Like trying to shower with a toddler banging on the door, finding the perfect gift for the dad who already has everything can feel nearly impossible. There are just so many options out there. Thousands of tools, tech, kitchen appliances, and clothes that don’t make him look dumpy — they all await online.
So, how do you find something he’ll not only like but actually love? Something that’s both unique and actually useful? For our 2021 list of best gifts for dads, we’ve curated products that we can say with confidence stand out from the rest of the pack. We guarantee you’ll find something here to make him smile, laugh, and feel cool, or, at least, appreciated this holiday season. Letting him shower uninterrupted might be a nice gift, too.
When he's sipping a fine, complex, nuanced whiskey, the libation should be the focus, not the vessel that holds it. And that's one of the many reasons we love Nude. The name itself is sexy, sure. But the glassware is also made by hand in Turkey, and the designs are streamlined, elegant, and simple. Each of these is crafted from solid, lead-free crystal. Bottoms up.
Think of this bike helmet as a multi-tool for your head. Built into a comfortable, plastic-and-foam shell are a taillight, wireless speakers, a mic, and an intercom. Pair it with your phone to crank a playlist, take calls, get turn-by-turn directions, or listen to NPR through the speakers while still being able to hear ambient sounds — like someone passing on your left or a car’s horn. Get two — in group rides, you can use the intercom to chat with someone wearing the R1.
This dock is the key to productivity while working from home. As great as new MacBooks are, with only two Thunderbolt inputs, it can be limiting. Connect the Anker to your laptop with one cable and now you have access to just about any port you’ll ever need—including a few ways to connect to an external monitor. This industrial-looking box, about as thick as two iPhones, is an easy way to clear the mess of cables from your desk.
Fragrance doesn't need to be fussy — and shouldn't be. That's the ethos behind Commodity, which started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and became the first direct-to-consumer fragrance brand. Now in its new iteration, after a relaunch, the brand retains its same commitment to simplicity and clarity. This particular fragrance is a heady, crisp blend of bergamot, cypress, and sandalwood, somehow both playful and intense at the same time. Sort of like him.
A dash of salt goes a long way. And a dash of this very special salt, created by actual chefs, lifts up any filet of sole, cut of beef, or side of chicken. Sriracha, lime, espresso, jalapeno, black truffle, and, yes, even Chardonnay elevate anything you're cooking. We love all the brand's spices (the everything bagel is a standout), but this set in particular is clutch because it truly makes everything he cooks so much better.
Just looking at this hammock drops your diastolic blood pressure. String this version up between two trees, or on a stand, and the generous 55-x-82-inch hammock will cradle him with an open back that prevents sweating in the summer heat. The cord is as soft as cotton, but the synthetic blend inhibits discoloration in the sun, is anti-microbial, and easy to clean with soap and water when the kids spill watermelon on it.
Casio keeps the same retro classic 80s chunky watch shape, but with an upgraded stainless-steel bezel that contrasts both brushed and polished metal. This budget-friendly model packs in what you need daily, time, date, countdown timers, and a stopwatch in a fun package that’s just the right amount of grown-up from the style you remember as a kid.
The one thing you don’t want to do is crash a $1,000 drone, so the Air 2S makes adjustments on the fly using four sensors that detect obstacles, so even amateur pilots can get killer shots or video. A big 1-inch camera sensor up front captures video in 5.4k with 8x zoom that you can power from an intuitive control from nearly 4,000 feet away. The tracking feature locks in on a person’s face, following them as the drone flies on autopilot.
With apologies to Linklater, they had us at the name alone. But packaging and branding aside, this is one fantastic kit. For the dad who fancies himself a mixologist, or just loves to tinker at the bar, this is the ultimate infusion kit. It comes with two 16-ounce glass jars with a filtering spout, plus two packs of pre-measured ingredients of fruits and spices. And they work with tequila, vodka, or whatever else is on the bar cart.
Connect to this speaker through Bluetooth, when you’re away from the house, and use WiFi when you’re home to crank playlists and podcasts with clear, crisp sound. About the size of a soda can, and wrapped in Sonos's grown-up styling, this tiny speaker connects to Alexa or the Google Assistant, works with AirPlay 2, and shrugs off the digs, dirt, and water your kids will throw at it. Inside, use it to control your smart home for about 10 hours per charge.
Riding a bike forces you to learn how to be handy. This two-piece multi-tool makes roadside repairs easier by packing 31 tools into a tidy package that you can stash in a seat pack or backpack. Work on single or multi-speed chains, tighten just about any bolt, swap out pedals, and fix flat tires. Even pop a beer after a ride with the bottle opener.
The Alsace region in France borders German and Switzerland, and come winter, families there dig into a hearty dish of sausage, and other salted meats, sauerkraut, and potatoes. You could easily whip that up with this kit and a pot of boiling water, but the kielbasa, brats, bacon, frankfurters, whole ham, and sauerkraut are just as good doled out over time, too.
Don’t let the vintage look fool you, this is a modern camera filled with useful tech to help greenhorns take better shots, like autofocus and settings for closeups, sports, and portraits. Compatible with a suite of lenses that keep things interesting and also make this camera perfect to take on adventures or the kid’s birthday party where you can shoot in 4K video. Don’t worry, there’s a tilt-down screen so you can still take selfies, which you can then beam to a phone with wi-fi.
When Ooni added a pellet chute onto the back of their already proven backyard pizza oven, they solved a big sticking point: finagling lumps of wood into the oven through a tiny, raging-hot doorway. Compressed wood pellets burn just as hot as the real thing — 950 degrees — to get a 12-inch-wide pizza leopard-spotted underneath and blustered and bubbly up top. And at only 22 pounds you can take the party with you.
Of course he always uses an automated grinder. But where's the fun in that? VSSL makes some of the most innovative outdoor gear on the market today, and this handheld grinder is no exception. It's made from aircraft-grade aluminum for outdoor use; it has 30 grind settings; and the handle does double duty as a carabiner so it attaches to his backpack.
Bob Kramer, if you missed it, is widely considered the most gifted 'knifesmith' working today. Which is why a sharpener created by him will go the distance, and look fine doing it. This set comes with an instructional DVD featuring Bob himself as he walks you through how to use the sharpening stone for edge repairs, another one for fine sharpening, yet another one for finishing and polishing, and the bamboo sink bridge to make everything safe and easy.
We're all about the latest tech, but sometimes, it's great to go old-school. And nothing is more old-school than this slingshot, handmade in San Francisco from forked tree branches and kitted out with a leather projectile pouch. Each is one of a kind. And each is gonna get dad outdoors and off his laptop.
With 'Nike by You,' Nike's customizable line, you can design a pair of kicks tailored to his taste and personality — a gift that is truly as much fun to give as to receive. You can choose this style of the Air Force 1/1 Unlocked, or other pre-customized styles, or let your creativity fly free: You can choose the silhouette, the foxing, the quarter color, the tip color, the sole, and even the look of the swoosh.
Any self-respecting cheese lover knows that to get that flawless slab of pecorino, you need to visit Murray's on Bleecker Street. It's the stalwart of fromage retailers. So, here's the good news: Now the cheese comes to him, courtesy of this monthly box. It includes 3–4 rotating cheeses, from cheddars and triple creams to zesty goat cheeses and savory washed rind wheels. Sample boxes include Marieke aged gouda and Stepladder Creamery Ragged Point creamy cheese.
So, maybe you think pajamas are pajamas are pajamas. Not so. This set, from the guy who once gave us the singular brand Band of Outsiders, are the Avion tequila of pajamas. They take comfort to the next level. They are soft and cozy, yet make him look put together. And they're made of organic cotton. Pick whatever color he digs, and he'll never take them off.
Most VR headsets are content with letting you watch content in 360 degrees, but the Quest 2 includes a pair of controllers that let you participate in the action. Use it for gaming to battle Vader and dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, or watch movies, with 50 percent more pixels than Quest’s first version, and 3-D sound that changes as you move your head.
Recovery is the forgotten element of working out. Use this 19¼-x-5¾-inch foam tube on your legs, back, feet, shoulders and arms to loosen muscles, relieve soreness, and improve circulation. The vibrations come from the core, by way of a rechargeable battery, and there are three adjustments to dial in the right amount of relief.
If his morning skincare routine is lacking — or he doesn’t have one — this four-bottle kit can put some life back in your epidermis without much fuss. Pick versions for oily or dry skin, each with a body wash, face scrub, face wash, and moisturizer. It’s a simple four-step process that he can execute to remove toxins from his skin and tame any irritation.
A propane grill that attaches to a hitch means more storage space in the truck, and after arriving at the campsite or tailgate, you’re cooking at a comfortable height — though it also detaches for tabletop use. The 335-square-inch cooking surface, with two burners, adds enough versatility to grill, use a pan, or boil a pot of water for coffee. And when you’re done, none of that greasy mess is in your car.
The perfect shirt had always been a kind of unicorn — until now. This is the elusive perfect shirt. It looks sharp enough to wear to work, and is laid-back and comfortable enough to wear around the house. It's sweat-wicking, so no pit stains. The fit is slim and sleek, with a bit of stretch. It doesn't wrinkle, it keeps its shape, and it looks good on everyone. Score.
Because exercise equipment has a way of proliferating and is generally ugly, at-home workouts tend to require a sacrifice of one kind or another. The possible lone exception is the rowing machine: Rowing works 86 percent of the body’s muscles and can be as cardio-intense (or mellow) as you like, while improving joint flexibility. One of the newest and sleekest rowing machines, the Ergatta uses actual water resistance, which makes it as effective as it is quiet (as well as cool-looking, with its transparent reservoir). It’s got all the fitness potential of a traditional rowing machine, but packaged with cutting-edge, immersive technology (a reasonable $29/month) that keeps monotony at bay. The jewel in the crown, though, is its design: Handmade of cherry wood, it's the farthest thing from an eyesore, and it can be folded up and stowed away, so it works in even the tiniest of homes.
Pair of Thieves was co-founded by Cash Warren (who's married to Jessica Alba), with the mission of making basics that are not so basic. These socks are whimsical and funky, given the Morse code theme, but also eminently practical. They have a silicone gripper to keep them in place and four-way stretch, in a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex that won't lose its shape.
If you work under the hood, you know how frustrating it can be to waste time fishing out dropped bolts and screws. This tool’s magnetic head picks them up by extending your reach nearly 2 feet to snag hardware or tools from impossibly narrow crevasse (or if you just dropped your keys behind the bookcase). The magnetic base stays put and with a swivel light you can beam the LED where you need them and the rugged aluminum build mean it will last as it bounces around your toolbox.
This handsome, modern grinder's versatility, by way of Burr-style mashing discs and 31 different size settings, prepares beans for any automatic drip-style coffee, pour-over, Aero press, espresso, Moka pot — so even a coffee nerd will use it. Quiet, at only about 60 decibels (volume of normal conversation), it won’t wake the house up when in use. The catch cup has a magnetic base so it aligns perfectly every morning, even when you're bleary-eyed.
Track pants, but make them stylish. These tracks pants check all the boxes: They're made from organic cotton, manufactured at a factory that pays workers fair wages, and just look like a million bucks. All while being thick and comfy, and in a classic design. They have an elastic waistband with a hidden drawcord, two side pockets, a back patch pocket, and a relaxed tapered leg.
Modern multi-blade razor blades are sharp and (usually) leave skin irritation-free. The handles though, leave something to be desired. This hand-polished, imitation ebony and chrome handle gives your standard wet shave some heft. Compatible with Mach3 blades, it ships with a razor made by the famous steelworkers in Sheffield, England.
While you can buy a Luminox a case or two over from an engagement ring at Kay Jewelers, the brand’s been making tough-as-nails watches for the likes of the Secret Service, the Israeli Special Forces, the USAF fighter pilots, and the SEALs for years. The 3505’s light but strong carbon case and scratch-resistant mineral crystal will keep up with whatever you’re doing, from diving 200 meters to something a little less risky like mowing the lawn. The self-powered illumination makes it easy to read at night, too.
Stamped from a single piece of stainless steel, this sleek knife set is too handsome to bury in a knife block or drawer — especially if you pick the black or gold titanium coating. You might want to get a magnetic rack. You’ll use the big 8-inch chef’s knife for daily chopping and slicing, the shorter 5-inch knife for smaller veggies or maybe cheese, and the paring knife for detailed work like hulling strawberries. The Japanese-style blade, beveled on one side like a sword, excels at making long, clean slices.
Bellroy is an Australian brand that makes upscale, fancy gear for men and women. But it manages to fuse accessible luxury with total practicality. Take this sling bag: It's made entirely from recycled PET bottles. It has a front compartment with two mesh slip pockets, a lined pouch for his sunglasses, a built-in key clip, and an expandable gusset. That means that it can hold up to four liters of stuff, but also shrinks down when he's in minimalist mode. Oh, and it can fit two beer bottles.
It's OK to have 007 fantasies. This is the tactical pen that goes with them. It's an LED tactical flashlight, a premium glass breaker, a multi-tool, and ballpoint pen, all in one. It weighs 1.4 ounces, or about the same as 28 paper clips.
James makes some of the finest everyday carry essentials you can buy. And just behold this thing of beauty. The carabiner is carved from a solid block of aluminum, has two sections for his EDC, and even has a bottle opener notch. No more missing keys, ever. The more he uses it, the more weathered it looks, which is the goal. One of those gifts that just makes every day a little better.
It can be easy to overspend in the tool aisle of the home center, but you don't have to. The Ryobi One+ system includes more than 175 cordless tools, so you may already have Ryobi gear with a removable 18-volt battery. Slip that power pack into this 25-pound cordless miter saw and now you have the juice to cut moldings, deck boards, or studs for a shed anywhere with a mobile setup. With a 7½-inch blade mounted on a sliding head, this saw will cut a massive 2x10—it’s all the power you need with none of the overpriced whistles you don’t.
Proving a daily wear watch doesn’t have to be boring, the Detrola has a colorful navy dial and easy-to-read face, with time and date, that that goes with everything from a suit to gym clothes. Underneath the hood is an accurate quartz movement assembled in Detroit with parts from Switzerland. This anti-smartwatch comes with a silicon strap that pops off easily so you can swap in other bands to change up the look.
It seems counterintuitive, but in fact, wool is a fabric you can wear year-round. That's because it's temperature-regulating. And these slippers, which are crafted to be worn indoors or on the deck or in the yard, are a blend of wool, with a rubber sole for traction. They have a leather tab for easy on and off, because with Greys, it's about the details. Speaking of details, he'll appreciate the stub-proof toe box when he encounters errant Legos in the middle of the night.
In this beautiful edition, New York-based architectural designer Thomas Rinaldi explores the history of objects, from tape dispensers to food processors, that we use every day by spotlighting the original patent documents behind them. We're talking things invented and created by everyone from Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, and Isamu Noguchi to Raymond Loewy and George Nelson. It's the ultimate for the bookworm dad who loves his DIY.
The iconic car company has a few Lego models, but this one’s an incredibly detailed twofer: Build either the 911, with its rear-mounted turbo engine under a chunky spoiler, or the free-spirited convertible Targa, which has a removable hardtop that stashes away in the trunk. From the famous round headlamps to the wide rear end, this 1458-piece kit is a hefty 2½-pound, 14-inch long showpiece. Park it behind you on a bookcase — co-workers on your weekly Zoom will thank you.
The first thing you notice about these is that they don't look like your average earbuds. That's because they're not. They're made from ceramic and stainless steel, which makes these both lightweight and scratch-resistant. As for the sound, get ready to be wowed. The clarity is great, but the active noise-cancellation feature, which neutralizes unwanted sounds so you can hear what you need to hear, is their real superpower. And here's the kicker: When it's windy out, your voice isn't distorted, which is huge.
Dad can grow up to five plants without actually getting his hands dirty. It's all thanks to this ingenious wifi-enabled planter, which he controls via an app. The kit includes everything he needs to grow basil, oregano, or mint, using a touch-free hydroponic gardening irrigation system. The app does the rest.
Adrienne Stillman is the co-founder, editor-in-chief, and event director of Dipsology, a guide and community for cocktail enthusiasts. And this meticulously researched book showcases 610 cocktail recipes from the past 500 years, hailing from 60 countries. If he enjoys a libation, and is curious about the history of the Sidecar, this book is for him.
For the love of cars, do not let his vehicle reek of pine, or some other godforsaken 'scent' that's sold at the local gas station. Alternatively, don't let it smell like toddler carseat accidents or gym clothes. No, this is the Tom Ford of car fragrances, founded by a musician and an architect. This set includes scented hanging cards that make his interior smell like a fireplace. Or a leathery seat. Or Big Sur.
This handsome beast powers up four devices at once, including his AirPods, Apple watch, iPhone, Android phone, and other Qi-enabled devices. No more clutter. No more headaches. No more dead devices.
Think of this as the sweatshirt version of those jeans you’ve broken in to fit just right. It's as straightforward as it gets: heavy cotton, lined with comfy fleece, finished with beefy zippers. It’s all made in the US, from coast to coast, where more than 20 craftspeople will get their hands on it before you. And it comes with a 10-year warranty should it rip, tear, or fall apart, as you break it in doing chores, walking the dog, or watching SportsCenter.
Don’t let the budget price mislead you, the Halyard packs handsome style and features you’ll actually use into a durable package. The dial’s white face makes it easy to read during the day, with glowing markings for nighttime visibility. The organized face shows the time, stopwatch, date, and 24-hour time. Water-resistant down to 100 meters, the watch is sporty enough to wear daily, with an Italian leather band that dresses it up effortlessly.
Just not ready for van life yet? If you have a hatchback, SUV, or crossover, this air mattress is all you need for a solid night’s sleep. Like other versions, this one inflates in a hurry with a pump, but it’s the extenders that fill the space of the rear seat’s footwells that make it as stable as sleeping on the floor. Come morning, it packs down into a carry bag you can stash out of the way.
Made from recycled sleeping pad scraps, this barely-there 5½-ounce foam pad expands to a generous 13-x-17-inch egg-crate slab designed to take the sting out sitting. Take it camping to make sitting in a chair more comfortable, to a festival to keep turf stains off your pants, to the kid's games — or, more pragmatically, use it around the house as a kneepad when you’re under the sink. Plus the cool, one-of-a-kind look, is a conversation starter all by itself.
Some coolers keep cold, but this one makes it. With a full charge of the removable battery, you can keep the contents refrigerator-cold for five days — yup, five days — and even longer if you pair it with a solar panel for an epic summer car camping adventure. Closer to home, use it to keep 72 cans cold for a backyard cookout, while it keeps your phone juiced through a wireless charger, or convert it to a freezer to keep warehouse club overflow purchases.
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