Mr. AA is a pretty no-nonsense guy. He’s a minimalist that just wants the essentials, but he wants the essentials to get the job done right. He doesn’t do trendy, and prioritizes finding functional, durable goods that he can use and abuse for years. His style is a mix of rugged, tactical, and clean-cut. I asked him about his absolute must-haves that he would recommend to others, and this is what he told me.
If you’re looking for gifts for the man in your life (or you’re a man reading this!), these are the tested and proven goods he swears by.
Besides wearing this constantly while we’re at home, he reaches for this over and over while we’re traveling. The merino fabric is incredibly soft. While it’s lightweight, he says it’s a great insulator and still wicks away moisture nicely. And, considering how many times he wore it on our last trip, it resisted the “man stank” for a long time. The henley style is perfect for hikes or just a day at the office. He’s ordered multiples of this henley, which is how you know it’s a real winner in his eyes.
Mr. AA is a big fan of GORUCK, and has participated in quite a few of their events. His positive experience with their events led him to try out some of their gear, and he was not disappointed.
These pants are durable and comfortable. He’s worn these on several intense hikes (including the Tongariro Alpine Crossing), and they still look good as new. Although they are not waterproof, they dry insanely fast. The fabric is lightweight but not insulating, making this a good 3-season pant. They’re also big-thigh friendly, which is an issue he has with a lot of shorts and pants. (On the flipside, if your man has slim legs, they will not be tailored on him.) They’re technical enough to hold up to active challenges, but still casual enough to wear to his informal workplace.
Another of his favorites from GORUCK, Mr. AA and this rucksack are inseparable. It’s basically indestructible, and is incredibly well-organized to boot. He notes that despite its lack of a shoulder and hip belt, the weight distribution is excellent. He uses this pack for everything from hiking to travel and he couldn’t recommend it anymore highly.
Although this is a more expensive piece of gear, you can’t go wrong with treating your man to one of these.
These shorts do pretty much everything a man could want from a pair of shorts. He found these because they were so highly recommended by other men who share his style priorities. Their ridiculous attention to detail and long list of features have garnered them cult-favorite status. And I can confirm that they do look way better than all his other shorts.
And about the price, he says: “I have cheap shorts and I have expensive shorts. These do not feel like cheap shorts.”
These are another closet staple where he’s gone back and ordered more. These shorts are head and shoulders above the rest.
He spent months looking for the perfect pair of do-everything leather boots, and these are what he settled on. They have a rugged but clean style that suits him perfectly. They look great when he wears them to work, to dinner, or dressed up. He even wore them for our wedding. They last forever and still look great with a little bit of weathering on them. These are not a bargain buy, but they are worth the price for their versatility and quality.
P.S. If you’re looking for other manly gifts, try Huckberry.