13 Great Gifts for Gamers

Nintendo/Insomniac/Amazon
Nintendo/Insomniac/Amazon

Since the earliest days of Atari, video game enthusiasts have looked forward to gaming systems, software, and accessories wrapped up under their tree. If you have a gamer in your life, take a look at 13 gifts from headsets to virtual reality that are guaranteed to feed their pixelized pastime.

1. Nintendo Switch - Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition; $300

Nintendo/Amazon

You may be out of luck scoring the elusive PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X consoles in time for the holidays, but you might be able to land a Nintendo Switch for the gamer you're shopping for. This handheld console hybrid can be played on a TV or on the go, and it sports a top-tier line of games. The title included in this bundle, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is one of the system's finest. (There are also plenty of Mario and Zelda titles for the old-school gamers on your list.)

Buy it: Amazon

2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; $60

Amazon

If your list calls for a Switch game, the latest installment in the hit Super Smash Bros. series is an absolute crowd pleaser. Video game legends from Pac-Man to Donkey Kong knuckle up in face-to-face confrontations both online and solo. An online code allows you to download the game.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Oculus Quest 2; $399

Amazon

Immerse yourself in virtual reality with the latest from Oculus. The Quest 2 features 50 percent more pixels than the first-generation model and doesn’t require a PC or console to work. There's also an emphasis on easy setup with this iteration, so anyone can take it out of the box and start playing. Games like Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge can even be accessed from your smartphone, making things even more simple.

Buy it: Amazon

4. HyperX Cloud Flight Gaming Headset; $126

Amazon

For gamers who like to tackle rivals online, this HyperX headset features a noise-canceling microphone and memory foam cushioning. Over 30 hours of battery life means players can stay unplugged but ready for marathon gaming sessions.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Norton 360 for Gamers; $30

Amazon

Online gamers are sometimes at increased risk for having their personal information compromised. This special edition of Norton 360 offers real-time monitoring to ensure gamer tags are secure and that there are no viruses lurking around the corner. There’s also cloud storage for gaming clips.

Buy it: Amazon

6. AmazonBasics Nintendo Switch Playstand; $10

Amazon

This inexpensive and handy stand helps keep Nintendo Switch systems propped upright, allowing gamers to play without going into handheld mode at their desk or coffee table (perfect for when the TV is occupied).

Buy it: Amazon

7. Twitch Gift Card; $25 and Up

Amazon

With a Twitch gift card, gamers can subscribe to their favorite channel or use it on programs like Twitch Turbo, which allows them to watch videos and streamers without ads. If you’re having a socially distanced holiday, it can be delivered via email to the recipient.

Buy it: Amazon

8. AmazonBasics PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Controllers Charging Station; $19

Amazon

Got a PlayStation 4 addict in your life? This docking station offers a place to store their DualShock 4 controllers and doubles as a charging station. A green light indicates when they’re ready to go.

Buy it: Amazon

9. HyperX Alloy Origins Core Keyboard; $99

Amazon

Many PC and console gamers rely on keyboards to execute commands. This HyperX peripheral has LED lighting, responsive keypads, and can save three different gamer profiles. You can use it on a PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Paladone PlayStation Controller Alarm Clock; $30

Amazon

Make sure gamers get sweet dreams with this officially licensed alarm clock shaped like a classic PlayStation controller. Use the controls to set the time.

Buy it: Amazon

11. and 12. Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales; $26-$50

Amazon/Insomniac

The PlayStation game everyone is raving about is a kinetic trip through Spider-Man’s life. Soar through New York City in web-slinging action with Spider-Man: Game of the Year edition, which collects all of the game's post-release extra side missions. You can also opt for Spider-Man: Miles Morales. This sequel shifts the focus to a brand-new Wall Crawler, who you may remember from 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. That title is expected to ship November 12.

Buy it: Spider-Man: Game of the Year Edition ($26), Spider-Man: Miles Morales ($50)

13. Razer Kishi Controller; $80

Amazon

Is the gamer on your list more into mobile games? This controller provides more options for commands and fits comfortably over most Android smartphones, basically turning a phone into a full-fledged handheld console.

Buy it: Amazon

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10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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11 Gifts Your Wife Will Love

Apple/GrowlerWerks/Amazon
Apple/GrowlerWerks/Amazon

Finding the perfect gift for your wife can be a challenge. Although you can always settle with a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates, a unique gift—one that speaks to her personality and hobbies—is always the better way to go. To make your search as stress-free as possible, we’ve compiled a cheat sheet of versatile gifts to bring the wow factor this holiday season. None of these are as great a gift as your wife, of course…but they’re pretty darn close.

1. Growlight Frame Shelf; $139-$189

Uncommon Goods

Instead of getting a framed photo of you and your wife, try something a little outside the box. This nifty frame from Uncommon Goods has a built-in LED light for providing virtual sun to a variety of plants, which can be set on a timer to give plants the exact amount of light they need. If your wife isn’t exactly blessed with a green thumb, this Mini Terrarium DIY Kit—which consists of constructible felt succulents, faux moss, and decorative accents—will help her craft a set of plants that are (almost) indestructible.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

2. Personalized Wine Serving Tray; $85

Uncommon Goods

Your wife will feel just as special as her dinner party guests with this personalized wine tray. Made from birch wood and decorated with delicate floral accents, the tray fits four standard stemmed wine glasses and one standard 750mL wine bottle, making it easy for guests to keep their glasses full. The tray can be customized with a name and year, so it’s just as meaningful for wine lovers as it is useful.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

3. Votes for Women Puzzle; $20

Uncommon Goods

History buffs can celebrate suffrage—and the accomplishment of completing a 500-piece puzzle—with this colorful gift. Featuring voting rights champions like Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Frederick Douglass, the puzzle celebrates 42 of the suffrage movement’s iconic historical figures (although, of course, many voting rights activists are still fighting the good fight today). The puzzle comes with a bonus pamphlet about the 19th Amendment, so your wife can quiz you on it during puzzle breaks.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

4. Intelex Warmies Slippers; $20

Intelex/Amazon

Even if your wife doesn’t get to relax as often as she’d like, she should still have a spa-like experience every day. Give her the gift she deserves with these microwave-safe slippers from Intelex. The slippers are packed with natural grain and French lavender, which provides a therapeutic scent after just a few seconds in the microwave. Now, whether your wife is shuffling off to an early-morning Zoom or to get some extra work done, she can pretend she’s heading off to the spa instead.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Amazon Fire Tablet 10; $150

Amazon

Bookworms should be able to carry their library with them at all times…and now, they can! The Amazon Fire Tablet 10 not only stores a wealth of eBooks and audiobooks, but it also provides instant access to the web, streaming services, music, and more. It’s Alexa-enabled, allowing Alexa to start reading your wife’s audiobook if she has her hands full. The Fire Tablet 10 comes in variety of colors and has an ad-free version, so you can choose the best option for your partner.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Apple Watch SE; $270

Apple/Amazon

You can’t go wrong with an Apple Watch. This smart device tracks sleep patterns, heart rate, and a variety of workouts, helping your wife better understand her performance whether she’s a yogi or a HIIT fiend. With the ability to make calls and reply to texts on the go, the watch can even replace a smartphone during runs outside or to the store. Bonus: it’s swimproof, so it’s able to travel from the gym to the pool and back again.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Living Composter; $200

Uncommon Goods

Give the gift of sustainability with this living composter from Uncommon Goods. The modern-looking composter doubles as an art piece for a kitchen counter or a backyard patio. Once a few worms are added to the soil inside, the composter can process over two pounds of food scraps each week—enough to keep up with a small household, according to the manufacturer. Include the Zero Waste Cookbook or these reusable beeswax food wraps as an additional gift to assist your wife (and the rest of your household) with going green.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

8. Growlerwerks Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker; $200

GrowlerWerks/Amazon

There’s nothing better than a cup of coffee to start the day, and with GrowlerWerks's Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker, your wife can enjoy the taste of café-quality cold brew without the café-quality price. The set comes with everything you need for great cold brew—filter bags, nitrogen cartridges, a funnel, and a serving mat for presentation. Just fill one of the filter bags with coarsely ground coffee, add cold water, and let the brewer soak overnight. Now your wife will have a barista that’s more local than her closest neighborhood joint.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Molecular Gastronomy Kit; $50

Uncommon Goods

Experimenting in the kitchen is always fun, but adding a little food science will allow your partner to take it to the next level. This kit includes 20 additive sachets (aka scientific ingredients) to turn various dishes into yummy science experiments. Your wife will have the ability to turn liquids into solids, produce into beads, and melted chocolate into powder by following the included recipe booklet. And, with a host of science-based cooking tools to work with, she’ll never feel bored in the kitchen again.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

10. Literature Rock Glasses; $30

Uncommon Goods

As the first line of Pride & Prejudice goes, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Acknowledge your amazing wife—and your good fortune—by gifting her these Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë-inspired rock glasses. Each glass features its author’s signature and the opening lines of one of their iconic novels (Pride and Prejudice for Austen; Jane Eyre for Brontë). The other side of the glass includes an excerpt from the novel’s first edition inside cover.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

11. Backpack Cooler Chair; $42

One Savvy Girl/Amazon

This innovative backpack is built with plenty of storage space for bringing water bottles, snacks, and extra gear on the road, and it unfolds into a portable chair when it’s time for a well-deserved break. It’s extra lightweight and compact, too, so your wife can keep it in her car to have on hand when adventure calls.

Buy it: Amazon

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