50 Best Gifts for College Athletes

50 Best Gifts for College Athletes

By Meg Whitenton

Published on April 23, 2021

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Advertising Disclosure: Our team independently selected these products. If you purchase a product through one of our links, we may collect compensation. Pricing and availability are accurate at the time of publication.


Athletic Equipment and Accessories | Nutrition and Self-Care | Athleisure Wear and Accessories | Tech and Gadgets | For the Dorm Dweller | Books and Media


Friends and family can choose from many options when shopping for college athletes. You can give gifts that provide comfort, such as stylish athleisure wear or sturdy shoe insoles, or items that can help them train, such as exercise equipment. College athletes may also appreciate gifts that help them unwind or recover after a strenuous workout.

Our list of the best gifts for college athletes covers several categories of sports-related and student-friendly products. Each of the recommended items below is grouped into one of six categories for easy sorting.

Price Legend true

$ = Under $10 | $$ = $10-$25 | $$$ = $26-$50 | $$$$ = Over $50

Athletic Equipment and Accessories

Agility Training Set


Our Recommendation:

Big B Pro Sports Speed Agility Training Set

Ideal for small spaces like a dorm room or small apartment, this speed agility training set includes 10 cones, resistance bands, a jump rope, a 20-foot agility ladder, and a parachute with adjustable belt — all of which fit in a carry bag (also included).

$$$ on Amazon

Slam Ball


Our Recommendation:

Day 1 Fitness Weighted Slam Ball

Like a kettlebell or hand weight, this weighted ball can be used to intensify yoga, pilates, and CrossFit workouts. Students can conveniently store the slam ball in a small space and get in a weight-bearing workout during study breaks at home.

$$$ on Amazon

Hand Strengthener


Our Recommendation:

Vive Finger Strengthener

These tools are popular among rock climbers and football players for increasing hand and forearm strength and finger agility. Their small size makes them easy to toss into a backpack and use throughout the day to improve concentration during class.

$$ on Amazon

Bike Pedal Exerciser


Our Recommendation:

BOOKCYCLE Mini Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser

Help the college athlete in your life get in a workout while studying. This machine's compact design makes for easy storage, and its multifunction LCD monitor display includes time, distance, rotations, and calories burned.

$$$$ on Amazon

Digital Jump Rope


Our Recommendation:

Te-Rich Jump Rope

This digital jump rope can provide a cardio workout to students who only have access to limited space. The device features weighted handles, an adjustable rope, and silicone grips. The screen displays calories burned, jumps completed, and the length of the workout.

$$ on Amazon

Treadmill Desk


Our Recommendation:

SurfShelf Treadmill Desk

This portable, easy-to-install desk can hold a laptop or tablet on most treadmills and some stationary bikes. With the SurfShelf, students can study while getting their workout in at the gym.

$$$ on Amazon

Ab Roller


Our Recommendation:

Sports Research Ab Wheel Roller With Knee Pad

Another space-saving workout machine, this ab roller can tone a student's core, arms, abs, and back without cluttering their dorm room or apartment. The roller features a nonslip rubber wheel and stainless steel handles. It also comes with a knee pad.

$$ on Amazon

Core Trainer Seat Cushion


Our Recommendation:

Gaiam Balance Disc Wobble Cushion

This stability core trainer can help students improve their balance and posture while sitting. The 16-inch cushion requires no inflation and makes office chairs more comfortable for athletes studying for long stretches.

$$ on Amazon

Nutrition and Self-Care

Workout Fuel


Our Recommendation:

High-Protein Sampler Snack Box

This sampler includes a variety of high-protein snacks, including granola, protein bars and cookies, jerky, and nuts. You can choose from sample packs that contain 12, 20, or 30 items.

$$$-$$$$ on Amazon

Post-Workout Relief


Our Recommendation:

Coach Soak: Muscle Recovery Bath Soak

This specialized formula includes magnesium, dead sea salts, vitamin C, and essential oils to deliver nutrients to sore muscles. This therapeutic pain reliever comes in four scents: calming lavender, cooling peppermint, energizing citrus, and eucalyptus tea tree.

$$ on Amazon

Superfood


Our Recommendation:

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered Superfood Honey

This honey-based superfood includes propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen — all of which can increase energy and mental clarity, without relying on caffeine. One teaspoon before a workout may promote endurance, strength, and recovery support.

$$$ on Amazon

Hot and Cold Therapy


Our Recommendation:

Large Wrap With Ice Pack for Injuries by TheraPAQ

This gel ice pack can deliver up to 30 minutes of soreness relief and muscle recovery therapy. The flexible wrap and strap design remains pliable when frozen to help relieve joint pain, bruising, sprains, and strains. The pack can also be microwaved to provide heat relief.

$$ on Amazon

Electrolytes


Our Recommendation:

Vita Coco Coconut Water

Coconut water can provide many benefits for athletes, especially before and after workouts. Vita Coco coconut water is fresh-pressed to deliver naturally occurring electrolytes and a variety of fruit flavors. This variety pack includes original, pineapple, mango, and strawberry banana.

$$ on Amazon

First-Aid Kit


Our Recommendation:

DormDoc College First-Aid Medical Kit

Developed by medical professionals specifically for college students, this first-aid kit is essential for any dorm. The kit includes 125 items, including wound care supplies, ointments and antibacterial solutions, and over-the-counter medications.

$$$ on Amazon

Vitamin C


Our Recommendation:

Emergen-C 1,000 Milligram Vitamin C Powder

One serving of Emergen-C's fizzy formula includes the vitamin C equivalent of 10 oranges, with B vitamins, antioxidants, and electrolytes to boost the immune system. Choose from multiple quantities and flavors.

$ on Amazon

Exogun


Our Recommendation:

Legiral Le3 Massage Gun

This portable, deep-tissue massage gun features six interchangeable massage heads and 20 speed grades. The device also includes a powerful motor and rechargeable lithium-ion battery, allowing up to six hours of continuous use.

$$$$ on Amazon

Water Filter Bottle


Our Recommendation:

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

LifeStraw's two-stage integrated filter straw protects against over 99% of bacteria, parasites, microplastics, and organic chemical matter. Students save single-use water bottles with every fill-up.

$$$ on Amazon

Athleisure Wear and Accessories

Game Day Outfit


Our Recommendation:

Campus Colors Logo Crewneck Sweatshirt

This comfy dual-blend sweatshirt can be customized with your choice of more than 136 college team logos and colors. Campus Colors products feature screen-printed graphics that can withstand frequent wear.

$$$ on Amazon

Compression Sleeves


Our Recommendation:

YQXCC UV Sun Protection Arm Sleeves

These unisex arm covers provide compression with a cooling effect. The nylon/spandex blend wicks moisture away from skin and provides UPF 50+ sun protection. These sleeves are also seamless and antimicrobial. Choose from multiple quantities and colors.

$$ on Amazon

School/Gym Bag


Our Recommendation:

lamaki Urban Black Backpack Sports Bag

Designed for bike commuters, this backpack can transition from class to the gym. Lightweight and breathable with padded straps, this bag can hold gym clothes, accessories, and a laptop. It also includes a separate compartment for shoes.

$$$ on Amazon

Thermal Gloves


Our Recommendation:

SIMARI Winter Gloves

These poly/spandex gloves feature flannel lining, silicone-enhanced grips, and touchscreen finger capability. The ergonomic design of the gloves suits climbing, cycling, and weight training. Choose from five colors.

$$ on Amazon

Cooling Towels


Our Recommendation:

SYOURSELF Four-Pack Cooling Towels

Help the athlete in your life stay cool all day with these versatile, eco-friendly cooling towels. The unique absorption system cools instantly when simply moistened, wrung out, and snapped. Towels come in multiple colors.

$$ on Amazon

High-Performance Socks


Our Recommendation:

Under Armour No-Show Socks

Under Armour's no-show socks wick sweat away and dry fast. They are perfect for athletes running from class to team practice. The construction features dynamic arch support, a seamless toe, and anti-odor technology. Color options include black and white.

$$-$$$ on Amazon

Team Logo Gear


Our Recommendation:

FOCO NCAA Unisex Neck Gaiter

FOCO is officially licensed to manufacture wearable products and accessories emblazoned with college team logos and colors. This lightweight, breathable neck gaiter also doubles as a headband, wristband, or mask.

$$ on Amazon

Insoles


Our Recommendation:

Easyfeet Athletic Shoe Insoles

Help the athlete in your life take care of their feet while engaged in high-intensity activities. These insoles provide arch support to prevent foot injuries. They can be used for walking, running, and cross-training.

$$$ on Amazon

Shoe Deodorizers


Our Recommendation:

GloveStix Odor Eliminator

As seen on TV's Shark Tank, GloveStix can be used in shoes, gloves, and other athletic equipment to reduce odor, moisture, and bacteria. The U-shaped design features antimicrobial plastic and replaceable inserts.

$$$ on Amazon

Tech and Gadgets

Wireless Earbuds


Our Recommendation:

Stywvoe Wireless Bluetooth V5.2 Headphones

Perfect for the athlete on the go, these wireless earbuds pair with any Bluetooth device, up to 30 feet away. The headset includes a built-in mic to answer phone calls while working out. The water-resistant design also features advanced noise-suppression technology.

$$ on Amazon

Fitness Tracker


Our Recommendation:

Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch

This version of the Fitbit features quick news and weather updates and can pair with a smartphone. Signature fitness-tracking technology monitors heart rate, steps walked, calories burned, active minutes, and sleep quality.

$$$$ on Amazon

Posture Trainer


Our Recommendation:

Upright GO 2 Posture Trainer and Corrector

Help college athletes carry healthy habits from the field to the classroom with this discreet posture trainer and corrector. The small device features adjustable settings to vibrate when the back slouches. The Upright GO can be synced with an iOS or Android device.

$$$$ on Amazon

Running Watch


Our Recommendation:

Polar Bluetooth Stride Sensor

This smart sensor monitors a runner's speed, distance, cadence, and stride length. The small, waterproof, shock-proof sensor can be paired with a Bluetooth-based mobile training app like Polar Beat.

$$$$ on Amazon

Ball Pump


Our Recommendation:

Pumteck Electric Ball Pump

Portable and compact, this ball pump features intelligent pressure detection to avoid overinflation. The pump also includes a built-in pressure gauge and LCD display. The device's high-capacity lithium battery and USB charging cable enable the inflation of 30 balls per charge.

$$$ on Amazon

Boxing Trainer


Our Recommendation:

Kosando Smart Boxing Tracker

This boxing simulator enables students to train against a virtual competitor from the comfort of their dorm room or apartment. The boxing sensors attach to the top of the wrists and monitor the progress of a trainer's punches and velocity over time.

$$$$ on Amazon

Bluetooth Headband


Our Recommendation:

Olyone Wireless Sports Headband

This headband includes built-in earbuds; noise-canceling technology for a better night's sleep; and breathable, sweat-absorbing fiber construction. The headband can be synced to any Bluetooth-enabled tablet, iOS, or Android device.

$$ on Amazon

Cycling GPS


Our Recommendation:

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

This GPS cycling computer is perfect for mountain bikers and features a 3.5-inch color touchscreen that tracks jump count, jump distance, hang time, and climbing progress. This technology can deliver up to 24 hours of navigation and performance assistance with just one charge.

$$$$ on Amazon

For the Dorm Dweller

Shower Caddy


Our Recommendation:

Giway Shower Caddy Tote Bag

Durable yet breathable, this shower caddy suits dorm dwellers and gym rats alike. The inner PVC compartment features elastic straps to hold items in place. This spacious tote can be used as a toiletry bag, bath organizer, or travel kit.

$$ on Amazon

Team Colors Throw


Our Recommendation:

Logo Frosty Fleece Blanket

Help your favorite college athlete show some team spirit at home. This super soft blanket — made of high-pile, sherpa-like plush — comes in hundreds of college team colors. The blanket is machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant.

$$$ on Amazon

Stadium Seat


Our Recommendation:

Cascade Mountain Tech Stadium Seat

Cascade Mountain Tech offers this lightweight, portable stadium seat in two sizes: standard or extra wide. The aluminum frame folds flat for easy transport and features a water-resistant canvas seat. The chair comes in eight colors and fits all stadium bleachers.

$$$ on Amazon

Inflatable Lounger


Our Recommendation:

Mockins Inflatable Lounger Air Sofas

Mockins offers this space-friendly furniture for both dorm dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts. The "air sofa" does not require a pump for inflation. The lounger can accommodate surprise guests at home or be transported in its compact travel bag.

$$$ on Amazon

Motivational Art


Our Recommendation:

Throwback Traits Inspirational Posters, Set of Six

This set of motivational posters can help inspire academic and athletic success in a student's home. The 11x17-inch prints feature calming visuals and motivational phrases to help students maintain a positive outlook.

$$ on Amazon

Portable Washing Machine


Our Recommendation:

COMFEE' Portable Washing Machine

This powerful mini washing machine can help athletes clean their sweaty training clothes. They can adjust the load size, wash time, rinse time, and spin time to meet their needs. The machine is equipped with wheels and handles, making it easy to move and store.

$$$$ on Amazon

Meal Prep Containers


Our Recommendation:

ThinkFit Meal Prep Containers

ThinkFit's BPA-free meal prep containers can help college athletes keep their nutrition on track. Microwave-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe, this six-piece set includes four medium and two small containers that are designed for easy portion control.

$$ on Amazon

Coffee Maker


Our Recommendation:

Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer

Give the college athlete in your life the gift of caffeinated deliciousness with this versatile Ninja brewing system. The machine features a variety of brew sizes and can keep coffee hot for up to four hours on an adjustable warming plate.

$$$$ on Amazon

Books and Media

Schedule Planner


Our Recommendation:

Clever Fox Weekly and Monthly Planner

College athletes often have a much busier schedule than the typical student, slotting games and practice into their study routine. This lightweight planner comes in 16 colors and can accommodate daily, weekly, and monthly appointments. It also comes with stickers for maximum organization.

$$$ on Amazon

Sports Magazine Subscription


Our Recommendation:

Sports Illustrated Subscription

Students can read about the latest sports news and get in-depth coverage of their favorite teams in this magazine. Sixteen issues of Sports Illustrated come out each year. Subscriptions are available in print and in a digital format.

$-$$ on Amazon

Fitness Journal


Our Recommendation:

NewMe Fitness Journal

Help college athletes reach their goals with this health journal. NewMe's fitness journal enables students to track 50 weeks of daily workouts and health and wellness practices.

$$ on Amazon

Self-Improvement Books


Our Recommendation:

Raise Your Game: High-Performance Secrets from the Best of the Best

In this book, performance coach Alan Stein, Jr. shares techniques used by successful people to achieve their goals. College athletes can explore the success stories of scholars, famous athletes, CEOs, coaches, sports executives, and entrepreneurs.

$$-$$$ on Amazon

High-Energy Music


Our Recommendation:

Become an Athlete: Ultimate Fitness Playlist

Sometimes, the right music can make all the difference. Students can access this upbeat, inspiring playlist for free with an Amazon Music subscription. The MP3 album is also available for purchase. Become an Athlete features 49 tracks of high-energy mixes of popular favorites.

$ on Amazon

Sports Nutrition Guide


Our Recommendation:

Essential Sports Nutrition: A Guide to Optimal Performance for Every Active Person

Written by a sports dietician and triathlon coach, this book offers more than just healthy recipes for athletes. Students can also learn about sensible snacking choices, when and what to eat for satiation and workout fuel, and how to prioritize sports nutrition for peak athletic performance.

$$ on Amazon

Sports Anatomy Manual


Our Recommendation:

The Anatomy of Sports Injuries, Second Edition

Penned by a health science scholar and former coach, this illustrated guidebook identifies a variety of common sports injuries and their prevention and treatment. The book features 350 images illustrating what happens within the body during and after a sports injury.

$$ on Amazon

Healthy Cookbooks


Our Recommendation:

The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook

This book provides nutritious, budget-friendly, and time-saving recipes for college athletes. Options include meal plans for every taste and experience level. The book is available as an ebook or in paperback.

$ on Amazon

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