Gift guide: New and exclusive gear you don’t want to miss

When it comes to the ritual of gift giving there can be a lot of pressure to get it right. Gift giving is one of the five love languages, so it’s important to a lot of people. Finding the perfect thing can be a way to say, “I care about you,” or “Hey – let’s spend more time outside together next year.”

Some criteria of a great gift? If it’s unique and doesn’t feel widely available (i.e., no re-giftable candles). Enter our gift guide of gear that’s exclusive, just released, or created in limited quantities. We hope you find something your gift recipient is going to love.

1. New 2019 MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent

A backpacker’s favourite. New for 2019, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent boasts new composite Easton Syclone poles that flex under heavy winds, then bounce back to their original shape. MSR has also upped the tent’s durability by adding an Xtreme Shield waterproof coating to the fly and floor that does away with conventional seam taping and won’t degrade like traditional PU coatings.

Now’s your chance to get this tent before the rest of Canada does. Until February 2019, MEC is the only place you can find it in the country.

2. A bag as badass as they are

The designer behind the Vapour Series says, “This is the coolest stuff I’ve ever made.” Which is saying a lot, because he’s designed some pretty sweet gear over the years. The Vapour Overnighter Pack is impressively lightweight, especially when you factor in that it’s made from burly nylon that’s completely waterproof. Reviews are rolling in and members are loving it too. Since it’s MEC-label, MEC is the only place you can pick this bag up.

We also love the Vapour Daypack for everyday commuting and carrying.

3. Exclusive print of this favourite comfy poncho

The Therm-a-rest Honcho Poncho is a member favourite that sold out last year (procrastinators: you’ve been warned). It’s a combination poncho and blanket, and it’s also insulated and water-resistant. Bonus: it folds into its kangaroo-style pocket so you never have to hesitate about packing it along when you’re going camping or to the cottage.

We’re very into this exclusive Slate print, which you’ll only find at MEC.

4. The best Storm headlamp yet

There’s no doubt Black Diamond makes some of the top headlamps in the biz. For 2019, they’ve updated their already impressive flagship headlamp – the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp – and improved it with:

  • A serious lumen increase (brighter)
  • 3 different night vision modes (red, green or blue)
  • A more streamlined light head
  • And made it easier to cycle through different lighting modes

Bottom line: this is the best Storm headlamp yet. Want to pick it up as a gift (or for yourself)? Right now, MEC is the one spot in Canada to find it. If you’re looking for something even more streamlined, the Black Diamond Spot Lite Headlamp weighs less than most energy bars.

5. Solar-powered holiday kit

BioLite Holiday Solar Kit

Power for your off-grid adventures and weekends away. This 3-part bundle of Biolite’s most popular products is a solar-powered package that comes with the BaseLantern, SolarPanel 5+ and four string lights to keep things bright and cheery, wherever you are. When you pick up the Biolite Holiday Solar Lighting Kit from MEC, it’s covered by our Rocksolid Guarantee.

6. Trail runners in special-edition colours

Nothing feels better than a new pair of shoes. Give them the gift of flying along the trails in these Salomon trail runners with exclusive colourways at MEC. Some features include seamless Sensifit construction for chafe-free running, the Quicklace system, and wet traction Contagrip rubber outsoles for superior traction in all conditions.

7. A soft blanket in a wild print

The awesome thing about Therm-a-rest is that you can trust whatever you’re buying will be useful and made to last. This insulated, water-resistant wolf-print blanket will have your gift recipient howling at the moon with happiness as they sit by the campfire or curl up at the cottage. If you know someone who’d love this wolf print blanket, pick it up from MEC.

8. Gear for Canadian adventure dogs

With so many people to shop for this time of year, don’t forget about your four-legged furry friends. If you want to take your pooch hiking or camping, Canadian Canine is a new brand of performance gear to get people outside and enjoying nature with their dogs. MEC is excited to be the one retailer in Canada carrying their dog gear – see what they’re all about.

9. Redesigned Turtle Light

The small but mighty MEC Turtle Light has been one of our most trusted products; to give you a sense of just how well-loved it is, by 2010 we’d already celebrated the milestone of 1,000,000 turtle lights sold.

It’s had a major evolution – and it’s super. The MEC Super Turtle Light is finally here and it makes a great stocking stuffer!

10. The gift of underwater exploration

The perfect gift for snowbirds? The ability to take up a new hobby while they’re relaxing in warm weather somewhere over winter. Snorkelling or diving gear will help explore and observe the underwater world. Check out Fathom, a Canadian-owned and operated company brand to get them set up for seeing the world in a new way. MEC is the exclusive retailer to carry them.

11. Incredibly cozy kids’ fleece

Fleece is having a moment. Reima is a brand that makes super-cozy kids’ fleece sweaters and one-piece suits, and they’re totally exclusive to MEC in Canada. Established in 1944, this brand is all about functionality, safety, sustainability and innovation.

Looking for more gift ideas for your favourite person? Nothing beats spending time outside together – check out 9 experiences to give this holiday.

A big, you-heard-it-here-first thank you to MEC staffer Lisa for being the person showing off the new 2019 MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Tent and Black Diamond Storm Headlamp… which you can currently only find at MEC.

MSR tent photos by: Scott Rinckenberger

Missy Shana
Missy Shana

A social media specialist, Seinfeld-quoter who repeatedly travels vast distances for good food. Has probably creeped your Instagram profile.