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Let’s face it, college students have very specific things that they “dig”. This makes it quite a challenge to figure out the stuff to give to them that they’ll get a bang out of. That makes it twice as difficult to come up with the best gifts for college guys because boys value utility and practicality on top of anything else. So we made this awesome list to help you — from useful gifts to presents for leisure, entertainment, and relaxation.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall - Playstation 5
• Solid-state drive
Best for messy and forgetful guys - Tile Bluetooth Tracker and Item Locator
• Connects to a phone app
Best for Alcohol Lovers - BenShot Shot Glass with Real Bullet
• Actual 0.308 bullet made of solid copper
Best for Travelers - Incase ICON Backpack with Laptop Compartment
• 14” shoulder drop
For Your Techie College Pals
We’re starting with the most no-brainer item on the list. We don’t even need to explain why this is an obvious choice. A new Playstation console release is always worth the hype. Look at it this way, when it comes to the best gift for college guys, you only have two choices — there’s the PS5 and then there’s everything else.
On a budget? Give him the next best holiday gift.
The Apple AirPods took the market by storm a few years ago and are still going strong in terms of popularity. This best gift for college guys perfectly balances “cool” and “usefulness”. AirPods are the auto choice to give to anyone who doesn’t already have one.
The Anker's Nebula Apollo is a powerful and adaptable mini projector. Its portability makes it the best gift for college guys who may be moving in and out of dorms and off-campus housing. It weighs half a pound and just an inch taller than a soda can. But its crisp image quality and 360-degree sound will make him stop judging things by their size. Not to mention it's also quiet and can play continuously for 4 hours straight.
Are beanies still hip? They are! And if you’re looking for the best gift for college guys who are beanie fans, you can give them a GoldWorld Bluetooth Beanie Hat. That’s right — a beanie hat with Bluetooth earphones. It also comes with two speakers with Hi-Fi sound quality, complete with echo and noise reduction functions. This high-tech beanie is affordable but high-quality, so you can buy one for several of your friends.
Compatible with most smartphones, tablets, and Apple watches, the ZVEproof Aluminum Phone Stand can hold two devices at a time. In this world of multiple gadgets, a holder like this is a godsend. It’s anti-scratch and anti-skidding and has a smooth edge to avoid accidentally cutting someone.
Most college guys probably won’t spend their allowance on monthly cable. This Roku Ultra Streaming Media Player will allow them to stream free, live, and premium TV over the Internet. It transforms an otherwise ‘not-so-smart’ TV into a powerful streamer of shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Prime Video, and more.
Speaking of multiple gadgets, struggling to find and organize electric plugs is one of the common problems a regular techie college dude encounters. Not to mention power interruptions that could permanently damage devices. In cases like this, a compact power strip becomes handy. The Anker USB Power Strip features 6 power outlets and 3 USB ports. But here’s the beauty — it has advanced surge protection (1280 Joules) and overload protection, combined with a fire-resistant casing and safety switch, which keeps college guys and their gadgets safe.
For Bedroom or Apartment Use
8. Bamboo Bedside Bed Shelf with USB Ports
On the practical side, a bedside shelf makes the best gift for college guys to hold their laptops, phones, books, or drinks while studying in bed. No need for a nightstand! Plus, the organic Bamboo Bedside Bed Shelf boasts multiple USB ports to charge devices simultaneously. It attaches to any bed frame, looks aesthetically pleasing, and comes with an adjustable clamp.
If you have a son in college or just want to give the best gift for college guys, go for an ergonomic chair that looks cool! This Fortnite Skull Trooper themed reclining chair is reminiscent of a Stormtrooper from Star Wars. This chair has a high back with segmented padding and built-in head support as well as robust lumbar support to keep college guys comfortable during their long hours of gaming, er..studying.
Just like phone books, mp3 players, and travel agents, alarm clocks are almost obsolete these days because...well, smartphones happened. But it’s still nice to be woken up in the morning by a pleasant sound that doesn’t come from your phone.
Now if you’re going to bring back alarm clocks, do it in style. This digital alarm clock is super elegant with adjustable brightness and night mode. Sure, a big LED display might be overkill but the design is very “dude” and there’s no way your college guy won’t like it. Extra sweet feature — a big snooze button so he can easily turn off the buzzer without opening his eyes.
Does your college guy have his own room? He’s going to love this Midea WHS-65LB1 Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator to store food and drinks. It might also come in handy if he starts thinking about how to prepare food and take a break from chips or leftover pizza. This mini refrigerator has a reversible door that can open from left or right, and the legs are also adjustable if he doesn’t want it too low.
College guys are either too busy or too lazy to prepare a decent breakfast before heading off. A sandwich maker is a practical gift he can use to avoid starting the day on an empty stomach. Or just to have something to bite on when he’s feeling lethargic (a.k.a. hungover) on a Saturday morning. The Hamilton sandwich maker can create custom sandwiches with his choice of bread, cheese, eggs, meats, and more. All removable parts are dishwasher safe and surfaces are covered with a durable, nonstick coating.
Give the gift of warmth and coziness this holiday season! Your college guy can wrap himself (or with another person) in an ultra-soft giant burrito blanket and become a life-size tortilla, taco, tostada, quesadilla, enchilada, burrito, or taquito. This cute burrito blanket is an adorable gift option to keep your college guy warm on a cold, Netflix and chill night.
Yes, we know, it’s an unoriginal and clichéd choice. But college guys need to be more awake and caffeinated in the mornings. He can save a fortune if he routinely makes his coffee rather than buying overpriced ventis in Starbucks. The Hamilton Beach travel-size coffee maker is compact, portable, and is perfect for dorm rooms and apartments. It’s not complicated to use, too! A simple touch button makes it easy to brew great-tasting coffee in about 3 minutes.
Losing stuff happens a lot when you’re in college, especially after a night of usual college shenanigans. There are convenient devices you can use to locate things other than keys, such as your wallet, phone, bag, or even your pet! The Tile Item Locator is a Bluetooth tracking device that connects to a phone app. You can track lost items by simply tapping a button on the app.
For Fun and Games
Wait, is this the 90s? Nobody plays with water balloon launchers any more, not unless it’s a smartphone app, right? Wrong! Apparently, people are still into it. In fact, there were several big-scale water balloon fights and festivals that took place around the world in 2019 and even earlier in 2020. It’s one of the best gifts for college guys who want to have some good old, classic yard fun with friends.
We don’t exactly know the scientific connection between college guys and foosball, but we do know this: these dudes like to play it. A regular-sized foosball table may not be always feasible in terms of space and budget, so why not go with an FX40 Table Top Mini Foosball instead? And don’t worry about them playing rough with this one; it’s made of chrome-plated steel rods that can withstand powerful, swift shots. It even has rubber-grooved handles for a strong, stable grip.
It’s not as headstrong as it sounds. This best gift for college guys is actually a fun item but it’s more suitable for those who casually drink spirits. He may also be a club person, but if you want to subtly suggest solitary or small-group sesh instead, this cool BenShot Shot Glass will do the trick.
It looks awesome, but it’s not just cool for the sake of being cool. That lodged bullet is an actual 0.308 bullet made of solid copper clenched mid-air by an authentic bullet glass. If this doesn't make your college guy’s drinking sessions much more impressive, we don't know what will.
Nothing says “college” more than parties. While drinking card games are not very fashionable in these modern times, there’s a lot of unimaginable things college guys can do during a party. A nice card game is safe, fun, and promotes actual bonding. This particular card game is the drinking version of the popular and instant classic. It’s the most played game in recent times and is listed as one of the best drinking card games for parties by The Manual.
Going camping or having a nice little nature time is a safer choice these days. It’s a breath of fresh air and if your college guy is the outdoorsy type, then this Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock is a marvelous gift. It’s made from heavy-duty 210T nylon, the fabric parachutes are made from. It’s lightweight and compact so he can take it anywhere with friends or on a solo trip.
There’s a pretty good chance that your college guy likes Star Wars (or is aware of the fandom surrounding it, at least). Watch him come to the dark side while donning this adjustable fit Darth Vader Electronic Helmet with collar, mask, and hood pieces. Of course, the most important feature: breathing sound effects! When he’s done playing, it makes for a great desk ornament, too!
For Self-Care and Improvement
College guys move around a lot and having a tumbler that keeps their slushie or piping hot coffee for as long as they need, is a must. The Hydro Flask Tumbler is what The New York Times calls the ultimate commuter vessel. It’s vacuum insulated and made from stainless steel. Plus, its press-in lid is a total lifesaver.
It’s a good thing that Google hasn’t completely killed off the concept of cookbooks. Cooking is both practical and therapeutic. The Essential College Cookbook is intended for those who are starting to live independently for the first time. It consists of around 10 basic lessons to get the reader comfortable in the kitchen. A lot of people wish they had learned how to cook when they were still in school, making this book one of the best gifts for college guys.
College is that weird time for guys when they start to get serious about self-grooming. And for hairy dudes, in particular, that discipline mostly revolves around facial hair care. Sure, they won’t be dealing with thick beards and mustaches, but it’s a good thing to let them develop that grooming habit as early as college. This complete beard kit includes trimming tools, shampoo wash, beard growth oil, balm, brushes and combs, and a storage bag.
The Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook takes note-taking to a whole new level! This nifty device allows you to wipe the pages clean with a damp cloth so you can use it endlessly. It’s nature-friendly while having that balance of old-school and digital. College guys can also blast their handwritten notes to popular cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, or iCloud using the free Rocketbook application on iOS and Android.
Smartphones and laptops emit radiation while blue light keeps the body awake. This is harmful especially to the eyes late at night when the body needs to rest. One of the best gifts for college guys is this trendy-looking Blue Light Blocking Glasses that help protect the eyes against blue light exposure. They don’t have to wear them permanently, just when they’re using gadgets for long periods.
Your college guy most likely has a bag already, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a spare one that is light, compact, and has every pocket or compartment he’ll ever need? This Incase ICON Lite Pack has a 14” shoulder drop, a sternum strap, and can safely store a MacBook Pro or Macbook Air. Most importantly, the exterior looks professional, sleek, and slim which significantly enhances style. He’ll forget about that banged-up Jansport in a blink of an eye.
Why is this brand of electric toothbrush picked by The New York Times as the best out there? Apparently, this brush comes with a minimal charging pedestal that simply requires dropping the brush onto a peg. That alone makes it the best gift for college guys who are “too busy” to be manually doing things. Fully charged, it lasts for at least a week of twice-daily two-minute brushing sessions. It even has an in-handle timer that pulses every 30 seconds to let you know when to switch to other areas of the mouth. Welcome to the future!
Most college guys probably don't have a closet full of professional clothing that they can use for important situations like job interviews or internships. Help him make a good impression with the Dockers Men's Classic Navy 2 Button Blazer. He can use this dapper jacket repeatedly for years to come. Make sure that you know his size so it won’t be an epic fail.
30. Gift Cards or Subscriptions
The classic gift of all is cash. But we now live in an almost cashless world, so it’s high time we give this gift a proper update. You can give a Visa Gift Card instead, which admittedly looks a lot classier than money in an envelope or worse — an electronic transfer.
If you want money to go into something more specific, you can buy college guys premium subscriptions instead. If he has a dog, there’s a BarkBox subscription for a monthly dose of dog toys, treats, and goodies. If he has a cat, go with KatNipBox.
Video game subscriptions are one of the best gifts for college guys, too. Whether they’re Xbox or PlayStation fans, there’s a subscription service for everyone. And of course, there’s the Book of the Month subscription for guys who still like reading an actual, physical book.
Now, do you have a pretty good idea of what to give your son, brother, or guy friend in college? The thing to remember is that it must be, at the very least, useful. When you’re helping him make an improvement in his life in some small way, the joy of gift-giving becomes even more priceless. Any best gifts for college guys that we might’ve missed? Leave them in the comments.