1. Patagonia MLC
The small but mighty Patagonia MLC (Maximum Legal Carry-On) Bag has a compartment for everything, including a padded laptop slot and external zippered pockets perfect for travel documents. No matter the size of the plane, this soft-sided suitcase slips easily into the overhead bin (happily saving you those checked luggage fees). Ideal for a three- to five-day trip, the durable, water-repellent bag is made from recycled material. Breeze through airports and off to your destination; if the terrain gets rocky, pull out the hidden backpack straps.
2. Kikkerland Radio
This handheld, vintage-looking radio is completely solar- or crank-powered. Manufactured by SE, the stereo receives AM, FM, and weather band frequencies and, when fully charged, can provide up to seven hours of continuous use. Take this useful device on your next beach vacation or park it beside your pop-up tent.
3. Picture-Perfect Camera
No traveler leaves home without a good camera at the ready. Before the voyager in your life embarks on another journey, give this adventurer a great way to share his stories: a camera. On the lower end, price-wise, try the Canon PowerShot G12. If you’re willing to shell out more dough, pick up the Nikon D700. For plenty of other options, including those along the entire price spectrum, look to our Audubon Guide to Cameras.
4. Sail bag
Almost since time began, humans have sailed the seven seas, bracing good weather and bad. You might wonder why, then, the ingenious idea for Sea Bags didn’t emerge until 1999. On a busy wharf in Portland, Maine, tailors recycle retired sails made of canvas, Dacron, or Kevlar into heavy-duty tote bags. Their durability and design—they’re emblazoned with vintage anchors, stripes, stars, and numbers—have won them raves. Also for sale are shaving kits, with rich histories and long futures in their own right.
5. Carbon Credits
For the eco-pal who loves to travel, wipe away her carbon footprint for the year with the not-for-profit Adirondack Council’s “Carbon Zero” holiday gift. Twenty-five dollars retires about three tons of carbon emissions; $125 negates 21 tons, about a year’s worth of carbon for the lucky recipient (U.S. residents only). A frameable certificate comes with the gift.