Maybe you’ve noticed something. On Mom, it seems, we go hard. But then the next month, we sometimes…phone it in. Literally. We give dear old dad a ring and call it a day. Stats bear that out. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend just about $8 billion more on Mother’s Day than Father’s Day. Now’s not the time to explore the cultural reasons for that, but we’re here to say it just ain’t right.
Start giving your dad his due this year, right here. We have such great gift ideas for him and for all the special fathers in our lives, from new dads to granddads.
Father’s Day gifts for dads
Man Crates Trail Blazer Crate ($99.99; mancrates.com)
Help that outdoorsy dad even the man versus nature odds with this cache of gear and supplies. Once he cracks open the sealed wooden crate with the laser-etched crowbar (half the joy of this gift), he’ll find a 14-function tool, an extra-bright headlamp, a collapsible water bottle and a trio of meaty protein snacks.
Ballast Beach Pillow ($35; amazon.com)
This plush pillow repels sand and wicks away water, but its claim to fame is its special design. It won’t blow away on windy beaches or breezy days poolside, like typical inflatable pillows. It can be used right on a towel or attached to a chair, and it comes in a carry case.
Kodak Step Mini Wireless Printer ($59.99, originally $69.99; amazon.com)
The palm-size printer turns his favorite shots of his kids into 2-inch-by-3-inch prints, straight from his phone as the memories are happening. We were sold on the fact that you don’t need ink…that stuff costs a fortune. The Zink Paper (an included supply) is embedded with special dye crystals that make crisp images that resist moisture, tears and smudges.
Swimways Hydro Lacrosse Game ($14.99; dickssportinggoods.com)
“Scoop it, Daddy!” Does your crew look forward to spending time in a pool, at the ocean or lakeside this summer? Then expect to hear that a lot. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly gift to encourage family fun, this is probably it.
The North Face Base Camp Duffel ($149; nordstrom.com)
A duffel may seem like an expected gift — except when it’s this killer specimen from The North Face. Whether family road trips or camping adventures or both are in his future, this water-resistant bag, with an ergonomic shoulder strap as well as handles, is a worthy take-along. One of its reviewers had this to say: “I can stuff two complete sets of bedding for my camper in it, including pillows. If it gets tossed onto wet ground, everything’s fine. I love this bag!”
Schosche PowerUp 600 ($99.99; walmart.com)
Is he a plan-ahead-just-in-case type of guy? Then he’ll be all about this clever device: lightweight car jumper cables, a flashlight (because breakdowns always happen in the dark) and a USB phone charger. It holds a charge for six months and automatically turns off to conserve the batteries the second the car starts.
Casio G-Shock Step Tracker Watch ($99; dickssportinggoods.com)
For those fathers who want to trim their dad bods but haven’t plunged into a workout routine yet, this tech-drenched watch will be inspo to take the first step. Literally. It has a step counter with an acceleration sensor, an LED illuminator for his nightime walks or runs, a stop watch, alarm reminders, a goal log, a calorie tracker, an accompanying smartphone app, Bluetooth and resistance to water, shock and fogging up. Whoa.
Panasonic SoundSlayer Gaming Soundbar ($249.80, originally $299; amazon.com)
So, yeah, this one’s slightly pricey, but for a guy who’s a gamer, with a kid who’s a gamer, the bonding sessions will be worth every nickel and way more. It’ll bring a whole new dimension of 3D sound to video game sessions.
And the speakers are legit: Panasonic partnered with the Final Fantasy XIV online sound team to design them. This soundbar brings an immersive experience to movies too, with ambient music and environmental sounds.
Nostaglia Hot Dog Toaster ($24.99; amazon.com)
Give the man a break from the barbecue grill by gifting him this fun, old-timey appliance. It toasts the buns and warms franks perfectly, both at the same time. No more soggy boiled hot dogs in winter either. He’ll be able to enjoy his favorite taste of summer year-round.
Father’s Day gifts for husbands
Huron Shower Kit ($39; usehuron.com)
Do you get the sense your partner wants to level up his skin and hair game but is at a loss as to where to begin? Show him! This body wash, shampoo and conditioner set gives luxury products a run for their money. (Pssst: One of the founders formerly led development teams at top skin care brands.) But unlike luxury brands, Huron aims to be totally nonintimidating to men who have never been real good about taking care of themselves. The products have no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicones or aluminum.
Ostrichpillow Digital Detox Phone Case ($50; ostrichpillow.com)
Let’s face it: We can all benefit from loosening our phone’s grip on us a little bit. And that goes double for dads with kids who are growing as fast as bamboo. Help him embrace distraction-free family time with this stealthy phone case. Slip a phone of any size up to iPhone 12 in, and all signals are blocked. Calls, texts, notifications, all of it. You’re welcome.
Best Farter Mug ($14.99, originally $19.99; amazon.com)
OK, yes, mugs are usually a boring gift. But surely you agree this one is an exception, leaving “No. 1 Dad” in the dust.
Misen Essentials Knife Set ($130; misen.com)
If your guy, like many of us, discovered a love of cooking during the pandemic, he’ll be all over this high-quality set that includes a chef’s knife, a serrated knife and a paring knife. Armed with those three, he can cut and chop just about anything.
Misen makes its knives from steel that’s high in carbon, which ensures they’ll last basically forever and stay super sharp. The shape and weight of each piece makes it feel good in your hand. The 2,100 reviewers giving the set an average 4.9 stars agree on that point. Pun intended.
Little Words Project Lava Family Bracelet (starting at $8, originally $20; nordstrom.com)
Slip this stretchy, handmade men’s bracelet on your husband’s wrist when you two first wake up on Father’s Day morning. It’ll be a perfect, sweet start to his special day. And long after June 20 has passed, it’ll serve as a reminder of what really matters and what most definitely does not (his boss’s maddening rants).
Father’s Day gifts for new dads
Bloomscape Mini Money Tree ($35; bloomscape.com)
If there’s one thing a brand-new daddy wants, it’s a money tree. The classic Chinese money tree is said to trap your fortune within the folds of its braided trunk. Those are pretty big, though, so if you don’t have all that much room, may we suggest this cute mini version? It ships in a box that holds the pot (which comes in five colors) snugly in place. Plus, it comes with a 30-day “it’ll stay alive” guarantee. Tip: Tradition holds that businesses put it near the register, while in homes it should be placed in the southeast corner.
Wireless Bluetooth Shower Speaker ($19.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
With a newborn to care for, the shower can be about the only place one can gather their thoughts for a few minutes. Help him enjoy that brief break from daddy duty to the max with this shower speaker that can access his phone’s playlist. It even has a built-in speaker phone for caller ID. (That may take away from the relaxation aspect, but he’ll probably think it’s cool.)
Casper The Glow Light ($129; casper.com)
Babies sure do mess with sleep-wake cycles. You’re constantly drowsy from cutie-induced sleep deprivation, then when you can finally catch some zzz’s, you’re tossing and turning. Enter this new parent life improver. It’ll help Dad’s brain relax and wind down with a warm light that gradually dims. (It works in reverse as a gentle alarm clock, which you’ll appreciate in a few years when you need one.)
It also can be carried as a night light for 2 a.m. feedings, bright enough to keep him from walking into the refrigerator but not so bright that baby thinks she’s up for the day.
Canary Flex Security Camera ($129.97; amazon.com)
Know a nervous (or just moony over his little miracle) first-time father? Put his mind at ease while brightening his days with this indoor-outdoor camera. It has night vision and motion detection with alerts, and it plays nice with Alexa and Google Assistant. Installation is also extremely simple.
Blue Bottle Coffee Blend Box ($35; bluebottlecoffee.com)
Java his new best friend? Of course it is. Inside this gift box, he’ll find Blue Bottle’s most popular whole-bean coffee blends: Three Africas, Bella Donovan and Giant Steps. They’re all roasted right before shipping, so his cups of joe will taste supremely savory and fresh. We even named Blue Bottle the best coffee subscription of 2021.
Father’s Day gifts for grandfathers
Hearth & Hand With Magnolia Croquet Set ($99.99; target.com)
Chip and Joanna Gaines had a hand in designing this modern incarnation of a beloved backyard game. It has wheels and a handle so he can easily roll it out for a round with the grandkids. The entire set is made of wood for that nice classic look.
Does Grandpa love his snacks? Then thrill him with an ongoing supply of treats he has surely never tried before. Each box of Bokksu yumminess delivers at least 20 snacks that normally can only be had in Japan. He’ll enjoy candy, senbei rice crackers, mochi, cakes, chips, tea…each box is different. All snacks are made by family-run small companies, which ship their packages direct from Japan, free, with tracking. A guide is included in every box that details each snack’s history and flavor profile.
Check out our review of Bokksu here.
Helinox Sunset Chair ($149.95; amazon.com)
Comfy and perfectly portable, this top-flight aluminum beach, camping and watch-the-grandkids’-soccer-games seat weighs only 3 pounds. That’s inside the included carry bag! Yet it supports up to 320 pounds. It also sits higher off the ground than most such chairs, so it’s easier to get in and out of.
Brightland The Summer Grilling Capsule ($65; brightland.co)
Everyone knows Grandpa is King of the Grill, presiding over summer barbecues with panache. As one of his adoring subjects, gift him this limited-edition set of lemon olive oil, a brushed gold drizzling spout, heirloom aromatic sea salt and two sustainably harvested cedar grilling planks.
Check out our review of Brightland olive oils here.
Crescent Lufkin Shockforce Nite Eye 25-Foot Tape Measure ($29.98; lowes.com)
Handy grands will make so much use of this smartly designed tool. The two-sided blade has distinct green markings on matte black that can be easily read even when the light isn’t good. The blade extends out 14 feet without collapsing (even if he’s not holding it); the end hook has a special coating so it stays put without slipping.
Midland MicroMobile 2-Way Radio ($149.99; amazon.com)
Roger that! Hook him up with a two-way radio with a handheld mic and an up to 50-mile range (depending on terrain). He’ll use it to keep in touch on a multi-vehicle road trip, chat with his buddies on walkie-talkies and stay ahead of the elements with NOAA weather stations. If he happens to live in a rural area, it’ll come in handy for chatting with nearby friends in areas with no cell service. It comes with a quick start guide, so if Gramps is a first-time user he’ll feel like an expert fast.
Shiitake Mushroom Log Kit ($30; uncommongoods.com)
Is that special grandfather endlessly curious? A lover of nature or gardening? A bit of a mad scientist? Then this cannot fail to leave him giddy. All he has to do is soak his log and keep it in a damp, cool, dark spot. With resoaking and regular harvesting, he’ll have mushrooms for salads, soups and chicken marsala for three years or so. These shroom wonders are handmade in Georgia.
Father’s Day gifts for pet dads
Custom iPhone Case ($50, originally $100; westandwillow.com)
This sleek yet tough iPhone case doubles as a means for your giftee to show off his pride and joy (even if that is a plump pug). It has flexible sides for easy off and on, and it’s designed to make wireless charging a snap.
‘Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life With Your Cat’ by Jackson Galaxy ($14.97; amazon.com)
We’ve all heard that dogs have owners while cats have staff. Consider this his employee handbook. Cat daddy extraordinaire Jackson Galaxy will help him understand why his feline does what he does. He even offers up the secret to stress-free trips to the vet. This is essentially everything Jackson knows about cats.
Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Kit ($99.99; chewy.com)