As the holiday season looms, the time for safe, socially distanced gift shopping becomes an overwhelmingly obvious priority. This year, online shopping is the name of the game, and in order to lure buyers, companies are offering some pretty steep discounts for shoppers this holiday season. But what to get for that automotive enthusiast in your life? There’s so much to choose from, and quite frankly, buying the wrong gift for someone is both embarrassing and frustrating.
Lucky for you, we’ve got a few suggestions that might help make online shopping a little bit easier this holiday season. Just please don’t think of this as a definitive holiday gift guide for the average car guy, because we don’t have time to type-up a 300-page report, and quite frankly, you probably wouldn’t want to read it anyways. So think of this blog post as more of a “Top 10 List of Thoughtful Gift Options for Car Fanatics,” a medley of nuts and bolts spread across all manner of category and price range.
There really is something for everyone, even if it’s little more than that 10mm wrench that your friend or family member has been desperately searching for over the course of these past few months. Regardless as to whether you plan to shop small and stay price focused, or go big and throw a stunner under the tree, the following holiday gift ideas are sure to bring a smile to the face of that aspiring petrolhead or veteran wrench-turner in your life.
LEGO 4X4 X-treme Off-Roader
We kick things off with a fun, yet challenging gift option from LEGO. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand’s Technic line, note that this is the “big kid” engineering arm of the Danish brand, specializing in the design and production of complex interconnecting toys. While a stunning array of badged automaker-exclusive options are available, it’s the unbranded “4×4 X-treme Off-Roader” that really steals the show as a great gift idea this year.
Powered by LEGO’s advanced Smart Hub system, this beast of a 4×4 features three motors and can be controlled via LEGO’s very own “TECHNIC CONTROL+” app. Once synced with either a tablet or smartphone, off-road fans can utilize the app to rocket the 4×4 monster truck around via a digital control pad that comes loaded with an array of play combos and exclusive sound effects.
There’s also a handful of different control screens to choose from, allowing the driver to propel the Off-Roader forward and backwards, as they steer, accelerate, and brake with ease. Real-time feedback read-outs are also standard, so you can monitor speed and tilt, with data logging applying to the app’s challenges and achievements section. Younger car builders in particular will enjoy this LEGO Technic kit, as it teaches the mechanics of motorized gearing, suspension articulation and geometry, and the importance of approach angles, calculating proper overhang clearance, weight balance, and other real world off-road driving challenges.
- Operation is achieved via a smart device, and contains 3 alternative control screens. Go to LEGO.com/devicecheck for a list of compatible smart devices
- Multi-function controls: Drive forward, reverse, steer, accelerate, brake, traverse obstacles, play sound effects, and get real-time feedback, such as a speed and tilt log
- One-touch control: Drag a direction on the screen and see the 4×4 carry out the maneuver and complete challenges to unlock achievement badges
- Features high-rise independent suspension, over-sized wheels, and all-terrain tires
- Powered by LEGO’ latest Smart Hub, which contains 2 XL motors and 1 L motor
- Electronics include Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, activation button, 6 axis sensors (3 gyro and 3 accelerometer sensors), and 4 connectivity ports
- Measures over 7” (19cm) high, 12” (33cm) long, and 8” (22cm) wide
Thule Motion XT L
Road trips are a lot of fun, but the packing portion of this pastime can be a royal pain in the ass. Give the gift of upgraded cargo space, with the Thule Motion XT L. Originally launched in 2016, this sleekly designed overhead carrier comes in four sizes and focuses on space efficiency, ease of use, and the ability to “harmonize with today’s car designs.” Its aerodynamic, computer simulated shape has also been optimized to reduce drag/boost fuel efficiency and provide a quiet ride due to lowering wind noise.
While Thule’s Motion XT L is our pick due to its balance between size and value, every product within the Motion XT lineup packs the same ABS plastic construction, which forms a shell that is both lightweight and rigid. We like that the box can be mounted to an OEM roof rack via Thule’s clever PowerClick quick-mount system, which has been updated so that it can be affixed to wider roof bars. With its integrated torque indicator “clicks,” it’s obvious when this cargo box has been properly affixed, with one-handed operation making attachment all the easier. Factor all of this in with the perks listed below, and the Thule Motion XT L becomes a clear frontrunner in the overhead cargo car race.
- Optimized design prioritizes space efficiency, aerodynamics, and vehicle fit
- Extra wide PowerClick quick-mount system allows easy installation and removal, and integrated torque indicator “clicks” when the cargo box is properly mounted for quick and secure installation
- Easy to open and close from both sides due to grip-friendly outer handles and supporting lid-lifters
- Comes with Thule’s SlideLock system, which features separate locking and opening functions, and automatically locks the lid, with indicators showing when the box is 100% closed
- Forward-focused mounting location allows full trunk access with little to no risk of cargo box contact
- Thule Motion XT L model features 16 cubic feet of total volume, with enough room for 5-7 pairs of skis, 3-5 snowboards, or up to 165 pounds of gear
- Internal dimensions: 69” x 31.5” x 15”
- External dimensions: 77” x 36” x 17”
Nashville-based insulation specialist, Orca, is widely recognized for its signature “whale tail” latches and lids, but as you’ll soon see, it’s not all aesthetics with this brand. To date, we have yet to encounter insulated products that keep ice colder for longer, or drinks hot for what feels like an eternity, makes Orca a favorite brand in our book.
Take the Orca Chaser for instance, which after years of abuse, continues to be our go-to, on-the-run oversized drinking vessel. Regardless as to whether we’re climbing in the car to run some errands, or heading out on a road trip, its 18/8 stainless steel double-walled, locking lid, vacuum sealed construction, and copper reinforced insulated filling make it the ideal travel mug. Being that Orca has the rights to offer its products with officially licensed major sports team logos and exclusive print designs, these beverage containment products make for one practical personalized present.
- 18/8 stainless steel double vacuum sealed body
- Interior copper clad for superior temperature retention. (not available on all models)
- Tritan copolyester BPA-free polymer clear lid lets you see when it’s time to refill your beverage
- Top Shelf Dishwasher Safe
- Keeps your beverage hot or cold for hours via superior temperature retention
- Available in powder coated finishes, unique colors, and decorative prints, with multiple styles, sizes, and shapes to choose from
AvalonKing Armor Shield IX
A little self promotion in an AvalonKing blog article? Surely not. In all seriousness though, there’s a reason why Armor Shield IX is the highest rated ceramic coating product on the planet. This durable transparent coating makes repelling mud and water effortless, while scratch resistance and deep glossy sheens add protection and curb appeal to hard surfaces.
Each of these kits comes with everything needed, including a 30ml bottle of ceramic coating, nitrile gloves, an applicator pad, suede application cloths, and a microfiber buffing towel. Shipping is free in the US and Canada, and holiday pricing has made an already moderately priced DIY ceramic coating kit all the more affordable. Buying more than one kit activates some super steep discounts too, making Armor Shield IX one of the best stocking-stuffers this holiday season.
- 9H hardness rating and hydrophobic nanotechnology offers superior hard surface protection against UV rays, acid rain, weather/erosion, scratches, bird droppings and tree sap, mud and dirty water, hard water spots, and much more
- Lasts anywhere from 2-5 years when properly applied
- Very little maintenance required outside of the occasional car wash
- Enhances gloss depth and shine
- 2-Year Warranty
Pelican S100 Sport Backpack
Engineered for those who love to travel, but wish to keep their belongings safely stowed and easily accessible, the Pelican S100 Sport Backpack hits our holiday Top 10 list with a deluge of standard features. While the built-in watertight and crushproof laptop case is a huge selling point, all of the easy-open zipper pockets and clever fold-out compartments are what make accessing and packing/unpacking a cinch. It’s also a pretty sharp-looking pack to boot, with a mildly militaristic vibe to it, with its external armor and whatnot.
- Top-loading fast access pocket is both TSA ready and under-seat approved
- Built-in laptop case is both watertight and crushproof
- Top-loader features 25 liters of main storage space
- Rigid front plate provides outstanding impact protection
- Floating shoulder straps and lumbar pad supply additional support
- SureGrip soft rubber handle for pain-free hauling
- Expanding bottom sling storage
- Comes with standard load compression straps, as well as chest clips and removable hip belts
- Exterior (L×W×D): 18.5” x 13” x 10” (47 x 33 x 25.4 cm)
- Bag Volume: 25 liters
- Weight: 7.14 lbs (3.2 kg)
Piloti Apex High Top Sneakers
For true automotive enthusiasts, owning a pair of great driving shoes isn’t just an amenity, it’s a necessity. In a non-autonomous vehicle, your feet and hands are your driving tools, which is why Piloti shoes pack a bevy of driver oriented design cues.
Handcrafted in Portugal out of Italian leather and other top-shelf materials, this high top sneaker is both driving shoe and stylish performance footwear. Featuring Piloti’s clever Roll Control 2.0 performance technology in the heel and steel stability shank, the Apex high top sneaker is the ultimate footwear present option for those who love to drive.
- Soft forefoot for maximum pedal feel
- Rounded heel relieves downward pressure and improves articulation in the pedal box
- Smooth edges avoid “catching” while transitioning between pedals
- Premium burnished, top grain Italian leather outer materials
- Hand made in Portugal using strobel construction
- Rubber cupsole features Piloti tire tread sole pattern
- Roll Control 2.0 heel technology for enhanced pedal control
- Tongue, heel, and collar padding for added comfort
- Zero heel-to-toe drop for neutral stance and enhanced control
- Foam layer for extra comfort and impact protection
- Cork and EVA foam insole with perforated forefoot
- ONSTEAM antimicrobial lining for odor management
- Steel stability shanks help torsional support
Thule Tepui Low-Pro 3 Rooftop Tent
The next badass automotive oriented gift option on our 2020 holiday shopping guide, is something that is ideal for the outdoor enthusiast, so it may have to wait until spring to be utilized. Camping is a lot of fun, but sleeping on the ground brings with it inconveniences and hidden dangers. From foraging beasts and annoying insect issues, to flash floods and tripping over tent stakes, sleeping on the soil can make for a really crappy camping experience.
A roof-mounted tent option eliminates these issues and makes for far more efficient packing for road trips. While larger (and far more expensive) rooftop tent options are available for bigger vehicles, the dimensions, weight, design layout, ease of use, and price point associated with the Thule Tepui Low-Pro 3 overhead tent make it an obvious winner for smaller automobiles.
- Tent can accommodate up to three people
- Ultra low profile design folds down to 10″ (25 cm) for superior aerodynamics and vehicle fit
- Tent base is constructed from thermoplastic materials that are both durable and 100% recyclable
- Dome canopy is lightweight and provides all-season protection
- Patented “ZipperGimp” easily attaches the canopy to the base of the tent
- Base construction is Tepui Tec cellulized thermoplastic honeycomb fiberglass
- Canopy fabric is 3000WP breathable ripstop polyester, which is UV and mildew resistant, and registered flame retardant
- Weight: 120 pounds
- Static weight capacity: 600 pound
Displate Metal Car Posters
Wall art is a tricky gift idea, because you never know if it will appeal to the eye of the person you are handing it to. Fortunately, Displate offers millions of unique metal poster designs that are durable, magnet mounted, and beautifully illustrated. Requiring only 20 seconds of set-up time, with zero risk of wall damage, or the need for power tools, Displate metal posters are the future of wall art.
Oh, and did we mention they’ve got a ton of automotive oriented print options to choose from? From blueprints and photographs, to creative artistic renderings, the list of gift ideas is endless over at Displate. Simply choose a design, select a size and finish, and then Displate will 3D print it on metal, for a permanent art installation that is easy to remove and will last a lifetime.
If all of the badass design prints, clever mounting options, top-notch materials, and stellar reviews aren’t enough, for every purchase made, one tree gets planted in Tanzania. This “Forest Garden” initiative is a collaboration between Displate and trees.org, which to date has resulted in over 12-million trees being planted in Africa alone. So go ahead and do some good for the planet, and get that friend or family member a slick automotive oriented print this holiday season. Last time we checked, everything on Displate’s site was 20% OFF, with every purchase supporting the artist who designed the print.
- Magnet mounting system decreases the risk of wall damage
- Over 1.4 million artwork designs to choose from
- Every print purchased equals one tree being planted in a Tanzanian Forest Garden, which allows people who earn less than $1.25 a day to increase their income by 400%, and accelerate the return of tree cover and revitalizes the soil
- Every purchase supports the artist who designed the print
- Comes gift packed
- Returns are permitted within 100 days
Kobalt 286-Piece Combo Mechanics Tool Set
A DIY car enthusiast without an armada of tools at their disposal is like a convertible without sunshine. They’re still going to get the job done, one way or another, but neither of them are living up to their full potential. Help that petrolhead in your life this holiday season, by handing them this all-encompassing mechanic’s tool set from Kobalt.
Packing everything from SAE and metric wrenches and sockets, to quick-release 90-tooth ratchets and a slew of interchangeable accessories, this 4-drawer chest is teaming with 286-pieces of glistening chrome precision. While it would take an eternity to go over everything that this chest contains, we will make mention of a few of our personal favorites, starting with the empty bottom drawer. It may sound silly, but this considerate forethought permits the packing of additional tools that may not have been included in the set. We also like that this set meets or exceeds ASME specifications, and comes with a hassle-free lifetime guarantee, thus earning it a stamp of approval as one of the greatest presents you can give this holiday season.
- 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drive quick-release 90-tooth ratchets deliver a 4 ° precision swing that offers improved mobility in tight work spaces
- Large assortment of 138 sockets include 6-, 8- and 12-point features, shallow and deep depths and metric and SAE (standard) measurements, as well as 25 metric and SAE hex and star-shaped bit driver sockets
- Set includes 14 metric and SAE combination wrenches that have 15˚ offset for extra clearance
- Other tools included in the set are 14 metric and SAE hex keys, a bit driver with 70 assorted insert bits, 12 nut setting bits and a 1/4×1/4-in adapter
- Sockets, ratchets, drive adapters and extensions are constructed from chrome vanadium steel and heat treated for strength and durability, and are finished with a high-polish finish
- Metric and SAE socket sizes are easy to identify with laser etched size call-outs and color-coded stripes to identify metric (blue) and SAE (red) measurements
- 4-drawer blow-molded chest makes storage and transportation simple, with empty bottom drawer allowing additional storage
- Meets or exceeds ASME specifications
- Hassle-free lifetime guarantee
Orca Hard Side Coolers
Our final badass gift option for the 2020 holiday shopping season, is another, far larger offering from Orca. Years have testing have revealed that few coolers on the market that can compete with Orca’s Hard Side lineup, and we’re not just talking about price or aesthetics either. Regardless as to whether you’re shopping for a smaller cooler for a mud-covered ATV enthusiast, or a monster container for someone who loves to fish, there’s something for everyone at Orca.
Ruggedness and cooling retention are strong suits for these locking coolers, with each rock-hard unit featuring the ability to keep items cold for up to ten days unattended. Orca Hard Side coolers also utilize easy grasp handles, and each roto-molded shell borders on being labeled as “indestructible,” thus making this one of those “once-in-a-lifetime” gift options. A few other favorite touches include Orca’s integrated cargo net for additional storage solutions, the brand’s broad range of color options, and that each of these coolers is proudly manufactured from scratch within the USA. Sizes range from 20-140 quarts, and Orca now offers Soft Side coolers for those who prefer a fabric-clad cooler.
- Super strong, roto-molded construction is designed to outlast every other cooler on the market
- Integrated insulation for maximum ice/cold retention and freshness of stowed items for up to 10 days
- Lid gasket ensures a perfect seal
- Extendable flex-grip handles for comfortable solo or tandem portage
- Cargo net attachment for added storage
- Easy-flow drainage spout
- Unique, whale-tail locking latches
- Lifetime Warranty