Father’s Day is just around the corner! Unless you’re one of the lucky ones whose Dad has been very vocal about something he wants, you’re likely staring at the spot on the calendar, dreading the moment when you hand him an envelope with a gift card. Wouldn’t it be nice to get him something that he doesn’t have to pick out himself for a change? We asked our GeekDad and GeekMom writers what they would give or want to get for Father’s Day and came up with a few suggestions for every type of Dad.
The Fun Dad
Is your Dad the kind of guy who has shelves dedicated to collections of vintage toys? Does he stay up late into the wee hours so that he can grind out one more level in Overwatch? Will he patiently spend hours sifting through LEGO bricks just to find that one 2-stud brick that you swear didn’t come in the box? Check these out!
Now that dad has completed his run through Breath of the Wild and gotten his fill of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it’s doubtless that he’s looking for a fresh Switch title to enjoy throughout the early days of summer. Thankfully, the console’s newest must-own has arrived! ARMS combines the perfectly surreal world building of Splatoon with the over-the-top combat of Smash Bros., and the result is an engaging, addictive fighting title featuring spring-armed pugilists with modular fists to suit any combat style. The matches are fun and frenetic, ideal for the deliberate tactician who knows the difference between a Slapamander and a Whammer and the more casual sportsman who’s content to simply wail on an opponent and hope for the best. With support for motion and traditional controls and local/online two-player match support, ARMS is both a great big console experience and the perfect title to take along with you in Handheld Mode. And, lest you fear long distance brawling is all this game has to offer, its various arenas and battle modes incorporate everything from environmental hazards to delightful twists on volleyball, basketball, and target shooting. In short, ARMS is the next great Nintendo Switch title; it’s strong enough for a GeekDad but made for the entire family. (Review materials provided by: Nintendo of America)
Z. Buy on Amazon $47.99-$59.99
Let’s face it, LEGO is always the perfect gift. Whether you’re looking for something Dad can build with the kids (Star Wars The Arrowhead), a nice conversation piece for the office or around the house (LEGO Architecture Guggenheim Museum or London skyline, or – if you want the ultimate LEGO gift to make Sunday the ultimate Father’s Day – go all out with the amazingly detailed NASA Apollo Saturn V. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with any LEGO set. You know I’m right.
Jamie Greene. Buy on Amazon $89 (Star Wars The Arrowhead)
Hot Wheels Star Wars Starship Collection
I know there are tons of far nicer star ships out there, (some collectibles are even kept in their original boxes to avoid exposure), but the GREAT thing about these starships is that you can actually play with them, or display them, without any fear of your kids breaking them. They are sturdy, low-budget and really nice to look at and interact with. They’re sold in pairs and individually carded (as with other Hot Wheels toys), so you get to pick and choose which ones you want.
Mariana Ruiz. Buy it at Mattel.com $9.99 per pair
Harley-Davidson 1903 Engine Figurine with Sound Box
Not everyone can visit the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, but several of the museum’s popular souvenirs are now available for purchase online. This replica of the Harley-Davidson’s 1903 atmospheric engine, the very first engine made by the company, helped launch Harley’s first street bike, racing bike and even police bike. This replica is small enough for a shelf or desktop, with a sound box that replicates the engine’s signature sound. Even nonriders can appreciate this little tribute to a landmark achievement in engineering history.
Lisa Kay Tate. Buy from the Harley-Davidson Museum Shop $30
Chatty Feet Character Socks
Novelty socks are a classic gift, particularly for the men in your life. Dumbledore himself was famously upset not to have received any at Christmas for many years because people insisted on giving him books instead. That being said, they can easily be considered bad gifts because of the prevalence of companies making truly terrible quality socks that no one would ever wear more than once. Chatty Feet are different. These are novelty socks you will actually want to wear. They are comfortable and high quality as well as being fun. The socks are available in single pairs, multi packs, themed four-pack gift sets (currently Artists and BadAss which features action movie characters) and in family packs with one adult and one child’s pair included, because what dad doesn’t want to walk around in matching Godfather socks with their child? The designs currently available also include British Royals such as Kate Middle-Toe, scientists like Stephen Toeking, and a range of cartoon characters in addition to the artists like Feetasso and movie characters like the Toeminator – something for almost any dad.
Sophie Brown. Buy from directly from Chatty Feet $10
Vinyl Me, Please Subscription
What better gift for the analog music lover in your world than an LP-of-the-month club? In this case, the folks at Vinyl Me, Please offer a custom special edition album of guaranteed amazing music each month. These are special pressings of classic or contemporary tunes that represent no specific genre, just great music (they’ve featured Nina Simone, Beck, end Gorillaz for example). Get one original LP along with a limited-edition art print for as low as $25/month (with an annual plan).
Ken Denmead. Buy it on VinylMePlease.com $25/mo
The Techie Dad
Maybe your father is always hunting for new technology, no matter how much he doesn’t need it. Or maybe he just enjoys discovering new things (and then cornering you as he shows you all the features). We’ve got gifts for him too!
Martian PT 02 mVoice Smartwatch
My chief problem with smartwatches is that I tend to find them… well, hideous. Similarly, my issue with Google Assistant is it just isn’t Amazon’s Alexa, my preferred voice-activated companion. Luckily, Martian Watches has seen fit to fix both these issues in its new mVoice timepiece line. The Martian PT 02, for example, is a gorgeous analog watch with a black resin case, indigo dial with contrasting beige labeling, and a standard 22mm leather strap. Yet it pairs this classic sensibility with a little something extra under the hood. Compatible with both iOS and Android, the PT02 includes a discreet OLED display that can be configured to receive push notifications from all your favorite apps and services, complete with customizable vibration patterns, and a Dick Tracy-esque noise-canceling microphone that allows you to do things like makes calls directly from your wrist. My favorite feature, however, is its Alexa support. With a long press of its top button, I can ask my digital Girl Friday to add items to my shopping list and check my calendar for upcoming events, just like I do at home using my Amazon Echo. And, I’ll reiterate, all this tech is packed into an analog watch I’m not ashamed to wear in public! (Review materials provided by: Martian Watches)
Z. Buy it on Amazon $110.87-$158.87
APC 6-Outlet Wall Surge Protector 1080 Joules with USB Charger Ports
We bought this to expand the capabilities of one of our duplex outlets in the kitchen where a lot of gadgets get plugged in. It’s doing a great job letting charge phones and use appliances at the same time! After all, you can never have too many places to charge your gadgets!
Ken Denmead. Buy it on Amazon $14.39
The Fit Dad
Does your Dad drone on about “beating his PR” at his next race? Is he always complaining (somewhat proudly) about the various aches and pains he’s feeling because of his last workout? Check these out.
Under Armour Star Wars Tees/Athlete Recovery Sleepwear
Having attended Star Wars Celebration earlier this year and geeked out hard for the ‘Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary, I have, what might be referred to politely as, “a lot of Star Wars shirts.” So much so, that I was determined to not get more until I culled my collection. When Under Armour unveiled their Star Wars themed tees, I made an exception. With iconic graphics and slick typography, these tees are bold, standing out markedly from the busy Star Wars apparel that you often see (the Death Star 2 shirt is my fave). The fabric is soft and breathable and the fit is a little more snug than your average tee – not a bad thing, given the voluminous fit of most bargain store t-shirts.
The Athlete Recovery Sleepwear was designed in concert with Tom Brady to help athletes recover from hard workouts while they slept. The super-soft shorts and shirt make use of Far Infrared – a type of energy on the infrared spectrum (GeekMom Karen Walsh did a deep dive into Far Infrared here). Under Armour has a bioceramic print on the inside of both the shorts and shirt which absorbs the body’s natural heat and reflects Far Infrared back to the skin. Recovery benefits will vary greatly between individuals. For me, it didn’t do a lot to alleviate my muscle soreness; but I could tell that the tech was working (they sleep warmer than your normal sleepwear). Even without magic recovery powers, I will still choose them over normal boxers – the comfort was far beyond anything else I’ve slept in. (Under Armour provided samples of the Star Wars tees and the Athlete Recovery Sleepwear for consideration in this guide.)
Bowflex Nautilus Selectech 560 Dumbells
When I say that these are the greatest invention for home fitness junkies, I’m not saying that lightly. Pictured above is the workout gear nook in my home vs. the Selectech 560 dumbells and stand that serve as its replacement. We’ve managed to accumulate a decent collection of free weights in my house over the past couple of years, but lack heavier weights because a) they’re expensive and b) we’re out of room to store them. The Selectech 560 not only provides weight options from 5 lbs. up to 60 lbs., you can track your reps and weights (with or without an app) on the dumbbell itself using the onboard tracker. Switching between weights is easy. You twist the grip until the weight you want is displayed (make sure your lighting is good, the numbers can be hard to read), lift up, and all the plates that weren’t selected stay behind in the holder (which fits into the optional stand nicely, putting the weights at optimal height). Put it back in the holder and twist again to release or add more weight. Not having to run over to the weight rack and dig for a new set of dumbells between exercises or reps is revelatory and my only real complaint is that I didn’t get a set sooner. (Bowflex provided samples for this review)
The Practical Dad
Or maybe your father-figure is the kind of person who, no matter what you give them, grumbles that you should have spent your money on something useful. With these gifts, you’ve got that covered.
The Parental Unit Bag from Tom Bihn
I’ll just get this out the way right now, the Parental Unit from Tom Bihn is a diaper bag. Yes, I am using a diaper bag as my gym bag. But here is the interesting part: nobody has any idea that the bag I am carrying to and from the gym was primarily designed to be a diaper bag (except for my wife and kids, but they make fun of me no matter what, so I consider this as a feature… a source of comedy for them).
“…if you want a bag that screams ‘I’m a parent!’, you’ll have to look elsewhere.” – Tom Bihn
Despite being designed primarily as a diaper bag, the Parental Unit is a sharp looking bag that can serve a variety of needs. I use it as a gym bag, but it would also work really nice as a kid’s overnight bag or a small everyday carry bag. Check out my full review of the Parental Unit bag here.
Skip Owens. Purchase from Tom Bihn $145
JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator Pump
We picked one of these up earlier this year to keep in the car, and it’s already paying off. Just plug it into a 12v outlet, attach to a tire valve, and let it run automatically to bring your tire up to the perfect pressure. Makes it so easy to drive safely and save gas!
Ken Denmead. Buy it on Amazon $39.90
Saddleback Bifold Wallet
I have carried a Saddleback wallet in my front pocket for nearly a decade and in that time it’s been soaked, kicked, mashed, scuffed, and gouged. It’s never looked better. Help your Dad graduate from that chunky butt-destroyer that he’s still sitting on and move him to a slim, secure front-pocket wallet. The Saddleback Bifold is made of full grain leather, pigskin lining, and UV-resistant marine-grade thread. Its three card compartments are RFID shielded and there’s a pocket behind them to carry cash. It comes in a handy leather carrier of its own, so you don’t even need to wrap it! The Bifold Wallet carries Saddleback’s 100-year warranty, so unless he loses it, it’s the last wallet you’ll ever need to get Dad. (Thanks to Saddleback for providing a sample for this guide.)
Anthony Karcz. Buy it on Amazon $55