father's day 2023

The Best Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad

Photo-Illustration: Retailers

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Father’s Day is just a few days away (June 18.) And while moms are tricky to buy for, when it comes to dads — who seem to have everything they need already — choosing a gift can feel nearly impossible. But fear not, because we’re here to help you find the perfect gift before this Sunday. We’ve rounded up gift ideas for absolutely every type of dad — from the archetypal beer and golf dads to the outdoorsy dad and those with other interests. You can find most of our picks on Amazon, and to make things even easier, we’ve organized them by price, so you can skip straight to the section that suits your budget.

Under $25

For the dad who sneezes from May to August

Photo: retailer

He’ll get a kick (and some serious decongestion benefits) out of this NASA-approved nasal emollient, which helped one Strategist contributor finally relieve her sore and stuffy sinuses.

For the dad who sunbathes from May to August

Jisulife Handheld Mini-Fan
$20
$20

This handheld mini-fan (which also doubles as a portable charger and flashlight) kept Strategist contributor Annachiara Barretto-Grignoli cool during the Italian summer. “Arriving an hour earlier than our scheduled train on a 101-degree afternoon, we had no choice but to wait on the stuffy platform in Milano Centrale. My mom and I leaned on our suitcases, switched the devices on, and were instantly met with our own personal breezes.”

For the dad with an emotional-support movie

$15 for 2

After adding a teaspoon of this to his popcorn, he’ll swear he’s at the movies, even when he’s just rewatching The Godfather on HBO for the thousandth time.

For the dad with an emotional-support firepit

Because some dads are just really into fire. Contributor Steven John — who counts himself among them — suggests these tumbleweeds, which he says “burn hot and clean” and “last for nearly ten minutes, which is plenty of time to get larger logs or a pile of charcoal going.”

For the dad with razor burn

David Hallberg of the Australian Ballet suffered from razor burn until a friend introduced him to this fragrance-free, astringent formula. He says it’s the “only thing I’ve found around the world that saves me from razor burn.”

For the dad into a different kind of burn

Strategist contributor Aleta Burchyski calls this multi-tool “dead useful” for its sharp tip and serrated edge that breaks down boxes handily, the screwdriver that makes quick work of opening battery compartments, and the two rulers that come in handy at the hardware store. But what really sets it apart is a hexagonal bowl and pipestem “surreptitiously built into its body” that can be used for taking the occasional puff while doing chores.

For the dad who sings in the shower

“The quality of the sound isn’t Sonos level or anything, but the SoundBot works in the ways you need it to,” says Strategist contributor Rio Viera-Newton of this shower speaker. Plus, the buttons work well even with “slippery soapy fingers,” so Dad can switch from podcasts to the Bee Gees with no problem.

For the germophobe dad

Instead of wiping down his phone with a Clorox wipe every night (and leaving an icky residue), Dad can simply pop it in this UV pouch that zaps away bacteria in just a couple of minutes.

For the dad whose HBO log-in you use

Our colleagues at Vulture recommend this book for anyone with a Roy-shaped hole in their life following last week’s Succession finale. It tells the story of the power struggle within the Redstone family (which owns Paramount Global).

For the dad who lives for baseball season

A “dad cap” in his team’s color — but without a logo — feels a little more grown-up.

For the dad training for his first marathon

Don’t let Dad make the rookie mistake of running in cotton socks and ending up with blisters. These wick moisture away from the foot and feature silver threads to keep them smelling fresh even on long runs.

For the dad who lives for lobster

$19

Bianca Piccillo, a co-founder of Mermaid’s Garden Sustainable Seafood in Prospect Heights, told us about these kitchen shears that she says are particularly useful for eating lobster. “They open the knuckles, which are normally tricky to get into with a cracker or other larger tools.”

For the dad who prefers oysters

If he’s up to the task of shucking his own oysters, give him the preferred knife of Derek Hanson, the chef and owner of Jacqueline in Portland, Oregon. “This little beauty is the best,” he says.

For the dad who drizzles chile sauce on everything from eggs to edamame …

From $5

If your dad is a spice connoisseur, he’ll make space for a jar of this chile crisp that packs a punch. “Chile crisps are everywhere now. But everyone knows that the inspiration came from this one right here,” says chef Buddha Lo.

… and the dad who spills it

For a dad on the go, these handy little washer sheets transform any hotel sink into a washing machine — meaning he can rewear his favorite shirt with ease.

For the plant dad

Former Strategist writer Chris Mandle says the spray from this bottle is “fine as the steam from a shower,” meaning Dad can lovingly tend to every leaf and stem of his plant babies.

For the dad who can pinbone a salmon

From $20

While this isn’t a proper sushi knife, it does come recommended by a fisherman and helped one Strategist contributor prepare nigiri at home.

Under $50

For the dad who’s always prepared

In the case of a blackout (or worse), survivalists and other experts told us that a hand-crank radio is an essential element of any emergency-preparedness kit. Kaito’s shortwave radios are a favorite among preppers, and this particular model, the KA500, can be powered by battery, solar, hand-crank, USB, or wall outlet. It’s also water-resistant.

For the jet-setting dad

For the dad who refuses to pay for a checked bag, a set of packing cubes can help him organize — and fit — all of his gear in a carry-on. Strategist contributor Foster Kamer, a self-proclaimed “compulsive overpacker,” calls this set from Eagle Creek “the Russian nesting doll of luggage.”

For the dad who drinks protein shakes

Give him this protein powder, which we dubbed the best chocolate-flavored whey protein powder after talking to experts about their favorites. It contains a blend of whey isolate and concentrate and the trainer who told us about it says the powder always mixes smooth and never tastes chalky.

For dad who’s more of a wine enthusiast

Perfect for stealthy sipping on the beach or at a picnic in the park.

For the dad who just can’t sleep

For the dad who’s particular about his coffee …

If your dad wants his at-home coffee to taste as good as a cup made by a barista, he’ll appreciate this Chemex pour-over, which comes recommended by Erika Vonie, a certified Q grader (a.k.a. a coffee sommelier).

… and the one that needs his coffee to-go

A travel mug beloved for fitting in a car’s cup-holder, this tumbler will keep your dad’s coffee hot (or cold) for the long haul.

For the dad who’s fermentation-curious

This kit should cover all his fermentation experiments, from kimchee to preserved lemons.

For the dad who’s sauce-curious

Hot Sauce Kit
$55
$55

Let Dad nerd out and create his own hot sauce with this kit that includes heirloom peppers and pH strips for nailing the right level of heat.

For the dad who needs to upgrade his herb garden

We like the look of this stacked planter, which can either be hung or perched on the ground. It’s ideal for growing strawberries, peppers, or herbs (even in small spaces).

For the dad who babies the dog

A plush chaise longue with a supportive orthopedic foam base, because your dad’s best friend deserves the best.

For the dad who has enabled ‘auto kudos’ on Strava

These lightly supportive running shorts from ASICS — a favorite of running-obsessive Strategist contributor Steven John — will help him collect some kudos of his own.

For the dad who can (and will) work anywhere

“When packing an entire MacBook became out of the question, I needed a more streamlined alternative,” says Strategist writer Katherine Gillespie. Her solution was this easily compressible keyboard that can snap on to any phone or tablet to make an instant workspace.

For the dad who hosts a Sunday lunch club

A chef dad will always appreciate some new recipes in his repertoire, and we especially love this collection of recipes from across Mexico by Rick Martínez.

For the dad who lives off leftovers

Marie Kondo told us about this bento box, which will definitely spark joy with dads who take a packed lunch to work. It has space for rice, proteins, and veggies, and looks pretty pleasing, too.

Under $100

For the dad with a bad back

Draped over his favorite chair, this heated electric massager will ease tension in his back and shoulders.

For the dad whose torch you keep borrowing

Backpacker Maggie Slepian says that this headlamp is “lightweight and rechargeable, with a band that never triggers any pressure points.” A great gift for outdoorsy dads who always end up loaning out their torch.

For the nostalgic dad

Polaroid Go Instant Camera
$80
$80

If Dad misses the days of (instant) film, he’ll get a kick out of the Polaroid Go, a compact instant camera that Strategist writer Jordan Bowman praised for its sharp picture quality, reliable focus, and easy-to-use controls. “There really is something transcendent about experiencing a special moment, then holding an image of it in your hands a few seconds later,” he writes. If your dad is really nostalgic, you could also get him one of the brand’s refurbished 1980s-era models.

For the dad who needs to upgrade his jeans

Levi’s 501 Original-Fit Jeans
From $48
From $48

A pair of classic 501s — our pick for the best straight-fit jeans for men — will instantly take his look from frumpy to stylish.

For the dad who makes ravioli from scratch

$130

This pasta-maker comes recommended by Linda Miller Nicholson, the author of Pasta, Pretty Please and the “pasta artist” behind the Instagram account Salty Seattle. The machine is made by Italian manufacturer Marcato Atlas, which has been making pasta machines since 1930, and ensures that any dough cranked through will emerge at an even width, making it less likely to tear.

For the retired dad

Dads looking for a new hobby can go deep on Instant Pot-cooking and learn how to whip up everything from steamed vegetables to homemade Greek yogurt.

For the one who loves his lawn

Green-thumbed dads will appreciate this Swiss-made pruner, which gardening experts we spoke to say is the industry standard for ease of use and durability.

For the bike-riding dad (who doesn’t have a garage)

According to former Strategist senior editor Anthony Rotunno, this clever stand not only stores a bike with a minimal footprint but makes that bike look more like a sculpture on a pedestal. “Its base has a long, grooved leg where you’re meant to put the back wheel of a bike, and the stand’s tallest part has another groove where you’re meant to rest the part of the bike frame that supports the seat,” he explains. “Photos help explain this better than words, but basically, once a bike’s rear wheel is in the lower leg, you just need to tip it back until the frame rests on the taller groove and voilà: Your bike is stored vertically with the only floor space occupied being whatever the compact stand is taking up.”

For the dad who is glued to his computer

The Bluetooth-enabled gadget not only gives a “satisfying clickity sound” as you type on it, but may help Dad work faster: The TikToker who recommended it to us feels like they can “type at the speed of light” while using the keyboard.

For the dad who sees phantom water stains

You won’t forget to use a coaster when they’re this nice: This vibrant set of Jonathan Alder graphic coasters have ten-karat gold rims and will perch on the coffee table nicely.

Under $200

For the dad who is always on his feet

He’ll love getting a powerful, heated foot massage when he finally has a chance to sit down.

For the dad who can’t stomach an iPhone alarm

Strategist contributor Liz Krieger calls this alarm her “own private sunrise.” It works by gradually introducing light into a room before emitting a gentle alarm — great for dads who find phone alarms too jarring.

For the dad who’s more of a homebody

A smart display like the Amazon Echo Show can do a whole lot for a dad who spends a lot of time at home. Not only is it a speaker and a monitor but the device acts as a main hub for any other smart-home appliances he may have: for instance, if he owns smart light bulbs, he can get Alexa to turn off the lights. He can even make video calls on it, allowing him to connect with friends and family near and far. (For this reason, we think it would make a nice gift for the dad who is a granddad too.)

For the dad who’s on a smoothie kick

$195

If Dad is looking to get more greens into his diet, a Beast blender would allow him to start each day with a nutrient-packed smoothie.

For the dad who’s on a cacio e pepe kick

The Cannon cranks out ten times the amount of pepper compared to a regular mill and has different grind-size adjustments so Dad will be able to season everything from pasta to rib roasts with ease.

For the dad who loves his tunes

Small, portable, and powerful, this Bluetooth speaker from Bose is a favorite among Strategist editors, politicians, and authors alike.

For the dad who’s always losing his charger

This handsome wireless charging tray is pretty much impossible to misplace.

For the dad who chooses his hotel based on the bathroom

With a Tushy bidet, he’ll have a five-star toilet at home.

For the dad who chooses his hotel based on the nearest coffee roastery

A favorite of tea sommelier Linda Gaylard, this kettle will warm water to the just-right temperature for different kinds of tea. “A variable-temperature kettle takes the guesswork out of determining if the water is hot enough for oolongs or a little cooler for green teas,” she says. Of course, it can be used for coffee if Dad is an equal-opportunity caffeine consumer.

For the dad who loves to read by the pool …

The latest iteration of Amazon’s Kindle is waterproof, making it ideal for dads who read poolside.

… and the one who would rather be on a golf course

Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors
$140
$140

Here’s a gadget for the golf dad who appreciates any opportunity to improve his swing. The expert-approved kit analyzes and critiques his form using sensors and an accompanying app.

For the dad who loves showing off pictures of the kids (or grandkids)

With this highly reviewed (actually decent-looking) digital frame, he can instantly display all the latest family photos.

For the dad who wants to level up his fitness routine