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Dad can be tough to shop for. They might have a tough time dropping hints, let alone coming out and saying what they're really coveting. Or maybe they've got some super-specific interests that are hard to gift, like woodworking or collecting. But no matter if your dad loves exploring the great outdoors, outfitting his house with top-notch tech, or both, there's something out there you can surprise him with that he'll really love.
Here, the best gifts for dads:
Paul Ford and his wife, Tasia, run Big Red's from their home in Phoenix, Arizona. This sampler pack comes with the company's nine signature hot sauces, and includes flavors like maple bacon jalapeño, Big Yella (tropical mango mustard), smokey habanero, and God's Wrath, which is made with ghost peppers—some of the hottest chili peppers in the world.
These playful cork-backed coasters were designed by Megan Steffen, a home goods artist based in Chicago. Each one is packed with sports facts arranged around an elegant illustration. There are nine sports to choose from, including skiing, tennis, baseball, golf, and sailing.
Is the dad in your life hoping to extend backyard time into the fall and even early winter season? There is no choice but to embrace the fire pit lifestyle. This attractive, inexpensive option has a durable steel bowl that rests solidly on four legs, which are designed to elevate it slightly off the ground and allow airflow. The mesh metal dome helps catch flying embers, and the poker can be used for lifting the lid and poking the firewood, as dads tend to do.
These cordless Bluetooth headphones are considerably less expensive than a pair of AirPods, but still provide high-quality audio. Other features include quick-charge (five minutes on the charger gets an hour of audio), six hours of playtime after a full charge, a smartphone app that lets you customize the settings, and big-time durability—the buds are waterproof and even crushproof.
What about a waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker to use next to the pool or on dad's next camping trip? Not only can this one handle a splash, it can even withstand up to 30 minutes in water up to three feet deep. It has a special bass setting called "XBass" you can turn on with the touch of a button. It comes with a rechargeable battery that offers 20 hours of straight playtime—the equivalent of playing "Baby Shark" roughly 600 times on repeat.
Got a new dad? If he's already into hiking and backpacking, this attractive, well-built carrier—which comes with its own tote bag for travel—will be an easy pivot. It can be used starting from birth all the way up to 48 pounds, and has six different carry positions.
The handy zipper can be used to control airflow: Pull it down and it reveals a mesh lining to help keep baby cool. It also has a waistband pocket that can hold all those essentials new parents are always misplacing, like their keys and baby's pacifier.
If he's tech savvy and loves having the newest Big Thing, a video doorbell might be a good fit. There are several on the market, but the Nest stands out for being able to show an expansive view of your step, meaning you'll see people head-to-toe, rather than a fish-eye view of the top of their heads. (That's helpful if you need it for security purposes.)
Nest's app is intuitive and easy to use and the video shows crisp, high-definition video, even after dark. If you pair it with the Nest Aware app, it will even alert you when your packages are dropped off and picked up.
Nothing says "I Love You" like a good-looking, high-quality face covering. For every one of these stylish masks that is purchased by a consumer, LA designer Ari Jogiel will donate another one to first responders and essential workers. When you order, you can specify the organization you want to receive the second mask; the current list includes the United States Postal Service, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the Los Angeles Fire Department. The masks are made from anti-microbial fabric and have a built-in cotton gauze liner.
Described as a cross between volleyball and foursquare, Spikeball is a handball lawn game that's played with a low net and four people split into two teams. It's a fun, fast-paced game guaranteed to get lots of laughs, and the foldable design and travel bag make it easy to bring to the park or beach. Dad will love it even more if it comes with a promise of a couple of screen-free hours of family time.
Bevel seems to have made it their mission to help wipe out ingrown hairs and razor burn. This comprehensive kit comes with priming oil that gets massaged in first, to help soften the skin and stubble, as well as shaving cream and brush to exfoliate and work up a lather, safety razor with 20 blades, and a restoring balm to use at the end. Although the safety razor might take some getting used to, Bevel has a detailed how-to video on their web site to help him get the technique exactly right.
This popular massage gun comes with four attachments and lets users give themselves at-home muscle massages that can him him recover more easily after strenuous workouts or even get a better night of sleep. The attachments work on different parts of the body such as trigger points, large muscle groups and small muscle groups, and bony areas. Although it's certainly expensive, it's about the same cost as three visits to a masseuse, so for a dad with extra sore muscles, it might be worth it.
This brightly colored, two-pound chair has a MacGyver factor that will appeal to many gear-loving types: Not only does it fold up small enough to be stored in its base (which measures only a foot across and can be tossed into a backpack), it can also be flipped over and used as a small table. It has a weight limit of 250 pounds and sits low enough to the ground that he won't be the guy blocking everyone's view at an outdoor concert or a little league game.
If he lives for bacon and wants to learn more about where his food comes from, this gift will make him happy on a monthly basis. The pork comes from heritage breeds, which can trace their lineage many generations back and are valued for their excellent, nuanced flavors. The farmers who work with heritage breeds pledge to raise them humanely; they are also never given growth hormones or antibiotics. Each box comes with about 3 pounds of bacon, plus details about the history of both the breed and farm it came from.
Sure, he could put a regular glass into the freezer and wait for it to get cold, but then he'd be dealing with sweaty condensation as he sipped his beer. These double-walled, insulated glasses are filled with a cooling gel that prevents drinks from getting warm once they've been served.
Coravin systems are designed for people who like to enjoy their wine one glass at a time, and might have a few extra-special vintages lying around they want to pick and choose from. The device clamps around the bottle and comes with a thin needle that pierces the cork, so you can pour yourselves a glass or two without needing to completely open the bottle.
Once you've poured, the capsule fills the remaining space with argon gas to prevent oxidation (that's what makes day-old wine taste bad), and the cork reseals itself after the needle is pulled out. The system also works with screw top wines using a special cap accessory.