I’ve always had an obsession with researching products before I buy them. I get a lot of joy out of getting the best of something. Don’t confuse best with most expensive. Of course, there are times where you truly get what you pay for, and the most expensive thing is the best thing. However, that’s often not the case.

My 2021 Holiday Gift Guide includes 9 products that I’ve personally used and recommend. A few are pricier than their counterparts, but for good reason. Most are what I would classify as best-bang-for-your-buck.

1. An Automatic Watch

In the age of smart watches, sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics. If you’re unfamiliar with watches, there are 3 main classifications: mechanical, automatic, and quartz. Mechanical watches require you to wind them up every day or two. Quartz watches use batteries.

Right in the middle of that are automatic watches. They don’t need a battery AND don’t need to be wound up. Simply wearing them keeps them functional. I won’t get into the specifics, but let’s just say its a feat of engineering.

Automatic watches can run in to the thousands of dollars, but not my pick. For around $200, you can score this fantastic Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Watch.

2. MagSafe Battery for iPhone

If the man in your life has an iPhone from the last couple of years, then it is likely MagSafe Compatible. This means that certain accessories can utilize magnets in the phone to attach to it without adhesive or wires.

The best of these accessories, in my opinion, is the MagSafe Battery made by Apple. It’s an external battery pack that connects to your iPhone without wires and keeps it charged up. It’s great for long days away from a charger.

3. KeyBar Jr Key Organizer

You may have seen key organizers before, particular those by KeySmart, but this one is heads and shoulders above the rest. It’s simple, durable, and solid. The company also offers a whole lineup of accessories you might like to add.

My advice is to get the KeyBar Jr and let him decide what accessories he wants.

4. Vybe Massage Gun

If you watch sports at all, you’ve probably seen athletes using a fancy massage gun on their back or legs while on the sideline or in the dugout, etc. These guns by the major manufactures run upwards of $500.

If you’re not a world class athlete, you shouldn’t spend that on one of these things. Instead, go with this truly excellent alternative. The Vybe Massage Gun comes with all the attachments (and a case) he’ll ever need. It works flawlessly and will have him feeling like new pretty quickly.

5. MagSafe PopSocket

This attaches to an iPhone in the same way as the above MagSafe Battery. Because it is easily removable, it also allows you use other MagSafe products (battery, wallets, car mounts, wireless chargers, etc).

I’ve used the MagSafe PopSocket ever since it debuted and have had no issues. It never comes unattached without me directly attempting to take it off. But because it CAN come off, it doesn’t get in the way of my other accessories.

6. Leuchtturm1917 Notebook

In today’s digital world, we often use our phones to capture quick thoughts and notes, but sometimes you just need good old fashioned pen and paper. Personally, I like to keep a nice notebook at my desk for quick notes when working or researching.

The Leuchtturm1917 is much more than a typical I-found-it-at-Target notebook. Get his hands on one to feel the difference and he’ll never go another route.

7. Ridge Wallet

Men carry our wallets every single day to every single destination. We use it multiple times a day on average. It stores some of the most important cards, documents, and cash that we possess. Yet we often are using and entrusting a $20 joke of a wallet to handle the task.

Enough of that. Get him a real wallet. And there is none better than the Ridge Wallet. It’s compact, insanely durable, and kind of sexy.

8. Civivi Baby Banter

If the guy you’re buying for is a knife snob, don’t buy him a knife. There is a good chance he will spend multiple hundreds on what he carries, and you’ll never be able to pick the right one.

However, if he just enjoys carrying a knife for when it’s needed and likes the utility of one, grab him a Civivi Baby Banter. It’s small enough to be discrete when wearing a suit or at a formal event, but solid and formidable enough to get into any Amazon package, cut any rope, etc. It doesn’t give off mall ninja vibes and he won’t use it for his next knife fight, but he’ll definitely appreciate the new tool.

For past knife recommendations, read A Pocket Knife for Most People.

9. Pilot G2 Mini

The regular size Pilot G2 pen is one of the most popular affordable pens in the world. Even better is the Mini Pilot G2. It slips easily in and out of a jean pocket. It’s cheap enough that you won’t lose sleep when he inevitably throws one in the wash.

If you make a purchase after clicking one of the links above, I may receive a small commission from Amazon (not from the product manufacturers).

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