Father’s Day Gifts That Dad Actually Wants

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It’s that time of year – Father’s Day! Every year around this time I see all sorts of Father’s Day gift lists loaded with things like money clips, fancy trays to toss your keys into, and various BBQ tool sets, and I think, “does any dad really want this stuff?”

So here’s my list of stuff Dad would love… or at least, I would love (hint hint to any family members who may be reading…).

Just click on the links below to view some of my favorite things:

Cairn Subscription Box

Father's Day Cairn Box

Cairn is a monthly subscription box that delivers 3 – 6 outdoor-related products every month. You might get apparel, gear, food, skin care, or even emergency products. Over the last few months we’ve gotten cool items like a lightweight hammock, backpack and water bladder, a combo flashlight/lantern, and lots more.


Father's Day Drone

I started flying with one of the WalMart drones – the kind where the second you take your hands of the sticks, it goes flying sideways into the ground. The difference between those and the good ones is amazing – this one has a GPS and will hover perfectly steady wherever you put it, and it will even follow you taking HD video.

Travel Backpack

Father's Day Backpack

A backpack like this works great for going to work as well as for short trips, and it’s not as boring as one of the traditional all-black laptop bags. The straps can be stowed so that you can carry it like a duffle bag.

Raspberry Pi Arcade Kit

Arcade Game Parts Kit

Father's Day Raspberry PiFather's Day Arcade Kit

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny (3″ x 4″) low-power computer. It doesn’t run Windows, and it doesn’t have a hard drive, but with it Dad can build a retro arcade system that will play all those old Nintendo, Playstation and Atari games he had growing up. Sure, you could buy one of those retro Nintendo games, but Dad would rather build it himself!

SCOTTeVEST Travel Vest

Father's Day Scottevest

So my children make fun of me when I wear this, but on our last flight, I managed to load this vest up with my phone, wallet, keys, passport, pen, sunglasses, iPad, notebook and flashlight without it being bulky. Then there’s no unloading pockets while going through security!

Anker PowerCore II Portable Charger

Father's Day Anker Charger

This portable charger 3 high-speed charging outputs, and 2 charge inputs, meaning you can charge the battery in half the time it takes others. It has enough power to charge an iPhone 7 times, so it’s great for travel and camping.

Ham Radio

Technician Class Study Guide

Father's Day Ham RadioFather's Day Ham Radio Study Guide

You won’t be contacting Europe with this little hand-held ham radio, but it’s a fantastic starter model that will let Dad learn how to use and program a radio. If he doesn’t have his license yet, pick up the study guide as well. Check out our post Getting Started With Ham Radio.

Solo Stove Bonfire

Father's Day Solo Stove

We had previously reviewed the Solo Stove, and now they have the Solo Stove Bonfire – a portable fire pit you can take camping or use on your patio. It has a special design that maximizes airflow – this means little smoke, no half-burnt logs, and no scorching the ground.

3D Printer

Father's Day 3D Printer

This is the closest we’re going to get to a Star Trek replicator, at least in my lifetime. Not only can you print little toys and games, you can use it for useful items – just last week I printed a battery door for the TV remote, to replace the broken one.

Luminoodle LED Rope Light

Father's Day Luminoodle

We actually got this in a Cairn box… It’s a USB-powered, waterproof LED rope light that can be strung up with magnets or ties, or stuffed into a sack to work like a lantern. I’ve used this dozens of place where I’ve needed a little more light, both inside and outside.