Best Gifts for Off-Roaders Under $150

It’s officially the “oh-crap-I-have-to-buy-presents” holiday crunch time. Only the insane enjoy running errands this time of year, so we’re going to make it easy on you. Our very own Trail Guide Manager Chris Cordes has compiled a list of his favorite, must-have gifts for off-road enthusiasts, all of which can be purchased online. (Who is this Chris guy? Maybe you’ve seen him on Instagram: 4x4_Touring.)

Whether you’re shopping for a newbie so they don’t get stuck and lost on the trail, or shopping for a pro racer who seems to have it all, there’s something for everyone on this list.


Chris’s Picks: Best Off-Roading and Overlanding Gifts of 2020

Gifts to Keep ‘Em Safe


Navigation App and Warm Socks

No matter how capable a vehicle is, it won’t be much fun if you don’t know where to take it. That’s why a navigation app like onX Offroad is an ideal gift for anyone seeking off-pavement adventures. It helps users navigate thousands of new trails around North America, keep track of the weather and location, and even find recreation points like waterfalls, hot springs, fire lookouts and fishing holes. In my personal experience, it’s the sort of data that makes the difference between planning “another long drive”, or an adventure that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Yeah, I work for onX but that’s because I love this product. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

And who doesn’t need a good pair of tech socks? Check out the App + Sock bundle.


Medical Kit

A medical kit is another one of the few things you should never leave home without. While we certainly hope it’s never needed, having one in the vehicle could potentially mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. That’s why it’s vital to not only have a med-kit, but to have a good one from a reputable source like Adventure Medical Kits. They’re packed with the right stuff, in the right order, and include a quick reference guide on how to use what’s included to treat a wide range of traumas.


Radios

Half the fun of off-roading is sharing the experience with friends, which is why hand held radios are always an ideal gift. They’re perfect for spotting your buddy over that big obstacle, calling out some unexpected wildlife, or just chatting about what lies ahead or behind. Buying a gift for a spouse or family member? Radios are a must-have for safety, so throw a couple in their stocking.


Phone Mount

Keeping your phone (and your Offroad maps) in a secure position off-road can be a challenge. They tend to fly out of cup-holders and slide across dashboards at a moments notice, which is why I recommend picking up a solid mounting system. There are a lot of good options on the market, but some of my favorites come from Scoshce and Hondo Garage. The Scosche systems are a bit more affordable and offer convenient magnetic grips, while the Hondo mounts are the ultimate bomb-proof product if you expect to encounter a lot of bumps and vibrations off-road.


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Gifts For the Rig Obsessed


Adventure Tool Company Shop Roll

Every off-roader should carry a basic tool kit, but that doesn’t mean they need to carry it in a noisy plastic container or tool box. I recommend checking out a more compact and stylish shop roll from Adventure Tool Company. This one is made from waxed canvas or 1000 Denier Cordura and backed by a lifetime warranty. It includes reinforced pockets for all of your tools, a heavy-duty zipper pocket for odds and ends, and an integrated work mat to set parts on in the field. Best of all, it’s made by their small team right in Colorado, so you’ll be supporting an American small business with every purchase.


AEV EZ Deflator

When it comes to improving your vehicle’s off-road performance, people love to talk about lifts and lockers, but there’s something that can make an even bigger difference than these pricey add-ons, and that’s tire pressure. I know, it doesn’t have the same glamour, but airing down gives the vehicle more floatation on soft surfaces and can vastly increase the contact patch of your tires giving you the grip you need to conquer tougher terrain. Trouble is, sticking a key into the valve stem to air down is going to take quite a while, which is why an EZ-Deflator is always at the top of my gift list.


Area Lights

Most people know that auxiliary lighting can greatly improve driver safety and decrease strain by extending your field of vision at night, but they costly. (Worth it, but still costly.) Luckily, there is another type of lighting system ideally suited and budget-friendly, and that’s flood lighting. Whether you need to illuminate the sides of the road while searching for a campsite, brighten up your rearview before backing up, or just light up your buddy’s tent at 2 AM for a good laugh, these KCs will get the job done.


Storage Boxes

Wolf packs are legendary among overlanders and international off-roaders for their balance of price and utility. They’re versatile enough to carry everything from grub to gear oil, and durable enough to survive a lifetime of abuse. You can pack and stack them as is, or pair them with a form-fitting insert to hold dishes or other supplies.


Kit Bags

RedOxx makes some of the toughest bags I have ever seen. I bought my first duffel from them over a decade ago, and despite a grueling life as my primary travel bag it still looks good as new. The Aviator combines that same durability with a simpler design and lower price point. Like their other bags, it is made from 1000 weight Cordura fabric right here in Montana and backed by a lifetime warranty.


Factor 55 Soft Shackles

If you want to lighten the load on someone’s vehicle and improve their safety, a set of soft shackles is an easy win. Besides saving weight without compromising strength, soft shackles present significantly less risk in the event they are hurled at you during a component failure. Don’t get me wrong, it would still hurt, but you’d live to laugh about it.


Gifts for the Off-Roader Who Has Everything


Custom Vehicle Drawing

If you want something a little more personal this holiday, I highly recommend checking out a custom drawing by Kook Grin Media. These designs can be made into posters, stickers, shirts or just about any other kind of print with ease, and the best part is that they’re shockingly affordable.

A Darn Good Book

Chris Says: A wise man once told me that a vehicle is only as capable as the driver behind it, and I’ve yet to encounter a situation that would prove him wrong. So while I can’t recommend any driving courses for $150, I can recommend the next best thing: go pick up one of the following books, whether for education, inspiration, or aspiration.

The Four-Wheeler’s Bible

The Total Approach of Getting Unstuck Off Road

The Overlander’s Handbook

Travel The Planet Overland


Off-Road Apparel

Google Off The Grid Surplus, and the first thing you’ll read is “We make apparel for the motor-driven adventurist”. What it should say is we make BA clothing for anyone who likes durable apparel that looks good, feels better, and doesn’t cost a fortune. I’m not exaggerating when I say their pants actually have a fan page, and I am definitely a member.



The Ultimate Gift: onX Offroad
The #1 off-road navigation App is the perfect gift for the person who has “everything.”
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Christopher Cordes

Born and raised amidst the flatlands of North Texas, Chris didn't receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott Arizona to attend college. It was there that he fell in love with maps, four-wheel drives, and the places the two could take him. He was hooked. After graduation, Chris dropped his ambitions for becoming a commercial pilot to pursue a career in off-roading and a life on the road, a path that would eventually lead him to become an Editor for Overland Journal and Expedition Portal, an Airstream Ambassador, and a hopeless lover of good street tacos. These days Chris is working for onX Offroad as their Trail Guide Manager, finding even more ways to combine his love of four-wheel drives, maps, and the off-road community. You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @4x4_Touring.