Christmas is coming!

Some people thrive in the lead up to the most festive time of year while others begin to wilt at the mere thought of it. Because things are hectic enough in the lead up to the silly season without having to labour for hours over gifting decisions, we decided to try and ease the burden.

Trawling through our own Wishlists, Tried and Tested reviews and online standalone reviews as revealed a host of gift options for the adventurous recipient. Our initial shortlist ran into the dozens of products, but for simplicity we’ve whittled this down to the most useful or innovative products (in price-ascending order).

Para'kito wristbands.

Para’kito’s mosquito-masking-effect wristbands come in a variety of styles and colours.

Para-kito wristbands – $26.95

A collection of wristbands that aim to ‘mask’ the wearer’s presence from insects such as mosquitoes; they come in a wide variety of styles to suit any taste. The active element is a small rubber pellet that is infused with oils to help you avoid bites. Each pellet is designed to last for up to 15 days, and each wristband includes two pellets standard. The replaceable rubber pellet may discourage waste-conscious consumers, but for those of us particularly plagued by mosquito bites in the summer season, these accessories may prove to be an invaluable addition to your standard kit.

Princeton Tec Helix Lamps – from $79.95

Joining the increasing number of items that can now be folded down for easy storage, the Helix Lamp range from Princeton Tec provides lighting options up to 250 lumens (in the Basecamp model) in a lantern design versatile enough to be used in just about any camping scenario. The collapsible globe can even be removed to create a hanging tent light. Alternatively, the Bluetooth model includes a rechargeable lithium battery and can be controlled remotely via a mobile or tablet device.

Sunday Afternoons Quest Hat (Women’s) – $48.95

Sunday Afternoon’s offering specifically designed for women incorporates lightweight fabrics, ventilation panels and the ability to adjust the size of the hat (one size fits most with a 50-60 centimetre range) to meet the wearer’s needs. The unstructured brim is foldable and weighs in at 95 grams.

Victorinox EvoWood

Victorinox’s stylish new range of Swiss army knives.

Victorinox EvoWood 17 – $99.95

EvoWood is part of the new ‘Delémont Collection’ from Victorinox, incorporating the brand’s innovative designs with sustainable walnut wood, which the brand says would otherwise end up as waste material from other production processes. The result is an organic-looking tool that’s more eco-friendly than its predecessors. This model includes a knife, woodsaw, serrated-edge scissors, pliers, universal wrench, screwdriver, can opener, corkscrew, reamer/awl, nail file/cleaner, wire stripper and key ring.

Tatonka Skill 30 daypack

The Tatonka Skill 30 is a solid generalist daypack that performs in a wide variety of situations.

Tatonka Skill 30 – $159

This daypack from Tatonka has impressed our reviewers at Melbourne Uni Mountaineering Club with its sleek design and generalist nature. Including its own rain cover, and an adjustable carry system that focuses on comfort and ventilation, we’ve found this to be an excellent companion pack when cycling, hiking and even cross-country skiing. It’s also compatible with most common hydration packs.

Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L – $189.95

A gravity-fed, 10-litre filter from Katadyn provides flow rates of up to two liters-per-minute via its 0.2-micron filter element. The manufacturer claims this filter will treat up to 1,500 litres of water before needing to be replaced.

Julbo sunglasses

With Julbo’s extensive list of adventure-specific eyewear, it’s nigh on impossible to select any one models that sits above the rest. Instead we’ve chosen three that cover off three different types of wearers:

Venturi – $189.95

Designed in consultation with Julbo’s internationally-recognised trail running team, they’re lightweight half-framed and built for speed. Additional features include a wide field of vision, temple grips and a fitted nose piece for superior comfort while running long distances.

Julbo Venturi

Julbo’s Venturi sunglasses are designed with long distance runners in mind, but should also be considered by ultralight walkers.

Swell – $199

Perfect for paddlers, these sunnies sport a floating frame, which houses the photochromic, polarised and hydrophobic lens. It even comes with its own head strap to make them less easy to lose in wild weather conditions.

Trek – $249

Paired with Julbo’s Zebra lens (category 2-4 photochromatic) or the Cameleon (photochromatic, polarised) these sunglasses transition under various light conditions in around 25 seconds regardless of ambient temperature. Ideal for bushwalkers in the summertime heat, these sunglasses include a removable sweatband and strap.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Voyager Camping Mat – from $209.95

This three-season air mattress from Therm-a-Rest is perfect for making any camping experience more comfortable. Therm-a-Rest has been working hard in recent years to create mattresses that offer stability, warmth and reduced noise at an affordable price, all of which is well-represented in these mats. The regular weighs in at 650 grams and has packed dimensions of 23 centimetres by 11 centimetres.

Suunto Traverse

Plot and track your off-track walks with Suunto’s latest adventure watch.

Suunto Traverse – $549.99

This adventure watch from Suunto has been designed with off-track bushwalkers in mind. Not only does it support standard GPS, but the Traverse also communicates with Glonass to provide more accurate and timely positioning. Plot and capture your route and elevation with 100-plus hours of battery per charge and the essential Movescount partner application. Three colours available.

MSR Pappa Hubba NX 4-person Tent – $849

A four-person tent from MSR to join the popular Hubba hiking range is an ideal shared Christmas present for an active family. Designed as a three-season, freestanding tent, the Pappa Hubba NX will stand up to adverse conditions while providing ample space to relax in. With a weight of 2.67 kilos, the load is easily shared between family members to keep your walking holiday enjoyable for everyone.

Have we missed anything? Send us ideas or feedback to or leave a comment below.