With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good idea to start thinking about gift options now — lest you wind up with some half-hearted, last-minute present.
Need some inspiration? Here are nine things I wouldn’t mind getting this year. Everybody has different preferences, of course. But consider this a jumping off-point for your own quest for the perfect gift. (Read more: The 10 best Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her.)
Some sweet Star Wars swag
I’m a sucker for anything Star Wars. I recently came into the possession of The Art of Rogue One, which is full of gorgeous concept art from the latest movie. The new Marvel Darth Vader comics have been incredible, as have Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath novels, both of which are canonical and fill in details between the films. I also really want this six-inch model of K-2SO, the Rogue One droid who was voiced by Firefly’s Alan Tudyk, to be buddies with my smartphone-controlled BB-8.
A new hiking bag
I’m constantly on the search for better backpacks. For normal everyday use, I love my Herschel Classic, which is basically a hipster JanSport. When it comes to actual hiking and for rainy days, I recently picked up the Patagonia Black Hole 25L, which is made out of a highly water-resistant and seemingly indestructible polyester. It’s insanely roomy, very comfortable and bright orange in case I get lost on a trail and search-and-rescue teams have to come find me. (Which, given my map-and-compass skills, is a very real possibility.)
An instant-print camera
Polaroid-style instant print cameras are making a huge comeback, which makes sense as a cultural response to all-digital-everything. They’re also super fun at parties! Try the Fuji Instax Mini 8, a super-portable shooter that spits out prints about the size of a credit card. You might as well grab extra film, too.
A pair of dope new headphones
Finding the right headphones is one of life’s never-ending quests. Ideally, you want a pair that sound excellent, look great, and aren’t insanely expensive. Right now I love AKG’s N60 NC, a noise-cancelling pair of on-ear headphones that produce a nice tone while drowning out crowded subway stations, office chatter, etc. Still, they’re not wireless, meaning I’m stuck using that annoying adapter that came with the iPhone 7. I’m pretty tempted by Apple’s AirPods, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. When it comes to less expensive earbuds, you can’t go wrong with this $35 pair from Xiaomi.
A really great electric toothbrush
You want your significant other to have a really great smile, right? Pick him up the Oral-B Pro 1000. I’ve been swearing by one for months now, and my mouth has never felt cleaner. It’s got a handy built-in timer letting you know when you’ve hit the recommended brushing time. Even my dentist has been impressed, and I usually just get yelled at to floss more often.
A voiceprint from you
I’m utterly smitten by these voice prints on Etsy, which take your unique vocal tones and turn them into wall art. It’s just a really adorable idea.
I do a lot of dumb stuff that I like to record on video, and for that a GoPro is invaluable. The entry-level GoPro HERO+ model is fine for most, but the new HERO5 and smaller HERO5 Session include a handy voice control feature, among other benefits. Throw in a selfie stick to be a real, uh, hero.
The Nintendo Switch
Okay, okay, it’s not gonna be out for another couple of weeks. But Nintendo’s upcoming Switch video games console is a great pick for the Mario fan in your life. If you’re not opposed to this gift-giving strategy, place a pre-order and tell your significant other that their gift will be here soon — I know I wouldn’t mind hearing that. (Maybe grab them the NES Classic Edition to tide them over?)
It’s hard to explain how much fun it is to go zipping around your backyard or neighborhood park with one of these things. The Phantom 3, a great entry-level model, can now be had for a very affordable price, considering how feature-packed it is. If you really wanna go all-out, check out the Mavic Pro, which folds up to about the size of a loaf of bread.
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