Go Gear / Outdoor Gear / Travel Gear

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone always on the go, I’ve got some great suggestions!  I’ve road tested a lot of gear this year and these are some of my favorites.  Key for me is products that can go from trail to town, multi-functional, compact, are sustainable, and make make life on the road just a little easier.  Enjoy perusing my finds!

Carry-on Bag:

Crush It Bag by Stella & Dot– $139

This is a gym bag for the gal on the go that’s perfect for travel.  It’s got a zippered bottom for ventilated shoe storage if you use it as a gym bag.  While traveling, I use that compartment to stash stuff like my portable charger, scarf, flip flops, and reading or research materials.  The large compartment is where I put my laptop, iPad, wallet, toiletries, and water bottle.  This bag keeps me organized when I traveling and the camo design is on trend right now.

Stella & Dot Crush It Bag

Travel Essentials:

Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set– $39.95

These are the ultimate space saver in your bag.  I became a huge fan of them when I used  them on a 9-day trip with G Adventures in Belize and Guatemala when I only took 2 backpacks (check out the 9 Days in Central America With Only 2 Backpacks!).  They are perfect for organizing workout or adventuring outfits, plus great for stashing away your dirty clothes to keep them separate from your clean ones.  I’m also a huge fan of the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter On Board.  I recently switched to it as my toiletry bag and loving it!

Aquis Hair Turban– $30

This is a lifesaver for me in trying to tame my frizzy, curly locks into a sleek straight ‘do.  The Aquitex fabric cuts drying time by 50%.  It also cuts the frizz.  The turban comes in 5 colors.  I use this at home too!

Mophie Powerstation Mini External Battery – $29.95 (on sale for $17.95)

This charger is the slimmest one I’ve used.  Bye bye to searching for a charging cord with this charger.  The micro USB cable is attached.  It’s sleek design perfectly fits with my phone.  It gives me additional 12 hours of power on my smartphone and 5 hours for my mini ipad.  Plus, the battery recharges pretty quickly when plugged into a power source.

SOLE Beach Flips– $60

A pair of flip flops are always in my bag.  I love these because of the 100% recycled cork footbed and midsole that molds to your foot.  They also have an anatomical shape which is great for your arch and for your toes to spread out.  Since they’re made of cork these flips are ultra-light and quick drying so they’re perfect for the beach or for that trip to the hot tub after a day on the slopes.

Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf Rulu– $48

This versatile scarf is a wrap, cardigan, infinity scarf and more.  There’s almost always one of these in my bag.  I love it so much I have 3!  I’ve worn it exploring a city, hiking in the desert, and in planes, trains, and automobiles.  My favorite way to wear it is like an infinity scarf then unsnap a few of the snaps over the shoulder.

Great Wallet– $54

This was on my list last year and I still use my cute red one on every trip.  It’s actually become my everyday wallet too.  This boutique find is the perfect travel wallet.  In addition to cash and cards, I always have 1-2 Burt’s Bee’s lip shimmers, travel pen, and breath strips in it.  Even with all that, I can still fit my passport or phone in the back pocket.  I found it in Custard Boutique in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina.  They also have a boutique in Savannah, Georgia, and you can order online.

Travel Fashion:

Love Your Melon Beanie and Infinity Scarf– $30-45 for beanie, $55 for infinity scarf

I had been a fan of this brand for awhile, but when I got a chance to chat with Zach, one of the founders, at Outdoor Retailer, I became a mega fan.  The company started with a mission to give every child with cancer a beanie.  To date, they’ve given over 149,000 beanies to kids.  They also give 50% of their profits to nonprofits in the fight against pediatric cancer.  Buy beanie, battle cancer!  They also have some wonderful new items for your home like blankets and pillows.

Merrell Micro Lite Puffer Jacket– $160

This is urban meets the outdoors.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting a jacket so chic from Merrell.  I had been looking for a black puffy jacket that keeps me warm on the trail, but also looks fab in the city.  This fits that tall order to a “T!”  I’ve already road tested it snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park and it kept me warm without getting too hot.  If it’s cold and windy, layer the micro lite puffer vest over it like I did!

Merrell Gridway Shoes – $130-140

The ultra-light, ultra-packable shoes are perfect for walking around all day exploring a city or for a travel day.   This is Merrell’s most sustainable collection to date.  Here’s the breakdown on how eco-friendly these sneaks are:  100% recycled knit uppers and laces, 50% recycled Eva footbeds, 40% recycled Eva midsole, and 30% ecodura post-industrial scrap.  You’ve got three styles and several colors to pick from.  I’m partial to the Glacier Gredy color.  It goes with everything.  On my wish list – the Gridway Moc in Black ($120)!

Broome Pic 1 Merrell Gridway Shoe

Tela Bella Adventure Necklace – $25

This is a jewelry line created this year by my cousin Kelsey.  I have several pieces including one of the adventure necklaces.  Because it’s made with a macrame cord you can were it hiking, rafting, or whatever adventure you want to go on.  One of my other favs is the Silver Bar Studs Hammered earrings ($45) which I wore with a Teal Bella necklace during a TV segment on Outdoor Retailer.

Treehut Leather Band Wooden Watch – $85-145

I have the Olive Ash Red Small Watch ($105).  I love that it is made of wood, made in the USA, and has red stitching on the leather band.  These are great to personalize.  I engraved mine with “It’s time.  Let’s go.  Explore Everywhere.”

Velvet by Graham & Spencer Pavla Cardigan– $60 (originally $119)

I found this perfect layering piece at Ruby Jane in the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, Colorado.  It has literally gone on just about every single trip with me since I got it!  I’ve wadded it up in a ball in my carry-on and stuffed it in a backpack.  All it takes is a quick shake out and it looks great.  It’s effortless chic and comfortable.

Cool Go Gear:

Nathan Sports Trail Mix Plus 2.0 Hydration Belt– $49.99 ($64.99 for insulated bottles)

My friends Pam and Earl turned me on to this item when Pam and I went snowshoeing in the Unita Mountains near Heber City, Utah.  It’s a great alternative to a backpack!  I ordered the one with insulated bottles.  I use mine for snowshoeing, hiking, and cross country skiing when I hitting the trail for under four miles.

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack– $35

This was given to me as a gift from Breckenridge Ski Resort and Go Breck.  I absolutely love it!  This stuff pack has been on multiple adventures, including several different countries.  It’s perfect for traveling and holds up well for day outings and hitting the trail.

Rumpl Shammy Clean-up Kit ($35) – It’s a set of two shammy travel towels packed into a small mesh bag.  The colorful towels are ultra absorbent, soft, and quick drying.  I used them on a Central America trip.  They were perfect for drying off of after cave tubing in Belize!    You can use them as body towels, to wash dishes camping, wipe off muddy paws of your 4-legged adventurer – any thing you need to clean up, this kit is perfect.  The kit only weighs 0.5 pounds.  The large towel is 36×20 inches and small one is 14×10 inches.  This kit is now a staple for road trips and adventure travels!


MPowerd Luci Solar Light– $35.95

Looking for a light for your tent?  This is it!  This inflatable solar light is also a charger for your phone.  Just strap it to your backpack and let the sun recharge it while you hike! They also have really cool string lights for your camper or patio!

SpyOptic Happy Lens

I was in need of some new sunnies and stumbled upon these.  They have a technology that enhances color and clarity.  Check out my blog Happy Lens = Happy Eyes for my review.

Aftershokz Trekz Air– $149.95

These headphones use a bone conduction technology so they sit just in front of your ears.    You can still hear the world around you while jamming out to your favorite tunes or listening to a podcast, or even talking on your phone.  I like listening to music on the trail sometimes but don’t like not hearing what’s going on around me.  These headphones solve that issue!  They take a few minutes to get used to the wrap around head strap, but once you’re used to it, you’ll forget you’re wearing it.

Body Glove Dynamo Rapid Water Shoe– $49.95

I got these shoes in July and immediately tested them out on a family camping trip with my cousin.  After hiking a 14er (14,000 foot peak) I wanted to dip my feet in the icy cold creek by our campsite.  I gave them a glowing review in my Creek Tested blog.

Body Glove Oasis Inflatable Yoga Paddleboard– $999

This is for the yoga and paddleboard fan like me!  I fell in love with this board when I saw it at Outdoor Retailer Summer Show in Denver.  It has a paddle integrated handle system so there’s no handle in center of board.  The top of the board is a soft yoga mat traction pad.  This is yoga meets paddleboard perfection.  Plus, it’s portable so you can take it on a road trip or even a plane.

Body Glove Oasis Yoga SUP

Stocking stuffers:

Foot Rubz– Foot and hand massage ball $6.27 for 1 or $11,50 for 2

I always have one of these in my bag.  When I was suffering from plantar fasciitis in September, I had a serious love/hate relationship with my the Rubs!  It was a lifesaver to help reduce my pain.  Rubz uses ancient Asian acupressure techniques to relax muscles and reduce tension.  You can use on hands, around knees, on shins, even on neck.  Since it’s just a little bigger than a golfball, you can easily use it at home, office or even on a plane.

Supergoop! Sunscreen Hello, Sunshine Suncare Starter Kit– $15

It’s an SPF starter set packed with deluxe samples of some of their most popular items.  They have other travel and gift kits ranging $18-79.  This line of sun protection with a healthy dose of antioxidants was created by Holly Thaggard in San Antonio when a close friend was diagnosed with skin cancer and she wanted to learn everything she could about sun exposure.  As someone who lived in San Antonio for 10 years (and loved it!), Ill always support entrepreneurs from there.  It was actually Vail Resorts who introduced me to the line for sun protection on the slopes.  You actually get burned faster in the mountains than at the beach because the air is thinner.  Higher elevation = less filters in the atmosphere.  Their Unseen Sunscreen ($32) is an Allure magazine 2018 Best of Beauty.  Another kit I love is “Your Day in the Sun” ($47.50) which is perfect for beach, baseball field, travel and comes in cute bag.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Palette– $54 at Sephora (in-store and online)

There are taupe, rose, amber hued palettes and each palette has 12 shades.  I’ve tried and tested a ton of eyeshadows while working in television and Urban Decay palettes are by far my favorite.  Whether you want an easy daytime look or more glammed up smoky eye, you can do it all with a palette.  I have the Naked3 palette (rose).

Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara Mini and Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara Mini– $13-14 at Sephora (in-store and online)

Since you should toss your mascara every 90 days, going mini not only lets me travel with two mascaras, but also doing what’s best for my eyes.  Goggle lash mites or mascara mites and you’ll quickly find out why I went to mini mascaras to make sure I’m tossing the tube every 90 days or less.

Reisenthel Travel Laundry Bag– $5.99 at The Container Store

It comes in a compact carry case and doesn’t take up much room in your bag. Perfect for road trips and camping.  When you ready to use it, clip the case to the drawstring.  Plus the one I have with the hanging laundry design is so darn cute!

Breck Candles Small Candle– $7

I’m a huge fan of these handmade aromatherapy soy candles in a cute tin.  I especially love the “Pray for Snow” design in a lavender scent.  It’s perfect to wind down after an adventurous day or long travel day.  The small candle weighs only 2 ounces so it’s compact and light.  It packs a punch too providing 10 hours of light.

Personalize with Love (and my favorite!):

Shutterfly Photo Mugs – (Stainless Mug $24.79 and ceramic mug ($8.83)

These are my two favorite gifts I’ve received this year.  The stainless mug is from my friend Lisa and covered with pictures from our Colorado to California road trip.  We had so many laughs on that trip and I just smile every time I use it.  The ceramic mug is from Breckenridge Ski Resort and Go Breck.  The two pictures are from ziplining on the mountain.  As someone who is terrified of heights, the smile on my face in these pics reminds me there is always light when you are scared of a challenge and friends will always root you on to take that leap of faith.

Still at a loss? Go for a gift card.  Couple of my favorites are:  Airport Lounge Day Pass, Drybar, iTunes, and a fitness class pack (SoulCycle, CorePower Yoga, Orange Theory, and Pure Barre are great national fitness chains).  State Parks Annual Pass and National Parks Annual Pass are great ideas too!

Here’s the segment I did on ABC 4 Utah sharing some of my favs.