The day to honor all things dad is nearly here. Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 18th, and if you haven’t yet thought of what to get for that special paternal figure in your life, we’re here to help.
Father’s Day is often riddled with cliché gifts that don’t get put to use, but for every “kiss the cook” apron or “world’s greatest dad” mug, there’s something unique and special you could get for dear old dad. Some of our gift ideas include outdoorsy stuff like a wood-cutting ax and a flannel-lined jacket, while others — including GuliKit’s drift-free Nintendo Switch controller and Pinecil’s soldering iron — are for the nerds and makers at heart.
We’ve got small gifts and showstoppers alike for those on a budget or anyone looking to knock their dad’s socks off. (And I’ll have you know that none of our recommendations are actual socks.) So take a look and get inspired to make this Father’s Day a memorable one.
Minimalist National Park Playing Cards
You gotta know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, and when to frame them on your wall. These eco-friendly playing cards don a slick, minimalist aesthetic with stylized illustrations of various national parks on the face cards. They’re great for any hiker who likes to occasionally shuffle up or anyone looking for some lovely wall decor.
The Wager is the latest nonfiction thrill ride from David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z. It tells the harrowing voyage of the British vessel the HMS Wager, including its shipwreck off the coast of Brazil in 1741 and the murderous mutiny that followed — two events that should make for great film fodder when Martin Scorsese gets around to adapting it.
Hoto electric screwdriver
Is dad a nonstop tinkerer? If so, Hoto’s electric screwdriver is perfect for tackling small to medium-size projects around the house or at the workbench. It’s actually quite an elegant-looking tool — for a screwdriver, of course — with a clean and simple aesthetic, a USB-C port for charging, and a nice case for stowing the included array of steel bits.
Poler Elevated Camera Cooler
Fact: a photography adventure is better with some cold ones in tow. Poler's versatile bag holds a camera with a couple of lenses in its divider insert, or you can remove it and fill the insulated bag with a six-pack. I don’t suggest mixing expensive camera gear and ice, but mixing photography with beer works. Sharp photos? Nah, man. We got vibes.
GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro Controller
Give dad the peace of mind of never having to worry about stick drift again. The GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro is a wireless Bluetooth controller for the Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, and iOS with Hall effect sticks, which don’t succumb to the drifting issues that often plague Joy-Con controllers. It’s an excellent alternative to Nintendo’s Pro Controller, one that even supports Amiibos.
Anker PowerHouse 521
Anker’s PowerHouse 521 lets you go camping without fully losing connections. The sturdy, portable power station offers a variety of charging ports (from USB-C to a car socket) and delivers up to 200 watts of juice, allowing you to power everything from laptops to mini-fridges. It even supports an add-on solar panel for extended off-the-grid living or some #vanlife trips.
Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket
Yep, it’s Joel’s jacket from HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us. Flint and Tinder’s flannel-lined jacket isn’t cheap tie-in merch, though, but one made from some quality threads. It comes in a variety of earthy tones, too, but the olive color is usually sold out since everyone wants to look like Pedro Pascal’s charming portrayal of a quick-to-murder madman. Go figure.
The Simpsons Arcade1UP
Nostalgia is a helluva drug, isn’t it? This Simpsons arcade cabinet may not be cheap, but it’s a small treasure to fans of the show and ’90s kids who remember losing many a quarter to the quintessential beat ’em up after getting destroyed on the baseball field. Some assembly is required, but that assembly also includes a matching riser and stool.
Jabra Elite 3
A pair of true wireless earbuds can make for an excellent gift, and the Jabra Elite 3 offer a ton of value for the price. They feature good sound quality and reliable performance, and unlike some Bluetooth buds, they aren’t locked into a single ecosystem. Plus, they offer a comfy fit and up to seven hours of battery life, which is enough for dad to churn through The National’s entire discography.
Ember Travel Mug 2 Plus
Many Verge staffers love their Ember smart mugs for at-home use, but the Travel Mug 2 Plus lets you take that helpful temp-controlled tech on the move. With it, you can dial in a temperature between 120 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit via an app or built-in capacitive buttons and maintain it for up to three hours. The 12-ounce vessel also taps into Apple’s vast Find My network if you need to track it down.
Ambient Weather WS-1965 WiFi Weather Station
Is your dad into the weather? Like, really into the weather? This Wi-Fi-connected weather station from Ambient Weather is a good all-in-one solution for tracking temperature, humidity, wind speed, and other nitty-gritty data points — right outside your home. Many of us wish Apple didn’t acquire and then kill the beloved Dark Sky app, but here’s a way you can get your own personal, hyper-localized weather.
An open-source wonder of a remote hacking tool, the Flipper Zero can learn and control IR devices or do other handy things, like store U2F keys for two-factor authentication. It can also do things that are less, let’s say, less wholesome than the multi-tool’s cheery, dolphin-adorned demeanor lets on. Best of all, it has a vibrant online community around it, meaning your dad should have no trouble finding clever uses for it.
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe
Prepping firewood can be a slog, but a good steel ax can make it an easier and more enjoyable experience. Fiskars’ X27 wood splitter is a longer 36-inch model that’s designed to get you more leverage, allowing you to one-shot those logs with less effort. Just remember to BYOFAS: Bring Your Own Flannel And Suspenders.
Garmin Vivomove Sport
The Garmin Vivomove Sport touts a mix of functionality and a touch of class, which makes it a looker of a smartwatch. Its 40mm size can accommodate most wrists, and the hidden OLED display can help dad project an air of sophistication instead of the “look at me, I like fitness” persona that other wearables often exude.
Clean, simple, and efficient. The Thermapen One is a buttonless instant-read thermometer that’s as suitable for grilling in the backyard as it is helping to track the right temperature for tempering chocolate in the kitchen. It’s also highly accurate and comes in an assortment of bold colors, making it far tougher to misplace.
Carved wooden phone case
We all gotta touch grass once in a while, but with a Carved phone case, dad can feel one with nature even when stuck at a desk. The hardy phone cases — which are available for newer iPhone models and various Galaxy devices — use a mix of real wood and colorful resin to produce some vivid, one-of-a-kind designs that elevate the use of burl.
Pinecil portable soldering iron
If your dad still uses a basic soldering iron that looks like it was bought at RadioShack to repair his electronics, it’s time for an upgrade. Luckily, the Pinecil is a fairly inexpensive gadget that heats up in seconds, has a tiny OLED display for dialing in your exact temperature, and can be powered using either a DC adapter or USB-C.
Zhik’s amphibious water shoes are just as stylish as a pair of regular sneakers, allowing you to transition from casual lounging to the water without so much as a second thought. But unlike regular sneakers, they drain and dry quickly, and their soles offer a large amount of grip even when they’re sopping wet.
XPower A-2 Airrow Pro Duster
With the XPower electric duster, your dad will never have to use a can of compressed air again. The gadget may have a silly-sounding name, but it’s incredibly handy when it comes to cleaning nooks, crannies, and other hard-to-reach places. Just think of all the places and things dad likes keeping tidy — his desk, his keyboard, the depths of the living room entertainment center. This thing can help with all of it.
Aarke Carbonator 3
Home carbonation is a nice treat, but a SodaStream is mostly designed to get you paying top dollar for CO2. The Aarke Carbonator 3, on the other hand, makes some very nice fizzy water and features an elegant design that won’t sully your kitchen decor. And if dad is crafty, he can mod it to use all kinds of cheap food-grade CO2 tanks.
Elgato Stream Deck Plus
The Elgato Stream Deck Plus offers all the functionality and customization of a standard Stream Deck but with the addition of four glorious knobs. It’s great for controlling a livestream, sure, but it’s also a handy tool for creating power user-level macro shortcuts for your computer and various smart home accessories. Just think of all the tinkering dad can control from the comfort of his desk.
Hasbro Selfie Series action figure
If you want to enshrine dad as the personal superhero in your life, why not make him an action figure? Hasbro’s Selfie Series can turn any person into a six-inch Marvel, Star Wars, Power Ranger, or Ghostbusters character with a few basic pictures, which you can capture using a smartphone camera and the Hasbro Pulse app. It’s easily giftable, too, since it’s available as a digital gift code.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Wireless headphones are convenient, but sometimes nothing beats a good pair of wired cans. The Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro are an excellent set of headphones that feature some of the comfiest, plushest ear cups around. They also feature a lengthy three-meter 3.5mm cable and produce rich, detailed sound that’s great for musicians and music fans alike.
Lego BrickHeadz The Mandalorian & the Child
We all know how important it is to have a positive father figure in your life, so why not also build one out of Legos? The BrickHeadz version of Mando and Grogu is an absolutely adorable duo, one that makes for a short and easy build that’s great to work on with the kiddos. Plus, once constructed, they look rather nice sitting on a desk or shelf.
Wordle the Party Game
If you and your dad still show off your Wordle scores to each other every day, then you’re going to love playing the tabletop version together in person. Wordle the Party Game allows for up to four players, includes both whiteboard scorecards and dry-erase markers, and makes for an easy setup that’s about as simple as firing up the app on your phone.
Thermacell Liv Smart Mosquito Repellent System (three-repeller starter kit)
Mosquitoes are a menace, especially if you enjoy throwing outdoor parties during the summer. Fortunately, Thermacell’s highly effective Liv Smart Mosquito Repellent System can cast an odorless spell of protection on your backyard. Imagine how much pride dad will take in telling partygoers and guests that they don’t need to use bug spray when coming over to hang out.
Lego 2 Fast 2 Furious Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
Dad doesn’t have to be a Fast & Furious fan to enjoy the classic JDM beauty that is the R34 Skyline. The Lego version of Nissan’s legendary Japanese import car is a small gift worth treasuring — especially if your dad grew up on original PlayStation and PS2-era Gran Turismo games, which popularized these cars in the US.
Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot Blaster
One, two, three, four, time to declare a Nerf war! The Hammershot is a Nerf blaster that’s small but packs a great punch. It has a spring-powered hammer at its top for priming the blaster and rotating its five-dart revolving chamber, allowing adults to operate it with one hand and feel like quite the dartslinger (bonus cool points if you get two and dual-wield).
Huckberry X GoRuck GR1 Slick Backpack - 26L
The Huckberry x GoRuck GR1 Slick is a premium backpack that blends ruggedness with city-minded good looks. Not only does the American-made pack look great on your commute, but it's built tough enough for hiking and even some light rucking (which is when you load a backpack extra-heavy and get some quality strength training in just by walking).
Sibley’s Backyard Birds: Eastern North America Poster
If your dad happens to live in the Northeast like many of us at The Verge, a Sibley poster may really hit home. The cute poster makes for some lovely wall art and offers some casual fun for your average backyard birder. There are also posters depicting birds from other parts of the country, as well as waterfowl, raptors, owls, and even hummingbirds.
Zhik Men's Platinum Deck Shorts
We all know that every dad looks better in pants than shorts (face it — it’s true), but the summer months are just too brutal to not let your legs breathe. Thanks to Zhik, you can treat dad to a pair of deck shorts that are breathable, fast-drying, and actually a bit stylish.