Co Authored by: Normand Bourque
It's an annual predicament: what to buy dad for Father's Day. Select the wrong thing, and it'll end up stashed away in his garage. Choose something too small, and he may lose it. Something too complicated, and you risk he'll give up trying to use it.
I've carefully assembled 20 gift ideas so you can avoid all that. With prices ranging from $12 to $899, there's lots here to satisfy a variety of dad preferences and personalities. From the tech-chef dad, to the gadget lover, lazy dad, easily fascinated dad, and everything in between.
Smartchef® TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill | Char-Broil®
Any dad knows there are some seemingly unavoidable challenges with gas grill cooking. Constantly checking food compromises cooking temperature, yet grillers are used to having to monitor progress throughout the cooking process. Pair that with a rudimentary and sometimes inaccurate temperature gauge of an affordable grill, and the grilling experience can be totally compromising for a proud grillmaster.
Char-Broil® set to address these problems The product of two-and-a-half years of research and development, the Smartchef® TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill | Char-Broil® is the first grill of its kind to pair traditional grilling with smartphone-enabled cooking controls.Electronically controlled gas valves make for an oven-like feature set, maintaining grill temperature. The grill will send dad's smartphone or tablet notifications for when meats/poultry should be turned, allowing him to experiment with new recipes without fear of over or undercooking them.
This remarkably advanced grill retails for $799.
Navdy Mounted Windshield Projector
Does your dad like augmented reality? The Navdy's AR is something straight out of Back to the Future had the screenwriters imagined it first. Navdy can help dad get directions, receive calls, texts and control his music all without picking up his phone.
Launched in 2014 with help from a $6.5 million investment, Navdy is much more than a gimicky dash mount. It's high-tech, revolutionary, and was designed with the driving experience at the forefront. Dad can customize what's relevant, and display only what he likes. Navdy has gesture recognition built into it, and a control†dial†that mounts to the steering wheel. It retails for $499 on Amazon.
25 million miles have been driven by Navdy users. Pops can drive the next one.
Gourmia FreeFry 360
Does your dad like fried food a little too much and it's showing? I don't care what science says, dad bods still aren't very sexy. Here comes the Gourmia FreeFry 360 Digital Air Fryer to the rescue. It combines convection cooking and airfrying to replace traditional oil frying. I love fried okra (I know, gross), and this makes it perfectly crisp and without the sogginess of oil frying. The FreeFry 360 has an MSRP of $249.99.
When the first Roomba was released in 2002 it had user-cited battery life issues. One Amazon reviewer wrote, "My Roomba came with a badly photocopied dire warning that something horrid would happen to the battery if left plugged in more than 6 hours at a time."
That was then, this is now, and the latest wifi and smartphone-controlled Roomba 980 barely resembles its predecessors, offering lots of fun features for dad. This advanced, autonomous vacuum features a camera that provides superior floor mapping and navigation. It’s on sale for $799 for Father’s Day, which may be a bit pricey, but you pay for performance, which makes it a great gift idea for dad's workshop and the rest of the house.
There've been a multitude of smartphone attachments to try and give your iPhone more controlled photography capabilities. Some are flimsy and fall off. Others pixelate at high zoom. And dad can't figure out how to use any of them. But Pictar from Miggo goes above and beyond what's been tried before. It's built to make your iPhone feel and perform like an ordinary camera.
This contraption can keep dad busy for days playing with all the customizable settings alone. Then another few days with the free app and its 10 pre-set maximum shooting efficiency modes. It sells for $99 or older iPhone models, and $109 for the 6 Plus and above.
When it comes to inventions developed to solve an overwhelmingly universal problem, Ungrip delivers. No longer will dad carelessly drop his phone when overly gesticulating a point. The most affordable (starting at $12) and perhaps directly functional item on this list, this clever strap acts as a ski pole strap and will keep dad's smartphone tethered to his hand, saving screens and screams.
Dynatrap DT2000XL Insect Trap
I remember back in the day when the leader in marginally effective flying insect control was bright yellow flypaper. Any dad has likely had one of those fly-ridden strips cling to his arm. We all have.
Today, any flying insect that gets a within an acre of my house is dead meat. That's what the Dynatrap DT2000XL promises and delivers. This pagoda looking insect trap had an original MSRP of $209, but can be found for under $150 these days (see below). It guides unassuming insects through three stages of fate.
First, a UV fluorescent bulb generates a warm light and lures them in like a lighthouse guides a boat. Then a second lure, an exclusive Ti02 titanium dioxide-coated surface, releases CO2 that mosquitoes particularly like (think catnip). Lastly, a quiet but powerful vacuum engulfs these flailing insects into a plastic dungeon where they dehydrate and die. Disposal, however, is dad's job.
CROSS Peerless TrackR
Each morning it happens like clockwork: dad scrambles around the kitchen, tie flapping in the air looking for his keys and his pen. The really expensive one he's not supposed to lose. Fear no more with the CROSS Peerless TrackR--the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled, trackable ink pen. You heard that right.
Available in carbon fiber or blue, this $250 device can alert the owner to its last known location using its TrackR app. When the pen's Bluetooth connection is disconnected from its paired mobile phone, TrackR's Crowd Locate community will automatically launch a veritable crowdsourced pen hunt and start searching for dad's lost pen. If one of the millions of TrackR app users walks by the wayward instrument, dad'll receive a confidential update with his pen's last known location.
Which is good, because it's an expensive pen.
Omega Cube Juicer
Is your dad a health nut? Or even merely a fresh orange juice lover? The Omega Juice Cube might be the perfect, and not-so-ugly addition to your kitchen counter.
This is an impressively strong device masked by elegant design. Unlike many juicers (and a friction point for users), cleaning the Juice Cube is quick and fairly easy. With performance rivaling a professional juicer, the Juice Cube manages to squeeze what seems to be every drop of juice from whatever you're shredding, leaving you with remarkably dry pulp.
Bed, Bath & Beyond has this fine device for $349.95.
Vuzix 412T00011 iWear Video Headphones
Want to keep dad entertained for hours? Virtual reality immersive headsets can do that. Vuzix's†412T00011 iWear Video Headphones give a private screen experience with any HDMI device, including phones, consoles, and PC. The price for these has dropped from $499 when they were first introduced to around $300. It should be noted, however, these video headphones have mixed reviews across the board, generating merely 2.5 stars on Amazon.
I found the iWear to be sturdy in quality and weight, and fairly comfortable. I certainly had the feel of full immersion. While iWear is said to give you the sensation of watching a 125? HDTV, I found that a bit exaggerated. But this is a product you must experience first had to truly evaluate for yourself.
Decibullz Custom-Fit Bluetooth Wireless Earphones
Moldable ear plugs are actually designed to protect hearing, allowing the user to enjoy music at lower volumes. Pair that with high-end performance and stylish colors, and you've got a great gift idea for dad with Decibullz Custom-Fit Bluetooth Wireless Earphones.
Decibullz earpieces are made of a unique thermoplastic that softens in hot water, rendering them moldable, and allowing them to be safely placed into the ear.†The three-step process for molding the ear plugs is simple enough for any dad to follow. These sell for $119.99 on the company website.
LG FH6 600W LOUDR Speaker System
LG's latest Bluetooth speaker will have dad blaring 600 watts of disco at your next pool party (that may or may not be a good thing). Replete with dance lighting and karaoke, the FH6 speaker provides an entire backyard with high-quality sound and entertainment. It can be placed both horizontally and vertically, and its base seems consistently strong either way.
CUJO Smart Firewall
Your home is full of smart devices. Almost all dad's love devices, some collect 'em, and geeky dads will especially appreciate the latest and best technology to protect them. love this way to protect all his toys. These devices are typically not protected by antivirus leaving them open to hackers. Initially funded through an†IndieGoGo†campaign that reached 762% of its goal, the CUJO Smart Firewall was developed to secure everything from smartphones to laptops to TVs and baby monitors.
The device sells for $99 on a month-to-month subscription plan, $158 for a year's service, and $249 for the device and a free lifetime subscription.
Gotham Steel 7-Piece Pantastic Bundle
The Gotham Steel 7 Piece Pantastic Bundle is the last pan set your dad will ever need. The 7-piece set includes two frying pans, a deep square pan, as well as a fry basket, lid, steamer tray, and recipe book.
Morning eggs slide right off, and dad can just leave the pan afterward and give it a quick paper towel wipe when it's cool. Tough enough for dads and moms alike, all products come with Gotham Steel's lifetime guarantee. Selling for $89.95 on Amazon, this 7 piece set works great for frying and its one large pot works for everything else.
Lever Gear Toolcard
Part credit card, part swiss army knife, the Lever Gear Toolcard with belt clip is $32 of coolness. That's according to every single dad I've shown it to. Relatively small sample size, but overwhelmingly aligned feedback. Off all the gifts listed here, the Toolcard offers the best value, packing 40 functions into a meticulously crafted, credit card-sized multitool.
This thing wasn't just casually thrown together, and dads can tell that sort of thing. It was designed based on principles of truss and beam form, making it strong yet lightweight, and thin. This means dad can carry it around in his wallet and it won't make his wallet stick out too much.
(Head's up, you may want to mute this)
Did your dad ever want to be a rockstar and never quite made it? The Jamstik is the gift for him. It's a Bluetooth Smart enabled digital guitar with real strings and frets that works wirelessly with your iPad, iPhone or Mac & select Android devices and a library of music and guitar lesson apps.
The Jamstik is great for beginners and experienced players alike. Connected to your smartphone, the app can help train an early learner. Light and convenient, it's great for the musician on the road. It's listed for $284.99 on Amazon.
Dad can print directly from his mobile phone or tablet in less than 60 seconds with the Polaroid Zip and its Bluetooth and NFC technology. Retailing for $129.99, this device blends nostalgic Polaroid functionality with†digital efficiency and the product has found its niche.
"Excellent value and almost feels like instant film," writes one reviewer who submitted his own evidence. Get this for dad and you can borrow it to scrapbook when he's not using it to document your life. Your awkward prom pics? Instant.
Polk Signa S1 Sound Bar and Subwoofer
Finally, a great sounding television sound bar with a subwoofer for under $200 ($184.70 on Amazon). And a wireless subwoofer at that! Get Polk's new Signa S1 for dad and he'll think you spent a whole lot more than you did.
The sound bar is low-profile enough to slide right beneath dad's TV. It has 5.1 Dolby Digital decoding and Polk’s patented Voice Adjust that makes voices sound like they're nearby. It's a heck of a bang for your buck for Father's Day.
Special Edition Battle-Worn BB-8 with Force Band
Now the Force can be with dads both young and old. Hand gesture products are big this year and Spero's Special Edition Battle-Worn BB-8 with Force Band is a fun example of one. The BB-8 robot can be guided with hand waving gestures wearing the Force Band, as well as with a smartphone or tablet. The BB-8 will recognize and react to your dad's voice as he controls it, and he can use the band by itself to complete Combat Training for Blasters, Lightsabers, and the Force itself with the accompanying app. It's available for $199.99 directly from Sphero.
Bellacor Gen 3 Z-Bar Modern LED Foor Lamp
Give dad the lamp that dances (sort of). At least it looks like it should. The Gen 3 Z-Bar modern LED floor lamp by Bellacor is a slender design perfect for a living room or office. Dad can slide his finger along the touchstrip to dim gradually or touch anywhere on the strip to jump directly to any brightness or switch it on and off.
The lamp's LEDs will last him up to 50,000 hours, as well. More than he may ever need, so you can later take it to college. Called a "big and bright amazing bar of light" by one Amazon reviewer, it sells for $324.00 at the Bellacor website.
LG gram 13" i5 Processor Ultra-Slim Laptop
My very first laptop 20 years ago was the 12 pound-ish Fujitsu Lifebook. This thing was brick heavy. 20 years later and 10 pounds lighter, LG has become a well-respected household name and its laptops are cutting edge.
Sleek, light, almost impossibly thin, the new LG gram is a laptop any dad would envy. Especially a dad who's on the go. Carrying this around at a busy conference is way better than a pen and notepad (and nearly the same weight). It sells for $899.00 on Amazon.
Braven BRV XXL Outdoor Speaker
Dads like big things and the Braven XXL is a beast of a Bluetooth speaker. Weighing in at 17 lbs with four HD speakers and a subwoofer, this overachiever packs a good punch bass-wise. This is the speaker dad busts out with at the annual July 4th block party.
Braven built this to last, loading it with anti-shock technology as well as making it highly water resistant. Its battery can last up to 17-hours on a single charge. If dad's looking for an outdoor speaker that can power a family gathering, graduation, even your future wedding (with nifty microphone capabilities), this is the speaker for him. The Braven XXL retails for $249 on Amazon.
Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon ditched the speaker functionality from the original Echo, and enhanced Alexa's features in the newest, second generation Echo Dot. Still able to give dad directions, listen to his stories, and answer trivia, this handy device hits a nicer price point than its counterparts, selling at $49.99. And with over 27,000 reviews at 4.5 stars, it's a universally loved product your pops might love as much as this reviewer who likes that he can say "computer" in Star Trek-esque fashion, to turn it on.
Buy it along with the book "933 Funniest Things to Ask Alexa" and you've got a heck of a memorable Father's Day gift.
EZVIZ Active Cameras
Does dad like to ski, surf, or just move around quickly? If so, the EZVIZ Five Plus is precisely the type of camera for him. The action camera records in professional-quality HD at 30 frames per second and has a high-end chipset that makes it record longer while using less power than competing models. It also uses EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) for steadier shots for a jittery dad who may be holding it.
The camera has WiFi, Bluetooth, a 2? touchscreen, as well as microUSB 3.0 and microHDMI ports. Priced for $279, it's in between the GoPro and lower priced YI.
It's good to see a company specializing in advanced surveillance†products enter the action camera market with an impressive high-end unit.
Unpack package. Charge Battery. Fasten collar around pet. Configure app. Use app to see cool stuff your pet is doing on your smartphone. Here's mine running around the neighborhood.