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2018 Gift Guide: Brady’s Top Picks For the Men In Your Life

Aaaaaand we’re rolling with these gift ideas now. If you missed my ultimate gift guide (for me, for Brian, for my kids) from yesterday, head here, but today, we have all the best picks from Brady, our resident guy (with great taste), for the “him” in your life. This is not an easy list to put together (well, maybe it was for Brady), but men are notoriously tricky to shop for—regardless of how “easy” they say they are. Some men like “toys”, others like cool tech items…or functional, everyday things like SHOES and hot sauce…maybe even a new lounge chair. So, if you’re sitting around in desperation trying to figure out what to get your “low-maintenance” (ha) dad/BF/husband/brother, etc., we’re here to help. Read on for 33 of Brady’s best gift ideas (some he recommends from first-hand owner experience…what’s better than that to avoid buyer’s remorse?). Take it away Brady.

1. Modern Snap Backpack, $80: Backpacks aren’t just for grade-schoolers anymore. I have longtime been a fan of the business backpack (is that a thing?), especially if you have to lug a laptop back and forth from the home to the office. It helps corral everything in one place. I have a black leather one that I sport everyday and it keeps me organized (they sadly discontinued it but still make it in a natural color) but I am into this sleek leather and canvas one keeps things looking office appropriate. And if you are looking for something a little bit nicer (and worth the splurge) then I love this black pebbled leather guy – which I got last year for my boyfriend for Christmas and he wears everyday.

2. iPhone 8/7 Ultra Thin Case, $10: A friend recommended this case to me, and I can’t say enough good things about it. I am a perpetual phone-dropper/screen-shatterer so I have to have a case on my phone at all times but this slim version keeps my pockets from looking bulky and still keeps my iPhone safe.

3. Emilio Chukka Boot, $198: If your man needs an upgrade in the shoe department but doesn’t want to be caught wearing dress shoes for anything but “dressy” occasions, then this is a happy medium for both parties. I love these desert-style boots as they dress up the casual jean and T-shirt look but can also be worn when you are needing something a little more special. The leather will only get better and better with age and Nisolo is a brand that we all love over here at EHD due to their ethical and sustainable practices.

4. Sawyer Frames, $65: I have yet to buy these but have had them in my cart for months. The “blue light” glasses thing is new to the market (or at least to me) and they are geared toward helping your eyes out when looking at computer, laptop or phone screens all day. If you are looking for reading glasses these aren’t them, but these do help to block the blue light from entering your eyes which can help relieve headaches, eye twitches and overall eye exhaustion. I’m no scientist but the thought of fewer headaches sounds like a dream. Sign me up.

5. Santal Eau de Perfume, from $80: Le Labo is my go-to brand for all “smell goods” as my dad would call them. They are on the more expensive end, yes, but their fragrances are hands down my favorite and they are potent which means just one spray and you are good to go. They have a huge selection of unisex fragrances and also make every scent in candle, lotion, shampoo and conditioner form which means you can get your man and your home smelling good.

6. Axum Dopp Bag, $88: I’ve been toting around this toiletry kit in my gym bag for a few months and it is the perfect size to hold all of the essentials. It is also made by a Parker Clay, a brand we love over here that ethically makes all of their goods in Ethiopia and supports fair wages for their employees.

7. Hay Nail Clipper, $10: Brass fingernail clippers are obviously a must to match with the brass zipper on the toiletry kit. Also, it might be just a subtle enough hint that he needs to keep his feet in check.

8. Knob Bottle Opener, $125: If your dude likes beer then he needs the perfect bottle opener. This walnut version is handmade and is pretty enough to stay out all the time on your bar. They come in a few different wood types and opening your bottle just got a lot more chic thanks to this one from Ninos Studio. Also be sure to check out their art and jewelry section if you are, say…doing some multi-task shopping for you and your man.

9. Floating Record Vertical Turntable, $550: I currently have a record player, which is the only reason I don’t own this one. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t want it. The sleek design of this, as well as the verticality of it, make it a winner for me. The slim profile also means that it doesn’t take up as much space as a traditional turntable would.

10. The Bigger Carry-On, $245: You’ve probably seen them scooting around the airport and although Away luggage seems to be popping up in just about every terminal, it is for good reason. My boyfriend and I have a pair and we use them for every trip. They come with a lifetime warranty so you don’t have to worry about them getting crushed on the carousel and they also come equipped with a built-in phone/laptop charger so you’ll always stay fully charged on the go (though be sure to read up on whether that needs to be taken out for your airline that might not allow lithium-ion batteries on board). They come in a variety of colors and can also be monogrammed with your/his initials making it the perfect personal AND practical gift.

11. Chamberlain Penny Loafer, $188: The perfect slip-on for dressy occasions or if he can get behind the “bare-ankle” trend then I would sport them with a pair of rolled up or cut jeans just about anywhere.

12. Dapper Hankie Set, $28: Because every man needs an upgrade to their hankie situation. This is a great gift for a friend, dad or anyone else that sports a suit on the regular.

13. The Quest Pullover, $52: Dudes like sweatshirts, and I like things that give back and help make our environment a better place. So this one from Keep Nature Wild does just that. Every purchase helps fund and host local wilderness cleanups and all of their items are unisex which means you can snag one for yourself, as well.

14. Levi’s Trucker Denim Jacket, $90: If he doesn’t still have his vintage Levi’s jacket from high school (or doesn’t fit into it), then do him a favor and get him a new one. They are insanely versatile and can be worn with just about anything. They also are timeless which means that he can put it on without feeling like he is wearing something that is “too trendy” or “a fad.” I love the color wash on this one and I’ll throw it in the washer every month or so to keep it looking and smelling fresh (just be sure not to machine-dry it).

15. Match-Shaped Lighter, $100: Okay, okay. This one is more for me than for anyone, but I love it so I thought it was worth including. This is an oversized lighter that looks like a match AND it has a leather handle. The number of candles I constantly have burning almost warrants my purchase of this oversized lighter, and it’s something that I would be much happier leaving out on my coffee table vs the plastic lighters I currently use.

16. Metro Leather Card Wallet, $30: Calling all dads everywhere: it is time to ditch that massive three-fold wallet for something much slimmer and more sleek. I carry around just a few cards that I need on a daily basis and this card holder is the perfect option to do just that. It also has a center section which can hold a few bills if needed. If he has a huge wallet imprint in the back pocket of his jeans then maybe it is time to switch over to this wallet to hold just the everyday essentials. The rest can be kept at home. Besides, this is much more comfortable to sit on than a bulky wallet.

17. Victrola Bluetooth Speaker, $129: We all need speakers in our life, but a lot of them are just too “techy” looking which is why I love this vintage-inspired Victrola speaker. It is Bluetooth-enabled which means it can connect to your phone or computer and you can grab a pair of them if you want to create full surround sound.

18. Leather Tool Box, $300: Do I need this? Absolutely not. Do I want this? Absolutely yes. I am dreaming of carrying all of my tools in this one day and I’d even take it a step further and get the top of it monogrammed with my initials in a blind emboss with san serif script—do you think I’ve thought about this hard enough yet? The leather is only going to get better and better with age and what dude doesn’t appreciate a fully stocked toolbox? If anyone wants to buy it for me, I will personally hug you each day for the rest of your life.

19. Tool Roll, $140: To work as an insert for said toolbox grab this “tool roll” which will hold all of the essentials and keep things organized. It also unfolds and can be wrapped around your waste to keep everything at hands reach. To take it a step further, grab these leather handled tools which I have been drooling over, as well.

20. Nike Free Flyknit, $120: These have been my goto workout shoes for YEARS and I cannot say enough good things about them. They give me the support I need when running but are super light which means I love wearing them for cross-training and weightlifting, as well. They also are washable which means no more stinky gym bag.

21. Leather Bottle Rack, $75: Leather wrapped wine holder? Yes please! I love the thought of this one on a credenza with a few pretty bottles and a set of modern wine glasses like these. Pair it with the bottle opener and your bar is all ready for the holidays.

22. Walnut Cruiser, $182: I don’t skateboard, but I do know some people that would appreciate this beautiful (and totally functional) skateboard to scoot around on. Besides, if it is something that I think is pretty enough to display all the time then it goes on my “wishlist.”

23. Philips Norelco OneBlade, $35: I have this and love it. I hate shaving with a razor when I need a quick little trim so this one does the trick for me. It gets such a close shave and can be done so quickly. It also has different guides which allows you to trim, shape or shave your entire face with it. And if he is into manscaping, well then this is exactly what he needs before he hacks away in an area that deserves a bit of precision.

24. The Mixologist, $115: This is the all-in-one gift for the guy that loves whiskey. It comes with leather coasters, a brass cocktail stick, bitters and some chocolate. Only thing you need to add is his favorite whiskey.

25. TRUFF Hot Sauce, $18: Oprah introduced me to this Truffle Hot Sauce so I am now introducing it to you. Hot sauce pretty much tastes great on anything, and truffle well…it takes it to a whole new level. If you can handle the heat then it’s worth a try especially if he loves grilling.

26. Cast Iron Skillet, $213: Le Creuset is a brand that we all know and love but your man will love making his famous scrambled eggs or bacon in this skillet. The pour spout on the side also means it’s easy to pour out the grease when you are done and keep things clean.

27. Keep It Grand Tee, $27: Another favorite from “Keep Nature Wild,” this slouchy tee is just the right amount of “graphic tee” without having him look like he is wearing Forever21. I love the vintage look of it and also that every purchase helps keep our outdoor spaces clean and beautiful.

28. Andres All Weather Boot, $288: Lace-up boots are the hero of men’s shoes. These guys can be used in all different weather and the style of them feels a bit more fashion-forward than your traditional work boot which I like.

29. Neva Chair, from $999: Okay, you might be asking yourself why I am including a huge chair on the roundup but I have to say—this is THE MOST comfortable chair I have ever sat in. I have the couch version of it in my living room and it is a dream to lounge on. The cushions are fully down which means it can get fluffed over and over and won’t lose its shape and it is also totally slipcovered which means you can take it off and wash it if needed. On top of that, this chair is oversized which means you and him can get cozy together in it. He won’t be disappointed with this guy if he likes to lounge with a good book or his favorite TV program on the regular.

30. YETI Roadie Cooler, $300: My brother-in-law should be the spokesperson for this brand as he honestly owns EVERYTHING from their company, and although I am not in the market for a cooler that can keep my ice frozen for one week, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be. It’s pretty incredible how insulated this cooler is and how cold it will keep things. Be sure to also check out their tumblers and coffee mugs as they keep things piping hot and freezing cold all day long.

31. Philips Smoke-less Indoor BBQ Grill, $300: If he likes grilling but you live in the city then this one is for you. I haven’t personally tried it but the reviews speak for themselves. It is a countertop indoor grill which will give you the look, feel and taste of grilling something on the BBQ but without having to leave your kitchen.

32. Rocketbook Everlast, $34: I recently discovered this and am pretty into the idea. I am very much a notetaker in meetings vs a typer, however translating those notes into usable and digital files is something that I don’t love. This notebook works simultaneously with their app to digitize your handwritten notes/drawings/doodles so that you or anyone can access them. The notebook is also waterproof and has special organizational tools so that as soon as you take the notes it can be uploaded to a category to keep everything exactly where you need it.

33. Wood Bike Storage, $50: If he is a biker then this one is for you, especially if you are sharing a small space and storage for your bike inside your place is needed. This bike rack mounts to the wall and allows you to easily store your bike off the ground while providing something that is pretty to look at.

Looking for more ideas? Brady rounds out his favorite picks in our larger 2018 Gift Guide shopping experience here. Plus, be sure to head on over to our new Shop page for basically all the retail therapy you could possibly need!

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5 years ago

Thank you! Such good stuff. Men ARE so hard to shop for for whatever reason. That smokeless grill is awesome (I want it for myself!)

5 years ago

So – longtime reader here – but these gift guides are impossible to read and shop from! I have to look at a tiny picture, and then scroll down 7 pages to get to the details and link. If you want people to shop from your links (which I would love to do!!!!) then pleeassssseeeeeee show a small grouping of photos, and then 4-5 links… and then repeat. I know you have a million items listed, and this will be more work for you, but I am pretty sure you’ll see a bigger return in kickbacks.
Here’s a great example of a really shopable gift guide:

5 years ago

I agree with Sarah about the usability of the gift guide.. this has always driven me crazy! The parts of the image need to be clickable or a small picture of the item should be placed next to the image description.

5 years ago

That Rocketbook has to be the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. And it’s so affordable! I’m adding this to my own wish list 🙂

5 years ago

I hadn’t heard of Rocketbook, sounds cool, thanks! lots of great ideas here! It helps to see a gift guide written by an actual guy with things they actually want!

5 years ago

I’m with you on the readability! I loooooove the guift guides and usually read all of the descitpitions too because – like everything you folks put up – they’re usually funny, entertaining and informative to boot, but having to constantly scroll up and down while trying to remember which number belongs to which item is kind of exhausting. First world problems, I know, but if you ever decide to change it up that’d make your great gift guides even more awesome :)) till then thank you for the hard work that went into them and happy holidays to all! 🙂