Gift Guides

35+ Out-of-the-Box Gifts for College Guys

Woman surprising significant other with gift

When it comes to shopping for the perfect gift for a college guy, it can be tough to know where to start. 

First off, what guy really needs new socks? No one!  And secondly, what do these college guys even want? 

But since we're up for a challenge, we've done our research and we've scoured the web to put together the ultimate gift list for college guys!

From high-tech must-haves to low-key essentials, we have found the best gifts that are sure to please.

And don’t forget, if you really want to impress the college guy in your life, give him one of our delicious Jerky Boxes. If college guys could use help with one thing, it’s probably their snack game. They’ll thank you later!

1. Backpack or Duffel Bag

Backpack or Duffel Bag

Help them avoid the dreaded shoulder bag look by upgrading their backpack or duffel bag. As most college students carry a lot of stuff around daily, their backpack or duffel bag needs to be up for the task. With brands like Hershel and Osprey, they can easily go from uni to a weekend trip! But if you have the cash to splurge, you can opt to get him a TUMI and add a touch of personalization for a more luxurious look, he'll surely be thanking you for the gift of style and convenience.

Shop: Osprey Backpacks - $590.00

2. Portable Charger

Portable Charger

A portable charger is a perfect gift for college students, especially that phones nowadays have a short battery life! And if they're always on the go or out and about, this device is a must-have. 

They can charge their smartphone anywhere with this gadget, whether they're at a restaurant, in class, walking to their car from school… wherever. Most modern ones even come with built-in cables, so they'll never have to worry about forgetting one again. Portable chargers are a practical gift for college students as they will surely come in handy throughout the year.

Shop: Muleug 3 in 1 Wireless Charger Charging Station Dock - $48.86

3. Lap Desk

LapGear Home Office Lap Desk with Device Ledge

Lap desks are perfect for college students who have to do a lot of studying at home or even in the library. Since most schools don't allow computers during class, it's important that they get their work done outside of school hours, so this is where these lap desks come into play. 

Not only can you customize them, but they're also lightweight and compact so that they won't take up much space in their dorm room.

Shop: LapGear Home Office Lap Desk with Device Ledge - $29.99

4. Breakfast Station

3-in-1 Family Size Electric Breakfast Station

Help them get a head start on their day with the gift of breakfast. A compact breakfast station is the best addition to any young adult’s living space! With long nights and early classes, it can be hard to find the time between their busy schedule for a nutritious breakfast. 

But with a breakfast station, it is no doubt a great gift for college students who are always rushing in the morning and don't have time to make a proper meal before leaving--from making a quick sandwich to all the recipes that every college student can cook right from his small living room, the breakfast station is the way to go!

Shop: 3-in-1 Family Size Electric Breakfast Station - $113.19

5. Gift Cards

Gift Cards

For college students, a gift card is a gift that will most definitely come in handy. Whether it's an Amazon gift card or one for TargetBest Buy, or Starbucks, it gives college students the freedom to buy what they need or want without spending their own money. 

You can also give them a gift card to snag some of our delicious beef jerky.

Shop: PCBJ Gift Card - From $10

6. Blue Light Glasses

Blue Light Glasses

Blue light glasses are becoming increasingly popular that it landed on the "Student Needs" list as it helps reduce eye strain caused by blue lights that are emitted from devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones.

So for your college best friend or loved one who's always up studying or working late at night, blue light glasses can help reduce eye strain so they won't have to keep worrying about their eyes getting dry or tired while studying or working.

It's a totally practical gift for many students who have to keep working long hours into the night.

Shop: Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Glasses - $15.99

 7. Toiletry Bag

Toiletry Bag

The quintessential college experience has your essentials at arm's length. And if you want to make sure that he has everything he needs, then gifting him a toiletry bag should be on top of the list. To make an ordinary toiletry bag special, go for bags that can be customized or curate a set of self-care products for your guy.

As for those who have a knack for sustainable goods you can give him a Durango Waxed Canvas Dopp Kit. It's built with durable waxed canvas cotton that’s built to last. It’s stylish and handsome without being over-the-top. Plus, it’s ethically made in Leon, Mexico.


8. Weighted Blanket

ZonLi 100% Cotton Adults Weighted Blanket

A weighted blanket is a cool gift idea for cozy nights in! Weighted blankets are therapeutic and they can help regulate the body's temperature so you know he'll be getting quality Zzzzs every night. It can also be an amazing birthday gift or a going-away present for those who are just about to start their first semester in college. 

Not only it'll help your guy sleep better, but it'll also definitely help him feel calmer too during the different pressures of student life or when feeling a little homesick. 

Shop: ZonLi 100% Cotton Adults Weighted Blanket - $75.99

9. Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 7

If you want to go the extra mile for your guy, the Apple Watch Series 7 is a great gift for your man who is a big fan of the brand. And of course, not just because it's from his favorite brand, but also because of its many benefits.

Aside from helping your guy never get late again (even for five minutes!) The Apple Watch can also play music and is conveniently designed to measure heart rate, calories burned, and distance traveled.

And besides health and fitness, it is also equipped with a voice recorder, a way to check your sleeping patterns, and a high-quality camera that allows you to quickly take selfies anytime.

In other words, this watch is the real deal! So, whether your guy is going on a run or to the gym after hours at school, gifting them with an Apple watch will make sure that they can track all-day activity like steps taken and calories burned which makes everything easier for him. It helps him stay organized too as he can easily check his schedule right from his wrist (Thanks to Siri integration!).

Shop: Apple Watch Series 7 - From $399

10. Smart Reusable Notebook

Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook

For the guy who had the messy backpack crammed with old papers as a kid and who hates having to carry notebooks and paper everywhere, the Smart Reusable Notebook is a super cool gift idea.

This eco-friendly and functional gift idea has a 32-page dotted grid notebook that can be used repeatedly by wiping clean with a damp cloth. He can blast handwritten notes to popular cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, email, and more using the free Rocketbook application for iOS and Android. 

As for the pen, you can use any Pilot Frixion pen, marker, or highlighter, just allow 15 seconds for the ink to dry.

Shop: Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook - $31.28

11. Apple Airpods

Apple Airpods 

When it comes to the best gifts for college guys, nothing beats a staple set of Apple Airpods or a pair of noise-canceling headphones, which are always at the top of everyone's wish list. 

As wireless headphones pair easily with any device, not only can he conveniently take hands-free calls but also conveniently watch videos, whether it's a YouTube tutorial on solving crazy math equations or watching his favorite sports teams, or just outright flaunting it on the campus. You can't go wrong with gifting him a pair of quality headphones.

Shop: Apple Airpods - From $179

12. Mini Fridge

FRIGIDAIRE Mini Fridge Brushed Stainless Rugged Refrigerator

If their dorm room has a refrigerator, that's great. But if not, then gifting them with one is always an awesome idea. Whether they're living in the middle of nowhere or a small apartment far from campus dining halls and convenience stores, having access to fresh food without going too far out of their way can make all the difference for any college guy.

Shop: FRIGIDAIRE Mini Fridge Brushed Stainless Rugged Refrigerator - $48.89

13. Microwave Popcorn Popper

Microwave Popcorn Popper

A microwave popcorn popper may not be a prerequisite to passing college life, but it definitely is a fun gift idea. Who needs greasy popcorn anyway when they can have healthy and tasty popcorn right in their dorm room? Not only is it great to have when his close friends come over for some movie marathon or game nights, but it's also a good companion during late-night study sessions.

Just make sure that you give them some quality popcorn kernels, salt, and oil to get this college party started.

Shop: Ecolution Original Microwave Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper - $19.99

14.  Mini Retro Vending Machine

Mini Retro Vending Machine

While it’s not the most practical gift, this gift made the list because honestly, we love the vintage vibe of it. Plus, it’s really cool looking and doesn’t take up a lot of space. 

Shop: Coca-Cola Retro Vending Machine Mini Fridge - $360.82

15.  Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

What's better than a great pair of headphones? A great pair of headphones and a powerful Bluetooth speaker. A Marshall Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker is not only great a gift for any college guy, but it's also perfect for tailgating, outdoor concerts, or just kicking back in his dorm room.

This top-of-the-line Bluetooth speaker is not only fully-rugged to handle any adventure, but it also pumps out some high-quality audio with powerful bass and crisp highs.

 Shop: Marshall Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker - $199.99

16. MUD \ WTR Coffee Alternative

MUD \ WTR Coffee Alternative

Whether it was the office Keurig or your grandmother's Celestial Seasonings that wasn't cutting it, MUD\WTR provides you with the energy and focus you need in a way that is just right. 

Mud, which contains only 1/7th of coffee's caffeine content, uses ayurvedic herbs, adaptogens, and cacao to provide natural energy, attention, and immune support without causing anxiety or sleeplessness. Although it's a monthly supply (30 servings), get it auto-delivered if you don’t want him running out.

Shop: MUD \ WTR 30 serving :rise - $40 per month

17. A Novelty Alarm Clock

A Novelty Alarm Clock

Alarm clocks are boring. But they don’t have to be, especially if it looks like a PlayStation Controller! Perfect for the guy who likes to spend more time gaming than studying. 

Shop: Paladone Playstation Controller Alarm Clock - $24.99

18. Craft Beer of the Month Subscription

Craft Beer of the Month Subscription

Bottoms Up! A craft beer of the month subscription is an awesome gift idea for college guys who appreciate the quality of a craft brew. 

There are so many options out there, but we suggest getting them one that offers at least three different beers every month in small quantities (12 ounces each). This way they can try all sorts of new flavors and varieties without you having to shell out too much cash.

Shop: Half Time Beer of the Month Club - $52 - $96 per month 

19. Mini Beer Pong

Mini Beer Pong

Knocking back a few cold ones is great, but what makes drinking even more fun? Drinking games! 

This small and portable beer bong setup is perfect for the guy who lives in a small apartment or likes to take the fun with him wherever he goes. 

 Shop: Refinery and Co. Wooden Pong Game - $44.99

20. Bohemian-Styled Pop Socket

Bohemian-Styled Pop Socket

A pop socket is a good gift to add a little personality to any college guy's phone. Plus, it can be used as a stand, grip, or hanger so that he can use his phone hands-free whenever needed.

Shop: Pop Sockets Modern Bohemian Collection - $10

21. Monthly Jerky Subscription Box

People’s Choice Classic Hot and Spicy Beef Jerky

Automatic shipments of beef jerky? Now, that’s a gift any guy, whether he is in college or not, is going to love.  Choose how often you want your college guy to receive his jerky, but we are pretty sure he’s going to want a new bag every two weeks. When you check out, just make sure to click subscribe and save. 

Shop: People’s Choice Classic Hot and Spicy Beef Jerky - $34.99

22. Personalized Shot Glass

Engraved Personal Bar Shot Glass

What college guy wouldn't love a personalized shot glass? This cute and cool gift is perfect for all occasions. Whether it's a holiday party or a house party, these personalized shot glasses are sure to make the perfect birthday gift or Christmas gift for any college guy.

The best part about this gift is that you get to choose the design and engraving so you can always find something that'll fit his personality and style. Even better, it's dishwasher safe so he can just pop that in the dishwasher after a night of drinking and it's all good.

Shop: Engraved Personal Bar Shot Glass - $17.95

23. City and State Maps on Beer Glasses

Well Told City Maps Glassware

No matter how far your college fella is, they can always find their way back home with Well Told City Maps Glassware. Give them all the hometown feels with each sip they take so they never feel too far away.

Shop: Well Told City Maps Glassware - $17.95

24. Bottle Opener

OTOTO Vino Bottle Opener

If your college guy isn’t much on beer but instead prefers a nice glass of wine, then a brand new bottle opener is a must-have gift that will last well beyond his college years. 

Shop: OTOTO Vino Bottle Opener - $29.95

 25. Waterproof Playing Cards

Waterproof Playing Cards

A deck of cards is always a great gift idea for any guy. But, if you want something that'll be more fun, functional, and long-lasting, then check out these waterproof playing cards! They're perfect to bring along on the go so he can play anytime no matter where he is--whether he's just chilling out in his dorm or out for an adventure,  these cards will never let him down.

Shop: Hoyle Waterproof Playing Cards - $5.99

26. Keurig K-Mini 

Keurig K-Mini Plus Single Serve K-Cup Pod 

Another great dorm room gift idea for guys is a Keurig K-Mini coffee maker. It fits anywhere because it's less than 5 inches wide and perfect for small spaces. It also brews a stronger, more intense cup of joe ideal for late night study sessions or early classes. It can hold up to 9 K-Cup pods and fits in your brewer for ultimate portability. 

Shop: Keurig K-Mini Plus Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker $84.99

27. Bedside Shelf 

 Bedside Shelf

Dorm rooms can be tiny. It's no secret. Saving space is an important piece in putting together a dorm room. This "bedshelfie" bedside shelf is a great addition to any dorm because it's compact and saves valuable real estate in such a tiny space. 

Shop: Bedside Table - $36.99

28. Shower Caddy 

Shower Caddy 

Now a shower caddy might not be the most exciting gift for a college guy, but it definitely is the most functional and will be well appreciated. This top quality shower bag is made of tough and versatile mesh and is equipped with a handle which can be used to hang the tote on pegs or hooks. It also has a quick drying time which is useful when getting wet. 

Shop: Shower Caddy $11.99

29. Master Lock Portable Small Lock Box

 Master Lock Portable Small Lock Box

This small safe is an ideal gift for college guys because it'll keep important items safe and secure from others. There can be a lot of foot traffic in the dorms and sometimes roommates aren't always the most trustworthy, so having a safe will ensure an extra level of security. 

Shop: Master Lock Portable Small Lock Box - $23.98

30. Nike Slides 

Nike Slides

A good pair of slides is worth everything in the dorms. These 70's throwback slides are a crowd favorite and have been around for so long for a reason. Throw these on quickly to wear while on campus and it's the perfect gift for any college guy. 

Shop: Nike Slides - $45

31. Apple AirTag

Apple AirTag

AirTags are great for college guys because they will help keep track of their valuables. Throw it on a pair of keys or attach it to a backpack, and they will thank you when their valuables go MIA. 

Shop: Apple AirTag - $29.99

32. Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch 

This gift is ideal for the college guy who is also a gamer. Get the gamer something they'll obsess over like Nintendo Switch. It also has multiple functions such as TV mode, tabletop mode, and handheld mode for gaming. 

Shop: Nintendo Switch - $283

33. BruMate Hopsulator Trio 3-in-1 Insulated Can Cooler

 BruMate Hopsulator

No one hates warm beer more than a college guy. This 3-in-1 stainless steel glass keeps it icy cold no matter how hot the external temperature gets. It features double-walled stainless steel with an extra copper layer that keeps drinks 20x colder than anything else. 

Shop: BruMate Hopsulator Trio - $23.99

34. Bevel Beard Trimmer for Men 

 Bevel Beard Trimmer

The Bevel beard trimmer for men features a sleek black cordless design that offers a modern and sophisticated look to elevate any man's grooming habits. It has a long lasting battery life with a long 6 hour rechargeable batter life. This is a great gift for a college guy. 

Shop: Bevel Beard Trimmer - $164

35. That's What She Said Game 

That's What She Said Game

College guys are known to have an immature sense of humor. That's why this hilariously twisted party game is perfect for any college guy. He'll enjoy this game as it's perfect for the next game night or get together in the dorms. It is fast paced, and hilarious at every turn. Just a caution of warning - it is for adults only! 

Shop: That's What She Said Game - $24.14

Bottom Line

One of Everything People's Choice Beef Jerky Box

Finding the best gifts for college guys is pretty simple as long as you know what they want. You never run out of creative gift ideas or check out college guys' gift guides like this. But the most important thing about choosing the best gifts for college students is that you think of them and have their best interest at heart.

So whether you're looking for fun gifts for college guys or just something to keep your friends company during late-night study sessions and parties, these gift ideas are sure to help you find the best present for college guys ever.

For more great gift ideas check out Great Gifts for Meat Smokers.