The 50 Best Gifts For Backpackers (Gifts That Actually Fit Their Backpacks)

Written by: Lara
Last update:
Two women with backpacks in an old monastry
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This won’t cost you anything but it helps us to offset the costs of running our site. Read the affiliate disclosure to find out more.
This article has been written and researched by our gift experts following strict guidelines. Learn more about our methodology

Finding the best gifts for backpackers can be a bit of a challenge. Because what can you give to someone who has to carry all his belongings in one backpack? To help you out, I created this list with 50 awesome backpackers gifts. I am a frequent backpacker myself, and putting together this post was basically like combining my packing list with my personal Christmas wishlist. You will actually find a bunch of products that I personally use or that I will be asking Santa this year!

Are you short on time? Check out the editor’s top three gifts by budget.

Save these gifts for backpackers

Don’t forget to save these gifts for the backpacker on Pinterest!

The 50 best gifts for backpackers

Large budget backpackers gifts

#1 Travel experience gifts

Tinggly "Experience the world" gift card
Photo courtesy of Tinggly

Let me start this list with the absolute best gift for backpackers and travelers in general. And that is the gift of travel. The actual travel experience. Check out these 25 travel experience gifts to find one that matched the traveler.

Though if you just want a general experience gift that any backpacker will love, simply buy the Tinggly Experience The World box. It’s a gift card that gives the receiver access to many different travel experiences around the world.


#2 Noise-cancelling earbuds

Beat ear buds in a case
Beats Fit Pro

Gifts for backpackers need to be practical, small, and lightweight, and that is exactly why these earbuds by Beats are perfect.

Besides that, they also provide high-quality sound, are sweat-proof, and have a noise-canceling option. In short, they are the perfect gift for backpackers who love listening to music.


#3 Portable speakers

A bluetooth speaker from JBL
JBL Speakers

Portable Bluetooth speakers are another option for backpackers who love listening to music. My favorite speaker for backpackers is the JBL GO 3 because it’s incredibly small, waterproof, dustproof, and still produces high-quality sounds.


#4 eReader

Ereader with The Alchemist photo
E-reader

An eReader is the best gift for the backpacker who loves to read. If you have to carry all your belongings on your back, you simply can’t take many books. And for a bookworm (like me), that sucks.

Thanks to the invention of the eReader, backpackers can bring as many books as they want with just this small device. My eReader is one of my most precious belongings when I travel, and I guarantee that any bookworm will love this gift. Especially if you pair it with a Kindle subscription (#34).


#5 Handheld GPS

A handheld GPS device by Garmin
Garmin GPS

Are you looking for gifts for backpackers who love hiking in the middle of nowhere? Then Garmin’s handheld devices are the perfect gift.

These devices will help them to navigate through the middle of nowhere. They contain trails around the world and accurately show the location without the need for data. Where phones have no connection, Garmin devices do.


#6 Daypacks

A backpack from the brand Osprey
Osprey daypack

I know what you’re thinking.

How can backpackers possibly fit everything in this tiny backpack?

But actually, backpackers typically travel with two backpacks; a big one with all their belongings and a small one they use during the day; the daypack. And this backpack by Osprey falls into that last category. Osprey is a very popular brand among backpackers because of their high quality. So if you are looking for a practical backpacker gift, this daypack is perfect.


#7 US national park pass

The annual national park pass card from The US
Annual national park pass

Are you looking for gifts for backpackers who love nature and who are traveling to the US soon?

Then this national park pass is perfect. It will allow them to access many different national parks all over the US, including their vehicle and 4 other passengers!


#8 GoPro action camera

A go pro action camera
Go Pro Action Camera

A GoPro action camera is a great gift for adventurous and active travelers. It allows them to capture each moment, even when they’re underwater, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, bungee jumping, or doing any other crazy activity.


#9 Lightweight puff jackets

A black puff jacket from the brand The North Face
The North Face puff jacket

Lightweight puff jackets are not only great for mountaineers and hikers, but for backpackers too. This eco-hoodie by The North Face is lightweight and can easily be rolled into a small package, yet it’s incredibly warm. And thus perfect for backpackers who travel around different climates.


#10 Portable charger

An Anker power bank with a bag
Anker power bank

A power bank or portable charger is one of the must-have travel items of this decade.

Backpackers use their phones for everything; navigation, music, taking photos, booking accommodation, paying, and whatnot. So running out of batteries is one of the worst things that can happen.

Trust me, I have been there.

Arriving at a new destination at night with just a few percent on my phone, stressing to find my hostel before the batteries die. It’s not a great experience, which I now easily avoid because I have a power bank.

So if you are looking for practical gifts for backpackers who use their phones a lot, this is the perfect gift.


#11 Wanderlust phone case

Phone case with photos and "wanderlust"
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

Are you looking for gifts for the backpacker who is obsessed with his or her phone?

Then a travel-themed phone case such as this one with photos is perfect!


#12 Mini espresso maker

A handheld coffee maker from Wacaco
Nanopress coffee maker

This is one of my favorite gifts for the backpacker who loves coffee; a portable coffee maker.

All they need are Nespresso-compatible cups and they can make a delicious coffee anywhere.


#13 Hammock

Portable hammock
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This portable hammock is the perfect gift for a backpacker who loves sleeping and relaxing outdoors. It comes with straps and carabiners so they can set up their hammock anywhere.


#14 Phone lens

Phone lens
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This phone lens is one of the best gifts for backpackers who love taking beautiful photos, but who don’t have space for large cameras. Instead, they can just take this small lens and add it to their iPhone to make wide-angle photos.


#15 Water bottles

A stainless steel water bottle from the brand LifeStraw
LifeStraw water bottle

Are you looking for practical backpackers gifts? Then a water bottle is a great option. I selected three types of water bottles that are great for different types of backpackers.

The first one is a water bottle with a filter which is perfect for hikers and people who often camp outside. The filter allows them to safely drink water from lakes and rivers.

The second one is an insulated bottle, which is the one I personally use. It’s great for people who often travel to warm destinations because it keeps their water cold.

The last option is a collapsible water bottle, which is perfect for people who travel light.


#16 Floating sunglasses

A pair of sunglasses from the brand Rheos
Rheos sunglasses

Rheos’ sunglasses are the best gifts for the backpacker who loves water sports.

Why?

Because, unlike other sunglasses, theirs float on water!


#17 Rainjackets

A black rain jacket from the brand The North Face
The North Face rain jacket

For the best backpacking gifts for men, check out The North Face rainjackets. They are another essential item for any type of traveler.


#18 Smartwatch

A black SAMSUNg smart watch
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Smartwatches are one of my favorite tech gifts for backpackers. Check out Samsung for great smartwatches for Android users. For Apple fans, an Apple watch is the best option.


#19 Travel-themed board game

The packaging of the board game called Trekking The World
Trekking the World board game

If the receiver of this gift loves board games, then check out these 25 travel-themed board games. Or simply go for Trekking the World.


Mid-budget backpackers gifts

#20 International street food cookbook

My street food kitchen book
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Are you looking for gifts for the backpacker who loves food?

Then this cookbook is perfect. Backpackers can recreate all the street food dishes they have tried during their travels, at home. And trust me, backpackers have tried a lot of street food. It’s typically the cheapest and most tasty food option, which is why backpackers love it.


#21 Shampoo bars

three different packages of ethique toiletery bars
Ethique shampoo bars

This set of four shampoo bars is one of the best gifts for the backpacker who cares about the environment.

Shampoo bars are very compact soap bars that work the same as regular shampoo, except you don’t need a plastic bottle (which is why they are better for the environment).


#22 Tripod selfie stick

A tripod and selfie stick for a phone
Tripod selfie stick

For backpackers who travel alone, but who do like to take photos of themselves, this selfie stick tripod combination is perfect.


#23 Hanging toiletry bag

Pink toiletry bag
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Are you looking for cute and practical backpacking gifts for women?

Then this waterproof hanging toiletry bag is perfect. It comes with a cute design and you can choose from six different colors. Though it’s the hook and the waterproof design that make it a great gift for travelers.


#24 Language class gift card

italki gift card
Photo courtesy of italki

Are you looking for backpacking gifts for someone who loves learning languages?

Then check out this list with 25 awesome gifts for language lovers. Or go for an italki gift card which allows them to take personal online classes from native speakers.


#25 Dry bag

A dry back from Sea to Summit
Dry bag

I always travel with a dry bag. Whether I’m going to the beach or traveling in the snow, it’s the best way to protect my stuff from unexpected water.

Earth Pak is one of the best brands and they offer bags in many different sizes and colors.


#26 Scratch map

A scratch map of the entire world
Scratch map

When backpackers are not traveling, they are thinking about traveling. And that’s why travelers love maps because they allow them to dream about new and undiscovered destinations.

Check out these 25 world maps for more inspiration, or go for the classic scratch-off poster that every traveler loves.


#27 Gift cards

Columbia gift cards
Photo courtesy of Columbia

I know that gift cards have the reputation of being boring and impersonal gifts.

But actually, it’s one of the most useful and desired gifts. Plus if you use one of these creative ways to present a gift card, it’s anything but boring!

Check out these 25 best gift cards for travelers to find the perfect gift card for your receiver. Or go for a gift card from Columbia which is a popular brand for travel gear and clothing.


#28 Money

Cash
Cash

Here is another highly underrated gift for backpackers; money.

Traveling is an expensive hobby, so anything that will help them to pay for travel is a great gift. Just as gift cards, gifting money is still considered a bad gift. But I beg to differ, especially if you use one of our 76 creative money gift ideas!


#29 Travel journal

Travel journal with pockets
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods

A travel journal is one of the best gifts for the backpacker who will leave for a trip soon. They can take the journal on the road and record their memories.

For more inspiration, check out these 25 travel journals too.


#30 Scarf with hidden pockets

An infinity scarf with a floral print and a hidden pocket
Scarf with hidden pockets

Backpackers often travel by night buses and trains. Obviously, this comes with a risk, which is why this scarf with hidden pockets is perfect! They can wear it on the bus and carry their passports, money, and bank cards safely around their neck.

For more gift ideas to keep backpackers and their belongings safe on the road, check out these travel safety gifts.


#31 Travel pillow

A neck pillow for travel
Travel neck pillow

As I said, backpackers often take night buses and in order to get a good night’s sleep on a bus, a travel pillow is essential.

Honestly, I prefer memory foam pillows over inflatable ones. But as a backpacker, I usually go for the smaller inflatable ones, because they take up less space in a backpack.


#32 Bra wallet

Bra wallet
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Are you looking for backpacking gifts for women?

Then this hidden wallet that women can attach to their bras is perfect!

They can keep their money and bank cards safely tucked under their clothes.


#33 Travel guides

Two travel guides for Belgium
Lonely Planet travel guides

This is another great gift for the backpacker who will leave on a trip soon, a travel guide for that specific destination.

Even though backpackers don’t travel with many books, they usually make an exception for a guidebook. Especially if that guidebook is the backpacker’s bible (aka the Lonely Planet).

So check out Amazon to find the Lonely Planet for the receiver’s next destination, and I guarantee they will actually bring your gift on their journey.


#34 Subscription gifts

Netflix sign
Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

Like gift cards, subscription gifts are one of the most practical and desired gifts.

For backpackers, three popular subscriptions include Netflix, Spotify, and Kindle.


#35 Piggy bank for travelers

Piggy bank in the shape of a suitcase
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Remember what I said about gifts that help backpackers pay for their next trip?

That’s right, they are all great gifts.

So this piggy bank in the shape of a suitcase is a perfect gift to help them save for that next trip.


Small budget backpackers gifts

#36 Quick-drying towels

A microfiber towel in a bag
Quick-drying towel

Definitely not the most exciting gifts for backpackers, but the most practical nonetheless, are the fast-drying towels.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a backpacker who does not use one of these. As the name already suggests, they dry quickly and are super lightweight, which is what makes them so popular among backpackers.


#37 Something from their favorite country

Japanese tea box
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Do you know te receiver’s favorite travel destination?

Then a gift related to that destination is perfect!

Head over to my destination’s section to find a gift guide for each country. Or if the receiver loves Japan, check out this Japanese tea box.


#38 Travel-themed jewelry

Pendants of a globe and a compass
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Are you looking for cute backpackers gifts for women?

Then look no further.

This necklace with pendants of a globe and a compass is perfect!


#39 Collapsible coffee mug

A blue mug that is collapsible
Collapsible coffee mug

Are you looking for backpackers gifts for coffee lovers? Then these collapsible coffee mugs are perfect, they are small and allow travelers to drink coffee anywhere.


#40 Personalized sleeping masks

Sleeping mask made from silk and with a name
Photo courtesy of Imprinted and Impress

To get a good night’s sleep on a bus or in a crowded dorm, a sleeping mask is another backpacker’s essential.

And what’s cuter than a mask that has their name on it?

If you like the personal touch, check out these personalized gifts for more inspiration.


#41 Fanny pack

Fanny pack with cats
Photo courtesy of Amazon

I love fanny packs. They are like the colorful and happy version of the money belt. It keeps your money safe while also looking fashionable.

You can find them in all sorts of styles and designs, so check out Amazon for more options. Personally, I loved this cat design.


#42 Book for backpackers

Book titled: How to travel the world on 50$ a day
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This is one of the best gifts for backpackers and budget travelers who are still new to the scene.

Matt Kepnes is a famous travel budget blogger (Nomadic Matt) who has turned his years of experience into this fun and comprehensive book that’s a must-have for every backpacker.


#43 Tote bags

Tote bag with a print of a world map
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

I always travel with a tote bag. It’s small, light, and can easily be rolled up if you’re not using it. They are perfect for the beach, grocery shopping, and basically anything else for which you need a small bag.

And what I love the most about tote bags is that they are available in many different designs, such as this one with a map of the world.

So if you are looking for practical gifts for backpackers, head over to Zazzle to check out all tote bag designs, or buy this world map bag from Amazon.


#44 Travel utensils

Travel utensils
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This is another great gift for sustainable backpackers who don’t want to use disposable cutlery.


#45 Travel-sized games

Package and cards of the game "Dobble or Spot It"
Spot it

For backpackers who love games, check out this list filled with travel-sized and lightweight games.

One of my favorite games is Spot It! It’s a fast-paced game in which you have to find the matching symbols on cards as fast as possible. It’s easy to explain and learn, and you can play it in any language, which is why it’s perfect for backpackers who often meet travelers from different countries.


#46 Travel-themed coloring book for adults

Ultimate coloring book
Photo courtesy of Amazon

A travel-themed coloring book is a perfect gift for backpackers who are stressed. As studies have shown that coloring books for adults help to reduce stress. And what’s a better way to wind down for travelers, than with a book filled with travel pictures?


#47 Waterproof deck of cards

Waterproof deck of cards
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This is one of the best gifts for the backpacker who loves drinking games.

Because for some reason (could it be the alcohol?) drinks are spilled more often when playing drinking games and this usually ruins the cards. But with these waterproof cards, backpackers can spill all they want and continue playing.


#48 Passport cover

Passport cover with a world map
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Passport covers are probably not one of the most unique backpackers gifts on this list. But, since a passport is a backpacker’s most important document, it is one of the most practical gifts.

And if you buy a cute cover such as this one with a map of the world, it can definitely be a cute gift too.


#49 Luggage tags

Luggage tag with mountains
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

Are you looking for small gifts for backpackers? Then a luggage tag in a cute theme, such as this one with mountains is perfect!

Or check out Zazzle, for more options.


#50 Funny socks

A pair of socks with a print of a forest and someone in the forest
Photo courtesy of Amazon

I’m not going to lie. Ssocks are typically not the most exciting gift for backpackers.

But they are practical.

So if you want to buy practical backpacking gifts for people who love hiking, this is it.


Save these gifts for backpackers

Did you save these gifts for the backpacker on Pinterest yet?

50 backpacking gifts that backpackers will love

Final note on these gifts for backpackers

Do you need a little more help to find the perfect gift? Check out the editor’s top 3 or the other gift guides on this site!

AUTHOR

Hi, I’m Lara, a 30-year-old travel-lover (but who’s not these days?). I love reading, puzzling, world-heritage sites, researching, and making lists, which comes in quite handy when you’re making lists of travel gift ideas!