If you’re an overachiever, you might have finished all your holiday shopping awhile ago. But the rest of us mere mortals are still scrambling to finish off our shopping lists. If you’re shopping for a skier or snowboarder, you likely know that we’re pretty picky about our gear. So we took out the guesswork for you.
Over at Liftopia HQ, employees gave high praise for their favorite gear, from snowy day must-haves to snow sport essentials. We rounded up the best gift ideas for all the different skiers, snowboarders, mountain lovers, and perpetually cold people in your life. Read on.
For the skier who has everything
For whatever gear they don’t have, the avid skier probably has a strong sense of what they want to get. So you can go two ways: either simple and practical, or aspirational and culture-focused.
Black Diamond Ski Straps. $5.95. These ski straps are practical enough that any skier will be glad to have them on hand, and cheap enough where you won’t feel you’ve wasted your money in case they don’t. “No one ever wants ski straps, but you’re always happy when you have one around,” says Christina Dong, Principal Platform Engineer, Liftopia.
Phoozy thermal capsule for smartphones. $29.99 and up. This little pouch protects smartphones from the cold, extending battery life up to 3x. Phoozy even makes protective gear for tablets and laptops too.
James Niehues’ new book. $90. During his 30-year career, ski artist James Niehues painted more than 300 trail maps for ski resorts around the world. His new book, The Man Behind the Maps: Legendary Ski Artist James Niehues, recently came out and is the perfect addition to every skier and snowboarder’s coffee table.
For the friend who’s always cold
Black Diamond Men’s Heavyweight Screentap Fleece Gloves. $45. These gloves are water-repellent and fleece to block out wind. Stretchy and close-fitting to skin, your friend will be able to type more accurately on your phone. Though these gloves are warm, your friend will probably still need to put outer gloves on over these for especially cold days on the mountain.
Glider Gloves Urban Gloves. Currently $14.99 (at the time of publication), these are a good buy for someone who’s looking for more of an everyday touchscreen glove.
Kerolffu rechargeable hand warmer / USB Battery. $20.99 (at the time of publication). This hand warmer/power bank combo warms up in 3 seconds and provides day-long low, medium, and high heat ranging from 4 to 10 hours. It also has a USB output to charge a smartphone or other device.
For the friend who takes multiple trips a season
Liftopia gift card. C’mon, we weren’t not going to mention this. You can buy a Liftopia gift card in any amount and since it’s an online purchase, you can give it to your friend or loved one right away. Perfect for last-minute thoughtfulness: since there are well over 100 ski areas on Liftopia.com, your loved one can use the opportunity to discover a whole new ski area. Bonus tip: Go on the ski/snowboard trip with your friend and treat them to something at the gift shop.
Hot Hands Toe Warmers (40 pack). $40.60. Save your friend an errand. With a 40-pack of these toe warmers, your friend will be able to stay warm all season without having to worry about re-stocking their stash.
Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen (2.4 fl oz). $22. Designed for both face and body, this Supergoop! Sunscreen leaves a light fresh scent and offers moisture without a greasy feel. It’s also non-comedogenic (so it doesn’t clog pores), kid-friendly, and water-resistant, offering protection for a variety of people and activities. Plus, it’s free of oxybenzone and retinal palmitate, which the Environmental Working Group had found years ago to be potentially harmful ingredients.
Dermatone Maxi Tin Face Protection. $8.93. Keep your friend’s mug safe from chapping, wind, sun and frostbite. Dermatone offers SPF 23 and an oxybenzone-free formula. Plus, this small tin can be easily tossed into a hip pack.
For your loved one who deserves nice things
Astis mittens. $145 and up. These suede leather gloves are lined with dry-wicking Polartec® Thermal Pro® High Loft to keep hands dry and warm in the wettest and coldest of conditions. Cozy and unique for your classy friend.
For your loved one who rarely spends for themselves
Darn Tough socks. $25 and up. These beloved merino wool socks wick away moisture, keeping you dry and warm without being too bulky. They also have a lifetime guarantee, so Darn Tough will send a replacement if they ever get damaged (but do check their warranty on these terms). And if you know someone who has a tendency to not buy solid basic essentials for themselves, this is perfect: these socks are practical enough for them to wear but are probably something your loved one wouldn’t buy on their own.
For your loved one who has terrible long underwear and seriously needs an upgrade
Airblaster Merino Ninja Suit. $199.95. If you’re able to splurge for a nice gift, this fast-drying and warm but lightweight merino fabric long underwear is equal parts thoughtful and luxurious. It has thumb loops at the cuff (hello, warm wrists and palms), and has both a front fly and a 350 degree waist zip, giving flexibility for ahem, any kind of bathroom situation. “It’s basically like wearing a onesie with all the technical benefits of traditional base layers. Also, since it’s one piece, there’s no chance of any skin ever getting exposed. It has a functional zipper as well so if you have an extra lunch beer, there’s no worry when nature calls,” says Adam Lasky, Director, North American Sales, Liftopia.
For your white elephant gift at a holiday party with other skiers and snowboarders
The Turtle’s Neck Neck Warmer. $14.99. One-size-fits-all and well under $20, this cozy neck warmer makes the perfect white elephant gift. Even if the recipient already has a neck warmer, they can always use another one.
Ikea shopping bag. $1.49. Everyone’s favorite bag that you can never have enough of. It’s the only bag that can actually hold all your gear without having to scrunch everything up. It’s also the perfect white elephant gift because it’s cheap, useful, and it saves the recipient a trip to Ikea.
Dark Chocolate Chili Almond Kind Bars. $15.49 or a couple bucks per bar. Low in sugar, a good source of fiber, and a decent amount of protein all mean this bar will hold your friend over until après without making their energy crash. But why this flavor specifically? The heat from the ancho chili and habanero chili offers warmth on the mountain, but the spice level is tempered from the dark chocolate and honey. The Cadillac of snow sports snacks. Consider buying a box of these to use as stocking stuffers for your all your snow sport-loving friends.
Nalgene 12oz plastic flask. $9.52. Lightweight and compact, this flask makes it easy to stay hydrated on the hill. Under $10, it won’t break the bank for your white elephant gift budget, ya cheapskate.
For the friend who cares most about après ski
Leatherman Squirt PS4. $34.95. This classic multi-tool has two kinds of spring-action pliers, wire cutters, a knife, spring-action scissors, a flat/Phillips screwdriver, a bottle opener, and a wood/metal file. If you have a friend who would love this for the bottle opener, they’ll probably find the other tools useful as well.
Liftopia Essentials Beanie. $27.50. From our line of Liftopia Essentials, this soft beanie will keep their dome warm and cozily cover their helmet hair. Pop it in the washer and dryer any time it needs a refresh.
Ski the East apparel. They have apparel and gear for men, women, and kids, offering items from button-downs and t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts and much more. Some of their newest arrivals include half-zip windbreakers, fleece pullovers, and fleece jackets which are great for any mountain town lover.
For the friend who likes to be super-prepared on the slopes OR for the friend who’s always bumming stuff off you
Wilcor Outdoors Thermometer Compass. $9.03. Liquid filled for accuracy and with a wind chill chart on the back, this keychain can be attached to any jacket, backpack, or hip pack zipper-pull. A great (and cheap!) gift for your over-prepared friend.
Fisherman’s Friend cough drops: Under $25 for the pack. A must-have when you’re dealing with the cold dry air. This will help your overachieving friend be extra-prepared, or better yet, you can passive aggressively gift these to that one friend who’s also mooching off your cough drop supply.