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Double Haul: The Montana Rifle Co. Prairie Runner (top, with the Meopta MeoPro 6.5–20×50 HTR) and Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen. The Voorhes

Sportsmen, despite their many benevolent (and totally gift-deserving) qualities, make Christmas shopping a major chore. They’re picky, opinionated, and often already well supplied. Rather than spoil your yuletide goodwill trying to find them the perfect present, defer to this foolproof grab bag of gear. And if you’re feeling extra generous, we’ve included 13 items we consider to be the Best of the Best.

   

Rinehart

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Simms Riprap
Simms Riprap $90 • simmsfishing.com Wet wading in old sneakers is a slippery experience, but wearing wading boots without waders often equals ankle pain and rocks in your toes. Here’s the happy medium. As comfortable as sneakers, Ripraps have rubberized outsoles capable of receiving studs, and felt pads down the center of the sole that stick to rocks like glue. —Joe Cermele Simms

Reactor

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Nikon Monarch Fieldscope
Nikon Monarch Fieldscope $1,400–$1,600 • nikonsportoptics.com This new spotting-scope series comprises four body styles and three eyepieces (shown in 82mm). This summer I scouted beanfields with a 60mm model, and it had the quality glass you’d expect from Nikon. As spotting scopes go, the Monarch series is compact. Plus, the bodies are waterproof, and the eyepieces accept Nikon cameras for digiscoping.—Will Brantley Nikon
Montana Rifle Co. Prairie Runner
Montana Rifle Co. Prairie Runner $1,415 • montanarifleco.com They could have called it “Coyotes’ Despair,” since this is a varmint rifle for the 21st century. All stainless, it has a laminated thumbhole stock and features a standard muzzle brake for virtually recoilless shooting. The Prairie Runner doubles nicely as a beanfield rifle and is available in .22/250, .243, and 6.5 Creedmoor. —David E. Petzal Montana Rifle Co.

The Voorhes

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Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II
Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II $739 • smith-wesson.com This base MSR mimics the Colt M4 ­carbine issued to troops with its collapsible stock and 16-inch pipe. Chambered in 5.56, it’s got all the necessities, including forward assist, a corrosion-resistant finish, an aftermarket Magpul Pmag, and a folding rear sight. Best of all, since it’s less than $800, you can afford to accessorize it. —Jeff Johnston Smith & Wesson
Kuiu Icon Pro 5200
Kuiu Icon Pro 5200 $475, full kit • kuiu.com Thanks to a carbon-fiber frame, this pack weighs a mere 5 pounds 9 ounces, but it has all the space and muscle needed for a backcountry hunt. I’ve been especially impressed with the internal lashing system, which allows you to secure heavy items—optics, water—­toward the top of the pack for easier carry. Since Kuiu sells gear direct, the price isn’t bad, either. —W.B. Kuiu
Cabela’s XML Bass Rods
Cabela’s XML Bass Rods $150 • cabelas.com Touted as Cabela’s best bass rods to date, XML Bass is a 12-rod series that’s ultra high-tech at a very reasonable price point. All models are ­technique-​­specific—from jerking, to flipping, to frogging—and their high-modulus carbon blanks make these graphite sticks some of the most sensitive and durable on the market. You’d be hard pressed to find a better series of bass rods for the money. —J.C. Cabela’s
Under Armour Women’s UA Chase
Under Armour Women’s UA Chase $150 • underarmour.com This water- and windproof jacket is cut for a woman’s curves and allows plenty of mobility. It has an internal draft guard that fits snugly to maintain heat, and for tree­stand hunters, there’s a back vent for a harness attachment. I wore the jacket to chase elk through some of Idaho’s coldest country and never shivered. —Kris Millgate Under Armour
Savage 11/111 Lightweight Hunter
Savage 11/111 Lightweight Hunter* $991 • savagearms.com Most long-range rifles are heavy, long, expensive, and chambered for a .30-caliber magnum cartridge. The Lightweight Hunter is none of these things. By pairing a pared-down Model 11 action, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, and a lissome American walnut stock, Savage has created the antithesis of such guns. At less than a grand, this 51⁄2-pound rifle gives you more reach, with less strain on your back and wallet. —R.M. Savage

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Five handy (and affordable) stocking stuffers for every outdoorsman

The Voorhes

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SOG MacV Tool
2. SOG MacV Tool $13 • sogknives.com This TSA-compliant gadget fits in your palm, yet manages to contain 12 different tools, including a carbide blade sharpener, a cord cutter, three screwdrivers, three wrenches, and a bottle opener. The MacV is ready for quick repairs on the fly, and it makes a perfect key ring. Its price tag is nice, too.—Brett Puryear SOG

Steiner

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Alliant Powder Blue MZ and Federal Premium B.O.R. Lock MZ Bullets
4. Alliant Powder Blue MZ and Federal Premium B.O.R. Lock MZ Bullets $20, powder; $25, bullets • alliantpowder.com federalpremium.com Alliant’s Blue MZ pellets and Fed­eral’s B.O.R. Lock MZ bullets are a hard-​hitting combo. Last fall, I shot a buck with the pair, and the bul­let broke both shoulders, expanded fully, and retained nearly everything. You can’t ask for more.—W.B. Alliant; Federal

Stanley

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Penn Slammer III
Penn Slammer III $250 and up • pennreels.com Trust issues with your reel? Not with the Slammer III. Available in eight sizes with 60-pound max drag capacities, these reels are designed for punishment. Full-metal bodies, side plates, and rotors make them tank-tough, and the sealed drags and oversize power handles help you whip trophies fast. —J.C. The Voorhes
Beretta A350 Xtrema
Beretta A350 Xtrema $1,150 • beretta.com A rebirth of the Xtrema series, the A350 represents a top value among 31⁄2-inch 12-gauge waterfowl guns. The soft-shooting, gas-operated semiauto will reliably cycle 23⁄4-inch target loads all the way up to 31⁄2-inch magnums. Spacers in the stock let you adjust length of pull to fit any hunter on your shopping list. —Phil Bourjaily. Beretta
Eddie Bauer 1957 Down Super Sweater
Eddie Bauer 1957 Down Super Sweater $129 • eddiebauer.com Eddie Bauer did something cool with its new Originals collection, by choosing a few of its original and most iconic pieces of outerwear and updating them for the modern sportsman. My favorite is the Super Sweater. You could wear it as a light jacket around camp, but it’s thin enough to work as an insulated mid-layer on bitter-cold hunts. —C.K. Eddie Bauer
Patagonia Rio Gallegos Zip-Front Wader
Patagonia Rio Gallegos Zip-Front Wader $599 • patagonia.com For 2016, Patagonia gave the Rio Gallegos waders a major overhaul. The improved design has a more athletic, streamlined fit; reinforced booties; and a heavier, yet still lightweight, neoprene fabric for improved durability. The Gallegos were already favorites—now they’re canonized. —J.R.S. Patagonia

Woolrich

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Glock 40 Gen4 MOS
Glock 40 Gen4 MOS $700 • us.glock.com My favorite gun from SHOT Show 2016, this 6-inch 10mm is probably the best autoloader option going for handgun hunters. The gun comes ready to accept reflex-style optics. It weighs 1⁄4 pound less than—and holds more than twice the ammo of—a full-size stainless-steel magnum revolver, making it a solid choice for bear-country carry. —W.B. Glock

Redington

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Camp Chef

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  • An earlier version of this story featured the wrong photo for the Savage 11/111 Lightweight Hunter. The correct photo ran in the print magazine, however. The article also stated that the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II has a folding front sight, when the rear sight is folding and the front sight is adjustable. We regret the errors.

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