31 cool gifts for teen boys that they won't return

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Buying gifts for teens can be a daunting task, and that can be especially true for teen boys, especially if you've already bought them the same Nike T-shirt in every neutral color.

But it doesn't have to be so difficult. There are tons of great gifts on the market - cool, innovative, thoughtful, and ranging in price from big-ticket items to under-$25 purchases you can make on Amazon.

Below, you can find a mix of 31 gifts that cover tech, grooming, nods to hobbies, and practical gifts for everyday needs. If you need more gifting inspiration, check out all of our gift guides here.

The top 5 best gifts for teen boys:

  1. A DJI drone with cool features
  2. A Nintendo Switch
  3. Apple AirPods
  4. A pair of Adidas Ultraboost sneakers
  5. A Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T fleece pullover

Check out all 31 gifts for teen boys below:

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

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An Echo Dot that works as a speaker and alarm clock

An Echo Dot that works as a speaker and alarm clock
Echo Dot (3rd generation), available on Amazon, $59.99

The Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason: It's compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (voice control, music, news, weather updates, and more). They'll love that it has a decent speaker. Parents will love that it works well as an alarm clock.

A Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T fleece pullover

A Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T fleece pullover
Patagonia Men's Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover, available on Patagonia, $119

Like Champion, Patagonia is a brand that's gaining increasing popularity among teens. Its Snap-T Fleece Pullover is one of their best and most popular products. Available in five colors and two prints, there's bound to be one that fits his style.

Super convenient Apple AirPods with a wireless charging case

Super convenient Apple AirPods with a wireless charging case
Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, available on Amazon, $164.99

When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're incredibly easy to use. The newer generation of AirPods can also be purchased on Amazon for $234.98.

A streaming service that includes the Star Wars and Marvel universes

A streaming service that includes the Star Wars and Marvel universes
Disney+ Monthly Subscription Service, available on Disney, $6.99/month or $69.99/year

Disney Plus is the new Disney-centric streaming service, but it carries much more than the nostalgic movies they may have grown up watching and the Marvel movies. The platform includes Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox — and you can also bundle ESPN+ and Hulu with it. Disney Plus offers two subscription options: $6.99 a month, or a slightly cheaper $69.99 a year ($5.83 a month). With ESPN Plus and Hulu, it's $12.99 a month (a $17.97 a month value).

If you'd rather test Disney Plus out before buying, you can sign up for a free weeklong trial.

Gift cards to virtually anything they could need or want

Gift cards to virtually anything they could need or want

To a teen, there's probably nothing more useful than a gift card. Here are a few of the best you can give.

Everything: Visa Gift Card / Amazon Gift Card / Gift Amazon Prime Membership Coffee: Starbucks Gift Card Books: Amazon Gift Card / Barnes & Noble Gift Card Entertainment: Netflix Gift Card / Hulu Gift Card / Sling Gift Card / StubHub gift card Transportation: Uber Gift Card Music: Spotify Gift Card Food: Taco Bell Gift Card / Chipotle Gift Card Clothes: Nordstrom Gift Card / Everlane Gift Card / Nike Gift Card / Under Armour Gift Card / Adidas Gift Card Tech: Best Buy Gift Card /Amazon Gift Card

A pair of cool new Adidas Ultra Boost sneakers

A pair of cool new Adidas Ultra Boost sneakers
Adidas Ultraboost Shoes, available on Adidas, $180

In 2015, Adidas introduced the Ultraboost as an entirely new running silhouette, but it was quickly adopted by sneaker heads for its comfort and style. It's responsive, supportive, and they'll probably wind up wearing it for both sports and around town.

A 4,108-piece, app-controlled Lego kit that incorporates advanced engineering elements

A 4,108-piece, app-controlled Lego kit that incorporates advanced engineering elements
Lego Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator 42100 Building Kit, available on Amazon and Target, $449.95

Lego's new excavator building kit was designed in partnership with Liebherr and has over 4,000 parts that mimic the real thing — incorporating advanced elements of engineering and accurate details like access ways and extensible ladders. It's operated via the Lego app, so they can can control the boom and bucket, create movement sequences, and complete fun challenges with real-time feedback.

A skin-care starter set of Kiehl's products

A skin-care starter set of Kiehl's products
Kiehl's Men's Skincare Starter Kit, available on Nordstrom, $39

Whether he'd buy it for himself or not, he'll love using these Kiehl's products. This set includes an energizing face wash, body scrub soap, brushless shave cream, and a moisturizer.

A unique retro-style poster of their favorite movie

A unique retro-style poster of their favorite movie
Retro Style Movie Poster Art Print, available on Etsy, $46.81

If he's into film or just happens to be at the age where he's discovering cult classics like "Fight Club" and "Donnie Darko," getting him a cool, retro-style art print is a thoughtful nod to his interests.

A book they'll reread in the years to come

A book they'll reread in the years to come
'The Book Thief,' available on Amazon, $6.50

Some of my favorite gifts ever have been books, and I've revisited many of the ones I read as a teen now in my adult years. If he loves to read, the award-winning "The Book Thief" is a good place to start. It follows Liesel Meminger as she comes of age in Nazi Germany. Recognizing the power of the written language to inspire hope, she begins stealing books that the Nazi party tries to destroy, and writes her own story. It's been translated into more than 60 languages, and the New York Times said it's "the kind of book that can be life-changing."

We've also made a list of the 37 best young adult books Business Insider staff ever read, and Amazon has curated a list of the 100 books you should read in a lifetime that's a great jumping-off point as well.

A Kindle Paperwhite for reading on the go

A Kindle Paperwhite for reading on the go
Kindle Paperwhite, available on Amazon, $129.99

Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof, has double the storage of its previous model, and is its lightest and thinnest version yet. The glare-free display adjusts to accommodate even bright sunlight, and it has a battery charge that lasts for weeks.

A popular streaming media player

A popular streaming media player
Roku Express Streaming Media Player, available on Amazon, $24.99

The Roku Express Streaming Media Player turns an otherwise dumb TV into a smart TV with access to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and HBO Now to cable alternatives like Sling or YouTube TV.

A simple sweatshirt from a classic brand

A simple sweatshirt from a classic brand
Champion Men's Pullover Eco Fleece Sweatshirt, available on Amazon, from $21.54 (prices vary based on size and color)

Champion is having a moment with the teen demographic. If they don't already have one, pick up one of the brand's most popular items in a color and style they'll wear often.

A powerful portable charger

A powerful portable charger
Jackery Portable Charger, available on Amazon, $32.99

Whether for traveling or keeping in contact with friends or parents while on the go, this external battery is great for giving parents and teens convenience and peace of mind. We named this model by Jackery the best portable charger iPhone users can buy.

A projector the size of a soda can that's great for movie-watching

A projector the size of a soda can that's great for movie-watching
Anker Nebula Capsule Mini Projector, available on Amazon, $299.99

Anker makes a mini projector the size of a soda can that's perfect for screening their favorite movies. It weighs only 1 pound, and it offers four hours of continuous playtime. Find a full review here.

A drone with 1080p video capabilities

A drone with 1080p video capabilities
DJI Spark Mini Drone, available on Amazon, $329

For the price point, this drone has some impressive features. The camera has automatic stabilization and can recognize objects and track them for better-quality sports videos and images, as well as hand motions that tell the drone to take selfies.The DJI GO 4 app also allows users to edit videos and share them on social media.

A small, travel-ready camera that stabilizes shaky video footage

A small, travel-ready camera that stabilizes shaky video footage
GoPro Hero7, available on Amazon, $199

For travel, adventures, and even school projects, a GoPro is one tech gift that's hard to oversell. It also makes a great gift for teens who are interested in photography and film. If you have a larger budget, there's a newer version of the GoPro for $200 more.

Soaps from Kobe Bryant's new line of body products

Soaps from Kobe Bryant's new line of body products
Art of Sport Body Bar Soap, 2-pack, $8.95

Art of Sport is Kobe Bryant's new line of unisex body products that was developed with feedback from pro athlete testers like James Harden. It also features natural ingredients like tea tree oil and aloe vera rather than parabens or talc. You can find a full review here.

A speaker they can spill on and drop in the pool without breaking it

A speaker they can spill on and drop in the pool without breaking it
JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, available on Amazon, $89.95

This under-$100 Bluetooth speaker connects to smartphones to give their songs a stereo-sound treatment. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, so they don't have to worry about spills or drops in the pool. Read our full review of it here.

A new cologne that's a little more unique than what they already have

A new cologne that's a little more unique than what they already have
Proper Cologne, available at Duke Cannon, $25

If you want to gift him a slightly nicer and more unique cologne, Duke Cannon makes a few that we really like. They smell good, are relatively affordable, won't be the same thing all his friends have already, and every year the brand donates 5% of its net profits to causes (typically one for each quarter of the year) that benefit veterans and active-duty military. Learn more here.

A Nintendo Switch

A Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con, available on Amazon, $298.99

If you're gauging the success of your gift based solely on the excitement it elicits, this is a good option. This model has a battery life of up to nine hours and can be played with friends or solo at home or on the go.

A durable, weather-resistant backpack from Under Armour

A durable, weather-resistant backpack from Under Armour
Under Armour Gameday Backpack, available on Under Armour, $65

Under Armour's black backpack has a water-resistant finish, padded shoulder straps, and a tough bottom panel that can handle less-than-gentle handling.

The most popular and useful Fitbit

The most popular and useful Fitbit
Fitbit Charge 3, available on Amazon, $137.25

The Fitbit Charge 3 isn't the newest model the company has released, but it is perhaps the best and most popular. It has a lot of useful activity-tracking features without a big, clunky screen or an exorbitant price. It has a built-in heart rate monitor, in-depth sleep tracking, advanced workout features, and real-time workout tracking on the screen.

A cult-favorite water bottle

A cult-favorite water bottle
Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle, available on Amazon, $44.95

These cult-favorite, vacuum-insulated stainless steel water bottles work really well. It'll keep hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours.

A beanie with Bluetooth connectivity so they can listen to music on the go

A beanie with Bluetooth connectivity so they can listen to music on the go
Tenergy Wireless Bluetooth Beanie Hat, available on Amazon, $18.99

An increasingly popular accessory among teen boys is the Bluetooth Beanie Hat, which lets them listen to music while wearing it. The headphones pair with a tablet, Apple watch, or smartphone, and the Bluetooth range is up to 33 feet. There are even built-in controls for adjusting the volume, skipping songs, and pausing/playing music.

Smart lights with bright lights for studying and dimming at night before bed

Smart lights with bright lights for studying and dimming at night before bed
Bulbrite Solana A19 WiFi Connected Color Changing LED Smart Light Bulb, available on Amazon, $17.99

Smart lights mean he can change the lights to a range of colors, create customized lighting for watching a movie or studying, and set a schedule for the lights to turn off and on or brighten and dim at different times during the day.

An electric skateboard

 An electric skateboard
Boosted Mini X Battery-Powered Board, available on Best Buy and Amazon, $999.99

The Boosted Mini X is a shorter board that's easy to carry and compact enough to be stored under desks, and its a few hundred dollars less expensive than the company's longboards. It can reach speeds of up to 20 mph, has up to 14 miles of range, and a battery charge time of 1.75 hours.

If you're looking for an under-$300 option, you may want to check out the RazorX DLX Electric Skateboard (currently $199.99, originally $289.99) that provides up to 40 minutes of continuous use.

We want to remind parents that electric skateboards can be dangerous, and if used improperly, they can cause serious damage. We suggest buying pads and a helmet to go with this and strongly encouraging your teen to wear this protective gear.

An audiobook subscription

An audiobook subscription
Audible Membership (3 months), available through Amazon, $45

If they love to read, or you're trying to get them to love to read, a gift subscription to Audible is a great idea. They'll get three free titles for each month they're a member (one audiobook and two Audible Originals), and 30% off any additional audiobooks they buy. They can listen and read anywhere and anytime using the free app.

A cult-favorite duffel bag that's durable and cavernous

A cult-favorite duffel bag that's durable and cavernous
Black Hole Duffel Bag, $139, available at Patagonia, $139

Patagonia's Black Hole duffel bags deserve their cult status: They're seemingly neverending, extremely durable, and are now made out of recycled plastic bottles.

A T-shirt from a new outdoors brand with great gear and a philanthropic mission

A T-shirt from a new outdoors brand with great gear and a philanthropic mission
Do Good Men's T-Shirt, available on Cotopaxi, $30

Whether he's into the outdoors, volunteering, or might appreciate an introduction to a cool new startup he hasn't heard of, he'll appreciate a soft, unique T-shirt from Cotopaxi.

An online class from one of the greats

An online class from one of the greats
Tom Morello Teaches Guitar, available on Masterclass, $90

Masterclass hosts online classes on virtually every topic taught by the experts themselves — from Neil Gaiman teaching the art of storytelling to Annie Leibowitz teaching photography. This class, by Grammy-winning musician Tom Morello, teaches you the guitar techniques that define his style.

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