12 Graduation Gifts for Him

Get him something he really wants

(Unsplash/ Trevor Cleveland)
Photo: Unsplash/ Trevor Cleveland

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Gifts are a great way to commemorate an occasion but not all gifts are created equal. If you’re congratulating a young adventurer, skip the socks and get him something that will help him explore the world. 

CRKT Squid Knife ($30)


We like this knife because it's a study in simplicity. A plain but sturdy stainless steel handle houses and then locks out a tough 2.14-inch steel drop point blade. Very few moving parts make it reliable and easy to clean.

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Bellroy Note Sleeve Wallet ($90)


A wallet says a lot about a person’s personality so make sure your grad ditches the Velcro for something a little more refined. Pull out this Bellroy at a coffee shop, for example, and people will take notice. The handsome bi-fold is made of responsibly sourced leather, and the slim design stores a handful of bills and up to 11 cards.

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Thule PowerShuttle Travel Organizer ($25)


It’s not the sexiest gift, but the PowerShuttle is one of our favorite travel accessories. The book-sized cube keeps headphones, charging cords, and spare batteries organized when you’re on the move. If you think your grad deserves something fancier, check out the bespoke leather Tech Dopp kit II.

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Born to Run ($10)


This wildly entertaining narrative by Outside contributor Christopher McDougall launched the barefoot running craze and inspired a general running boom in the early 2000’s. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves running or just being active outside.

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Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece ($140)

(Courtesy Patagonia)

The unofficial uniform of college students and recent grads, this heathered polyester fleece looks good with just about any outfit whether you're 10 miles into the backcountry or walking through Boston’s financial district.

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Rocky Mountain BrassKnuckle Bike Rack ($220)

(Rocky Mounts)

If your grad is a biker but is still using a trunk mounted rack, it’s time for an upgrade. We love the roof-mounted BrassKnuckles which features a simple design that fits all crossbars and maintains a low profile when not in use. The best part is that unlike most roof racks, you don't have to remove the front wheel, so there’s no fussing once you get to the trailhead.

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Momentum Steelix Watch ($85)


The sweet-looking steel-case Momentum Steelix is water-resistant to 200 meters and has an ultra-hard, scratch-resistant mineral crystal face. But it’s the simple, easy-to-read design, luminous hands, and unassuming nylon strap that make it so appealing. And should your grad happen to lose it on an around-the-world trip, it was only 85 bucks.

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Blundstone Super 550 Series Boots ($185)


Yes, they're a pricey pair of kicks, but these leather boots will last decades. The lugged rubber sole provides excellent grip on wet sidewalks or dirt paths and the premium leather looks equally great with jeans or dressed up with khakis.

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Aeropress Coffee Maker ($30)

(Courtesy of Aerobie)

Outside editors are big fans of the Aeropress and for good reason. Its simple, foolproof design makes delicious coffee at home but it’s lightweight and small enough to bring car camping or on a backpacking trip. 

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Patagonia Black Hole 60L Duffel  ($140)

(Courtesy Patagonia)

The Black Hole recently won the runner-up award in our duffel test which pitted 30 bomber, adventure-ready duffels against each other. Our tester lauded it for it’s lightweight yet durable material and ability to handle heavy loads. The 60-liter size is big enough to carry everything needed for extended weekend trips.

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Rumpl Puffy Blanket ($160)

(Courtesy Rumpl)

Featuring a ripstop nylon back for enhanced strength and synthetic insulation for warmth, Rumpl blankets come in a variety of stylish colors and patterns. Stash it in your vehicle for impromptu picnics or chilly nights at the trailhead.

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Yeti Cooler Tundra 65 Cooler ($350)


A cooler will help facilitate adventure no matter the activity and Yeti makes the best in the business. The Tundra 65 has enough space to hold a weekend’s worth of food and beer for an entire group and is durable enough to last a lifetime.

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