March 2, 2024
Best Gifts for Dad

Photo-Illustration: Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

There’s no one-size-fits-all gift for dads. There are dads who are more tech-savvy than their kids, dads who watch the forecast for golf weather, and dads who will cross state lines for a rare beer. To find the best gifts for every kind of father, I’ve trawled the Strategist’s deep archive of cool-dad content and put together the following list of 52 options, many of which Strategist staffers have tried and loved ourselves (or gifted to our own parents over the years). To make it even easier to shop this list, we’ve arranged the items by price, from an inexpensive, ingenious lawn-raking tool to a splurge-y cannabis infuser.

TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller
Very Good Deal

This analog wooden foot massager is a favorite gifts for doctors — it’s even compact enough to fit under a desk.

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks - Men's

For a pair of socks he’ll actually be excited to open as a gift, try Darn Tough — according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, they sell some of the best wool socks out there. They’re made in Vermont and come with a lifetime guarantee.

'Catan' Dice Game
Very Good Deal

Flavacol Popcorn Seasoning

A three-quarter teaspoon of this magical flavored salt and he’ll swear he’s at the movie theater (even though he’s just rewatching Master and Commander on the couch).

‘Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America’ Second Edition
Very Good Deal

Photo: Retailer

A field guide is a great gift for a bird-watcher, whether they use it for its intended purpose of identifying birds or just flip through the pages to look at illustrations. (This one comes recommended by a research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.)

Thaan Charcoal Logs, 5 lbs

Help him fine-tune his grill setup with these charcoal logs, which are made from the wood of the rambutan tree. (Contributor Regan Stephens discovered these logs via the Philadelphia restaurant Laser Wolf, where they’re the secret to “the most tender, wildly delicious poultry I’ve ever tasted,” he writes.)

Dexter-Russell 2.75-Inch New Haven–Style Oyster Knife

‘How to Live, or A Life of Montaigne,' by Sarah Bakewell

If he’s pondering life’s big questions, give him How to Live, which chronicles the life of 16th-century essayist and philosopher Michel de Montaigne. Architect Christopher Choa recommended it (paired with How to be a Stoic) when we asked people who have turned 60 about the best 60th-birthday gifts.

Casio F91W-1 Classic Resin Strap Digital Sport Watch
Very Good Deal

A reliable retro watch that Brynn Wallner, founder of watch website Dimepiece, says can “very quickly go from dorky to a cool summer-in-the-’80s-in-Italy vibe.”

Proraso After Shave Lotion, Refreshing and Toning

For a few dollars more, you can upgrade him to Italian brand Proraso’s toning aftershave, a brand recommended by barbers as the best on the market and what they use on their own faces.

Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen

A fountain pen is a great gift, but they’re usually a splurge. Not so with the Kaweco Sport: “It’s like the Volkswagen of pens with a Jaguar engine,” says author André Aciman.

Victoria Cast-Iron Grill Press

Spencer Rubin, the founder of the Melt Shop, uses this handsome, very giftable grill press, which he prefers to heavier options: “You don’t end up pushing the cheese or ingredients out of the bread,” he says.

Beauty by Earth Exfoliating Bath Gloves for Shower

“It’s a funny invention, no?” says pastry chef Jacques Torres of these exfoliating gloves. “Call me lazy, but these make things so much more efficient.”

Liquid Blue Men's Grateful Dead Bertha Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Because you can never have too much tie-dye.

Draft Top Lift Can Opener

If he’s adamant that certain IPAs are better from the can versus in a glass, he’ll love this gadget that removes the tops of aluminum cans for a better drinking experience. (I heard about it from Strategist writer Brenley Goertzen, who found out about it from her dad.)

'Wavelength' Game

I recommended this cooperative party game for a reader’s “neurosurgeon son who is into Magic: The Gathering,” and it would also be great for dads who get too heated when they don’t have enough sheep to build a settlement.

‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,' edited by Mark Godfrey and Zoé Whitley
Very Good Deal

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power chronicles work created by Black artists from 1963 to 1983. It’s a “must-read for anyone interested in the history of American art and the importance of Black artists in that history,” says Andria Hickey, curator at large at the Shed.

Apple AirTag

If your dad is the type to spend 15 minutes in a panic trying to find his keys before leaving the house, Apple AirTags will be a gift that keeps on giving. (Pair with an AirTag-holder carabiner so he can snap it onto his keys immediately.) They’re about the size of a quarter and can track all his valuables.

Moft MagSafe Wallet

According to Strategist tech writer Jordan McMahon, MagSafe is one of the iPhone’s best, most underutilized features. This magnetized wallet can attach right to his phone and has a stand that allows him to scroll in portrait mode hands-free.

Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass

“The world of whiskey is littered with glassware,” says Jason Julier of whiskey website Malt Review, but you don’t need to look further than this affordable set of tulip glasses. “They provide solid performance and a robust, practical design.”

Geyes Portable Bluetooth Keyboard
Strategist 100

If he hates texting on a small phone screen, this nifty Bluetooth keyboard will turn his iPhone in to a tiny typewriter. (It’s an especially good gift for frequent travelers.)

Café du Monde 13-Ounce French Roast Coffee

He’ll appreciate a three-pack of French roast straight from New Orleans’s iconic Café du Monde. (If Dad’s the type to go through several bags of beans in a month, you might consider a coffee subscription instead.)

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

Photo: Retailer

According to some coffee people, the AeroPress system makes a more consistent cup than pour-over. It’s also easy to travel with, if Dad’s the kind of coffee snob who needs to bring his brewing setup on vacation.

Complete Mason Jar Fermentation Kit
Very Good Deal

This kit should cover all his Nordic-inspired fermentation experiments.

Merkur 34C Heavy-duty Short-Handle Safety Razor

The Merkur 34C is our best-in-class safety razor; the expert barbers we spoke to praised its reliable engineering and ease of use. It’s also attractive enough to gift, with its chrome finish and knurled grip.

MEATER Plus Smart Thermometer

This Tom Colicchio–approved thermometer will allow him to monitor internal temperature from his phone (up to 165 feet away) for “perfect meat every time.”

AeroGarden Sprout

Help him never kill windowsill basil again: “The roots of herbs are somewhat simplistic,” says Sera Rogue, the owner of the Brooklyn gardening company Red Fern. “They require daily watering” — which the AeroGarden, our best-in-class hydroponic smart garden, does automatically.

Cooper Cooler Rapid Beverage Chiller

In our gift guide for beer lovers, Andrew Burman of Other Half Brewing Co. recommended this rapid cooler from Cooper. “Having a rapid cooler for beer, wine, or Champagne is key, especially for last-minute gatherings,” he says.

Stanley Classic Easy-Pour Vacuum-Insulated Growler

Extend his brewery trips with an insulated growler, which will allow him to keep his favorite IPA cold on the way home, as any beer nerd should.

Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream

This rich moisturizer from Vermont brand Ursa Major is especially good for dry, wind-chafed post-skiing skin.

Alessi Pulcina Stove-Top Espresso Maker

GCI Outdoor Portable Foldable Rocking Chair

It’s a collapsible camping chair and a rocker in one. The Dyrt co-founder Sarah Smith recommends it to “anyone who will listen” because it’s “super-comfortable and slightly decadent.”

Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Very Good Deal

Kickstart his own podcast with a Twitch-streamer-approved microphone. (Best of all, it plugs into a USB port, so it doesn’t require much tech savvy to set up.)

Wahl Professional Cordless Magic Clip

JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Very Good Deal

Glerups The Slip-On Rubber Slipper

These Danish wool clogs are at the top of our list of the best slippers to gift — they’re soft, warm, and mold to your foot, perfect for lounging around the house with a rubber sole that allows for quick trips outdoors. They “really do deserve their reputation as the best slippers,” writes former Strategist writer Karen Iorio Adelson.

J.A. Henckels 15-Piece Premium Quality Knife Set
Very Good Deal

A very solid 15-piece set that our kitchen and dining writer feels is an excellent deal, particularly because it comes with six matching serrated steak knives—unusual for a set like this.

Philips Norelco Shaver 7700

Photo: Retailer

The Philips Norelco 7700 is our best-in-class electric razor, delivering the “smoothest, most effortless shave” of all the razors our tester tried out. If Dad’s been using the same razor forever, he’ll be thrilled to get an upgrade.

ORORO Men's Lightweight Heated Vest

Keep him toasty for hours with the men’s version of Reba McEntire’s favorite heated vest, a gift from her son and daughter-in-law, which she calls “the greatest invention known to man.”

Tivoli Audio Bluetooth AM/FM Radio

This stylish radio is just that — a radio. It does AM/FM and nothing else. But as Dad will tell you, that’s the point.

Davek Duet Umbrella

There’s always something dashing about whipping out a nice umbrella. After testing 37 of them, we declared Davek’s wind-resistant, comfortable-to-hold, stylish-looking, fast-drying model as one of our absolute favorites.

Fellow Opus Conical Burr Grinder

Leki Legacy Lite Cor-Tec Trekking Poles

Hyperice Hypervolt Cordless Vibration Massager

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT Fully Automatic Wireless Belt-Drive Turntable

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

It’s the “Birkin of coolers.” If you’re feeling extra nice, stock it with his favorite drink for a two-part gift.

Lēvo II

The Levo II took the top spot in our roundup of cannabis infusers. And it even makes a great gift for dads who prefer baking the traditional way: You can even get extra chef-y and play around with making non-cannabis infusions in it as well: Basil finishing oil, lavender honey, pandan coconut cream,” says confectioner and cookbook author Stephanie Hua.

Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven

Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 Astro Binoculars

Photo: Retailer

If he’s really into stargazing, a pair of binoculars designed specifically for observing the night sky like these from Celestron will allow Dad to see constellations much faster than setting up a telescope.

Ivation 12-Bottle Compressor Wine-Cooler Refrigerator

Give him the gift of not having to edit down his wine collection with this 12-bottle cooler, which comes recommended by sommelier Katie O’Byrne. “It was able to reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit within 20 minutes of plugging it in, which meant I was on to my third bottle of chilled white wine an hour after it arrived on my doorstep,” she says.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best gifts for mom, hostess gifts, baby shower gifts, gifts for your boss, bar mitzvah gifts, and gifts for tweens. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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