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With holidays around the corner, auto blog put together our holiday gift guide of the year. If you’re looking for some gift ideas for your loved one (even if that loved one is yourself), we’ve got some great ideas for you to consider, hand-picked by auto blog Staff.
As winter begins, I find the cast iron pan to be the perfect tool for cooking cozy meals. I use it for everything. Cast iron is versatile, serving everything from flavored omelets to smoky baked potato slices. The pan is also great for grilling pork or steak and then pop the whole pan into the oven to get the job done. Cast iron adds a sense of age, creating a depth of flavor and smell that nonsticks simply cannot match. It transcends time. While I languish for barbecue days in the summer, using cast iron in the winter makes dinner prep an equivalent event. Crack a beer and get started. — Greg Migliore, editor-in-chief
A great gift for the person in your life who wants to spend the winter outdoors – which I personally think is a great way to combat winter sadness. This is really a little trendy right now, as everyone from college students to fashion buffs is embracing the Northeast’s hundred-year-old icon. Beans aren’t the most tactical boots you can buy, and the look is polarizing. But, I’ve had a pair for a few years now and they’re perfect for walking in the snowy woods with my golden retriever, that’s a page in the Bean catalog, or it should be. They’re also stylish enough to wear to restaurants, holiday shopping, or the local winter festival. You can buy minimalist leather tops or opt for more insulation and padding. Although I’m more of a barefoot person if possible, a decent pair of boots is a must in winter. These will get you through. — Greg Migliore, editor-in-chief
I love to cook, especially when it means trying new foods or techniques. I like the approach American test kitchen makes manageable fun recipes for home kitchens and how they explain the science behind the processes. I always save ATK recipes and videos I find online, but I’ve never actually owned one of their books. Hope that changes with this in my list. I would go for the spiral binding, because having a book that will lie flat while your hands are covered in ketchup is something you usually don’t appreciate until it’s too late. — John Snyder, senior editor, green
Currently at the top of my “really want but definitely don’t need” wish list is a tabletop ice machine. There’s nothing wrong with my current ice making process using plastic ice trays and freezers. But it’s a manual and slow process. Between my smoothies and iced coffee, I use a lot of ice each week, so I would love a machine that saves me time and effort. This one was highly rated on Amazon, but there were a lot of good options that I researched before buying. Include this model under $100 also from Silonn.
There are a few things I’m considering before buying. Although it’s not a big machine, I have a small kitchen. Do I want to give up the countertop space I use for cooking to the ice maker? Probably. May. How big is it? If it’s too noisy, I might have limited ice making time. The video reviews I’ve seen don’t make it sound like much, but real-world usage may be different. If you have someone on your holiday shopping list who can’t stand room temperature drinks, this is a great gift idea. — Eddie Sabatini, executive producer
If you’re like me, getting the right cinematic shot from your smartphone to capture that special moment is essential. That’s why I count on the DJI OM 5 smartphone gimbal to stabilize my shots without worrying about shaky footage or accidentally dropping my phone. The portable gimbal has a built-in extension bar that is foldable and can switch from landscape to portrait at the touch of a button, making it perfect for vlogging and filming for TikTok and YouTube. Battery life on the DJI OM 5 is also surprisingly stable. Despite weighing only 290g, the gimbal allowed me to film for almost 6 hours. My DJ OM 5 is also included a travel case keep everything neat in its content. The STARTRC OM 5 case is waterproof, has a shoulder strap, and its inserts are configured to hold your entire gimbal and phone. — Amr Sayour, producer
Most of the year, I go off-road every week – in my yard, on a lawn mower. The yard is an acre, often wet with steep and deep sections, very easy to get stuck. So this Christmas, I asked for the pull board. They will also be great for the car when it’s snowing. This set, from Orcish, is rated 4.5 stars by customers, with mounting pins if you want to display the panels on your lander and a carrying pouch if you store them in the trunk of your car. The integrated handle allows you to use the board as a shovel for digging. And they come in a variety of rainbow colors, including safe orange. — Greg Rasa, managing editor
If you’re looking for a gift for the gamer in your life, instead of trying to find the perfect game, why not pick up an extra controller for them? This one is compatible with Xbox systems as well as PC. You can essentially buy one in any color you like, but Pulse Red is currently 15% off, so that seems like a good choice as any color. You will never hear a gamer complain about having too many controllers, trust me. — Erik Maier, multimedia producer
Year after year, I deal with mediocre gloves that don’t quite do the job of keeping my hands warm, all because spending big bucks on gloves seems too frivolous. This year will be different. I would buy long-lasting gloves, even though they cost a fortune in the long run, because having good gloves that last a decade is cheaper than buying mediocre ones every year.
These BD Guide Gloves are ones I’ve coveted for years and have incredibly high ratings. They even come with Gore-Tex glove liners so I not only know my hands will stay warm, but they’ll stay dry. Synthetic insulation means they still work when wet, and they’re wear-resistant so I can use them sustainably and not have to worry about activities like chopping wood. They’re rated for -29 degrees Fahrenheit, so they’ll withstand the kind of weather I’m usually out in. Available in all black as well as subdued black and gold, which is my personal preference. — Christopher McGraw, senior producer
I was lucky enough to get into a nearby park full of trails through the woods, along a stream and a reservoir. It’s one of my favorite places, especially while running. The downside is that unless I want to drive there, I have to run about 2.5 miles on the sidewalk to get to the trails I like. That means any old trail running shoe with sturdy lugs and softer rubber won’t fit; sidewalks will wear out shoes faster than I would like. Thankfully, the Challenger ATR is a great midpoint that will keep me satisfied on all types of terrain. — Christopher McGraw, senior producer
I still haven’t decided which kayak I want. Should I buy one specifically for fishing or a two-seater so my daughter can come along? Or how about a white kayak to take advantage of the nearby rapids? Lots of options. Although I didn’t know which kayak I would choose, I knew I would need to transport it, which is where Compass came in. We also have some SUPs that I would like to drive a little more easily than I do now, so this stand is a no-brainer. — Christopher McGraw, senior producer