Are you stumped when it comes to creative gift-giving this holiday season? Feeling the need to wow someone with your utter thoughtfulness—with something that says “Yes, I do listen to your incessant whining about your commute.” Well, we’ve got some ideas for you! Here’s a list of commuter-related gift ideas, admittedly some better than others, but at least they’ll get you thinking. We’ve pulled a few of our favorites with good reviews for every type of car-free commuter at various price points but all under $150.00.
- Here’s a great pick from The Bicycle Muse for the woman who needs a roomy bag that goes from the bike to the office or anywhere. Made from woven pine, the Deluxe Shopper Bicycle Pannier makes hauling items easy and doesn’t have a goofy, girly design on it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. From www.thebicyclemuse.com for $80.
- Every cyclist needs a good tool for emergencies and maintenance at home. This one appears to have it all with 26 tools designed specifically for bikes. The Topeak ALiEN II is available for $25 and will literally put hair on your chest.
For Public Transit Riders
- Super nice earphones to enjoy music even in crowded environments are a great choice for public transit riders looking for a little relaxation and/or complete dissociation from the masses. We found two good options at different price points. The Logitech Ultimate Ears 700 Noise-Isolating earphones, priced at $149.99, are perfect for the serious music-loving and/or misanthropic commuter. A less expensive but still high-quality choice is the Logitech Ultimate Ears 200 for $29.99.
- If your giftee (not a real word) carries a laptop, a good bag to schlep it around in and keep it safe is essential. The “Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter Bag” by Marc By Marc Jacobs is faux-snakeskin-tastic! Padded and roomy enough for a 15-inch laptop, it also comes in more classic (read: bland) colors. It sells for $128 at several retailers. Fear not, trendy iPad users also have a friend in Marc Jacobs, who created a number of travel-ready cases at affordable (and some not-so-affordable) prices.
- The Kenneth Cole Reaction Columbian leather flapover computer case earned top reviews if you believe anything posted on the internet, and the word is it’s roomy and sturdy. It also has the kind of look that says “I’m professional but maybe just a little rugged and gritty once you get to know me.” But I may be reading too much into it. It sells for $131.99.
There’s nothing quite so joy-sucking for people who walk everywhere as slogging through wet streets in a downpour. But no one wants to lug around any more weight than they have to when going the pedestrian route.
- Mini umbrellas are an idea—admittedly on the very utilitarian side of fun. And yeah, we know you can pick one up at any drug store. But the ones we found at EllaUmbrella (ella, ella, ella) range from funky to classic and come in compact sizes of 6 to 9 inches starting at $19.95.
- For more walking-in-the-rain-and-or-snow-themed fun for your pedestrian loved ones, how about a decent pair of rain boots? Do you really want to see them skipping off to work looking like seven-year olds? We picked these because one random fashion blog I found said that “animal prints remain an evergreen fashion statement.” Hear that? Evergreen.
Swanky, stylish Kate Spade rain boots for women for $125.
Target has a cute version at only $34.99.
Our Favorite Stocking Stuffer
If you are looking to buy a gift that makes a difference in our community, one of our favorite local bike blogs is selling Tales from the Sharrows buttons for $5 each with proceeds going to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. For just a wee bit more, ($50) blogger Brian McEntee will accompany you on your bike commute and then write about it. For a few more bucks ($100), he’ll throw in the most meaningful sandwich of your life. Act now – they’re going fast!