What gifts did you receive from your father? Did he teach you to play chess? How to hike down a steep hill, feet turned sideways? How to go camping and sleep in the back of a 1977 Chevrolet Monza hatchback, looking up at the sky for shooting stars?
If you've got a dad, grandfather, husband, or even a son (who's a dad), you probably have lots of reasons to say thank you to that person. Here's a list of things I'd love to give (or receive) this Father's Day.
For this gift guide, we teamed up with Duluth Trading Company, makers of quality apparel, backed by a No-Bull Guarantee. We've tried a bunch of their stuff, and are recommending some of it here, because we think it's worth recommending. Read on to the bottom to find out how to enter to win one of three Duluth Trading Co. gift cards!
1 - A weekly standing invitation to spend time together
There's no store that can sell you this. It's free, and yet, probably the most difficult item on this list to truly, really, commit to giving. Find a weeknight (maybe it's every other week) and make time to spend with your dad. Play ping-pong, grab a beer, go for a walk. Dads aren't around forever; you'll be thankful for every extra minute you spend with him.
2 - An Aeropress Coffee Maker
We've gushed about this little gadget before; it costs $30 and makes (probably) the best home-brewed coffee you've ever had. If your dad is still drinking stir-in instant coffee (like mine) you might just convince him to up his game with this thing.
(While you're at it, grab him this 1-Liter Variable Temperature Digital Electric Teakettle - it'll make heating up water for coffee, or anything else, a breeze. $81 on Amazon)
3 - DuluthFlex Fire Hose Jeans, or Dry on the Fly Pants
I have a pair of each of these, and can't say enough about them. The Fire Hose jeans are made of a super tough canvas, so they're essentially indestructible. I'm going get my dad a pair so he can finally stop wearing those starched ESPRIT jeans when he does yard work. I mean, at least until starched denim comes back in style.
The Dry On The Fly pants are a great option if you're looking for something a little lighter. They're moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and have UPF-40 sun protection built-in. Wet. Dry. Blink of an eye. Try 'em for the golfer, climber, camper dad in your life.
4 - Organic Whey Protein Powder
This is the one I buy. It's organic, hormone-free, and comes from grass-fed cows. Yeah, it costs more. But it's going in your body (or in this case, your dad's), so I think it's worth it. And no, protein powder's not just for body builders and frat boys. You want your dad leading a healthy, active lifestyle well into his golden years, and protein is what your body needs to recover and build muscle.
5 - A Really Great All-Around Summer Shirt
My dad wears white V-neck undershirts in the summer when he wants to stay cool. Does your dad do this? To be fair, there is something faintly (weirdly?) exotic and je-ne-sais-quois about this habit that seems to draw all varieties of ladies nearer to him. But still.
Here's an ultra-lightweight, comfortable, not weirdly je-ne-sais-quois-exotic-looking short-sleeve top (and, you won't be embarrassed for him when he wears it). Maybe you'll even wear a matching one! Plus, it's antimicrobial for not so much arm pit smelling problems. Dad, aftershave does NOT MASK ALL ODORS!
6 - A Subscription to the Sunday Edition of the New York Times
You know what's missing from most dads' lives? A few moments a week of pure, uninterrupted, peaceful quiet time. And no, mowing the lawn alone does not count.
Get your dad a subscription to the Sunday Times; it'll change his life. I got this from my wife for my birthday this year, and can honestly say I can't remember a better birthday present. I look forward to Sunday mornings, when I can drink my coffee on the porch, browsing through the ridiculous quantity of quality content contained in those neatly folded newsprint pages. I work on the crossword while my kids watch cartoons, and outside the screen window the neighbor's sprinkler goes on. Bliss.
7 - A Really, Really Good Ice Pack
Hey, guess what!? Old people get hurt a lot! Dads have bad backs. Achey knees! Tennis elbow! Do I let that stop me when my kids want to play 'Get Off My Bed!' for the fifth consecutive night, or when they both decide to play 'Octopus!' at once, which leaves me with their tiny, heavy (heavy!) bodies disablingly wrapped around my legs? Never!
But ice makes it all better. And the Norsk Ice Packs are seriously awesome (before you ask: yes, I have tried many, many other kinds of ice packs). I have (and strongly recommend) the Back Support & Gel Pack (but I'm sure the others are good too). I got mine by recommendation of my physical therapist, after I herniated a disc two years ago (long story).
It's got a really well-made neoprene sleeve that WILL NOT fall apart (like many others I've tried). The gel pack is huge and stays cold forever. I realize now (too late) that it's kind of hard/weird to try to explain your deep love for an ice pack. Just believe me when I say that this is a really, really good ice pack, and if your dad/husband/friend/brother ever has need of one, he will thank you for gifting him this one.
8 - A Useful Book
Oh, look what I got you! It's rectangular, and kind of heavy, and shaped like a book! It's a book! Did you guess that it's a book!!?
Yes, you're right, books-as-gifts are not exactly in the stratosphere of creative gift-giving ideas. But, that doesn't make them a bad gift idea. Just make sure you put some thought into your choice. By completely arbitrary decree, I forbid gifts of Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, or Fifty Shades of Grey.
How about a book that he will actually use? I like this one on How To Stay Alive in the Woods. It's a classic survival guide packed with lots of tips and illustrations on everything from starting fire to building shelter and finding food. And, obviously, all of this info is useful in non-life-threatening situations too.
Or, see if you can't get him into a new hobby. Mushrooming with Confidence sounds cool (much better than mushrooming without it). What's that? He's an experienced Mushroomer? I think you're thinking of a different kind of mushrooming, my friend. That kind is not this kind. Not that I would know.
Barring either of those, The National Geographic Atlas of the World is just stunning, and a great way to bring a sense of adventure, travel, and global scale into your living room.
9 - A tortilla press
You will thank yourself for getting him this simple, effective, and time-tested tool. Tortillas are meant to be made and eaten FRESH, and all your (uh, I mean, his) Mexican dishes will taste amazinger when served on a sizzling hot, smoking tortilla. Learn to make your own masa or grab a block of it from your local Mexican grocery ('sup, El Burrito Mercado, St. Paul), and you will never look back.
And please: keep hands and fingers out.
Metal Tortilla Press by Estrella: Amazon - $24 (Chris' says: "Heavy metal construction and appropriate lid/base spacing to make thin, uniform tortillas without tearing. Solid, durable.")
Victoria Cast Iron Tortilla Press: Amazon - $30 (this one's just a little prettier, I guess, plus it's available on Prime for two-day shipping)
10 - A Japanese Hori Hori Gardening Knife
I still remember planting marigolds with my dad in the back garden, digging in the cold dirt with my bare hands and coming up with earthworms. For those times when bare hands just won't do, the Japanese Hori Hori (translation: "Dig dig") Knife is perfect. The serrated edge is perfect for cutting, pruning, and piding plants. It's a versatile tool and both Chris and I love ours.
11 - A Complete Grooming Kit
If this gift is from you to your dad, you might not need this one (chances are your grown-ass man dad has the grooming thing pretty much down pat). But if you're reading this post with a younger dad (husband, boyfriend?) in mind (heeeey, female ManMade readers!), this might be perfect.
My dad always said you can judge a man by the way his fingernails look. Which might be a tad bit harsh, but he has the rudiments of a good point. In any case, whether it's true or not, people will judge you if your hands aren't taken care of, so you might as well put forward a good impression.
This kit from Duluth Trading has eight grooming tools (clippers, tweezers, scissors, nail file, etc.) to keep your digits dainty. And, it comes in a handy Fire Hose canvas roll-up carrier for easy storage and portability.
(And for the beardy, lumber-dad, throw in a bottle of Datenite Simply Great Beard Oil so your Father's Day embraces will be redolent).
We're thrilled to be giving away three $50 Duluth Trading Co. gift cards this father's day. Enter to win below; it's fast and easy!
That's it! Hope you found something you're excited to give to someone special.
What's the best gift your dad ever gave you? What's something he loves that you learned to love too? Let me know in the comments (I'm just curious!).
This post was sponsored by Duluth Trading Company, but all opinions are mine alone. Thanks for supporting the brands that support ManMade!