Cultivora's Holiday Gift Guide 2014

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on November 25, 2014

We're back for round 3 of our annual Holiday Gift Guide - the go-to list for all your holiday purchases (and probably a few new additions for yourself)! Have a travel enthusiast, techie, music lover, or festivalgoer in your life? We've got your back from handmade travel wallets and rucksacks to photo labs, guitar cases, and wireless speakers.

The guide below is divided into Travel, Tech, Music, Festival Campsite, and Keepsake sections, each with its own photo of what we recommend. 


1. This Is Ground Bandito, $85

Initially drawn to this leather, rollable Bandito for its ability to organize cords and cables, we gave it another look after we realized this cord holder can also store a myriad of everyday gear, including pens, brushes, glasses, and headphones plus a zipper pouch for money, travel docs, and power adaptors. Organize your gear then roll up the Bandito for easy storage in your purse, backpack, or suitcase. Available in 4 leather colors. 

2. Aesop Jet Set Kit, $37

In this travel kit you'll get Aesop's Classic Shampoo, Classic Conditioner, Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser, and Rind Concentrate Body Balm in TSA-approved sizes. Even if there are no planes in your travel future, this kit is ideal for weekend getaways like, say, a music festival. 

3. ZoomArt, €40,00 ($50.14)

ZoomArt is an optical instrument to aid in travelers' observations of a city's minute details. Its series of interlocking cylinders form a manual telescope that can magnify all subjects up to 6 times their size. An easy addition to your bag as you explore a new part of the world or fanny pack at a festival - who needs to be at a stage's barricade if you have a telescope? Available in 4 colors with 2-year warranty.

4. OWM Unisex Travel Pants, $109.99, + Eye Mask, $32.99

We're creatures of comfort and nowhere is that more true than on modes of transportation. I'll take sweatpants or inflight pajamas over jeans any day. But, thanks to Objects Without Meaning, men and women can now take that comfort and turn the style dial up a few notches. Pair with a matching eye mask (sold separately) to be the envy of your flight.  

5. Loyal Leather Travel Wallet, $135

A handmade leather wallet with slots for everything you need while traveling. You'll find room for 4 cards and money on the left, pockets for your boarding pass and notebook on the right, and a back pocket for a passport. There's even a handy pen holder and two secret slots for whatever else you may need stored. Includes BIC pen and Moleskin notebook.

6. Nomaterra Fragrance Wipes Carry-On Holiday Pack, $35

Nomaterra has made a name for itself with its high-quality fragrances inspired by actual cities, think Malibu, Miami, Oahu, Savannah, East Hampton, DC, and Boston. The company established itself in our books, however, when they came out with on-the-go fragrance wipes. Keep one in your bag or back pocket for emergencies and a pack in your carry-on suitcase to avoid TSA restrictions on regular fragrances in liquid form. Also available in single variety packs.

7. Dubbel Duffel - Medium, $138

Have a shopping while traveling issue? The Dubbel Duffel is for you! What begins as a roomy duffel already can be immediately transformed into a bag doubled in size and capacity. The entire bag even folds flat if you want to pack it within a suitcase for longer trips. Dubbel Duffels are available in medium (featured here) and large in addition to totes and fanny packs that turn into backpacks. All available in 4 colors. 

8. Best Made The Map Notebook, $20 

The Map Notebook puts the adventurous art of map making in the palm of your hand. With a symbols key and dotted grid pages paired next to spaces for details of your journey (location, date, notes), you can create maps out of all your trips - whether they're in another country or just around the block. Try mapping the location of your campsite during your next festival experience. 


1. This is Ground Mod Tablet Air, $290 

This may just be the coolest iPad case we've ever come across. Not only will this new take on the folio case protect your device (and look mighty fine while doing so), it'll hold your wallet, phone, pens, cords, and loose items. Plus each shell comes with your pick of removable insert. Options cover a variety of professions and hobbies from Executive (shown here) and Writer to Musician and Designer. Works with iPad Air; also available for iPad Mini and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus; all available in 4 leather colors.

2. Restoration Hardware Zoom Lens & Tripod for iPhone, $49

Take your Instagram game to a whole new level with this zoom lens and tripod set up. The kit comes with a hard shell phone case that attaches easily (and quickly) to a 12x optical lens and accompanying tripod with mounting bracket. When you're done, put the components back in the drawstring carrying bag and keep it on you at all times! Works with iPhone 4/4S/5.

3. HTC RE Camera, $199 

Finally a camera that lets you live (almost-) fully in the moment, free from the shackles of your smart phone screen. HTC's new RE camera takes 146° wide angle photos and videos with the touch of a button. The waterproof camera then automatically syncs your images wirelessly to your phone's camera roll. Currently only available in white.

4. Impossible Instant Lab, $199 

Love the look of Polaroid photos but not the cumbersomeness of Polaroid cameras? Now you can have it all with Impossible Project's instant lab. All you have to do is select a digital photo from your iPhone or iPod Touch and place it on top of the lab for a unique analog photo. Works with iPhone 4/4S/5/5S/5C and iPod Touch 4th and 5th generations.

5. Bazaared iPhone Bottle Opener Case, $19

Gone are the days of wandering the campgrounds of a festival asking to borrow bottle openers from neighboring tents or succumbing to using a belt buckle or water bottle. With this iPhone case, a beer is only a flick of the wrist away. Works with iPhone 4/4S/5; available in white and black.


1. Bowoo Guitar Case, $380

This American made guitar case will protect a guitar like a hard case but, with the weight and portability of a gig bag, allows the musician in your life to travel with ease. Bowoo may have made this case easy on the eyes, but they didn't cut around the edges when it came to quality: the exterior is made from the same grade of materials as military tactical production cases.

2. NudeAudio Move S Wired, $39

The smallest and cheapest of NudeAudio's Move series, the S Wired is the perfect portable wired speaker to toss in your bag for your next vacation or camping festival with a shock-proof silicon sleeve to protect against bumps along the way. Its 3.5mm cable plugs into any music player (like your phone), delivering big sound for 8 straight hours before a recharge is needed. Available in three colors. 

3. 'Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover' Hardcover, $80.70+

Coffee table books wiggled their way onto our gift guide twice this year, and for good reason. Their visual nature makes them the perfect gift for a variety of people in your life, from your designer friend to vinyl obsessed roommate. This one documents the work of "the man who revolutionized the whole field [of album covers]... the father of record design." 

4. 'Beat Box: A Drum Machine Obsession' Hardcover, $49.50

Collector and the book's author Joe Mansfield details his 75 drum machines in this coffee table book, complete with more than 200 photos. More than just visually intriguing, however, Mansfield pairs the images with background facts on each machine in addition to interviews with master drum machine programmers like Davy DMX and Schoolly-D. 

5. Geneva Sound System Model XS, $199.95

The Model XS from Geneva Sound System is the first portable audio system that utilizes true Hi-Fi sound. Designed after a classic travel clock, the model features bluetooth, FM, an alarm clock, speakers, and an amplifier - all in one - with a clamshell case ideal of portability. Pair all this with a Hi-Fi audio system and there's no reason you'll need any other musical tool while on the road. Available in three colors. 

6. Bowoo Chords Chart Print, $40

Bowoo gets a second mention in our guide thanks to its impeccably, and simply, designed Chords Chart Print. The 19.75" by 27.5" poster is functional for a music learner, though can also be hung based purely on aesthetics alone, it does have a subtle metallic gold accent, after all. Fits perfectly in the Ikea "Ribba" frame. 

Festival Campsite 

1. American Design Club: The Cornholl Project, $500

Up the campsite entertainment ante with these hand-built, expertly designed cornhole boards. Each board features artwork and graphics done by individual designers so, once festival season is over, each board can double as a work of art hanging on your wall. We featured the board by Brian Farrell for its bright colors, but the whole collection is worth a gander. Available in 11 styles.

2. Best Made Company Lumberlander Camp Blanket, $184

Named for the small town where the Best Made team take refuge from New York City to sleep under the stars, this comfy blanket will transport you to your own personal oasis. The blanket itself, designed by Best Made and made by Pendleton, is warm enough for cold festival nights and big enough for your whole crew. Paired with a leather blanket sling, this camp blanket is ready to follow you in your Lumberland search. 

3. Izola May You Never Shot Glass Set, $29.99

This 4-in-1 stainless steel shot glass set is stackable, durable,  and comes with a handy carrying pouch - basically it was made for festival pregames wherever they may take place. Pair the set with your cornhole board for a drinking game, or simply use the cups for whatever other liquids you need to sustain yourself throughout the day - coffee, water, warm orange juice that's been sitting in the back of your car since the first day of the festival... 

4. Bang Bang Solar Powered Tent, £189.95 ($297.95)

Stay charged, and thus connected, to the rest of the world while you're camping out for your favorite fest with this 4 person tent with a 5w solar panel and lithium storage battery. Don't be deterred by the high-tech nature of this tent, it features an easy set up design and lightweight materials that all fit within a printed carry bag. We're partial to this Butterfly Collector print, but it's also available in other, brightly colored designs. 

5. Izola Great Expectations 3oz Flask, $24

While we don't condone sneaking alcohol past festival gates, we do see flasks as vital components to the festival camping experience whether you need to keep warm once the temperature drops at night or get in the dancing mood before heading into the festival itself. Izola's 3oz and 5oz stainless steel flasks come with engraved expressions, like "Great Expectations," but can also be purchased as blank canvases - you tell them what you want the flasks to say! Mark it with your name or even your favorite flask-fueled fest. 

6. Fan Si Pan Rucksack, $310

A handmade original rucksack for overnight use or multi-night camping trips. The bag features one large compartment with a draw string top, four exterior zipped compartments, six leather gear lashes for external attachments, and a velcro interior pocket with a 50oz bladder capacity. Use it to transport your goods to your campsite or bring it into the festival itself to store water bottles, sweaters, and a blanket to sit on. 

7. Lavender Insect Repellent Travel Set, $18

Insect repellent is an absolute must for all festivals, camping or not, but who likes to smell like bug spray? Use this 4oz bottle before you enter the festival and bring the smaller 1oz spray bottle along for touchups. You'll not only remain fresh smelling and bug free, but, with no chemicals, dyes, fragrances, or preservatives, you'll be chemical free as well. 


Tribute Video Montage, $49-$149

Tribute allows you to rally your festival crew and put those countless GoPro and iPhone videos to good use. Simply sign up, invite your 'tribe,' upload your videos, and let the Tribute team do the rest. You'll be left with a professional video compilation complete with transitions and sound normalization. You can take control of your own video or upgrade to a concierge video for more of a hands-off approach. While we see myriad possibilities for festival videos with Tribute, the service can be used for any occasion.  

Festival Merch

We admit, getting the merchandise you want at a festival itself can be time-consuming and difficult. But many festivals put the process online for purchases long after the festival gates have closed. What better way to remind a fellow festivalgoer in your life of that memorable weekend you spent at Coachella than with a Coachella tote, or of how many issues you ran into cooking at your campsite than with a Bonnaroo lunchbox? You can also opt for some band-specific merch.

Festival Tickets

'Tis the season for early bird tickets and holiday pre-sales. Keep a close eye on the websites and socials of your favorite festivals for exclusive deals this holiday season. Black Friday, for example, will see discounted Bonnaroo and Sasquatch! passes and fests like Firefly and Riot Fest are known for holiday-timed sales. There's also a ton that have already released their pre-sale tickets for 2015. These deals are often so good, you can gift a pass to a loved one while snagging one for yourself as well. 

For more ideas, check out our Holiday Gift Guides from 2013 and 2012

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