65 Best Van Life Gifts (2024)

Browse our list of the best van life gifts to find the perfect gift for the van lifers you know and make your holiday shopping easy.

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Finding the perfect gift ideas for van lifers can be difficult – what do you get the person who lives tiny and doesn’t have a lot of storage space? Small and/or practical van life gear and essentials make the top of this list, and below I’ve rounded up the best van life gifts to make your holiday shopping easy.

Why trust me? I’ve owned 3 different Sprinter vans since 2016 and have tried a lot of van gear over the years. And between myself and the rest of the Bearfoot Theory team, we have over 12 years of van living experience.

From compact camp furniture to practical safety gear to fun outdoor games, I’ve checked off every box to make sure there’s something for every kind of van lifer in your life, and best of all — the team and I actually use these items on the road (or they are on our wish list!)

Furniture & Accessory Van Life Gifts

Whether camping in a National Park or dispersed camping on public lands, these furniture & accessory van life gift ideas are perfect for those wanting a little comfort and ambiance around the campfire.

A Sprinter van at a dispersed campsite in Moab, Utah with a camp chair, rug, and table set up outside
Using the CGear Sand-Free Mat in Moab

1. CGEAR Sand-Free Mat

CGEAR Sand Mat / One of the best gifts for van camping

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An outdoor mat is something that every van lifer finds useful. A sand mat keeps sand and dirt from getting tracked inside and creates a nice “patio” space for hanging out. This CGear Sand-Free Mat is what I use outside of my side doors because it allows sand and dirt to filter through (rather than pile up on top like a regular outdoor rug) and it folds down super small for easier storage.

2. Dometic GO Compact Camp Table

Dometic Go Camp Table

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I upgraded to the Dometic Go Camp Table this year and it’s been one of my favorite gear additions. It folds in half for easy storage and the solid bamboo top has a nice elegant feel while still being durable enough for extended outdoor use. Plus, its adjustable leg height means you can swiftly transition from a cooking station to a coffee table, or even downsize it to a kiddo’s play table.

3. RTIC Soft Pack Cooler

RTIC Soft Pack Cooler

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Investing in (or gifting) a quality cooler can make a world of difference in van life where temperatures can change rapidly and access to ice isn’t always easy. Having a small, portable cooler is key for being able to take food and drinks with you when you’re away from your van — think beach trips, kayaking, etc. We love the RTIC Soft Pack Cooler which is small enough to stash away easily, easy to transport, and keeps things really cold.

4. MoonShade Awning

A man and woman sitting in camp chairs under a MoonShade awning attached to camper van roof

*Save 10% by using the code BEARFOOTTHEORY at checkout*

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The MoonShade Awning is one of the best gifts for van lifers because it fits on nearly any vehicle, does well in windy conditions, and packs down small for easy portability. And it’s easy to set up too! It’s an affordable gift for any van lifer who is looking for a portable, versatile awning for camping. Read our full review of the MoonShade awning for all the details.

5. Dometic GO Compact Camp Chair

Dometic Go Camp Chair

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We recently upgraded to the Dometic GO Camp Chairs because I needed something higher off the ground and more ergonomic while holding and feeding the baby. They are extremely comfortable and collapse easily for storage. They are not as compact as the Helinox (one of my other favorite camp chairs), but if you want more back support and better stability, this Dometic chair is your ticket.

6. Kammok Double Roo Hammock

Kammok Double Roo Hammock / One of the best gifts for van life

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Hammocks and camping go hand-in-hand and this Kammok Double Roo Hammock is the perfect companion for van life. It comes in lots of bright colors and there’s ample room to fit two. It’s even light enough to carry along on a quick backpacking trip. It comes in a single version as well.

7. Rumpl Blanket

Rumpl Blanket / One of the best van life gifts

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Rumpl Blankets are our favorite van life comforters because they’re snuggly and soft yet still durable for the road. I’ve used mine since 2017 and I can’t believe how well it’s held up! The blankets come in several different materials including recycled synthetic, a warmer NanoLoft synthetic, and down. You can also choose from a wide variety of colors and styles. Since they’re water and dirt-resistant and can be thrown into the wash, they’re one of our favorite gifts in general.

8. West Paw Heyday Dog Bed

West Paw Heyday dog bed

*Use the code WESTPAW10 to get 10% off!*

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If you’re traveling with a dog in the van, it’s nice for them to have a comfy space of their own. My dog Charlie likes to hang out in his West Paw Heyday Dog Bed between the two front seats. Handmade in Montana, this dog bed has a soft, textured top and a micro-suede bottom that is totally machine-washable (a huge plus, especially in van life). Plus, this bed folds in half in case you need to stash it away.

9. Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag

Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag / One of the best gifts for travel and van life

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A fundamental ‘rule’ of van life is to keep your belongings as organized as possible to prevent clutter and mess, which can really cramp a small space (like a van). That’s why we love the Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag where you can store all of your toiletries and showering essentials. This bag comes with a little mirror, has plenty of pockets to keep things organized, and it’s available in two sizes.

10. Nomadix Quick Dry Towel

Nomadix quick dry towel / A great van life gift

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Quick-dry towels are a staple for van life. They are incredibly multi-functional for using as a beach or shower towel, wiping down countertops, cleaning up spills, and wiping off dog paws – and they’re way less bulky than your traditional towel. Coming in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes, Nomadix Towels are our favorite quick-dry towel to keep on hand in the van.

11. Geyser Systems Portable Shower w/ Heater

Geyser Systems portable outdoor shower, great for van life

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When it’s time to rinse off or you just got back from a muddy hike and need to wipe off your dog’s paws, having a Geyser Systems Portable Hot Water Shower feels like a luxury. Using less than a gallon of water, this small, portable device heats up water (while plugged into AC power) and has a control valve that allows you to choose the water flow for up to 15 minutes of showering. It also comes with a sponge attachment, which is really handy to soap up with before rinsing off. You can read our full review of the Geyser Systems Portable Hot Water Shower here.

12. EcoFlow RIVER 2 Portable Power Station

Ecoflow River 2

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Whether you work from the road or you’re spending an extended time off-grid, having a portable power station like the EcoFlow RIVER 2 can be really helpful, even as a backup to your house battery system. This power station is designed to charge a range of electronics from phones to computers and can even be used with some kitchen appliances. This is the power station that myself and BFT contributor (and full-time van lifer) Courtney use. It’s our top pick because it charges very fast – from 0-80% in 1 hour when plugged into AC power.

13. Inhabit Designs Custom Floor Mats

Inhabit Design Works custom floor mats in a Sprinter Van

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I’ve tried three different flooring options in my Sprinter vans and think I’ve finally found the perfect solution to hiding dirt: Inhabit Design Works custom floor mats. Made from USA-produced Chilewich vinyl, these mats have low VOC emissions and are free of phthalates and heavy metals.

Plus they hold up really well with heavy foot traffic and daily van life grime and the patterns hide dirt well. But best of all — they can be easily removed and hosed down (we’ve even used our outdoor shower to clean them before).

14. Trelino Composting Toilet

Trelino composting toilet

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There’s a new toilet that’s quickly becoming a favorite among van lifers: the Trelino Composting Toilet. It’s more compact than your traditional composting toilets plus it doesn’t require any outside venting or a power source. This toilet easily separates solids and liquids and the solid waste compartment can be used with handy bags for easier cleanup. When it’s that time, just pull it out and either put it in the garbage bin or put it in your at-home compost pile.

No fuss with installation, no power needed, and the flexibility to even use it outside make this top of our wishlist! Looking for a different style of toilet to gift? Check out our full roundup of the best van toilets here.

15. Mr. Buddy Portable Heater

Mr. Buddy portable heater

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Stay warm and toasty in your van no matter what season it is with the portable Mr. Buddy Heater. This heater runs on 1 lb propane cylinders (not included), so there’s no worry about draining your van battery on a chilly night. It also comes with several auto shut-off safety mechanisms, like turning off if it gets tipped over, if it detects low oxygen levels, and if the pilot light turns off. (Note: this heater should be turned off before going to bed.)

Starlink Dishy placed face down in the Radius Outfitters Starlink Storage Case

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Know someone who upgraded their van’s internet to Starlink? Protecting your tech while on the move is no joke, especially when it comes to something as vital (and expensive) as Starlink.

Enter the Radius Outfitters Starlink Storage Case. This custom Starlink storage solution has been my go-to for keeping my Starlink gear safe and sound. Built tough, it’s perfectly sized and designed to secure the Dishy and cords, ensuring it’s shielded from the elements and those bumps and scrapes of van life.

17. Scrubba Wash Bag

Scrubba wash bag

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Keep your clothes clean with this clever Scrubba Wash Bag. It’s essentially a large 3L bag with a modern take on an old-fashioned washboard. Simply fill the bag up with warm water and a bit of biodegradable soap, then ‘scrub’ your clothes clean on the washboard nodules. The Scrubba helps save time and money and it also doubles as a dry bag, perfect for taking out on the water.

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Kitchen & Cooking Van Life Gifts

Making the cook happy pretty much guarantees that you’ll be happy (and full) too. Take the van kitchen to the next level with these gift ideas.

A woman standing outside of her Sprinter van cooking on a propane camp stove
Kristen cooking on the GSI Outdoors Slim Fold Cook Station

18. GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station

GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station

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A cook station makes cooking outdoors a lot easier by providing extra space to chop veggies and prep food. I love the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station because it packs up nicely and has multiple levels and tiers to give you space to whip up gourmet meals. I travel with this table in my van and set it up when we’re camped to cook outside. If you know someone who loves cooking outside, this table is a must!

19. Partner Steel 22″ 2 Burner Propane Stove

Partner Steel 22" 2 Burner Propane Stove with Windscreen

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The Partner Steel 22″ 2 Burner Propane Stove is my personal dream camp stove for van life. Originally built for whitewater rafters, it has unbeatable durability, exceptional heat output, and top-notch efficiency. Plus, with customizable right or left propane hookups, it seamlessly integrates into any van kitchen setup. This is the perfect van kitchen upgrade from your traditional camp stove!

20. Magma Nesting Cookware

Magma Nesting Cookware

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Van life requires a creative approach to using space and one of our favorite space-saving techniques is to use this Magma Nesting Cookware. Everything in this set nests together perfectly and can be easily stored in a cabinet. The pots are easy to clean and the handles are also detachable, making them even easier to stash away. Plus, this cookware is induction-friendly for those with an induction stove in their van.

21. Aeropress Go Travel Coffee Press

Aeropress Go Travel Coffee Press

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The AeroPress coffee maker has been my go-to method for making that perfect cup of joe for over a decade (even now that I’m on decaf). The AeroPress Go travel coffee press is super compact, takes less than a minute to make a cup of coffee, and the process results in a rich, smooth flavor that I haven’t been able to achieve with drip coffee or a french press. Cleanup is also a cinch, which is essential, especially when you’re in a van. You can read my full review of the Aeropress Go here.

22. Snow Peak Tableware Set

Snow Peak Tableware Set

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I recently ditched the plastic dinnerware I’d be using in my van for years for something more non-toxic, and I’ve been really impressed with the Snow Peak Tableware Set. The stainless steel set is super durable and everything nests together for easy storage — it comes with a plate, a dish, and 2 differently-sized bowls. You can buy a 4P full set from REI or you can buy individual sets from Snow Peak if you don’t need 4 of everything.

23. YETI Rambler Tumbler

YETI Rambler Tumbler coffee mug

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Everyone needs a travel mug for coffee and tea, and van lifers are no exception. This YETI Rambler Tumbler fits in most cup holders, keeps drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours, and most importantly — makes one-handed drinking easy with a MagSlider lid (fewer spills!).

24. Omnia Stovetop Oven

Omnia Stovetop Oven

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A lack of an oven is one of the biggest downsides of most van kitchens. With the Omnia Oven, you can bake right on your stovetop! From pizza to cakes to bread to casseroles, this compact “oven” is the perfect gift for the van life baker in your life.

25. YETI Wine Tumbler

YETI Rambler Wine Tumbler

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For the van lifers who love a little sunset happy hour, these YETI Wine Tumblers make the perfect gift. They’re super durable, insulated, and have a lid to prevent spillage whether holding wine, cocktails, or non-alcoholic drinks.

26. Epic Water Filters Nalgene Bottle

Epic Water Filters Water Bottle

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Ditch single-use water bottles in the van with an Epic Water Filters water bottle. These reusable water bottles come with a replaceable filter that filters out over 70 contaminants including microplastics, metals, and even some harmful chemicals. Since van lifers are often filling up water from public sources like gas stations and public parks that may have old pipes, it’s really important to filter your water, and this is one of the simplest ways to do so.

If you already have a reusable water bottle, you can get a Hydro Flask-compatible lid and filter or a Nalgene-compatible lid and filter, and if you’re traveling off the grid, you could also purchase the Outdoor Adventure Filter, which also removes bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

27. Clearsource RV Water Filter

Clearsource RV water filter

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(Discount applied when checking out)

We added a Clearsource RV Water Filter to our van last year after several experiences with very heavily chlorinated campground water. Apart from the bad taste of campground water, it got me thinking about what else might be in the water we are filling our van up with.

The Clearsource Ultra is a three-stage water filter that reduces or removes rust, sediment, chlorine, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, viruses, heavy metals, and more. Our water tastes so much better and we don’t have to worry about what harmful chemicals we might be drinking.

You do need two hoses to install this filter, one that goes from the water hookup to the filter and another that goes from the filter to the van. We have these hoses that are made specifically for drinking water that are lead and BPA-free.

Fun & Entertainment Gifts for Van Life

Van lifers don’t need much to have a good time when they’re out on the road—but for those times that they do, here’s our curated list to help you gift right.

28. MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights

MPOWERED string lights

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Stringing up lights around your campsite is a great way to brighten up camp and create some ambiance around the van. The MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights provide versatile lighting options that are both practical and tranquil and best of all, they’re powered by the sun and can also be charged by USB. Wrap them around nearby trees, illuminate the inside of your van, or string them between vans (a great substitute for campfires when burn bans are in effect!) — they’re 44 feet in length so there’s tons of ways to get creative.

29. LavaBox Portable Fire Pit

Lavabox

*Use the code BEARFOOT at checkout to get 10% off*

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Having a portable fire pit that hooks up to propane is a great van life gift – especially for people who travel out West during summer when burn bans often mean months of no campfires. We recently discovered the Lavabox and it’s been an awesome, safe way to enjoy a fire in the evenings. This version also comes with a stand that turns into a grill, so stock up on your BBQ supplies!

30. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose noise cancelling headphones

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Van life with a partner means close quarters and overlapping schedules. For those moments when you crave a personal escape or need to zero in on work without distractions, these Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones are a godsend.

I love being able to pop on my favorite music, podcasts, or a meditative track – all while maintaining the harmony of shared space with my partner Ryan. Their premium sound quality and top-tier noise-canceling capabilities are unmatched, perfect for ensuring peace on the road.

31. Hyperlite Camera Pod

Hyperlite Camera Pod

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The Hyperlite Camera Pod is what I use to store my camera gear in the van. Made from ultralight, durable, and weatherproof material, it’s perfect for keeping your camera gear safe and contained in the van, but it also doubles as a camera bag while hiking so you don’t need an extra camera bag. You can carry this pod in your hiking bag, clip it with a carabiner to your pack, or clip it to the front of your pack for easy access.

32. Binoculars

Nikon Trailblazer ATB Binoculars

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Binoculars are a fun gift for van lifers – it’s great to have a pair while hiking or hanging out at camp. We recommend the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Binoculars because they are compact, waterproof, and fog proof. In places like Yellowstone and Yosemite, binoculars are awesome for spotting wildlife from a safe distance or watching rock climbers. Check out our hiking binoculars gear guide for more gift options.

33. Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat

manduka prolite yoga mat

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The van life yogi in your life will love the Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat. It’s made with certified OEKO-TEX materials, meaning that there are no harmful chemicals, and it has a slip-resistant surface. These mats are designed to last for years!

34. iPad/Tablet Holder

iPad Holder

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Sometimes you just want to Netflix and Chill (even in a van). This flexible iPad/Tablet holder makes it incredibly easy to watch your favorite shows from anywhere in your van. We clamp this to one of our overhead cabinets and use it to hold our iPad to easily watch Netflix from bed.

It’s versatile and can be clamped to a variety of objects, and has a flexible arm so you can move the iPad to the right angle.

35. Outside Inside Canoe Cribbage Board

Outside Inside Canoe Cribbage Board

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Carrying around a ton of board games isn’t feasible in a van, but it is nice to have a couple of options for those occasional rainy days or a game night with friends on the road. The Outside Inside Canoe Cribbage Board takes game night to a new level with its fun canoe-shaped design. This compact and beautifully crafted board is perfect for those laid-back evenings — plus it doesn’t take up a lot of room!

36. Bluetooth Projector

Bluetooth projector for movies

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Having a projector is great for hosting van movie nights, using the side of your van as the screen. This Anker Nebula Capsule Mini Projector is about the size of a Coke can, has 360-degree sound, and connects wirelessly. There’s nothing quite like watching a movie with your fellow van friends next to a campfire under the stars!

37. Ekrin 365 Massage Gun

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If you’re an active van lifer, this Ekrin massage gun will help you recover after a long day on the trail so you’re ready for the next day’s activities. I even enjoy using this after a long day of driving to work out some of the stiffness from sitting.

This particular model is small enough that it won’t take up a bunch of room in your van and it comes with a compact carrying case for easy storage. There are 4 different massage heads to tailor to different areas and pressures, plus the battery lasts for over 4 hours on a single charge!

38. Kindle

Kindle eReader

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Physical books take up a LOT of space in a van, so switching to a Kindle eReader is perfect for book lovers on the road – plus the Paperwhite version is waterproof! Books can be downloaded for offline use and the battery life lasts for weeks. Tou can also enjoy audiobooks by pairing Bluetooth headphones to switch seamlessly between reading and listening.

39. America The Beautiful Pass

America the Beautiful annual parks pass

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This might be one of the most useful van life gifts on our list. An America the Beautiful National Parks Pass provides access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites throughout the country. It’s good for a year from the month of purchase and covers admission for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas.

Most National Parks charge an entry fee of $20-$35 so gifting an America The Beautiful Pass is a huge money saver (and a great way to support our parks!) REI also carries some regional park passes here.

40. Journal

Rite In The Rain Journal

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A journal is always a nice thing to have whether at home or on the road. We love this Rite In The Rain waterproof journal which is perfect for tossing in your bag on your next van adventure. It even has a hardcover for extra protection!

41. National Parks Passport

National Parks Passport book

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For many van lifers, visiting America’s 400+ National Park sites is a big goal when living on the road. If you’re the kind of person who likes to document your travels, the National Parks Passport is a great way to record your highlights of each park, historical site, national monument, and more. You can check out more National Park themed gifts here.

42. Living the Vanlife Book

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Curious what it’s really like to live and work full-time on the road in a camper van? Check out the book Living the Vanlife by the founder of the Diversify Vanlife movement, Noami Grevemberg. It’s filled with beautiful photos, personal stories and lessons, and actionable advice from 7 years of full-time van life. This would make the perfect gift for those dreaming of van life! Check out our Best Van Life Books blog post for more gift ideas.

43. Trash Grabber

Trash Grabber

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Although this may not fall under “van life entertainment”, a Trash Grabber is still a great gift for van lifers. We use one for cleaning up trash left behind at campsites (one of the less glamorous parts of van life). It’s foldable so it can easily be stowed away in a drawer. With trash becoming an increasing problem as more people are getting outdoors, we want to make sure we’re doing our part to keep public lands clean and open for all to enjoy.

44. Pickleball Paddles

Pickleball Paddles

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Pickleball is a blast and a fun way to get exercise on the road on the days you don’t feel like hiking. Courts are popping up all over the place, so we like to keep a set of paddles and a few balls in the van. They hardly take up any room compared to other outdoor and sports equipment and it’s also a great way to meet people on the road.

Clothing & Apparel Gifts for Van Life

Our favorite van life clothing gifts are versatile, durable, comfortable, and can be worn multiple times between washes.

Kristen at the back of her Sprinter Van with the doors open wearing the lululemon Align Leggings and Swiftly Relaxed-Fit T-Shirt
Kristen wearing the lululemon Align Leggings at 5 months pregnant

45. lululemon Align Leggings

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A pair of comfy yet functional leggings is essential for any van lifer, camper, or traveler. I added the lululemon Align Leggings to my van life (and everyday) closet and love them. They’re buttery soft, stretchy, lightweight, flattering, and super comfortable. They’re also sweat-wicking and breathable making them the perfect fit for yoga, working out, or just lounging around.

*If you’re not sure about size, a lululemon gift card is a great gift for van lifers and travelers as well.

46. lululemon Align Shorts

The lululemon Align Shorts, the shorts version of the buttery soft leggings above, are a staple for van life and everyday life as well. These shorts are super comfortable with a wide, soft waistband and are perfect for long drives, hanging at camp, wearing for everyday activities, and even for hiking. The 6″ version with side drop in pockets that can hold a smartphone are our favorite – they’re not too long or too short.

lululemon Align short 6in length

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47. lululemon Underwear

lululemon Invisiwear Hipster Underwear

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Made from a lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric these lululemon InvisiWear Underwear are a great addition to any van life wardrobe. They’re specifically designed for women on the move, so they don’t have any seams and they don’t slip and slide when you’re out hiking or exploring new places. They’re also quick drying so they’re easy to wash on the go.

These are my go-to no-show undies for active adventures and everyday wear. I’m partial to the boyshort version but I know lots of ladies love the bikini version as well. I can pretty much guarantee that these will be a hit so I recommend ordering a 3-pack if you can.

48. Vuori Halo Hoodie

Vuori Halo Hoodie

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Vuori makes some of the softest clothing I’ve ever tried and the Vuori Halo Hoodie is no exception. It’s super comfy for chilly days or cool summer nights and it comes in a lot of great colors. We also love that Vuori clothing is made with recycled materials.

49. Outdoor Research Helium Down Hoodie

Outdoor Research Helium Down Hoodie

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Having a lightweight down jacket is a staple in the van and the Outdoor Research Helium Down Hoodie is one of my favorite picks. It’s great for those cooler van mornings or sitting around the fire after a day of exploration. This jacket has accompanied me through various climates, always ensuring that I’m warm without being weighed down. Its lightweight construction means it’s easy to pack away, but when worn, it’s a cocoon of warmth. There’s also a men’s version available.

50. Unisex Coalatree Trailhead Pants

CoalaTree trailhead pants

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I love a pair of hiking pants that can easily go from trail to town and the unisex Coalatree Trailhead Pants fit the bill. They have a blend of durability and comfort that makes them perfect for everything from lounging in the van to tackling rough trails to running errands around town. The stink-proof, stain-proof, anti-microbial fabric means you can wear these again and again without washing which is another reason these are great for van lifers!

51. REI Co-op Packing Cube Set

REI Packing Cubes

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Packing cubes are a van life essential that allows for ultimate organization, more room in your van, and makes finding clothes much easier. REI expandable packing cube set has three different sizes to keep everything in the right place. Use one for tops, one for bottoms, and one for undies and such.

52. REI Co-op Road Tripper Duffel

REI Road Tripper Duffel

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A duffel bag – in addition to the packing cubes above – is handy for storing clothes in the van. This REI Road Tripper Duffel comes in a variety of sizes, but I recommend the 60L for the most storage space. If you want a duffel bag that can double as a carry-on item, go for the 40L bag. I love that this duffel is lightweight yet durable and packs down to about the size of a Nalgene when not in use. It also comes in a fun print version too!

53. REI Camp Dreamer Booties

REI Co-Op Camp Dreamer Bootie

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The REI Camp Dreamer Booties are a dream to walk around camp in (it feels like you’re walking on clouds). Made of eco-friendly recycled polyester, these cozy shoes can be worn outside due to their rubber sole, yet the puffy upper makes them feel like a super warm slipper – perfect for nights around the campfire and chilly mornings in the van! There’s also a slip-on version available.

54. Turtle Fur Morgan Knit Beanie

Turtle Fur knit beanie

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Know someone always chasing their next sunrise adventure or just perpetually cold? Slip this Turtle Fur knit beanie into their holiday stocking and watch them rock it all winter long. Not only does it serve up some serious cozy vibes, but the knit pattern is also stylish — it’s one of those hats that seems to pair well with everything.

55. Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sandal

Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sanda

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While we love a classic Birkenstock sandal, they can get pretty beat up living on the road. The Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sandal is a foam sandal option that is completely waterproof, made of odor-neutral materials, and can be easily washed. These are perfect for shower shoes or everyday camp sandals.

56. CEP Ultralight Compression Calf Sleeves

CEP Ultralight Compression Calf Sleeves

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Let’s face it, those long hours behind the wheel on a van adventure can take a toll on our legs. Enter the CEP Ultralight Compression Calf Sleeves. These ultralight compression sleeves have been essential for me on those long driving stretches (especially when I was pregnant). Not only do they help improve circulation, but they also combat that heavy leg feeling, making your journey more comfortable and enjoyable. They also come in a men’s version.

Safety, Recovery & Navigation Gifts for Van Life

While not the most “fun” items on our list, these safety, recovery, and navigation gifts for van lifers are USEFUL and will be much appreciated.

Max Trax recovery boards strapped to the roof of my Sprinter van

57. Max Trax Recovery Boards

Max Trax Recovery Boards for vehicles

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Driving down dirt roads usually leads to the most beautiful places, but sometimes soft sand, loose dirt, or mud can cause you to get stuck. Having a way to self-recover is really important, especially if you’re miles and miles away from civilization (or don’t have cell service). Max Trax recovery boards assist you in getting unstuck, and are one of the most useful safety gifts you could give a van lifer!

58. Rocky Talkie Two-Way Radio

Rocky Talkie

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Never underestimate the power of staying connected, especially when you’re off-grid. I learned this the hard way during our Powder Highway ski trip… I picked up a pair of these Rockie Talkies so Ryan and I could always find each other on the slopes without relying on spotty cell service. But the one day we left them behind? Total chaos – an hour-long, no-phone-service separation! It was frustrating.

But these walkie-talkies aren’t just for ski slopes — they’re perfect for staying connected while caravanning with friends without needing to call every time you need a bathroom break. Plus they can help you navigate dirt roads with tight turnarounds and quick warnings about road hazards. And they’ve got an impressive range!

59. Benchmark Road Atlas

Benchmark Road Atlas for Utah

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Benchmark Road Atlases are my go-to paper maps and make a great gift for van lifers. They show recreation activities, have categorized listings, and also show public land ownership lines, and backroads, and differentiate between 2wd and 4wd roads. They’re super useful to have for each state you’ll be traveling in.

60. Air Compressor

Air compressor kit

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An air compressor is another essential item for van life safety and recovery. With the miles we put on our vehicles, tire pressure is something to monitor closely. Airing down your tires before driving on soft surfaces (like sand) helps you avoid getting stuck, however, you need a way to air back up your tires when you get back to pavement. A compact air compressor like this one is the way to go for ensuring you can always air up your tires.

61. Hulkman Jump Starter

Hulkman Jump Starter kit for vehicles

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Waking up to a dead car battery is never fun, but when you’re out on National Forest land without another car in sight? That can be really scary. For peace of mind, we always carry a backup car battery jump starter – which requires no other vehicle for a jump! This compact device is about the size of a Nalgene and truly worth carrying in a van.

62. Garmin InReach Mini

Garmin inReach Mini 2 Satellite Communicator

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The Garmin InReach Mini 2 is our pick for the best all-around van life safety gift. This is a two-way communication device that can be used even when you don’t have cell service. I carry this when I’m hiking and it’s always accessible in the van. Last winter, my boyfriend Ryan and I woke up to a dead car battery in below-freezing temperatures in Idaho – and we didn’t have cell service or a way to jump ourselves. Luckily, I was able to use my Garmin to text my Dad the details of where we were so he could call help for us.

63. Birdie Alarm Keychain

Birdie alarm keychain

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While unwanted attention – or worse, an attack – is unlikely, it’s best to be prepared, especially for solo female van lifers. We recommend attaching a Birdie Alarm to your keychain in case of an emergency which sets off a loud siren and blinking lights to help deter an attack. This is a great gift for better peace of mind on the road.

>> Read Next: Solo Female Van Life Safety Tips

64. My Medic First Aid Kit

MyMedic First Aid Kit

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This all-in-one My Medic First Aid Kit is a great gift for van lifers. I love that it’s compact enough to be tossed anywhere in the van, but includes all the first-aid essentials you need to keep on hand. The kit also includes a tearaway pouch that can be used as an additional mini first aid kit (perfect for hikes and day trips!). My Medic also offers refill packs so you can easily stock up on only what you need.

65. Folding Shovel

Gerber folding shovel

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A folding shovel is something that gets more use in a van than you probably think. A shovel is great in case you get stuck and need to dig yourself out and it’s also used to follow Leave No Trace guidelines for responsibly using the bathroom outdoors. This shovel also comes with a durable carrying case which helps keep the van clean and the foldable design means you can easily collapse it to take up less room in the van – which is always a perk!

Bonus Van Life Gift Idea: REI Gift Card

REI gift card

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For the adventurous van lifer who seems to have everything they need, or the newbie just starting their van life journey, an REI gift card is like saying, “Hey, here’s a ticket to your next big adventure. Go wild!” I always appreciate an REI gift card!

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We hope this list of best gifts for van lifers helps simplify your shopping so you can get off your computer, out of the stores, and spend more time outside this holiday season.

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