gifts they might actually want

53 Gifts for Every Type of Brother

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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Whether he’s a stepbrother, half-brother, brother-in-law, or biological brother, he’s probably special to you. (Special enough, at least, that you’re reading a story on the best gifts for brothers.) With that uniqueness comes the need for an equally exceptional present that shows how well you know him — and his very specific interests. My own brother is very particular. But after years of gifting him birthday presents and Christmas gifts — some winners, some duds — I’ve learned that the more the gift speaks to one of his specific hobbies or tastes, the better.

Maybe your brother is a fitness fanatic, like mine, or a plant enthusiast who likes to listen to records in his spare time, or someone who is always traveling. His hobbies may range from cooking and baking to hiking, or maybe he’s the type of brother who just got into pickleball. He may be a bookworm — or maybe he’s the biggest Star Wars fan that you know.

Whatever the case, finding the perfect gift for your brother (or brothers) can be tough. To help save you time, we pulled together a list of products we love and have written about before, plus a few more gift ideas any brother would appreciate.

Under $25

For the brother who wants to pack a bowl with his multitool

The Geekey comes with the usual tools: a screwdriver, bottle opener, ruler, serrated edge, and more. But our favorite feature is the bowl and pipe stem built into the tool’s body. “Compared with a one-hitter — perhaps the most famous camouflaged-pipe option — the Geekey wins out with its more generous, easier-to-pack bowl,” writes Strategist contributor Aleta Burchyski.

For the brother who volunteers for spider catch-and-release duty

Carson BugView Magnifier

With this magnifier, he can inspect each bug he catches — and release it into the wild safely. It’s one of our favorite toys.

For the brother who wants an everyday watch he doesn’t have to worry about

This retro-looking watch is casual enough for everyday wear, and at $23 it won’t break the bank if your brother loses it. We think it’s one of the best gifts you can get for under $25.

For the outdoorsy brother who likes to show off his cool gear at camp

From $15
From $15

This sleeve fits on a standard lighter, and turns it into a multi-tool — perfect for having around camp. It’s one of writer Ali Slagle’s camping-van essentials.

For the brother who adopted a cat

This cute catnip toy also comes in apple, rainbow, and lemon shapes.

For the outdoorsy brother who gets his gear soaked

From $12

I take a dry sack on most hikes and backpacking trips so I can keep my valuables dry — even if my backpack gets drenched by a storm.

For the brother who’s always on a bike

I’ve used these bike lights as my main set for three years. Despite their small size (either can fit easily on a keychain or in a pocket), they help me stay visible at night and during the day. They come in a bunch of colors and make great gifts for cyclists.

For the brother who needs to freshen up his sock game

I’ve been rotating through a handful of different colors of these American Trench socks for the past three years. They pair well with sporty, casual outfits, and have a touch of color to make dressier attire more fun.

Under $50

For the brother who likes to keep his protein shakes cold

This is the superior shaker bottle. It’s made of stainless steel, so it keeps smoothies and shakes cold for hours, and its mixing ball is integrated into the lid, which shuts tight and doesn’t leak.

For the Kendall Roy of the family

Sibling power rankings aside, consider this hat for your eldest brother (who also watches Succession).

For the brother who’s getting into foraging

I gave this field guide to a friend last Christmas after he got sick from making a soup with some mushrooms he foraged in Colorado — help for picking out the right ones in future foraging sessions. In general, the National Audubon Society Field Guides are great gifts for any nature lovers (I recently bought the field guide to the night sky for myself), and the flexible vinyl cover gives them a timeless feel.

For the brother with a stiff neck

For the brother who took up cooking (and went plant-based)

Photo: reatilers

Chef and Chopped winner Adriana Urbina named this vegetarian cookbook one of the best out there, noting that the recipes are “creative” and incorporate lots of seasonal fare. It also has stunning photography, so it can double as a coffee-table book.

For the brother who loves adventure photography

Photo: Publisher

Featured in our roundup of the best gifts for outdoorsy types, this book showcases photos taken by director and mountaineer Jimmy Chin, who co-directed Free Solo with his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. In it, he documents his journeys in Nepal, Antarctica, and Tibet, among other destinations.

For the brother who carries his own cup

Keep Cups were designed by baristas, so they’re the ideal shape and size to replace the paper cups at your local cafe.

For the brother who knows he should take care of his skin, but doesn’t know where to start

While moisturizing your skin is an important step in most skin-care routines, applying SPF is even more crucial. Start him off with this moisturizer, which has caffeine, vitamins C and E, and SPF 20.

For the brother who won’t stop talking about The Bear

Even if you can’t cook like Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), you can dress like him. This is the T-shirt that we identified as the same one Carmy wears in the FX show The Bear.

For the rap-fanatic brother

Rap Capital explores the history of the Atlanta rap scene and how it shaped — or was shaped by — artists like Lil Baby and Migos as well as lesser-known but equally important players in the music industry.

For the brother who paddles out

This well-designed coffee-table book is on my wish list. It features interviews with cool people in the surfing world.

For the sourdough bro

This dough-focused coffee-table book is full of bread-making secrets from one of the most famous bakeries in the world.

Under $100

For the athlete brother whose feet are constantly sore

If your brother is the active type, he will appreciate the soft, cushioned support of these Hoka slides, which feel like walking on clouds, according to Timothy Grindle, co-founder of Canoe Club. We picked the Oras as the best overall men’s slipper in our roundup.

For the brother who cooks with fresh herbs

AeroGarden Sprout

This is our favorite indoor garden kit. Explains Strategist writer Erin Schwartz, “It’s compact, comes in a range of sizes, contains a pump and comes with fertilizer, and produces a prodigious quantity of herbs even the brand’s smallest model.”

For the brother who would enjoy a new food project

If your brother has ever mentioned how cool it would be to pickle vegetables or make kimchee, consider giving him this kit, which we featured in our list of the best gifts for gardeners. It has everything he needs to get started, including a recipe book.

For the brother with a sweet tooth

He might love candy, but if your brother wants to maintain a dazzling smile, a water pick could make all the difference. This one is Dr. Inna Chern’s (of New York General Dentistry) model of choice for those who want to see “massive improvement in stains and between-teeth plaque buildup.”

For the brother who’s a restless athlete

This stainless-steel water bottle-foam roller is the first thing I pack for track practice. It’s big enough to roll out my quads and IT band, but small enough to fit in my backpack. While it’s perfect for rolling out at the gate during a layover, it’s good as just a water bottle too.

For the brother who commutes into work

Strategist contributor Molly Dektar noticed that the art world loves this Patagonia pack, which can be used as either a backpack or a tote bag, thanks to a set of shoulder straps and two large grab handles. Dektar also likes that the Black Hole Tote Pack doesn’t look too outdoorsy, unlike other hiking packs.

For the brother who will challenge you to any lawn game


If your brother’s still in grade school, chances are they’re familiar with Spikeball, the sport that combines elements of volleyball and foursquare and is played in elementary- and middle-school P.E. classes across the country. While we featured the portable set in our roundup of the best gifts for 9-year-olds, Spikeball is also a great lawn game for brothers of all ages.

For the brother who likes to host

Hedley & Bennett aprons are beloved by chefs for their sturdy construction and lifetime guarantee. Plus, they’re available in many different (non-boring) colors and patterns, like jalapeño orange, aubergine purple, or classics like this one in midnight blue. The brand also offers custom embroidery.

For the brother who would appreciate an upgrade to his brew station

Featured in our roundup of the best gifts for tea lovers, this stylish French press (which comes in five different colors), will make a nice gift for the coffee- or tea-drinking brother.

For the brother who’s always planning a trip

This pass grants admission to all national parks across the country, including public lands managed by the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. It’s valid for one year from the month of purchase.

For the kid brother who’s already dreaming of being an Eagle Scout

He may only be 5 years old, but it’s never too early to learn how to treat a bee sting. This board game made of 100 percent recycled materials comes beautifully illustrated (and requires no reading skills), so he’ll be teaching you which plants are edible and which are poisonous in no time.

For the brother who’s in a hurry

These coffee pods come in frozen pucks which you melt with hot water (for hot coffee), or thaw and then pour into cold water (for iced coffee). They come recommended by Strategist writer Emma Wartzman and writer Hua Hsu, who like how easy they are to use and how good the resulting brew is. Cometeer makes its coffee with beans sourced from independent roasters across the country.

Under $200

For the brother who always borrows your gloves during ski season

These cowhide leather gloves are stylish enough to wear when he’s not on the slopes. Plus, they come with a removable wool liner.

For the brother who’s a Mandalorian superfan

This 1,000-piece kit is a model of Mando’s Razor Crest — and it comes with a “Baby Yoda” figure.

For the brother who lives far away


One of our most-recommended gifts, this digital picture frame allows you to view and share photos with loved ones no matter where you are. It also works with the iCloud photo library and Google photos.

For the brother who documents every social gathering

FujiFilm Instax Mini 90

If your brother is too impatient to develop his rolls of film, he’ll like the speed of an instant camera. Photographer and designer Dan Rubin travels with this one from Fuji, and likes how its “business-card-size film” is easy to stock up on (and inexpensive).

For the brother who always dresses in athleisure

These premium sweatpants are a major upgrade to the standard cotton pair that he’s been wearing since high school. Plus, they’ll last years — Kevin Kafesu, a senior menswear buyer at Norse Projects, says Reigning Champ’s products are “unbelievably durable.”

For the brother who’s had to call AAA one too many times

I recommend keeping a portable jump-starter in your car for any road trips or outdoor adventures, because you never know when your battery might crap out (or your road-trip buddy might accidentally leave a light on overnight).

For the brother who’s grown up but still loves his Legos

Photo-Illustration: retailer

We featured this Statue of Liberty replica in our roundup of the best Lego sets for all ages. This one comes from the Lego Architecture line, and is slightly more affordable than other sets in the line.

For the brother who loves to travel

Strategist contributor Margaret Eby dreaded packing until she discovered this carry-on backpack from Cotopaxi. It can fit a “shocking amount” of stuff — perfect for the brother who’s always heading off on another trip.

For the brother applying for jobs

A great deal for such a nice-looking (and interview-appropriate) Japanese automatic watch.

For the brother who bought a house

This sleek gadget is capable of deterring real-life robbers. Your brother can program the Doorbell Pro to greet visitors who arrive on his doorstep; he can also program it to send alerts any time there is movement. If he subscribes to the Ring Protect Plan, he can review recordings as far back as 60 days.

Over $200

For the brother who loves music

If your brother is still playing music from his ten-year-old college speakers, get him a multiroom wireless speaker like the Sonos One. Jade Baker, partner and assistant buyer at the British department store John Lewis, says, “This is the classic starter speaker for your multiroom collection. With the ability to link up to all other Sonos speakers in the range, you can kit out your whole house with room-filling sound.”

For the brother who tracks everything

When I rounded up the best fitness trackers, I picked the Whoop as the best for recovery. It uses heart, respiratory, stress, and sleep data, it paints a holistic picture of your health. It’s also a favorite of many athletes, including Sue Bird and Aryna Sabalenka.

For the brother who likes to write in the margins

Kobo Elipsa 2E

Strategist tech writer Jordan McMahon prefers his Elipsa over his Kindles because it allows him to jot down notes on articles and books, which make his thoughts “a part of the text and easy to take in at a glance, rather than something hidden that I have to dig up later,” he writes.

For the brother who goes crazy for movie nights

This compact portable projector is perfect if you’re limited on space or don’t have the furniture to set up a bulkier model. McMahon likes to prop it up on his nightstand to watch shows on his ceiling before bed. He also says it’s great for outdoor movie nights.

For the brother who just started collecting vinyl

If your brother is starting a vinyl collection and needs a turntable, go with this one from Audio-Technica. We picked it as the best-overall turntable. Jake Sullivan, co-owner of Wooden Tooth Records in Tucson, Arizona, says it’s great for beginners. “Somebody who has no experience with records can look at it, figure out how to play a record, and get good sound out of it,” he says.

For the brother who loves throwing pizza parties

Ooni’s ovens make excellent gifts for aspiring chefs because they’re great at achieving temperatures above 900 degrees — that’s hot enough to cook a pizza in well under two minutes. This model can be powered by either gas, wood, or charcoal, and if your brother can operate a barbecue grill, he’ll be able to cook with the Karu easily. It was our best less-expensive pick in our roundup of the best pizza ovens.

For the brother who lives for podcasts

Apple’s widely beloved pair of headphones (with noise canceling) will help him catch up on politics, basketball, or true-crime podcasts — or get a little privacy for his Zoom calls.

For the brother who’s more of a tea guy