About the Author: Jason P. spends his days working in the creative marketing department of a big telecom company. He also does a bit of real estate investing on the side. He believes in curating a timeless, classic wardrobe with subtle modern touches for today. He and his wife love hiking with their dog and shopping at local small businesses and antique stores when they travel. Jason is a practitioner of muay thai and traditional boxing, and his favorite drink is a hoppy New England IPA.
Tis the season. And by now you’ve probably been walloped over the head by 82,000 gift guides. So what’s a few more? Head here for the 2020 archive. Today? This one’s for the rugged types. The guys who like to spend time outdoors, but also knows a thing or two when it comes to style. So pull on your (or his) tactleneck, and let’s get to it…
A solid stocking stuffer, and something to make his beard smell less like… a stocking. While the hair on your face is different than the hair on top of your head, gently conditioning it every once in a while is a good idea. A little beard balm will help you/him avoid looking like your face has been covered in fur farmed from around a yeti’s private parts. Softens without greasing down. Smells good without being over powering. Cheap.
Your outdoorsman deserves a good-looking functional pair of hiking pants. and these are a personal favorite. They don’t scream OUTDOORS!, but function as such while still looking nicely tapered and polished enough for running errands after your descent. Not the warmest pair of hiking pants, so save these for Spring/Summer/Fall.
Lots of options in one fob. “Squirt” PS4 Leatherman multi tool. Maratac “split pea” lighter. Horween leather wraps it all up into one easy, attractive, portable little package. Great everyday carry items keep weight to a minimum, but functionality high. This is one of those splurge gifts – nobody needs this, but it makes the receiver’s life much easier. And couldn’t we all use a little more ease nowadays?
They made one lined in wool? Excellent. The original, with its cotton flannel lining is plenty toasty too, but the wool lined option is a step above for those who live in particularly cold climates. Construction and quality are sublime, this will likely become the favorite jacket in your giftee’s (or your own…) closet.
Get ’em while you still can, because Seiko seems to be retiring the tried and true, tough, great looking, 007 and 009 SKX watches. Tough as nails. 200m water resistance. Dependable automatic movement. A true tool watch.
Absolutely love these things. I shall sing their praises until you all buy a pair. Can be hard to find around this time of year (it is slipper-giving-season afterall) but worth searching out if you can find some. After a long day for thy rugged man, give him something cozy to slip his tired feet into and kick up by the fire with a glass of his favorite adult beverage. Speaking of which…
An Upgraded Version of his Favorite Booze (price varies)
Does he like Canadian Whiskey? Get him Crown XO. Does he like Irish? Get Jameson Gold Reserve. Bourbon guy? Get him this year’s Maker’s Mark limited edition wood finishing release. The scientists at Maker’s are experimenting with different combinations of staves in the barrel and the effects on flavor. Now in the 2nd year of this project, this release is very limited, while still clocking in at an appropriate $60. My hunch is that as the hype catches up, so will the price. Act now, and grab a bottle for now and a bottle to stash.
Full review here. Nobody quite does an affordable military-inspired automatic like Hamilton. Field style, field functionality. For $500 (and available for less when on sale), you get an in-house movement with 80 hour power reserve and Super-LumiNova. If you’re adorned in rugged style more often than not, this might be the only watch you ever need.
Sophisticated but still masculine. That’s fisherman’s sweaters for you. A top built for warmth at sea has now turned into a masculine virtue signal, albeit less salty. Banana Republic knows how to make a quality sweater at a great price, and this cableknit is no different.
Made in the USA, the Griptilian is a bit of a legend in EDC knives. This blacked-out version oozes tactical function, with a corrosion-resistant coating on the S30V (read: very good for the $) steel blade and a fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle to keep it light in the pocket. A clever locking mechanism not only keeps the user safe when cutting, but also makes flicking open the blade a breeze – and truly, a delight.
The Edwin Jagger safety razor is a beauty, and offers a great shave. For about $50, you get a well-built razor worthy of displaying on your bathroom counter. One of the better entry-level safety razors, it shows that getting a good shave doesn’t require shelling out a ton of cash. This is a great one for the guy who’s taken an interest in improving his grooming routine.
Vests are hugely underrated. For everything from chopping wood to walking a 55 pound dog with the musculature of a pitbull and the never-stop energy of a border collie, freedom of movement while maintaining warmth is crucial. And vests give you that. That, and if you start working up a bit of a sweat, your pits can breathe, while your core stays warm. Made in the USA, and all kinds of hard-working heritage style.
In these #unprecedentedtimes, a great getaway is a retreat to a cabin in the woods. A proper cooler is a quintessential piece for an outdoor trip, and there is none finer than the Yeti Tundra. It is an absurd purchase – nobody needs a $300+ cooler. That’s exactly why this makes an excellent gift; and once you start to use it, you start to understand the cult-like following. It’s supremely functional, but the draw is much more than that. I can’t eloquently explain it – but the camper on your list will be wildly appreciative.
If the Benchmade is too pricey, but you still want to get your man a daily-use knife, Opinel has you covered. Once displayed along with a Rolex and a Porsche 911 in a museum exhibit titled: “The 100 Most Beautiful Products in the World.” Also incredibly useful. Stainless steel blade measures 3.25″. The locking collar (just spin it to keep the blade in place) is an extremely well designed, classic safety feature, though it’s not suited for heavy use. This is a nice box cutter that looks great, too.
There is a beauty to note taking & journaling, and even more so when it happens in a beautiful notebook. A place to share thoughts with yourself, and record memories is vital to your well-being and, frankly, your sanity. The 2020 memorandum was featured in last year’s roundup of rugged guy picks, and for good reason. Beautiful, functional, and just downright special year after year. Little items like this, when upgraded properly, are a phenomenal gift.
A gift-worthy canvas bag. Made in the USA from sturdy cotton canvas and bridle leather accents. This is classic, timeless style.
For the guy who spends a lot of time outdoors in the winter hiking, chopping wood, doing household chores, or anything else, he will surely appreciate a cashmere cap. Soft and silky with none of the itch that comes with “standard” lambswool. And because it’s Nordstrom, it ships and returns for free too.
Cotton & poly canvas with leather trim. Made by Amazon’s AmazonBasics label, of all brands. Wild times. Uncle Jeff’s internet emporium seemingly offers everything, and this is a surprising offering. For $50ish, Amazon ships (in two days!) a heritage-styled weekender with enough storage for a men’s weekend when life is back to normal. Full review here.
Better than your average coozie. Unique, with that artisan crafted feel. Because it is. An excellent stocking stuffer for the caffeinated man on your list.
Spendy! But you can pick up a flaming log with them. Maybe… don’t make a habit of that. But it’s nice to know that if you ever needed to, you could!
For when the gloves come off. Because this stuff is the real deal, while most other hand creams are pretenders. It works. Period. And if he’s the type who has calluses and scraped up knuckles and split thumbs (the worst) in the winter, yet STILL knows how to look sharp, then this’ll help him from bleeding all over the place when buttoning up his favorite crisp white dress shirt.
Tell him the price after he wears it. Because $98 is a crazy splurge… until you wear one, and compare them to cheap henleys. It’s strong but it breathes. It dries quick. And it has natural anti-stink properties. They call these things “72-hour” because you can wear ’em for 3 days without washing, and not worry that you smell like a dumpster. Slim but not crazy tight fit. Snap henley placket. Four colors to pick from. Just enough nylon in the blend to make them machine washable (just lay flat to dry). Merino wool is THE do-it-all fabric of the outdoors.
Sporrrrrts. These are the guys who make “The Handsome Dan” football. What’s his favorite sport? Cool. Get that ball. Extra points if you actually go out and use it with him every once in a while, instead of just letting it sit on a shelf. Although they are basically works of art. Shelf is good too. But yeah. Use it. The medicine balls are particularly rad. And pricey.
This is simultaneously an absolutely stupid gift, and also the perfect gift. Expensive? Yes. Best. Dopp Kit. Ever? Probably. Like everything else that Saddleback makes, it comes with a 100 year warranty. Love how it’s a “big mouth” style with a hinged top so you’re not digging around in the depths of some dark, zippered dopp for whatever you need. That can get dangerous when packing razor blades. Lets all the light in. Full review here.
More Saddleback. For the handsomely rugged office worker, even if it’s a home office nowadays, Saddleback makes an unfathomably beautiful briefcase. Looks good in every situation you may throw at it. For the most special man on your list – husband, dad, brother, whomever tops it. This is a gift he will CHERISH, and likely pass down to the next young man in his life. This is an heirloom briefcase.
When is a gym bag more than a gym bag? When it’s this downright gorgeous. Lots of fellas standout in the gym for the wrong reason – grunting, roid rage, posing in skin tight joggers and “dad hats.” This is for the gym rat who gets in, does his work, and gets out. More of a 1980’s Rocky Balboa smashing the heavy bag vibe than today’s modern Instagram all-show-no-go look. I digress. The duffel has that slightly unusual, but classic, top loading design. Great for getting your athletic gear to and from your chosen location to sweat buckets – even if that’s just your garage for the time being. Currently 15% off during WP Standard’s sitewide holiday sale.
Super versatile, made in the USA boots with studded Dainite rubber sole for traction. You would be hard pressed to find a better heritage-inspired pair of workwear Americana for your feet. Hard-working feet deserve hard-working boots. I’ve worn my pair through 3 falls and winters now, and they still look fantastic. This is a pair that gets better with age as the Horween leather and cork footbed shapes to your foot to create a nearly 1:1 fit. Get this for the guy who puts in the extra effort, always.
And now, the legendary wingtip dress boot from Allen Edmonds. Same excellent construction, in a fancier form. Available with or without Dainite soles for grip, although with it being the slick season, the Dainite is recommended. The walnut shade is *chef’s kiss*. Currently 30% off as part of their holiday sale.
Every man needs a bright, small flashlight. They’re great for tossing in a hiking backpack (look for one with an SOS setting), toolbox, car, first-aid kit, or just keeping on your person throughout the day. I carry a version of this Nitecore light on me, and it has pumped out reliably bright light for years. Comes with the aforementioned SOS setting, as well as a bright strobe setting.
The priciest item on the list, for the best man on your nice list. Christopher Ward has been making some REALLY nice (and pricey) timepieces lately, but their wheelhouse Trident diver checks all the right boxes, at a proper price. Swiss-made Sellita SW2000-1 movement, ceramic bezel, 600m water resistance, C1 Super-LumiNova (BRIGHT). These have been creeping up in price lately, too, so strike now before these hit four digits. This version with a steel bracelet will hit you for $965. Thankfully, the hybrid rubber/Cordura strap is more of the rugged style. Designed in the UK and built in Switzerland, down the street from Omega. Smart, sharp British styling with Swiss mechanics. An excellent pairing.
Looking for more gift guides? Here’s more of our gift guides for this year: