Gift Guide: Budget Gifts + Stocking Stuffers for Athletes

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Gear

We know that not every athlete requires a full set of athletic Christmas presents, or maybe you have a lot of friends in your run group to buy for this year and you only budgeted for some sub-$10 gifts for everyone. Don’t panic: While plenty of athletic gear does come with hefty price tags, there are plenty of fun stocking stuffers and budget-friendly options out there for every type of athlete. Here, we’re looking at our favorite gifts if you’re on a tight budget—but want to find something fun, useful or unique for the athlete in your life.

(Have another type of athlete you’re shopping for, or need more ideas? Check out our other gift guides right here)

RUNNER Morse Code Bracelet

Apologies to anyone who loves it, but I strongly dislike kitschy athletic themed jewelry. But I LOVE this morse code bracelet that spells out RUNNER but looks just like a cute little beaded bracelet. I think this is a super subtle play on a friendship bracelet that’s a fun gift for a crew of runners, or just your one running buddy.

Get it here ($10)


Crank Brothers Multi-Tool

Being a strong cyclist means being prepared and self-sufficient. If you find mechanical bike repair intimidating the first step to take is to get the tools to start making attempts at fixing your bike. This is a great all-around tool that has been used by cyclists for a very long time. It’s not a super-light race tool but it will reliably get you out of mechanicals for years to come. ($30-ish depending on sales)

Get it here (And in Canada)

Sunglasses Rack

For the cyclist or runner who has a million pairs of sunglasses and always seems to scratch the lenses (raises hand)… and who really likes to keep their gear super organized (raises hand again!), we love this acrylic sunglasses rack that’s both organized and a little bit baller. You may not be able to afford to splash out on that new pair of Oakleys for your running buddies, but you can help them show off their current pairs. ($10-15)

Get it here (and in Canada)

Reflective Bands

If you have a cyclist or runner who occasionally goes out at night, a great stocking stuffer that helps keep them safer for such a low price are reflective bands that can go on wrists, ankles, or attach to backpacks, whatever! ($10 US)

Get them here (and in Canada)

Cooling Towels

These little ice towels are SO nice for post-run, yoga, or ride, whether indoor or outdoor. Great for a cyclist who spends a lot of time on the trainer or a runner who lives on the treadmill in the winter! (We love this for a group since it’s $18 for 6, so you can get a pack and make a set of stocking stuffers!)

Get it here (and in Canada)


Packable Duffel Bag

We LOVE having foldable/packable duffel bags lying around. They’re super useful whether you need one for a quick “I have a giant race bag but I just need to bring a few things into the host house / washroom to change post-race” or fast grocery trip or emergency gear bag or laundry bag. Basically, super useful and handy and great to keep in your car! ($12 / $20 CAD)

Get it here (and in Canada)

Tire Plug Kit

You may not have used these or even heard of plugging a flat tire but this has become more and more common over the last few years. There are several types but ultimately the concept is that when you puncture a tubeless tire you jam some rubber into the hole and it helps the sealant seal the (now much smaller) hole. It doesn’t work every time and there is a learning curve but it is a great tool to have on hand to speed up a flat repair, reduce the number of times you put a tube in and/or salvage rides that you would have otherwise called for a pickup.  Dynaplug, Genuine innovations, MucOff and Lezyne are bigger names in tire plugs.

Get it here (And in Canada)

Nuun Immunity Tablets

Another great stocking stuffer, we love nuun’s Immunity tablets for cold and flu season, since they add Zinc, Turmeric, Elderberry, Ginger, and Echinacea to their already electrolyte-packed mixtures. They’re super tasty, and giving them as a holiday gift is the gift that keeps on giving, since chugging a glass of water with a nuun tablet before heading to bed after one too many glasses of eggnog can help you avoid a serious hangover. ($23/4 tubes)

Get it here


Smartwool Merino Wool Beanie

It’s not quite as budget friendly at $25 US, but it’s a great gift for cyclists/runners in chilly climates. Peter loses 1-2 of these on a yearly basis, so even if your athlete has one, it’s always nice to have a spare. (If you can’t find this one in the $30 range in Canada, I recommend looking at other brands/searching on MEC or The Last Hunt for budget alternatives!)

Get it here (and in Canada)

Good’r Cycling Sunglasses

I put off getting Good’rs for a while, assuming that they simply wouldn’t be as good as the fancier ones I’ve enjoyed in the past. But when I scratched the crap out of my beloved Oakleys and was searching for a replacement, Good’r finally got me. And if you have a new cyclist in your life who needs some sunglasses—or your partner is always losing his or hers, or scratching them, and you’re looking for cheap but solid replacements, these are fun. (I also got the blue-light blockers from Good’r and really have been digging those!)

Get them here

Sticky Credit Card Holder for Cell Phones

Now that we also have to remember masks in addition to keys, wallet and phone, I like nixing the wallet from that equation and simplifying. I swear by these sticky credit card holders: slap one on the back of your phone, and boom! Instantly never forget your wallet again. I still use a wallet, but I keep a credit card with my phone, since that’s the thing that’s always with me. Also great for hotel keys so you never lock yourself out of a room; or for tossing a $20 in there if you’re heading out on a run and want to carry cash but don’t have an easy pocket to stash it in. (The pack of 10 is $8, so I would give these as stocking stuffers to pretty much everyone that I know.)

Buy here: Sticky Credit Card Holder for Your Cell


Swiftwick Aspire Seven High Vis Socks

For athletes like Molly who really hate all things bright and colorful, but who really should be more lit up when they ride or run, Swiftwick Aspire Seven High Vis Socks are a reasonable compromise. They’re—duh—ultra high vis, but still comfortable, totally functional cycling socks. And come on, who doesn’t love getting socks as a gift? It’s a cliche for a reason.

Get them here ($19)

Books, Books, Books

You can’t go wrong with a great book—and most can be bought for sub $25! Note: We don’t recommend most training manuals since, like buying a pair of shoes for someone, it’s pretty specific to each individual. But things like memoirs, cookbooks, and more general healthy habit type reads can be awesome, budget-friendly gifts. Just a few of our current favorites:

(Have another type of athlete you’re shopping for, or need more ideas? Check out our other gift guides right here)


Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a Weekly Dose of Information + Inspiration!

Related Blogs

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

A FREE weekly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on all the latest in off-road cycling + endurance sport, with the latest podcasts, articles + intel.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This