HE'LL 'HEART' THESE
Valentine's Day gifts for the guy in your life can be a tough find when he's in his 30s. He's now too old (and too delicate of stomach) for the gag Valentine's Day dinner at White Castle, but isn't quite old enough for that high-priced toy that can still be easily shattered by young children or his own clumsiness. This year, give your man in his 30s one of these 30 gifts befitting someone of his somewhat recent maturity. Some are inexpensive, some are everyday items worth splurging on, and some might be considered a little over the top.
ROKU STICK AND MOHU LEAF ANTENNA
Price: $59.98 | Buy it at Best Buy
Even if you don't plan to spend more time at home in your 30s than you did in your 20s, it's going to happen. It isn't a gender issue, it's a life issue. But if you're going to spend that time at home, in front of a screen and spending as little money as possible, it helps to cut the cord and invest in something that pays for itself. Best Buy knows what it's doing and has bundled Roku and its access to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other streaming services with an antenna for free over-the-air shows, sports, news, and other broadcasts.
Price: $19.95 | Buy it on Uncommon Goods
The kegs-and-eggs sessions of a young man's early days become problematic when there's actual work and responsibility involved. Sure, HR may frown on making that straight-from-the-Keurig java a little Irish or Spanish, but this blend provides all of the bourbon-spiked flavor with none of the blood-alcohol content or impairment. For the true java freak, there's also a wide array of crazy coffee products to keep his heart pounding.
ELMA TOUCHSCREEN LEATHER GLOVES
Price: $20 to $30 | Buy it on Amazon
The classic black leather glove is a staple of the male wardrobe at this time of year. However, cashmere lining and genuine Nappa leather mean little if you can't tap and swipe your smartphone screen at will. Combine that with a non-slip palm for easy gripping, and the classic glove is finally ready for the 21st century and something worth buying this year.
MEN'S ORGANIZING TRAVEL 4-PACK
Price: $43 | Buy it on Uncommon Goods
Why? Because a business trip shouldn't involve a backpack, messenger bag, or anything else that will mix clean and dirty clothes at any point during trip. Yes, his shoes should somehow be separated from the rest of his clothing. Yes, his electronic items should likely be placed somewhere that he won't forget them. No, you probably shouldn't have to make these suggestions through a present at this age.
I LOVE YOU, I KNOW STEMLESS FLUTE GLASSES
Price: $15 | Buy it on ThinkGeek
While toasting the Star Wars geek you chose to love, it pays to indulge the fantasy a bit. Sure, maybe Han Solo's last words to then-Princess Leia before being frozen in carbonite seem a bit rough. But given that she ascended to general while he became the hated father of Emo Vader, it's a reminder that love evolves even in galaxies far, far away.
GEMINI ESPRESSO MAKER
Price: $45 | Buy it from the MoMA Design Store
Alfonso Bialetti's stovetop espresso pot was a triumph of form and function. However, it's also a little low-tech for folks who've had access to Starbucks and decent local coffee shops their entire espresso-drinking lives. The Gemini still uses the stovetop method, but pours directly into cups like a more modern espresso machine. It's the form a mature drinker desires with the function to which they've grown accustomed. It can also help them enjoy their cappuccino on the cheap.
CUSTOM BOBBLEHEAD DOLL
Price: $189 | Buy it from Whoopass Enterprises
Athletes in their 30s are already considering retirement. For the sports fan in your life, or the former athlete whose keepsakes from their playing days consist largely of scars and aching joints, the folks at the subtly title Whoopass Enterprises will give them their own bobblehead night based on his photo. From his face and hair down to his shoes, the man in your life can get a desktop tchotchke that won't cost them a ticket to a game or a few years in the minors.
RACOR PRO TWO-BIKE STAND
Price: $73.46 | Buy it on Amazon
No, not every guy or couple has infinite space or understanding landlords. Sometimes, even a single hole drilled for a bike hook is one too many. This stand works around that by using existing walls and gravity to support up to 100 pounds of bicycle on its 20-pound frame.
MANLY AIR FRESHENERS AND SOAP
Price: $14 to $54 | Buy it from Archer
Because pine just isn't masculine enough. Archer decided that the air-freshener market really wasn't doing much for fragile masculinity, so it decided to make aerosol versions of European sports car, distillery, and hunting-lodge scents ($14 apiece). Also, not content with liquid dish detergent that smelled like, well, detergent, Archer opted to give its soaps the distinct aroma of tequila, rum, and whiskey. Those are ordinarily the scents that bartenders work diligently to scrub off of their counters and barware, but Archer will package any of those booze soaps with its full array of air fresheners for $54.
BOLT BIFOLD WALLET
Price: $250 | Buy it from Shinola
It's time to let the duct-tape wallet go. Same with the wallet on the chain. This leather wallet comes with a leather-lined cash pocket, silk-lined credit-card pockets, a sweet silver bolt on the front and the knowledge that you're helping Shinola bring some manufacturing jobs back to Detroit.
MESSENGER-STYLE DIAPER BAG
Price: $65 | Buy it from Diaper Dude
Congratulations, you have a new father ... who can't just man up and carry a diaper bag. We know: Some guys feel the need to completely camouflage all aspects of their parenthood at all times, lest the world somehow think they're uncool. Well, this messenger bag has an elastic bottle pocket, zip-closed inner pocket with diaper pouch, a padded changing pad, and three exterior zipped pockets for wipes, bibs, food, etc. If this is what it takes to get him to stop complaining about this particular parental task, it's a small price to pay.
Price: $79 per month | Buy it on Goldbely
Maybe your man is from Los Angeles and misses the pastrami on rye at Langer's. Maybe he takes business trips to Philly and fell in love with the steaks at Tony Luke's. Maybe he's just heard about the fry-stuffed sandwiches from Pittsburgh's Primanti Brothers, but has no intention of going to Pittsburgh any time soon. This subscription will send him a kit with enough sandwich fixings for two to four people for as many months as you'd like.
DYMO LABELWRITER 450 TURBO
Price: $90 | Buy it on Newegg
Maybe you're the one who's had to receive a package labeled with his chicken-scratch handwriting. Maybe you've wondered if this is the face he presents to the rest of the world. Maybe you should intervene and give him this thermal label printer before he sends a gift to someone you care about with their address scrawled on the box in marker.
DARN TOUGH SOCKS
Price: $20.29 | Buy it from Buy Me Once
Over-the-calf, extra-cushion socks aren't exactly a rarity, but a pair you won't have to buy again is. Darn Tough socks come with a lifetime guarantee, making them the last socks your guy will ever need to buy, but they're also all-weather socks made of tightly looped Merino wool that wicks away moisture and dampens odor.
Price: $30 for two | Buy it on Amazon
Thirty bucks might seem like a lot to spend on a couple of Bluetooth tags, unless you're someone who's regularly checking their pockets for their keys, phone, wallet, etc. Yes, it uses your smartphone to track all of these items, but it can also be used to track the smartphone that's doing the tracking. If the guy you love was bad at keeping track of items before he turned 30, don't expect that situation to improve with age.
BITTERS GIFT SET
Price: $50 | Buy it from The Meadow
James Beard Award winner Mark Bitterman has made a living out of salts and bitters. His "Field Guide To Bitters and Amari" comes as part of this set and provides 123 different recipes for cocktails, desserts, barbecue, and other tasty treats. You can pair the book with any of three different sets of bitters, but it's up to you whether they go into dinner, after-dinner drinks, or both.
CROSLEY HARDWOOD TURNTABLE
Price: $264.82 | Buy it on Amazon
In his 30s, your man is part of the last generation to hear vinyl played during its original era. Sure, it may have been getting pushed out the door by cassettes and CDs, but it was still affordable and nearly ubiquitous. If he hasn't revisited records in a while, the low-cost Crosley line is a good way to take him back. Just don't show him the price of those 180-gram vinyl reissues.
BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 35 HEADPHONES
Price: $349 | Buy it on Amazon
Every man needs some quiet time to himself, and these wireless noise-canceling headphones with Bluetooth technology give him up to 20 hours of quiet with each battery charge.
MEN'S PATTERN SCARF
Price: $66.50 | Buy it from Woolrich
Valentine's Day is still in the dead of winter, so why not give your man something to keep him warm for every winter from here on out? The company behind these scarves in Woolrich, Pa., has not only been dressing people against the elements since 1830, but has given them high-quality products that are made in America and are meant to last a lifetime. There is no deadline on returns, and Woolrich will take back any item "If for any reason, you are not satisfied with your purchase."
DEWALT DRILL KIT
Price: $99 | Buy it at Home Depot
If a man hasn't bought his first home before 30, he's incredibly likely to do so afterward. Even the simplest drill becomes indispensable for attaching anything to a wall, building stairs, repairing furniture or many of the countless other tasks a house can throw at you. This drill and a decent set of bits will go a long way toward making a lifelong apartment dweller reasonably handy around the house.
WINESKIN WINE BOTTLE PROTECTOR
Price: $14.99 for six | Buy it on Amazon
You're going to do a lot of traveling in your 30s, and you and your guy just might want to bring some of those travels home with you. These padded, double-sealed sheaths are perfect for holding 750-milliliter bottles of wine during long trips and keeping that bottle of Bordeaux from breaking and unintentionally dyeing an entire vacation's worth of clothing.
AIRBNB GIFT CARD
Price: $795 | Buy it from J.W. Hulme Co.
What goes into the price of that duffle bag? Brass hardware, rolled leather handles, leather zip pulls, a leather shoulder strap, a leather luggage tag, and a whole lot of pockets and flaps. Oh, and the fact that you'll never have to buy another one, as Hulme guarantees each bag for its owner's lifetime.
NAVDY HEADS-UP DISPLAY
Price: $500 | Buy it at Best Buy
Smartphone audio and navigation features have improved dramatically over the years, but automakers still can't figure out how to integrate them without distracting drivers. Navdy attempts to bridge this divide by displaying directions, music info, and even calls and texts on your windshield. While some luxury vehicles already have this feature, Navdy and its click-wheel that attaches to the steering wheel are the first step toward bringing that luxury to the masses.
Price: $24 | Buy it from Nordstrom
They're nickel and they'll still require a French-cuff shirt to go with them, but that isn't really an issue. You're creating an heirloom, and it's something he'll appreciate long after this Valentine's Day.
UKEG 64 STAINLESS STEEL GROWLER
Price: $149 | Buy it from uKeg
When your man's beer drinking no longer consists of the cheapest cans he can find, but longs for something less wasteful than one-use can growlers, there's this. Pressurized with CO2 cartridges and double insulated to prevent warming, the uKeg doesn't view itself as a refillable jug. Considering glass growlers typically sell for $5 or less, the uKeg has more in common with a keg than it realizes.
NO CRY HEAVY DUTY HEAT RESISTANT GLOVES
Price: $14 | Buy it on Amazon
All it takes is one nasty burn to make a barbecue-cooking, wood-stove tending or even water-boiling guy wonder why he didn't wear gloves. These are made of flame-resistant treated leather and come up 14 inches on the wearer's forearms. They're billed as welding gloves, but they'll protect a guy from just about any burn imaginable.
CUISINART ALFRESCAMORE OUTDOOR PIZZA OVEN
Price: $185 | Buy it from Target
A pizza stone on a grill just doesn't cut it. This propane-powered pizza oven can cook a pizza in as little as five minutes, but that isn't really the point. If your guy wants to impress at a tailgate party or spice up a summer cookout, this is a weapon rarely found in the grilling arsenal.
COCKTAIL CRATE MIXERS
Price: $12 each | Buy it from Cocktail Crate
The turn toward mixology and artisan cocktail culture is great if you have the time to mix and muddle or the money to keep shelling out on a per-drink basis. If your man is looking for a shortcut however, these folks have taken the just-add-booze approach to grapefruit daiquiris, spiced old fashioneds, maple whiskey sours, and other drink recipes. If your man can open a bottle, he can make these cocktails.
STUBHUB GIFT CARD
Price: Varies | Buy it on StubHub
Even if you know his favorite team, musician, or show, do you know when he's going to be available to see any of the above? Also, do you have any idea if his event of choice has sold out? StubHub makes getting sold out a lot less likely, even if it often makes the ticket pricier. However, if his favorite team ends up being terrible this year, he could end up finding some below-market deals.