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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

2023 Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts Under $500

Photo by Eugene_EM via iStock

Sure, it’s still September, but before we know it, the snow will be flying, and the holidays will be upon us. It’s better to start shopping for the ideal gifts for the overlanding and off-roading enthusiasts on your list now rather than later!

Of course, the question is always this: What the heck do I get someone who loves outdoor adventures? Those of us who spend time outdoors usually have pretty good kits made as it is. And many of us are also really hard to shop for. But that’s where this guide comes in!

Below are some awesome overlanding and off-roading items you can get for your loved one (or yourself!) this holiday season. A $500 budget can go a very long way, so you can even get one of these items and still have money left over. Nice!

Let’s check out some of the best outdoor gifts under $500!

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: MORRFlate TenSix Pro

morrflate pro air compressor with jeep
I recently reviewed the MORRFlate TenSix Pro and spoiler alert – it’s awesome!

With the ability to pump out 10.6 CFM at 0 PSI and 6.5 CFM at 30 PSI, this portable air compressor has the juice to air up six tires simultaneously when paired with the MORRFlate MegaQuad Hose Kit. And as you’d expect from MORRFlate, the unit is small, compact, and portable at just 14” x 7” x 9″. 

You can either mount the TenSix Pro to your vehicle (in any direction or orientation) or, if you’re like me, you can keep it under the seat and use it as needed without it taking up a ton of space.

morrflate pro

With 90 amps of peak power, this 12V unit gives you a 50 percent duty cycle, meaning it’ll run for 15 minutes and then needs 15 minutes of off-time. While the TenSix Pro is running, you’ll enjoy relatively quiet operation with a decibel reading of 70-75 from about a foot away.

This bad boy comes with a host of accessories that make it an ideal companion on the trail. In addition to the air compressor unit, you get a six-food electrical cord with high-amperage alligator clips to connect to your vehicle’s battery, a six-foot compressor hose, and a bad to keep it all organized.

As you can see in the images above and below, the compressor and hoses feature a distinct neon green color that looks awesome and helps ensure you and everyone else can see it in low-light situations.

morrflate pro air compressor

As I mentioned earlier, this unit can make use of its high CFM output by using multiple hoses to split that output among up to six tires. It takes about 6.5 minutes to air up four 35-inch tires from 10 PSI to 40 PSI so that you can get aired up in a flash!

And since the MORRFlate TenSix Pro has an automatic setting, you can set the desired PSI, walk away, and let the air compressor work its magic. In fact, you can set a range of 10-120 PSI when in automatic mode and 1-150 PSI when in manual mode. Nice!

MORRFlate TenSix Pro Features

Airing up your tires after a day on the beach or the desert doesn’t have to be a long, laborious process. Why waste the output of an air compressor airing up one tire at a time when you can invest in a high-output rig like this and use the MegaQuad kit to inflate all your tires simultaneously?!

For me, this is hands-down one of my favorite tools for off-roading, and I’m sure the off-roading enthusiast on your holiday shopping list will find it to be equally impressive. If you want to one of the best outdoor gifts this year, this is a great item to start with!

Learn more about the MORRFlate TenSix Pro

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: DemerBox DB2

demerbox db2 specs

Anyone that knows me knows that I love to go camping and that I love music. I’m not the only one, of course – many of my family and friends enjoy listening to their favorite tunes while gathered around the campfire after a day of adventuring and exploring.

If you have a loved one that falls into that category (or if you’re one of those people yourself), the DemerBox DB2 is an ideal gift this holiday season.

What is the DemerBox DB2, you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple…

The DB2 is a professional-grade speaker housed in a USA-made military-spec Pelican 1300 case. For the uninitiated, Pelican cases are known for their indestructibility, so it’s the ideal vessel to house a speaker for your camping, overlanding, off-roading, and other outdoor adventures. It’s waterproof, too!

Pop open the case, and you’ll find a dual-speaker setup that produces clean treble and punchy bass for getting the party started at camp. Both speakers are three-inch, 8-ohm aluminum cones with rubber surround drivers that put out 94db at one foot and 11w per channel RMS.

demerbox db2 open

In addition to the speakers, there is dry internal storage for small items like snacks, an internal USB charger for your phone, and a 3.5mm audio jack, so the DB2 doesn’t just give you great sound but it also pulls double-duty with handy storage.

Additionally, the DB2 offers a Bluetooth range of up to 100 feet, so you aren’t tethered to the speaker to blast your favorite tunes. Better still, you can connect multiple DB2 speakers via Bluetooth to amp up the music and give folks throughout camp something to sing and dance to.

With a 2600mAh lithium-ion battery with up to 40 hours of battery life, the DB2 allows you to liven up camp multiple evenings without recharging it. All this comes in a highly portable lightweight package that’s just 10.62” x 9.68” x 6.87” and less than 5.5 pounds, so you have access to great-sounding music without the hassle of a big, bulky speaker to lug around.

demerbox db2 front 2

On top of all that, the DB2 is made in the USA and comes with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. And with tons of colors to choose from, the ability to build your own unit, and loads of speaker accessories, DemerBox gives you the ultimate holiday shopping power to create the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love!

Learn more about the DemerBox DB2

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: JumpMedic Pro First Aid Kit

jumpmedic pro 7

We invest a lot of money in gear that keeps us safe when we’re camping, overlanding, off-roading, and otherwise enjoying the great outdoors. From sunscreen to quality hiking boots to bear spray, there are endless possibilities for making our outdoor adventures safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable.

A robust first aid kit should be on that list, too. And I’m not talking about one of those little $20 first aid kits you can get from online retailers that are full of bandaids and not much else. Instead, if you want to have the ultimate first aid kit for yourself or a loved one, the JumpMedic Pro is an ideal choice.

jumpmedic pro close

At 13x8x7 inches and nine pounds fully stocked, this isn’t your typical cheap first aid kit by any means. This kit comes with a fully loaded JumpMedic Pro first aid kit as well as an 8x6x5 inch JumpMedic Go that you can stock with necessities when space is limited.

This kit is divided into four critical categories: bandages, medications, trauma and medical. Let’s review some of the items in each category so you can get a feel for how well-stocked this kit truly is…

jumpmedic pro kit 2

The bandage collection includes finger cots, moleskin, and various sizes of fabric bandaids. You also get multiple 4×4 and 2×2 bandages, as well as a 2-inch Coban, a 3-inch Ace, and a 5×9 ABD bandage, to name a few.

The included medications run the gamut from antihistamines to lip balm to ibuprofen. You’ll also find antibiotic ointment, meclizine antiemetic, and diotame stomach relief, among many others.

jumpmedic pro kit 1

The trauma part of the kit has items to address everything from cuts to burns to broken bones. You’ll find hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, and alcohol prep pads. There’s a ring cutter, arm and finger splints, and irrigation needles, too. You’ll even find a NAR CAT tourniquet, BleedStop powder, and scissors in this kit.

jumpmedic pro 9

As for medical supplies, you’ll find everything from a stethoscope to a pulse oximeter. There’s also a blood pressure cuff, 10 lancets, and a CPR mask. Add an emesis bag, a glucometer, and a bio bag to the list, too. It’s just another reason why this is on our list of the best outdoor gifts under $500!

Will you need all of these items? Hopefully not! But wouldn’t you rather have them and not need them, than the other way around?

Being prepared for the worst is part of being an outdoor adventurer. It’s why we put winches on our vehicles and wear seat belts when we’re navigating tough trails. Don’t let your loved ones skimp on first aid – give the gift of a well-stocked kit put together by a veteran firefighter and paramedic!

Learn more about the JumpMedic Pro First Aid Kit

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: GroundGrabba Pro I Kit

groundgrabba pro 1 kit

I have a lot of great memories of growing up camping with my family. Two less-than-awesome memories involve our tent…

First, the tent stakes we had were terrible – seldom did they go into the ground without a fight, and often they ended up so bent and mutilated from trying to hammer them into the ground that they weren’t usable again. And second, on a particularly windy day one time, the tent up and blew away because the tent stakes couldn’t hold it down.

So, as an adult, I’ve taken those experiences to heart and have always used big, beefy stakes to keep my tents well grounded. The last couple of years, I’ve used the best damn tent stakes I’ve ever owned – the GroundGrabba Pro I Kit.

groundgrabba pro 1 materials

I know tent stakes might not seem like a terribly exciting holiday gift, but trust me when I say that this is a gift that keeps on giving. Every time your loved one goes camping and secures their tent with these bad boys, they’ll thank you for a gift they can actually use time and time again.

This particular set includes 12 1.5-foot stakes that you drive into the ground with an included hex driver and your drill. The kit also comes with 12 HexHook Pros that make it easy to connect ropes or tie-down straps from your tent to the stakes.

groundgrabba pro 1 closed hook

I’ve used these stakes in all sorts of environments, including the Arizona desert, where I had to drive the stakes into shale. That particular trip was the windiest I’ve ever experienced, but my tent held fast against the wind thanks to these stakes.

In addition to providing rock-solid performance, the GroundGrabba Pros are incredibly easy to work with. They’re made of heat-treated carbon steel and hot-dip galvanized to protect against corrosion. There is absolutely no bend or flex to these things, like those old tent stakes I had to deal with growing up. Instead, they are simple to drive into the ground for a secure connection for my tent.

groundgrabba pro 1 terrain

On top of all that, GroundGrabba backs these stakes with a lifetime replacement warranty. You’ll get a replacement immediately if a stake breaks or has a manufacturer’s defect.

Often, the key to having the best outdoor experience is in the steps you take beforehand to plan and prepare – you need a solid foundation on which to build the trip of a lifetime. Products like the GroundGrabba Pro I help you build that foundation so you can have more fun, more often outdoors, without worrying about whether your tent will be there when you get back from the day’s adventures. Give your loved one that peace of mind this holiday season!

Learn more about the GroundGrabba Pro I Kit

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: MC Ranch Overland The Original Fire Reflector

mc ranch overland the original fire reflector at night

As its name suggests, the Original Fire Reflector excels at reflecting heat from the campfire back towards you, making it the ultimate companion for camping trips year-round. When the temperature drops at night, you and your companions can still relish the pleasure of gathering around the fire without the discomfort of chilling winds nipping at your skin.

Picture it: a crisp, starry night, a toasty fire, a few s’mores, and the joy of warm camaraderie—truly an unforgettable experience for any outdoor enthusiast! I’ve been enjoying the Original Fire Reflector for three years now, and what a fantastic addition to camp life it’s been!

Classic Campfire Dishes

But the Original Fire Reflector offers more than just enhanced warmth. Its capabilities extend beyond fire reflection, making it an indispensable tool for campers.

Firstly, it ingeniously bounces ambient light back into the campsite. This means you can navigate around camp without depleting the battery power of your headlamp, flashlights, or lanterns, a real boon for those extended nights under the stars.

Direct The Heat From Your Fire 2 2048x1152 1

Moreover, the Original Fire Reflector provides excellent fire control…

When deployed around the fire pit, it effectively manages wind, creating a sheltered nook that fosters a robust fire, ensuring it stays ablaze. This is not only great for keeping warm but also essential for cooking over an open flame. The reflector acts as a protective shield, allowing you to tend to your campfire creations without direct exposure to the fire’s intensity.

Direct The Heat From Your Fire 2048x1367 1

Perhaps best of all, the Original Fire Reflector is built sustainably without outsourcing the engineering or manufacturing processes. Instead, each reflector is custom-engineered as a durable, long-lasting heirloom piece.

This holiday season, give the gift of warmth, light, and outdoor comfort with this remarkable fire reflector—a present that will elevate any camping experience for generations to come!

Learn more about the MC Ranch Original Fire Reflector

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: Maxtrax MK II Recovery Boards from BTR Outfitters

Maxtrax Recovery Boards

Recovery gear is a must for off-road adventures, and one of the most basic (and useful) items you can get your off-roading loved one is a set of Maxtrax.

Though there are MANY imitators out there, nothing beats the quality and reliability of Maxtrax. These MK II recovery boards are rock-solid, easy to use, and easy to transport, and are part of my own recovery kit.

These boards are 46 x 13 inches, so they’ve got plenty of room for my big tires. These recovery boards also have a lot of mounting options so that you can store them in virtually any spot – mine are on the roof of my Jeep.

Maxtrax Recovery Boards

The MK II’s big cleats dig into the ground to give your vehicle the traction it needs to get unstuck. Helping matters is the fact that Maxtrax has incorporated shovels on either end to dig out sand, snow, or muck.

The fiber-reinforced nylon construction is tough as nails, and the material won’t fade or degrade, even in the most challenging environments. With handles running down each side of the boards, you can quickly grab ’em and get yourself or a fellow off-roader unstuck.

Best of all, Maxtrax are well below the $500 threshold, so you can give a fantastic (and useful!) gift without breaking the bank! Plus, you can buy these bad boys from some of the best folks in the business – BTR Outfitters – and get everything you need for your adventures or your loved one’s adventures, backed by superb customer service and a heck of a lot of knowledge of overlanding, camping, off-roading, and more!

Learn more about the Maxtrax MK II Recovery Boards

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: Goal Zero Skylight

goal zero skylight 3

If you’re like me, you often get to camp after dark on a Friday after work and then have to set about getting camp established with your headlamp and a couple of lanterns to guide the way.

Well, my friend, that’s not how we have to do it any longer! The Goal Zero Skylight is the answer to nighttime camping with up to 6000 lumens of portable, weather-resistant light.

goal zero skylight overhead

What makes the Skylight such a fantastic option for overlanding, off-roading, and other outdoor adventures is that it’s highly customizable. It has four different brightness settings, a stand that raises or lowers from four feet to 12 feet high, and each of its six light petals is adjustable up to 180 degrees, so you can shine light precisely where you need it.

The 3250K color temperature is perfect for outdoor adventures, too. It’s not too warm or too bright but instead offers eye-pleasing lighting wherever you need it.

goal zero skylight setup

Setup is really simple as well…

Just take off the lid on the carrying case, adjust the light petals as needed, do a little setup on the light’s tripod legs, and raise the light to the desired height. That’s it!

At just 14 pounds (or 17.9 pounds in the carrying case), this light is easy to carry from one point to the next. And since it collapses down, it doesn’t take up a ton of precious cargo space in your vehicle or trailer.

goal zero skylight fully extended

On top of all that, the Skylight has an integrated rechargeable battery that offers up to eight hours of runtime on the lowest setting. Plug the Skylight into a Goal Zero Yeti 1000X power station, and that figure jumps to 250 hours. Add a larger Goal Zero power station to the mix, and you’ll have light for even longer!

I’m all about giving useful gifts during the holidays, and a light like this fits the bill. Use it around camp, in the backyard, and points in between – and do so for well under $500!

Learn more about the Goal Zero Skylight

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: Inergy 200W Ascent Solar Panel Kit

inergy ascent solar panel

Solar power is where it’s at for overlanding trips these days. You no longer have to listen to the whine of your generator (or someone else’s at camp) – instead, you can use clean, quiet power like solar to ensure your devices and gadgets run smoothly.

This 200W solar panel kit from Inergy includes two Ascent 100W folding solar panels. Each panel folds in half, which makes them highly compact and portable (25.59″ x 19.88″ x 2.36″ folded in half and 25.59″ x 39.76″ x 1.18″ completely opened). The mono-crystalline solar panels are both lightweight and durable, and speaking of durability, the aluminum legs work as a kickstand, so you can position these panels as needed to maximize sun exposure.

inergy ascent solar panel kickstand

Inergy gives you peace of mind with these solar panels, too. They come with a one-year material warranty, a 25-year limited output warranty of 80 percent, and a 10-year limited output warranty of 90 percent.

The kit also includes carrying cases for each solar panel to ensure portability!

Best of all, this system is expandable, so if your loved one already has Ascent solar panels, a couple more won’t hurt! If they don’t already have Ascent panels, you’ll need to add a 30′ 12AWG EC8-to-MC4 Solar Panel Cable to your order.

inergy ascent solar panel case

Getting away from it all and enjoying the great outdoors has never been easier, thanks to modern technologies like the Ascent solar panels and the FLEX 1500 power station. I have this very same setup and have enjoyed using it in all sorts of environments and weather conditions.

If you or your loved one need clean, reliable power for your outdoor adventures, consider investing in Inergy products – you won’t be disappointed!

Learn more about the Inergy 200W Ascent Solar Panel Kit

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: Camp Chef Mountaineer Aluminum Cooking System

camp chef mountaineer 1

Are you searching for the perfect holiday gift to delight your camping friends or family members? Look no further than the Camp Chef Mountaineer Aluminum Cooking System!  This versatile two-burner stove is a true game-changer for outdoor cooking, making it an outstanding choice for this holiday season.

This cooking system is constructed with an aluminum body, making it incredibly lightweight and highly portable. This feature is a boon for campers who value convenience and efficiency. Its robust design ensures it can handle the rigors of outdoor cooking, no matter the challenge. So whether you’re whipping up a gourmet meal at a campsite or simply need a quick bite while on the go, this stove’s got you covered.

camp chef mountaineer 2

The compact design and latching lid are prime features. This not only saves precious storage space but also keeps your cooking area organized and clean. Its low profile and secure latching lid make it hassle-free to transport, making it an ideal companion for any camping adventure or outdoor excursion.

When you’re camping, weather conditions can be unpredictable, and that’s where the Camp Chef Mountaineer Cooking System truly shines. This stove comes equipped with a lid that doubles as a windscreen, ensuring even heat distribution and protection against gusty winds. For added versatility, you can combine the stove with its accompanying legs to transform it into a standing grill, further expanding your outdoor cooking possibilities.

camp chef mountaineer 3

Setting up and using the Camp Chef Mountaineer Aluminum Cooking System is a breeze, thanks to its compatibility with various propane tanks. This propane camp stove eliminates the hassle of searching for the right fuel source, allowing you to focus on what truly matters—enjoying the great outdoors and whipping up delicious meals for your fellow adventurers.

I’ve used Camp Chef stoves for years now, and have always enjoyed the reliability, build-quality, and functionality of these stoves. If you want to impress your loved one with an awesome gift this year, this stove will do the trick!

Learn more about the Camp Chef Mountaineer Aluminum Cooking System

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: Tops Knives Silent Hero


Tops Knives makes really good knives, so the Silent Hero is a great option for a discerning family member or friend.

This knife is beautifully designed, impeccably built, and hugely versatile. Add durable to the list as well!

It weighs just 12 ounces, so it’s easy to carry and use. And with a lanyard hole in the handle and another in the finger guard, there are multiple options for carrying the knife. At 11.25″ long with a 6.38″ blade length, this knife is big enough but not so big to be cumbersome.

2021 holiday gift guide tops knives

The blade itself is large enough to chop but also small enough for daily tasks on the trail. The black leather sheath that comes with it is a nice feature, too.

For what it’s worth, this knife looks like a million bucks. The combination of the black canvas micarta handle and the sniper gray blade is really eye-catching. Of course, what matters most is that this knife is impeccably designed and beautifully constructed and will last you or your loved one a very long time!

Learn more about the Tops Knives Silent Hero

Best Outdoor Gifts for $500: Outdoor Vitals StormLoft TopQuilt


If you’re shopping for someone who enjoys cold-weather camping, a high-quality sleeping system is a must, and the Outdoor Vitals StormLoft certainly fits the bill.

This is not a sleeping bag. Instead, this TopQuilt offers just as much insulative value but is much lighter and far more compact than traditional sleeping bags. That makes it an ideal gift idea for someone who does a lot of backpacking or someone like me who doesn’t have enough space to carry a lot of big, bulky gear.

This TopQuilt is nice and wide with curved shoulders that come in at the neck. With the included draft collar, there will be no cold breezes flowing down your neck and into the quilt!

Whether you sleep on your stomach, back, or side, the StormLoft is optimized to fit your body and fall effortlessly around you to keep you warm in temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Tipping the scales at less than two pounds, the StormLoft (which is available in regular or long and varying temperature ratings) is ultra-lightweight and easily packable. It’s also incredibly comfortable, making it an awesome gift idea this holiday season!

Learn more about the Outdoor Vitals StormLoft TopQuilt

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