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Indulgent gifts are exciting, but there’s just something about a gift you didn’t know you needed that now makes your life easier every day. While they may not all have wow factor, these practical picks help solve problems for everyone on your list. And many of them are designed so that your gift recipient will be proud to show them off. Here are some of our favorites that are available right now:
Whether the frequent traveler in your life is headed on a weeks-long adventure on the other side of the globe or just going away for the weekend, they’ll need a toothbrush and other toiletries. The Explorer PLUS & Explorer SLIM Combo Pack is a solution to any kind of trip—all in one package. With eight pockets and 3 liters of storage space, the Explorer PLUS keeps toiletries from an electric razor to beard oil organized. It also comes with a TSA-compliant zip-out bag for getting through the airport quickly. The Explorer Mini, meanwhile, lets people travel light, fitting two 3-ounce bottles in its 1.5-liter space. And both are waterproof for those inevitable spills.
When you’re out camping, the last thing you want is to get fussy about your dishware. That’s why the YETI Rambler Mug is a great gift for any outdoors enthusiast. The stainless-steel Rambler doubles as a bowl, so it’s great for both coffee and chili. The mug comes with a sliding lid for reliable access, an easy-grip handle, and is available in a range of fun colors and sizes (10-ounce, 14-ounce, and 24 ounces). You can also order versions for your company, school, or get one engraved for a more personalized touch.
That relative who never quite gets around to saving their family photos on an external drive or the cloud? Save them from oblivion by giving them the Qubii Photo Storage Drive. Compatible with Apple devices, the Qubii automatically backs up your photos, videos, and contacts while charging your phone. All they need is a USB port. It comes in versions with SanDisk microSD cards (128GB and 256GB) and solo (just add your own microSD).
It may not be the most comforting thought when considering a gift, but the Le Creuset Dutch Oven will likely outlive your gift recipient. There’s a reason this classic line shows up on so many registries. Made of cast iron and enamel and available in a range of rich colors and sizes (3 quarts, 5.25 quarts, and 8 quarts) the Le Creuset Dutch Oven can serve up everything from seafood stew to short ribs. This durable piece can stand up to the heat of the stove and oven and still look beautiful on the table for decades to come.
A fitness mirror might not seem like a practical gift at first glance. But lululemon’s Studio Mirror is worth the splurge—and it’s almost half off if you use the code “LLSTUDIO700”. Unlike other home fitness equipment, this elegant brushed steel-and-glass mirror blends easily into any decor. The corresponding fitness platform (sold separately by subscription) provides a portal to more than 10,000 workouts from some of the top fitness instructors around without having to leave your home. And the 5-megapixel camera and high-fidelity surround-sound audio make workouts a truly immersive experience—no hiding in the back row. Adding to the practicality is that it’s also just a mirror for when you’re getting ready for work or a night out and want to admire the results of all that cardio, yoga, etc.
Little messes have a way of materializing: dust on a bookshelf, crumbs on a car seat, spilled sugar on a kitchen counter. They don’t all warrant breaking out a super-sized vacuum, though. The Eufy Handheld Vac makes cleanup easy. The handheld device weighs just 1.2 pounds, but it comes with an impressive 5500pa of suction power, a crevice attachment for those difficult-to-reach places, and a washable filter. All you need is a USB port to charge it and it will last for 20 minutes—plenty of time to make quick work of a little mess.
People have strong opinions about hot sauce, but a pick like this medium-hot offering by Disco can help bridge the divide. Made with all-natural ingredients—including jalapeno and habanero peppers; pineapple; cider vinegar; orange and lemon juice; brown sugar; garlic; and salt—this hot sauce is light and sweet. It pairs well with everything from eggs to wings to stir fry and cocktails. And at this price, you can stock up.
That person who’s always scrambling for their keys, phone, purse? You will greatly cut down on the wasted time spent searching with the gift of the Tile Mate Tracker. Just have them attach the Bluetooth-enabled tracker to their keychain and set up the app. Then they can use the app to make the tile ring so they can locate their device. The giftee can also use voice commands, as the Mate is also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. It reaches a radius of about 200 feet, but if you want more reach, you can opt for the Tile Pro for a few more dollars and up to 400 feet of range.
If you’ve got a dedicated griller in your life, you can help make the months when the Weber in the backyard is blanketed in snow a little easier to take. Place the Lekue Microwave Grill in the microwave, and its slats heats up just like a grill’s. Enjoy the taste of the grill with fish, chicken, meat, vegetables, and more. Plus, this ingenious device doubles as a panini maker. And when they’re done? The non-stick surface is easy to clean: Just toss it in the dishwasher.
Buying surprise concert tickets for someone can get dicey—even if you know they love the artist, it’s hard to make sure their calendar is and will remain open before they get the gift. Or that they won’t just buy tix themselves. But something you can do is improve every concert experience with reusable earplugs. Low-profile, with a carrying case and multiple sizes of eartips (just like your favorite wireless earbuds), the Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs use an attenuating filter in the central sound tube to reduce harmful sound levels by 22dB without muffling what is heard. This improves everything from performances to weird conversations in the bathroom line. These earplugs may only cost $30 (stash an extra pair in the car for yourself or a forgetful friend), but someone preserving their hearing is a priceless gift that keeps on giving.
That friend who always knows the best new series to stream? They’re going to love you when you make it possible for them to create a truly cinematic experience from wherever they are. The ViewSonic M1 Mini Projector packs plenty into its .6 pounds. It’s designed with a USB port that lets the user just plug in and play with a dongle or other device. It provides vivid colors and its JBL speakers ensure a quality audio experience. The battery life of up to 1.5 hours won’t get viewers through an especially long binge, but you can’t beat the portability. (Know someone really into gaming? There’s a projector just for that.)
Honest question: How much gunk is stuck to your computer or smartphone screen right now? It’s a lot, isn’t it? That’s OK. We’re not here to judge. We can help, though. These extra-large microfiber cloths are about the size of a hand towel and can clean the crud off just about anything with a screen or lens. It may seem like a lame gift until your recipient sees their screen in brilliant, soy-sauce-speckle-free clarity. — Stan Horaczek
There are lots of smart light bulbs on the market, but the Lifx bulb simplifies the process of upgrading. They don’t require a hub like most of the other Wi-Fi bulbs, they throw out the equivalent light of a 75-watt bulb, and best of all, they work natively with all of the different smart assistants, like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. — Stan Horaczek
No matter how carefully you pack, clothes always look a little wrinkled when you take them out of the suitcase. But the Polardo Travel Clothes Steamer will keep the business traveler in your life from looking like a hot mess. Designed to work with tap water, it comes with an electronic pump system and steam channeling that let you steam at any angle without dripping water on your clothes. With 120 volts of power, the steamer heats up in less than 25 seconds and is safe on a range of fabrics, from wool and cotton to satin and embroidery and sequins. Plus, at 3.4-inches long by 7.7-inches high and weighing just over a pound, it won’t take up too much precious space in a carry-on.
Is there a person you go to when you need something fixed stat? Or maybe you do it yourself. Either way, the GeeKey Pocket Tool incorporates the functionality a handy person needs in a durable, stainless steel unit that’s designed to be attached to a keychain. Multiple screwdriver and open and closed wrench capabilities can handle an array of quick projects, while the protractor makes sure you get them precisely right. And the can and bottle opener will always come in handy.
Computers are getting slimmer, but that means they’re also getting stingier with their USB ports. This 10-port dock has seven high-speed USB-3 data and charging ports, as well as three high-power 2.1 Amp charging-specific ports for faster top-offs. Not bad for a device the size of a candy bar. Note: Actual candy bars also make good gifts, but they’re not very practical. — Stan Horaczek