May 27, 2020
Best gifts for teen boys in 2020

Best gifts for teen boys in 2020

Argh! A dreaded teenage boy has turned up on your gift list and you’re scrambling for ideas for presents. What do you do? This won’t be easy. Fear not, because while these boys are headed into adulthood, they still like to have teenage fun and play games. We have the inside scoop on the perfect gifts, along with the hottest trends, brands and devices.

Our list has a ton of fun, cool gifts sure to impress any teenage boy, covering everything from gaming to headphones to skateboards and outdoor activities. There’s also the classic card game Magic: The Gathering and a cool new escape room puzzle. If you’d like a perfect but practical gift for him, we also have more great ideas — a classic cap, a backpack, a rugged coat and cool sneakers. Whether you’re shopping for a birthday or another special occasion, scroll through this fun list of gifts to find the best one for the teen boy in your life.


A perfect first board for teenage guys taking up skating, this fun longboard includes everything they’ll need to start shredding, including grip tape. The cool intergalactic design is a bonus. It’s also worth mentioning that skateboarding is now officially an Olympic sport, so this is a perfect gift for teenage athletes with dreams of taking home the gold! It won’t be easy, but practice makes perfect.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This uber-popular portable game system from Nintendo is the fastest-selling home console in history — making it the ideal gift for a girl or boy (or adult). It’s easy to see why: the Switch device is actually a home game system and a portable game handheld unit with hours of battery life. There’s a dock that connects to your TV at home, allowing for fun multiplayer gaming. Then you can take the tablet out of the dock and play a Nintendo Switch game on the go (just watch the battery)! You can even share the controller and flip the stand to play a game with others while out and about. It’s easy — so much game versatility in one unit, all you need to do is play, play, play! And fans will want to check out the newer portable Switch Lite, the smaller and more affordable ($199) handheld version that drops the TV-out support. Read our Nintendo Switch review.

Read our Nintendo Switch review.

Read: Best VR headsets: Oculus Rift S, Sony PlayStation VR and more


We love the idea of giving a backpack that’s perfect for school, trips and sleepovers. It’s got space for a laptop or tablet, padded straps, plenty of pocket storage for the easy organization for all kinds of necessities like his water bottle, his camera, his portable charger, a video game or two, or even some extra socks. And it of course comes with the signature gorilla keychain. A Kipling backpack is both stylish and practical for teen guys. If you want other options as well, check out our favorite backpacks.

Read: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review


If you’re short on ideas, you really can’t go wrong with classic Vans sneakers. A perennial teenage favorite, the Old Skool style comes in fresh colors dark green and sky blue. Adding to the list of pros, these skate shoes are comfy, casual, easy to wear and forever cool.

Loot Crate

Whatever his interests, getting a Loot Crate in the mail is fun for any teenager. Loot Crate is a package of cool stuff (figurines, shirts, collectibles and more) centered on a theme, like anime, gaming, WWE, Marvel and more. It’s super easy—just pick his interest, select a month plan (gift a one-off or a recurring box), and pay and your teen will get a fun box of goodies.


Best for ages 14 and up, the Hyperstrike bow is the perfect gift kit for teens who haven’t quite outgrown toys. Even more fun? A game slinging (safe) arrows with pals. Available in green and orange (making for organized team play), the Hyperstrike can launch arrows over 250 feet, easy. Your teens will sing songs about your great gift giving prowess.

Read: Best gifts for tween boys in 2020


Two words — Apple AirPods. Let’s face it: every teenager with an iPhone also wants Apple AirPods to listen to their music on any and every device. They just do. So be a hero and buy a pair of wireless ear buds for your favorite teen. They now come in three flavors: a baseline model that costs around $139; the kit that adds a wireless charging case for around $169; and the new AirPods Pro, which adds active noise canceling, for $235.

Read our Apple AirPods 2019 review.

Read: Bose SoundLink Micro review


A classic work jacket makes a great gift for your favorite teen. Carhartt’s Chore Coat has been around for 100 years, and now it’s trendier than ever. Features like flex panels mean that this outerwear is made for movement — just in case your teen decides to do actual chores in his chore coat! Other pros? A sherpa-lined collar and cozy lining mean that it’s comfortable and super warm. It’s note quite waterproof, but it is water repellent, which will keep guys mostly dry in damp weather.Available in brown, dark brown and black.


Thanks to the resurgence of all things ’90s, fun fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering is having another moment. Best for ages 13 and up, the game has over 20 million players. Take advantage of the game’s popularity and buy a kit for your favorite gamer or fantasy fan to play. The game is easy to learn and a great gift for teenage guys looking to lean into their competitive (but fun) side. This might be a particularly good gift for the teen who’s missing Game of Thrones.


If the teen on your list has laid-back style, he’ll probably appreciate this trendy snapback hat. Patagonia is a popular outdoors brand that’s beloved by stylish teen guys everywhere. Buy it in an array of colors including pink, black or brown.


For young guys who love to hunker down with a board game, this 759 piece puzzle is also a fun game kit. Your teen has to solve six riddles in order to connect the solution pieces to reveal their escape. The perfect game to allow them to utilize their problem-solving skills. Best for ages 12 and up, this fun escape puzzle game kit will keep them enthralled for hours. (Note: Due to high demand, this item is currently out of stock, but inventory on Amazon tends to fluctuate, so keep checking back.)

More toys and gift coverage

Originally published in December.

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