15 of Our Favorite American-Made Gifts, From Brands Big and Small
Multitools, skillets, whiskey, lamps, even jars of small-batch chili oil
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There are endless reasons to buy holiday gifts this season that are made in America. On the recipient’s side, telling them the present you’ve wrapped up in a bow is U.S.-made will only make them appreciate it all the more. On the buying side, it’s not a bad idea for you, the gift giver, to set your own parameters for where you want your hard-earned dough to end up. And for those who are under the impression all our manufacturing has been shipped elsewhere, as it turns out, we still make some amazing stuff in this country.
Now, you’d think finding companies that make things in America to spend your money at would be easy, but the designation has increasingly steered into cliché territory in internet searches. For whatever reason, “American-made” has come to be associated mainly with heritage goods like leather wallets and cast iron. Did we include the latter in this list? Of course we did. (There are so many great new brands!) But we’re also prioritizing a more expansive collection of wares made in this country we call home.
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Below, we’ve included the hat favored by Hemingway, a small-batch condiment that’s a great stocking stuffer and two bottles of whiskey to sand down the edges of your family gatherings, among other things. Some of these gifts are 100% made in the U.S., others are assembled here with materials from elsewhere, but we’d be happy to find our name on any of these this season.
Quaker Marine Oysterman Cap
Skip the winter beanie and get them the hat favored by Ernest Hemingway, featuring Quaker Marine’s signature patent-leather bill designed for repelling water when you’re at sea. Also of note? While the company has had some ups and downs since its founding in 1949, they are currently making these caps in the same factory they used in the ‘50s. (I also highly recommend their Fisherman’s Sweaters for holiday gifting, though those aren’t made in the U.S.)
Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Frontier Wool Throw Blanket
The Frontier Wool Throw, which is available in olive, natural, grey and black, has been a part of Faribault’s line for over 150 years — since the beginning! How has the Minnesota mill managed to stay in business generation after generation what with outsourcing and the creation of cheap oil-derived fabrics and such? Ask anyone who has one of these blankets from last century: they stand the test of time.
Smithey No. 10 Cast Iron Chef Skillet
Yes, Smithey makes more traditional skillets, like the ones you picture holding some fresh baked cornbread, but this curved-wall option is great for gifting as even cast iron acolytes may be surprised by the design and the company’s signature polished look. Spend an extra $40 and get it engraved for that special touch.
Leatherman Free P4 Multitool
When Leatherman first introduced its Free line of multitools, which features a proprietary magnetic locking system, I was impressed. More impressive is that I still reach for mine years later over all my other EDC options. This P4 model features 21 tools and, like the company’s other offerings, is designed and made in Portland, Oregon.
Stranahan’s Original Single Malt Whiskey
A nice bottle of Scotch is one of our default gifts for people who are hard to buy for, but this year why not switch things up and spring for an American single malt? It’s a burgeoning category, of which Colorado’s Stranahan’s is a favorite. And if Reserve Bar doesn’t deliver to your state, there’s a good chance your local liquor emporium will carry their Original release.
Filson Mackinaw Wool Cruiser Jacket
Not only are you getting the time-tested style and durability of Filson, but the Mackinaw Cruiser Jacket features wool from Portland’s Pendleton in appropriately festive red and black plaid (and more staid colors too).
Pelican 45QW Elite Wheeled Cooler
There are probably other cooler companies topping Christmas lists this year, but if you want an overbuilt beer (canned cocktail? Sparkling water?) bucket that’s actually built in the U.S., you’ll want to go with Pelican.
Uncle Nearest 1884 Small Batch Whiskey
The short version of Uncle Nearest is that the young yet heralded distillery is carrying on the legacy of Nathan “Nearest” Green, an enslaved distiller who taught Jack Daniel. (We have the long version here.) There are a handful of new releases you may find on shelves, but for a widely available bottle, we like this 1884 Small Batch, which features blends curated by Master Blender (and Green descendant) Victoria Eady Butler.
Boon Chili Oil
Of all the chili oils I’ve tried since the condiment’s explosion a couple years ago, Boon’s blend is the one that has most socked it to my taste buds. Made in Los Angeles, this small-batch concoction features a mix of chilies, spices, anchovies, shallots and garlic cooked in sunflower oil, and is ideal for stocking stuffers, gifting to a host or just jazzing up your own holiday meals (and beyond).
KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
I’m guessing most people who own KitchenAid stand mixers don’t realize they’re made in Greenville, Ohio. Go ahead and include that fun fact with a few family recipes and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Grovemade Wood Laptop Stand
There are so many handsome desk accessories you could gift from Grovemade, but the Wood Laptop Stand, available in walnut or maple, is an essential that will reinvigorate their work setup in one fell swoop.
Smartwool Everyday Larimer Crew Socks
We’ve finally come full circle. Socks were a classic gift, then they became a holiday joke, and now? They’re back in, people! Give me all the socks, as long as they’re made in the U.S. and backed by a guarantee like Smartwool’s “Go Far. Feel Good.” promise.
Gantri Kero Table Light
I’ve yet to meet a Gantri lamp I don’t like, as the company partners with designers to create cutting-edge lighting concepts, then manufactures them in California using custom polymers sourced from sugar cane, and offers them at affordable prices.
Stetson Pure Stratoliner
This Texas-made Stetson is expert-level gifting, as you need to figure out their hat size and appropriate style (tobacco for an Indiana Jones vibe, true blue for the creatives). But pull it off and you’ve got yourself a contender for “best gift I ever received.”
Field Notes National Parks Notebooks
All Field Notes journals are made in the U.S., so really any design will do. But the National Parks Series is ideal for a few reasons. They’re grouped into three-packs, so you can customize your gift to suit the recipient. If they’re an absolute notebook fiend, though, you can also pick up the entire set (18 notebooks) for $85. Plus, a portion of every sale goes to support the National Park Foundation.
We've put in the work researching, reviewing and rounding up all the shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories you'll need this season, whether it's for yourself of for gifting purposes. Sign up here for weekly style inspo direct to your inbox.
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