What do you get for the man who has everything? It’s a question that many people are faced with every Christmas, and it gets harder to answer with each passing year.
Men are notoriously difficult to buy for, but there are some things that will always go down well. The trick is knowing what they are.
Over the course of a year, we review thousands of products, many of which would make perfect gifts for even the most particular of men. Below is a selection of items we’ve tried out personally and would love to receive ourselves.
How we tested
We’ve tried to feature a broad range of products, so testing varied a lot from item to item. However, the key things we were looking for across the board were quality, usefulness and luxury. We did our best to select things that looked stylish too.
From grand gestures to small tokens, these assorted goodies include something to suit every budget and taste. One thing they do have in common is that they’re all surefire winners that are guaranteed to put a smile on his face come Christmas morning.
The best gifts for men for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Universal Works wool fleece cardigan: £115, Universalworks.co.uk
- Best big present – Carl Friedrik palissy weekend bag: £545, Carlfriedrik.com
- Best smelly gift – Aesop Rome skincare kit: £55, Aesop.com
- Best for active men – AfterShokz openmove bone-conduction headphones: £79.95, Aftershokz.co.uk
- Best advent calendar – Asos 12-day grooming calendar: £40, Asos.com
- Best practical gift – Dometic thermo tumbler: £19, Dometic.com
- Best for winter walking – Danner mountain light II boots: £360, Danner.com
- Best sustainable gift – Decoded recycled iPhone case: £43, Decodedbags.com
- Best for sneaker fanatics – Crep Protect box pack: £32, Crepprotect.com
- Best luxury grooming gift – Bolin Webb R1 razor and stand: £90, Bolinwebb.com
Universal Works wool fleece cardigan
We’re big fans of Universal Works’s wool fleece cardigan. It’s somewhere between a shawl-neck cardigan and an overshirt, made with thick, woollen fabric and boasting three patch pockets on the front. It makes an excellent layering piece for the winter weather, but looks great as a standalone piece over a plain T-shirt too. It’s available in a range of muted, earthy colours, but this rusty orange is probably our favourite.
Carl Friedrik palissy weekend bag
Best: Big present
Yes, £545 is a lot of money. But then this is a lot of bag. Crafted in Italy from beautiful vachetta leather, this luxurious overnight bag is one he’ll have for the rest of his life. It’s a modern twist on a classic piece of men’s luggage and the perfect gift for someone who travels a lot for work or enjoys getting away at the weekend. To add a personal touch, you can even have his initials embossed inside, on the shoulder strap, or on the luggage tag. There are lots of colour options for further personalisation too.
Aesop Rome skincare kit
Best: Smelly gift
Aesop stuff smells great, feels great and looks excellent on a bathroom shelf. For these reasons, it’s always well received as a gift. This travel kit contains some of the Australian brand’s bestselling products, all shrunk down into portable sizes to keep him groomed to perfection while on the move. There are nine products in total, including a moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste and even mouthwash. Plus, it all comes neatly packaged in a zip-up case that’ll fit neatly into his suitcase or weekend bag.
AfterShokz openmove bone-conduction headphones
Best: For active men
These clever headphones from AfterShokz carry vibrations through the jaw, allowing the wearer to enjoy music or podcasts without compromising their hearing. It might sound like the stuff of science fiction but it really does work and is great for people like cyclists and runners who need to be able to hear traffic but still want a bit of entertainment while they train. They connect to a phone via Bluetooth and feature a microphone for calls too. We were shocked at how well they work and think they would make an excellent gift for someone who likes to be active.
Asos 12-day grooming calendar
Best: Advent calendar
Asos’s grooming advent calendar only costs £40, but the contents are worth more than double that. Every day has its own numbered box containing a different grooming product, covering everything from hair styling to skincare. It’s everything he needs to keep him looking and smelling his best over the festive period and beyond, and there are even golden tickets inside some calendars for a chance to win even more grooming goodies.
Dometic thermo tumbler
Best: Practical gift
Anyone who gets coffee regularly should have their own reusable cup. This one from Dometic is an excellent option that’ll keep its contents piping hot for six hours. It’s designed for use in the great outdoors, so it’s durable, robust and easy to clean, featuring a bright-orange finish that makes it nice and easy to locate. We particularly like the lid, which has a neat little plastic slider to guard against spills.
Danner mountain light II boots
Best: For winter walking
The phrase, “they don’t make them like they used to” doesn’t apply to Danner. The Oregon-based footwear brand makes some of the sturdiest boots on the planet and many styles have been going strong for decades. One such boot is the mountain light. It’s a traditional hiking boot, complete with Vibram sole, thick leather upper and bright-red laces, and features a Gore-Tex membrane to keep feet dry and comfortable in even the wettest of conditions. Speaking of comfort, the mountain lights are surprisingly easy to wear and needed no time breaking in. Just make sure you size down though, as they do run large.
Decoded recycled iPhone case
Best: Sustainable gift
There’s more to this stylish phone case than meets the eye. Part of Decoded’s re-coded line, it’s made using Nike grind materials. These are bits and pieces that have been collected from unsold shoes, recycled post-consumer trainers and pre-consumer manufacturing scraps, and repurposed into something entirely new. The phone case itself looks and feels great and features a triangular pattern on the back and embossed branding on the side.
Crep Protect box pack
Best: For sneaker fanatics
This cleaning kit from Crep Protect makes an excellent stocking filler for the sneakerhead in your life. It contains everything needed to keep trainers in tip-top condition, including cleaning wipes, a brush, a suede eraser, and even some freshening pills to keep everything smelling sweet. This stuff really works too. We’ve used it on some seriously battered shoes over the years and they always come up like new.
Bolin Webb R1 razor and stand
Best: Luxury grooming gift
Any man who appreciates a nice bit of design will love this stylish razor from Bolin Webb. It features a curved, weighted handle in British racing green and uses Gillette mach 3 cartridges, making replacements nice and easy. It also comes with its own stand, which will add a touch of class to any bathroom shelf. It’s so nice, he won’t know whether to shave with it or sit and admire it.
The verdict: Gifts for men
Universal Works’ wool fleece cardigan is great for layering up in the colder months, and in terms of quality and looks it represents solid value for money. We think it’d make a great gift for a stylish man in your life, and it’s something he’ll have for years to come.
For the latest offers on gifts and men’s clothing, try the links below:
If the man in your life is a little more outdoorsy check out our round-up of the best men’s waterproof jackets for walking that are lightweight and warm
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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