Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The First Annual Real Man Travels Gift Guide

The Gift Guide for Men

"Tis better to give than receive," unless you're standing in a packed mall trying to decide what to buy the man who answered "I don't know," or worse, "Surprise me!" Getting a man the perfect gift is almost impossible. It's not because you suck at buying gifts, and it's not because we're jerks either. Like me, most men feel that we need very little to be satisfied, or, feel that we have everything that we could ask for.

To help solve this Christmas conundrum, we've made a list, and you just know we checked it twice. So here's 50 GREAT gift ideas for the men in your life, naughty or nice.

Chris' Picks:

1.Steamwhistle Retro Wall Mounted Bottle Opener

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me... a beer in a tree. The perfect gift for any beer lover now comes with a six pack and can be found at the LCBO or at the Steamwhistle Roundhouse in the heart of Toronto.

2. Nikon D3200 

I bought a waterproof Nikon Coolpix about two years ago and have since grown a passion for photography and would like to have a better camera to take the ultimate picture. It also comes in a sweet red colour.

3. Department 56 Christmas Vacation "Shitter was Full" combo set 

Make the ultimate Christmas village with cousin Eddie with a beer in his hand along with the infamous RV.

4. American Eagle underwear

AE's boxer briefs are not only comfortable but they are also comical!

5. 2015 Honda Odyssey

I had the luxury of driving this beautiful van in the summer. This manliest van ever built comes with all the bells and whistles, including a cooler and built in vaccum system.

6.Sexy Christmas Lingerie 

What better way to get your man into a festive mood.

7. Under Armour "Macho Man" Compression shirt

Oh yeah! Part of the Alter Ego collection you are bound to find the perfect match for your man.

8. A Man Scarf 

Yes, a man scarf! They are so hot right now (editors note: we keep telling him they aren't. Sorry you guys)!

9. Loafers 

Loafers scream comfort zone and sometimes that's okay!

10. Plan a Date - 

Plan a night out as a couple or as a group, either way he will appreciate the effort.

Scott's Picks:

1.Retro Duo Portable NES/SNES Game System 

For that special, nostalgic geek you love, consider the gift of endless hours of throw-back gaming on the run! Because Super Mario is better than Flappy Bird any day!

2.10 Gallon Mash Tun 

If you’ve got a homebrewer on your list who aspires to go all-grain, a mash tun is the way to go!

3.Black Board Tap Handles 

Customizable tap handles for the home kegerator. Perfect for the kegging homebrewer in your life.

4.4-Piece High End Shaving Set from King’s Crown 

Give your man his own little slice of the bathroom counter (if he’s clever, he’ll name it “Man Island”) with this super stylish shaving set complete with slate platform.

5.Teva Raith Event Light Hiking Shoes 

For the outdoorsmen/backpacker, a sturdy, lightweight pair of hiking shoes.

6.MEC Trackback Waterproof Breathable Jacket 

Stay dry and look awesome; that’s every outdoorsmen’s wheelhouse.

7.Power Bank Charger

Charge your devices on the go; key for professionals who can’t help working dawn until dusk.

8.Nice cigar lighter

A nice, refillable cigar lighter; something I could pass down to my son one day (and would still be working at that point!).

9.Time with friends and family 

I take time off at Christmas every year to spend with family and friends, some of whom return home on at the holidays. This is all the more true as a new father. I suggest you do the same.

10.Batman Snuggie 

Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.

Justin's Picks:

1. Weather Tech Digital Fit Floor Liners

These bad boys make sure your whip's floor stays nice and clean. They preserve your carpet and ensure that moisture doesn't get trapped in the carpet causing rusty floor boards.

2. Nice pair of leather driving gloves 

Leather gloves make gripping the cold Canadian steering wheel in the dead of winter a little more bearable.

3. Home beer brewing kit 

I’m really chomping at the bit to try my hand at homebrewing, but you can’t get started without the supplies!

4.New putter 

My putting is atrocious, just ask the boys. I’m secretly hoping that a new putter would go a long way in helping me establish a solid short game.

5.New Fishing Rod

Since relocating to the great white north, I haven’t done as much fishing as I’d like. A new rod would go a long in getting me back out on the water.

6.Super Smash Brothers – Wii U 

Cause let’s face it… we all know there isn’t a better party video game than this. Plus, how else would I be able to use the new Wii U my son asked for ;)

7. A night on the town with Wifey

Admittedly, with my wife and I living far away from family, and having a pretty (read: very) hectic life, we don’t get out much.

8. Remote Car Starter 

Because running outside in your sleep shorts and flip flops in -40 is never fun.

9. Set of craft beer glasses 

Several different shapes/sizes for different styles. For the craft beer drinker on your Christmas list, these glasses complete the experience.

10. A pint (or eight) of good beer with my good friends/family

A common sentiment among the Real Man Travels team. My family and I usually trek the 1500km back to southern Ontario to see our families twice a year. Once in the summer and once at Christmas, and we’re always sure to put time aside for the friends and family that matter most.

Ed's Picks

1. Canon Rebel T3i - $599.99

Let’s face it, smartphone cameras have come a long way, but still really miss the detail and lighting solutions of a proper DSLR. Along comes the Canon Rebel T3i, an entry level DSLR camera with a lot of functionality and bells and whistles. Perfect for the man who is looking to up their photography game.

2. Boto Swimwear - $69 CAD

It’s time men stopped wearing board shorts. Plain and simple. They are baggy, non-functional and give off the “trying to be young” vibe. Get your man a nice pair of stylish Boto Swimwear shorts to go with the ticket you bought to a warm tropical destination this Christmas. If your man is more reserved stick with the St. Lucia line, but he if he is ok showing more thigh then the Aruba line will do the trick.

3. Over-Ear Headphones with a Mic - $25+

This one may seem strange, but as a Torontonian I walk almost everywhere, during every season, in all kinds of crazy weather. I have a large noodle and toques and beanies don’t seem to cover my head well, so a good pair of over ear headphones would keep my ears warm on all my winter walks. The built in mic feature means I could keep my hands in my pockets while on any calls I receive.

4. Clothing – $5+

I hate shopping for clothes so why not let someone else do it for me? Don’t try to dress your man the way you want him to dress, (it is a gift for his pleasure, not yours) otherwise your gift will remain in the closet with the tags firmly attached to it. Instead stay on the same track of what he already has in his closet and you’ll be golden. And as much as we may complain about receiving socks and underwear, it is a necessity and will be greatly but secretly appreciated.

5. Ray-Ban Wayfarers - $165-225
These are just the classic cool shades that are often cheaply mimicked and duplicated. While those duplicates are great for beating up on a vacation, a proper pair of Ray-Ban’s will give a man that extra style in his day to day life. Just a note, I’d recommend getting your man to try some on as there are different lens/frame sizes and styles to get the perfect fit.

6. Framing Favourite Vinyl Albums - $50+ per album and frame

To complement the manliness of my office or living room (which isn’t very manly right now…) I’d love to have some of my favourite vinyl albums framed to hang on the wall in a classy manner. I did this as a gift for my father a few Christmas’ ago with Frank Sinatra albums and it turned out great. Bonus points if you do this with Zeppelin I through IV.

7. Outdoor Sports Store Gift Card - $25+

I know, I know, gift card? Really? Yes, really. If your man is anything like me, he is picky about what outdoor gear he desires, and you probably have no idea what he actually wants. Unless of course you have scoured over his browser history and saw an item he has checked for multiple reviews and they turn up positive (I don’t recommend this tactic, you’ll stumble upon other things you don’t want to see). An outdoor sports store gift card of any denomination is a great compliment to any other gift you may have already purchased.

8. Thompson Class Money Clip Wallet – $42 CAD

Less is more, especially when it comes to the bulge in your pocket. Enter Thompson Class, the company you’ve never heard of with the product you will want. Their slim minimalist wallets hold up to 9 cards and a small stack of cash, all while keeping your pockets streamlined and slim. A must have for all men.

9. Solid Cologne – $35+

Solid cologne in my opinion is a game changer. It doesn’t have that alcohol smell that burns the nose if you apply too much, but instead has a fresh pleasant aroma. I had the opportunity to have a quick chat with a Canadian company, Walton Wood Farms, about their line of “Men Don’t Stink” solid colognes. After some scent sampling I would love to receive one of their solid colognes for Christmas, specifically The Adventurer scent.

10. Mittens/Gloves - $10+

Again with the winter and being an active walker in Toronto I could use a nice pair of wool knit mittens and nicer gloves for the days I dress up or do drive. These would make an excellent stocking stuffer and a relatively cheap addition to the comfort of your man during the winter.

Sam's Picks

1. Sequoia Pendant, Vitaly Designs

After an appearance on Dragon’s Den the Toronto based Vitaly Designs has been steadily churning out unisex accessories with a very high cool factor. While jewellery might not be for every guy the Sequoia just might be the exception. For $60 this little axe will always keep a reminder of the outdoors close by.

2. Google Chromecast 

Make your TV a heck of a lot smarter by plugging in this little tech gem. Surf the net, watch Netflix, or cast apps from your Android device to your TV. All for $39

3. Darwin 30L Daypack 

For the traveler with an arsenal of technology with the added bonus of being from MEC – basically the same as sewing a Canadian flag on your bag. $69

4. Dopp Kit/Toiletry bag 

Keep it classy - either traveling or at home. A stylish leather shaving kit keeps your collection of sharp objects and shave creams together and tidy. $30+

5. Buy Me Brunch Tee’s

It may be December but when summer hits you’ll want to be ready to crank the party all the way to 11. So why not set the tone with a comfortable tee that says “Adios Pantalones” starting at $28.

6. 1 Gallon All Grain Brewing kit, The Noble Hop 

For the brewing novice its everything you need to brew an all grain beer for $39.99. We were introduced to Toronto based Noble Hop at this year’s Gentlemen’s Expo and quickly bonded out our love of homebrew and his awesome beer names. This Christmas put a Badass IPA under your tree!

7. Custom Engraved Paddle

Perhaps you’ve seen a photo or two of the infamous Man of The Year trophy. The full sized paddle has always been carefully crafted by our friends at PRECISIONMARK. While the men on your Christmas list might not make the voyage into the wilderness with us, you can still have a custom oar made for them. Perhaps for the man cave? $60+

8. Stylish Pocket Sized Notebook

You never know when inspiration will strike, so why not keep a slick little notebook handy to jot down your idea for the next big thing. $5+

9. Saxx Underwear 

I’ve been a fan of Saxx since the first time I wore them. They are designed with an ergonomic pouch to cradle your manhood, and come in a wide variety of styles and designs that will prevent chafe and keep you feeling free. A lot of people laugh at this one, but the struggle is real. Starting at $26.95

10. Ultimate Fixed Blade Survival Knife, Gerber Bear Grylls Collection

Owned by nearly every member of Real Man Travels this knife is our “go to” in the wilderness. It can build a fire or be used to saw tree limbs and fits nicely under your pillow when you’re deep in bear country. $62

There you have it! Fifty gift ideas from five different men with different styles and tastes.

You're welcome, internet!

If you have any other home run gift ideas, or just want to chirp ours relentlessly, use the comments section below.


  1. Thanks heaps for the wicked good man gift ideas, have been on the hunt for something cool for my bro, gonna see if I can track down a Portable Gaming Unit. :) The Batman snuggie is pretty great too.

  2. I see the retro gamer is out of stock. Hopefully it comes back, it's a beauty.