You dad, brother, partner, friend, coffee guy, regular Postmates deliverer…if they’re anything like the men in my life, they like to play it low-key about gifts. “Oh you know, I could use some more socks.” STOP IT. You know they want that Nintendo Switch/at-home beer tap/telescope. ADMIT IT, CHARLES. They might not want to make your life easier by just telling you what they really want, but don’t worry, that’s where we come in. Whether the guy you’re shopping for is a runner, hiker, foodie, reader, gamer, or fancy sock lover, we’ve got you (but for real, because most of these recommendations came straight from the mouths of real-live men…not just an office full of women pretending to know what they’re writing about).
Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch with GPS, $238: There’s rarely cell reception in any trail worth taking. Tack on being thermal, shock and water-resistant (to 100 meters) to a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, fitness activity tracking and satellite navigation and you’ve basically got the Swiss army knife of wristwatches.
GoPro HERO7, $200: Video or it didn’t happen…that’s how that saying goes, right? GoPro’s Hero7 delivers 4K video, 10-megapixel photos, video stabilization, voice control (hands-free!) in a rugged and waterproof body to capture all those outdoor adventures flawlessly.
Sorel Madson Waterproof Boot, $170: I should have renamed this section “for the guy who needs things to be waterproof” because these Sorel’s squarely fit into that category. These aren’t necessarily hiking boots, but they are a great stylish option for the guy who wants a good looking shoe (for work, dinner, etc.) without worrying about leather care when they might find themselves unexpectedly off the beaten path.
Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds, $129: It’s nearly 2020 and evidently, wires are for schmucks. Bose is known for exceptional sound quality, and these water-repellent (see, told you) in-ear buds will keep the tunes or podcasts pumping for six hours on a single charge.
The Mover Pack, $78: You won’t believe it…I promise I didn’t plan this, but this bad is also WATER RESISTANT. This is a great looking duffel that can also be worn as a backpack, because we all love options.
Theragun G3 Handheld Deep Tissue Massager, $399: All those waterproof-product-required activities will eventually take a toll on the muscles. That’s where the Theragun (sadly, probably not immune to H2O) comes in. It’s a percussive therapy device, which essentially means a handheld punching massage machine to relieve tense muscles that evidently highly active people swear by.
Comme Des Garcons Play x Converse Chuck Taylor High Top Sneaker, $135: High fashion meets low(??) fashion. Everyone deserves a pair of Chuck Taylor’s in their closet, and better yet if they’re as playful and special as these.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Favorites Set, $48: Guys, wise up: your face needs some love as much as a lady’s. Keep it simple with this 3-piece set from Kiehl’s (face wash, moisturizer and eye cream…kind of all you need).
LEVO II Small Batch Oil and Butter Herbal Infusion Machine, $350: The description on Amazon starts with the following: WELCOME TO THE INFUSION REVOLUTION. I was unaware we were in such a time, but now that I do, the obvious next move is to get a small batch oil and butter herbal infusion machine. In all honesty, I love infused oils and butters, so any guy who enjoys things such as craft cocktails and artisanal salts would probably fall over backward opening up this culinary marvel.
Ray-Ban Classic Clubmaster, $153: Ray-Bans are like the great uniter of the sunglass world. They’re not defined by gender, can be worn by dudes and dads alike, and are “high-end” without that crazy designer price tag. The Clubmaster, well, that looks good on just about every face, tbh.
Soh Melbourne Mr. Moss Candle, $70: $70 is a bit, um, extravagant for a candle, yes. But Jess swears by this brand (the shop she worked at in Australia sold them). They smell amazing and lasts a long time. This one is extra perfect because it has the word “Mr.” in the scent name, which makes it appropriate for the fancy mister in your life, right?
U-Turn Audio Orbit Special Turntable, $479: Our girl Caitlin comes with a long music industry resume, and we asked her what her favorite turntable is. This is her recommendation…plus, it just looks so cool.
Andiamo 50mm Polarized Sunglasses, $89: Once you go polarized, there’s no going back. We recommend going with the Tortoise Forest color which classic and chic (though the Clear Forest would be pretty neat for someone a bit more daring).
Nixon Porter Watch, $125: Just because your beau is boujee (bougie?) doesn’t mean you have to drop $$$ like you are. Nixon watches are understated timeless style with a bit of a modern edge. (I actually used to wear one—dead battery, whoops—and literally everywhere I went, people were asking me where my watch came from.)
Atlas Backpack, $398: Parker Clay is the brand of Emily’s AND Brian’s go-to work bags that they’ve been slinging around for years. These things are well-made, have a zillion well-thought-out internal pockets, and is a serious upgrade to just about anything your guy is probably carrying to and from work.
Boarding Pass NYC Passport Wallet, $79: The truly posh would never move through an airport with a bare-faced passport. Nope. This one is a leather that will only get better with age.
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum, from $150: It doesn’t get fancier than Tom Ford. Pricey, yes, but his fragrances are GOOD, so it’s really a gift to yourself if you’re hanging close by the person you’re gifting this to.
Men’s Merino Wool Gift Box, $78: We joke that Mallory’s BF Chase is the non-creep version of Chuck Bass, and he said he exclusively wore these wool socks when he was “on the East coast.” So there’s that. There’s also the fact that wool is a natural moisture-wicking material so sweaty feet will stay dry, warm and fresh.
Eater & Drinker
Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, $99: Sous Vide cooking is probably the most gentle, precise way to cook just about anything. It ensures everything turns out ridiculously tender and moist (sorry if that word is triggering for you). Plus, with the accompanying app, you can set it and forget it, and the device will let you know via your phone when you’re food is ready.
Staub Skillet 10″, $136 and Tacos: Recipes and Provocations, $33: Staub vs. Le Creuset is a classic feud in the culinary world, and I, an enthusiastic cook, am firmly #teamstaub. But you honestly can’t go too wrong with either. A 10″ cast iron skillet is the ideal size for stovetop cooking and would be the perfect companion to a stellar taco recipe cookbook.
BruMate Hopsulator Insulated Bottle Cooler, $20: Confession: this subcategory is really just MY dream presents, and I’m pretty smitten with BruMate’s products. This insulated bottle cooler keeps out 12-oz beer bottles 20x colder than a standard neoprene koozie so never again will the sadness of warm beer be a problem to overcome.
Coravin Model Two Wine Preservation System, $288: My first trip to Napa and Sonoma (last summer) introduced me to the nifty little tool that is Coravin, which lets you pour from a wine bottle without having to remove the cork, which means you can enjoy a glass without having to rush through the rest of the bottle. Pricey, yes, but it’ll pay for itself in saved bottles of wine. Every oenophilia out there is cheering.
Polyscience Smoking Gun, $150: Can’t swing the cost of a Big Green Egg? Nothing can replace what low and slow smoking does to meats but a smoking gun can at least get you closer to the flavor for over $1,000 less.
Essential Cocktail Book, $12: The title says it all. This is essential for any cocktail lover.
Fizzics DraftPour Beer Dispenser, $125: Turn any can or bottle of beer into a draft, micro-foam beauty with this countertop beer dispenser.
Handcrafted Spice Blend Gift Box, $36: New spice blends are always exciting for a foodie, I promise. Choose four blends from a selection of 25 (chipotle + honey, cocoa + ancho, cardamom coffee…yum).
Snow Peak Single Wall Mug, $36 and Snow Peak Large Tableware Set, $38: When it comes to backpacking, gear that packs up well is always a main priority. The handle on this titanium (rust-resistant and lightweight) mug folds down, and the plate set neatly nests into itself to take up as little space as possible while still giving you everything you might need for meals.
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket, $150: According to our resident hiker Julie (she’s logged 714 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, so…no joke), this is the outdoor jacket to buy. It is very lightweight, so durable in rainy or windy weather, and absolutely the layer you never want to go on an adventure without.
MRS WindBurner Stove System, $150: This stove heats up the water for all that (super appetizing) freeze-dried food so much quicker than the rest of the systems available. Plus, it saves on fuel which is one of the worst things to run out of when you are miles from civilization.
Celestron NexStar Telescope, $699: Probably more for camping than backpacking, this computerized telescope will give you all the power you need to take in those celestial beauties overhead we rarely get to witness with the naked eye.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress, $127: Nothing is worse than having to flip every half hour during the night to keep your arm from falling asleep when you yourself should just be asleep. This sleeping pad is worth every penny, it’s super lightweight, compresses down to the size of a water bottle and can double as a raft when hiking to those alpine lakes.
Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler, $350: Yeti claims to be “the last cooler you’ll ever need” which, I’d hope for given the price, but they’re not just blowing smoke. These things are super durable, actually keep everything in it super cold (ice stays ice for days) and frankly just look really good…for a cooler.
Harry’s for J.Crew Truman Shave Set, $25: A razor of any kind is a pretty no-brainer gift for our bearded friends, but that doesn’t make it any less appreciated. This set from Harry’s comes with razor, two extra cartridges, travel blade cover and shaving balm.
Made By Design Rolling Suitcase 22″, $69: Four interior and two exterior zipper compartments ensure packing stays easy and organized. The soft-side gives over packers a little more wiggle room while still being sized right for the overhead bin.
Nike Heritage Jogger Pants, $55: I bought my husband a pair of joggers years ago, and they have now and forever been coined “house pants.” It’s all he wants to wear when it starts cooling off. Bonus points: the back pocket is zipped so no fear of IDs, cards or keys flopping out on the go.
Gaven Fashion Boot, $45: A solid, classic boot for a solid, classic guy.
Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter Zip Jacket, $99: Sweater-knit on the outside, fleece on the inside means your guy will be warm but still polished. And the front chest zip pocket is “headphone compatible” which I don’t truly understand, but rest assured, a phone with headphones plugged in can probably slip in there easily, avoiding the very annoying cord YANK that happens when your phone is in your pants pocket.
Solid Sherpa Throw Blanket, $17: I have a very low-maintenance husband, but he gets cold. He has claimed our coziest blanket, but it just so happens to be a bright pink Victoria’s Secret throw from an old press event. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade for him…and your chilly fella.
Men’s Large Zipper Dopp Kit, $15 and Philips Norelco OneBlade Rechargeable Shaver, $35: Upgrade your dad’s Ziplock toiletry travel bag with a proper dopp kit, and start him off with something to put in it.
Click Card Leather iPhone Case, $50: A super slender yet protective iPhone case for his new 11 Pro, complete with card storage in the back.
Fossil Men’s Tech Commuter Black Leather Strap Hybrid Smart Watch, $78: A smartwatch that doesn’t look like a smartwatch. Fossil’s hybrid chronograph-looking time-teller tracks steps and sleep (via the accompanying app), controls your music, is water-resistant up to 50 meters and is compatible with Android OS 5+ and iOS 9+.
The Tool Book: A Tool Lover’s Guide to Over 200 Hand Tools, $18: If you have a tools/home improvement enthusiast on your hands, he’ll absolutely geek out over this one (and learn a thing or two they likely didn’t already know).
Levoit Air Purifier, $69: I personally have this air purifier and it’s fantastic. Quiet, good looking, top-rated and well-priced.
Men’s Casual Fit Mock Collar Sweater, $30: For the dad who doesn’t like you spending your hard-earned money on him, but you still want him looking good.
Men’s Carlo Slippers, $22 and Super-Plush Robe, $98: I’m pretty sure every dad sits and awaits his yearly robe + slippers, so don’t disappoint him this year. Brooklinen’s super-plush robe is basically like wearing one of their super-plush towels, and these well-priced slippers have a cozy faux-fur interior lining and a rubber treaded bottom for warmth and run-out-front-real-quick ease.
AKDY 20 Bottle Wine Cooler, $250: Velinda has an older version of this wine cooler in her kitchen and can vouch for it. Four pull-out shelves paired with some vertical standing room provides storage options.
Men’s The Legend of Zelda Graphic T-Shirt, $13: “Ahh, cool…”—what my Nintendo-loving husband says every time he sees someone wearing a vintage Zelda shirt. Those are very high regards for him, FYI.
Nintendo Switch Lite, $200: Nintendo recently came out with the Switch Lite, which lets you play all the same games but in a purely handheld version (read: less expensive).
Oculus Quest VR Gaming Headset, $400: A friend of mine works in the VR space as a coder, so he has one of these things for “research” and honestly, it’s just plain fun and reminds anyone that we’re very much “in the future” right now.
PowerA Retro 8-Bit Super Mario Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch, $50: With the exception of the Oculus, this whole product board is for the Nintendo fan, and anyone who grew up with an NES will very much appreciate the 8-bit graphics on this far-better controller than what comes with the Switch.
Super Mario Brimmed Hat, $15: Do or do not wear this with a vintage Zelda graphic T for ultimate gamer nerd vibes.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, $60: Never have I ever…met a man who enjoyed Nintendo and didn’t, for whatever reason, obsess over Super Smash Bros. This is a fact I am incredibly confident about. To really knock it out of the park (platform?), pair this with a subscription to the online service.
Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera with 16-50mm Lens, $998: Any tech-hound out there knows it’s all about the mirrorless camera now. All the pro image quality of a DSLR without any of the bulk or shutter lag. Sony is at the top of their game with their offering.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat – Brass, $250: Remember that Disney Channel Original Movie Smart House? The description of this Nest thermostat makes it sound like we’re really not that far off from that (minus the deranged, controlling Katey Sagal character): “It learns what temperatures you like, turns itself down when you’re away, learns how your home warms up and keeps an eye on the weather to get you the temperature you want when you want it. and connects to Wi-Fi so you can change the temperature from your phone, tablet or laptop to your phone.” The future is, actually, now.
Anker PowerCore 15,600mAh Power Bank, $40 and WEMO Mini Smart Outlet Plug Wi-Fi Enabled, $22: Any true techie is always in need of either a place to plug something in for a charge or a charge pack when there’s no access to an outlet. Anker makes super juiced up power banks (this one can charge an iPhone six times), and this Wi-Fi enabled smart plug from WEMO lets one control most things that are plugged into it from your smartphone.
Ember Smart Travel Mug, $180: Technology never ceases to amaze. Ember makes “smart” mugs that you can set to keep your coffee or tea the exact temperature of your choice for up to three hours.
The North Face Etip Salty Dog Knit Tech Gloves, $35: Touchscreen devices feel pretty useless in frigid temps, but fear not…all you need is a glove with an E-tip to keep your hands warm and your tech useful.
Tile Sticker (2020) 2-Pack, $40: Tile stickers are not new in theory, but these are their newest crop, with a 3-year battery life. Tag anything you lose often (or don’t ever want to lose) with one of these babies and you’ll always be able to find it by making your phone ring it, or just locating it on a map.
Need more gift ideas? We’re rolling them out this week and next, but here’s what’s live so far:
***lead image by Veronica Crawford, prop styling by Arlyn Hernandez and Jess Bunge