Once upon a time, “buying” dad a gift for his birthday meant mom picking out something nice and then signing your name on the tag or, better yet, just having her do that too. You were a kid, and it was easy for everyone, except mom, who had to pick up extra gifts “from” the kids.
Well, now you’re the dad. And that same scenario, whether you realize it or not, is currently playing itself out behind the scenes in your house. Every time you tell your spouse or kids, “I’m fine with nothing,” when they ask what you want for your birthday, Father’s Day, or Christmas, you aren’t helping. So stop. Take a look at this list of holiday gifts, each of which costs $50 or less, and pick a couple of favorites. It’s that simple. We guarantee you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.
The Best Gifts for Less Than $50
A classic watch from classically keeps-on-ticking Timex, the Weekender is handsome, easygoing, and reliable, perfect for a summer weekend that can throw anything at you, from yard work to outdoor dining in town. The watch face and strap are available in a myriad of styles and colors.
Whether toiling over the backyard grill or making a feast over the campfire, every serious outdoor chef needs these damn-near indestructible fire gloves. Unlike tongs, a great pair of grilling gloves keeps your and forearms protected from the heat too, making it easier to get in there, to adjust a log or hot coal, or rescue a steak from the flames. No gloves are fire-proof, but these are still game-changers.
This stainless-steel tumbler keeps drinks hot or cold for hours, sure — but it's also super adaptable, letting you accessorize with different lids for different scenarios. Beyond the standard lid, there's the shaker lid for mixed drinks ($20), a French-press lid for coffee ($30), a flavor-infuser lid for tea ($30) and thermal lid for extra insulation ($35).
This classic tool roll from Carhartt does the job and looks timeless doing it. It's just sharp, practical, tough, useful, and good-looking, qualities we probably all aspire to. It's got 18 slots for different tools, and three small parts pockets with hook-and-loop closures for small tools or utility items. It's just as suitable for tech gear, camping utensils or even art supplies.
Each one of these candles have a custom scent specific to all 50 states. Give him a taste of home with one of these nostalgic candles, which have a 60-80 hour burn time and feature a custom scent specific to every one of the 50 states and its regions. The Southern California candle, for instance, features, the relaxing notes of lemon, orange, sea breeze. Unsurprisingly, there’s no smell of fog or the sweaty masses at Venice Beach, but you can’t get everything right.
A big-handled growler that keeps cold beverages cold, hot, or carbonated for days at a time. Whether it’s coffee, cola, or craft brew, this large-handled growler will keep 32 ounces of cold beverages cold (for 45 hours), hot beverages hot (for 25 hours), and carbonated beverages carbonated (its vacuum sealed lid holds 60psi).
This smart plug makes any plugged-in device compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Home Kit. Maybe it’s the lamp on his bedside table. Maybe it’s the coffee maker. But chances are there’s something plugged in that he would love to turn on or off with his voice. With this clever outlet, that's a reality. It makes anything plugged into it into an compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and Apple’s Home Kit.
Casio's throwback digital watch is perfect for anyone who wants an old-school piece of wrist wear. Is he a proud geek? A hipster? A nostalgic? In any case, this old-school digital watch will treat him well. It features a stopwatch, countdown timer, world time indicator, five alarms, and water resistance to 330 feet. And, yeah, you bet your ass it has an LED glow button.
No smoke. No smell. Just a portable fire that can be started anywhere. This portable campfire has three to five hours of burn time and can be set up anywhere, from the backyard to the beach. It’s made of soy wax, so there’s no clingy smoke smell and very little worry of ash.
This 10-foot, reinforced charge cord is the phone accessory he doesn't know he needs. Extra slack is a life saver, which is why everyone needs a really long and durable charging cable — one that won’t fray and become useless when rolled over by an office chair or become unplugged because it won’t reach the bed at night. This reinforced lightning cable from Anker is 10-feet long and strong enough to survive every manner of abuse.
One Fatherly editor swears by this hybrid dry shampoo and styling paste, which sucks up oil and keeps stray hairs in place. For those days when he doesn’t have time to shower, the Badlands paste gives him texture and makes sure he looks put together. It also smells great.
A big-ass bucket for hauling cold beers or a batch of the day's catch. Listen, chances are he’ll have a use for a big, badass bucket. For brining meat. Or hauling a haul of freshly caught fish. Or throwing a bunch of ice and beer together and drinking on a boat when he’s not successfully catching fish.
Think of this as a McMuffinator: A countertop appliance meant for breakfast sandwich perfection.Could he easily slap a few English muffins in the toaster, fry some eggs and Canadian bacon on a griddle and construct himself a gooey breakfast sandwich? Sure. But this countertop appliance — basically a McMuffinator — does it all with style and in less than five minutes.
Why make standard spherical cubes when you can make those that resemble the Death Star? It’s science: Spheres of ice melt more slowly than cubes (it’s a surface area thing). Kind of also science: said spheres make cocktails 100 percent more fun when they’re crafted into the shape of the Emperor’s mightiest weapon.
It's a dinosaur taco holder. What else is there to know? Legend has it the Tacosaurus once had defensive plates much like a Stegosaurus, but it was ahead of its era and figured it would be better suited to have a slot for two tacos. It still had those tiny arms though.
A stainless-steel waffle-maker that produces reliably crisp waffles while looking like low-key sleek tech on the countertop. There are five settings, so you can brown with precision, hitting your waffle preferences, whether they go in the direction of syrup sponge or dark, toasty crunch. Makes good old round waffles that are divided into quarters, with a nonstick plate that can be wiped clean easily. Makes round waffles roughly 7 inches in diameter, and sectioned into quarters.
This goes on as a cream, dries to a smooth powder, and keeps your balls dry, cool, and totally comfortable. Want to keep the family jewels shining? Gift this. Both talc-free and aluminum-free, this lotion-powder works by really amping up drying ingredients, including oats, tapioca, and corn starch. It's got a mild tingle factor. Yeah, it feels good.
The first in a new line of Nerf blasters with the most advanced darts the brand has ever seen.The Ultra One is the first blaster to use Nerf’s brand-new Nerf Ultra darts, the “farthest flying Nerf darts ever.” The new design features an innovative flight tip, lightweight foam construction, and “aerofin” technology, basically a grooved surface that decreases wind resistance. All of this adds up to a Nerf dart that can hit targets an astonishing 120 feet away
This light casts images of Death Stars, droids, and more images from a galaxy far, far away on the ceiling. Yeah, this is technically a night light. But who says it can’t also be a rad desk to liven up even the drabbest of offices? It projects images of droids, death stars, and other relics from a galaxy far, far away onto the ceiling in bright, gridded-out colors.
Baby Yoda! Baby Yoda! Baby Yoda! On the most dope T-shirt ever. Porgs? Psssh. The cutest little guy in a galaxy far, far away is now Baby Yoda. His beautiful muppety visage is immortalized on this very rad t-shirt anyone will be psyched to receive.
A Dopp Kit perfect for the man who prefers his stuff to have a rugged simplicity. This single zippered pouch made of ballistic fabric and featuring a waterproof interior is ideal for anyone searching for a durable Dopp Kit that contains spills and takes up very little space. It’s available in seven colors and has a padded bottom to keep it upright on the bathroom counter.
A lightly scented beard wash that conditions and cleans up even the most burly of beards. Good beards deserve a good wash. This Pepperment-scented wash does the job, thanks to ingredients like olive oil and jojoba oil to keep everything clean, shiny, and smelling good.
Any nonfiction lover should enjoy this new account of Native American history. Looking for a big winter read? Consider this nonfiction masterpiece, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. It tells the history of Native American peoples from the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, a time that’s often seen as the end of the Native American story, to the present. It’s a staggering, important work.
A pocket-sized multi-tool that packs a wallop. With a blade specifically designed to slice open annoying and stubborn clamshell packaging, The Dime is already a worthy investment. Its small and light construction, plus array of top notch features – including actual spring-loaded scissors – make this butterfly-opening all-in-one a no brainer for anyone looking to combine form, function, durability and quality craftsmanship.
A shockingly affordable gym bag that's big on space and high-end features. While it only costs $22, this gym bag has all of the features of much pricier options, including a shoe compartment and plenty of internal storage. It also has an inner lining made from a water-resistant PVC coating that will ensure that gear stays dry in even the worst weather. The 30L compartment easily fits everything needed for a workout.
Slim enough to slip into a back pocket or briefcase, this portable charger packs a 20,100 mAh battery, which can refuel a dead iPhone seven times. A dead battery is a dead end. Anker’s patented PowerIQ tech ensures devices charge rapidly (up to 2.1 amps) and, thanks to the included cords, it's able to charge everything from standard USB-fed devices to Macbooks and smartphones.
Survival — or just warming up at the end of a rainy day of hiking or fishing — depends on fire. This set of 25 water- and windproof matches will light up and burn (for up to 15 seconds) in the dampest conditions (including underwater). Also, the case itself floats, so you won't lose your indispensable waterproof matches at the bottom of the river. The surface of the case is textured, making it easier to handle with cold, clumsy fingers.
These Japanese incense sticks are sweet smelling and long lasting. If he’s an incense man, pick up a pack of these Japanese sticks, which burn for about 20 minutes and release the sweet, relaxing aroma of aloeswood. Far from the punch-you-in-the-face patchouli-scented sticks found in Phish-postered dorm rooms, the fragrance is clean, exotic, and relaxing.
A trimmer ideal not just for shaping a beard, but for any spot on the body that needs attention. The multigroomer has 18 different attachments that tackle everything from nose hair to trimming more sensitive spots. It keeps beard stubble in check and the battery will run for five hours on a single charge.
A cookbook for anyone who wants to riff on the favorites — and up their game. A James Beard Award winning chef, Paul Kahon knows good grub. He also knows how to entertain. This book features low-stress, big flavor recipes that are inventive, easily customizable, and meant to feed a group of hungry mouths.
Who lives in a pineapple and holds all your beer? Who says a hard-sided cooler can’t have a little personality? Featuring SpongeBob’s mischievous — and oh so porous — face on the side, this limited-edition number from Igloo is loaded with character. The 16-quart capacity means there’s plenty of space for all his burger fixings — whether he’s making crabby patties or standard smash burgers.
Is he rocking a standard keyring? Upgrade him to this unobtrusive, cleverly designed tool. It features a spring-loaded wire gate to easily add or remove keys, while looking sleek and handsome. This everyday cribiner is ideal as a keyring to keep in your pocket — or to hang all your EDC off bags and beltloops.
Cast iron is as simple, tough and adaptable as it gets — cook anything over a campfire, on the grill, in the oven. From Salt Lake City–based Barebones, this skillet will do it all — hammer in tent stakes, or make perfect seared steaks at home. The skillet is pre-seasoned so you can use it right away.
A smooth, complex whiskey that hits all the right notes. Just don't call it bourbon. This whiskey is aged in whiskey-soaked used barrels rather than new-charred oak, a requirement to meet the definition of bourbon. That’s why it’s known as Unblended American Whiskey. But a rose by any other name, you know? It’s a rich, luscious whiskey with intense notes of butterscotch, vanilla, dried fruit, and a hint of mint.
This collapsible, high-strength umbrella packs down to roughly the size of a pair of folded socks. Does he still use that drug store umbrella that has loose spokes and turns inside out in even the slightest breeze? Replace it with this classic — and much, much more durable — option. It measures less than seven inches when closed and expands to a 36-inch long rain-defender with a 38-inch canopy. Available in 10 colors.
Combining horseshoes, bocce, and bowling, this family-friendly game is equal parts luck, skill, and competitive fun. Looking for backyard family fun? The Rollors — thick, wooden, discs — will help your kids embrace coordination, dexterity, and precise movement, while the overall feel of the game will give you one more thing to be the best at. Designed by Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, Matt Butler, Rollors is great to bust out when cornhole loses its luster.
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