Viva’s Holiday Gift Guide 2023: What To Buy For The Person Who Is Always Outdoors

Karen wears Wallace Cotton shirt $119, Timberland shorts $150, Teva boots $330 and Camilla & Marc hat POA. Photo / Mara Sommer

Welcome to Viva’s week of holiday gift guides, where we’ll be offering special, carefully selected ideas for what to buy your loved ones every day. Below, our favourite gifts for the swimmers, the hikers, the adventurers and the gardeners.

They foray into the forest, with their camelbacks and bivvy bags,

They’ve got salt on their skin from a gentle morning treading the tide.

There would be dirt under their fingernails from all that time spent planting those gigantic patches of dill and pruning those citruses, but they’ve got special gloves. They know what’s in bloom this season.

For the person who is always outdoors, here are some thoughtful ideas that all make a case for refocusing our attention on our natural surroundings, the birds and the bees and the beaches.

Give the gift of great back support with this limited-edition terry folding seat, a collaboration between Sunnylife and Sydney-based artist Daimon Downey. It’s an absorbent, comfy seating solution with six adjustable settings and a steel frame.

Summer is the season to let those bright swimwear dreams run wild, and British brand Hunza G is just the ticket, with its classic, crinkly, one-size-fits-all silhouettes (they stretch and flex to fit you).

Keep them hydrated with Ruby’s dual-toned Nalgene drink bottle, complete with a fun hibiscus print from the fashion label’s latest resort collection. Also available in Pomegranate.

A charming tangerine stripe by way of Assembly Label goes with just about anything.

Chilly bins are notoriously clunky, but not this one. It’s small but not so cutesy to compromise on practically (perfect for a picnic or sunset drinks).

Noosa brand Lucy Folk makes electric marigold look pretty appealing with this towelling cotton that’s also part robe and part dress. It boasts the brand’s signature LF Eos Key motif fabric, and bell sleeves.

Teva knows a thing or two about traipsing the outdoors. Case in point: These flatforms, made with recycled polyester straps in a colourway called Bandana Aquarius. For festivals or forays to the beach.

Opting for neutral palettes and high-quality materials means avoiding the trend trap. This crinkled linen sarong from Marle is the right choice if you’re going for a relaxed look, and a timeless one. Also available in black, ivory, clay, and clover.

What better way to lean into fauna than with a candle rendered in the form of a small and adorable animal? This Loewe iteration has a gourmand scent with white chocolate, rice, caramel, cream and vanilla notes.

Allow them to document it all with the analogue nostalgia of a reusable 35mm film camera, a much better option than a one-and-done disposable.

Sometimes what you need is an inflatable lilo. This generously sized translucent lounger from &Sunday is rippled and tinted in a deep green reminiscent of sea glass.

There’s a lot to like about this woven outdoor mat from Sunnup: the 100 per cent recycled polypropylene fabric, the durability, the mould resistance. Also, it’s handsome, a lovely abstract azure check that can be hosed off or wiped down with a damp cloth.

We’re big fans of Buddy, who makes stylish hemp goods — a material the brand says requires no pesticides, helps detoxify and regenerate soil, and gets softer over time. These baggy long pants in Wasabi Cream will streamline any styling dilemmas, from what to wear post-swim to what to don on a morning stroll around the garden.

Cut in a ribbed fuschia, this coordinating set from Aje caters to the more fun side of the sportwear category, whether that be a barre class or a coastal walk.

Made in Levin, this gift for green thumbs comprises high-tensile steel and a thinner blade than most (meaning less weight is needed to penetrate the soil, claims home-goods destination Frances Nation).

Birkenstock has ridden all matter of reputational waves, from ugly shoe to billion-dollar sensation. These sienna-red suede leather sandals offer up a typically strong sense of languorousness with a cork-latex footbed and velcro fasteners.

This picnic blanket from Aussie brand Peek Neek could double as a blanket. It’s made from recycled, hand-dyed yarn that’s spill-resistant and thick enough to fend off prickly grass.

Have gift-giving in the bag with this wonderfully oversized (61-litre!) tote from beloved outdoors specialists Patagonia. Key features include burly grab handles, reinforced external daisy chains (clip things to them) and a weather-resistant laminate.

For the person who goes for early-morning runs and treks for the magnificence of mountains, this camisole has a merino blend that regulates body temperature, with a little bit of Lycra for stretch.

Keep their hair out of their face with this pretty daisy-print scrunchie from Penny Sage.

A swim short cut from a quick-drying polyester, these tropical drawstrings also include a snap-close back pocket and mesh lining, and are dynamic enough to be worn away from the water with a simple lightweight shirt.

Maybe they need both hands to pick strawberries or carry their surfboard? Either way, they’ll appreciate this vegan embossed phone pouch from Karen Walker, rendered in lime.

Sun protection is hot, and so is this Checks hat — designed with an elongated brim and mesh vents for added breathability.

New Zealand stylist Thistle Brown has released a sunglasses brand, and we particularly like The Al, a light tortoise rectangular frame that pays homage to Jackie Onassis. The best part? They’re made of “a plant-based plastic composed of cotton fibres and wood pulp”.

They’re the person that goes places. Make travel easy with this sleek suitcase that also has USB and USB-C docks, which means they can charge their phone and their laptop at the airport.

Compiled by Annabel Dickson.

Main Image: Photographer / Mara Sommer. Fashion director / Dan Ahwa. Model / Karen Valerie from 62 Managemen. Hair and makeup / Shirley Simpson. Fashion assistant / Annabel Dickson. With thanks to Corban Estate Arts Centre.

More Gift Guides

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Viva’s Guide To The Best Gifts For The Food Lover In Your Life. Our favourite gifts for the foodie who cooks, eats and compulsively watches The Bear.

Spoil The Beauty Junkie In Your Life With Gift Sets At Every Price Point. Any beauty enthusiast worth their salt will gush over these stylish sets.

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