Shopping for teenagers is hard, but we can help

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

There are so many fun gift options for teenage boys this year. And given they’ve been stuck at home since March living that #pandemiclife, we think they’ve earned a little something extra for the holidays. Plus, if you give your kid something engrossing like a 5,000-piece Lego set or a 150-game arcade system, maybe they’ll stop bugging you for snacks for five minutes. 

But it’s not all fun and games on our gift guide list, we’ve also picked practical products like a laptop sleeve and a quality jacket. Things he wants and things he needs. Whatever your teenager’s interests, we think we’ve got his perfect gift right here. So scroll on, shop these gifts for teen boys and make his holiday a happy one. This story was published earlier but has been completely updated for the 2020 holiday season, and will be updated as we get closer to the end of the year.

Urban Outfitters

Stylish dudes will love this sturdy Dickie’s work jacket for its ’90s throwback appeal. And teenage boys who don’t care about style? Well, they still need a jacket. Either way, this awesome gift is a great idea. Available in black, charcoal, and navy. 


Kodak’s pocket-sized projector is a cool gift for a teen boy who loves movies, TV shows, or video games (which is pretty much all teens.) The Luma 150 can project up to 150 inches onto almost any surface. And there’s a built-in speaker so no extra equipment is needed.

Loot Crate

Whatever his interests, getting a Loot Crate in the mail is a fun gift idea for any teenager. Loot Crate is a subscription box of cool stuff (figurines, shirts, collectibles, and more) centered on a theme, like anime, gaming, WWE, Star Wars, Marvel and more. Just pick his interest, select a plan (a one-off gift or a recurring box), and pay. Your teen guy will get a sweet box of goodies. 


Chance basketballs just look cool and make a great gift. We love the brand’s colorful designs, and your teenaged basketball player will love Chance’s quality construction. This ball has a great grip, a cushioned touch, and style for miles. This basketball makes a great gift for your athletic teen guy and is available in sizes five, six, and seven.

Urban Outfitters

Baggu’s puffy laptop sleeves are like a cozy sleeping bag for your teen’s computer. This unique gift is a cool way to keep that laptop free from injury and scratches. And with so many kids doing distance learning, laptops are getting a lot more use these days. Baggu’s sleeves are made from 40% recycled nylon and come in both solid colors and trendy prints; we’re partial to the smiley faces.

David Carnoy/CNET

By now your teenager may have AirPods for day-to-day listening. But what about music when he’s working out? Give him a comfy, water-resistant headphones option: Jabra’s Elite Active 75t. These true wireless headphones are equally at home with iPhones and Android phones, delivering more than 7 hours of battery life between charges, and the included charging case provides another 21 hours. Even better, noise-canceling has arrived to this wireless headphone option, thanks to a surprise software upgrade that was just made available. We love this in-ear model because it’s rugged enough to withstand teenage use, sweat and all. This awesome gift is available in multiple colors, including mint green, navy blue and sienna.

Read our Jabra Elite Active 75t review.

Pottery Barn Teen

Anyone who knows a teenager knows they like to lie around. Especially now they’re housebound due to a global pandemic. It’s the bean bag chair’s time to shine! Skate brand Element has put their mark on this model, which features a cargo pocket perfect for reading material (or his Nintendo Switch) and a removable cover for easy cleaning.


Improve your teenage guy’s at-home workouts with a cardio training bag. This gift idea is a freestanding foam punch bag he can use for boxing or cardio workouts. And parents may want to take a swing, too — we can all use an outlet right now for pent-up pandemic energy. This Christmas gift is a win-win!


Ravensburger’s at it again with another high-quality board game. The latest addition to the Villainous series is a Marvel-themed board game version perfect for teenagers. Best for ages 12 and up, each player becomes a notorious Marvel villain: Thanos, Hela, Ultron, Taskmaster, or Killmonger to face off in this fast-paced card game. With this great gift idea your teen will actually want to join family game night for Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power.

More holiday gift coverage


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