Dads might be among the most difficult people to buy for, but it doesn't need to be stressful. Whether you're looking for fun gifts for dads or practical gifts for dads, you're sure to find something he'll love! Most of these gift ideas for dads will translate whether you’re buying for your own dad, your father-in-law or your husband.
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- Technology Gift Ideas for Dads
- Outdoor Gift Ideas for Dads
- Clothing Gift Ideas for Dads
- Barware Gift Ideas for Dads
- Home Gym Gift Ideas for Dads
- Work & Office Gift Ideas for Dads
- More Fun & Practical Gifts for Dads
Technology Gift Ideas for Dads
Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Does he love hiking, camping or spending time on the water? A friend had the JBL Flip 5 portable wireless speaker on a tubing adventure and it immediately went on my list! Our favorite things about this cool gift for dads: the sound quality is excellent, it’s waterproof with up to 12 hours of battery life, it comes in 11 colors and the one we’ve linked here includes a hard shell protective case. And it floats!
We have an Echo in our kitchen and loved it so much that we bought one for my in-laws. We’ve had some epic dance parties during our visits there, and I’m pretty sure my father-in-law has his own concerts when he’s home alone. The speaker on the Echo Studio is seriously impressive. Music aside, the built-in smart home hub makes it a practical gift that's worth the cost, plus the games and skills are fun during dinner with our whole family.
Echo Show 8
If you want to step it up and add video calling, the Echo Show 8 is an excellent deal! It has an 8” screen, stereo sound, a smart home hub and is Alexa enabled like the Echo Studio. The extras include video calling and the ability to watch tv, movies and the news. You can view calendars and to-do lists and step-by-step recipes. You can disconnect microphones and cover the camera as well.
Personalized gifts are always the best, and we love supporting small businesses! We found a lot of docking stations on Etsy, but this one was our favorite because it includes a cutout for a watch charger and you can customize it with handwriting, initials, his name, a logo or original text. It’s also an Etsy bestseller from Purple Hammer Design, a shop with a 5-star rating and over 10,000 sales.
If he's always losing something, this Tile essentials bundle is the perfect practical gift because it will save him hours of searching! The round stickers are perfect for the remote (ours is forever missing) or earbud case, the square Tile Mate is ideal for keys and backpacks and the Tile Slim is the best option for wallets. You can even use Tiles to find your phone! The app works with iOS and Android.
Fire TV Stick or Roku Streaming Stick+
If you’re streaming tv services, a Firestick or Roku is a necessity. We’ve had both and prefer the firestick overall, but you need to make sure you can access your services before you choose. Some apps and services aren’t available on the firestick (like our cable provider).
Both offer voice remote (Alexa with the Fire TV Stick) which is really helpful when we’re searching for something—it saves a lot of time and frustration! For example, if you want to watch Star Wars but you’re not sure which streaming service it’s on, you’d say “Watch Star Wars.” All options to watch will pop up and then you can select the one you want. It’s also much easier to do the voice search on YouTube instead of using the remote to scroll and select letters.
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
I’m sure it’s an exaggeration to say that the search for workout-worthy earbuds has been the longest running search in our house, but it’s pretty close to true. These Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones are sweat resistant and stay on with adjustable ear hooks. They have 9 hours of battery life and if he ever forgets to charge them, a 5-minute “fast fuel” charge will give him 1.5 hours of battery life. They work with iOS and Android devices and come in several colors. If you’re looking for more budget friendly option, try the HolyHigh Wireless Sports Earbuds.
If he’s devoted to Apple, the AirPods Pro are the way to go. They’re sweat and water resistant, come with three sizes of tips and have 24 hours of battery life. He can switch between noise canceling mode and transparency mode which allows him to hear what’s happening around him. If you’re not crazy about the cost of AirPods Pro, try these JBL In-Ear Headphones. My husband has them and they're a great alternative to AirPods. They come with 3 earbud tip sizes so they're more comfortable.
Mary’s dad got over-the-ear headphones when he realized he could connect to the TV via Bluetooth. Now he watches games with his headphones on. Her mom can be on the phone or reading a book next to him on the couch but she doesn’t have to hear the game. Win-win! These Sony headphones are noise cancelling, have up to 35 hours of battery life and a microphone for hands-free calling. If you want a more budget friendly option, try the Anker Soundcore Headphones. I love mine! They're comfortable, noise canceling headphones with up to 60 hours of battery life.
Outdoor Gift Ideas for Dads
All the guys in my family have a hammock! We love being outside and these are easy to set up and take down. We usually have ours in our backyard, but he can take it camping or hiking. This hammock is big enough for two people and gets near perfect reviews. This is the brand we bought my husband because ENO is a company that specializes in hammocks. Choose from 38 colors! And don’t forget to get the hammock straps.
RTIC Soft Cooler
Mary has friends who swear by these coolers--you can fit 20 cans plus ice and it won’t sweat. He can fill it with food and drinks for camping, fishing or tailgating, and it will stay really cold thanks to the vinyl shell and 2 inches of closed-cell foam. It’s also leak proof and has an antimicrobial liner that resists mildew. The quality can’t be beat!
We have some Facebook groups to help moms with gifts for tween and teen boys and girls. This was by far the most popular gift in those groups over the holidays—plenty were bought for husbands and dads! We have the tandem kayak and a bonus with inflatable kayaks is they’re also a lot easier to store. Here's a tandem kayak if you'd rather have two seats.
My son picked these out for my husband’s Christmas gift. I wasn’t sure about them (I’d never heard my husband ask for them) but they were a hit! They’re quick drying and offer excellent traction for wet or slippery conditions. Lots of colors and two styles to choose from. Now they can’t wait to get out on the water in their kayaks and head to the creek to explore.
If he spends a lot of time on the water or you bought him a kayak, don’t forget a life jacket. With a three buckle design and adjustable straps, this one is US coast guard approved.
Waterproof Phone Pouch
Here’s another must-have item if he loves boating, kayaking, fishing and other water activities. We have these pouches and they’ve worked really well to keep our phones dry.
If he loves tent camping with family or friends, this Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent with Screen Room is a top choice. You can fit 2 queen size airbeds and even tall people can stand up inside because the center height is 6’8”. Stay dry in the main part of the tent and enjoy lounging in the screen room. If you want a large tent but a smaller price point, check out the Coleman Montana 6-Person Tent. It doesn’t have a screen room and the center height is a foot lower.
Luci Solar Inflatable Light
Loved by campers and rafters, this solar inflatable light only weighs about 4 ounces so it’s easy to pack without adding weight--it collapses down to 1.5 inches. The lithium ion battery is rechargeable and lasts up to 24 hours on a single charge. You can adjust the brightness and keep track of battery life, plus the straps allow you to attach it to a backpack. Reviewers also mention these being useful during power outages at home. But the best part about this purchase is that it helps provide clean energy to people around the world.
Mary’s family has this backpack and likes it better than some others because it has a zipper pouch to hold a few snacks, a phone and/or keys. You can’t wear this along with a regular backpack, so it’s important to get one that has the extra space.
Huk Fishing Hat
If he’s not great about wearing sunscreen, this wide-brimmed hat blocks UVA and UVB rays and will help keep him cool. If it’s really windy, the chin strap will make sure his hat doesn’t fly off and disappear.
If he’s serious about cycling, get him an Amazon gift card so he can choose his own gear. If it’s a fun hobby and he enjoys bike riding, a good bike helmet is a necessity. Schwinn has been around since 1895 and is pretty much synonymous with bikes for all ages. This helmet is lightweight with an adjustable dial fit knob and full padding so it fits well. Over 10,000 excellent reviews and lots of colors available.
So much better than a regular frisbee! It’s durable and flies high and for long distances. They’re pretty easy for younger kids to catch and great for dogs to chase. If he likes being outside, this frisbee will give him something fun to do. My family and Mary’s family have these and love them!
It’s not easy to find ski goggles you really like that won’t fog up and that you can wear over glasses. This pair does both! They also have UV protection and will fit over any helmet. Tons of colors to choose from.
For ski gloves, Mary’s family loves Hot Fingers. They have rolled fingers, a cuff closure and quick release strap. They’ll keep your hands warm and dry with moisture wicking technology. If he needs a pair of nice leather gloves, these best-selling lined Alepo gloves are full-hand touchscreen and really comfortable.
Smartwool hiking socks
They’re more expensive than average heavy socks, but totally worth the price because they’ll last a long time. They’re durable, breathable and really warm. This pair has heavy cushioning, but Smartwool also has socks with a light cushion.
Cooling towels - We bought these for our whole family at Christmas. The breathable mesh towel stays cool for up to 3 hours after you activate it with water. Great for sports, running, golfing, biking, hiking and even for headaches and fevers. A carrying pouch with carabiner is a nice bonus with this set--easy to attach to bags and backpacks. Lots of color combinations available.
Outdoorsy Gift Card
Does he like camping but isn’t crazy about tent camping? Or the work it requires to get everything packed and unpacked? Or not ready to spring for a pop-up trailer or RV? Outdoorsy is the solution! Mary’s family rented from Outdoorsy and all they had to do was show up. Everything in the camper was ready and waiting for them—the perks of camping without the hassle! You get $50 off with our link.
Clothing Gift Ideas for Dads
If you live in Columbus, this T-shirt company probably isn't a new idea for you. But Mary and I both turn to Homage for amazing gifts for our husbands and dads on a regular basis. The clothes are just so personal and comfortable. Mary got her husband a pair of sweatpants for Christmas that she considers stealing every time they come through the laundry. And I practically lived in my Homage hoodies during quarantine.
The clothes also look really cool, and there are so many options! They offer designs for sports teams nationwide and throw-back pop culture references. Perfect for this year: old school Bulls T-shirts for dads who binged The Last Dance, Cedar Point shirts to mourn a summer it wasn't open and T's like the one below that boost spirits in the midst of a pandemic.
NOTE: If you're a new to Homage, get $20 off with our referral link.
My husband loves these joggers and our boys approve. They’re really comfortable, come in a lot of colors and aren’t too tight. Get them in sizes X-Small to 3X. And the price is a steal!
Lined pants make a huge difference when he’s camping, hiking or even going to a game in really cold weather. My husband comes from an Eddie Bauer-loving family and these pants are both functional and comfortable. The fabric stretches, repels water and has UPF 50 sun protection. These pants have 2 zip cargo pockets and articulated knees. Reviews talk about how warm but lightweight they are compared to traditional flannel lined jeans. They have an athletic fit so make sure he’s okay with pants that aren’t baggy. Available in several colors.
Minnetonka has been making high-quality shoes and slippers for almost 80 years. These moccasin slippers have a hard indoor-outdoor sole and are designed to get more comfortable as you wear them. Nine colors to choose from!
This is a practical gift, but we’ve gifted some fun patterns too! Socks don’t have to be boring, and chances are pretty good he doesn’t buy them for himself when he needs them. These are just a few samples of many that are available from Goodthreads, including different stripes, food, sports, travel, holidays and more.
Lightweight Puffer Coat
I’ve been really impressed with several recent purchases from Amazon Essentials. The quality is excellent and the prices are so reasonable. I bought this coat for my son and we’ll get another one for my husband. It’s really warm but it’s lightweight. The zipper pockets are important so he doesn’t lose his phone or keys, it washes really well and it can fit into a small drawstring bag (included) if you need to save space while traveling.
Stitch Fix for Men Gift Card
We love Stitch Fix, and they have a great service for men! My husband has kept sport jackets and shirts that fit his broad shoulders better than what he finds in stores. Mary's husband kept an everyday winter jacket that gets compliments every time he wears it. Send his measurements and any specific requests, and he will receive five items to try on. It's up to him what to keep and the gift card is applied to the purchase (this is NOT a subscription service, so no cancellation required). If you're new to Stitch Fix, use our referral code for a $25 credit.
Barware Gift Ideas for Dads
Custom whiskey decanter set
Here’s another gift that dads probably wouldn’t buy themselves. This nice, heavy glass decanter set has 6 different customization options and comes in a beautiful gift box. Pacific Customs on Etsy has nearly 30,000 5-star reviews and comments rave about outstanding customer service.
Skyline rocks glasses: Columbus & other cities
If he doesn’t need a decanter but could use some new rocks glasses, get him a set to remind him of something he loves. I saw the Columbus skyline etched rocks glasses in an online fundraiser for a local preschool and knew it was the perfect gift for my husband! He loves them and we both love supporting a local mom’s small business! If he loves a different city, Urban and Etched offers over 100 skylines on rocks glasses.
Give him an upgrade from the worn-out free koozies he’s been using to keep drinks cold. This stainless steel can cooler is a customized Brumate Hopsulator Trio. It fits most 12oz and 16oz cans and converts into a 16oz tumbler! Cans are available in seven colors, and you can choose any state outline--it won’t fade or peel off. You can find other customization options from this top-rated Etsy store!
Ice cube trays
If he likes cold drinks but doesn’t like diluted drinks from melting ice, these silicone trays will save the day. Two trays of 6 are included: one creates spheres and the other makes squares. These are great for entertaining--use them for bourbon and whiskey, cocktails, iced coffee, lemonade and more. (I’ve even used them to freeze homemade pesto.) Trays are BPA free and dishwasher safe. Lots of tips in the reviews for the round molds.
My husband started working for a company from Louisville, Kentucky a few years ago. I had no idea that meant he’d learn so much about bourbon! Even if you’re buying for someone who has a favorite bourbon, it’s always fun to try new ones, especially when the bottles are stunning. A few good choices that will look great on his bar are Woodford Reserve, Blanton’s and Colonel E. H. Taylor. If you’re ready to splurge--like really, really splurge--check out Pappy Van Winkle. (Or maybe just get Pappy’s bourbon maple syrup.)
We love scratch off posters because they're a fun way to work through a bucket list. Most are focused on travel, but we found a few cool options from Scratch Off Works for dads who like bourbon, cocktails and tequila. For our fellow Buckeyes, there's even a scratch off poster for 50 Ohio craft beers.
Guild Gin is a San Francisco World Spirits Competition award winner from one of our very own Columbus businesses, Watershed Distillery. The recipe was created with Guild House, a local restaurant, and earned a double gold medal. The bottle and label are beautiful and would be a great addition to his bar. Check out the link for a martini recipe. Watershed also offers some unique virtual experiences--another fun gift idea for dad!
Home Gym Gift Ideas for Dads
If he likes to work out, this is a great addition to a home gym. A lot of kettlebells are made of iron which is harder on your floor and your body than this soft version. Available in 10lb to 40lb weights, it has a large handle for better grip and control which makes it easier to do a variety of workouts.
My husband has had this set of battle ropes for years and he still uses them in our basement or garage. It’s strong, durable and doesn’t fray. As long as you have some space, battle ropes can help him change up his workout. The ropes vary in thickness and length--ours is 2 inches in diameter and 50 feet long.
My husband prefers hex dumbbells and the rubber-coated ones are easier on your floor for use at home. Some benefits of dumbbells over barbells: they’re easier on your joints and they ensure that both sides of your body are doing the same amount of work. Since the pandemic, dumbbells have been harder to find but the ones linked here are in stock and get excellent reviews.
This best-selling weight bench is ideal for anyone up to 6’2” and has a weight capacity of over 600 pounds. All parts of the bench are adjustable, it has 2 inches of foam padding and it easily folds for storage. A huge plus is that there’s no assembly required!
Foam interlocking tiles
This may not be the most exciting thing, but it’s a very practical gift for dads who are working out at home. He’ll love some added cushion for his spine, hips, knees and elbows. These are lightweight and easy to assemble, plus they’re moisture resistant and can be wiped clean with soap and water. They also won’t slide around like a mat.
Work & Office Gift Ideas for Dads
If he needs a nice-looking professional bag for work, this Kenneth Cole expandable laptop portfolio is an excellent choice from a trusted brand. Made of full-grain genuine leather, it’s large enough for a 15.6” laptop and has multiple sturdy, organized compartments. The shoulder strap can be removed and a strap on the back fits over most suitcase handles for easier travel. Choose from black, brown or cognac, shown here.
My husband carried a Timbuk2 messenger bag for a long time. Very few companies do messenger bags as well as Timbuk2--it was founded by a bike messenger in San Francisco. The interior is very roomy with pockets both inside and outside. Designed to be comfortable to carry and able to withstand heavy wear, this is a practical choice if he has a long commute or walks a lot. If you’re not sure which size to get, most reviewers are glad they got the medium or large rather than the small. Choose from four colors.
This is the bag my husband uses now and I’m a little envious because it’s so well designed. Makes sense since ebags creates and improves their bags based on detailed feedback from frequent travelers. After a back injury and surgery, my husband needed a backpack for work and after lots of research, he chose this slim laptop backpack. It has incredibly well-organized compartments that make it practical and easy to use. Seriously, they’ve thought of everything. I also can’t believe how much fits inside without looking overstuffed.
Personalized Leather Portfolio
I love the rugged look of this portfolio! Handmade by a small business in LA, it’s perfect for holding just about everything he needs for meetings (even if he’s doing them online). It’s ideal for tablets and notepads, pens, a phone, wallet, passport and more. The zipper keeps everything contained and secure. This is a beautiful and practical gift that you can personalize.
Custom Canvas Portfolio
If he prefers using real paper and a pen, this canvas portfolio is simple and practical. You can choose from two sizes (7”x9” or 9.5”x12”), 3 colors and 9 design options for engraving. The flap has a magnetic enclosure and a notepad is included. Reviewers rave about the quality and fast shipping from Pacific Customs, a small business in California with a 5-star rating.
Standing Desk Converter
There’s plenty of research about the dangers of sitting for too long and too often. One practical solution is a standing desk. This VIVO adjustable stand up desk converter is perfect if he likes his current desk at home or at the office but wants the option of standing. There’s space for dual monitors and a separate spot for a keyboard and mouse. Available in 5 colors, this desk has nearly 5,000 excellent reviews.
Fill these concrete planters with succulents to instantly brighten up his workspace! Plants have a lot of benefits, including reducing stress so they’re perfect for his desk. Plus, succulents don’t require as much care as other plants. These pots have a drainage hole and come with a tray (sometimes not included). You’ll need to purchase the succulents separately. This 5-pack of live succulents is a great deal!
Desk Lamp with Charging Port
Over 30,000 people can’t be wrong, and they give this TaoTronics LED desk lamp 5 stars. I love that it has a USB charging port so he can easily charge his device where he’s working. The lamp is touch sensitive with 5 color modes and 7 brightness levels along with an adjustable design.
If you’re looking for fun gifts for dads, these bobbleheads just might be my favorite. (You can tell because I couldn’t pick just one to show you!) Created by a small business owner who worked for a professional sculpting company for 15 years, they’re unique and completely customizable--add pets, include hobbies or favorite teams, put him in a superhero costume or work uniform and even add another person. You can see how closely the bobbleheads look like the original photographs on their Etsy shop. This would definitely put a smile on his face every time he looks at it on his desk.
More Fun & Practical Gift Ideas for Dads
I bought this for my husband and it's worth every penny. He broke vertebrae in his back several years ago and deals with chronic pain. A friend recommended this and it's made a big difference on road trips and after workouts and days of yard work, especially since trips to the chiropractor were eliminated during COVID.
Etched pilsner or pint glasses can be a classy and customized gift for a sports fan dad. The glasses below, made locally, are available at the Westerville Pure Roots boutique if you want to avoid Etsy wait times and shipping fees. A set of these also sits on display in Mary's dining room, so she can vouch that these are a hit.
An Unforgettable Experience
Most of our gift lists suggest some sort of experience because we think it can be such a fun option - especially for people who don't need or want more stuff. Buying gift cards now to use later also support businesses during a difficult spring. Here are a couple dad-centered options:
- Find the best sites and hidden gems in your hometown or a nearby city with Scavenger Hunt Adventures. This can be a date activity or fun for the whole family. You get interactive questions, photo challenges, activities and dares texted out during your hunt. There are three hunts to choose from in the Columbus area and one in Dayton.
- Axe throwing is a great group activity. We were skeptical, but it's a blast. Get a gift card for a dad to take some buddies out ax throwing for a fun guys night, or get a group for a couples night out.
Remote Grill Thermometer
Mary's husband got this grill thermometer from her parents after her dad got it as a gift and loved it. You put the thermometer in the meat, put the meat in the grill or smoker, and then carry around your fancy remote thermometer and know the exact temperature of your meat and grill without opening anything and messing with the perfect grill job. Bring on the ribs, grill master!
Donation to a meaningful nonprofit
For the dad who really does have everything, consider a donation to a nonprofit that does great work on an issue close to his heart. If he lost someone to a specific disease, donate to an organization that funds research. If he loves dogs, check out rescue organizations. If he's a teacher (or retired teacher), find a great organization that supports education. Write a note to explain where you donated in his honor and why.
Woodchuck USA Bucket List Journal
We love the mission of this organization, which is to plant a tree for every gift purchased. My favorite part of this Bucket List Journal is that the inside is specifically formatted for a dad to list future adventures and then to break each idea down into the steps needed to make each adventure happen. It also has a space to paste in a picture of each completed adventure.