Dad doesn’t want junk for his birthday. Dad’s a larger-than-life man who took on his unrivaled ability to influence his children as a privilege, not a challenge. I mean, you’re responsible for making sure your family has a life full of adventure and experience (as safely as possible, of course) and really, how can you do that with half-assed gear? And if Pops is truly an outdoorsman, he’s passed down to you the appreciation of quality gear, not only because of how well it works and what it adds to the experience but also because some day he might just pass down the gear itself. Pops doesn’t waste his money on junk and wouldn’t want you to do that either.
But let’s be honest, it’s not all about just being responsible, about taking care of your family and raising tomorrow’s great iconoclasts. Papa deserves to have fun too. And the nicer the gear the more fun he gets to have. It’s science.
So the greatest father’s day gifts help Papa fulfill that quest to ensure his kids have the raddest foundation to become great people. Lucky for you, we at Mountain Weekly have done all the heavy lifting to find such gifts. Here are 10 things guaranteed to make your Uber-mensch Dad a happy camper (in some cases literally).
The problem with regular coolers is that they’re not very portable. ICEMULE answered this by making a cooler that’s a backpack, capable of carrying 24 drinks with ice and keeping them cool for days thanks to the PolarLayer XT™ Insulation and their IM Airvalve. Really, what’s better after a long hike than some frosty beverages on a mountaintop — or going out on the river with a couple cold brews and coming back home with a few trout in their place? Retail $299.95
#2. Orvis Wide-Brimmed Hat – Because skin cancer sucks
Gotta love the sun — bluebird days let dad play for hours and summer adventures are much more easily shared with the family than avy-prone sketchy winter missions. But when Pops is out in the sun all day, the skin ripens pretty quick. Orvis’s Wide-Brimmed hat can be shoved into a pocket so he’s always packing a tool to ensure he’ll still have a face to smile in those wedding pictures 20 years from now. Retail $39.99
#3. The North Face Domey 3 Person Tent – Because camping is the best family vacation
This year, give dad what he really wants: A weekend in the wilderness. Getting away from the smartphones, the business calls, the yardwork, the cars that always need fixing and house projects that never end. With a colorful flare that’ll set his free spirit apart from all those standard blocked tents, more than enough room for 3 people, and 3 doors for those midnight bathroom breaks, there’s nothing better for the family man who’s got a wild animal trapped inside. Retail $249.95
#4. Bolle Kayman Sunglasses – Because seeing is awesome
Papa needs his eyes and with the wrong glasses (much less no glasses) those eyes can get destroyed pretty quickly on adventures. Bolle’s Kaymans deliver the protection of more expensive glasses (impact-resistant B-20.3 polycarbonate lenses) and prescription compatibility with leisure styling and Thermogrip to make sure they won’t fall off when he goes over the handlebars. Especially perfect for those summer high-altitude lines he’s gonna bomb on his solid. Retail $99
#5. Sockguy Socks – Because feet are the new hands
It’s an old joke that Dad always gets stuck with socks as gifts. And in the old days, socks were boring and did little more than separate your feet from your shoes. Today, every outdoorsperson knows that socks are some of the most important items you can purchase. Sockguy Socks combine industry-leading wicking (and something called TurboWool) with a Stretch-to-Fit system and Easy-Fit cuffs for unbeatable comfort. And not only are these foot-covers technologically advanced, Sockguy knows how the psychological impact of cool designs on socks can help papa survive the daily grind or add some flair to his backcounty mission — and if you really want to get special, you can even put a custom design on them. Dad really wanta you to get him socks. $11.95
#6. TREW NuYarn Pocket T – Because 90% of the fun you’ll have in life happens in a t-shirt
For starters, TREW’s NuYarn Merino makes the greatest 4-season base layer, hands down — and during warm summer expeditions, it’s perfect just by itself. It’s a bit pricey for a t-shirt but worth every penny and then some thanks to all the science put into this chest-hugger. Which is about the best thing you can say about a gift for the man who raised you. Retail $69.99
#7. GSI Microlite Vacuum Bottle – Because warm drinks should stay warm and cold drinks cold even without a cooler
Hot coffee in the middle of a cold morning hike is what Dad wants. Cold water in the middle of a long hot run is what Dad wants. GSI’s microlite keeps hot hot for 10 hours and cold cold for 20 while beating the competitors in the weight category by a third, with stainless steel ensuring the bottle can take a beating mid-adventure, just like dear ol’ tough dad. Even the lid is engineered beyond anything a mere mortal would ever imagine. Retail $24.95
#8. Hults Bruk American Felling Axe – Because cutting wood is Dad’s favorite chore
Few things are as satisfying as watching a tree fall that you know will keep your family warm for the winter. But when Papa does that himself with an axe, that’s the kind of thing that transports him back to his youth, when he was a strapping golden God and he made fun of people who whined about aches and pains. The Hults Bruk American Felling Axe combines classic American styling with Swedish steel that’s been made the same way since 1697, when papas of old used these axes to build America. And the leather sheath ensures it’ll be Papa’s favorite tool, guaranteed to be an heirloom handed down father to son (or daughter) with pride. Retail $239.99
#9. Weego 66 Jump Starter – Because Pops hates it when things won’t go
It’s 845PM, after 15 hours on the trail and the ridges, when he realizes he left his lights on and there are no other cars at the trailhead. But luckily he has his Weego 66, able to jump start basically anything with an engine. But he can also use it for charging his phone, his lights, his laptop, all those tools he uses for posting his Adventure-Dad blog. And since it’s tough to do anything in the dark, it works as a flashlight too. With 1000 charging cycles and up to 3 years of standby power on a single charge, the Weego 66 gets it started better than a Lil Jon track. Retail $199.99
#10. Camp Chef 3-Burner Stove – Because nothing tastes better than a steak dinner at the trailhead
Dad’s done for the day but he’s not ready to return to life inside 4 walls yet. So he opens the truck bed and pulls out the flat grill, attaches legs — or even just leaves it on the tailgate — and within minutes he’s cooking with 90,000 BTUs. It’s the modernday mess for the rambling grill master who means business. And for car camping, it blows the doors off any of those little mini propane grills they throw at you from your neighborhood super-mart. $319.99
Because he taught you to love the outdoors, you know the last thing he wants is another tie; this year, get Dad something he’ll truly love. Don’t wait until the last minute and get him some junk nobody really wants because, shit, no gift is worse than the gift you have to pretend you like. After everything he’s done for you, doesn’t Papa deserve the best? Yeahhh…
Happy Father’s Day
Past Winners below: (by Nick Siriano)
Give your dad something that he’ll pass down…someday.
With Father’s Day just around the June corner, perhaps you’re wondering what to do for your dad that’ll really make him smile. It is likely that your dad doesn’t want any Father’s Day Gifts anything because he either already has it or he simply isn’t the type of person that likes gifts. He likes you, his kids, his grandkids, and would prefer a visit together, a morning coffee on the porch with his children, a day pushing his grandkids on a swing, or just the pleasure of a slowed down moment spent with the people he loves most, his family.
But if you can’t make it home this father’s day and you would like to send him something that expresses love and sincerity, consider a gift that he’ll be able to give back to you one day. Give him something that’ll make him say “someday, this’ll go to my grandkids,” give him something well-built and handmade. Afterall your dad is a humble man who wishes for nothing more than happiness of his kin. If you give him something he can give back to you one day, you’re giving him the gift re-generosity. You’re showing him that he’s taught you well. Consider something forged in gratitude or casted in love that will last lifetimes.
3 Bonus Picks ~ For The Dad That Works Hard
#11.Texas Coffee Grinder – If he drinks coffee
For the conseur of the perfect morning, there are few things finer than a hand-crank coffee grinder. Our friends at Texas Coffee Grinders have been crafting old-fashioned coffee grinders built to last forever. Their timeless method is rooted in the 1800’s and are complete with heavy duty cast iron hardware and 100% solid hardwoods.
The old burr mechanism grinds the beans in a way that lets the coffee’s natural bean oil soak into the fine grounds. Thus, the aromas from a mechanical grinder are superior to an electric blade grinder. Each grinder is individually built and tested for durability.
The part your dad will love most is that the hardwood looks better over time. When he finally hands it down to you it’ll shine with the care and attention that he’s put into it for years. This’ll become an heirloom that you and your family will use forever. Grind a cup a coffee with your dad, and thank him for being him.
Styles range in wood type, grinder mechanism, size, and are priced from $89.00-$120.00. Despite the model, you’re sure to receive a quiet and smooth coffee grinder that’ll stay in the family forever.
#12. Selle Anatomica Saddle – If he rides bikes
With a little bit of love and care, there are few things that last longer than something made from high quality full grain leather. Our cycling friends over at Selle Anatomica craft leather saddles and accessories using premium American leather. Unlike other leather saddle brands that wet their leather before molding, Selle Anatomica hot molds their leather dry. No water. This produces a much more pliable leather that forms to your shape in weeks rather than years.
Your dad will want something comfortable and that he can trust. These saddles break in quickly and are 100% waterproof directly from the factory. With adjustable hex tensioners, these saddles provide some owner input and will give your dad something to fiddle with and be proud of. Selle Anatomica “make them like they used to” but just better.
For the casual cyclist dad that likes to climb hills just as much as he likes to cruise the quiet streets, you can’t go wrong with an NSX series. These saddles are stiff yet forgiving and work great for the cyclist that rides around 100 miles per week.
#13. Spark R&D Splitboard Bindings – If he splitboards
Some dads just can’t stop being rad. At Spark R&D Father’s Day Gifts , the products are just as well built for the pro shredder as they are the dinosaur dad who passes you when splitting up a skin track. Let’s be honest , your dad remembers the days when powder lasted for days at Jackson rather than hours. He still claims to be a powder chaser, and spends his free afternoons bombing side-country or splitting up and down the local pass.
Spark R&D claims and is the splitboard binding company. These bindings are strong and light, plain and simple. They’ll speed you up steep climbs, and lock you in down powdery chutes. Though your dad’s legs are still stronger than yours, he’ll still appreciate something light underfoot. Perhaps he’ll even volunteer to carry the lunch in his pack.
This gift is really about giving your dad something that he can use with his dad buddies, or with his family. The Arc binding is your go-to choice for a solid dad gift. They are $385.00, and really well built. Maybe more expensive than other touring bindings but these are the best…your dad deserves the best.
#14. Best Made Company – If he chops wood
With a slogan like “Seamless and Steadfast” you know your dad will like it. Best Made Company is dedicated to selling tools and products that’ll outlast mankind. They have a deep relationship with the natural world and have created a company that sells products for those that appreciate the finest things in life. One of their specialties is the Straight-Hold Hatchet.
They guarantee that their products are designed for life. Thus the Straight-Hold Hatchet is built with a quality straight grain hardwood handle and a hand forged steel head sharpened and crafted in the USA. For $88.00 your dad will appreciate this fine tool as it arrives in a custom built wooden box from a company that cares more about quality and perfection than anything.
Dick Prooenneke said, “a man in the forest without his hatchet is like the city slicker in the city without his wallet.”
Happy Father’s Day.