Dads are a famously tough bunch to buy gifts for. Either you’ve got the kind of dad who goes out and buys what he wants when he wants it, or the kind of dad who doesn’t really want anything and would actually just rather that you spend time together fishing, hiking, or whatever else dad likes to do.
Finding something that is going to delight dad is a challenge: how else to explain preponderance of ties filling his closet or socks filling his underwear drawer? The key is not to get him something mundane (though he’ll appreciate the gesture), but something he doesn’t even realize he wants – maybe something he doesn’t even know exists. That means a little creativity on your part. Luckily, I’ve spent an afternoon scouring the web to find some cool, off-beaten items that might either make dad’s life a little more fun, or at least make him laugh.
Whatever you end up buying dad, just make sure he knows how much he matters, whether it’s on June 19th or any day of the year.
File this one under something that makes anyone’s life with a car better: a wireless sensor built into the license plate frame that syncs with an App on your phone to let you know how much space you’ve got as your try to parallel park. Now, dad’s pride might scoff and say this is a device better suited to your mother who claims that shopping cart came out of nowhere, but he’ll secretly love it. For only $100, it’s a great tool that would otherwise cost a few hundred as an add-on for a new car purchase.
Not all dads are speed demons on the highway, but for those that are, they’ll be happy to outwit the cops (and speeding tickets) with this advanced radar sensor. The Cobra pairs with your smart phone to give you historical and real-time traffic intelligence, warning of red light cameras, speed traps and upcoming police locations. The ultimate gift for the father outlaw. [$300]
If your dad is always complaining that he can barely see his phone screen because it’s too damn small, then he’ll get a kick out of this retro projector which can magnify the phone’s screen 8x. Made of cardboard and easily portable, this operates like a traditional projector so dad can find a new way to bore every to tears with family photo slides or just get away to watch his show when mom has occupied the TV room. [$28]
Is there something that genetically happens that when one becomes a dad they also develop a snoring habit? If you have childhood memories of sharing a hotel room with your dad and being tormented by the noise emanating from your father’s nostrils, you know that this gift is long over-due. Dad might claim that he doesn’t have a snoring problem but your mom will thank you most of all and wonder why she didn’t think of this first. This particular pillow has a unique shape that comfortably positions the sleeper on their side to maximize airflow. Noticeable results are reported in 30 days or less and reviews are pretty stellar (who knows how many marriages this pillow has saved?). [$70]
If your dad enjoys camping, make sure he’s protected against wild, aggressive beasts with the anti-bear attack pack. This backpack attachment and aerosol fog spray (sold separately) allow you to thwart a potential grizzly attack by doing an about-face and letting rip. Created by an bear attack survivor, this could potentially save your dad’s life – and make for a pretty hilarious story to tell over the holidays. [$125]
If getting a “Dad” tattoo isn’t your thing, you can share the same sentiment by gifting a custom print that makes for a great office décor and is more lasting than a simple card. [$22]
If your dad is stuck somewhere between the 20th and 21st centuries and you’ve got some disposable cash to kick around, this will make for an impactful and funny gift that he’ll keep for at least a century (or until the USB goes obsolete). Bring him back to the good ol’ days of feeling those type keys really clack under the fingers while he composes a still barely decipherable email through the USB connection that connects with iPad or even a laptop computer. You might find that freed from the tyranny of type pads, he’s actually a great writer who’s just been stymied by technology all this time. [$1,300]