Staff Picks: Our Favorite Gifts for Gear Junkies

Choosing the perfect gift for a gear head can be tough. Fortunately MSR employees are experts on gear—and gear giving. So we tapped a few to find out which products they think make the smartest gifts for everyone from backpackers to backcountry skiers—and why.

Steve Grind, category director Cook & Shelter: The Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set
©Earl Harper

For the outdoor chef, the Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set is such a complete and well thought-out set. Toss it in your car for a weekend of frontcountry camping and gourmet cooking, or pare it down to the essentials for an extended backpacking trip. This is one of the products I hear the most feedback about—people are often surprised at how much they love it, saying it simplifies their packing. Plus, it comes in a durable, easy to clean (and easy to gift wrap!) molded foam case, which has room to add extra tools and utensils.


Diane Levy, lead of Customer Service, Warranty & Repairs: The DragonFly Stove



The DragonFly stove is a versatile workhorse and makes the perfect gift for your sea kayaking friends. Thanks to its large pot supports, it’s perfect for group cooking where big pots and skillets come into play. It also offers superb simmering capability so you can cook those delicate gourmet dishes that warm bellies after a long day on the water. The DragonFly also sips fuel efficiently and can run on a variety of fuel types, including white gas, kerosene and auto gas. The stove is easy to clean and maintain in the field, and in return will give years of reliable service.


Chris Barchet, category director Water & Winter: Revo Explore Snowshoes & Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

©Earl Harper

If you’re looking for a gift to really wow someone this season consider the Revo Explore snowshoes. These newly designed snowshoes take 20 years of MSR snowshoe knowledge and merge it into something truly unique and beautiful. New and experienced snowshoers will appreciate how easy it is to get in and out of the comfortable bindings. And like all MSR snowshoe you can rely on the traction in all conditions.

©Earl Harper

My favorite stocking stuffer is the MSR Aquatabs. You never know when you’ll run out of water on an adventure. For just a few grams these little guys ensure you can treat water you find along the way. I always carry them in my first aid kit. And with a 5 year shelf life they are the perfect addition to home emergency preparedness supplies in case the municipal water goes bad.


Karen Predmore, graphic designer: Titan Spoon, MugMate Coffee Filter & PocketRocket Stove


Personally, I love the Titan Tool Spoon. Everyone should have one. It’s light and functional and it looks really cool. Pair it with a nice bag of locally roasted coffee beans and our MugMate Coffee Filter or a coffee press that fits one of our stove systems for a great gift.

©Earl Harper

And come on—the Pocket Rocket! I love that stove. It’s small and light and amazing. I will always have one in my arsenal. I love giving this as a gift because it really wows people—I mean it’s something that people really want and are really going to use—but it’s priced so that you can afford to give it away!


Seth Dennis, marketing coordinator: Trail Lite Duo System


The Trail Lite Duo is sized perfectly for cooking for two in the backcountry. It’s super easy to clean thanks to its hard-anodized aluminum, and its compact and convenient for both of us. Plus, you can stash MSR folding utensils into the insulated mugs for easy, all-in-one packing and the utensils make great stocking stuffers to complement the main cook set!


Chris Parkhurst, vice president: Responder Snow Shovel

©Earl Harper

The Responder is one of our new snow shovels and last winter it was with me always. It’s a great compact design, plus I love the blade—a flat backside and super stable. I know I can count on this shovel when I need it, whether digging a pit in the backcountry or digging out the car after touring all day.


Terry Breaux, product manager Tents: Carbon-Core Stakes & Night Glow Zipper Pulls

©Earl Harper

A few of my favorite stocking stuffers are the Carbon-Core stakes and Night Glow zipper pulls. These are two products that will quickly become some of your favorite gear.

Carbon Core stakes weigh in at under 6 grams, and are rugged and light. A carbon fiber core provides stiffness while the thin anodized aluminum outer sheath provides durability and corrosion-resistance. The broad profile of the stake head allows it to easily be pushed into ground by hand.

Night Glow zipper pulls are another item that experienced campers will love. Unlike the glow-in-the-dark toys I had in my youth that glowed for a total of 5 minutes, these guys really work. Expose them to any light source and these will be visible for up to 8 hours. Perfect for tent door zippers or for finding your ditty bag in a dark tent.