Gifts for Outdoor Kids 2022

REI Gifts for Outdoor Kids 2022

Outdoorsy families like to give outdoor-related gifts. Most kids are going to be thrilled with toys, but you can give them a gift that reinforces their love for the outdoors when you find something that delights them AND is useful.

Our family does a mixture of outdoor related gifts and personal hobby related gifts for our children. We have found that no matter what the interests of our children, there is always at least one item we buy them from REI for their gifts.

Some years it might be a smaller item, such as socks, while other years we give our children a new helmet or backpack. Evaluate the interests and needs of your own kids, and get inspired by our list.

Why We Buy Outdoor Gifts for Family at REI

Our family has been using REI since 2008, when we became members bought our jogging stroller there. Since then, we have used REI Co-op for a myriad of gear purchases. We like REI because for a one time low membership cost, you get a lifetime of deals and benefits.

REI also has an excellent return policy and warranty on gear they sell. So many times I have ordered something that didn’t fit right or was scratchy for my kids, and they have always taken back returns, no questions asked. I think their return policy is one of my favorite things about REI–particularly when purchasing for children.

Check out this post for more details on the membership benefits that REI offers.

As an Amazon Affiliate and member of other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases.

A boy climbs a tree in the fall
Yes, you guessed it, his jacket came from REI
Gifts for outdoor kids item collage

Gifts for Outdoor Babies and Toddlers

Babies and young toddlers don’t have a lot of opinions when it comes to which gifts they want to receive. It’s a perfect age to find items that will be useful long term to your family. Think about purchasing or finding items that will make life easier in the outdoors for the whole family.

Toddler and Baby Outdoor Gear

Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier

Being able to get outside for a hike or snowshoe with your little one is crucial for having an active outdoor lifestyle with the whole family. The Deuter Kid Comfort Carrier is a top choice for both the child’s comfort and the comfort of the parent. It is well padded, has lots of pockets, and holds children up to 48 lbs.

Check out our review of the Detuer Kid Comfort here!

BOB Gear Jogging Stroller

This is the SUV of jogging strollers. I had the double version of the BOB stroller for my twins and subsequent children, and it is worth every penny. The front wheel swivels for tight turns, but can lock into place for jogging. This stroller seriously can handle everything from sidewalks to rocky double track.

Kid’s Camp Chair

Toddlers LOVE having a spot to sit at the campsite. This chair also works in the yard, the sandbox, even inside if you want to make them a special cozy corner. Giving a pint-sized chair to your little one will be a hit!

Baby Outdoor Clothing

When adventuring outdoors in the fall and winter, it is critical to keep little ones warm and toasty. We like to use different layers to ensure that we can add or subtract as the baby gets warmer or colder.

Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Bunting

This down bunting is the primo item for keeping your little one warm in winter temperatures. The down is lightweight, ensuring a non-bulky fit. We love to use a down bunting over other layers when we go out for winter adventures.

Patagonia Capilene Infant Baselayer Set

This is a super cute set that is also highly functional. Capilene is silky smooth, but also super insulating. This infant sized base layer set will help keep your baby toasty under their other winter layers, and, bonus, the top is a onesie so it stays tucked in.

Columbia Snowtop II Bunting

If you live in a location that doesn’t often drop below freezing, you don’t need a down bunting. This fleece bunting from Columbia is perfect for chilly days and adventures.

Smartwool Socks

These socks from Smartwool are adorable, and keep your little one’s feet nice and toasty. Bonus tip: we found that these socks actually stay on better than most cotton socks.

Gifts for Outdoor Kids

Children between 4 and 9 start to spend more time outdoors exploring and adventuring. They’ve started to ski, bike, hike, and maybe even develop outdoor hobbies. Kids this age also love fun stuff, and aren’t always as picky about brands or specific items as they will be later. It is a great age to find gifts for.

Kids Outdoor Clothing

Darn Tough Kid’s Socks

Darn Tough socks are hands down our favorite socks for the active kid. They don’t get holes in them, and if they actually do, Darn Tough has an excellent warranty. Bonus: they are super cute.

REI Active Pursuits Fleece Jacket

This fleece zip up jacket is incredibly versatile. It’s a great outer layer for cool days, and works fantastic as a mid layer on colder winter days. I love that it has a warm fleece interior, but the exterior is smooth, which lets layers slide over it better, and keeps it hair and burr free.

NoSo Gear Patches

If you have kids, and they have outdoor gear, chances are, they’ll get holes in their gear. These patches from NoSo are fun to look at, and do a fantastic job of sealing up holes in almost anything. Several of our children proudly are sporting these patches are their down jackets.

Best Outdoor Kids Gifts

ENO DoubleNest Hammock

I have not yet met a kid that didn’t love a hammock. Give them this high quality double hammock from ENO and there will be room for multiple kids to swing and hang out. Hammocks entertain our kiddos for hours when we camp.

ERA Pro Expedition Sled

This sled has stood the test of time in our family. It is not the fastest sled, but it is durable, fast enough to be super fun, and durable. Bonus is that it can also be used as a ski pulk or for hauling gear.

a child sleds downhill at sunset
A sled makes an excellent gift for any kid

Po Campo Biking Water Bottle Bag

This cute water bottle bag securely straps on to your kiddo’s bike so they can bring their hydration along on all their adventures. What makes it extra cool is that it can easily be removed from the bike and attached to a backpack or just be carried. We love multi-purpose gear!

Kids Outdoor Gear Gifts

Contour Touring Binding Adapter

Have you started ski touring, but don’t want to invest the money in a full set up for your child? This binding adapter lets your aspiring tourer skin uphill alongside of you, while still using all their own gear. The adapter clips onto the boot and then clicks into the binding for the trip up, and then you take it off for the trip down.

Owala Kid’s Water Bottle

This water bottle is durable, comes in great colors, and will keep drinks cold for hours (and maybe days with ice! This bottle is a perfect gift for kids who hate having warm water.

REI Co-op Tarn 18 Pack

Every kid needs a good, multipurpose pack. The REI Tarn 18 pack is one of the crowd favorites here at the Tales of a Mountain Mama blog. Between all of our kids, there are probably at least 10 of these packs in use. They are durable, fit kids well, and are useful for multiple activities.

children with orange REI backpacks hike on a path
The REI Tarn 18 is one of the best day packs for kids

Fun Gifts for Outdoorsy Kids

Axe Throwing Kit

This set from Outside Inside might be as much fun for adults as it is for the kids. It is a spin off of actual axe throwing and is made of foam and velcro so it is safe to use inside. Bring it to your next party or camping trip to burn off extra kid energy.

Black Diamond Whiz Headlamp

Sure, headlamps are useful, practical tools. For kids, however, they’re mostly for fun. Kids love to read at night with headlamps, spin them around to make circles in the dark, and use them to play night time tag. Headlamps can make a boring night instantly more exciting.

Electra Bike Bell

Most kids love to make noise! Give them this cute bike bell to attach to their bike, and they can make their presence known, whether in the neighborhood or out on the trails. The bell uses a simple lever to operate, and comes in so many adorable designs. Because of its size, it would work really well in a stocking as well.

Kids Outdoor Gifts for Tweens

Tweens or “pre-teens” are at such a fun age. They are ready to rock in the outdoors, and often have more definite interests. I have one tween who is a dedicated mountain biker, so we tend to buy him gifts related to that. While his sisters at the same age were more interested in nature study and tree identification. This age is exciting to give gifts for.

Kids Outdoor Clothing for Tweens

REI Active Pursuits Fleece Pants and Jacket

I don’t know about you, but my kids would live in lounge-style pants if they could. These have the comfort and style of an “athletic”pant, but with the warmth of a more technical layer. These pants are great because they are very warm, but the smooth exterior keeps everything from sticking to it.

Patagonia Los Gatos Hooded Fleece Sweater

I have not yet met a tween that didn’t like a hood. Help them stay stylish AND warm by giving them this ultra cozy fluffy fleece from Patagonia. Patagonia fleece stands up to lots of abuse and still looks great, making it a great choice for outdoorsy kids.

REI Mountainmaker Hiking Pants

REI makes a couple different styles of this pant for boys and girls. We love them because they are more stylish than a traditional zip- off hiking pant, but still high performing and comfortable. They also work great as lounge pants and under ski pants.

Kids Outdoor Gear for Tweens


Bikes make an absolutely, squeals guaranteed, Christmas gift. My husband remembers how thrilled he was the Christmas that his grandmother gave him a bike for Christmas–he literally rode that department store bike until its wheels were falling off. The bikes at REI will last through several children, and there is a huge variety of sizes and styles to choose from.

Bike Helmets

The Smith Wilder bike helmet is great gift for kids. It is lightweight, has MIPs protection, and fits most kids heads well. It is also easy to adjust as kids heads grow or get haircuts! Several of us at the blog are fans of this helmet.

Opinel No. 8 Knife

This was our son’s favorite gift when he was 10. At 13, he still uses this nearly every day for whittling and cutting wood. With its classic, beechwood handle and locking mechanism, it is pretty to look at AND safe.

Double Ended Clips

Carabiners are useful for almost anyone. These double ended aluminum clips from Nite Ize make a great stocking stuffer, and are useful as keychains, water bottle clips, or anything else your teen might think of.

Fun Gifts for Tweens and Teens

Backpack Watercolor Set

With this watercolor set, your child can sit down and document their journeys whenever they feel like it. Add a journal to carry along and you have the perfect set for your budding nature observer. Watch out–you mind find yourself getting creative as well.

National Parks Puzzle

Our family loves a good puzzle to work on in the dark days of winter. My teens and tweens actually get along when they work on puzzles together. This one features the National Parks, providing inspiration for future adventures.

Durable Stickers

Stickers are fun no matter who you are! Kids love to add them to water bottles, skis, helmets–the options are limitless. REI has fun ones that make great little surprises for any of your kids.

Gifts for Outdoorsy Teenager

Teenagers are a tricky group to find gifts for. They no longer want toys, and they can have very different interests depending on their personal goals. With the help of my teenagers, I rounded up some items that will excite your outdoorsy teen.

Gifts that Warm

Rumpl Blankets

Rumpl blankets are a practical accessory to keep your teen warm, whether camping or at the soccer field. They also are made with creative prints, making them a bit of an art statement. These are a great gift for your teen on the go.

REI Down Sweater

Down sweater jackets make are an excellent insulating layer for kids and teens. Whether hiking, skiing, or playing in the snow, a puffy insulated jacket is a great way to add warmth without bulk. The price from REI is hard to beat, and it comes in a great variety of colors.

Cute Socks

Apparently, fun socks are cool again. These fun socks for women from Darn Tough will give your teen a touch of whimsy, AND keep their feet warm.

Stylish Outdoorsy Clothes

Wool Mittens

Coziness, style, and warmth make these mittens a hit with teen girls. They look like a fashion mitten, but with a thick, wool lining, they actually will keep her hands warm in subfreezing temperatures.

Smartwool Classic Baselayer Hoodie

This base layer is more fashionable than most because it has a HOOD. It is also made of super soft merino wool, which will keep your teen warm and cozy both indoors and out.

Patagonia Beanie

These hats from Patagonia are an understated cool. With several colors to choose from, they help your teen stay warm in the outdoors without sacrificing the “cool” factor. Because it is made of soft wool and polyester, it ensures coziness without the itchiness.

Gifts for Outdoor Kids: Outdoor Tools

Bushcraft Hatchet

This hatchet is useful at the campsite and in the woods, but also is a great tool for campfires and adventures at home. Teenagers love independence and opportunities to create, and a lightweight hatchet like this a tool they can keep forever.

A hatchet provides entertainment and is practical

Garmin InReach Mini

This is totally a splurge worthy item if you have a teen who loves adventure. With this satellite communicator, your teen can stay in touch when out in the backcountry–giving you huge peace of mind.

Here is a collection of posts on how to stay safe outdoors.

Dynafit Seven Summits Youth Touring Ski Set

Do you have a teen or tween just itching to get into touring with you but you don’t have the gear? This set from Dynafit was custom built for youth. With bindings that release with a lower weight limit and skis that respond well on a variety of terrain, they are exactly what your spring backcountry skier needs. Bonus–they come with skins as well.

Gifts for Teens on the Go

Teens are often on the go, so whether its snacks or thermoses, they need gifts to help them take care of themselves.

Chums Surfshorts Wallet

We love this wallet because it is low-profile enough to fit in a pocket, yet has zippers for keeping everything secure. I use this wallet, and it has held up to several years of use. Perfect for your guy or girl teen.

HydroFlask Water bottle

Insulated so drinks stay hot or cold, this water bottle is a tank. They stand up to a lot of abuse, and still look great.

Travel Toiletry Bag

Teenagers are busier and home less than younger kids. Often they travel for camps, overnight camping trips, and need a place to keep their own stuff. These small toiletry bags from Kavu look nice and fit the basics.

Fun Gifts for Teens

Photosynthesis Game

Blue Orange makes great games, and the reviews for this one are awesome. Photosynthesis is complex enough for adults and teens, but younger kids can learn to play as well. As the game progresses, players have to manage their resources (canopy cover, sun, etc) to help them gain the desire outcomes to win. Its a fun ecology spin on tabletop games.

Luci Solar String Lights

My kids and teens are obsessed with all sorts of lights. String lights, fairy lights, glow in the dark lights…anything. What makes this Luci light from MPowered so great is that it is solar rechargeable! Designed to be used at home or at the campsite, you don’t have to keep track of batteries for this light. Total win!


Have you ever met a teenager that didn’t like snacks? No? Yeah, me neither. Whether your teen prefers sweet or savory, chewy or crunchy, REI has a wide variety of healthy and indulgent snacks that will keep them fueled. Grab an assortment to hide in their stocking and try not to beg samples.

REI Makes Finding Gifts for Outdoor Kids Easier

Because of REI’s selection, return policy, and great membership deals, they are a great place to start when looking for gifts this year. Whenever I wander their aisles in store (or online!) I always find something my kids (or myself!) would love. By shopping there, you can have confidence in their return policy, and earn money towards your dividend.

Start your shopping now and enjoying more time outdoors with your family.

Need more gift ideas? Check out all our gift guides here!

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REI Gifts for Outdoor Kids 2022

© 2022, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.


  • Rita Muller is a born and raised Vermont girl and mom of five children (yes, she knows one is missing in the photo below – she’s working on that!) She works and plays from the northeastern corner of her tiny state. She likes to think that Vermont is small but mighty. Living one hour from the largest mountains in the Northeast and a major part of the Appalachian Trail is a constant source of outdoor adventure ideas. She divides her time between cooking, chicken wrangling, gardening, teaching her children, trail running, hiking, backpacking, and getting outdoors to camp and explore WITH her children. She and her husband Ryan have a deep love of the outdoors that they seek to share with their children, even though it might look different than adventuring with adults.

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