More than 15 years ago, findings from a study suggested that women and men shop differently. Women tended to browse in shopping centres for longer and often purchased items they had not set out to buy in the first place; whereas men were more likely to beeline in and out of malls, rarely straying from the shopping list. Yes, it’s now 2023, and gender norms may be out of style, but I cannot stop thinking about how those observations continually manifest in my parents, friends, and cousins — not to mention in my own relationship. Men — myself included — are laser-focused buyers: when we want something, we hop into our F150s (maybe), drive to the store, purchase it right away, and go home.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Set
Adidas Gift Set for Men
Goodr Running Sunglasses
Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity
Columbia Packable Lightweight Backpack
MyFitnessPal Premium Subscription
ABC Slim-Fit 5 Pocket Pant 32" Utilitech
Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Health and Fitness Tracker
Unisex UA SlipSpeed Training Shoes
DUER Fireside Denim Slim
Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2
Manscaped Perfect Package 4.0
Men's Katana Shoes
Davek Solo Umbrella
Blundstone Classic 585 Chelsea Boots
Skylight 15" Digital Calendar & Daily Planner
Beats By Dr. Dre Fit Pro In-Ear Noise Cancelling True Wireless Earbuds
Gnarwhal 25 Backpack
Frame Grid Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater
BOSS Hyde Slim-Fit Virgin Wool-Cashmere Overcoat
Chilliwack Bomber HUMANATURE
Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima by De'Longhi
Apple Watch Ultra 2 Smartwatch
That makes many of us men an absolute pain to shop for come Christmas and the holidays — most of us already have what we think we need. Fear not, if you simply cannot figure out what exactly to buy for the men in your life, this list may come in handy, no matter your budget. Here are 25 gift options for this holiday season that are bound to make your boyfriend, son, dad, husband or friend smile, and save them yet another mission to the mall.
Best unique Christmas gift ideas for men under $50
The Lamy Safari fountain pen is a fun, staple gift for the sketcher, collector or bureaucrat in your life. This set, which also comes with five matte black ink cartridges, is durable and sleek enough to justify the cost. Besides, $35 is a breezy price point in the sophisticated — if not arcane — world of fountain pens.
I grew up in a cat-friendly house, which meant fur-covered pants and woolly pea coats. When things got hairy, we used a roller. This year, I tried a FurZapper Glove: a more tactile, natural hair remover that works well not only on clothes but also on couches, beds, and rugs. It’s a fun stocking stuffer for the animal-loving men in your life.
You can’t go wrong with deodorant — it’s really a gift for you, too. This hygienic set from Adidas keeps smells at bay throughout the day and comes in a neat three-pack of fragrances: Moves for Him, Dynamic Pulse, and Ice Dive. It’s a solid — and necessary — gift for the athletes in your life.
These lightweight and polarized sunglasses have boomed in the running world for how comfortably they rest on the nose without bouncing (I wear them on every run), but to typecast them as running glasses only would be throwing major shade. Their more muted styles in particular make for terrific everyday specs at an affordable price.
The longevity movement gained significant steam in 2023, in part due to fringe actors like Brian Johnson who are trying to reverse their biological clock by decades, but also because of scientists and public intellectuals like Andrew Huberman and Peter Attia who are sharing cutting-edge health research with millions of people. The latter’s new book is a New York Times Bestseller that challenges how we think about aging and offers tangible advice on how to care for our physical and mental health well into our lives.
For just $40, this backpack is perhaps the best deal on this list. It has all the basics of a sturdy travel bag, with back straps, a top zipper closure, an internal divider sleeve, and a front accessory pocket. It’s a remarkable bargain and a surefire gift for the student or commuter in your life.
Best unique Christmas gift ideas for men under $100
We rarely think of subscriptions as holiday gifts; but now that many goods live behind a paywall, these digital presents are total Santa hacks. There are many fragmented fitness and dieting apps out there, but the best all-in-one platform I’ve encountered for less than $100 comes from MyFitnessPal. Their one-year premium subscription allows for basic nutrition and fitness tracking, but also food comparison, meal scanning, and guided, tailored meal and workout plans. It’s applicable for athletes and beginners alike and useful for anybody who wants to take their fitness to a new level.
This smart wallet is a sleek and functional choice for the scatterbrained cardholder in your life. The Ekster Aluminum Cardholder, thicker but no wider than a credit card itself, combines space-grade aluminum with quick card access. It can hold 1-12 cards and bills, and the expandable backplate keeps it slim and trim; plus, the RFID-blocking feature also prevents wireless theft. Bonus: add a Tracker Card to make it impossible to lose.
Best unique Christmas gift ideas for men under $200
Last year, I rebuilt my work wardrobe around four pairs of Lululemon’s ABC Pants. I work from home and could easily opt to wear sweats, but these business casual slacks are just as comfortable while being appropriate for a range of outings. The Utilitech version has a four-way stretch, a hidden zippered pocket, and allows for a full range of motion unlike jeans or dress pants. The ABC pants may very well be Lululemon’s greatest feat of athleisure: the made-up word that sent their stock soaring in the first place.
I’ve previously written about Fitbits and why I like them: they have morphed into affordable exercise watches with robust fitness and sleep-tracking abilities since their first iterations. It comes with a pace and distance tracker, an app that tallies workouts, a sleep feedback function, and even a setting that helps to nail down optimal workout intensity levels. It’s a good, cheaper alternative to most GPS watches to gift the fitness buff in your life.
The shoe market is completely saturated: there are dress shoes, casuals, workout shoes, running shoes, racing shoes, running shoes that also work as racing shoes — just to name a few. If the man in your life needs a new pair of kicks, and you’re not sure for what, the Slipspeeds are a great place to start. They have an adjustable heel that instantly converts the shoes from workout to recovery mode and have enough style to pass as out-and-about footwear.
Not long after becoming an ABC pant absolutist, I walked back my position one small step. The DUER insulated jeans offer a warmer, almost-as-comfortable alternative. Made in Vancouver, these “performance denim” pants have a winter lining that protects against the worst of chills. I’ve never been a big denim wearer, but I’ve also never been a fan of the cold, so these come in handy in chilly outdoor hangouts and are a great investment for someone who wants to withstand frigid temperatures in style.
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is tiny (like an iPod shuffle — remember those?) yet powerful with a 140-degree field of view capable of capturing crystal-clear 1080p HD video. It also packs an impressive roster of specs, like a handy backup video vault and voice-activated controls. It’s a zero-weight, content-collecting powerhouse and a valuable tool for any excursion.
If $160 feels steep for a grooming product, think of Manscaped as an investment. The Perfect Package comes with an electric trimmer, ball deodorant, ball spritz, all-over body wash, four-piece nail kit, shaving mats, and a luxury travel bag. The materials are sleek and built tough and will save your man a dozen trips to Shoppers in the new year.
These kicks are a great choice for the exercise-curious, yet injury-prone man. ABEO Katana is made to provide excellent foot support and comfort, with its B.I.O. orthotic system aligning and balancing the body to reduce joint stress. With a Vibram Rolling Gait midsole and Ecostep rubber outsole, it's both supportive and eco-friendly. It’s ideal for workouts and keeps its structural integrity for at least a year.
Best unique Christmas gift ideas for men under $400
Davek Umbrellas are for walkers to work who want a bit of chic on top of their suit: and who appreciate a rain protector that doesn’t completely flip inside out in a gust of wind as would a contact lens. These umbrellas are sturdy, easy to open and close, and impressively compact; and they come at a range of price points. The Solo is a staple: a widely set one-person rain shield with a handy belt clip. Bonus: it comes in a sleek gift box.
I’ve outed myself as a Blundstone fan in the past — I simply think there are no better boots on the market for $250. They are easy to slip on and off, the fit is comfortable, and the outer withstands Canada’s two worst winter pests: cold and salt stains. In a way, they are the winter version of the Under Armour Slipspeed shoes: a safe bet for any occasion. They also transcend age and are as good an option for your grandfather and little nephew alike.
The busy bodies in your life, in the absence of a proper calendar, are drowning. They must keep track of their work schedule, social commitments, family events, and in some cases fitness programs, medication appointments, and more — worse, these commitments are probably scattered across Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Outlook, and that physical calendar left untouched since October. This Skylight Digital Calendar, an all-in-one smart family calendar, renders life easier by synching every commitment into one tablet. It’s on the pricey side, but think of it as a one-and-done antidote to your man’s organizational chaos.
Yes, I’ve come across several earbuds that were cheaper than the Beats Fit Pro, but none that even come close to their stunning size-to-sound ratio. They also have a tiny wing tip that, while not looking like much, secures their fit during workouts. I recommend these earbuds as a gift for the frequent gym goer: unless he is your gym partner. Then, don’t buy — he will ignore you.
I have included two backpacks on this list, for two levels of backpackers. The Gnarwhal is not for the fairweather commuter: it’s for the vagabond man who camps, skis, country hops, and who has an idea what the word “portage” means. It comes with a sternum strap, hydration reservoir, helmet stows, large side pockets, and even a shovel and probe section. It’s originally conceived for the ski hill, but can accommodate most outdoor adventures.
Best unique Christmas gift ideas for men: Luxury
For the fashion fan in your life. The Frame Grid Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater, with its intricate grid pattern crafted from pure merino wool, is a contemporary twist on a classic garment. The neutral, understated beige hue makes it a year-round wardrobe staple, and the thick construction makes it Canadian winter-friendly. At that price, expect a durable piece that will last a generation.
Looking your best in the dead of winter — be it due to a lack of motivation or a need for warmth — is never easy. This svelte overcoat from Hugo Boss, which looks like it belongs on the shoulders of the male protagonist of every Hallmark movie ever made, can help. The three-button cashmere coat, fully lined and insulated with virgin wool, is a staple for nights out, business functions and downtown winter walks. Its slim fit and lower-cut construction invite a stylish boot pairing, scarf combination and the occasional smoulder.
This jacket, inspired by the impenetrable garments of post-war bush pilots, keeps you warm while making a statement (especially if you get it in white). Thick and insulated all the way to the chin, with a down snorkel hood with customizable trim, the Chilliwack is also surprisingly nimble due to its rib-knit wrists cuffs and hemline. The material quality (85 per cent polyester and 15 per cent recycled cotton) and Canada Goose's lifetime warranty, meanwhile, make it worth the price.
For the indiscriminate coffee drinker who enjoys an espresso, cappuccino and long coffee, sometimes all in the same day. The Vertuo Lattissima is an extension of Nespresso's excellent Pop+ machines and is the company's first Vertuo machine to whip up milk coffees like macchiatos and cappuccinos with the push of a button. Quick, versatile and barista-grade.
While I have been an Apple User for nearly 15 years and have a bias, I do think the Ultra 2, while expensive, is the best wristpiece available. It’s not a beginner’s watch — the myriad features are enough to confuse a village — but it’s a Godsend for a tech junkie, Apple lover, fitness fan, or busybody (I use it for my runs, and to help organize my work day.) Those graduating from the original Ultra will notice a few changes: a brighter display, a fun double-tap functionality, better altitude and deep sea range for explorers and — supposedly — a neural engine that can process machine learning tasks better than its predecessor.