These tapered Patagonia pants (from our list of cool-people-approved men’s lounge pants) are made from the same material the brand uses for its famous fleeces.
These bone-conduction headphones are made for cycling, according to one expert we asked about the best gifts for cyclists, because they sit directly in front of the ear rather than in it, allowing their wearer to hear cars and people along with whatever tunes they’re playing.
This projector topped our list of the best-reviewed home-theater projectors on Amazon, with fans praising its perfect balance of price and performance, and the fact it works as well outdoors as it does inside.
According to contributor Rena J. Mosteirin, you don’t need a telescope with “a fancy computerized refractor” to go stargazing. “All you need,” she assures, “is a good pair of binoculars that cost less than a hundred dollars” — like these, which Mosteirin promises are not only effective but also “much easier to use than a telescope.”
Buffalo is an Apples to Apples–esque game perfect for dads who love trivia. Players draw two cards — each with its own characteristic — and try to identify a person who matches both criteria, like, say, a “wizard” who is also “British.”
If Dad uses an old cup or bottle to collect loose change, this affordable vessel would surely be a welcome upgrade to his system. As we’ve noted, it not only holds a lot of coins but comes with a lid that can count every penny he adds and shows the jar’s total savings on a digital display.
Maybe Dad has been the one reminding everyone in the family to wash their hands or maybe he’s the one who hasn’t been doing it enough. Either way, this cool-person-recommended hand wash has an appealing woodsy scent that we think will have him looking for ways to spend more than 20 seconds at the sink. Bonus: Grown Alchemist (a brand our beauty-obsessed writer Rio Viera-Newton approves of) uses no toxic chemicals — and plenty of moisturizing almond oil — in this formula, so Dad’s hands won’t ever feel dry after washing.
In talking to authors about the best audiobooks, many said that having a book read to you means you are more likely to actually finish it because you can listen while doing other things, like the dishes, walking the dog, gardening, or driving. If Dad’s many duties are getting between him and the latest Jack Reacher thriller or Obama memoir, a subscription to Audible’s audiobook library could be just the thing.
When we spoke to people who have turned 60 about the best 60th-birthday gifts, architect Christopher Choa said one thing people start asking themselves at that age is “Are you living an eudaemonic life?” The term refers to living a truly happy life, and Choa says few books provide as much of a blueprint for how to do so as How to Live, which chronicles the life and philosophical discoveries of 16th-century essayist and philosopher Michel de Montaigne.
John Rotunno (who happens to be the dad of a Strategist editor) turned his living room into an 18-hole mini golf course with this three-holed putting mat.
This retro-looking hammock would surely make his happy place even happier (and provide a comfy spot from which he can work on the Sunday crossword).
Sure, his tattered chairs in the garage technically still work. But any dad who camps or attends his kids’ sports games will notice an instant upgrade with this (still relatively affordable) camp chair, which two sports parents told us is so good they’ve gifted it to friends. That’s because it “doesn’t sink,” but instead “sits you fully upright,” and has two large cupholders to keep everything from drinks to car keys to phones easily accessible.
With temperatures dropping, chances are Dad will be looking for a pair of gloves. Not only easy to spot (thanks to their highlighter-yellow hue), this pair is practically indestructible, according to a bike messenger who relies on them for cold-weather rides and told us they “have already survived a couple of winters.” After going “through so many pairs that claimed to be waterproof but weren’t,” that bike messenger added that he was relieved to find that this pair stands up to that promise.
Chiropractor David Perna of Back & Body Medical told us that the Hypervolt is “used a lot by therapists, masseuses, chiropractors, and athletes alike,” adding that it is “also great for personal use to massage sore muscles.”
As part of our deep dive into beach wagons, a beach-picnic planner told us about this folding beach wagon that can handle everything from towels to drinks to beach chairs to beach games and more. Amazon reviewers praise it as a “workhorse” that’s “durable” and “easily folded,” and the wagon has large wheels that make it easy to pull in the sand, along with a handle that expands to the most comfortable length for the user.
Chris Black says these Champion shorts will give him an M.J.–inspired workout (or lounging) look.
We’ve been updating our guide to the best men’s work boots for a few years now, and every time we check back in with Brian Davis, the owner of vintage menswear emporium Wooden Sleepers, he tells us he unfortunately has nothing new to recommend. That’s because, four years after he first bought them, he told us he’s “still kicking around in my Chippewas,” which can be dressed down with jeans or dressed up with chinos.
They may not be built to last in the same way the boots above are, but if cared for decently, a pair of Stan Smiths could get him plenty of mileage. Cool guys of all ages gave the classic Adidas tennis shoes their seal of approval when we asked them about the best white sneakers — in fact, Stan Smiths received the most endorsements of any sneaker on the list.
Author Gary Shteyngart, a known watch collector, told us this Swatch’s mesh bracelet is “even more comfortable than the famously comfortable Rolex Oyster bracelet.” (For 15 more watch-snob-approved timepieces under $500, head here.)
The latest Fitbit is an activity tracker, step counter, heart-rate monitor, and much more. It has various goal-oriented exercise modes for activities like running, swimming, cycling, and yoga and also offers sleep analysis.
If he’s sick of his kids’ Nintendo Switch (or can’t find one to buy for himself right now), he can use this kit to build his own Game Boy.
After sticking this thermometer is in his T-bone, he can monitor the temperature from his phone.
If he wants to up his breakfast game, this griddle makes it easy to turn his pancakes into art. We think it would be an especially great gift for the dad with little kids (or grandkids).
These mildew-resistant, made-in-Maine doormats are handwoven from nautical rope.
If he’s been carrying around the same Leatherman since the ’80s, he might appreciate upgrading to this sleeker, easier-to-open version.
We love the playful stripes on this card holder from British designer Paul Smith.
Strategist contributor (and former tech columnist) David Pogue wrote about this wireless charger and says it’s the first one he’s ever liked. “It solves the flat-on-the-back problem with a screamingly obvious design change: It’s a stand. It props your phone up so you can see it from your pillow or across the room. Better yet, the charging happens whether you’ve put the phone down vertically or horizontally, while watching a movie, for instance.” Combined with this fast-charging plug, the stand charges phones from zero to 50 percent in 30 minutes, especially useful if your dad is constantly recording videos with his phone and draining the battery.
These (heavily discounted) Persol shades are both timeless and versatile, two words that dads tend to like a lot.
When the Strategist team did a deep dive into the world of pens — testing and ranking gels, felt tips, ballpoints, rollerballs, and fountain pens to determine the 100 best — the Parker Jotter came in at a very respectable No. 7. Plus, it just looks cool.
The Tooletries Dopp kit makes so much sense — it’s made of silicone to be completely spill- and stain-resistant, plus it just looks cooler than some fusty canvas thing. Even if he’s not traveling a ton right now, dad can use it to organize all of his bathroom essentials in one convenient, nice-looking place.
If dad is a chronic “snoozer,” perhaps it’s time for a different alarm. As we learned in our roundup of the best gentle-wake alarm clocks, “dawn-simulating” devices like this “are designed to ease the users into wakefulness instead of jolting them awake with an alarm,” according to clinical psychologist Janet Kennedy, the founder of NYC Sleep Doctor.
Strategist deputy editor Maxine Builder calls the Drillbrush — a brush attachment for your power drill — the best thing that ever happened to her shower: “The drill did all the hard work, scrubbing faster and harder than I ever could by hand, and the results were noticeable even after the first pass. All the built-up grime had basically disappeared, though I did a second round just to be sure. The nylon bristles were gentle enough that I couldn’t find a single scratch afterward.”
First of all, he needs a better desk chair! Barring that, he might want to try this half–balance ball on his seat, which will help keep his core engaged and posture straight during the workday.
The adjustable wood table can turn his balcony or fire escape into a plein air office.
According to us, cool people, and former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, Darn Tough sells some of the best wool socks out there. They’re made in Vermont and come with a lifetime guarantee.
This book on wine written by The Infatuation founder Chris Stang and Grant Reynolds, the sommelier at restaurants Legacy Records, Pasquale Jones, and Charlie Bird (which is well-known for its stellar cellar), covers everything from terminology to guides on shopping your local wine store.
This habanero-laced hot sauce (with the cutest mascot we’ve ever laid eyes on) should hit the spot. For value hunters, we’ve noticed that you can currently get a little more sauce for a little less money at Instacart.
Steve Aoki loves this “very cushioned and comfortable” eye mask so much he owns more than 15 of them.
A nifty little objet for a dad who can’t keep his hands still — or prefers not to make eye contact during uncomfortable conversations.
This electric razor does a better job — smoother, faster, easier — than most others you can find, and for not a heck-ton of money.
If he’s up for a more traditional shave, many men swear by safety razors and say they provide a smoother and less irritating shave than their modern counterparts. We wrote about safety razors and asked a bunch of barbers for their recommendations; the Merkur 34C was the clear favorite.
Two bearded guys told us they love this beard trimmer from Wahl (a brand that came up a lot in our expert-recommended guide to the best beard trimmers). With a long-lasting battery, lock setting for travel, and included detail trimmer and multiple guards, we think dad will love it, too.
Has your dad been wondering if Fido is a husky? A malamute? Embark is like 23andMe, but for dogs, and can tell him his rescue’s breed profile.
Photo: Courtesy of the vendor
“The German-made bottle opener also functions as a resealer for unfinished beverages (it has diagrammatic instructions etched on it),” says former Strategist deputy editor Jason Chen.
Does dad appreciate wine without downing the whole bottle? Sommeliers and wine experts say the Vacu Vin does a great job of preserving an open bottle of wine, so he won’t have to feel the pressure of degrading his precious bottle of pinot gris by finishing it in one sitting.
While the Vacu Vin will work to preserve any old bottle, if dad’s investing in a rare cellar, he might appreciate the top-of-the line Coravin, which pros say can’t be beat when it comes to wine preservation.
An easy at-home brewing kit.
If he’s all but given up on using tiny bits of string, the expert-recommended Waterpik may finally be the thing that gets him to stick with the habit.
This book features 50 years of fashion photographer Bill Cunningham’s work alongside essays by Cathy Horyn, Tiina Loite, Vanessa Friedman, Ruth La Ferla, Guy Trebay, Penelope Green, Jacob Bernstein, and Anna Wintour.
If he’s a rockstar in his own mind, we could see Dad getting lost in this memoir by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. According to another performer (rapper G-Eazy), “there’s something relatable about” the book, which chronicles how its author “chases his dreams, which then become reality.”
Gavin Rossdale put a not insignificant amount of thought into his list of the things he can’t live without, and this chef’s knife made the cut. “It’s heavy, which is good,” the rocker says. “You want a bit of weight in the handle because you want to have that nice control.”
If he didn’t hear back about his audition tape, perhaps dad needs to expand his kitchen skills a bit further. This nifty device lets him turn a regular stovetop pot into a professional-grade sous vide.
Whether he’s a certified Italophile or simply loves to cook, this old-fashioned Italian pasta machine is a classic and comes recommended by a pasta pro.
If he’s been burning through his go-to recipes lately, this cookbook is chock-full of new, simple meals for him to try. “The recipes have refreshingly short ingredient lists,” explains Deb Perelman, author of Smitten Kitchen Every Day. “It all feels very doable, which is welcome right now.”
This kit should cover all his fermentation experiments, from kimchi to preserved lemons.
Contributor Garrett Munce calls this a “near-perfect mask for men,” because it “imparts crazy moisture without being sticky.”
If dad’s toes are starting to look a little gnarly, Rio says these heavy-duty clippers took her nails from “talons to human feet in mere minutes.”
The Birkenstock Boston clog is Chris Black’s favorite, and it was the unanimous choice among the style experts we spoke with for our article on mens’s clogs.
This is not only one of our favorite notebooks, but it was also one of the top-performers in our roundup of the 100 best notebooks. Writer Dominique Pariso tested it out and was particularly fond of the “dotted grid” page layout, which she says “gives just the right amount of constraint and freedom” — perfect for a dad who dreams big. It’s medium-size, with a hardcover and 259 pages, making this a great all-purpose notebook that’s still unique enough to stand out as a gift.
Ultimate Ears’ beloved portable Bluetooth speaker is completely waterproof — it even floats! — and pumps out 15 hours of 360-degree sound.
According to professional landscapers and horticulturalists, a pair of “bypass” pruners is the one tool any gardener should own. When it comes to such pruners, those experts say the Swiss-made Felco F2 are the best.
Herbs he can cultivate on the kitchen counter.
Nalgene’s water bottle has GOAT status (it’s on the list of our 100 most-stood-behind products ever). He’ll appreciate that and also that this looks cooler than the company-branded water bottle from that work conference in 2011 that he still carries.
According to Chris Black, the Kanpai bottle from Japanese outdoors brand Snow Peak Bottle is “the Rolls Royce of water bottles.” Its functional features include a a vacuum seal that keeps beverages cold or hot for hours.
This would be the ultimate accessory for a dad whose ideal day consists of nothing more than tossing back a few beers in the sun. Even if he’s just doing that in his own backyard, the cooler means fewer trips to the fridge (and it will last long enough that he can take it further afield when the time comes).
If Dad can’t watch his favorite sports in person right now, he might enjoy playing some himself. Spikeball is a fun-for-the-whole-family activity that one user calls “one of the greatest lawn games ever invented.”
Even if he drops his phone, this case will prevent significant damage from being done. To those unsure of the simple-looking bumper’s ability, former tech columnist and Strategist contributor David Pogue told us that he dropped his phone 53 times in this case and it didn’t crack. If dad doesn’t have the latest iPhone, this is available for older ones, too.
Barista Jordan Sanchez says that “one of these would be perfect” for making coffee shop–level foam from his milk of choice. “The quality is top-notch, and it looks good on the counter,” Sanchez adds.
Singer Jake Shears suggests this roast straight from New Orleans’ iconic Café Du Monde.
If he’s been working from home and still can’t fit some exercise into his day, this under-the-desk elliptical machine will help him (kind of) discreetly get his workout in.
Migos’s Quavo uses this vanilla-flavored protein powder after his regular workouts “to put back some of what I’ve burned during training.”
If he’s picky, it’s probably for good reason: While there are plenty of wireless Bluetooth earbuds out there, Apple’s AirPods are second to none in terms of ease of use and simple design. Plus, the case allows for wireless charging.
This will give him an excuse to dust off those old records. When we asked professional DJs to tell us about their favorite turntables, it was the top pick.
This stylish radio is just that — a radio. It does AM/FM and nothing else. But that’s the point.
He’ll never lose a package again. Does he know that a smart doorbell can stop home intruders, too?
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