For our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide, we picked 25 surprises under $500 that are so cool you’ll be tempted to keep them for yourself. From the best tech gift ideas to products for foodies, here are the most lustworthy gifts to give this year.
25 Awesome New Tech Gift Ideas for the Gadget Lover on Your List
Polaroid Onestep+ I-Type Camera
Despite the vintage 1970s styling, this Polaroid has a few modern twists. A companion smartphone app features a countdown timer and manual settings for those times you feel like geeking out over aperture and shutter speed. You can also add filters to your instant prints, giving them an Instagram vibe.
Photograph by Jarren Vink
Garmin Inreach Mini
This palm-size satellite communicator offers peace of mind on backcountry adventures where your cell won’t work. A subscription service lets you two-way text, send an SOS, be tracked, and download maps—in a packable 4- by 2-inch build.
Like any good portable multitool, this American-made brute has spring-loaded needle-nose pliers and a sharp knife. But the Gerber’s foldout full-size magnetic bit driver means you can really torque down screws and nuts on your bike, too.
Cotopaxi Allpa Pack
Whether you chuck it into the back seat, an overhead bin, or onto your back, this bag’s 28-liter capacity, bombproof shell, and divided interior makes it easy to haul a mix of clothing, tech, and gear.
Coast FL13 Headlamp
With a comfy band and a scant 2.3-ounce weight, you’ll forget you’re wearing this headlamp. It pushes up to 250 lumens out to nearly 70 feet—perfect for evening hikes or trail runs.
Yeti Lowlands Blanket
For the summer-concert junkie or the camper on your list, give a blanket tough enough for the elements. The Lowland is waterproof on the underside with a cozy, insulating top layer. And at 55 by 78 inches, it’s sized perfectly for a couple.
Rinehart Jackalope Target
This weatherproof archery target looks like a 25-pound jackalope and is capable of handling however many direct hits you can fire. Yank the arrows out and the foam insert seals up.
Thermoworks Thermapen MK4
For the epicures in your life, this tool takes the guesswork out of common cooking-temperature tasks. The foldout probe displays temps of steak, chicken, or frying oil in about three seconds—helpful when you’re reaching into a screaming-hot oven.
Misen Essentials Knife Set
For new cooks, this set has the knives that’ll become your workhorses: a 10-inch serrated, an 8-inch chef’s, and a 3-inch paring.
Breville Boss Blender
For better blender control, skip presets and go analog. The dial on the Boss nails everything from frozen cocktails to dense nut butters, and the countdown timer prevents overprocessing, so your cold smoothie doesn’t become a hot sauce if you walk away.
Tilit Contra Chef Apron
Skip the plain white apron (and toss the one proclaiming your mastery of the grill in the trash). These handsome waxed-cotton versions, co-designed with the team at New York City’s Contra, have the right amount of pockets and even newbies will look the part.
Making great coffee means nailing water temps and flow rate—exactly what the Moccamaster does. It’s handmade in the Netherlands with a beefy copper boiler, and even the carafe lid works to deliver a better taste, with a funnel that blends the brew. Plus, the industrial design looks great.
Giro Camden Mips Helmet
Inside this smart-looking MIPS-equipped helmet is antimicrobial padding and adjustable vents to keep you comfortable. On the outside, integrated rear LEDs wash the back of the helmet in bright red light, making it easier for drivers to see you at night.
Rapha Cross Classic Jersey
Those who pony up for Rapha gear expect it to look good and perform—and this zip-up nails both. Made from a blend of polyester and merino, the sharp-looking jersey wicks sweat, breathes, and resists funk.
Smartwool PHD Run Ultra Light
Made mostly from wool and nylon, these socks are the standard for runners looking for a tight fit, breathability, and odor-controlling moisture wicking. The small seam in the toe means your dogs won’t bark on long runs.
Adidas Terrex Agravic XT GTX Trail Shoe
Give that trail runner you know the shoe that will take on anything: A waterproof liner keeps feet dry while deep lugs provide a solid grip on gravel with an energy-returning midsole.
Even as the brand’s entry-level option, the Hero7 packs in features, including 12-megapixel photos, voice control, and a waterproof build. While it’s not 4K, the video quality is stunning, and the touchscreen is a cinch to use.
Tune out your commute with up to five hours of run time and noise-canceling tech inside these comfy wireless earbuds. Sweat-resistant, they’ll hang with you through your workout, and the built-in microphone means you can take calls during long treadmill sessions.
Olloclip Filmer’s Kit
Your iPhone already has a good camera, but to take next-level stills and video, you’ll need lenses. This starter kit pairs popular effects, like fish-eye, macro, and superwide, with an articulating grip that steadies your shot—your adventures, or kids or dogs, will never look better.
Google Smart Light Starter Kit
The perfect bundle for smart-home rookies. Plug in Google’s Mini hub, sync it to GE’s Life LED bulb, and control and dim the light using voice commands. It’s the first step in bossing your house around without lifting a finger.
Coach Tech Napa Glove
While we’ll use burlier gloves on the slopes or while clearing the walkway, for commuting or a night out, this handsome pair from Coach is just the thing. The outside is soft napa leather with a coating that makes them touchscreen-friendly, and an even softer cashmere lining is close to your skin.
This tough but stylish watch features Bluetooth connectivity and an app, so you can easily set the world clock and time from your phone. Since it’s solar powered, battery life won’t be an issue.
TImberland Kendrick Chukka
Every man needs a good pair of chukkas. This water repellent example from Timberland is rugged yet refined and as comfortable as your favorite sneakers—no agonizing break-in time required.
Filson Northway Jacket
With a flannel lining, this jacket is warm enough to wear while raking fall leaves, but the oil-finished cloth shell will also keep you dry if the weather turns. The four big pockets up front keep your phone and sunglasses close at hand.
WP Standard Rolltop Pack
There’s no shame in sporting a backpack every day—as long as it’s more elegant than a JanSport. This leather version has a buckle and rolltop, which is just enough to keep things interesting without sacrificing practicality.
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