It’s once again that time of year when you notice the holidays are fast approaching and you have no idea what to get your pops. I mean, what is he even into these days that isn’t some random junk being sold on Facebook Marketplace, right? Thankfully, you’ve got some friends in Verge places to help you out.
We’ve pulled together a small truckload of gift ideas for all kinds of dads, from geeky tinkerers to adventurous weekend warriors. Some of these gifts, like Hoto’s handy electric screwdriver and Bose’s new QuietComfort Ultra headphones, are sure to give him that “how did I ever live without this before” feeling, while others, like Benjamin Vogt’s book on natural gardening, might open up whole new ideas.
Every dad is a little different, which is why we’ve carefully picked out a wide range of fun and thoughtful gifts that run the gamut of tech and non-tech stuff we confidently recommend here at The Verge.
American Prometheus is the book that inspired Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film Oppenheimer — you know, the movie that played opposite Barbie and had little pink in it. The influential biography tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s rise and fall, encompassing his incredible feats and the moral fallout of becoming the “father of the atomic bomb.”
We dare you to try and find another gadget as cute and endearing as the TinyTV 2. It’s a bit superfluous to load videos onto an itsy-bitsy screen that looks like a vintage CRT TV, but it’s such a quaint gadget, one that harkens back to the days of huddling around the family television in the parlor.
DeWalt USB-C Charging Kit
If your dad has a small cache of DeWalt power tools, he can put those beefy yellow-and-black batteries to work for other devices using the company’s official charging kit. The nifty adapter lets you add a 100W USB-C PD port to any DeWalt 20V power tool battery, giving your dad an extra way to charge his phone, tablet, or even a laptop.
Blackstone 36-inch Griddle
Blackstone’s griddles are great for mixing up your outdoor grilling. They’re just as effective as a traditional grill but offer more flexibility in what you cook, allowing you to grill all three meals in a day. The 60,000 BTU griddle has four burners to control heat and accommodate smaller meals, or you can use all 36 inches of space when hosting duties call.
Garmin Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar
Apple Watches are great, but taking one on a long adventure means charging it every day or two. The Garmin Fenix 7S lasts well over a week on a single charge, and in addition to conventional charging, it also juices up via solar power. It’s great for someone who is into marathon workout sessions or extra-long hikes, and it comes in a variety of sizes.
8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard
8BitDo’s Retro Mechanical Keyboard blends two kinds of nostalgia: a love for the original NES and old, noisy keyboards. It’s satisfying to type on (if your environment is okay with the volume of its clicky switches), it looks fantastic, and its hot-swappable nature makes it a gateway to a larger keyboard hobby. Plus, its oversize A and B buttons are some of the coolest macro buttons we’ve ever laid eyes on.
Prairie Up: An Introduction to Natural Garden Design
Dad may have a green thumb, but has he ever thought of going all-natural with his yard care? Prairie Up is an approachable, 101-level course in growing a natural lawn that’s better for the environment and local wildlife. It’s a big job, sure, but imagine rarely having to mow the lawn. Price: $27.85
Lebogner Waterproof Sweat Towel Car Seat Cover
Ever put in a good sweat at the gym and do that awkward drive home where you’re trying to not touch your seat and get it all gross? A washable microfiber seat cover like this option from Lebogner is great for anyone who gets sweaty or dirty and doesn’t want their car to quickly turn into a BO factory.
Doom Guy: Life in First Person
Doom Guy might be one of the ultimate dad books for anyone who grew up in the shareware age of Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein 3D. John Romero’s memoir tells the story of how the Doom co-creator got his start writing code and the lengths that he went to fulfill his nerdy, digital blood-soaked dreams.
Anker 610 Magnetic Phone Grip (MagGo)
Does your dad insist on using a Max-size iPhone for the extra screen real estate and better battery life? If so, you can help him make that surfboard of a handset more usable with this magnetic phone grip from Anker, which helps with one-handed use and even doubles as an adjustable kickstand for propping his phone.
Dart Zone Covert Ops Max Outlaw
Ah yes, the thrill of reloading in battle — a foam dart battle, that is. The Dart Zone Covert Ops Max Outlaw is a six-shot, revolver-style blaster that can fire half-size darts from up to 125 feet away. The kicker is its hammer-action loading mechanism, which makes it incredibly satisfying to use.
Casio G-Shock GA-2100 Series watch
If you think rugged watches are all massively garish beasts, feast your eyes on Casio’s GA-2100 Series. These G-Shock watches are just as durable as larger models, but they ditch the “macho” aesthetics for something much sleeker. They also come in a variety of slick designs, from see-through and cyberpunk-inspired color schemes to pricier all-metal models.
Hoto electric screwdriver
Hoto’s electric screwdriver is the perfect around-the-house tool for a frequent tinkerer or a weekend warrior building some Ikea furniture. Its simple design makes it compact enough to keep nearby for small to medium-size projects, so your dad doesn’t have to bust out the big tools unless he needs some serious torque.
Lego The Mighty Bowser
Hey look, it’s Jack Black in Lego form! Well, sort of, yeah. The Mighty Bowser Lego set is a large, 2,807-piece building kit that stands nearly 13 inches tall once built. The king of the koopas is a fine addition to any Mario fan’s collection, one that comes with several posable parts and fireballs that shoot out of his mouth.
Tekton Everybit Tech Rescue Kit
Fixing small electronics can be hard, but it’s much easier if you own the right set of tools. Fortunately, Tekton’s kit provides most of what you need when it comes to special tools, including pentalobe, triangular, and tri-wing screwdriver bits. The 45-piece kit also comes with spudgers and prying tools for safely opening gadgets that companies often make it difficult to get inside.
Spyong Rechargeable 9V Batteries
We all know 9V batteries suck — there’s simply no making amends. However, for devices where they’re the norm (smoke alarms, guitar pedals, etc.), you can at least do yourself a favor by getting a rechargeable cell like Spyong’s 9V option, which comes in a two-pack and plugs in via USB-C.
Sonos Move 2
The new Sonos Move 2 is a big, portable smart speaker that features line-in playback and can easily push room-filling sound throughout your home. It offers terrific sound quality with up to 24 hours of playback on a single charge, and it’s even water-resistant so you can use it outside during cookouts without worrying too much if it starts to drizzle.
My Dad Used To Be So Cool
The title may sound like a neg, but Keith Negley’s book about a dad looking back on his wilder years is a charming reminder that parenthood brings its own kind of coolness. While it’s technically a children’s book, it also makes a great gift for new or expecting fathers to read to their children and share stories of their past.
TWSBI Vac700R Iris Fountain Pen
Fancy-schmancy fountain pens can get very expensive, but the special Iris edition of TWSBI’s Vac700R is a fancy-looking one that writes exceptionally well and is actually affordable. The vacuum filler-type pen has a clear design for showcasing your ink of choice, and the rainbow-colored titanium finish looks unique on every model.
RUNMax Weighted Vest
You can do most of what you need fitness-wise with just your body weight thanks to push-ups, pull-ups, and similar activities, but adding a weighted vest to the same routine adds another level of progression for more muscle development. That’s how a daddy becomes a zaddy.
Sharper Image Power Percussion Deep Tissue Massager
Percussion massagers are great for post-workout recovery and helping to ease muscle aches. This ergonomic option from Sharper Image features six speed settings with different attachments that allow you to pinpoint the right spot at the right pressure. The battery also offers up to 4.5 hours of continuous use, so you don’t have to worry about charging it for days or weeks, even with frequent use.
Leatherman Custom Shop Multitool
There’s something about a multitool that just exudes coolness, and they’re somehow even cooler when adorned with colorful highlights and unique engravings. Leatherman offers all kinds of ways to mod many of its popular models through its custom shop, so you can pick out just the right tool for your dad and deck it out in a style that’s uniquely his.
Mophie Powerstation 10K Stand with MagSafe
The newer Mophie Powerstation functions as both a 10,000mAh portable charger and a stand for your phone, one that can sit at nearly any angle thanks to its robust kickstand. The compact offering is also MagSafe-certified, meaning it can supply a compatible iPhone with up to 15 watts of power or juice any other Qi-enabled device you have on hand.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is a kitchen sink of a flagship phone. It’s got all the specs, all the cameras, and all the build quality to be expected from a high-end phone in 2023. Samsung throws just about everything into the Ultra (even a stylus), resulting in one of the biggest and best Android phones you can buy.
Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0
Fire pits are far more enjoyable when there’s more fire and less smoke. The Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 offers excellent airflow that allows fires to burn hotter and with minimal smoke. And while it makes for a great backyard fire pit, the stainless steel vessel is also light enough that you can lug it to the beach or an outdoor shindig without too much effort.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones
Bose’s latest flagship headphones offer some of the best comfort and noise cancellation around, with an excellent transparency mode for when it’s time to let the outside world back in. They may have a high price, but the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones make a great gift for a frequent traveler or commuter who really enjoys their music.
Echo Show 5 (third-gen)
Amazon’s third-gen Echo Show 5 is a small smart display that makes a helpful addition to any bedside table or space where you’d like to get quick glimpses of the news, weather, or your various smart home devices. The latest version looks a lot like the last-gen model, only it features faster performance and clearer, bassier sound.
Chromecast with Google TV (4K)
If settling on something to watch is a common conundrum in your house, Google’s 4K-capable Chromecast can help. In addition to being an all-around solid streaming device with a good voice remote, Google’s TV software can aggregate recommendations across a host of popular streaming services, making it easy to find something you can all agree on.