” to the carabiner-friendly loop cap), they’re sure to please, and protect our planet, as well as the paddler on your gift list. $14.95-$25.95, kleenkanteen.com



SOLE Platinum Sandals
Know a paddler who lives in their flip-flops, even in the winter? Give their dogs a break with theses sporty sandals from footbed company SOLE. The EVA topsole molds to your foot and the high-density midsole cradles it, offering unrivaled support without the dorky look of an “orthopedic” shoe. $79.95, yoursole.com



Oxen Workwear White Label Carpenter Pant
Some say a great gift is one a person would never buy for him or herself. In a paddler’s case, a new pair of pants to replace their frayed, go-everywhere, grease-stained Carhartts probably fits this definition. Brooklyn-based Oxen Workwear injects a bit of big-city fashion into the traditional, utilitarian carpenter pant. Pick up a pair of these to do the same for your favorite boater’s aprs-paddle wardrobe this winter. $73.99, oxenworkwear.com



Kokatat Tempest Pant
Looking to stuff the stocking of that certain paddy-happy someone with stuffable stockings? Well, not exactly stockings. But Kokatat gives you the next best thing with the integrated socks on its new Tempest pant (left). For the first time, the California manufacturer combines pants with the same sock system found in its renowned dry suits. With the kayak angler (or anyone else looking for impervious splash protection from the waist down) Kokatat builds the Tempest with TROPOS, its element-shedding, three-layer, waterproof-breathable fabric, and tops them with a neoprene waistband with adjustable “hook & loop” tabs, so they don’t get caught with their new pants down (that is, if you don’t opt for the relief zipper). $159, kokatat.com



Gerber Omnivore Flashlight
Seeking a perfect stocking stuffer for paddlers or anyone who might need compact, on-demand lighting? Stash the Omnivore, with its .7-watt LED encased in aircraft-grade aluminum, in the glove compartment to tie down boats after impromptu moonlight runs. Run out of juice? Scrounge around for one AA, AAA, or CR123 battery. This baby will devour any one of them to continue providing a steady, bright white beam. $57, gerbergear.com



Sea to Summit X-Bowl and X-Plate
A friend once remarked that his non-outdoorsy parents never knew what to give him, so he ended up with all kinds of cheesy camp trinkets. These flexible, packable and heat-resistant dishes were a hit, though, and he has never left for a multi-day adventure without them since. The BPA-free silicone sides collapse while the food-grade nylon bottoms are strong enough to chop veggies on, and the 650-ml X -Bowl fits snugly inside the X-Plate to save space. The whole package weighs less than 8 ounces. $14.95-$17.95, seatosummit.com



North Water Expedition Deck Bag
The largest deck bag available from the sea-kayak-crazed folks at North Water, this Expedition Deck Bag lashes to your boat’s deck lines and its large, zippered opening swallows maps, snacks, water bottles and a small first-aid kit. The non-slip vinyl attachment system keeps it all in place while the rigid polyethylene liner slides out and doubles as a camp cutting board. 14-by-13.5 inches, 4.5 inches high. $99.95, northwater.com

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Buyer's Guide