As invented holidays go, Father’s Day isn’t half bad because the expectations are so low. No flowers and no brunch means no scheduling headaches (unless you’re expecting a bacon bouquet to show off to the guys at the office). No jewelry means costs are relatively low (unless you’re … 2 Chainz?). Really, all you’re likely to ask for is a few hours with your kids, maybe an hour or 2 to yourself, and a simple token of appreciation. Here are 30 such tokens you should absolutely ask your partner and kids for, running the gamut from perfect coffee to an indestructible tie, with plenty of cool gadgets and clothes thrown in for good measure.
If You’re A Sleep-Deprived Coffee Snob
Mighty Mug, $36
If you need coffee to deal with your kid, the last thing you want is for said coffee to fall on said kid. It’s a waste of good coffee and probably bad for the kid’s skin. Mighty Mug uses “Smartgrip Technology” to create a “powerful airlock” and — who cares how it works? It doesn’t fall over! Ever!
Oxx Coffeeboxx, $299
The Coffeeboxx is impact-resistant, water-resistant, dust-resistant, rust-resistant, and crush-proof. Seriously, the company claims it can withstand a quarter-ton load, which means you can safely brew a fresh K-Cup at the very ends of the earth — or just in a kitchen with a hyperactive toddler.
Cold Bruer Coffee Brewer, $80
Cold brew coffee is less bitter and acidic than hot brewed coffee, made to pair with milk, and still unknown to enough of your friends that you can be a total hipster coffee snob when they try to serve you some of that weak-sauce hot coffee watered down with ice cubes.
Craft Coffee Gift Subscription, $29.99 and up
If you love coffee but have no time to go find new coffee, you want a subscription to Craft Coffee. They’ll customize a regular subscription based on your taste profile. You will, however, need to be able to describe how you like your “nose,” “top,” and “finish.”
If You Refuse To Leave The Playground
PowerUp 3.0, $50
Back in the day, you were lucky if your paper airplane reached the front of the classroom. Now, they’re attached to microchip-powered, carbon fiber propellers and rudders. It’s a toy for you, but a training program for your kid’s future career as a drone pilot.
Hammacher Schlemmer 3D Printing Pen, $100
If you’re ready to dabble in 3D printing but don’t want to end up like that guy who bought the laserdisc player, start with this pen that lets you create three-dimensional freehand drawings. By the time you master it, the real ones will be a few hundred bucks at Target.
You won’t find any Star Wars droids powered by Ollie (that’s the other one), but this app-controlled robot is all about that action, boss. Ollie is fast, capable of some serious tricks, and tough — it can handle driving off a cliff, so it can handle whatever happens when your kid gets a hold of it.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Drone with 4K UHD Video Camera, $1259
For the dad who has everything and wants to show that fact off to his neighbors really badly. The DJI Phantom series is the Rolls Royce of personal aerial photography, taking “every vacation, camping trip, and selfie to heights never thought possible.” Just steer clear of the airport there, Maverick.
Secret Garden Coloring Books For Adults, $11
If you’re a fan of Judd Apatow movies, you might like Secret Garden, because — really — what says “I don’t want to grow up” more than a coloring book for adults? And this one has more cultural pedigree than This Is Forty: It’s currently Amazon’s most-wished-for book.
Razor Crazy Cart XL, $900
It was ok to hate Razor when they were just making annoying scooters that cluttered up the sidewalks, but then they go and make something like the Crazy Cart …. and totally redeem themselves! The XL is a dad-sized version of the kid’s cart, so you can challenge your own to some real-life Mario Kart.
The only downside to Toymail — an ingenious little system that lets you send voice messages to your kids that are received and played by an adorable anthropomorphized mailbox — is that it’s so cute it might make everyone using it puke.
If You Define Yourself By Your Gadgets
OlloClip 4-in-1 lens, $80
The OlloClip gives your iPhone a fisheye, wide angle, macro, and selfie lens, all in a single, unobtrusive package that goes on in seconds. It will up your phone photo game considerably, but if your wife reminds you that adults aren’t allowed to use the selfie lens, she’s not wrong.
Rhino Shield iPhone Case, $25 ($47 with screen protector)
This case offers all the protection your phone needs to survive a 24-foot drop (or just your phone-obsessed toddler) without looking like something that fell off Iron Man during a fist fight with the Hulk.
Polaroid Cube POV Camera, $100
It won’t replace that drone, or even your GoPro, but for a hundred bucks, you get a 6 megapixel camera that shoots video in 1080p and has a magnetized base for kid-proof mounting. It’s the perfect gift for any dad with a steel plate in his skull.
Phiaton Chord MS 530 Noise-Cancelling Headphones, $300
Ideal for the home office, where you can recreate the kid-free quiet of the actual office. Also ideal if you just want a nice set of wireless cans so you don’t send your laptop flying when you get off the couch.
If Your Closet Needs Something Cooler Than Ties (And Also Some Ties)
Sleepy Jones PJs, $63 and up
If your initial reaction to these is something like, “Hey, it’s not Grandfather’s Day!” you might want to hold off on actually saying that until you put them on and realize they’re the most comfortable things you’ve ever worn.
You know those superhero tights you’ve been wearing to the gym? Replace them with gear that’s performance-orientated enough to stay dry when you’re sweating like a pig, but fashion-orientated enough that you can wear them out without someone thinking you’re going to fight crime.
Mainsail Navy Tie, $19
The tie is a much-maligned Father’s Day gift, but here’s the thing: Some guys really like ties. The beauty of Tie Bar is that their handmade ties are reasonably priced; the beauty of their Mainsail Navy Tie is that it will give you preppy flair without turning you into an actual preppy.
Wood Thumb Wood Ties, $47
A can’t-miss gag gift for any guy who hates ties or a straight up awesome gift for any guy who loves ties. It can also double as a cheese board in a pinch.
National Park Themed Outdoor Blankets, $249
Each of these blankets is made of 100-percent pure virgin wool in a color scheme unique to the park it represents and has two authenticator labels: one with the Pendleton logo and one bearing the image of the park’s significant feature. It will give you something to talk about until you can load the kids into the Family Truckster and hit the road.
If You Need A Drink (And You’re A Dad, So You Do)
Brendan Ravenhill for Areaware Bottle Opener, $12
It’s so simple, so smart, and so damn useful you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the damn thing yourself. Fortunately, getting gifted one means you don’t have to worry about blowing cash on it.
Death & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails, $29
If you fancy yourself a “mixologist,” this should be your Bible, because it’s full of the technique, science, and philosophy of bartending. If you just likes cocktails, you’re still in luck; the book has more than 500 of them.
Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged At Sea, $64.99 and up
Sailing older bourbon barrels around the world — stopping in 5 different continents and crossing the equator 4 times — accelerates the aging process, gives this classy stuff a hint of brine, and ensures you get to spend the day making all the “motion in the ocean” jokes your heart desires.
If You’re Constantly Hitting The Road
Jack Spade Waxwear Dad Bag, $298
A universal truth of fatherhood is that it means you have a bunch more crap to carry. Jack Spade’s take on the dad bag makes it look like you’re just as likely to be carrying a laptop as a changing pad — which it happens to come with, and which looks as cool as the bag. Even with poop on it.
Filson Duffle Bag, $276
Of course, when you only have to worry about your own stuff you can leave the dad bag behind and return to the classic duffle. Or, as you might remember it, the thing you were able to live out of for weeks at a time in college.
Wildsam Field Guides, $18
Part Zagat’s, part documentary, part oral history, these guides to American cities don’t just recommend where to eat and drink but aim to tell the story of a place. For the guy bold enough to try and fit “wanderlust” into the same sentence as “fatherhood.”
If You Really Like Salami
Olympia Provisions Salami of the Month Club, $145 and up
Look, nobody is saying bacon is over, but we may have reached peak bacon. So, if you’re requesting the gift of meat this Father’s Day season (and good on you if you are), consider this equally salty and delicious alternative.
If You Have Any Bathroom Counter Space Not Covered In Rubber Duckies
Baxter Of California Shave 1.2.3 Kit, $72
Even if you like a good straight razor shave at the barbers from time to time, you’re still going to have to shave your own damn face most mornings. The cream and aftershave balm in this kit are face-saving wonders, but the real gem is the badger hair brush that lets you start every day with a honey badger joke.
Fulton And Roark Solid Cologne, $42
A much-needed update to an old standby, solid cologne makes you smell just as good as the liquid stuff and is twice as portable. So you can throw it in a coat pocket and a freshen up real quick before dinner with the missus … or, you know, after your kid throws up on you.
Herbivore Botanicals Clarifying Charcoal Soap, $8
Charcoal has been used for centuries to purify and clean all sorts of stuff, but if it still seems weird to use it to clean your mug, consider how well it pairs with steak and burgers. If it’s good enough for ‘cue, it’s good enough for you.