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What do you do for gifts when the man in your life is hard to shop for? I’ve been trying to answer that question for years, as it always seems tougher to find good gift ideas for men than it does for women.
My husband is a perfectionist who insists that anything he buys is of the utmost quality. He doesn’t like things that sit around or take up space without a purpose, so strictly sentimental gifts are out. (Though I did think of one sentimental gift that was also useful so he loved it… see below!)
He also hates being surprised, so keeping the gift a secret without him finding it is another challenge!
This post includes some of the best gifts I’ve found for my husband over the years. It also includes gifts that my many brothers-in-law have enjoyed and items on all of their wishlists.
Experience-Based Gift Ideas for Men
I firmly believe that the best gifts are sometimes not something you can wrap. In our house, experiences always beat material gifts and we choose these whenever possible.
I share all of our favorite experience-based gift ideas here if you’re looking for some ideas. If you want to give a physical gift, just make sure it is practical, useful, and long-lasting so it doesn’t end up in the back of the closet or a landfill.
These are some I’ve used for Father’s Day or birthdays before:
One thing all parents need is some time off to recharge! Find some time in the schedule for him to camp, hunt, go hiking, or play sports. If you like, buy him some gear to go with the experience present so he has something to open.
Think fishing charter with his friends, a surfing or water skiing lesson if you live by the water, or if your guy is adventurous, sky diving! One year my hubby and I gave each other scuba certifications as a gift. We got to go through the process together, and ended up with a great hobby we could enjoy in the future.
Another favorite experience of ours more recently has been pole vaulting lessons together. Search your area for adventurous offerings like pole vaulting, fishing, diving, sailing, rowing, kayaking, or even juggling! Mixing it up keeps things interesting and could lead to a new date night idea or family past time.
Something to Inspire a Hobby
My hubby likes beer and I prefer when he drinks organic (or at least non-GMO) beer. A few years ago, he got into home brewing beer and it has been a fun hobby for him. All it took was this book to get him started, and I picked up the ingredients and supplies from a local home brew store.
Any sports-related experiences have been a hit with my hubby. I think my biggest (and most expensive!) surprise for him ever has been to get to go to spring training for his favorite team and even get to play with some of the players, but tickets to see his favorite teams play have also been a big hit. These all tend to be more expensive, so I had to save for several years for one of these surprises, but I think it ended up being an amazing and memorable experience for him.
Tell Him You Appreciate Him!
I suspect most husbands/dads would love to hear more that we appreciate them! See the last suggestion on the list below for my husband’s favorite present ever. It might surprise you!
I also recently found and have been loving a service called Forgetsy that lets you pre-schedule and ship cards for every occasion. I use it for family, friends, and employees and love the convenience. Use code WELLNESS10 to save 10$ here.
Material Gifts Dad Will Love (& Use!)
Your dad, husband, uncle, etc., probably doesn’t need a paperweight or another tie. If you’re looking for a gift he will use and love, here are some of my favorite ideas for men that I have given or my husband has mentioned he loves:
Natural Cologne & Skincare
Thanks to my incessant warnings about the health risks of artificial fragrance, my hubby went cologne-less for a number of years. Now he’s smelling great thanks to Alitura and their unisex Presence cologne/perfume. Alitura also has unisex skincare that he loves and actually uses since it is simple, no fuss, and has great ingredients. Their Santal Black oil smells great and works as a beard oil, massage oil, or face and body moisturizer in one!
Blue-Light Blocking Glasses
My husband and I have been wearing blue-blocking glasses for years. These glasses help reduce eye fatigue from computers and reduce blue light for better sleep. We put them on after the sun goes down each night to block the blue light from computer screens, television, and phones. My husband loves this style of blue-light blocking glasses and I like that they are metal instead of plastic.
A Good Knife
I didn’t buy this for my husband, but his folding knife is an item that he uses daily. He has carried a knife since I met him and he uses it for “anything and everything.” I actually find myself asking him to borrow it pretty often when I need to open boxes, cut a thread off of a sweater in the car, etc. A folding knife (or any knife really) is a classic guy gift and a pretty safe bet he’ll love and appreciate it.
He also has this Esse 3 Knife and loves the quality.
Good Wine + An Aerator
If your man is a wine drinker, wine is always a great gift option. It is consumable and typically lends itself to spending quality time together. Some of our favorite date nights have been just sitting on the back patio after the kids go to bed and drinking wine.
Just try to choose a high quality organic wine. We always stick to natural wines whenever possible, which are grown organically and lab tested to have no mold and mycotoxins or additives. He also loves our wine aerator which improves the flavor of wine and removes sediment as you pour it.
The Last Wallet He’ll Ever Need
Men are tough on wallets! My dad used to go through one every year or two and that was almost always what we knew we could get him for Christmas each year. I mentioned my husband likes the best of things, and I found a wallet that meets his expectations, and he carries it daily.
It has a 100-year warranty (so our grandkids can use it one day)! They also have a bigger wallet if he likes that kind (I have this one and love it).
Saddleback Leather also makes briefcases and bags (which have been on his wish list forever) and they even recently started making a purse for women (all are covered by the 100-year warranty). They are more pricey upfront, but considering they will never need to buy another one, they are a great gift for someone who values quality.
A Notebook or Journal
Every man needs a good notebook or journal to jot down thoughts, ideas, take notes, set goals, and keep track of his schedule. This dot matrix bullet journal is a very popular option (that I stole from my husband!) because it’s so nice, easy to use, and serves as both a journal, calendar, and notebook all in one. And at under $10 it’s a great value too! Another popular notebook that my husband loves is the Moleskine. They have many different sizes and styles available.
It’s hard to come up with gifts that are both useful and fun, so when I saw this kettlebell in the shape of Iron Man I knew my husband would love it. (And yes, those are Spider-Man battle ropes next to the kettlebell… if you really want to indulge a superhero fan!
We already use and love Onnit’s six-week bodyweight program as well as their free kettlebell digital course. What we spent on this equipment doesn’t even come close to a gym membership and we save time by working out at home.
Some Good Ol’Fashioned BBQ
It’s a well known fact that most dads consider the grill their domain, and my husband is no exception. A grill upgrade or new set of grilling tools is a classic Father’s Day gift that keeps on giving in the form of delicious barbecue all summer long. (And you can learn some tips for keeping grilling as healthy as possible here.)
Looking for something small for the kids to give? This gourmet BBQ spice rub and marinade set comes in hot or mild and has a list of ingredients I can get behind.
A Great Flashlight
My husband loves his Surefire flashlight and it goes almost everywhere with him. This flashlight is super bright and small enough to fit in a pocket. He’s had this flashlight forever and uses it for everything!
Better Shaving Tools
For men who have sensitive skin or really thick facial hair (like my husband), natural shaving options are a great gift. I was proud that this was one I actually thought of on my own, and he is really glad he switched!
His face used to get irritated from conventional disposable razors (even the good ones) and I didn’t like the chemicals in regular shaving cream, so the old-fashioned style seemed to be the best choice.
He now uses a double-sided safety razor which he got with a brush, mug, and razor stainless steel set (he loves it!). He used to hate shaving and actually enjoys it now. I make homemade shaving soap for him to go in the mug (recipe here) but there are also some good store-bought ones available if you don’t want to make it.
If you aren’t sure your guy will go for the old-school shaving, there are cheaper sets available and he can always upgrade to the nicer version if he likes it.
If your man doesn’t shave, consider a high quality beard oil like this one. My hubby grew out his beard last year and loved that oil.
The rumble roller is one of my favorite gifts of all time too. Basically, it is a deep tissue massage at home. It is a lot cheaper than regular massages in the long run! The big spikes make it great for athletes (my hubby and a lot of men) and people who get stressed out/tense easily (me). My husband also doesn’t like taking the time to get a massage, especially since the sitting-still-and-doing-nothing for an hour really annoys him. This is the solution!
It doesn’t take up much room and it is wonderful for sore muscles! I use this regularly and it has made a big difference in my muscle tension. Plus, it looks manly and tough, so men don’t mind using it. Here is the Rumble Roller I got and there are two different sizes and firmness levels.
If I had to pick one favorite gift on this list, this would be it. There are a lot of massagers out there but the Myobuddy is literally like getting a professional massage at home. It has 3 speeds and uses heat and percussive technology to work trigger points and relieve sore muscles. My husband still thanks me for this gift because it’s not only relaxing but is like getting a therapeutic massage at home.
Father’s Day Special: Massage Oil + Free Online Massage Class
Can you tell we love a massage?! My hubby and I love the Melt online massage course (all PG, I promise!). For a limited time, you can take advantage of their Father’s Day special and get 30 days free access to the course when you buy a bottle of this all-natural massage oil. (Get more details on the massage videos here, but don’t forget to purchase the oil through that link to activate the free access.)
These gifts are great because they combine a physical gift and lead to an experience of camping as well. Camping is a great family activity with some major health benefits. In fact, one study found that a week of camping without artificial light drastically improved circadian rhythm and sleep. If your guy likes camping, here are a few great gear options:
- Firestarter Kit – Useful tool to start fires without matches or a lighter.
- Lifestraw or Sawyer Water Filter – Survival water filters that fit in your pocket.
- Smart Wool Socks – Warm but not sweaty and they keep feet dry. Great for hiking, skiing, or everyday use.
- 30-Day Lantern for Camping – A really long-lasting lantern for the outdoorsman who loves to camp.
- Tactical Pen – More than just a pen, it works in all conditions and can break a car window if a person is trapped.
- Camping Hammock – Portable hammock that fits in a small bag and is great for travel, camping, or lounging in the backyard.
Protective EMF-Blocking Laptop Board
If your guy works on a computer as much as mine does, a protective laptop board is a great gift. This board makes it easier to work with a laptop on your lap. It also protects the legs and stomach from the heat and radiation from a laptop. We use the Defender Pad and love it.
DIY Fleece Quilt (The Easy Way!)
My husband had a ton of t-shirts from college, and he didn’t want to get rid of any of them since they had sentimental value. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of them sitting in the closet forever, so I decided to make them into a quilt.
All of the patterns I found required layers of batting, interfacing, and backing and would cost a lot more than I was willing to spend. After being told by the lady at the fabric store that I couldn’t do it, I decided to use fleece as a backing (a challenge?) and couldn’t be happier with the results. This quilt has lasted for years with very little wear and he actually uses it!
Bonus: It only took me a few hours to sew, all on the machine! This would actually be a great gift for a child or other relative as well! Click here for the easy tutorial and instructions (it really is easy to make!).
The dream of flying is something most men (at least my husband, sons, father, and brother) have all had at one time or another, and a drone is a great way to experience it by manning his own personal aircraft. There are a lot of options available now, but this is one of the better drones on the market and would make any husband a happy camper!
TechRadar.com rates this drone as an excellent budget choice (in comparison).
His Favorite Gift Ever: “I Love You Because” Calendar
For our first Christmas, money was pretty tight and I wanted to find a gift that would be budget friendly and also sentimental. I got a scrapbook-type calendar like this one and added photos from our dating, engagement, and wedding to make the picture for each month. Then, I wrote on every day of the year a reason that I love and admire my husband. Reasons ranged from really heartfelt/romantic “You still make my heart skip a beat,” to the silly “Your crooked toe from when you broke it,” to others that aren’t appropriate for the blogosphere. 🙂
He actually used the calendar and looked forward to reading the reason I loved him each day. I think it is one of the few sentimental gifts that he still has to this day. This was also one of my favorite gifts to give!
A Shutterfly calendar would be another great option, or to be really budget friendly, you could even just make or print the calendar on your computer and write the reasons in.
Is your man hard to shop for? What is the best gift you’ve ever gotten him? Would any of these be a good fit? Share below!