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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
What other Father’s Day gift ideas do you have? Share them with us in the comments.
Last updated: October 31, 2013