Why Are Relatives So Hard to Shop For?

The Best Gifts for the Dudes in Your Family


December 10, 2018 Buying Guides By Photo by Chase Pellerin

Shopping for the guys in your family can be complicated. The pressure to produce a quality gift often leaves us without the slightest idea about where to begin, despite living with them and seeing them at every family gathering. The trick is to combine aspiration with thoughtfulness and match it to the personality and lifestyle of the family member you’re shopping for — and who better to pin down and define those traits than you.

Bond Travel Gear Attache 13

Most guys have travel aspirations. Giving them a reliable bag like the Attache 13 from Bond Travel Gear will aid in those endeavors. The padded slim briefcase has a tough a nylon exterior, weather-proof YKK zippers and a Hypalon bottom. The full clamshell opening allows for easy organization and access to everything inside. The Attache 13 is a durable briefcase that can go anywhere while keeping contents safe and secure.

For the Homebody Uncle: The North Face Thermoball Traction Mule

Slippers are, arguably, a strange gift to give to a casual acquaintance. But a home-loving family member? Fair game. Don’t give him just any pair of slippers though — the Traction Mule slippers are like sleeping bags for the feet, and they have a rubber sole should he ever decide to venture outside.

For the Dad Who Has Everything: Rombauer 2014 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon

When your dad has every thing he wants, your best alternative is to gift an experience. That doesn’t mean you have to book him a vacation; a quality bottle of red can be just as memorable in its temporality. Rombauer’s 2014 Atlas Peak ranks in Vivino’s top one percent of wines from around the world — it’s made with Cabernet grapes cultivated on a single estate — but it isn’t so expensive as to be unattainable.

For the Master of the Home: Ring Doorbell

The front door is symbolic; it’s the entrance to the sanctuary of the home. But it’s also, in many ways, outdated and inefficient. Ring’s Video Doorbell 2 isn’t though — it uses an HD video feed and motion sensors to let homeowners see who’s stopping by and allows them to communicate with them too, even when the house is empty.

For the Sibling that Always Overstays His Welcome: Away The Carry On

It’s hard to say no when a relative needs a place to crash for a few days (or weeks). Maybe the easiest way to get him off your couch is a gift that makes the travel process less daunting, like Away’s super durable, battery-equipped carry on. At best it’ll help him keep organized while he’s at your place and at the very least it’ll function as a gentle nudge that it’s time to go.

For the Dad Who Loves Music: Sonos One HAY Limited Edition

The Sonos One is already one of the most affordable ways to bring high quality, voice-enabled audio from online music services into every corner of your dad’s home, and the company’s recent collaboration with HAY turns the speaker into a visual statement that can complement the growing stack of records he keeps on the shelf.

For the Workaholic: Technivorm Moccamaster

Despite how many times your forever-busy relatives bemoan the limited number of hours in a day, they’ll always find time for one thing: coffee. Homemade brews don’t have to be rushed and unrefined either, especially with an automatic drip machine that’s suitable for the best beans available.

For the Man of the House: Traeger Ranger Grill

Don’t let its portable size fool you — Traeger’s Ranger is a serious little smoker that can crank out restaurant-quality cuts with an efficient system that uses wood pellets as fuel. It includes both a grill grate and a cast iron griddle, and you can control the temperature to any five-degree increment for precision cooking. Only give this as a gift with the caveat that the recipient has to invite you to any meal he makes with it.

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Don’t know what to get the people on your list? We’ve got you covered with our holiday gift guide

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.