I AM A PRACTICAL MAN. I LOVE USEFUL GIFTS. THE GIFTS DO NOT NEED TO BE EXPENSIVE FOR ME TO VALUE THEM, THEY NEED TO BE FUNCTIONAL, GOOD QUALITY AND RARE IF POSSIBLE. RARITY DOES NOT ONLY MEAN ONE-OF-A-KIND OR ONLY FOUND IN SMALL QUANTITIES. WE ARE ALL GLOBAL CITIZENS, WHY SHOULD WE BE LIMITED TO DISCOUNT STORE BINS FOR YOUR GIFTS THIS YEAR. WITH THAT IN MIND, I SCOURED THE WEB, YOUTUBE AND THE GLOBE TO FIND UNIQUE, USEFUL AND SOON TO BE MEMORABLE GIFTS FOR THE MEN IN YOUR LIVES SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO. HERE ARE MY TOP EIGHT PICKS.
Dash Travel Wallet
($25) by Elliot Havok
Elliot Havok is a designer for the modern man and excels at combining industrial design with quality craftsmanship in everyday goods. The Dash Travel Wallet is one of the best examples that caught my eye. I travel globally very frequently. I started to use the Dash Travel Wallet to test it for you and I was thrilled to see how much I could fit into it. It took three credit cards, my passport, driver’s license, cash and my boarding pass while still comfortably fitting in my jeans front pocket. Whether the man in your life is a frequent traveler or occasional vacationer, this will be a gift he will use and enjoy. Elliott Havok has other beautifully designed-for-men products on his website, worth the visit.
Luma Surround Wifi
Gone are the days when you had one or maybe two computers in the house connecting to your internet router. In today’s home, we have up to four laptops/ computers connected with additional phones and tablets for each individual member of the house also using the router to surf the net. Let’s not forget our connected televisions, our refrigerators and every other “connected” gadget. Good old single router is simply inadequate to handle this load. My biggest problem at home is dead spots. I have a dead spot exactly where my bed is located and it makes it impossible to stream movies from my phone to the television in the bedroom. Luma Surround Wi-Fi solved all of these problems. It comes packed with three Wi-Fi routers that enables you to strategically place them throughout the house to minimize dead spots. The routers look beautiful and their designs remind me of Apple devices. Luma devices are easily controlled with a mobile app from your phone. The best part of the application? You have a “Pause the Internet” button. You can now ‘Pause the Internet” and gather the family around the dinner table and actually carry on a conversation. I tested Luma at home and I improved my internet connectivity by 8x in the dead spot located in my bedroom.
When I was growing up, my dad was always concerned about the weather and weather related events like yearly crop production, forest fires, etc. Pollution and certainly indoor air quality was not a big concern. The amount of potentially toxic materials in our buildings have greatly expanded since I was a kid. Many of our family members are allergic to various different factors around them including the air that we breathe in. Awair is a new generation connected device that you can use in your house or office to measure the air quality based on your goals. Do you want to be motivated and clear minded at work? Awair has created templates that will test the air around you and make suggestions for improvements. Are you not getting a good night’s sleep? Maybe the problem is the air in your bedroom and Awair has settings to help you measure and improve the air quality in your bedroom. You also have setting for allergies and a baby’s room. The design is what I call “Silicon Valley chic” and would be a conversation piece wherever you place your Awair. Set up is easy and the mobile app is very easy to use and intuitive. I tested the product for productivity in an office environment which showed higher than normal CO2 levels due to the number people crammed into a small space. I opened the doors to let some fresh air in and the measurements turned to normal in 5 minutes. I also tested Awair in our living room during the morning hours. Our AC had been turned off overnight and Awair gave us readings that indicated slightly higher than usual humidity and chemicals levels. I opened the windows and aired out the living room and the readings on Awair went down to normal levels.
Vanacci Carbon Wallet
When you go out, you can’t always take your big and bulky wallet. You can try to put it in your back pocket but when you drive or sit down on a chair, the bulkiness is unsightly, uncomfortable and not to mention unsafe. Alternatively, you can put it in your jacket’s inside pocket but you end up looking like the private eye Mike Hammer carrying a concealed weapon. This is why I selected the Carbon Wallet by Vanacci. It is hand made in the Yorkshire, UK from highest quality durable materials. It enables you to place up to three credit cards and when ready to access it, you can push a button. In the back, there is a tight and sturdy strap that provides additional space for other cards and cash money. In my test, I shook the wallet as hard as I could and none of the cards or cash slipped out of the back strap. It is secure. Your man may not be like Mike Hammer, I am sure he will enjoy packing his concealed credit card wallet in his favorite pocket.
by Vanacci Emporium
I am a 50 year old man and I am not a jewelry wearing kinda guy. When I was testing the Vanacci Carbon Wallets, I noticed these amazing bracelets on their site. I loved these bracelets. Why? They are fashionable, good quality, handmade in the UK from volcanic rocks with names like Obsidian. Their design represents our solar system and places you smack in the middle of it. Best part of it is that you can spray the bracelet with your favorite cologne and it retains the scent, gently releasing it in the next few days. It is the gift that keeps on smelling. All items are made weekly by hand. If the website shows sold out for any of the items, send them an email and they will send yours from the next weekly batch.
Do you know what a car heads up display is? It is an expensive add-on that is usually found in luxury class cars. It reflects the speed of your vehicle and navigation turn by turn instructions on your windshield, only visible to the driver. The aim is for the driver to keep her eyes on the road instead of looking at a navigation screen in the middle of the dashboard. Navdy from Silicon Valley, just democratized this wonderful technology for all of us. And that’s not all, they supersized it by adding hand gesture controls, phone, music, email and text message receiving capabilities. All of this while keeping your eyes on the road while Navdy assists you by reading your emails, text messages and sending responses based on your voice commands. I set up the Navdy to test on the 2014 BMW i3 electric vehicle. It took me 15 minutes to set up. Because Navdy is connected to my car, it detects low fuel levels and asks if I want to drive to the nearest gas station. Perfect. It made me feel like I was living the life of George Jetson and the man in your life is guaranteed to love it.
by Ogon Designs
Here is what happens to me during my travels. I pack all my credit cards, hotel info, airline tickets, insurance and identification cards into my wallet. It becomes too big and bulky but you never know what you will need when you are away from your home. When I check into a hotel at my destination, I put one or two credit cards and my identification in my pocket and leave. The rest of my cards and the wallet stay behind tucked away in the room. I can’t help but wonder if someone goes through my wallet while I am out. Designers at Ogon, based out of France, solved this issue for me. They created the Lock Wallet secured with a combination lock made in France. It is made out of the highest quality aluminum material, locks with a 3 digit code for privacy and also protects your credit cards against RFID theft. The pocket size mini safe holds 10 credit cards and cash. Great gift for any man.
Air Nest Inflatable Lounge
by Air Nest
Stop before you move on to the next item on the list. Hear me out first. I know the name has the word “inflatable” but, don’t picture your husband turning red and on the verge of collapsing with brain aneurism while blowing air into an inflatable. You get air into this Lounge Hammock easily by opening the Air Nest flat and then swinging while holding its mouth open while the air fills in. It is like a big whale opening its mouth and letting the water and fish go into its belly. Once the air is filled, you roll the hammock from the end and clip it. During my test, I used a combination of wind and body movement to fill it up with air and it took me less than 5 tries to accomplish this. The Lounge Hammock is incredibly cozy and comfortable even for someone like me at 6’3”. It comes with straps on both sides to hold your phone, magazines and beer bottles. Oh yes, talking about beer bottles, there is also a bottle opener attached to the side. This is a perfect gift for a man who likes to spend time outdoors. Since it weighs less than 3.2lbs and comes with a 10×14 inches carrying bag, it can be taken to the beach, park, ball games, concerts and your backyard. Men will love this gift and women will talk about how easily we are amused by strangest things.
Carbon Card Clip
by Ogon Designs
For those occasions you need to grab up to 7 cards and want to go out with clip that looks like it was designed and manufactured by Ferrari, Ogon provides the Carbon Card Clip. It is made out of carbon fiber, ultra-compact, ultra-light and scratch resistant. With the push of your fingertips, you can access any of the cards or money in the clip. This will make a great companion to a Lock Wallet from Ogon Designs.