For your father, a car is much more than a mere form of transport — it’s like another child. And from summer road trips to trips to school, plenty of great memories can be formed in dad’s ride.
This Father’s Day, show dad you love him — and his ride — with one of these great car-related gadgets, from after-market back-up cameras to help him park to jump-starter gear in case of an emergency.
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Sodee Kick Mat with Tablet Holder ($14)
It’s amazing that mankind has survived through generations of kids asking, “Are we there yet?” But hey, life always finds a way.
Most recently, humanity has endured thanks to products like Sodee’s seatback Kick Mat with Tablet Holder. An ingenious protector that keeps the dadmobile safe from the scourge of muddy galoshes and sneakers, this seat-back organizer can hold tablets in place so kids can enjoy some in-flight entertainment while on the ground. With an array of extra pouches, the Sodee can also hold snacks, drinks, books, and your family’s sanity on a long road trip.
Buy now: Sodee Kick Mat, Amazon, $14
Ztylus Stinger USB Emergency Escape Tool ($22)
From packing extra underwear to teaching you how to tie a slip knot, dad is always preparing you for an emergency. But when disaster strikes, it’s best to have life-saving tools within arm’s reach.
The Ztylus Stinger isn’t just a dashboard-friendly two port USB charger for your smartphone and other gear, it’s also a life-saving escape tool to boot. A razor-sharp seatbelt cutter is slickly integrated into the stinger’s body, so you can snip and slip out of your seat, should your buckle become unreachable. And with a spring-loaded window punch, the Stinger can crack windshields and windows with ease. The most ingenious part of this tool is that by keeping it plugged into the car’s DC port, it’s more likely to be accessible.
Buy now: Ztylus Stinger, $22, Amazon
Logitech ZeroTouch Phone Mount ($30)
Of course dad knows better than to use his smartphone while driving, but old habits are hard to break. Teach that old dog some new tricks with Logitech’s Zerotouch phone mount. Perfect for Android handsets, the dashboard- or air vent-mounting holder uses magnets to hold your smartphone up, springing open an Amazon Alexa-packing app to provide voice assistance on-the-fly.
Zubie In-Car WiFi ($100)
Did you know that Super Mario Run requires an Internet connection to work? Well, if you didn’t, your kids will surely tell you out as soon as you pull out of the driveway.
Powered by Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the Zubie In-Car WiFi can connect up to 10 devices to the web, for everything from streaming music to Snapchatting on the road. A small dongle that plugs into the car’s ODB-II port, Zubie doesn’t require external power, nor does it drain the car’s battery after you kill the ignition. And the connection stays on for 15 minutes after you turn the car off — so Dad doesn’t have to idle while Mario finishes his level.
Buy now: Zubie In-Car Wifi, $100, Amazon
Brightech Scorpion ($80)
Does dad need a jump? Of course he doesn’t — he’s an adult, and he knows better than to drain his car battery. But he also likes to be a hero to stranded bystanders, and having a Brightech Scorpion at the ready is the fastest, easiest way.
This handheld jump starter is a safe way to juice up a dead car battery, instead of relying on jumper cables with their potential to blow up a cell if connected incorrectly. In addition, with a pair of USB ports, the 10,000 mAh Scorpion can double as a portable battery for handheld devices like smartphones and tablets, and its 90-lumen LED makes it a must-add to the emergency kit, because it functions as both a flashlight and an emergency beacon.
Buy now: Brightech Scorpion, $80, Amazon
FOBO Tire Pressure Sensor ($170)
Sure, many newer cars feature tire inflation sensors, but that’s no reason for dad to upgrade his beloved clunker. (Besides, who wants a new car loan?)
FOBO tire pressure monitors pairs these modern day car smarts with Bluetooth to send tire pressure status straight to his Android or iOS device. And if your old man eschews modern technology, the FOBO has an in-car monitor, so he can be alerted without having to look at an app.
Pearl RearView ($499)
When talking about dads and cars, it’s easy to joke about the old man’s enduring love of his vintage 8-track player, but the reality is that he’s more likely rocking a cassette tape or a CD player. Regardless, old school physical media doesn’t play nice with newer touchscreen interfaces, which means modern conveniences like rearview cameras are out of the question in dad’s car.
Enter the Pearl RearView, a slick solution that streams video from a solar-powered, camera-laden license plate frame to your dad’s dashboard-mounted smartphone. In our review, the RearView worked like a charm, not that this dad needed any parking help. At $499, it is on the expensive side, but for all he does for you, your father is definitely worth it.
Buy now: Pearl RearView, $499, Amazon