We've said it before and we'll say it again: Dads are notoriously tough to shop for. But we can't be the only ones who find, year after year, that the broad category buckets for dad gifts — golf, grilling, cologne — are somewhat uninspired. Sure, maybe the clichés are clichés for a reason, but dads are people too! So, doing our best to avoid the well-worn platitudes (daditudes?) of holiday giving, we've rounded up several suitable options for ticking off the toughest giftee on your holiday shopping list. Read on to see some of our favorite picks for real-life, three-dimensional dads.
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1. For Ready-For-Anything Dads: BE Outfitter 4-in-1 Campo Utility Hammock + Poncho, $85
If he lives by the Boy Scout motto and prioritizes always being prepared, he'll love this handy four-in-one hammock from BE Outfitter. Its clever multipurpose design lets him use it for ground cover, shade, a poncho, and — of course — swinging idly from a tree.
2. For Podcast Dads: The 99% Invisible City by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt, $28
The first hold-it-in-your-hand IRL tome from beloved podcast 99% Invisible, this book is sure to be a hit with "Podcast Dads." But its block-by-block citywide appeal also makes it a shoo-in for "Bike Dads" and "Architecture Dads." And, because of host/author Roman Mars' humor and habits, we're relatively certain it'll also be a perfect gift for "Pun Dads" and "Did-You-Know Dads" (which, let's face it, is 99% of Dads).
3. For Baking Dads: Sarah Sherman Samuel Walnut Spheres Rolling Pin, $119
Rolling pin technology has not instrumentally changed since, oh, say, the ninth century. But this one, with a pleasing geometric design, certainly feels more modern than the rest.
4. For *Baking* Dads: LEVO II Herbal Oil and Butter Infuser, $300
He's come a long way since those college "magic brownies" — and so has the tech. A new class of kitchen must-have, the LEVO II is a countertop "decarbonizer" (read: infuser) that'll let dad make cannabis gummies, cannabutter baked goods, and pretty much anything else he can scheme up. (Yes, his friends will be jealous.)
5. For Coffee-Loving Dads: nutribullet Brew Choice Pod + Carafe, $139.99
If even a whiff of coffee beans reminds you of your ol' man, get him this state-of-the-art hybrid machine that will have him (and everyone he knows) fueled all day long. It brews both a 12-cup carafe of coffee and individual pods, so he can have his favorite mug effortlessly in hand at all hours of the day.
6. For Coffee Snob Dads: Fellow Ode Grinder, $299
Real coffee snobs know: it's all about the grind. If your dad is familiar with Fellow's products — like the gooseneck kettle that's primo for pour-overs — he'll no doubt appreciate their debut grinder, too. The ultra-sleek matte black exterior has one button ("grind"), one dial for fine-tuning coarseness, and a magnetic catch cup that snaps into place with a delightful click. The whole apparatus is a serious step up for home grinding ... and one that'll look great on his countertop, too.
7. For Nap Dads: Manta Sleep Mask PRO, $89
If dad's big on optimizing his shut-eye, he'll love the latest in Manta Sleep's lineup. A high-tech upgrade on one of daily life's most low-tech items, the Sleep Mask PRO promises a total 100% blackout with a design that's calibrated to accommodate side-sleepers, and breathable, washable fabric to keep things clean and cool. It's also a great gift for new parents, but really, is there any age where dads don't need a little more sleep?
8. For Audio Snob Dads: Master + Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones, $499
The gift of noise-canceling is really the best gift of all, ya know? These headphones come in a smart range of colorways — we're partial to the navy leather with silver accents — but their beauty is way more than skin-deep. They can hold a charge for up to 24 hours and have not one, but two noise-canceling settings that make them a great gift for the dad who spends a lot of time in transit.
9. For Band Dads: Hudson Valley Hard Goods Hyla Handcrafted Guitar Mount, $109
Some dads have a secret superpower: if you leave them alone for a few hours in any city, they'll magically accumulate more guitars. If that's the case, wall mounting is obviously the way to go. But no matter the size of his collection, he'll appreciate the minimal and artisanal design of Hudson Valley Hard Goods' Hyla mounts, which pair beautiful hardwoods with satin brass accents and adjust like magic to fit both electric- and acoustic-style headstock.
10. For Bond Dads: Uncrate Dr. No James Bond Print, from $125
A little limited-edition art to spice up the dad pad is never a bad move.
11. For Gym Dads: Fight Camp Personal, from $1,219
The Gym Dad is a very specific subset of dads — but even those who religiously flocked to a public workout space pre-pandemic are finding the switch to at-home sweat seshes hard to resist. Fight Camp combines virtual sessions in boxing and kickboxing with "smart" (and, crucially, nice-looking) gloves, bags, and other gear to help him get the most out of training. And, yes, there's an option to pay monthly if you don't have a spare grand lying around come the holidays.
12. For Tech Dads: Courant CATCH:3 Saddle Leather Edition, $175
Courant has made its (very clever) name the go-to in stylish wireless charging, and the largest charger in their arsenal is kind of genius. It combines the signature wireless pad with a sort of valet tray, ideal for holding glasses, wallets, spare change, and anything he might pull out of his pockets. We're particularly enamored with this rich saddle leather edition, which is made through partnerships with tanneries in Verona, Italy. The natural character of the leather will only improve with everyday use, so it's a gift that'll just get better with age — like dad.
13. For Drink Dads: Buster & Punch Machined Whiskey Bar, from $140
UK brand Buster & Punch traffics in machined metal objects from light switches to motorcycles, but there's something about this simple "bar" (really, more like a double coaster) and two heavy-bottomed whiskey glass sets that really fits the "dad" bill. Sure, it's spendy, but sharing a dram with dad is priceless.
14. For Dog Dads: Roverlund Pet Carrier and Caryall Bundle, $245
What proud dog dad wouldn't want to match his briefcase to his pet carrier for OOO excursions?
15. For Drink-With-The-Dog Dads: Waterford Crystal Irish Wolfhound Decanter, $315
Sometimes, only a Waterford Crystal homage to the family pet will do.
16. For Old-School Dads: Dad Grass Clear Head Cassettes 5-Pack Stash, $37
Dad Grass's calming CBD pre-rolls are gift enough, but we're particularly taken with the ingenious hidden-in-plain-sight packaging. He can slip this "cassette" in next to his Phish bootlegs.
17. For Chess Dads: Silvino Lopeztovar Modern Chess Set, $990
Maybe you're his #1 opponent — or maybe he's still teaching you to tell your rook from your bishop. But either way, he'll be rightly impressed by this striking modern chess set from Mexican designer and artist Silvino Lopeztovar.
18. For Supreme Dads: Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You, $50
Sure, he's been wearing Supreme for years, but does he know about the artist from whom the brand lifted its signature aesthetic? Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You covers five decades of the artist's work in topics of anti-consumerism, feminism, and popular culture — all in the graphic, direct style that has become so iconic.
19. For Entertaining Dads: Burrow Dram Bar Cart, $295
Not only is this bentwood design awfully aesthetically pleasing, but the rounded edges make it extra easy to clean (calling all Neat Freak Dads). We also think it'd look great piled high with plants instead of spirits.
20. For Mixology Dads: Meehan's Bartender Manual, $37
If he only has one book on his (aforementioned) bar cart, make sure it's this one. The James Beard Award-winning tome is the definitive guide to the cocktail world, with enough variety to keep things interesting (and the know-how to keep things from becoming overwhelming). The sturdy, stately hardcover ensures it looks impressive when unwrapped (and when stacked on the coffee table, too).
21. For Particular-About-Pizza Dads: Ooni Koda Outdoor Pizza Oven, $399
We understand the finer points of pizza — and if he's craving a particular style (whether New York, Chicago, or something in between), there's no better way to scratch the itch than by going homemade. This top-rated pizza oven will let him unleash his culinary creativity right in the backyard, with professional results (the oven can reach temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook pizzas in less than 60 seconds).
22. For Lawn-Envy Dads: Sunday Lawn Care Subscription, $129
Next season will be here before he knows it — so get a jump on an enviable lawn with this clever kit from Sunday. The service uses Google Maps to get a read on your lawn's current status (and geographical particularities), then cross-references that data with the results of the soil test included in your first kit. The result? A prescription just for your (or, your dad's) lawn, delivered in three seasonal shipments. Simply attach a garden hose to the nutrient packs and spray all day.
23. For Art-Envy Dads: Forsyth x John O'Hara 30" Custom Vinyl Art Piece, $1,385
For seasoned collectors or art newbies alike, these striking vinyl art pieces by John O'Hara are sure to be an instant hit. The custom option allows you to select the song that'll be painted on the oversized encaustic "record," which itself is full of character and texture due to its pigment-and-beeswax mix. Here, requests are encouraged: ask for dad's favorite jam, the one you two always enjoy together, or just a hit that makes you think of him.
24. For Bike Commuter Dads: Closca Loop Foldable Bike Helmet, $81
Commute-biking downside: when you have to carry everything you need for the day on your person, there's not much room for extras — and that includes a bulky bike helmet. Luckily, Closca's collapsible helmet solves that issue. The award-winning helmet folds down to nearly half its size to easily fit inside a work bag or tote ... so safety never has to take a backseat.
25. For Outdoorsy Dads: BioLite Wood & Charcoal "Smokeless" Mobile Fire Pit, $250
Whether he's a camping enthusiast or just likes to spend as much time in the backyard as possible, BioLite's unique "smokeless" design really puts more enjoyment back in gathering around the fire pit. The size of the flames can be manually adjusted via an app on dad's phone that manipulates the fans inside — so he can tinker to his heart's content. Dual racks convert the entire setup into a mini grill when the mood for food strikes. Tech, grilling, fire-building ... I think we've found the trifecta of Dad Interests.
26. For Skincare Dads: Disco Starter Set, $61
Good skin is the gift that keeps on giving and this Starter Set is the perfect place to begin. Including a Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick, Exfoliating Face Scrub, and Hydrating Face Moisturizer, this trio can be gifted once or as an ongoing subscription. Plus, the packaging is cool and it smells like eucalyptus. Nothing bad about that!