Uinta Mountains Notch Lake

American Made Gifts Under $50

By Matt Mullins – updated May 20, 2019

Below you will find American made gear proudly built by craftsmen and women with careful attention to detail. I’ve selected the best performing gear that would bring a smile to any outdoors enthusiast. The following sellers were chosen for their competitive pricing, affordable and often free expedited shipping, and ease of returns.

Gift Guide Sections

Carved Phone Cases

Carved provides stylish American-made iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google cases. I haven’t personally tried any Carved cases, but they look great and receive consistent high reviews. They have a variety of carved wood designs to suit any style.
Last observed price range: $24 – 39 (depending on model)

iPhone Cases by Carved
​Click for Current Pricing
 from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Cases by Carved
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Google Cases by Carved
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Sawyer Micro Squeeze Filter

Sawyer’s newest Micro Squeeze Water Filter has caused me to retire my good old Sawyer Mini Filter for backpacking and any other adventure. It has certainly earned our Editor’s Choice Award. The Micro weighs just 2.5 oz, has a much better flow rate than the Sawyer Mini, is easy to use and to clean, is very affordable, has standard water bottle threads (like SmartWater bottles), and it’s rated to filter up to 100,000 gallons! It’s so light that I take it places I normally wouldn’t carry a filter, like mtn biking, small hikes, fly-fishing, even trail running. It’s awesome to drink out of any stream you come across, without worrying about the animals upstream. Long ago I used to carry pump filters, then progressed to water-treatment drops, or tablets when going ultralight; now I usually carry the Micro Filter. You’ll likely want to buy a good squeezable water pouch like the 2L Platy to go with this filter. 
Last observed price range: $27.95

Click for Current Pricing from Amazon
Click for Current Pricing from Moosejaw.com
Click for Current Pricing from REI.com

Princeton Tec SNAP Modular Headlamp

The clever SNAP is like getting four lights in one. It’s modular design functions as a headlamp, flashlight, lantern, and as a bike light with its included handlebar attachment. The removable 200 lumen head unit snaps into place with a strong magnet to fit the different modules. This headlamp has good battery performance using 3 AAA’s for 40 hrs on high and 130 hrs on low.  If you’re a minimalist looking for one headlamp to do it all then the SNAP is a great choice.

Last observed price range: ~ $35 – 40

 

Click for Current Pricing from Amazon

Click for Current Pricing from REI

 

Maglite ML300L Flashlight

Want a big, solid, American made classic with impressive performance on a budget? If so the 3 D cell battery ML300L is your choice. It’s extremely bright at 625 lumens and robust; it could double as a defensive club if that’s your thing. The smaller 2 D cell version has 524 lumens while the massive 6 cell version tops out at 694 lumens. Due to the ML300L’s impressive brightness, battery life, build quality, and price, it earns our Best Buy Award. Note two versions exist with slightly different grips: the ML300LX (pictured) and the slightly less expensive ML300L. 
Last price range observed: $39.75 – 50

ML300L (least expensive)
​​Click for Current Pricing from Amazon.com​

ML300LX
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Exotac nanoStriker Fire Rod

A cool, compact fire rod you can carry anywhere including your keychain and pocket, at the ready to start a warming fire. I keep my Exotac nano in my backpack along with a cheap Bic lighter. This waterproof fire rod can be struck up to 3000 times with its replaceable 1/4″ ferrocerium rod.
Last observed price range: $26 – 33

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Kershaw Skyline

The Kershaw Skyline is the knife I most often pack for lightweight trips. It’s slim and sleek yet fits my hand perfectly. I really like its 3.1″ 14C28N steel blade. Overall, the Skyline handles everything I need from a pocket knife and weighs only 2.5 oz. 
Last price range observed: $37 – 45

Click for Current Pricing ​from Amazon
Click for Current Pricing from BladeHQ.com
Click for Current Pricing from GPKnives.com

Okabashi Sandals

Okabashi makes fantastic sandals and flip flops for men and women. In fact, their Indigo Classics are my favorite flip flops ever and they’re ridiculously affordable at $21.99 per pair. The ergonomic footbed feels great and for some reason these flip flops refuse to smell bad and I’ve had mine for a few years! Thus they have earned American Gear Guide’s Best Buy Award.

More Information/Pricing from Amazon

Council Tool Boy's Axe

This is an excellent axe, and it’s the one that accompanied my Stihl 046 chainsaw as a wildland fire Sawyer. The Boy’s Axe has a capable 2.25 lb axe head, a 24″ American Hickory handle, and a good size poll for driving wedges. It’s small enough to perform as a great forest axe yet it can fell trees and chop wood all day… even if a lil’ shorter than usual for those tasks. It’s one of my favorites and is extremely affordable, thus earning American Gear Guide’s Best Buy Award.
​Last price range observed: $35 – 49.99

Click for Current Pricing from Amazon.com

Velvicut Bad Axe Boys Axe Version (More Expensive)
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Leatherman Rev Multi-Tool

The Rev is the best bang for your buck multi-tool available. It’s a high quality, fully functional multi-tool that thankfully doesn’t weigh you down like a brick in your pocket. If you’re looking for a one handed opening knife on your multi-tool, then step up to the slightly more expensive Leatherman Wingman.
Last observed price: $34.95

Click for Current Pricing from Amazon
Click for Current Pricing from BladeHQ.com

DMT Diafold Diamond Sharpener

If you want to keep your blades shaving sharp, the DMT Diafold Fine/Coarse diamond sharpener is the one to get, and the one I personally use most. I own many sharpening systems including from Arkansas Stones, sand paper, rods, and an electric belt sander. I can quickly sharpen dull blades to shaving sharpness with only my Diafold, including my harder blade steels such as S30V and S110V. It’s small and light enough for me to take into the field as well. If you would like help on getting the perfect blade angle, DMT also makes an angle guide kit.
Last observed price: ~ $32

Click for Current Pricing from Amazon

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My picks for the top ultralight backpacking gear. 
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