Art of Manliness Holiday Gift Guide 2013

by AoM Team on November 29, 2013 · 27 comments

in Gift Guides, Travel & Leisure


The holiday season is officially upon us and that means it’s time for our annual Art of Manliness holiday gift guide. When we make our gift guides, we try to hunt down and share the kind of products an Art of Manliness Man would want to find under the Christmas tree: manly, useful, and classic. We also try to include gifts that are unique and one-of-a-kind.

In this year’s gift guide, we incorporated useful items that we talked about in posts this year, as well as classic items that seem to have been the most popular in gift guides past.

Use the guide to find the perfect Christmas gift for your father, husband, brother, or friend, or print out the post, circle your favorites, and casually leave it where your loved one will find it. And of course you’ll want to send a copy to the man at the North Pole.

If you don’t see something on the list that strikes your fancy, be sure to check out our gift guides from previous years for more ideas (including one entirely dedicated to stocking stuffers!).

If you’re looking for gift ideas for the ladies in your life, check out the Art of Manliness Women’s Holiday Shop on Huckberry.

The items below are organized from least expensive to most to help you find something that best matches your budget. Hope you enjoy browsing the list as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

6 Pack of Locally Brewed Beer (or Soda)

Craft Brew (2)

Local and regional breweries have hit an all-time high in America. There’s a reason for the popularity; small breweries simply create a better product than the big boys of beer, and can take more inventive risks. In the last year I’ve (Jeremy) had watermelon beer, rosemary beer, and even Rocky Mountain Oyster beer. For the man who enjoys a libation every now and again, a six-pack of fine, handcrafted beer is a great gift. For the gentleman who doesn’t partake in libations of the alcoholic variety, some handcrafted, local soda makes a fine replacement. $6-$12

Character Is Power Poster

Character Is Power

Back when we wrote our book, Manvotionals: Timeless Wisdom and Advice for the Modern Manwe came across a fascinating illustration that served as the frontpiece to a book published in 1899: Traits of Character Illustrated in Bible Light by Henry F. Kletzing. We thought it would make for a great poster to help inspire men to strive for excellence.

Enlarged and sharpened to beautifully display the qualities of true character, this handsome and inspiring poster is ready to be hung on your wall and serve as a daily reminder to be your very best. $9 (you can buy this print framed for $32)

The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

Defining Decade (2)

Easily one of the best books we’ve read this year, and also one of the most important. Our modern society has largely said that one’s twenties are sort of a throwaway decade — why bother “growing up” when you can do it in your thirties and be just fine? In reality, however, instead of freeing you and relieving you of stress, putting off your life goals does the exact opposite, and creates anxiety in your life. Your twenties matter. You’re life isn’t limitless, so don’t waste perhaps the most important decade of your life. For even more insight, check out the podcast we did with author Meg Jay$10

Fresh Balls

Fresh Balls (2)
Earlier this summer, I did some “scientific” testing of products for men that reduce the inevitable phenomenon of swamp crotch in the hot and humid summer months. One of the products that came out on top was Fresh Balls.

Your recipient will laugh when they first pull this out of their stocking, but come summer they’ll be thanking you. $12

Voices of the Pacific by Marcus Brotherton

Voices of Pacific (2)

If you’ve enjoyed Marcus Brotherton’s articles on AoM, then you’ll enjoy his most recent book, Voices of the Pacific: Untold Stories From the Marine Heroes of World War II. Marcus has carved out a niche for himself in the WWII history genre by interviewing veterans of the Big One and publishing what they have to say with minimal editing. You get to read what actual soldiers experienced and felt without the author putting his own spin on things. I kid you not, when you read one of Marcus’ books, you feel like you’re sitting at a kitchen table surrounded by WWII vets telling you their war stories. In Voices of the Pacific, Marcus interviews the Marines who fought on the Pacific front. Be sure to check out We Who Are Alive and Remain for stories from the Band of Brothers in Europe. $14

Cast Iron Skillet

SkilletCast irons pans last a lifetime, cook your food evenly, and even impart a low dose of iron to your food. It feels sacrilege to cook bacon and eggs in anything else. Be sure the recipient of this gift knows how to properly season and care for their new skillet$19

Maglite Flashlight


Every man should carry a torch. Always keep a smaller one on your keychain and a more heavy-duty one in your house and garage. When it comes to the former category, you can’t go wrong with a classic Maglite. The LED bulb will last nearly forever, and heavy-duty aluminum casing gives it shock and water resistance. Can’t beat the price tag either. Don’t let your home be without a Maglite. $17

Art of Manliness Stationery

AoM Stationery

If you want to give your handwritten correspondence some class, upgrade your paper. While this seems an easy task, most stationery is a bit feminine in nature, which is why we designed our own Art of Manliness stationery. Made from high quality stock, these correspondence cards will impress your coworkers, friends, and family alike. With over 20 designs to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding one that matches your manly personality. $20

Art of Manliness Boxed Set Collection

AoM Collection

Get both of our books in a handsome vintage-inspired cigar box along with six manly coasters for around $20. That’s about what it would cost to buy both books separately, plus you’re getting a cool cigar box and some nice-looking coasters! What man wouldn’t want to find this awesomely manly book collection under the Christmas tree? The cigar box the books come in is even accented with festive red and green. All the more reason to give it for Christmas. $23

Buck Twins Magic DVDs

Buck Twins DVD (2)

Like most kids, I went through a “magic phase.” Here I am a 30-year-old man and I’m going through another one. It’s primarily so I have cool stuff to show my kids when they get older, but I’m re-learning how much I genuinely enjoy learning magic tricks. I’ve been enjoying this trilogy of instructional DVDs on card tricks and flourishes from the Buck Twins. Be sure to check out their line of great playing cards, too. I’m particularly fond of their Vintage Plaid deck. If you’re looking to become the coolest uncle or dad on the block, knowing a few card tricks will certainly help. $25 for each DVD

Art of Manliness Handkerchief Set

AoM Balm & Napkins

If every man should carry a handkerchief, it might as well be the damn manliest handkerchief you can find. Introducing the Art of Manliness hankie set. You’ll find three white linen handkerchiefs with an embroidered image of John L. Sullivan emblazoned on the cloth. These are a great edition to your everyday carry. Each set of hankies comes with a print of our illustrated guide to using a handkerchief drawn by Ted Slampyak$25

Stanley Thermos

Stanley Thermos (2)

This sucker will be the only traveling thermos you’ll ever need. Made with stainless steel, the Stanley Thermos is rustproof and naturally BPA free. The 8-ounce lid doubles as a cup for your coffee, hot chocolate, or soup. Oh, and it keeps its contents hot/cold for 24 hours. Need more convincing? Didn’t think so. $25-$50

Art of Manliness Pocket Knife

Pocket Knife

Every man should carry a pocket knife. The Art of Manliness pocket knife offers the high quality materials, precision in German engineering, and the sharp look and fine details of the modern Böker knife. This traditional double bolster knife takes us back to the good ol’ times. Fine polished brass bolsters and synthetic handle scales with inlay. The blades are made of high performance 440C stainless steel. This everyday carry is laser etched with the AoM monogram on the outside and the Art of Manliness logo on the inside and makes for a perfect coming-of-age gift. $29

Timex Field Watch


The Timex Field Watch has been a staple of our gift guides and Outfitted & Equipped series for good reason. These wacthes were inspired by the field watches issued to soldiers during the first half of the 20th century and look great with a wide variety of get-ups. While there are more expensive name-brand versions out there, if you’re looking for a simple, yet handsome-looking watch and can’t bear the thought of having your wife fork over $150 or more, this is perfect. Consider the Timex Camper or Timex Expedition$30

Jack London Biography + Complete Works

Jack London

Last spring we embarked on an epic journey through the life of Jack London. If that series left you wanting to learn even more about the life of this incredibly virile and yet complicated man, pick up a copy of the most recent (and supposedly very best) biography written on London. Just published, Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor is high on my to-read list.

London’s own writings also make for a fantastic fireside companion during the winter months. While you can read many of his numerous works for free online, it’s nice to have them collected in one place. This copy contains his most well-known writings, and can be found on the cheap. $30 for the pair

Bottle of Scotch

Scotch (2)

For the man who enjoys a good glass of Scotch while he stares out the window at night manfully pondering deep thoughts. Scotch is considered by many (including both Nick Offerman and his TV character Ron Swanson) to be the king of the expansive whisky family. Its caramely, biting taste is perfect to warm yourself during a winter night around the fireplace with a thick, manly tome in your hand (perhaps Ulysses by James Joyce). You can get a bottle of Scotch at most liquor stores for anywhere from $30 to $300, but the $60-$80 range is probably your sweet spot. Lagavulin 16, pictured above, is Ron Swanson’s choice, and fits nicely in that sweet spot. $30-$300

Shoe Shine Kit

Shoe Shine Kit (2)

A shoeshine kit makes the perfect gift; it’s something that no guy thinks to buy, but every guy needs. I have fond memories of my dad bringing out his wooden shoe shine box once a month to shine his boots and our family’s shoes. Buy a quality kit in a manly wooden box that has all the necessary accoutrements to keep your loved one’s shoes shining like a sheet of glass. Included in this set are two cloths, a tin each of brown and black polish, two sponge daubers, two 100% horsehair brushes, a shoe horn, and of course the handsome wood box. $35

T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool


You never know when you’ll plunge off a cliff and find yourself trapped in a sinking car. That’s why a T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool from StatGear should always ride along with you. The knife and belt cutter make getting out of your seatbelt a breeze and the spring loaded steel tip window punch allows you to shatter your window so you can swim to your escape. Make sure to check back on the site next Thursday for an illustrated guide to escaping a sinking car. $40

Pair of Slippers


In the chilly winter months, a cozy pair of slippers is a staple for when you’re at home lounging around. Nice dress socks aren’t known for their warmth, so coming home to a pair of comfortable and warm slippers is about as good as it gets. And when you’re stepping out of bed in the morning, there’s nothing better than slipping your dogs into a waiting pair of fleece-lined foot-pillows. If a full-on slipper isn’t your thing, check out the awesome astronaut-inspired slipper socks on Huckberry. $40

Tactical Fountain Pen

Fountain Pen

Have you ever wished that you could carry something around that could both sign checks and injure would-be attackers? If so, you sir need a tactical fountain pen. This pen combines the gentlemanly refinement of a fountain pen with the virile ruggedness of a tactical pen. Made with aircraft aluminum, this tactical fountain pen can withstand the most rigorous of beatings. $40

Wax Seal Set

Wax Seal Set (2)

Who knew that the humble wax seal could be so interesting and so fun? We did a write up earlier this year, where we discovered the fascinating history of the wax seal that dates all the way to the Middle Ages. The practice has changed very little since that time, and it’s easy to do yourself to bring some class to all the handwritten letters you’re sending. While there are various kits out there, in my testing, J. Herbin proved to be the best of the bunch. This kit contains one brass seal engraved with a letter of your choice, and four sticks of their supple sealing wax. $40

Airsoft Pistol

Airsoft Gun (2)

I made it a goal this year to learn how to safely use a firearm for self- and home-defense. What I quickly learned was that the cost of learning and practicing with firearms goes up very quickly. Between firing range costs, ammo, etc., it was getting to be more than I wanted to spend on a regular basis. So I did a bunch of research and testing and came to the conclusion that supplementing your regular training with airsoft training can be a valuable (and not bank-breaking) practice. While there are varieties of airsoft guns, I recommend the gas-powered versions. Also make sure you don’t skimp by going with a cheapo $20 model. I recommend Airsoft Global, which is where I bought mine. $40-$100

Warrior Mace

Onnit Mace

Using a steel mace in your workout routine is one of the most effective ways you can enhance your strength and conditioning. You’ll also be channeling the spirit of warriors of the last 2,000 years who have used the mace in training. This mace from Onnit comes in 10, 15, and 20 lb weights; I have the 15-lber and it’s a beast.  $40-$75

Real Men Real Style A Man’s Guide to Style

Guide to Style

If you’ve been following AoM for some time, then you’re probably familiar with the fantastic work of our resident style expert, Antonio Centeno. Besides writing here, Antonio has his own men’s style website that he maintains. Recently he released a huge self-study program for men looking to up their style game. It’s called A Man’s Guide to Style. It’s a digital download filled with 100 lessons delivered via text, video, and audio. If you’ve been looking to improve your wardrobe (or know a man who’s mentioned he needs to) this is a great starter resource. When you buy this course, Antonio also throws in a bunch of free bonus materials on grooming, etiquette, and buying guides. $47

Make Your Own Gin Kit


Make gin at home using the HomeMade Gin Kit — no bathtub needed! The kit includes a special blend of spices, botanicals, and flowers, a tin full of juniper berries, two Italian glass swing-top bottles, a double mesh fine strainer, and a funnel. Grab an affordable bottle of vodka, follow the instructions, and in 36 hours you’ve made your very own gin. Make a bottle for yourself and give one to a friend.

Bison Made Wallet

Bison Wallet

If you aren’t familiar with Bison Made’s products, you need to be. Their leather wallets are handcrafted here in the US of A. They don’t use any linings, rubber, or glue, and their stitching has a lifetime warranty. While a duct tape wallet might be cool in college, there comes a time when every man needs something more grown-up. This is it. $40-$150

Coffee Joulies


Coffee has a rich history in America. From providing much-needed warmth to men in the field in the Civil War to giving modern men a pickup on their commute, it has cemented its place in many a man’s morning routine. Unfortunately, coffee also has a rich history of being scalding hot one second, and seemingly ice cold the next. It often seems like you have but a 10-minute window in which coffee is at its perfect temperature for consumption. Enter Coffee Joulies. They are similar in concept to whisky stones, except they cool the coffee at first to make it drinkable faster, and then keep the coffee at that temperature for hours. Your 10-minute window has now expanded to the entire morning. $60



First used by Marines during WWII, the KA-BAR USMC knife has since become standard issue among other branches of the U.S. military. And for good reason. This thing is a beast! You’ll feel 5x more manlier just holding it. It’s a great addition to any man’s bug-out bag$64

Indian Clubs

Indian Clubs

Harness your inner ancient Persian and 19th century old-time strongman by training with Indian Clubs. Indian Clubs are a great addition to any man’s workout routine. They’re great for building arm and shoulder strength as well as forging a grip like a vise. Plus, they’re just fun to use. It helps to do your Indian Club exercises bare-chested while sporting a mustache$72-$120

Pendleton Woolen Mills Robe

Pendleton Robe (2)

Every man needs a comfy robe he can wear around a cold house while he drinks his coffee and reads the morning paper. These robes from Pendleton Woolen Mills fit the bill. Made of 100% virgin wool, a Pendleton Woolen Mill robe is designed to keep you warm and toasty. As a bonus, it’s machine washable and has three pockets — one each for the remote, the newspaper, and a cookie for later. I got one of these as a gift a few Christmases ago, wear it nearly every day, and love it. $87-$228

Craftsman Tool Set

Craftsman Set (2)

Craftsman is the gold standard when it comes to tools. This set comes with the Craftsman lifetime warranty, is made of alloyed steel, and better yet, will serve all your socket wrench needs. For the man in your life that isn’t terribly familiar with tools, this is a great set to have. It comes with two wrenches and 52 sockets, as well as a screwdriver with an interchangeable bit set. $90

GORUCK Challenge

GoRuck Challenge (2)

The GORUCK Challenge is a 9-13 hour team event in which a Special Forces veteran — called a Cadre — leads you on a 15-20 mile “guided tour” of your city. It begins at night and runs until the morning. Along the way, you take part in military-inspired challenges and “missions,” which includes doing some basic training calisthenics, taking a little swim, carrying logs (and each other), and a lot of marching. Oh, and you do it all while wearing a backpack filled with 30 to 40 pounds of bricks and other equipment. The goal of the Challenge is to finish it, and finish it as a team. “Good livin’” is what GORUCKers call it; it’s challenging and it hurts, but you kind of love it. Read my full review of a challenge I did last year. $90-$140 (depends on how far in advance you sign-up)

Krav Maga DVDs

Krav Maga DVDs (2)

Krav Maga is a brutally effective tactical mixed martial art/combative and self-defense system that was first developed by Imi Lichtenfeld in the 1940s for the Israeli military. Its success as a self-defense system lies in its principles of simplicity, combined defense and attack, and retzev, or continuous motion. It also provides tactics for defending against a variety of weapons. While joining a gym is preferable for learning self-defense, if that’s not an option, watching a DVD will give you a basic overview of Krav Maga and its techniques. I highly recommend David Kahn’s set of DVDs. They’re very well-done and David does a great job explaining and demonstrating the methods and movements. $96

Brunswick Pipe Starter Set

Pipe Starter Set (2)

Pipe smoking is a relaxing ritual for many men. Pipe smokers wax poetic about the satisfaction you get when you pack the tobacco into the bowl just right. Then, the whoosh of the match followed by that wonderful, aromatic smell. This starter pipe smoking set from the Pipe Guys is a great gift for the man who’s just started pipe smoking or expressed an interest in it. It’s got everything you need: pipe, tobacco, and pipe cleaners. Level up this already awesome gift by throwing in a paperback by J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis (two famous pipe smokers). $99

Trunk Club Gift Card

Trunk Club

Even with all the great style advice we offer here on AoM, shopping and trying to find all the right clothes that all go together can still be an intimidating experience. Trunk Club offers the opportunity to have your very own stylist remove all the guesswork for you. When you sign up, you take a visual survey based on your current style and also what you’d like your style to be. Based on that, a stylist (the service is free of charge) selects — just for you — a “trunk” that caters to your preferences and style. You can even contact your stylist if you have questions or are unhappy with their selections. It’s not a membership — you only receive a box when you request one. The downside of the service is that the clothes are really high-end — and thus expensive. But you only pay for what you like and can send the rest back — shipping is free both ways. So it’s a risk-free way to try out new clothes. It’s especially useful for when you need to put together an outfit for a special event or are embarking on a new phase in your life and want to start building a different kind of wardrobe. $100 minimum for gift card

Safety Razor Set

Safety Razor Set (2)

Stop wasting money on Gillette Mach 12 cartridges and start shaving like your grandpa used to. Using a double-edge safety razor for your daily shaving needs provides a way closer shave than a cartridge razor or an electric razor. It also leaves your skin feeling significantly better. And to top it off, once you invest in the materials, you’re set for life, and all you need to buy from then on is 10-cent blades and shaving soap. This set includes a Merkur safety razor, chrome shaving bowl, badger-hair brush, a stand, and shaving soap to get you started. $107

Onnit Battle Ropes

Onnit Ropes

Doing a quick 10-minute workout with these battle ropes is like doing wind sprints for your arms. I prefer the 50′ long, 2″ thick version, but you can get shorter and thinner ropes as well. You could use regular manila ropes, but these polypropylene ropes from Onnit won’t fray, break down, or hold water. And they come with vinyl wrapping on the ends for grip support. Give the gift that will make someone puke, in the best possible way. $145 (on sale right now for $130!)

Col. Littleton No. 9 Journal

Littleton Journal (2)

Every man should keep a journal. If you’ve had trouble getting into this manly habit, perhaps what you need is a journal so handsome and inviting it’s hard not to write in it. Enter the Col. Littleton No. 9 Journal. Wrapped up in rugged steer hide, this baby will have you putting pen to paper in no time. Perfect as a travelogue for all your manly adventures. Don’t worry, it’s refillable, so the hefty price tag isn’t just for one-time use. If you give someone this gift, tell them to stay tuned for a post on Jan. 1 that will help them jump-start their journal writing this year. $145

Anything from Saddleback Leather

Saddleback Brief (2)

From their iPad cases to their Dopp kits to their signature briefcases, there isn’t anything made by the Saddleback Leather Co. that most men wouldn’t be positively giddy to find under the tree come Christmas morning. Handsome, well-crafted, and made to last (everything they make is backed by a 100-year guarantee), your loved one would likely trade a few years of tchotchkes that gather dust in his closet for one gift that he’ll be using until he goes to his grave. $150-$600

Trigger Point Release Set


When you need to recover from your battle ropes and warrior mace workouts, doing some trigger point release (also known as self-myofascial release) exercises will keep you loose, limber, and free of pain — even if it does hurt so good while you’re doing it. This starter set comes with two massage balls, one Footballer, one Quadballer, one Baller Block platform, an instructional DVD, and a total body guidebook. $180

Kaufmann Mercantile EDC Kit 2


A good EDC (Everyday Carry) kit will delight any man this Christmas. This set from Kaufmann Mercantile is the belle of the ball — you simply won’t find a better kit to be on your person at all times. It comes with a small knife made of cutlery-grade steel, a brass compass with a glow-in-the-dark background, a pen with a pressurized cartridge (so it can write anywhere, at any angle), a brass flashlight with a blinding 235 lumens, and a magnesium fire starter. No matter the situation, this kit will come in handy. $219

SONOS Speaker

Sonos Speaker (2)

There was a time when you needed all kinds of wires and hookups to have a great sound system. That time is long gone. Enter the SONOS wireless speaker. Coming in three sizes, this speaker is loaded with features that a technoholic will love. It’s humidity resistant, meaning you can jam out in the shower to your heart’s content. You can even stream directly from iTunes and online streaming services like Pandora. Just awesome. $200-$400

GORUCK GR1 Rucksack

GoRuck Bag (2)

Built in the USA of military-grade, highly water-resistant materials, the rucksack’s stress points have been strength tested at over 400 lbs, and it comes with a lifetime repairs guarantee. The pack will not only hold up during a GORUCK challenge (see above) but will also do duty for college life and traveling the world. They’ve even been used by Special Forces soldiers, who have reported that their durability and low profile relative to volume capacity make them an ideal assaulter’s pack. How’s that for versatility? $295

ITS Tactical Discreet Messenger Bag


For the Sheepdog in your life. A Made in the USA messenger bag which you can use to both carry a laptop and fight out of. The ITS Tactical Discreet Messenger Bag has a quick access pocket for concealed carry and tons of other features too, but it’s designed not to look like a tactical bag and draw attention to itself. $349 (On sale right now for $275, and includes a free padded insert — a $49 value!)

Schott’s Leather Jacket

Schott Jacket

Schott’s of NYC has been making rugged, quality leather coats for almost 100 years. Schott’s was the first to put a zipper on a jacket and the creator of the first leather motorcycle jacket. Their motorcycle jackets became legendary when they were worn by Marlon Brando in The Wild One. Schott’s also made jackets for the military, like the Type A-2 Jacket above which was worn by the Army Air Corps. The inside features an escape map of Europe, which pilots would sow into the jacket’s lining to enable them to find their way to the safety of the Allied lines if they were shot down. $535-$1,100

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Evan Martin November 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm

My last two watches, although looking fine, broke within a couple of weeks. It’d be great to have a timekeeper that can take a knock or two without giving up on me. Bring it on, Timex!

2 Brandon November 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Thanks for making this guide in addition to the Huckberry store- I much prefer the gift guide.

3 Brad November 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I really like the idea of pipe smoking, but it’s just not safe. Please stop tempting me.

4 Justin November 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I love the thermos, but you should start recommending another kind. I remember my dad having a stanley thermos, but now they are made in China. This doesn’t automatically ruin it, of course, but I’ve tried two within the past year and they don’t work worth a flip anymore. Look at the Thermos Stainless King now.

5 Max Nachamkin November 29, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Yes, yes, yes. A cast-iron skillet and a straight-razor set is exactly what every man needs.

To know how to cook and how to shave, with masculine style, makes life so much better.

6 Korbi November 30, 2013 at 4:16 am

Thanks of this guide. Great job!

7 Lord_Mord November 30, 2013 at 6:44 am

I really like your gift guides, but as most of your readers are men, how about a gift guide for the ladies?

8 rusty November 30, 2013 at 11:09 am

I’m gonna reccomend a good sturdy gunbelt. Even if you don’t carry a gun, its a lot more comfortable and suitable for EDC gear than pants pockets and keychains, couple low profile pouches and you can carry the flashlight, a full size leatherman, a knife, and anything else you might need without pant sagging or weight smacking against your hip

9 Daniel Lee November 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Great gift guide! I would definitely be happy to receive any of these products. As a magician, who studies and performs shows regularly, I loved seeing the addition of the Buck twins DVD on our list. This is a great set of magic tricks and flourishing instructions, but definitely not for the beginner. These will take lots of patience and practice to master. As a card guy myself, Dan and Dave are inspiring to watch and learn from.

10 Stengel99 November 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Let me confirm the great suggestions of a cast iron skillet and a Timex watch.
I recently took AOM’s advice to buy a cast iron skillet, and have been very happy with the decision. I’ve been surprised at how naturually non-sticky the material is.
I’ve had a Timex watch for years. It’s been very reliable. If you’re someone who appreciates the finer things, then I guess an expensive watch might make you feel important. But if you’re a more practical, frugal person like me, you’ll appreciate the quality and design of a classic Timex.

11 Brendon November 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

It should also be noted that GORUCK is having Buddy Pass sale on all events (Heavy, challenge and light) which makes them buy one get one free, And as always, there’s a 20% discount on GR gear when you register for an event.

12 James Petzke November 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Great guide! I’m personally hoping for a new pocket knife for Christmas, although anything on this list would be awesome!

13 Garrett November 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm

My manliness went up a few notches, simply by reading this article.

Definitely will be checking back, and investing into some of these items at some point.

14 Bob the Eternal Flame November 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm

On the note of pipes and whiskey-good cigars were mentioned, but really, REALLY go for a good cigar if you’re giving it as a gift. Cohiba’ll run you around $60 for a five pack, but I SWEAR the fella will LOVE the gift.

Additionally, cigar tools are always welcome.

If the fella is more “Adventurous” in nature (and a smoker), you might consider gifting them a good hookah. That’d run as cheap as the cigars I listed, or as much as $600, depending on what kind you get. It’s a unique experience, and can be a wonderful social activity.

If you know they’re trying to cut back on smoking, consider an E-Cig or E-Pipe gift set.

Them’s my suggestions.

15 Adonis November 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I have to say that AOM has just become my favorite for putting a gift guide out there that has a ton of practical and affordable gifts. I get so frustrated with ‘gift guides’ that require a second mortgage on my house for a designer scarf. Thank you for keeping it grounded and realistic.

16 Nathan December 1, 2013 at 11:38 am

If you get a cast iron skillet, don’t waste your money on a modern skillet like Lodge Logic. They don’t machine the cooking surface, so it’s rough and more likely to stick. Go to an antique or junk store and look for an old iron skillet with a smooth, machined surface. Here in Panama City, FL, there’s a guy downtown with a kayak shop who also resurfaces and restores old cast iron. A little butter and eggs slide around like nothing else.

17 Amanda December 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Hello, Gents! Would anyone be able to suggest a manufacturer of high quality wooden stationery boxes? Something vintage/antique would do as well. I’d like to present my husband with a professional correspondence set embossed with the but the flimsy plastic packaging it was delivered in just won’t do. We’re both avid readers of AOM and I thought this might be the perfect forum! Thank you in advance; any and all suggestions are very much appreciated!

18 Patriot1 December 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

He forgot to mention cowboy boots. Durangos are nice.

19 Jake December 2, 2013 at 11:19 pm

@Amanda – If you’re looking for a good wooden box, I’d recommend searching etsy for something like “Keepsake Box” – that will at least give you an idea of who might be able to create something for you. If not, will also get you in touch with someone with the necessary skills. While either of these options might cost you a bit more than an off the shelf box, you’d get the added benefit of knowing the gift was 100% custom – which, at least for me, carries a TON of weight.

20 Jonathan Bennett December 3, 2013 at 10:03 am

Great list! I’m happy to see the krav maga DVD on there. I’ve really been thinking a lot lately about the connection between knowing how to fight (for protection of self and others) and being a real man.


21 Levi December 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm

@Nathan My wife and I love our cast iron pans! I have a 10″, 12″, and 16″ all Made in America by Lodge. Cast iron was originally cast in sand and has no machined surface and we have not had any problems. The trick with cast iron is the treatment of it. The Lodge pans come pre-seasoned but does not do as out of the box compared to being well used. Our largest pan does stick a little bit but that 16″ pan is a beast and weighs about 15lbs. We have had the cheap ones and they do not hold up and rust quite quick. We found that with our cast iron you have to wash it in HOT water with a scrub brush or stainless steel wool. NEVER USE SOAP! Once the pan is done being washed, wipe if off with a paper towel and then put a small bit of vegetable oil or the likes and wipe it around all over the pan with a clean paper towel. Think machine oil or gun oil treatment after its been used. Helps keep the pan and protect it for a long time. The most used 10″ skillet barely sticks at all. Also, if making eggs you should fry up some bacon in the pan first then fry the eggs in the bacon grease. Non-stick and tastes great! Plus you have bacon!

22 Tom December 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Check out the Beer Ranger Badge; a beer lover favorite:)

23 Beer Ranger Badge December 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Ooops… please click on the name for a link to get your where you can pick one up. Cheers! Tom

24 King Alex December 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I loved the Trunk Club idea…but the gift guide is misleading.
The trunks are not $100-700. They are $800-1500, according to my stylist.
The business idea is clever, but lacking in some key areas. It is supposed to be convenient but the stylist has to call and “get to know you” in order to pick your clothes. I don’t want a new friend, I just want new clothes. Also, it just too expensive for the average Joe.

Shopping is the bane of my existence, but I want to look sharp, collected, and put-together when I leave the house. This business idea needs to be slightly reworked and it would have some serious potential.
Overall: Not that convenient. Way too expensive.

25 Brett McKay December 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

@King Alex-

The price was supposed to say $100 minimum (the $100-$700 was a typo), which is the minimum denomination you can buy a gift card in. Not the value of a trunk.

While the total value of a whole trunk is $800-$1500, that’s if you choose to purchase everything they send to you. I don’t think most people do. You can choose a few things from the trunk and send the rest back.

I’ve done it a couple of times in order to put together an outfit for an event, and I never talked to my stylist on the phone. It’s optional. You can communicate via email and keep the communication to a bare minimum.

But yes, I agree that the clothes are too expensive and that’s the big downside. Yet, I imagine that if you’re going to offer a business with a free stylist and free shipping both ways, if they did it with cheaper clothes, it would probably be very difficult to turn a profit.

26 Justin December 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

We need a Gift Guide for Women! I love reading these every year, but some creative gifts for our significant others would be greatly appreciated.

27 Eric January 14, 2014 at 12:26 am

Great list this year, while you thought of the beardless man (clean-shaven) you forgot about the bearded man.

I think Tree Ranger beard oil is a good option for grooming of the beard. Perhaps it’ll be on the 2014 list.

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