Have you ever tried to buy a gift for the man in your life only to discover that all the internet can recommend is knives? This is not that gift guide.
This gift guide takes an expansive view of masculinity, one that tries not to place your dad in the dreaded Man Box. This masculinity is cultivated. Worldly. Not entirely reliant on tools or sharp things.
When shopping for your dad, try to think outside the standard Dad Gifts. Unless your dad is an avid tie collector and seriously *lives* for ties (who lives for ties?) then avoid this played out cliché. Instead, get him something that says “I see your hobbies and I respect them.”
A lot of dad gifts are focused on work work work, and really, is that what you want to get your dad? More work? What kind of 1950s nonsense is that, anyway? Might we suggest a super cool gadget instead? When considering tech items for your Dad, don’t just assume he knows how to work everything because he’s a dad and dads seem to know stuff. Take the time to set up his new-fangled thingamajig with him (not for him!) so he knows exactly how it works. See? You’re off to a great start already.
Here are the best gifts for your dad:
Kindles are still the class-A e-reader of our times, and the Kindle Oasis is a big improvement. Your dad still gets the paper-esque quality of the original Kindle, which means he can read even in bright sunlight. He still gets the battery charge that lasts weeks instead of hours. But now he gets the added benefit of a waterproof device. That’s right. Reading in the bath or on the beach are no longer the nerve-wracking experiences they once were. Your dad can even take this out on a canoe he builds himself.
Every single human person deserves a Roomba. Considering how much your father has vacuumed up after you over the years, your dad extra deserves a Roomba. Listen: we don’t make the rules. This one has Wi-Fi connectivity, works with Alexa, and can easily tackle pet hair. (Your dad is going to be so psyched.)
If you’re at the point where flights have been booked to small German towns and your father has almost purchased a dilapidated gristmill because your ancestors once owned it, look no further than the AncestryDNA kit, a genetic test geared toward those who are writing down that family history. See where in the world your genes came from, and even match up with family members online that you didn’t know existed. Cheaper than a gristmill.
FitBit Alta HR
In the days of yore, there were only very bulky fitness trackers. But FitBit’s new lower-profile design is perfect for the dad who goes from work to workout to play without much time for a full costume change (this one still looks good with a suit!). Teach your dad how to track steps, distance, caloric burn, heart rate, even sleep.
Shun Santoku Knife
We know, we know: We said no knives but listen, this one is just so pretty and can handle basically anything. If your dad loves to cook, he’ll love this knife.
Bespoke Post Box + Gift Card
It’s not exactly a gadget, but Bespoke Post will definitely get your dad hep to millennial culture, a large portion of which is getting everything shipped to us in a subscription box form. Bespoke Post is the subscription service for the modern man, with everything from fancy shoe polish to grooming products and more.
Acer Aspire E 15
If your dad has been threatening to write a book about Ronald Reagan’s effect on the current political climate, encourage him to get his ideas down with a new laptop. This one by Acer comes with a terabyte of storage and six gigs of memory and runs on Windows 10. Perfect for dads who have a lot to say.
TCL 4K LED TV
Whether your dad is always having his friends over for “the game” or Game of Thrones, a 4K TV means the players or knights or whoever look like they’re right in the room with him. This screen is 55 inches across and Roku enabled, meaning even if your dad is a cable-cutter, he’ll be able to enjoy this bad boy with all his favorite content streaming services.
Vankyo Portable Projector
If your dad is the backyard-party-throwing type, forego the grill equipment (predictable) and get him a projector to show those movies on the side of his house while he uses the sixteen pairs of grill tongs everyone else got him.
Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit
Supposing your Dad already has a Nintendo Switch (because we’re supposing you got that for him already), send your dad back to his childhood with this strange and sensational cardboard building kit that gets him behind the wheels of in-game cars, planes, and submarines. Level up his nostalgia. Yes this toy is made for children. No, he will not care.
As long as your dad has an Android phone, he can use Walabot to basically have X-ray vision on his drywall or concrete. See up to four inches into the wall and detect pipes, studs, wires and, yes, even the horrifying movement of rodents in there. Perfect for the DIY guy.
If your dad has piles and piles of old records laying around, bring his vinyl collection into the digital age with a Bluetooth-enabled turntable, perfect for that Sonos sound system he’s installed or even, on quiet evenings, his Bluetooth headphones.
This is perfect for any father who’s uttered the phrase, “Hey have you seen my keys?” Tile Mates attach easily to a keyring, but you can stick them to anything you wish you could make find-able: the Tiles ring when you track them with your phone! And if he can’t find his phone but his keys are in his hand? Well. Your dad can use the Tile to make his phone ring too, even while it’s on silent.
Magic Wand Remote Control
This wand can learn 13 different gestures that control his TV or his stereo system or most any gadget that uses a remote control. No matter which Hogwarts House your dad has sorted into, this gift is short to delight.
If your dad tends to panic or has trouble sleeping or just needs a minute or two to himself, consider gifting him some meditation. The gentle audio guidance is perfect for folks who have never meditated before, and Headspace just launched their sleepcasts, podcasts specifically engineered to help your dad get to sleep. Might we recommend the one entitled “Cat Marina.”
Hario Slow Drip Coffee Water
For the fathers who have every coffee gadget in the world, enter the Hario Slow Drip. This beast of an apparatus makes coffee brewing feel like a potions class. It’s great for making cold brew (true cold brew) that doesn’t taste watered down and will be quite the conversation starter on your dad’s counter.
“Siri, water the garden.” If you can picture your dad saying that, then an Even Aqua is for him. This gadget attaches to a spigot and works with Apple Homekit to fully automate dad’s watering schedule. May he never flood his garden again.
GrowlerWerks uKeg 64
Any craft beer enthusiast (including your dad) will know: the Growler method of transportation and consumption leaves something to be desired. Growlers are often the only way to transport releases from breweries that don’t get bottled or shipped. We’ve definitely had limited edition beer go flat on us before. Enter the uKeg. Pop in the CO2 canister and turn your dad’s fridge into a tap. It’s also gorgeous and sure to turn heads at the bar.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Jean Paul Sartre wrote, “Hell is other people.” Anyone who’s ever taken any sort of air transportation can attest to that indisputable fact. If your dad flies a lot and has not yet invested in his own pair of noise cancelling headphones, you will be his hero as he will no longer need to listen to every single passenger while he shoots through the sky.