What do you get a father who has a kid as great as you? If your answer is “another tie,” then you’re not as great as you think you are. Instead, you should give your father something he’s never even thought about before, because the man works hard, and can probably buy anything he wants, anyhow. What he really wants is to be appreciated for putting up with your hijinks for all these years.
The best way to do that is to recognize him as more than just the guy who changed your diapers, coached your soccer team and taught you to drive, and instead as someone with interests all his own. For a little inspiration, here are seven dad stereotypes with a gift idea to match. Some of them are expensive, but hey, it’s not my job to tell you how much you should love your old man.
The Drinker: Every old fella loves a cold beverage on a hot day — whether it’s a macro beer, micro brew, or just a can of soda. No mere koozie, Arctican is a $19 drink-cooling extraordinaire that keeps beverages three times colder using a double layer of vacuum-insulated steel and an ice-cooled base. It’s some pretty chill technology for a 21st century pop to be hauling around, whether it’s by the barbecue or on the riding mower.
The Duffer: Mark Twain reportedly said “Golf is a good walk spoiled,” but your dad is only a humorist when he claims to have finished a round under par. Arccos Golf might just make an honest man out of him. A GPS-enabled iOS app, Apple Watch app, and collection of club grip sensors, this $399 learning tool will improve his game or… or… or his game stinks. No pressing of buttons or tapping on screens, you just play your round and the app collects data like stroke count, shot distance, and and club average.
The Lawn Mower Man: For all the money you’d spend on a Robomow robotic lawnmower, you could probably get your dad a very good landscaping service for your dad. But no man worth his grass stains derives joy from seeing another guy tending to his lawn when he can have a machine do it instead. Starting at $1,199, Robomow’s RC line connects to dad's smartphone via Bluetooth, has steel blades, an edging mode that actually reaches beyond the wheels, can conquer 20-degree slopes, and has a rain sensor so it knows the most crucial part of lawn care: when not to mow. Speaking of that, it can also be locked via PIN-code. So no, you can’t take his new wheels for a spin.
The Retro Gamer: We’ve heard it all before. “When I was a your age, I had a paper route, and I had to dodge dogs, bees, jack-hammering road workers, Model T cars, hearses, and the grim reaper to make some spending money.” Give him the gift of video game nostalgia with NES30, an authentic-feeling game controller that can connect to everything from mobile devices to game consoles via Bluetooth and USB. Programmable to work with touchscreen games, the controller can be paired with a second NES30 to play multi-player games on iOS, and it can even step in for Wiimotes on Nintendo’s gaming system. With four buttons on the top and two shoulder triggers, the $45 accessory is not a perfect imitation of the original Nintendo Entertainment System gamepad — it’s actually better than before.
The Music Man: At some point in your life — probably around the time you start changing the words to your favorite songs so as not to scandalize your own child — you realize that your dad’s taste in music isn’t all that bad. When you reach that stage, get dad a JBL Charge 2+. This rugged, rubbery, $149 Bluetooth speaker is splash-proof, making it great for all sorts of uses, from washing the car to working in the yard to fixing a leak under the sink. With excellent bass and a 12-hour battery, it rocks hard and long. Just be sure to wipe it down when you’re done with all those chores. There’s no reason to make a mess of his things when you borrow them.
The Lazy Boy: If you want to do something special for dad this year, take his lineup of old, tired remote controls and lay them to rest in the back of his entertainment center. Swapping these broken-buttoned clickers with a universal remote like the Logitech Harmony Smart Control is not only more humane, it’s also better for your home in the long run. That’s because Logitech just announced a free software upgrade that makes all its hub-based remotes compatible with its home control software. Translation: This $129 universal television remote just gained the ability to connect your smartphone to more than 270,000 home and entertainment devices, like the Nest Learning Thermostat and Philips Hue LED bulbs. (And as a bonus, now you have a whole other category of gifts to buy on future Father’s Days.)
The Numbers Guy: One thing every Dad can go for is a little more organization. If your old man is strapped with the newest tech from Apple, that means he’s aching for a quality Apple Watch dock. The only problem with that is there aren’t many out there, yet. Moxiware Apple Watch Dock Duo outdoes most others on the market because it provides a home for both the Apple Watch and an iPhone. (Question for product developers: Every Apple Watch requires an iPhone, so why are you bothering with making standalone watch docks?) Fitting Lightning-connector iPhones with and without cases, the stand can adjust to make sure any backing thickness can be accommodated. And if your Father’s Apple Watch is on back order, fear not: Moxiware’s dock can hold a regular watch in the meantime, and will ship in time for Father’s Day.