Mio Alpha Strapless Heart Rate Monitor from Holiday Gift Guide 2013: The Big List

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: The Big List

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Mio Global

Mio Alpha Strapless Heart Rate Monitor

No annoying chest strap: this is the Mio Alpha’s biggest bonus according to gadget-loving fitness fans. Heart rate zone training is becoming more and more popular because it’s one of the most effective ways to track and evaluate progress, and for gym-goers and exercise junkies this no-strap monitor is one of the most accurate tools on the market. The watch provides a continuous heart rate reading by measuring capillary blood flow through “optical sensing.” Numbers are clearly displayed on the watch’s console, but it also provides audio cues to alert exercisers  where they are in relation to their desired zone. $199; mioglobal.com
—Katie Rosenbrock


Photojojo Lenses

For the Instagrammer in your life: give the gift of versatility without having to shell out for a DSLR. This set of four detachable lenses—including telephoto, wide angle, fisheye and macro lenses—attach to the phone with a circular magnet that won’t hurt the device. And unlike worthy competitors like the Olloclip, these work with any smartphone—Apple or Android—even with a case. $49; photojojo.com
—Mark Lebetkin

Feel Goodz


Flips flops are an essential for every traveler, but these unique sandals are also e-”scent”-ial. With an aromatic cinnamon packet, even the smelliest feet won’t “reek” havoc on a seatmate or suitcase. Perfect post-run or for a trip to the surf shack, this present packs a feel good punch because every pair purchased empowers cinnamon farmers in Vietnam.  $40; feelgoodz.com
—Katie Jackson


Leatherman Wave

Unless you’re buying for a Gerber or SOG fan, the Leatherman Wave is the way to a multi-tool lover’s heart. The Wave’s thumb-open knives—both serrated and flat-edged—are deployable from the outside, as are the the saw and file. They lock securely in place so there’s no wobbling or accidental closing on your hand. The inside holds standard implements—bottle and can opener, wire stripper and scissors, not to mention super-grippy pliers—but there are also large and small bit drivers that accept Leatherman’s proprietary bits (two reversible bits are included for a total of four drivers), so you can fix eyeglasses or your ATV. At 4 inches and 8.5 ounces, it’s compact enough to travel with you wherever you go, but big enough to have all the functionality you need, when you need it. $85; rei.com
—Mark Lebetkin


EvoFit Enso Roller

After you gift this to the runner (or any athlete) in your life, you can tell them they’re not allowed to complain about sore muscles anymore. The EvoFit ensō Roller loosens tight muscles by providing a dynamic deep-tissue massage. But what sets the ensō apart from other “rollers” on the market is its ability to be customized to fit individual needs. A few easy disc adjustments are all it takes to turn the ensō into your own personal masseuse. $90; evofitforlife.com
—Katie Rosenbrock


Petzl Tikka R+ and RXP

The ‘R’ in Petzl’s Tikka R-series of headlamps stands for “reactive,” which is industry speak for “knows where you’re looking.” That’s right: near or far, bright or dim, the RXP and R+  automatically (and fairly instantly) adjust the light’s power according to your gaze. This is great news for nighttime/early morning runners and campers who would rather not fiddle with a headlamp’s angle and brightness controls. The 215-lumen RXP ($89.95) and 170-lumen R+ ($74.95) come with a USB-rechargeable lithium ion battery and accept regular AAAs. rei.com
—Mark Lebetkin & Peter Koch


Lululemon Carry Me Om Tote

Every passenger seems to have a carry-on these days, but this bag is designed to own the overhead bin. From first class to yoga class, this gift goes everywhere. Complete with a padded laptop pocket, quick-access external cell phone pocket, and a kangaroo-style pouch for packing a mat, no other gifts will be left behind. $128; lululemon.com
—Katie Jackson

Moving Comfort

Moving Comfort Just Right Half-Zip

Not only does the 1/2 Zip Hoodie boast more bells and whistles than the newest iPhone, but it comes in four different fun colors to fit any personality, too. Perfect for all kinds of outdoor athletes, this jacket-like pullover is designed to keep you cool when it’s warm and heat you up when it’s cold. It includes a ponytail compatible hood, stitching designed for enhanced flexibility, a left arm media pocket for phones and music players, zippered hand pockets, and every runner’s favorite shirt feature—sleeves with thumb loops. $98; movingcomfort.com
—Katie Rosenbrock


Ryders Saber Interchangeable

These superlight, minimalist sunglasses weigh in at a scant 24 grams (less than an ounce!). The contoured design is sleek and aerodynamic, sure, but the unique lens geometry allows wearers a much larger field of vision than you’d guess by looking at them. That’s one reason they’re so perfect for technical pursuits like mountain biking, trail running and triathlons. Hydrophilic technology on the nose pads and ears keep them from slipping off your sweat-slicked face, so you can focus on the task at hand, and a set of three easily swappable lenses means you’ll be prepared for all light conditions. $70; ryderseyewear.com
—Jeff Burke

Fix It Sticks

Fix It Stix

Tightening a bolt on the road shouldn’t have to mean choosing between an awkward-to-use multi-tool or a bulky set of wrenches. These clever, packable “sticks” each come with two permanently installed bits and can be combined into a T-shape for extra leverage. Sets of two come in commonly used sizes (4,5,6mm hex, Torx 25, Phillips #2&3, slotted) and a choice of aluminum (extra light) or chrome steel (extra strong). $30; fixitsticks.com
—Mark Lebetkin

Andrews McMeel Publishing

The Complete Runner's Day-By-Day Log 2014 Calendar

It seems like everyone’s all up in arms about how much runners like to brag these days. Maybe stuffing this day-by-day runner’s log in your favorite road racer’s stocking will help quiet things down a bit by helping him or her to quietly keep track of all those marvelous miles on paper. With space to record miles, times, successes, and, yes, even failures, it’s the perfect training tool for runners of every level. $10; amazon.com
—Katie Rosenbrock


Dakine Apex Hydration Pack

If dog weren’t man’s best friend, then it would be this backpack instead. 3L Hydration pack? Check. Helmet storage? Check. Fleece goggle pocket? Check. It’s the perfect size for a day-trip but it also features a hip belt for when the going gets heavy. $135; dakine.com

—Katie Jackson


Harbinger HumanX Kettlebell Arm Guards

Since CrossFit is all the rage right now, chances are someone in your life just bought their very first box membership. With workouts so intense, a first-timer might return from their first WOD with a bit of a bruised ego. But at least you can give them the gift of un-wounded wrists. Those KettleBell snatches can be killer. $20; humanxgear.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

The Mountaineers Books

“Don’t Freeze Out There” Cards

A deck of cards can be a lifesaver when you’re snowed in or camping far from the nearest television. But playing with this deck, which is filled with winter outdoor survival tips, could actually save your life. Advice is organized by suit: hearts have tips on staying warm and dry; clubs on dealing with cold-related injury; spades on avalanche safety; and diamonds on snow travel and hazards. Who knew you could learn to build a snow trench during your next game of fireside euchre? $8; The Mountaineers Books
—Mark Lebetkin

Moving Comfort

Moving Comfort Just Right Ear Warmer

Any runner who wants to work out outside during the winter months needs gear to cover his or her ears—but it must boast moisture-wicking features like the Just Right Ear Warmer headband, though. After all, wet ears will certainly not be warm ears. This headband works to regulate body temperature and also includes reflective accents—great for early morning, before-the-sun or late-night runs. $18; movingcomfort.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

Velo Bling Designs

Velo Bling Jewelry

Show your cycling sweetie some love this holiday season with one-of-a-kind jewelry made from new and recycled bicycle parts. Based near Denver, Colorado, artist Ed Dunne and crew put the words “chain” in “chain necklace” ($37) and “link” in “cufflink” ($40). velobling.com
—Mark Lebetkin


Bowflex Boost™ Smart Activity tracker

The Bowflex Boost is all about encouraging activity, and since we all need to a do a little less sitting and lot more moving, that means it makes a great gift for pretty much anyone. The discreet wristband makes tracking daily activity almost effortless. It records steps, distance, and calories and measures the results against pre-programmed goals. Motivation comes in the form of a little LED light that progresses from red to yellow as your approach your daily target and finally to green when you reach your goal. Bluetooth compatibility makes for seamless smartphone data syncing and of course, social media sharing too. $50; bowflexboost.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

Brilliant Swim


The PaceWatch is perfect for the traveler who loves to test out every hotel pool. Whether worn while swimming in climate-controlled luxury or in a chilly alpine lake, this portable pool-like pace clock is easy to read and never  a pain to pack or wear.  It’s  the slimmest water-resistant sports watch on the market, and because it just launched in July, it’s ideal for any active early adopter. $80; brilliantswim.com
—Katie Jackson  

Nathan Sports

Nathan Streamline Bottle

Leak-free luggage is must for the active traveler who needs to stay hydrated. This bottle’s unique spill-proof locking mechanism makes getting a drink on the go easier than ever. Push a button and the sip cap instantly comes up. No lid to worry about losing and the iconic NATHAN clip-on performance carabiner means you’ll never lose it either. Plus, it’s also great for runners and as long as it’s empty during screening, TSA-approved! $24; nathansports.com
—Katie Jackson

My Adea

Adea Reversible Camisole

Even the most active woman likes to feel like a lady when she’s on the road. This wardrobe staple is made from luxurious micro fiber fabric manufactured in Italy, but the best part is that it can be hand-washed in a hotel sink and hung up to dry in about an hour. And it saves space, too. Wear it as a v-neck one day and a scoop-neck the next. All you have to do is reverse it. $73.50; myadea.com
—Katie Jackson


Stanley eCycle Flask

Emptying a flask is no problem if you’ve got lips and a mouth, but cleaning it is another matter. Not so with Stanley’s new 7-ounce eCycle Flask made from recycled and recyclable materials. It has a two-stage lid for ease of cleaning and filling. Perfect for raising spirits on nippy winter evenings. Ships in January 2014. $15; shopstanley-pmi.com
—Mark Lebetkin


Gaiam Thirsty Yoga Towel

Sweat happens. But this amazingly absorbent and light microfiber towel will impress any traveler (especially the one with the vigorous vinyasa practice) by absorbing twice as much moisture as cotton but drying in half the time. Ideal for the traveler who doesn’t have room to pack their mat but wants to have something to cover-up a rental. New colors pack a powerful punch and make for a pretty present. $24; gaiam.com
—Katie Jackson


Athleta Ironstone Connect Capri

These comfy, cutely-patterned capris were inspired for studio and yoga workouts, but are certainly versatile enough for all types of active endeavors. The yogi in your life may love these the most, but that doesn’t mean they're wrong for a runner or die-hard CrossFit fan. Available in three different colors and all made with Lycra and “CoolMax” Spandex, these capris are designed to wick moisture and provide breathability. Plus, they get bonus points for a snug fit that still offers the utmost flexibility. $80; athleta.gap.com
—Katie Rosenbrock


Patagonia Women's Vest

Warm to the core, this windproof 800-fill-power premium down vest will be treasured for years by travelers who like to switch to the slopes from the beach when winter comes.  The best feature for packing purposes is that it stuffs into an interior mesh pocket and takes up about as much space as a pair of socks. $169; patagonia.com
—Katie Jackson

Action Wipes

Action Wipes

Don’t let anyone in your life complain they have no time for exercise. As long as their bag is stocked with a few Action Wipes there’s really no excuse. Workout, wipe down, and get on with the day. Since they’re compact and great for cleaning up anywhere at any time, avid travelers and outdoor adventurer-lovers will adore them too. $25; actionwipes.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

Rive USA

Rivé Glass Water Bottles

If your health fanatic friends haven’t ditched their plastic bottles by now then this holiday season is your chance to help them detoxify their hydration devices. Rive’s water bottles are made of glass which means they’re BPA free. Plus, they come in three different sleek and sexy designs that make for a fitness-forward fashion statement perfect for any personality. $15-$20; riveusa.com
—Katie Rosenbrock


Woolies 150 Zip T-Neck by Ibex

Staying warm while you work out in the winter doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can be quite cozy and cute with pieces like this base layer made of superfine New Zealand Merino wool. Naturally odor-resistant and moisture-wicking, the quality material is complemented by flatlock seams, a tag-free label, and a luxurious feel—all features that score major brownie points with the active crowd. $90; ibex.com
—Katie Jackson


LifeProof Galaxy S4s

For the smartphone-equipped traveler whose activities involve water, dirt, snow, and more, this gift is worthy of a spot in the hero gift hall of fame.  New for Galaxy S4 but also available for iPhones, this hardcore case guarantees that phones survive submersions of 6.6 feet deep and drops from as high as 6.6 feet. It keeps your phone totally sealed from the elements, but is still totally touch screen compatible. $80; lifeproof.com
—Katie Jackson  

Silver Edge Gear

Silver Edge Antimicrobial Travel Bags

When it comes to sweat, silver trumps gold. These antimicrobial travel bags designed by a soccer mom in North Carolina are a must-have for travelers carrying around sweaty clothes in their suitcase. The silver in the material causes odor to stay in the bag and prevents the spread of bacteria. The skunk logo is “odor-able” and there are plenty of fun colors and custom-printed designs to choose from. $40; silveredgegear.com
—Katie Jackson

Freitag/Bruno Alder

Freitag Moss & Roy Commuter Bags

Your precious cargo will be safe at hand in these stylish urban commuter bags made from recycled truck tarps and seatbelts. Swiss company Freitag has been turning this ultra-durable material into commuter gear since 1993, and because every upcycled tarp is different, every bag has a unique design. New for the season, the Moss (left, $260) and larger Roy (right, $310) both have padded pockets for laptops up to 15 inches—the sleeve is removable in the Roy—and plenty of storage. And if price is holding you back, just remember that these will stand up to years of abuse on the road—after all, they already did. freitag.ch
—Mark Lebetkin

Moving Comfort

Moving Comfort Just Right Gloves

Every gift for the gadget-lover on your list doesn’t have to be some sort of super impressive, state-of-the-art, device. The gizmos that assist those gadgets, like these touch-screen accessible gloves, make great gifts too. App-obsessed athletes love tracking their adventures with their phones, but they need to keep their hands heated too. The Just Right glove’s tech-tipped fingers make every app accessible while the moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating material continually keeps hands heated. $30; movingcomfort.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

Card Ninja

Card Ninja

It’s a common nuisance when running, cycling or going to the gym: carrying both your phone and the contents of your wallet—minus the wallet. The Card Ninja, which combines the two, is an elegant solution. This slim adhesive mini-wallet sticks to almost any phone (or phone case) and can hold on tight to your ID, some credit cards and cash, so you don’t have to worry about where you’re going to stash those things when you’re on the move. $19.95; cardninja.com
—Mark Lebetkin


ColdAvenger Classic Fleece Mask

For the determined traveler who plans to stay and play outside as long as possible, this fleece mask features a patented, medical grade ventilator that allows normal  breathing, keeps the face dry, and relaxes airways with warm and humidified air. Major warmth without the weight—this is one must-have for any suitcase headed for snowy, cold climates. $50; coldavenger.com
—Katie Jackson

Core Layers

Core Concepts January Jacket

Core Concepts describes its January Jacket as “always appropriate,” which we think is extremely accurate given it’s the perfect mix between stylish and sporty. Its chic shape with classic lines was inspired by the infamous but always well-dressed Mad Men character Betty Draper. She probably wouldn’t be caught dead outside the confines of her quaint suburban neighborhood, but for the fashion-forward adventurer in your life the coat also features a wind- and waterproof shell, a brushed fleece inner lining, and a zip front with magnetic over-closure. $189; corelayers.com
—Katie Rosenbrock


Topeak Road Morph G Pump

In theory, any old mini pump will get you aired up and back on the road, but in practice most pump designs call for a whole lot of monkeying around, and many won’t reach the high pressure needed by road bikes. It’s not hard to long for a floor pump in these situations—and that’s where the Topeak Road Morph G comes in. The design brilliantly integrates the best aspects of a floor pump—namely, it de-couples the pumping action from the crucial pump-head/valve-stem connection. It also retains the promise of a mini pump—it’s lightweight (220 grams) and portable (only 14-inches long). The Road Morph G’s flip-out base provides a stable pumping platform and the in-line gauges makes it easy to read your pressure rating—all the way to 160 PSI. $45; topeak.com
—Chris Lesser

UCO Industrial Revolution

UCO Arka Lantern

This cleverly designed lantern by Redmond, Wash.-based UCO will do more than just light up your campsite: it collapses down into a flashlight and can charge your phone, too. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery can charge an iPhone once and still have enough juice left over to stay lit on the low setting for up to 25 hours. $70; industrialrev.com
—Mark Lebetkin


Coleman Stainless Steel 12-Cup Coffee Percolator

You’re a camper not a cowboy. This stainless steel, easy-to-clean percolator makes enough black gold for the entire campsite and won’t leave grounds in the bottom of your cup. $40; coleman.com
—Mark Lebetkin

Osprey Packs, Inc.

Osprey Ozone Convertible Luggage

The new Ozone series by Osprey is all about convenience without clutter and efficiency without excess. It has a lightweight design and a handful of practical features that makes it perfect for the avid and active traveler in your life. Its most notable features: a backpack-style carrying harness (accessible through a removable back panel mesh cover) and a zip-off daypack. $329; ospreypacks.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

Pony Bracelets

Pony Bracelets

Leave it to a fourteen-year-old to redesign the simple hair tie and transform it into a fashion statement. These stylish ponytails are a dual-purpose accessory that any woman with long hair will want to have when she’s flying on the red eye or just needing to tame her flyaways during spin class. Of course, they look lovely when worn around the wrist, too. $4.99; ponybracelet.com
—Katie Jackson


Men's and Women's Asics GT 2000-2

The newest shoe from Asics is a second take on the GT-2000 series and this time around it’s designed for a lighter and even more comfortable ride. John Gilberston, elite runner and member of the Mammoth Track Club sports these neutral sneaks because he likes the lightweight but durable build and the responsive cushioning courtesy of Asics’ FluidRide midsole technology. “With each stride I feel the cushion and I get that bounce back to propel me into my next step,” says Gilberston. This sneak’s specs are almost endless and it’s also available in a trail version, which means you can easily please the runner in your life, no matter what type of terrain they love to tackle. $120; asics.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

Brooks Sports, Inc.

Brooks Nightlife Socks

Socks are a traditional go-to gift, but these sophisticated socks from Brooks Running are too cool to call classic. Moisture wicking means they’ll dry fast and are the perfect pair to pack for a trip. Because they come from the Nightlife line, they’re highly visible and perfect for a late-night run following a day spent at the museums. $14; brooksrunning.com
—Katie Jackson

The North Face

The North Face 3-in-1 Tri-Climate Sephari Jacket

Every kind of explorer will adore this adaptable jacket from The North Face. Removable Heatseeker insulation allows its wearer to regulate warmth to the desired level and a breathable but waterproof HyVent outer layer makes it an ideal piece of outerwear for any kind of activity. A few other sweet specs include a removable hood, pit-zips, two zipper pockets, an internal media pocket, a secure Napoleon pocket, a hem cinch-cord, and a brushed collar. $240; thenorthface.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

The Mountaineers Books

Everest: The West Ridge, Anniversary Edition

Two weeks after Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit the world’s highest peak, a less celebrated but no less daring team arrived at the top of the world by a different route, the West Ridge—and almost didn’t make it back down. In this expanded National Outdoor Book Award-winning reissue of a true-adventure classic, author Thomas Hornbein recounts that brutal experience, during which he and his partner Willi Unsoeld were forced to spend the night at 28,000 feet in the open air. Spoiler: not all toes survived. $30; The Mountaineers Books
—Mark Lebetkin

Harbinger Fitness

Harbinger Women’s and Men’s Pro Gloves

Lifting weights isn’t easy, and not just because they’re heavy. Rough metal gym equipment leaves unprotected hands coarse and calloused, but durable foam-padded gloves like these provide protection and comfort. Plus, they’re great for outside the gym, too. One reviewer wrote that they even held up through a Tough Mudder obstacle course race. $15 (w)/$17 (m); dickssportinggoods.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

Map Bottom

myTopo Custom Map

Everyone who loves the outdoors has a favorite place: it could be a national park, remote seashore or backyard. It’s also no secret that maps can make great wall art. The good people at myTopo made the connection, and offer their custom-printed maps as glossy posters. Search by GPS coordinates or keyword for anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, and start customizing: adjust the scale (1:10,000 to 1:50,000), size (18”x24” to 5’x8’), overlays (including boundaries, grids, etc.), and whether you want a topo map, aerial photo, hi-res satellite image, or topo-photo hybrid. Prices range from $10 for the smallest topo map to $300 for a supersized satellite image. A still-jumbo 36”x48” topo map with relief shading starts at $29.95. myTopo.com
—Mark Lebetkin


Opedix KNEE-Tec Tight

Here’s a high-tech piece of gear disguised as active wear. Perfect for runners who log many miles, the KNEE-Tec tight from Opedix features the brand’s patented technology, which is designed to enhance performance by supporting joint motion. The tights are touted for their ability to minimize fatigue, equalize joint loading, and improve dynamic stability during movement. Science even says that these premium pants provide enough joint support to realign the body’s kinetic chain. $225; opedix.com
—Katie Rosenbrock

JL Darling LLC

Rite in the Rain Pocket Notebook and All-Weather Pen

From John Muir to Jon Krakauer, all manner of writer has been drawn to the outdoors. But you don’t have to be a member of the literati to scribble down your observations while on the trail; and with this 4”x6”, 100-page notebook and all-weather pen—it writes on wet paper and at extreme temperatures—you don’t have to worry about your musings washing away in that unexpected rain storm. Comes in a cordura zip-up pouch. $29.25; riteintherain.com
—Mark Lebetkin

GSI Outdoors

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist Ultralight Cookset

This ingenious nesting cookset for two weighs in at only 22 ounces, making it a perfect fit for backpackers or car campers who like to keep things compact and light. It’s a kitchen in a pot: the nonstick 1.8-liter pot has a strainer built into the lid, and it fits two squat, insulated 20-ounce mugs with sipping lids to prevent spillage, two bowls, and two telescoping sporks inexplicably called “foons.” The carrying bag doubles as a camp sink. All that’s missing are your folding camp stove, fuel canister and spices. Lucky for you, they fit inside, too. $65; gsioutdoors.com
—Mark Lebetkin

Project J Corporation

Max Mirani Luggage

For the adventurer constantly on the go who hates unpacking and repacking—or is just too busy to bother—this 2-in-1 carry-on will do the trick. Folded clothes are neat and accessible via the clever shelf feature, and a removable shoe and laundry bag is great for storing tennis shoes and sweaty clothes when there’s no time for a wash after working out. Bonus points because it comes with a lifetime warranty. $379; joyus.com
—Katie Jackson


Scrubba Wash Bag

Billed as the world’s first pocket-sized washing machine, this travel- and trekking-friendly bag has a flexible internal washboard and can complete a small load of laundry—about two days worth of summer clothes—in 5 to 6 minutes with only about a gallon of water. $65; thescrubba.com
—Mark Lebetkin


SteriPEN Ultra

Whether you’re backpacking or traveling overseas, nothing will ruin your trip faster than GI distress brought on by drinking contaminated water, which is why it’s always a good idea to carry your own purification system. The USB-rechargeable SteriPEN Ultra uses UV light to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria, protozoa and even viruses. It takes only 45 seconds to sterilize a pint of water, and can perform about 40 treatments per charge. The user-friendly Ultra is designed to fit in almost any container, including store-bought water bottles, and has an unambiguous smiley-face indicator to signal a successful treatment—no more guesswork. $100; steripen.com
—Mark Lebetkin

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: The Big List