progress — By rhone creative director ben checketts
Everyone knows the sad guy in the office that tries to force his own nickname. Well, I just want you to know that such a sad case has no bearing on me referring to myself as “The Gift Guy.” Yes, maybe I am not known by that moniker right now, but the time will soon come where people far and wide will know me by that name.
So without further ado or more nickname talk, I give you the Gift Guy’s official 2020 Holiday Round-Up of gifts that will leave them awe-struck and laden with gratitude. They’ll be giving so many thanks, Macy’s will be forced to throw a parade in your honor.
GIFTS FOR THE FIT(ISH) GUY
Chances are that the guy you are gifting is not training for the Olympics or recently adorned the cover of Men’s Health, and we want you both to know that is ok. So we rounded up gifts for every athlete on your list. From the goal-getters to the casual crushers, they will all enjoy something we feature here.
The Reign Tech Short Sleeve ($68) When people ask me what my favorite work-out top is, my answer is always the same, the Reign Tech. It perfectly balances what you need in a training top. It’s light, breathable, super soft and remarkably effective against odor inducing bacteria. It can’t do your workout for you, but it can sure make it easier to focus on the task at hand.
The Sanddune Stepper ($279) In a year where home fitness, largely unsupervised, became the rage, so too did sports injuries. The Sanddune Stepper is as simple as it is effective at strengthening the muscles in the feet and ankles which in turn stabilizes the legs, hips, and lower back. It’s a perfect warm-up tool with many applications for your regular workout as well as rehabilitation. Don’t be deceived, this thing burns...in a good way.
The Versatility Short ($68) A good pair of training shorts is worth its weight in gold and the Versatility Shorts are not only good, they are great. They are the pinnacle of nearly three years of research, market testing and prototyping. For me, they are the best training shorts we have ever made and it all begins with the italian lux fabric. It’s tough and durable without feeling like sandpaper, in fact it’s quite the opposite, these shorts manage to be soft and stretchy too. Now I am going to be honest, I have never loved liners in shorts, I often push for making shorts without liners, but this liner is fantastic. It’s like the best pair of compression shorts you’ve ever tried, except you don’t leave them at home. And the name? Spot on. I have dragged them on long runs, day hikes, bike rides, weight sessions, etc. They are just so...well, versatile.
Monkii 360 ($279) Travel has been ground to a halt, and that in some ways allows you to stay in one place, with access to the same equipment and the same routine. While that’s great, training should be fun, dynamic, and have the ability to roll with the punches. What I love about the Monkii 360 is how portable, easy, and fun it is, with the potential to do more exercises than you can actually do with the ability to do them pretty much anywhere. Did I mention how fun it is?
Reign Long Sleeve ($78) Working out from home means different things for different people, for me it means I am confined to a frigid garage for my daily sweat sessions. I have found layering to be the most effective way to combat the cold, and these days I am using the Reign Long Sleeve as a base layer. It’s soft, stretchy fabric tends to wick sweat away from my skin, and keep me dry and comfortable throughout my workout. But here is the secret strength of the Reign: after my workout I usually can’t wait to change, but I find myself stuck in the Reign. Essentially, I forget it’s there because it’s so darn comfy.
Crossrope ($139) With everyone jumping on their shiny, new Peloton bike, you may have missed the boat and find yourself on a waitlist, or your like me, and can’t stand the thought of sitting on a bike for 45 mins. Either way, consider the lost art of the jump rope. It’s simple, challenging, and can be done in the comfort of your own home and Crossrope makes the Audi of jump ropes, with easily changeable cords, smooth handles, and an integrated fitness system that makes it easy to get fit.
GIFTS FOR THE EVERYDAY CARRY
Leaving the house has never been more like the scene in every action movie where the hero clips every weapon to his/her person, tightens every strap, and connects every buckle with the accompanying fast cuts and sound effects. Mask? Check. Wallet? Check. Hand sanitizer? Check. You get the picture. So we’ve put together a list of everyday carry items that are bound to make his life just a little bit easier.
2-Layer Protective Face Mask ($18) Masks are part of our everyday carry now, and why not buy one that is remarkably comfortable, easily washable and perfectly protective. I have been wearing these masks for the better part of 6 months and have really enjoyed the security of the fit and the weight of the 2 layer construction. Grab a two pack and wash them often, you know like your underwear. Mask up!
The Mehlville by the James Brand ($75) There may have been a time in your life where all of your keys dangled from a lanyard or a carabiner, both imperfect systems that provided one key (no pun intended) benefit, no keys bulging out of your pockets. The Mehlville delivers that benefit, and so many others, all while looking a minimalist piece of art. The dual clip construction allows one locked compartment to put your keys while the other deftly attaches to your belt loop or key hook. Plus, it’s so well made and stunningly beautiful, just look at it.
Active Essentials Ankle Sock ($14) I have a few pet peeves when it comes to socks. I can’t stand stiff socks, or socks that aren’t durable but the biggest one by far is when socks slip down below your heel. Especially in the middle of a workout or a run, its agonizing! So our socks address all of those problems and more. A rubberized heel grip keeps the back of the sock in place, the soft knitted fabric holds up to anything and anti-odor technology means foot funk is a thing of the past.
Charcoal Hand Sanitizer by Apotheke ($6) Hand sanitizer is awesome, the smell is not. Neither is the dry feeling that many leading brands can leave your hands with at the end of a long day. Enter this high-class charcoal hand sanitizer that leaves a clean scent without sacrificing the safe, effective cleaning power and moisturizing feel. He won’t leave home without it.
Rhone 22 oz. Insulated Tumbler ($25) This isn’t your run of the mill promotional tumbler, this thing is practically bulletproof. The double walled steel vacuum construction is met with a copper insulation that keeps beverages cold for 24 hours and piping hot for 6. But that’s not where the advantages end, the unique construction also prevents condensation from forming on the outside. It’s practical and it’s perfect for your every day.
RunGum ($22.49) Don’t be that guy. You know the guy who is constantly holding an energy drink or stopping for coffee. Just don’t. Try carrying a few pieces of this rocket-fueled gum in your pocket in case you need a quick pick-me-up. RunGum is made with caffeine, taurine, and b-vitamins so that you get the clean-burning energy you need fast. No shake cups with measuring cups filled with pink powders, just a piece of gum and you’re ready to run.
GIFTS TO GET THROUGH WINTER
To some, winter is a gift. A precious, frosty jewel in the crown of the year. To many others, it’s an unbearably dark few months that only exist to test your will. Wherever you fall, we have the perfect roundup of gifts and products that will help you win winter.
Tundra Quilted Hooded Jacket ($228) A warm jacket. That was my response to my California friend who asked me how to get through his first ever chilly winter away from home. A warm jacket can make all the difference when a bitter wind or a frosty morning sets in. Our Tundra Quilted Jacket looks good, sure, but it also keeps you nice and toasty with one added bonus, it’s responsibly made. The recycled insulation does good for the earth and right by your body temperature. What’s not to love?
Made-In Frying Pan ($99) A rousing breakfast can get you out of bed on a cold day and for my money, there are few better breakfasts than an over-easy egg served next to some nice avocado toast. Made-In makes premium cookware and sells it for a fair price. This frying pan gets used DAILY in my house hold and it holds up to a lot of tough love and frequent use. Pick the size best suited for you and get to making some eggs, or the million other things you can make!
Gramercy Snap Pullover ($138) This handsome pull-over has become a staple for me as the weather cools. As a mid-layer, it simply can’t be beat for it’s good looks and comfortable feel. The stretch cotton fabric is cozy against the skin, and easy to wash and wear. I love the detail on the snap placket, and the new colors we introduced are perfect to layer over a Commuter Dress Shirt or under a nice coat for an evening out.
North Face Thermoball Slippers ($54.95) Before you judge this book by its cover, imagine buying and wearing tiny little jackets for your feet. Impractical sure, but warm and comfortable. Our friends at the North Face invented a slipper that brings the magic of their best-selling outerwear into convenient slipper for those cold days of working from home or as the perfect apres ski option for your feet.
Everyday Essentials Undershirt ($26) Hear me out. I know this isn’t a natural pick for a winter favorite, but if you have to layer, you should start with the best. This incredibly soft undershirt is made of a magical blend of unicorn fur and cloud cotton. Ok, that’s not real, but the comfort is. And it comes from a precise blend of micro modal and pima cotton. They are made without annoying tags or side seams and deliver an exceptional wearing experience for everyday of the week.
Campfire Cowboy Candle ($59) A candle doesn’t provide much by way of warmth, but it can provide a warming memory of rich summer nights spent under the stars, and isn’t that a start? This remarkable candle is made with all of the good stuff and none of the bad, plus it smells remarkably like a rousing campfire. The combination of teakwood, tobacco and saffron put you at ease while notes of smoke, amber and patchouli make it a well rounded scent for any space. Cowboy up and get yourself this here candle.