Uinta Mountains Notch Lake

Big American Made Gift Ideas: (Over $100)

By Matt Mullins updated Apr. 29, 2019

Below you will find made in the USA 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.

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Gift Guide Sections

Council Tool Wood-Craft Axe

This is a superb bushcraft axe with top notch fit and finish that easily competes with the pricy Swedish axes like Gransfors Bruks. It comes with a beautifully finished 2 lb 5160 steel head and a premium American Hickory handle. If you’re OCD and looking for a flawless American made  axe then this is the one for you. Council Tool’s Wood-Craft Axe earns our Editor’s Choice for its excellence. I personally prefer the longer 24″ handle for getting two hands on my axe.
​Last observed price: $142

24″ Handle
Click for Current Pricing from Amazon.com

19″ Handle
Click for Current Pricing from Amazon.com​

Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot

The Women’s Mountain Light is a stylish yet burly hiking boot. This is the same boot as worn in the film and found on the cover of the best selling book, “Wild“.
Last observed price range: ~ $360

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

Best Buy Ultralight Backpack

ULA Ohm 2.0

Ultra Light Adventure’s well thought out design, comfortable suspension, durable materials, and ultra light weight make the Ohm 2.0 a favorite on long distance thru-hikes like the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, and earns it the Best Buy Award for backpacking. This is the most comfortable ultralight pack around and happens to be my personal go-to backpacking pack. It’s a very close contest for Editor’s Choice between the HMG 2400 and this pack. I ultimately believe the ULA is the better value but you will need to cover it up in wet weather unlike the HMG. I’ve happily carried my Ohm 2.0 all over the Rocky Mountains and deserts of home and also through Nepal and Thailand rain or shine. ULA provides a variety of sizes and colors (including multicam) to suit your preference. While the the Ohm 2.0 is my top choice, I believe most folks will prefer the slightly larger Circuit or Catalyst packs depending on the compactness of your gear. My gear tends to be as light and compact as it gets.
Last observed price: $225

Western Mountaineering Ultralite Sleeping Bag

The Ultralite is a cozy 850+ fill down (guaranteed min. 850 fill but typically 900+) bag accurately rated to 20 degrees F and weighing in at just 1 lb 13 oz (reg). I find 20 F bags to be the most versatile bags, comfortable over a wide range of climates from alpine to desert. The Ultralite is a narrow and efficient mummy bag, if you’re shoulders are wider then I recommend the roomier but similar Alpinlite. I use an Ultralite for my personal bag and love it.
​​
Click for Current Pricing from Backcountry.com

Topo Designs Klettersack 22L

Do you just want a simple day pack that’s well made, affordable, and fashionable both on hikes and in town? The Topo Designs Klettersack fulfills those needs. Importantly for your daily commute pack, the Klettersack includes a protective internal sleeve for your laptop and plenty of room for daily essentials. You can find these packs in a bright variety of colors and materials.
​Last observed price range: ~ $135-189

Click for Current Pricing from Backcountry.com
Click for Current Pricing from Moosejaw.com

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

Do you want the lightest 3-season pad? Do you also value comfort and durability? The NeoAir Xlite is your pad (and my pad). It weighs 12 oz (reg size), packs to the size of a 1L nalgene bottle, and has thick 2.5″ cushioning with a warm R-value of 3.2. I’ve personally used an Xlite and XTherm pad for the past three years and highly recommend them for a super comfy ultralight pad. One thing to note is the Xlite and XTherm pads produce a crinkly sound when you move around, it doesn’t bother me but it might bother some sensitive sleepers.
Last observed price range: ~ $130-200

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

Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent

Super lightweight, roomy, quick and easy setup, high wind resistance, affordable, our Best Buy Award… check, check, and checked all around. The Double Rainbow weighs under 3 lb while providing plenty of room for 2 people with gear. Check out my review on this superb tent. I firmly believe you can’t find a better 3-season tent than the Double Rainbow, even for twice its price.
​Last observed price: $289

Click for Current Pricing from TarpTent

Danner Crag Rat USA

The Crag Rat USA earns our Editor’s Choice Award for exceptional performance in the roughest terrain. These are the boots that I personally use. A solid nylon shank over an aggressive Vibram sole combined with a quality leather upper provides the stiffness and support you need for heavy loads over many rocky miles. I also appreciate the stiff, well designed toes that are great for kick-stepping up steep snow. The Gore-Tex waterproofing has easily withstood fast moving creeks and wet slushy snow. As long as these boots fit your unique feet, I highly recommend them.

Click for Current Pricing from Amazon
Out of stock from REI.com

MSR Whisperlite International Stove

The Whisperlite International burns multiple types of fuel, making it the best stove for high altitude, international travel, and low temperature cooking (and snow melting). It’s easy to maintain, has a great burner capable of simmering (thus real cooking), and weighs under a pound. Additionally, there’s the more expensive Whisperlite Universal which also burns butane fuel; though I prefer to pack the lighter MSR Superfly (even over the tiny MSR PocketRocket) for burning butane while retaining a simmer capability.
​Last observed price range: ~ $75-100

Click for Current Pricing ​from Amazon
Click for Current Pricing ​from Backcountry.com
Click for Current Pricing from REI.com

Leatherman Signal Multi-Tool

The Leatherman Signal has practically everything you could wish for in a survival tool. It is an innovative full featured multi-tool that contains a fire starter and a diamond coated sharpener. The Signal features 19 tools including: Needlenose pliers, regular pliers, 154CM replaceable hard-wire cutters, wire stripper, 420HC combo knife, saw, hammer, awl w/ thread loop, can opener, bottle opener, 1/4″ hex bit driver, bit driver, 1/4″ box wrench, carabiner, 3/16″ box wrench, safety whistle, ferrocerium fire rod, diamond coated sharpener.
Last observed price: $99.85

Click for Current Pricing ​from Amazon

Click for Current Pricing from BladeHQ.com

Leatherman Tread Multi-Tool Bracelet

The Leatherman Tread is a wearable multi-tool featuring 29 tools in a utilitarian bracelet. Finally, you don’t have to worry about airport cronies confiscating your multi-tool! Rest assured this revolutionary man jewelry is very well made.
​Last observed price: ~ $175

Click for Current Pricing ​from Amazon

Orca Cooler 40 Qt

Do you want the best cooler; one that will hold it’s cool for over a week, and even longer than a YETI? Orca is the one. This professional cooler holds ice for a ridiculously long time and its grizzly proof.
Last observed price: ~ $249.99

​Click for Current Pricing ​from Amazon

MSR WindBurner Stove System

If you want a windproof stove to quickly and efficiently boil water, the WindBurner is an excellent choice. This stove excels at boiling water for quick & lightweight backpacking food like freeze dried meals, don’t expect to cook anything else. This system weighs 15 oz. including the 1L insulated pot. The WindBurner edges out the older MSR Reactor Stove due to increased fuel efficiency and wind performance. It should be mentioned… there’s a coffee press kit available for the WindBurner… mmm coffee.
Last observed price range: $100-140

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

DPS Skis Wailer 106 Alchemist Ski

The Wailer 106 has long been a favorite of mine. Made with an Aspen wood core and a carbon fiber laminate, it carves hard, turns effortlessly, blasts through crud, and floats powder. Though pricy, I highly prefer DPS’s carbon fiber laminated skis as opposed to their cheaper Foundation skis which chatter at speed. The Wailer 106 is even light enough to consider making it your all-mountain backcountry ski.
Last observed price: ~ $1,299

Click for Current Pricing from REI.com

 

Smith Snow Goggles

Smith makes some of the nicest goggles in the world right near my hometown in the Rocky Mountains. They’re lightweight, clear, comfortable, impressively fog resistant, have a wide range of vision, and come in a variety of colors and styles. What more do you want in goggles? I personally own Smith Squad Goggles with Chromapop lenses and love ’em.

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

Misty Mountain Cadillac Climbing Harness

Misty Mountain has a full range of bomber harnesses, from the very burly and heavily cushioned Titan to the lighter weight and versatile Intrepid, even lighter Bolt, and more. Misty Mountain’s Cadillac harness is the most comfortable and highest-quality harness I’ve used. The Cadillac has tons of gear loop real estate, and lots of cushioning. I trust my life with my Cadillac, enough said. It’s available in both Men’s and Women’s versions.

Click for Current Pricing from Backcountry.com

Pendleton Wool Blankets

I grew up with Pendleton blankets and have loved them ever since. The gift of a warm blanket never gets old, especially a classic Pendleton.
​Last observed price: ~ $139

Click for Current Pricing from Amazon

 

Coleman Guide Series Stove

The Coleman Guide Stove is a truly classic camp stove. Seeing this stove brings back fond memories of family camping trips when I was a boy. It uses liquid fuel, and has two burners with folding wind blockers. This classic is one of the only Coleman stoves still made in the USA. A cool thing about the Guide Stove is not only will it burn white gas, it also runs on regular gasoline which is great in an emergency.
Last observed price range: ~ $95-101

Click for Current Pricing from Amazon

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest Backpack

Hyperlite Mountain Gear packs are constructed of Dyneema (formerly known as cuben fiber) fabric. Along with fully taped seams, this translates into HMG packs being impressively weatherproof, more abrasion resistant, ultra lightweight, and earning our Editor’s Choice Award. HMG packs come in a wide variety of volumes and configurations, with some geared towards ultralight backpacking and some towards climbing with external attachment points for crampons, and ice axes. I find that their 2400 size with 40 L capacity hits the sweet spot for ultralight trips. For those wanting more volume, take a look at the larger 3400 and 4400 packs. HMG packs are specialized ultralight minimalist packs using latest tech fabrics and with that comes a higher price tag.
Last observed prices: ~ $310-500

Click for Current Pricing from Backcountry.com
Click for Current Pricing from Hyperlite Mountain Gear

MSR Guardian Water Purifier

The MSR Guardian’s claim to fame is it’s ability to physically remove viruses that other filters can’t. It pumps at a quick 2.5 liters per minute, removes sediments, and self cleans. It’s also incredibly durable, and is the only filter unit here that could be frozen, thawed, and reused. If you’re in areas with viral contaminants then the Guardian is worth its price. That said, if you spend your time in areas without viral threats then I recommend the lighter and cheaper Sawyer Mini Filter.
Last observed price: ~ $350

​​Click for Current Pricing from Backcountry.com
Click for Current Pricing from REI.com

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