Father’s Day Gift Ideas

by Brett & Kate McKay on June 3, 2010 · 28 comments

in Gift Guides, Travel & Leisure

Here in the U.S, the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day is coming up in just two weeks. For about 50 of those 100 years, dads across America could expect to receive a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug or a tie. But why not think outside the box this Father’s Day and surprise your Pops with something different? If you’re in need of some ideas, we’ve created a short list of unique gifts that are sure to make the old man’s day. For even more suggestions, check out our holiday gift guides from 2008 and 2009.

Huntington Baseball Company Ball and Glove

Playing catch has brought fathers and sons together for over a century. Instead of playing pitch and catch with modern gloves, why not try it using the equipment your great-grandfather used? Baseball aficionado and artist, William Peebles, brings 19th century baseball to the 21st century with his old-time gloves and balls. Peebles meticulously researched the equipment from the 19th century to create his designs. Each glove and ball is handmade by Peebles using only top quality USA-source materials. These gloves and balls aren’t just for looking pretty on a shelf (though they can be used for that). They’re working replicas that you can take to the backyard and use with your son. Gloves cost $200 a pair. Balls are $39.95-$59.95.

via Uncrate

Byrd Harp Multi-Tool

Instead of looking like a Swiss Army knife as most multi-tools do, the Byrd Harp multi-tool takes its design cues from the harp. Eight different tools rotate out from the outer ring: slotted- and Phillips-head screwdrivers, a punch/awl, a gimlet, a mini-saw, a corkscrew, a file, and a small/large head hammer that doubles as a bottle opener. What’s nice about the harp design is that it makes accessing the tools easier than in the typical Swiss Army knife design, and because the tools fold flat, it’s not as bulky as many multi-tools. $18

via uncrate

Saddleback Travel Case/Dopp Kit

Every man should have a well-stocked Dopp kit. If dad doesn’t have one or his is looking pretty ragged, get him the new Saddleback Travel Case. I’ve been wishing for a Saddleback Dopp kit for a long time and now they’re finally here. The same superior craftsmanship that go into Saddleback’s briefcases and bags can be found in this manly travel case. Handcrafted from the finest leather, the Saddleback Travel Case will last a lifetime (it comes with a 100 year guarantee) and make dad feel like he’s Indiana Jones on his next stay at the La Quinta. The small sized travel case looks like the right size for a Dopp kit, but the medium sized case looks perfect for carrying ammo or even your lunch. Starting at $147.

Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit

When a man’s in a wilderness survival situation, he can’t count on matches. Even if he has them, wet situations will render them virtually useless. While a man should know how to start a fire without matches, it’s also a good idea to have something on hand that you use to make a fire in a jiffy. Enter the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit.  Brought to you by the company that has made manly, bad ass lighters for decades, the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter kit has a reliable flint wheel ignition housed in a water resistant case. Inside the kit you’ll find waterproof rayon-made waxed tinder sticks to quickly and easily light a fire. $15

via uncrate

Key Shaped Pocket Knife

A man should always have a pocket knife on him, but I’ll admit that I sometimes forget to put mine in my pocket before I walk out the door. And, of course, I always encounter a situation during the day when I could have used a pocket knife, and am left cursing myself for not having mine. For the forgetful man (like myself), give this spiffy pocket knife that’s in the shape of a key. Barely larger than a traditional key, this German made knife will easily slip on to a man’s key chain. I wonder if it could slip by airport security? $25.

The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners For the Modern Man

Give dad the gift of manliness this year with our book The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man. Filled with tips and sage advice on everything from surviving the great outdoors to being a super dad. You can buy it from Amazon or get an autographed/inscribed copy from us. $11.55-16.99

Dockers Soft Khakis

I’ve never been much of a khaki man. I just didn’t like the cut, style, and fabric of most khaki pants. They reminded me too much of Dilbert and cheesy restaurant managers. But when I saw that Dockers came out with a new line of khakis called Soft Khakis, I decided to give them a try. They’re now my favorite pants; I wear them almost every day. First, the fabric is comfortable. Really comfortable. Second, the pants have a much, much better-looking design. No pleats. No cuffs. No looking like Dilbert. They’re the sort of pants you can wear to the office, but then keep them on when you get home to change the oil. On sale for $33 at dockers.com and amazon.com

Federal Duck Stamp Posters

For the man who hunts or just appreciates hunting, check out these handsome Federal Duck Stamp posters from Dog and Drake. Dog and Drake has taken the classic art of Federal Duck Stamps and have made them available in sizes everyone can appreciate. Each poster is printed with ultra thick museum-grade, archival paper and inks. The posters come in two sizes:

13″ x 9.38″ or 19.5″ x 14″

Hang your Duck Stamp poster above the fireplace and admire it while you drink a glass of scotch with your old man. Starting at $40.

Brooklyn Brew Shop Home Brewing Kit

If your dad is looking for a manly hobby, try introducing him to the art of home brewing. You can pick up a kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop for just $40. It has everything Pops needs to start pouring his own homemade beer.

via Uncrate

What other Father’s Day gift ideas do you have? Share them with us in the comments.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Connor June 3, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Bought my dad (and myself!) a saddleback leather wallet when I discovered the site back in February. I’m sure he’ll love it

2 Shane B June 3, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Good call on the homebrewing! I’ve been homebrewing beer for awhile now. Using a small, basic kit is a pretty good introduction to the craft, even though it’s a very simplified introduction. But everyone has to start somewhere :)

3 Shane B June 3, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I have to add one thing.. if you think you’re father would really get into the homebrewing hobby, then I would have to recommend the 5 gal kit. You cant really expand a 1 gal kit much without just replacing it with all new equipment. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with getting a 1 gal kit at all, but the 5 gal kit leaves him open to really getting into the hobby, since 5 gal is about the standard homebrew size.

4 Malandro June 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm

What about a briar pipe with a tobacco filled pouch? I would love to get that

5 Ben R June 3, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Definitely go for 5 Gallon Brew kits. The one gallon isn’t worth the wait between batches. Personally I buy my brew stuff from the Beer Essentials and they have a few more kits that include other things like pots and what not. The important thing is that their kits come with books. I know instructions aren’t manly, but brewing is a science and John Palmer’s “How to Brew” is the bible. Also the Beer Essential kits come with Bottle Brushes and Bottle Fillers (you don’t want to splash when filling those bottles and you don’t want foreign bacteria in there). http://www.thebeeressentials.com/start_kits/beer-kits.shtml

6 Impulse Magazine June 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I think that I am going to get my Dad a couple pair of socks and money

7 TTFK June 3, 2010 at 11:10 pm

There is never a better gift than the gift of Time.

8 Jay June 3, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Re: the dockers becoming your favorite pants. For what it’s worth, you should make a habit of wearing them every Wednesday, as Wednesday is Favorite Pants Wednesday.

I like a lot of these ideas. I’m not a father though, so I can’t drop these hints…

9 Greg M June 4, 2010 at 12:58 am

I’m going to call up my old man and sincerely thank him for all of the opportunities he provided me in my youth. Now that I am a father with my own household, my respect for his hard work and sacrifice grows daily.
It’ll be a good man-to-man chat between father and son. What better for Father’s Day?

10 Dlibbon June 4, 2010 at 7:30 am

The homebrew kit is a great idea. My wife got me the Mr. Beer which is all i can handle for now it’s straight forward simple and comes all in one box.

Like the pipe idea too. Looks good on the desk even if it’s not smoked.

11 Mark Neustadt June 4, 2010 at 8:55 am

Japanese Puzzle Boxes are unique and beautiful gifts. If you purchase them from Etsy, you’re supporting regular people that make things by hand.

I’m not doing self promotion here… this isn’t me.


12 DaveN June 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

Most dads could do with a 7-foot olympic bar and a bunch of plates. Getting “dad strong” takes work, son!

13 Turling June 4, 2010 at 10:08 am

The home brewing kit looks nice. May need to forward this one to some people.

14 Mike June 4, 2010 at 10:18 am

My dad and grandpa enjoy the weather so a weather station might be a good idea for others: http://www.homeweatherstations.com

15 Jeremy June 4, 2010 at 11:46 am

I can say that the knife disguised as a key will most definitely make it through airport security. I have a similar, although much less well disguised “keychain knife” that folds up an sort of looks like a key when folded, and it’s gone through airport security at least twice without any questions – in fact, it made it through one time at the same time when they confiscated a SMALLER nail file blade from my fingernail trimming kit that was stowed in my carry-on luggage! Airport security in this country is a joke.

I’d never advocate doing this to cause anyone harm, but if I can make it through airport screening equipment with this kind of stuff, then you’d better believe crazy people can make it through with a lot worse stuff… like, I dunno, perhaps flammable chemicals TAPED TO THEIR FRICKIN’ LEGS! So you might as well do what you can to prepare yourself to counter such threats. Ugh. Sorry. Rant fest is over now. I feel better.

16 Gianpaolo Pietri | The Optimalist June 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Good ideas guys. Personally, I’m getting him the autographed copy of the Art of Manliness book. I think he’d appreciate that the most. And I can’t wait to read it.

17 Gianpaolo Pietri | The Optimalist June 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Oh, and I’m getting the Brooklyn Home brewing kit for myself. Always wanted to brew my own ale. Let you know how it turns out. You might be seeing it in a store near you one day. Thanks for bringing it up.

18 Rob June 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Homebrewing, yes. From Brooklyn, no.
Got to your local store and buy things there.

19 Steve June 4, 2010 at 6:22 pm

A couple of years ago I wrote my dad a simple letter, saying how much he meant to me, and all the things I wanted to thank him for. I gave it to him with a small box of cigars. The cigars are long gone, but the letter remains in his bedside table.

I gave my mother a similar gift that year too – a jar filled with folded pieces of paper saying thank you. Again, she still has that jar. Just a couple of thoughts for those who are a little strapped for cash, or to go along with something purchased from the great idea above.

20 Mike June 5, 2010 at 2:41 pm

How about some coffee? CCMcoffee.com has great prices on unroasted beans. Last year I gave my dad a new mug and some fresh roasted coffee.

21 mens designer t-shirts June 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm

The home brewing kit is a great shout! Having said that they’re all good suggestions. I got him a ‘Day at the Track’ thing last time – went down a storm.

22 Matthew June 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm


ThinkGeek has a key shaped knife with six tools: smooth blade, serrated blade, phillips screw driver, flathead screwdriver, bottle opener, and a tiny screwdriver for eyeglasses. Ten bucks, not bad.

23 Jordan June 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I got 1 as a gift, was best gift ever hands down.
Every man needs 1.
Best of all, made in the USA.

24 Ed Pioneer June 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Put almost 1,500 cigars at your dad’s fingertip with Perelman’s Pocket Cyclopedia of Cigars now available in a digital format as an an App for the Apple iPhone, iTouch, iPad and similar devices. Using the Cyclopedia’s base text, licensed digital publisher, Tremend, created a search function into the database, which includes all 1,473 brand profiles for premium, machine-made and small cigars in the book. In addition, users can mark specific brands as favorite, save them and add tasting notes of their own.While the print edition retails for $14.95, the digital version is available at a modest $3.99.

25 VandM.com June 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

What about robots, vintage Dr. No and Barbarella posters, spacemen, vintage airplanes, a vintage Studebaker? Those are pretty manly, if I have to say so myself.

26 Rich June 16, 2010 at 1:38 am

Model airplanes. My dad made these as a kid, and so did I. He is long ago retired and cannot do as much as he used to. I bought him a WWII model plane last year, and all of the paint supplies to go with it, and he loved it.

27 Judy June 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Thank you so much for all the great ideas! I loooved the saddlebag and will definitely be getting the book, the Art of Manliness.

28 Rod June 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

I was sorry to see you include dockers khakis made in Bangladesh sweatshops by overworked children, when our own country has about 20% real un-and-under-employment, and we owe principal and interest to Communist China on an Additional $2 Trillion of pork barrel spending over the last 2 years, while running trade deficits of half a Trillion or so each year.

Do you think Thomas Jefferson was manly? Here’s what he had to say about it:

“I have come to a resolution myself as I hope every good citizen will, never again to purchase any article of foreign manufacture which can be had of American make, be the difference of price what it may.” –Thomas Jefferson to B. S. Barton, 1815. ME 19:223

Try these instead: http://www.uswings.com/khakis.asp

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