If the experience in your family is comparable to ours, you may find that your millennial children want almost everything, but on their own, cannot afford very much. This holiday gift guide provides a wide range of products with something for everyone:
Outdoor Research Refuge Jacket – Come In from the Rain: Over the years we’ve been consistently impressed with the quality and durability of Outdoor Research products. The Refuge Jacket is no exception.
- Starts car, truck, boat, motorcycle, ATV/UTV engines: 10L+ gas (5L+ diesel)
- Patented Smarty Clamps® with tapered tips have safety protections built in plus lights and sounds to guide you through a safe and simple jump
- New AutoBoost™ technology safely jumps batteries as low as 0.5 volts
- Powered by a high-performance, the long-lasting 12V lithium-ion battery providing up to 2-years of standby power and 1000 charging cycles
- Detect-o-Matic™ USB charger automatically provides the fastest charge to your phones and tablets
- 12V and 19V outputs to power accessories and charge laptops
- Pro-grade 600-lumen LED flashlight illuminates up to 15 hours and strobe and SOS modes that last up to 30 hours on a single charge
- Available at Amazon.com for $153.36
Sony Walkman/nw-a40- Give the Gift of Hi-Res Audio: Sony has largely established the market for affordable Hi-Res portable audio. This entry-level model doesn’t really skimp offering a 16B internal memory and a micro SD slot capable of adding another 32 GB. It offers up to 45 hours of playback time depending on the user’s choice of format. The NW-A40 is available in a variety of colors and can be purchased direct from Sony for just under$220 and about a dollar cheaper at Amazon
- Large, 3” sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing
- Multiple Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) support to track your travels in more challenging environments than GPS alone plus three-axis compass and barometric altimeter
- Access to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery with direct-to-device downloads and no annual subscription and preloaded TOPO U.S. and Canada maps
- Compatible with Garmin Explore™ website and app to help you manage tracks, routes and waypoints and review statistics from the field
- Up to 16 hours of battery life in GPS mode; 1 week in expedition mode lets you explore longer than ever before on a single set of AA batteries
- Price is just about $500 from Garmin.com and about $450 from Amazon.com
Ryobi Brushless Drill Driver-Kit Drill Home The Point: This RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless Brushless 1/2 in. Drill/Driver with (2) 2.0 Ah Batteries, Charger, and Bagwill get those household DIY jobs done in a jiffy. The drill/driver features a 3-jaw Jacobs Chuck for quick hex bit insert. Choose from 1 of 24 torque options on the clutch and engage this device with the variable-speed trigger in 1 of 2 speed settings (0 to 600 RPM or 0 to 1800 RPM) to match your desired application. Its brushless motor provides longer runtime and extended tool life when compared to brushed motors. The LED light illuminates the work area and remains on for a time after the trigger is released for improved accuracy. The 18-Volt charger is compatible with all RYOBI ONE+ lithium-ion batteries. Price is just about $130 at Amazon.
Samsung Galaxy Watch – A Smarter Wrist: You want a smartwatch but you don’t use an iPhone? Well, then you can forget the Apple Watch and get something even better: the new Samsung Galaxy Watch. And you don’t need a Samsung phone, just about any recent Android will do, and it even works with up to date iPhones.
Samsung used to call their watches “Gear” – as in Gear S3 and Gear Sport last year – but now it’s simply the Samsung Galaxy Watch which is a similar design in that it’s round with a rotating bezel. But there are improvements in the new model, including making it fully waterproof (you can swim with it), longer battery life and Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant.
You’ll have to make one other choice, as you would have with earlier models: LTE or only Bluetooth. With 4G LTE you can make phone calls & send texts even when not in Bluetooth range of your smartphone – but of course, there’s an extra monthly fee to pay to supported cell carriers. With the watch paired to your phone, calls & texts on the watch go through the phone’s cell account, which you’re already paying for.
Pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Watch depends on size & model – LTE or no LTE – and range from $299 to $399. A smart addition to your wrist.
Motorola’s First 5G phone The Z3– The Need for Speed: We’ve been promised next-generation high-speed service for years. Now it’s here – well almost. 5G promises speed up to 10 times faster than LTE service. But it’s not quite here yet, though Verizon will have it within a couple of months The Z3 phone itself will be about $480, but in order to get 5G you will need to add a Moto Mod and there’s no pricing listed for that quite yet. You can use the Z3 with other mods today and be the first to jump on the 5G bandwagon when it arrives.
Sony Hi-Def Portable Walkman – Discover the Joys of Affordable Hi-Def Music: If your millennial son or daughter is still listening to music on an MP3 player, now may be a great tie to step up to HD music. Sony helped establish the format and even its entry-level models have plenty to offer. The NW-A40 Series features as much as 45 hours of playback time depending on your choice of format. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and an SD Card slot that will let you add another 128GB of storage. Price at Amazon is $178.
Lenovo Super Sleek Yoga laptop – Style in Motion: Your millennial will be proud to carry around the Lenovo C930 Two-In-One 14″ Ultrabook. This is a major redesign of the Yoga line. It features a 14″ UHD Dolby Vision screen. Under the hood is a powerful Intel Core i7 processor. It boasts more than 14 hours of battery running time and you can get it with as much as 1TB of hard disk storage. It has one of the best-designed sound systems of any laptop we’ve heard. It comes with a stylus and weighs in at about 3 lbs. Lenovo’s pricing begins at $1,244.99 but we’ve seen it on Amazon for $1,229.98.
Hobie Miracle Eclipse Pedalboard – Just For Fun: This may just be the gift for the millennial who has it all. The Hobie Eclipse is a standup pedalboard that’s great for zooming through the waves. It’s 12′ and weighs 53 pounds fully rigged. You can get it from Amazon for just under $1900 but you may be better off finding a local outdoor sports dealer to save the shipping.
Epson Home Office Printer – Ideal Home Companion: The Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 Small-in-One Printer is the latest affordable home printer great for spaces where you need a small footprint but full capability. It features wireless printer, including from your smartphone. It comes with five different ink cartridges and boasts superior photo printing capability. Perhaps best if the price – Amazon has it for $113.34
WD My Passport Portable SSD HD – Get Up & Go: This latest generation of portable hard drives from Western Digital are blazingly fast SSDs – solid state drives – that connect to any computer PC or Mac with a high-speed USB-C port but are also downward compatible to older & slower USB connections. Your millennial can use it to store photos, videos, documents, or better yet make it an easy to carry backup drive with password-protected content. From 256 GB to 2 TB – priced accordingly at Amazon from about $90 to under $400.
Acer Holo360 – For All-Around Fun: This camera is just what it says it is, a 360 degree still & video camera, but it’s actually more, since it is built on the Android OS and you can run some apps on it, and with a SIM card connect it on a cell network (although there’s no actual phone). It makes for fun panorama pix that can be instantly uploaded to social media – isn’t that what millennials do? – without having to make a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or USB connection (it has those too). Has a 3″ screen and while there’s only about 8 GB of onboard storage, the Holo360 also takes a microSD card. Seen on Amazon as low as $155.
Ridgid 12V Palm Impact Screwdriver – Git ‘er Done: Your millennials may not be known for their DIY skills, but maybe a gift of this handy tool will shove – er, guide – them in the Do It Yourself direction. With its compact size and push-to-drive technology, this screwdriver is easy to operate even in tight spaces. LED lights show them the way & the battery is rechargeable. Get it on Amazon with battery and charger for under $80.
JBL Link View Speaker – You Won’t Hear An Echo: That’s because these smart speakers by JBL use the Google Assistant, not the Amazon Echo Alexa, to perform tasks. The high-quality speakers surround an 8-inch HD touchscreen with a 5-megapixel front camera. You can watch streaming videos, display photos, monitor your front door with a Nest doorbell, as well as issue commands and ask Google questions. It works on Bluetooth & Wi-Fi. You won’t find it on Amazon, natch, but you can get it direct for under $200 at the JBL site or places like Best Buy.
Thule Crossover 2 Laptop Backpack 30L – A Cool Yule Carrier: Your millennial will think of this as the everything bag, a backpack that can hold a 15.6-inch laptop, plus a 10-inch tablet, plus a smartphone, and still have room for power adapters, plus an umbrella or a water bottle. Luckily they’re young enough to schlep all that weight! The backpack has a pocket with RFID blocking, to keep private information on credit cards & such, private. In black, dress blue or forest night (that’s brown to you…) about $200 on Amazon.
Thule Subterra PowerShuttle – Electronics To Go: For those who need even MORE room to carry all the cables, power adapters and maybe even a portable charger, this bag has room for all, plus a pass-through for the cord to connect to a device on the outside. Interior & exterior pockets & strap-downs to cover every situation. In 3 sizes – the largest will hold headphones too – from $19 to $23 at Amazon.