Forget the blinking Christmas tree tie. Buy something your friends and family (or yourself) will actually use. Here’s our rundown of the holiday season’s best gear, gadgets, apparel and more.
Wilson X Connected Basketball
Sync it to a mobile device to track shooting performance (unfortunately for us, it’s very accurate), and enjoy game modes such as Buzzer Beater that turns your driveway hoop into a mega-sized Pop-a-Shot. $199 wilson.com/x
2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
If the sound of this muscle car firing up doesn’t put a smile on your face, just turn in your Man Card. It’s powered by a 5.2L V8 engine that produces 526 tire-smoking horsepower. Plus, it looks like it’ll eat your wife’s sedan.
Starting at $48,000 ford.com
This year’s installment of the popular hockey video game has some much-needed improvements, including a “Season Mode” and greater overall customization. Our verdict? It’s game on!
Easton Power Sensor
Slip it over the knob of a baseball or softball bat, sync it to a mobile device and find the flaws in your swing. We had high school baseball players test it. Their reaction? A big thumbs up.
Withings Activite Smart Watch
Let’s face it, fitness trackers are anything but stylish. Until now. Connect it to your phone to track walking/running distance as well as time swimming laps in the pool. Better yet, it doesn’t need recharging.
Most football fans have that one play they’ll never forget: think Titans’ “Music City Miracle” in 2000, or 1982’s “The Catch” by the 49ers. Now you can bring it to life on a poster or t-shirt.
Starting at $28 prinstantreplays.com
Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 Running Shoes
Colorful options abound for these lightweight road runners that grip your foot, providing a secure base but without the stiffness of many shoes. Unlike your ex, they are incredibly stable.
TaylorMade M1 Driver
Used by our cover boy by Dustin Johnson, this beauty is built for booming drives with greater control off the tee. It’s so impressive that one tester, following a particularly amazing drive, remarked, “Wow, I’m really not this good.”
Mizuno JPX-EX Forged Irons
A thinner forged face construction (made with super strong boron) increases ball speed while a large sweet area makes for better control. The combination is what every golfer needs in their bag.
Templeton Rye: The Good Stuff
If you’re looking for a great whiskey to serve at your next tailgating party, we’ve found it. Perhaps the smoothest whiskey we’ve ever tasted. And we’ve tasted a lot of whiskey.
Icebreaker IKA LS Half Zip Base Layer
Icebreaker’s new sports camo prints are ideal for hunters. Made with merino wool, it keeps you warm, dries quickly, and naturally stays stink-free. Off-set shoulder seams let you carry a pack or rifle without chafing, and the half-zip collar lets you regulate your temperature.
Therm-a-Rest Antares HD Three-Season Down Sleeping Bag
This two-pound sleeping bag uses 750-fill goose down and a reflective liner to keep you comfortable in temperatures down to 15F and alive down to minus 18F. Just hope you never have to find out.
REVO Baseliner Sunglasses with Blue Water Lenses
Fishermen, take note: REVO’s Blue Water polarized lens sports a blue mirror coating that cuts down glare from bright days on the water, so you can keep your eyes on the prize.
Gerber Gator Sheath Folder Clip Point Knife
This folding knife’s 3.6-inch steel blade offers a sturdy locking system while the textured rubber Gator gripping on the handle helps you stay in control whether you’re gutting dinner or just really into whittling.
Columbia Sportswear PFG Bahama II Long Sleeve Shirt
Designed specifically for fishermen, the PFG (for Performance Fishing Gear) Bahama II’s long sleeves keep the sun off your skin, while vents keep you cool. Sorry, it won't help you catch more fish.