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Know someone who understands how to tell you exactly what they want? If so, they probably aren't a teenage boy. Teen boys are usually not the most expressive and because of this, people in their lives may find it difficult to find that perfect gift.
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A direct question might not get you the answer you want (or perhaps any answer at all), but here at Reviewed, we know what to look for. These are the gifts teen boys actually want this year, from laptops to gaming equipment to everything else.
1. For the gamer who needs the newest stuff: The PS5 or Xbox Series X or Series S (or some accessories)
If a teen guy is into video games, there’s probably only one thing they know they want: The new Sony Playstation 5 or new Xbox series X or Series S. But they probably aren't the only ones who want these hot new items—both are currently sold out almost everywhere.
If you can’t snag a console, consider adding on gaming accessories for when they do get their hands on their desired gaming vessel. We love the HyperX Cloud II gaming headset, which we named our Best Value pick in our test of gaming headphones. These stood out from the rest because of their comfortable leatherette headphones and excellent sound quality, which delivers each note of the game with depth and clarity.
It also can’t hurt to get a good gaming chair, such as the Gtracing chair or a Rocker chair, both of which provide a comfortable, ergonomic base to keep them supported throughout hours of gaming.
2. For the guy who always needs something to do with his hands: Build-on brick mug
Drinking water, juice or coffee around the house is a lot more fun with this Lego-style mug. It has raised dots on the outside and comes with three packs of bricks, allowing its owner to build custom creations while enjoying a beverage. Whether he has restless hands or just likes building things, he'll love this mug.
3. For the audiophile: Apple AirPods Pro
What is there to say about Apple AirPods Pro that hasn't already been said? Their sound is shockingly good, they have great battery life and they feature an improved shape so they fit nicely into almost everyone's ears. And, for many teens (and, let's face it, adults), they are a bonafide status symbol. Giving them to a teen is a surefire way to help up their cool factor and, possibly, yours.
4. For the guy who does everything from bed: A reading pillow
Trust us: Lounging around in bed all day is no easy task. Whether your teen guy is taking online classes, chatting with friends, playing video games or anything else, whatever pillow-prop situation he’s working with probably isn’t cutting it. Rectify that with this reading pillow. It has a sturdy foam interior, soft micro-plus exterior, two-arm support and a headrest that should provide him with enough support to keep comfortable and alert throughout whatever task he’s doing.
5. For the techie: An iPad
It's hard to feel disappointed after unwrapping an iPad. If you need any convincing to give it as a gift though, we ranked the Apple iPad as our favorite tablet, thanks to its crisp display, easy multitasking abilities and sleek, lightweight construction. Whether it's for watching Netflix, downloading textbooks or as a supplement to a laptop, it's a useful (and fun) addition to a teen guy's tech collection.
6. For the guy who loves VR: Occulus Quest 2
The Oculus is one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, and if your giftee has been looking for ways to explore new worlds or get out of their own head, the Oculus Quest 2 might be the move. The console comes with 128 GB of storage and the VR headset is equipped with an optimized display, capturing 50% more pixels than the original Quest model.
Before the holidays, you can also snag a refurbished model of the Oculus Quest 2 from Walmart for $199, one of the lowest prices we've seen.
7. For the guy who always forgets to charge his phone: Anker PowerCore
Portable phone chargers are always nice to have on hand—especially if you're always on your phone, or never remember to charge it when you're at home. Because both of those statements could very well apply to a teen guy, it's probably a good idea to get them a portable charger. The Anker PowerCore make a great gift because it is compact, holds multiple charges and charges phones speedy fast. (Reminding him to charge his charger is a topic for another time.)
8. For the guy who never goes shopping for himself: Adidas Essentials hoodie
Most teen guys are still figuring out their personal style. One thing that’s sure to go over smoothly, no matter how much interest (or lack thereof) he has in clothes? A classic hoodie. This one, from Adidas, has a 4.9-star rating from nearly 100 Adidas shoppers, thanks to its comfy fit and myriad of available colors. Whether it’s paired with a t-shirt or worn on its own, it’s likely to become his staple for years to come.
9. For the tech-focused student: HP Envy x360
The HP Envy is one of our favorite laptops for someone on a budget, making it ideal for high school and college students. The device is lightweight—yet sturdy enough to withstand jostling around in a backpack—runs fast and even has great battery life. All in all, its performance exceeds what you might expect from its modest price tag, which makes it a great choice for anyone who needs a highly functional, low-maintenance laptop.
10. For the outdoorsy dude: Hydro Flask
Whether it's for sports practice, hiking or staying hydrated during the school day, a Hydro Flask water bottle is a cool gift for any teen. The Hydro Flask was awarded one of our top picks of all the water bottles we've tested because it has incredible heat and coolness retention, doesn't transfer weird flavors, and is easy to carry around, thanks to its slim design and handles around its cap.
11. For the guy who'd eat Taco Bell every day if he could: Burrito blanket
This blanket is the item to have for any guy who lives and breathes by a post-school or -practice Crunchwrap Supreme. (Or Chipotle burrito. Or frozen microwave burrito. Or any kind of burrito, really.) Its uncanny tortilla pattern and cozy microfiber material is perfect to curl up in after a long, hard day when he just needs some comfort (food, that is).
12. For the workout junkie: lululemon Textured Tech Short
If he spends his days training at the gym, he's going to need a good set of workout shorts. The Textured Tech was beloved by lululemon fans, with many praising the thick, abrasion-resistant fabric and inner pockets, where they could store keys, AirPods, card cases and more. There are also four available colors to choose from, including both monotone and print options, so you can choose a style they'll love.
13. For the sneakerhead: Sneaker balls, Bombas calf-length socks, Allbirds wool runners
Trendy, sustainably sourced shoe brand Allbirds is everywhere—and, based on our review, it's actually worth the hype. They're super comfy, long-lasting and stylish enough to make even the snobbiest of shoe nerds happy.
Round out the gift with some extra-comfy Bombas socks and odor-neutralizing sneaker balls (hey, foot stank happens to the best of us), and they'll be all set.
14. For the guy who loves lawn games: Tabletop Cornhole
Cornhole is an almost universally beloved, socially distancing-appropriate sport. (Yes, it is actually a sport.) But when heat waves, rain or snow make it necessary to play the game inside, this tabletop version is a great option. Equipped with eight mini beanbags, plastic launchers and an on-the-board scorekeeper, it’s an all but guaranteed way to have a blast with the family inside the house.
15. For the on-the-go music lover: JBL Flip Waterproof Speaker
This JBL is one of our favorite portable speakers, thanks to its excellent sound quality and robust battery life. It's also almost entirely waterproof and quite durable, meaning it can endure, say, being knocked around in a backpack or being used as an all-purpose speaker in a college dorm. It also comes in a wide range of colors—including camo—to suit anyone with any kind of style.
16. For the guy who likes to feel cozy and look sharp in and out of the house: Minnetonka Slippers
Know a teen guy who constantly has scuffed-up, stepped-on sneakers from sliding them on and off every time he leaves the house? If so, they’ll appreciate a pair of Minnetonka Moccasins. These are sort of a shoe and sort of a slipper, with an extra-soft, pile-lined interior, stylish suede exterior and indoor-outdoor rubber soles.
Reviewers say the soles are perfect for a quick jaunt outside, even in the frigid cold, but don’t track much dirt inside. This makes them an ideal choice for any teen guy who wants footwear he can slip on without having to think too much about it, no matter what he’s doing.
17. For the guy who’s always looking for his mask: Athleta Non-Medical Face Masks
Sure, it’s not the most fun gift. But it is a necessary one—and if your guy is always complaining that his mask gets uncomfortable when he’s moving around or wearing it for long periods of time, he’ll find this Athleta mask as a (nearly literal) breath of fresh air.
It offered both triple-ply construction and was extremely breathable, perfect for working out. It’s also washable and reusable and currently on sale—the perfect practical gift for any guy who’s in need of a new mask.
18. For the one who's excited for Marvel Phase 4: ShopDisney items
With the imminent release of new titles, grab him some new swag for opening night. He'll love this Spider-Man Mineral Wash T-Shirt, perfect in anticipation of Spider-Man: No Way Home releasing this holiday season. The classic Spider-Man logo and the mineral wash give the shirt a retro aesthetic. You can also grab him some brand new hear from the new Marvel show What If...? that's currently streaming on Disney+ every Wednesday.
19. For the guy who's always on the move: Fitbit Versa 3
If he's into tech and fitness, a fitness tracker is a great way to serve the intersection of these interests—and the Fitbit Versa 3 is an especially great option for any active teen.
It has built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants, which allow the user to check the weather or get reminders with a simple question. It also tracks all kinds of workouts, from runs to bikes to hikes, in addition to measuring step count all day long.
The Versa 3 also allows the user to connect to Bluetooth headphones and control Spotify or Pandora, which makes it possible to listen to tunes and podcasts during a workout without lugging around another device. Finally, it tracks sleep, so he can make sure he’s making the most of his zzzs.
20. For the one who could use some self-care: Kiehl's men's skincare starter set
Skincare can be confusing. If you know a teen who is just starting to come around to the concept of washing and moisturizing his face, but isn't quite sure how to do so, this Kiehl's mini set is a great start. It contains face wash, moisturizer, and a bar of exfoliating body soap—all of which can help a teen learn the basics of skincare in a simple, low-maintenance way.
21. For the guy who's obsessed with The Office: Schrute Farms Sweatshirt
If he spent a large portion of his day watching (or rewatching) The Office, this sweatshirt is an essential gift. He will immediately know the not-so-secret meaning behind this apparel, which references the farm owned by resident "Office" oddball Dwight Schrute. Reviewers of the sweatshirt love its soft, warm material and the fact that it often gets them appreciative nods and smiles from fellow fans of the series.
22. For the guy who's an occasional klutz: Tomtoc laptop sleeve
For many students, a case-less laptop is an accident waiting to happen. Prevent these future (expensive) mishaps by getting them a case. In our review of laptop sleeves, the Tomtoc performed well, thanks to its luxurious inner lining, spacious outer pocket and rounded protective corners that absorb the shocks from falls and bumps.
23. For the guy who was born in the wrong generation: Crosley C6 Record Player
Bowie and The Beatles sound great through a pair of AirPods. If you know a teen who's becoming a true audiophile though, (or just watched High Fidelity for the first time), he's probably hankering to hear his favorite artists on vinyl (yes, that includes Billie Eilish). In this case, we recommend the Crosley C6, the best value pick in our test of record players. We love the clean sound and cool, retro-inspired look it delivers at an inexpensive price (compared to other turntables).
With the C6, he'll get away to listen to the classics the way they were originally heard—and some motivation to support his local record shop.
24. For the guy who loves layers: Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece
This Patagonia makes for a fantastic grab-and-go sweater for road trips, outdoor gatherings and everything in between. When the weather is still warm, it works as a main layer of warmth, and when it gets cooler, it's slim enough to provide extra insulation under a jacket. For a teen boy who seems to rotate among a few go-to's, this sweater will no doubt get a prime spot in his rotation.
25. For the wannabe world traveler: Scratch-off map
If your guy is always hankering after new passport stamps, you can help him get excited about the places he will go with this scratch-off map. When you rub the shiny gold surface with a coin (or fingernail), it reveals a bold pop of color, making each map totally unique to the person who owns it.
Giving the map now offers the satisfying task of scratching off the places he’s already visited and can only get him more pumped about planning his next trip (soon, hopefully), so he can scratch off even more.
26. For the guy who needs a good reason to wear a coat: North Face or Uniqlo coats
It might still be 80 degrees outside, but it's never too early to start prepping for winter. Teen boys can be extremely picky about wearing their chosen winter gear—but with this North Face down coat, they won't need any prompting. It's puffy and warm, yet still stylish in a retro way, so they'll be glad to pull it out and wear it all winter.
If you're looking for a less expensive (but no less enticing) outerwear option, the Ultra Light Down Parka from Uniqlo is a good bet. It contains a down filling to insulate body heat, but still feels lightweight. It also folds down well, so it can be easily stowed if it's not needed.
27. For the guy who always drops his phone: Popsocket
Whether it's from FaceTiming, browsing Instagram or taking a front-facing video, there are a lot of ways to drop a phone. This Popsocket, a gadget that grips to the back of a phone or case and provides something that's almost like a hand, might help prevent it. It's not a full preventative measure, but it helps a hand get a better, more comfortable grip to prevent it from slipping.
28. For the one who needs a next-level gaming laptop: Asus ROG Strix G15
A gaming laptop is perfect for both on-the-go players and those that don't have the space for a larger gaming room setup. The Asus ROG Strix G15 is our favorite, thanks to its stellar 9-hour battery life, high refresh rates, seamless gameplay and a clear, bright display. It's on the pricier side but for all it packs, it's definitely worth your buck.
29. For the guy who wants to stay warm and look cool in the snow: Duck boots
Bean Boots are a tried-and-true holiday gift for a reason. These iconic snow boots— the “original antidote for wet feet,” according to L.L. Bean—keep feet warm and comfy in wind, snow and rain. With grippy rubber soles and a full-grain rubber upper, their design hasn’t changed in the 100-plus years they’ve been around, so you don't have to worry about them going out of style. According to hundreds of happy Bean Boots reviewers, they also last for many, many years.
Love the look of duck boots, but not L.L. Bean’s $139 price? Sperry makes a great dupe. This brand’s pair has thick and tractioned rubber soles, a sleek leather upper and a similar classic, two-toned look at a more affordable price of about $90. Whatever option you go for, it’s a great way to ensure your dude’s feet stay toasty all winter and for many more to come.
30. For the guy who wants to revisit the classics: Disney+
Sure, maybe he has access to his family’s account. But if not—or he just wants his own—consider giving him a Disney+ subscription. A full year of access is $79.99 (or $7.99 a month), and with it, he can watch old favorites from his childhood, plus newer movies and shows such as What If...? and The Mandalorian. To really sweeten the gift, you can make it a package with Hulu and ESPN+ for $13.99 a month. No matter what you opt for, it’s sure to keep him entertained throughout the cold winter months ahead.
31. For the t-shirt lover: Champion long-sleeve tee
This Champion t-shirt is made of extra-soft, breathable cotton that makes it ideal for hanging out around the house, shooting hoops outside or anything else. In short, it's classic, it's simple and it's comfy. What more does he need?
32. For the guy who doesn't want to carry much: Silk Wallet Slayer
We named the Silk Wallet Slayer our top choice for wallet/phone case hybrids because it does exactly what it claims to do: protects iPhones and holds cash and cards in a sleek, stylish package. The cardholder doesn't have a ton of space, which keeps it slim, but it's still more than sufficient to carry a student ID, driver's license or learner's permit, and a credit or debit card or two. This makes it an ideal phone case for a teen guy—especially one who never remembers to bring his wallet with him when he needs it.
33. For the guy who likes to play video games: Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch continues to be one of the most popular gifts to give this Christmas. The portable gaming console is selling out fast everywhere but you can still find a few left in stock. With hundreds of games to choose from, it'll keep him and his friends entertained for hours.
34. For the guy who drops his phone a lot: A cool new case
Smartphones? Way too easy to drop. Help your teen guy keep his intact, even when it slips out of his hand, with one of Lifeproof's Wake cases. This ultra-slim, eco-friendly phone case is made of 85% recycled plastic, but can help phones survive drops of up to six feet. It's also available in sizes for Apple, Samsung and Google phones and comes in colors green, gray, purple and black.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 34 best gifts for teen boys - Good gift ideas he actually wants