Hey. Listen up: Father’s Day is soon. And yes, even though it’s not quite the pressure of Mother’s Day, you should still probably get something for the old man. He probably won’t help you with gift ideas, though. That’s where we come in.
Father’s Day is a conundrum. How does one shop for a man who has everything, wants “nothing,” and just generally doesn’t talk a whole lot? Well, stuff your filial anxieties in a sack and throw that sack in a river, then go home and try not to think about that sack full of your anxieties. It’s lost to the current now.
With that done, you can start thinking proactively. “What things might my father like?” Even the most ascetic of fathers have basic needs—needs that may be fulfilled by practical gifts.
Or perhaps your father isn’t pure pragmatism embodied, in which case, that makes things so much easier! Pick something they like to do for fun, then find some accessory for said activity!
Whatever kind of dad you have—fun, or old school—this list of ideas should help you get started.
Gifts for Beer Drinkin’ Dads
Not all dads drink beer, but so, so many seem to enjoy it. If your dad belongs to this legion of men who like sucking down the hops and barley juice, consider something like, say, the G Francis Beer Growler—a reusable stainless steel bottle for transporting 64 ounces of craft beer from a local brewery to the house, or beach, or the woods, or wherever. Plus, it’s useful, since it saves money on glass growler deposits (make sure to tell your dad that, so he can see how practical it is).
You could also go somewhat beer adjacent with your gift idea. Beer isn’t just for drinking—it’s for cooking, too. The American Craft Beer Cookbook is an excellent gift for the culinarily inclined father who likes beer.
For even more beer-related gift ideas, check out our roundup here.
Gifts for Dapper Dads
Look, every dad travels at least a little bit. Maybe they travel for work, maybe for fun, or maybe it’s to see their secret family. No matter the reason, they’ll need to bring a “Dopp” kit with them, unless they plan on keeping sets of alternative toiletries in various locations around the country, like so many secret families.
Named after American leather worker Charles Doppelt, the modern Dopp kit—or toiletry case—is fashioned after the originals supplied to US soldiers during WWII. Tell your dad that. Dads love WWII.
Today’s Dopps can range from more traditional materials, like this Italian leather kit from Maxwell Scott (priced for folks who love their dads very much), to modern kits like this ripstop nylon Eagle Creek model (priced for folks who love their dads the normal amount). For a longer list of different Dopps for different dads, check out our Dopp kit roundup.
Gifts for Timekeepin’ Dads
All dads love time—it’s how they measure how much of the day their kids have wasted by sleeping in. But dads are busy. They don’t have enough hours in the day to work and then watch six hours of football and wind their watches. And don’t get us started on battery-powered watches. Do you know where you go to get new watch batteries installed? The mall. Dads don’t like the mall. Dads don’t like the mall at all.
The trouble is, some automatic watches can cost upward of a thousand bucks, and let’s be real—it’s Father’s Day, not your dad’s birthday. A more reasonable purchase is likely in the cards.
For example, this Seiko SNK809 automatic watch is so reasonable, it can be had for less than $100 and yet is still a real, actual wristwatch from a company you’ve heard of. Hell, buy your dad two, so he can wear one on each arm.
Or, if your dad is a very fancy man who does business and cleans up good, here is another Seiko, but with an air of class: leather band, a weave-texture black dial, and numerals so Roman, they’d make a Caesar blush. Have a look at that dress watch here, or check out our roundup for more self-winding watches here.
Gifts for Quiet Lovin’ Dads
There’s only one kind of noise most dads will happily endure: the dulcet tones of the same classic rock they’ve been listening to since the mid-1970s (excepting, of course, live albums recorded in the 1980s).
Any kind of gas-powered motor is also acceptable. But what about when these sounds clash? Mashing these sounds together ought to yield a medley of fatherly delight, you may think. You would be wrong. Music sucks when you can barely hear it, and drowning out ambient noise with pure volume is liable to bust up your old man’s eardrums and make him more distant than he already is.
Noise-canceling headphones—particularly over the ear—are the best way to put your dad in his happy place without damaging his ears (unless he really wants to). With the flick of a switch, he will be whisked away to a soundproof recording studio to hang out for a session with his favorite bands, even though many of their members died decades ago. In this way, it is also a time machine, but we won’t push it.
Take the Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC. Not only does the name roll off the tongue like poetry, but this pair of muffs will do it all: cancel noise, make other noise (music), do phone calls (it has four microphones), and even pick up Alex or Cortana commands, if you’ve got a dad who knows how to do that. We’ve got other options, too, including headphones even better suited for travel, or with a longer list of niche features. Check out our headphones roundup here.
Gifts for Grillin’ Dads
There’s a solid chance you will be gifting your dad at a Father’s Day cookout. And dads like being grillmasters so much, he’s probably volunteered to do the grilling, rather than kicking back in self-celebration and watching someone else touch his precious grill.
There are few things finer to a father’s eyes than practicality. One of them is immediate gratification. Merge these two wonders by giving your dad something he can use at that very moment. Yes, that’s right: a Father’s Day gift that will help him grill Father’s Day meat.
A lot of these gifts are moderately priced, so you might want to pack a couple of them together—it’ll give the impression that you are showering your dad with the gifts he deserves. Meanwhile, you will have surreptitiously not broken the bank.
For example, you can buy him a set of Bear Paws Shredder Claws for pulling meat (or self-defense) for not even $13 (before taxes and shipping), and a set of 12 Master Cook Skewers for kebabing and the like, and you’ll still be under $30 (again, excepting tax and shipping). Or there’s other cool stuff, like the Weston Burger Express burger press (which kind of rhymes). Or, if you just want a one-stop shop to nail the grill gift genre, you could pick up this Cuisinart deluxe grill kit. Check out even more options at our grilling accessory roundup.
Speaking of grilling, you can’t stand at the grill the entire time you’re grilling so consider picking up some awesome classic lawn games to kill some time with ol’ pops next time you’re grilling out. Nothing goes with backyard grilling like beer, sandles, and bocce ball.
Finally, if after all this, you’re still at a bit of a loss for gift ideas, we’d recommend trolling through our extensive collection of product roundups. We’ve taken the time to research and vet a variety of great choices in all sorts of categories, so you’re sure to find something that aligns with your dad’s interests.