Sporting-Minded Gifts for Everyone on Your List

These innovative items—for him and for her—bring convenience and a bit of style to outdoor adventures

Santa better upgrade his sleigh with a lift kit and heavy-duty suspension this year, because my annual list of the best sporting and outdoors gifts doesn’t include a single slacker. Whether your intended recipient hunts, fishes, hikes, camps, or simply dawdles by the fire pit waiting on the next round of s’mores, there’s a winner here that will put you on the nice list until at least this time next year.

Fly Fishing Travel Case

This Italian beauty is hard-sided, TSA-lock compliant, compact, lightweight, and handsome in the manner of old steamer trunks. Made by the same company that produces the famed Negrini line of firearms cases, the double-walled Sea Run case will hold four to five flyrods, plus up to six reels, fly boxes, and a fishing vest’s worth of accessories. Just looking at it makes me want to book a trip to the Bahamas. Or the Grand Seychelles. Or just about anywhere these days. $569;


There’s nothing wrong with a good snort on the banks of a trout stream or after you’re back on terra firma from a bracing morning in the duck blind. And there aren’t many cooler ways to bring the brown than this handy flask from VSSL. It’s shaped perfectly for cramming in an already stuffed daypack or tackle bag, comes with an integrated pair of shot glasses, and holds about nine ounces of happy. $95;

Solar Lantern

I’ve used a Luci Lights inflatable solar light to brighten up my tent, illuminate the grill, help me find stuff in the back of my truck, and provide a nice mood light for the back porch. One even serves as a permanent fixture for my outdoor shower at the beach. The Pro series bumps up the convenience with a USB connection for charging when you can’t wait on the sun. And it will charge your phone, to boot. $40;

Grill Pan

This perforated eleven-inch pan from Made In lets the flames right on in to caramelize veggies and sear meat on grills, grates, and open fires alike. Made of two-millimeter blue carbon steel, the pan is stout enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with your black-iron cookware, but light enough to tote along for campsite or backyard firepit work. $75;

Fly Reel

Built on the design of the saltwater-brawny Mirage, the Mirage LT fly reel from Orvis retains the stopping power and strength of the original in a down-sized frame. Hardcore anglers will appreciate the carbon-and-stainless-steel sealed drag, titanium shaft, and zero startup inertia. And beginners will give high marks for the reel’s light weight and balance on smaller rods. The Mirage LT comes in more subdued colors than this striking burnished orange, but it’s Christmas. Go for the bling. $349-429;

Knife Set

Benchmade’s four-piece set of table knives can seamlessly transition from quail and duck cleaning to your mother-in-law’s dinner table. The knives feature high-end components from tip to butt, with full-tang CPM 154 stainless-steel blades, and they come in a sleek red birch box for storage that’s striking enough to use on the tabletop at mealtime. And use them three meals a day if you like—Benchmade offers a free lifetime knife sharpening program. $600;

Women’s Down Vest

This vest caught my eye from across the room—and that was just a photograph in a catalog left open on the coffee table. It’s just as fetching in the real world. Along with the signature waxed cotton and sustainably sourced goose down, Filson spared no creature-comfort details: The handwarmer pockets are lined with moleskin, the collar is lined with merino wool, and the detachable hood is trimmed with a sheepskin shearling ruff. $325;

Roasting Sticks

In addition to toasting marshmallows with style, these sturdy Solo Stove campfire forks easily handle multiple hot dogs, an appetizer-sized portion of shrimp, or chunks of venison backstrap. Each skewer twists in the middle to separate into two easy-to-store pieces, and the four-pack stores neatly in the included bag. $70;

Portable Grill

Why shouldn’t a portable grill look like something designed in an architectural studio? Nomad’s perforated sculpture of cast aluminum and stainless-steel grates allows you to sear, grill, smoke, and bake anywhere from your back deck to the backcountry. With a self-sealing lid and top-shelf thermometer, it can handle hours of slow smoking, but even at high temperatures the grill stays cool enough to sit on a picnic table or tailgate. Use your favorite charcoal or Nomad’s proprietary dense fruitwood charcoal that travels easily inside. $599;

Follow T. Edward Nickens on Instagram @enickens

Holiday gift guides from G&G:
>> Gift Ideas Under $50
>> Gift Ideas Under $300
>> Gift Ideas for Southern Cooks
>> Gift Ideas for the Sporting-Minded
>> Gift Ideas for Kids
>> Heirloom-Quality Gifts to Last a Lifetime
>> Our Editors’ Wish List

Also see:
>> The Winter Catalogue from Fieldshop by Garden & Gun

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