True, the digital age is well upon us and there’s no doubt that print publications are feeling the trend of decreasing sales. Still, magazine subscriptions have been surprisingly resilient when compared to other forms of traditional media, and there’s now an influx of magazines that are popping up online in the form of digital downloads.

But which magazines deserve a place, both on our coffee tables and in our iPads? We dive into some of the most popular magazines on the market to bring you, what we believe to be the top 12 magazines for men.

1. Playboy

Playboy

Circulation

1,628,567

Sample Headlines

  • 25 Sexiest Celebrities
  • 2009 Party Schools: See Who Is #1
  • The Conflict Between Faith And reason
  • Richard Branson Interview On Money & Madness
  • The 55 Most Important People In Sex

Target Audience

Professional men who not only enjoy admiring unclad women, but also demand in-depth articles, interviews and stories.

Description

An adult-oriented men’s magazine that features racy photos of often fully nude women, occasionally getting real celebrities to pose in the spreads. The magazine also features interviews as well as journalism and fiction.

Our Take

Love it or hate it, Playboy is one of the most recognized brands around the world. The images are iconic, albeit overly photo shopped, which is typical for a men’s magazine in order for them to create that “Dream Girl” effect with the models. Over the years they have had everyone from Marilyn Monroe (never actually posed, but she was put on the cover) to Drew Barrymore to Marge Simpson grace their glossy pages, which only shows just how widespread their influence really is. The interviews are in-depth and have offered exclusive looks into the inside stories of such legends as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and even Martin Luther King Jr. There is no arguing that Playboy deserves it’s spot as the top selling men’s magazine.

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2. The Economist

The Economist

Circulation

1,443,083

Sample Headlines

  • The Flat-Tax Revolution: Towards Simpler, Fairer And Better Taxes
  • Wasting Money On Climate Change
  • Why The Beautiful Succeed
  • Castro’s Legacy
  • China, Japan And North Korea’s Nukes

Target Readers

Business-savvy readers who enjoy keeping current with economic trends and broadening their understandings of issues that surround economics.

Description

Although it is based in London, England, The Economist is decidedly global in its execution and desired readership. It promotes minimal economic intervention from the government and provides its readers with an editorial view of economic issues that are slanted towards free trade, globalization and more monetary support from the government for healthcare and education.

Our Take

The Economist has always been a crusader in the tangled and corrupted world of economics, never afraid to voice controversial opinions on truly world-changing events. Throughout their vast history of publications, The Economist has tackled such heavy issues as the support of gay marriage, legalization of drugs, and even called for an impeachment of Bill Clinton. In order to protect the writers and cultivate a collective voice, the opinion pieces do not include author bylines which leaves the magazine feeling a bit omnipresent, a feeling that is further strengthened by the sometimes “preachy” nature of the pointed editorials.

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3. Backpacker

Backpacker

Circulation

N/A

Sample Headlines

  • 446 Trail-Tested Products & Camping Skills
  • Ultimate Adventure Handbook
  • The World’s Smartest Bears
  • America’s Best Campsites
  • 45 New Hikes Near You

Target Readers

Adventurous types that enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, doing some hiking, and maybe even camping.

Description

Each issue basically consists of four different sections. There is the feature well, gear review, a service-oriented Basecamp section, and maps of local trails that correspond to six different regional editions.

Our Take

Backpacker has won numerous awards in its thirty-some years and it is pretty easy to see why. They have everything that a stellar outdoors-type magazine needs. They highlight the best gear and point out incredible trails, what more could you ask for? The really great thing about Backpacker is that they really listen to feedback from their customers. It isn’t uncommon for them to poll their readers in order to see what they want out of the magazine so that the changes can be implemented and ultimately enrich the publication. It shows that they have a fierce determination to be the best, and they know that the way to the top is through the appreciation of their readers. Well done, Backpacker, well done.

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4. Game Informer

Game Informer

Circulation

4,364,170

Sample Headlines

  • Batman Begins: Gotham’s Dark Knight Descends On Xbox, PS2, & Gamecube
  • The Top 50 Games Of 2009
  • Dead Space: A Renegade Team At Electronic Arts Sets Out To Make The Most Chilling Sci-Fi Horror Game The World Has Ever Seen
  • Guitar Hero 4: How Neversoft Is Changing Music Games Forever
  • Leisure Suit Larry Returns: Video Games’ Most Notorious And Naughty Nerd Strikes Again

Target Readers

Video game addicts, enthusiasts, fetishists, whatever. Plain and simple.

Description

Focuses on the latest in video game news as well as reviews of new releases and classic games. Games are rated on a scale from 1-10 with 1 being worse than awful and 10 being beyond perfect. 

Our Take

Coming up on its 20th Anniversary, Game Informer has been a staple magazine for any devoted gamer and is easily the best choice for a magazine focused on gaming. They bring humor and an entertaining voice to their reviews and articles that reflects the magazine’s passion for the industry. We like the particularly nasty way that they find pleasure in knocking well-known gaming icon’s off of their pedestals with the “Sacred Cow Barbecue”, which is essentially a written roast of the greats. Their spin-off magazine, Game Infarcer, is their yearly April Fool’s joke that is worth a few laughs. It’s nice to see a magazine that isn’t afraid to make a mockery of its own industry, so if you plan on starting to read Game Informer, make sure that you can handle a joke.

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5. Esquire

Esquire

Circulation

720,000

Sample Headlines

  • The Women You Love: 19 pages Of Your favorite Movie Stars, Models, And Bush Twins
  • Drinking: 10 pages On How To Do It Particularly Well
  • The 75 Movies Every Man Should See
  • Are Your Bosses Paid Too Much? And Why It’s Good news If They Are
  • Be A Better Man: Get In Shape, Get An Edge, Eat To Win, And, Um, Look Good Naked

Target Readers

Refined men who are career-driven and enjoy an intelligent read on a broad range of topics including politics, style, food and women.

Description

Founded in 1932 (Wow!), Esquire is the quintessential men’s style magazine that led the way for other similar magazines like GQ and Details. It focuses on beautiful women, style for the everyday man, food coverage that will make you salivate, and other manly men stuff. There are some works of fiction mixed in as well, not to mention over 75 years of experience in the industry.

Our Take

It’s the clear winner when put into competition with its contemporaries and it just oozes luxury. The people at Esquire know how to construct a magazine, that is clear, and their advice on style, food, and what’s cool in general is almost always spot on. They have enough pull and experience to land really big celebrities on their cover without breaking a sweat, which means you are getting juicy interviews that are really relevant, although they are decidedly mainstream. The one thing about Esquire, however, is that they tread a thin line between appreciating and objectifying beautiful women, a line that every men’s magazine has crossed at least once before. It’s something we’ve come to expect from magazines like Maxim, but coming from Esquire it just feels wrong.   

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6. Men’s Health

Men's Health

Circulation

1,917,411

Sample Headlines

  • Power Up Your Diet! 25 Surprising Muscle Foods
  • Success Without Stress! 11 Secret Money Strategies
  • 1,785 Best Ever Health, Fitness, Sex, Style & Nutrition Tips!
  • Six-Pack Abs! See Results In Just 9 days!
  • 100 Sexiest Things In Health

Target Audience

Men in their prime who are well-rounded and fitness-conscious.

Description

Men’s Health is the leading health magazine for men (Go figure!), providing men everywhere with ways to get in shape and stay that way. Within it’s pages you will find healthy recipes, various exercises, and different ways to boost your metabolism or sculpt your body.

Our Take

A great place to start if you are ready for a lifestyle change, every month Men’s Health will be there to guide you through the sometimes tangled mess of healthy eating and exercise where trends are constantly changing. But rather than hyping up every new diet or fitness craze, Men’s Health does their best to provide a well-rounded view of what being healthy really means. That means that they focus on truly healthy eating and tried and true fitness programs, rather than supplements and crazy equipment. You will never see the shake weight on the cover, that’s for sure. One drawback, however, is that some of the content can become quite repetitive. After all, there are only so many ways that you can drop that belly fat or build up your biceps.

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7. Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated

Circulation

3,212,278

Sample Headlines

  • Kobe’s Moment
  • Tiger Nation Roars: LSU Mauls Ohio State 38-24
  • Yes, That’s Good: Tom Brady And The Patriots Dominate The Cowboys To Go 6-0
  • Best And Worst Teams To Coach
  • Happy Days: Johan Santana Lifts The Mets Without Throwing A Pitch

Target Readers

Sports enthusiasts that are old enough to legally drink in the United States and a magazine with an unparalleled reputation in the realm of professional sports. 

Description

A in-depth look at any and all professional sports and the ever-changing team members that play them. Separating Sports Illustrated from its peers are the in-depth articles that appear at the end of every issue, as well as the annual Swimsuit Issue that is consistently the top selling issue each year. 

Our Take

At the beginning, Sports Illustrated decided to not become just another sports magazine, but instead become “the” sports magazine that all others would follow. They succeeded in making the definitive sports magazine for all the fans out there in the world. The interviews are exclusive and high profile, and the writing is superb, offering a unique take on popular sports and their respective players. They have spawned a lot of legendary sports writers throughout the magazine’s life span and even trademarked some photographic innovations, but it most of all, they have provided solid entertainment and substantial value for their readers. If you like sports then you’ll love Sports Illustrated, of that I am certain.  

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8. Car and Driver

Car and Driver

 

Circulation

1,326,350

Sample Headlines

  • New American Tire-Smokin’ V-8s
  • First Drive: 425-HP Dodge Challenger SRTS
  • Corvette Shoot-Out! Z06 Vs. ZR1 Vs. Z51
  • Exposed: Mileage Myths & Lies
  • 24 Cars Worth Waiting For!

Target Readers

Mature car enthusiasts who expect the most complete and comprehensive of not only super cars and racers, but also automobiles they can realistically drive in their everyday lives.

Description

Originally, Car and Driver exclusively featured and reviewed small, imported sports cars, but today it features a much more well-rounded group of automobiles including more affordable, domestic brands. They are known for “telling it like it is” and are unafraid to voice their true opinions in editorials, even if they may piss a few people off. All in a day’s work. 

Our Take

If you’re a man that can’t resist the sensual curves of an automobile, you’ll find it hard to resist the allure of Car and Driver, and the the infinite automobile-centric advice and information that it holds. Their honest editorials about the true quality of vehicles is refreshing and most definitely welcome, especially when you are potentially dropping a large chunk of change on a car and it pays to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. On the negative side of things, the magazine is unsurprisingly pro-automobile and have even published articles that seem to paint global warming in more of a trivial light. But…if you enjoy cars this much, global warming probably isn’t your primary concern, but it is something to think about.

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9. Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics

Circulation

1,219,094

Sample Headlines

  • 25 Skills Every Man Should Know
  • Test: Seven Smartphones Versus The iPhone
  • China’s Space Threat: How Their New Missiles Could Target U.S. Satellites
  • 10 Best Hi-Def Movies
  • Mission Moon: How We’ll Go Back – And Stay This Time!

Target Readers

Fans of all fields of science and technology that crave all that is new and recently created by the world’s finest scientific minds.

Description

Popular Mechanics talks about the latest developments in the automotive industry, home, outdoors, science, and so many other technologies in order to deliver the newest and most exciting technological innovations to you. 

Our Take

We love that Popular Mechanics not only keeps you current in terms of trends, research, and new products/inventions in the field of technology, but it also provides you with real knowledge of important health issues and even political issues. You can find some crazy cool stuff in the pages of the magazine, like robots, spy planes, and medical miracles. A real stand out article that effectively captures the passion with which the magazine sees the world and tackles its issues was there feature piece from 2005 entitled “Debunking the 9/11 Myths”. The piece had a team of 9 researchers and journalists consult 70 professionals in various fields and disprove 16 of the most damaging and ludicrous conspiracy theories floating around about the horrifying terrorist attacks of September 11th with cold, hard scientific evidence. Once again, we applaud a magazine for itsjournalistic integrity and willingness to face down controversy in pursuit of the truth.

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10. National Geographic

National Geographic

Circulation

4,493,110

Sample Headlines

  • Quake: The Next Big One
  • Inside Animal Minds: Birds, Apes, Dolphins, And A Dog With A World-Class Vocabulary
  • Sunken Treasure Of St. Helena
  • Nomads Of China’s West
  • Trekking Across Patagonia’s Ice

Target Readers

Well-traveled individuals or those that wish to be well-traveled, who have an appreciation for our planet and everything that it has to offer.

Description

The official journal of the National Geographic Society, National Geographic, includes information and news about geography, culture, history, current events, popular science, and photography. It’s available in 33 different languages.

Our Take

“Inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888.” This tagline, which is showcased on their official website, encapsulates what National Geographic strives to achieve in its publications and also what we, at inStash, appreciate about the magazine. In a world where the wonders of the planet are not always available to us, National Geographic seeks out the beauty and varied cultural aspects of the world to include in their long-running publication. Though there have been criticisms of the magazine for lightening people with darker skin, or manipulating traditional garb in order to make it more attractive for photographs, you can’t come down to hard on the magazine because at least they are putting the spotlight on neglected corners of the world and protecting our natural environment, rather than glorifying another over-exposed celebrity.  

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11. Money

Money

Circulation

1,928,179

Sample Headlines

  • America’s Best Places To Live
  • 21 Good Things To Do In A Bad Market
  • Road Map To A Rich Life
  • Retire Rich: A Real-World Guide To Financial Freedom
  • 42 Brilliant Ways To Put Your Money To Work

Target Readers

Anybody who has a healthy obsession with money. This can include saving money, earning money, investing money, and so much more.

Description

Money offers sounds advice on everything from savings plans, retirement funds, stocks and investment, taxes, and even family finances like tuition, home improvement, and budgeting strategies.

Our Take

Everyone could use some advice when it comes to handling our cash and Money magazine has money advice in ample supply. They provide readers with information on everything from the top affordable vacation spots to the future of healthcare. We especially love their ever-present lists that combine the most affordable versions of pretty much everything. Finding your way around a budget and squeezing out enough of the leftovers for some semblance of “fun time” is a daily struggle, a struggle which Money magazine is more than happy to help you with.


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12. Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports

Circulation

7,300,000

Sample Headlines

  • 6 Tips From Our Experts That Can Save You Thousands
  • Don’t Be Fooled: Real Gas Mileage Figures For 103 Vehicles
  • 300+ Brand-Name Products Rated
  • Top Kitchen Appliances
  • Best & Worst: Televisions, Cameras, Mp3 Players & More

Target Readers

Responsible shoppers that prefer to know everything about a product before they lay down their money.

Description

Prints reviews and comparisons of varying products that are put through rigorous examination at their in-house testing facility. In addition, Consumer Reports will include buying guides for different products.

Our Take

Consumer Reports is a welcome storehouse of information to help guide you through the somewhat murky waters of consumption. Advertisements and biased reviews from other sources can be misleading, causing you to waste precious dollars on products that should have never been purchased in the first place. Thankfully, the magazine has a number of guidelines in place to make sure its reviews are bias-free and completely objective. They do this by refusing to accept free trials of products, printing outside advertisements, or permitting the commercial use of their reviews for selling products. Their issue dedicated solely to automobiles that’s released in April is “the” issue to watch as it will no doubt help you, and a whole bunch of other people, pick out the best possible ride for your money.  

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Summary
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Top 12: Magazines for Men
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