Father’s Day Gift Guide

Americans are expected to spend about $7.4 billion less on gifts and goodies for dads this Father’s Day than they spent on moms for Mother’s Day last month, according to the National Retail Federation. As a father myself, that hardly seems fair. When I talk to people, many say they’re not sure what to buy, but don’t want to go the traditional route with a tie, gift card or booze. While those may not be the most creative gifts, they surely would be appreciated, though some of the items I’ve received for review lately would show more creativity.

Father's Day Gift Guide

Training for the New Alpinism, by Steve House and Scott Johnston (from Patagonia Books), is obviously aimed at those planning on scaling peaks, but turns out to be very useful for any endurance sport. Whether Dad is planning on riding his first Century or running a marathon, this book offers up a regimen that will lead to better performance. I especially enjoyed all the body weight exercises provided – nothing better than having your gym with you wherever you go!

Most dads want family time, but finding appropriate activities isn’t always easy, especially when the ages range from 3 to 13, like our family. The Biking Game (from Education Outdoors), featuring Schwinn bicycles, is a fun game suited to the whole family, with age-appropriate questions for youngsters and elders alike. Also, who doesn’t love a game that includes a secret decoder?

I would suspect most if not all dads would be excited to get membership in the Rare Beer Club, which was founded by Michael Jackson (no, not that Michael Jackson!), one of the beer world’s leading voices before he passed. Members of this club receive 2 bottles of beer in 750 mL bottles, including Limited-Release, Celebratory Beers, Exclusive Selections, Barreled beer, beers with Innovative Ingredients, Extreme beers, and Selections You Can Age. Each month prior to receiving your shipment, you are sent an email detailing the two upcoming beer selections and given the ability to customize what you will receive. You’re in complete control of what you receive every month. Find a favorite? You can easily reorder that selection, cellar it, and see how it changes over time.

Any father that spends time outdoors, running, by the pool or lake, needs a good pair of sunglasses  for eye protection. Guideline Eyegear has great sunglasses made for the dad on-the-go! These are super lightweight, fit a variety of face sizes, and don’t move around on one’s face. Since I love adventures and the great outdoors they recommended the Eclipse and Mantis Trail sunglasses (available at GuidelineEyegear.com), and they are perfect for me. These polarized frames are great for medium to bright sun conditions and are perfect for running, cycling, or water sports like kayaking, boating or just hanging out at the beach. These will be perfect for our summer trips to Union Pier.

Happily, I’m not at the age where I need reading glasses yet (though I sometimes wonder), though it’s not always easy for me to read the little numbers on my Garmin when cycling. For dads that do need assistance, I imagine Dual Eyewear‘s polarized bifocal sunglasses would be a god-send – these glasses enhance your outdoors experience with discrete built-in readers. They come in a couple of strengths, so depending on how much assistance you need, they might have a model that fit your style.

Like many father’s, I’d rather pack a lunch for a family outing rather than have to find and then plan for a meal out. Bringing some cold beers or wine along to the beach is also a pleasant summer diversion, but it’s not always easy to keep things cold enough. PackIt is the one and only freezable cooler that keeps food and drinks cold on the go for up to 10 hours-no ice packs needed! Each bag is foldable and has a patented freezable gel built into its lining so the entire cooler can be stored in the freezer overnight. We tried it with a shorter amount of time in the freezer, and it kept popsicles cold for an after baseball game treat without any problems. Th vibrant patterns mean you’ll never misplace them either.

For the outdoors dads, a must-have ultra performance flashlight would be the Olympia RG850, a rugged high intensity CREE LED flashlight built for the great outdoors. It is waterproof, impact resistant and has an anti-freeze non slip grip making it just as easy to use with gloves or without. These flashlights feature five unique light settings including high, middle, low and even a strobe and SOS setting for emergency situations. Little Worker especially loves the strobe setting, though it makes us think lightning is approaching if we’re not ready for it. Something I appreciate is that you can recharge the battery while it’s still in the flashlight, via an included micro-USB cable. I will caution that, at 850 lumens, this is MUCH brighter than a standard flashlight and care should be used – I accidentally shone it into my eyes and saw spots for a few minutes. The fact that it’s been played with, dropped, and still works with no problem is testament to how tough this flashlight is.

These products were provided for review purposes – all opinions are my own.

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2 thoughts on “Father’s Day Gift Guide

  1. I just heard that stat this morning–I agree, doesn't seem fair! Great line up of gift ideas. We are going with a pair of rollerblades this year so that he can join in the street hockey games that seem to have taken over our neighborhood of late!

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