Father's Day

Cool or Quirky Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Your Atypical Dad

To help you with your Father’s Day gift ideas I’ve organized them based on Dad’s hobbies or personality rather than strictly on the fact that he happens to be your male parent.

Travel Tech: You know this dad—he’s always on the run to a meeting or business trip and has to have the latest and greatest in tech along for the ride.


Better than a Laptop: Ever since I heard about the Microsoft Pro a few years back, I’ve been dying to try one out. The kind folks at Microsoft recently let me take the Surface Pro 4 for a spin during my own business travels. I wondered if it really was more convenient for business travel and as it turns out, yes. Yes, it is. From the light weight (1.69 pounds) to the incredibly clear and stunning visuals with the added bonus of a USB port, this is a serious business machine. Extras like the Surface Pro 4 Signature cover made of gorgeous—and durable—Alcantara fabric from Milan, and what may be the most comfortable keyboard I’ve ever used (And I type A LOT), I even prefer it to my ergonomic keyboard, make it almost perfect. I’m pretty old school, so I also tried out the cool and clicky Arc Touch mouse which packs flat and only arches when it’s in use, though in the end I preferred the Surface Pen which is a pen/mouse hybrid. A few things to note, while this is without a doubt my favorite computer/tablet/laptop to travel with, it isn’t easy to use when sitting on the sofa, even with the kickstand. You can try piling pillows on your lap though, to make things feel less precarious. You should also note that when I used it in flight, the tablet part disconnected from the keyboard and went flying to the floor with a crash *but* nothing happened—it’s that well designed. If you really want to impress your father this year, I’d say treat him to this baby.


Wannabe Food Blogger: If your dad has recently discovered the joys of Instagramming everything he eats, he’s going to love the new Canon EOS Rebel T6 EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Kit which has a Food Scene Mode which increases vibrancy and makes everything look so much more delicious. There’s also built in Wi-Fi and NFC so he can upload as he cooks. I found it to have a slightly slow focus when trying to take pictures of monochromatic foods, so this might be a better gift for the beginner food photographer.


Vape Escape: If your dad is trying to quit smoking by using loose-leaf tobacco, or experimenting with relaxing herbs like Valerian before bed, he might really like the PAX 2 Vaporizer. It’s extremely sophisticated looking and very discreet and inconspicuous (it’ll fit into his palm). There’s also cool lip and motion sensing technology that releases vapor at the touch and four temperature settings. It’s definitely not a gift for every dad, but it’s definitely one of a kind for your one-of-a-kind dad!

TV or Not TV: Whether your father secretly watches soap operas while working in the garage (we’ll never tell) or is working his hardest to cut the cord on expensive cable TV packages, these gifts will remind him why you’re his favorite.


The New Roku Streaming Stick is about as dummy proof as it sounds (just stick it in an available HDMI port on your TV or laptop), but it’s no lightweight—it has 8x more processing power than its predecessor. And if Dad already has Amazon Prime he can stream movies (or Schitt’s Creek!) without checking in with everyone else first to see what they feel like watching.


Tiny Spaces: Without mentioning names, I really do know of a dad who sneak binge watches soap operas. He hates catching up online since his family mocks him mercilessly when they see his browsing history. I’m convinced that his life would be so much richer with a teeny tiny TV (like this HDTV 13″ TV/DVD combo from RCA which can be hidden in his workshop while he catches up on his favorite telenovelas).


Smart Cuts: Want to help Dad cut the cord on high cable TV bills? Mark Buff, CEO of Mohu, a high-powered HD antenna, said that 97 of the top 100 shows are available via over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts in HD for free. Antennas allow consumers to receive their favorite programs on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and more in HD for free with a one-time antenna purchase. Add in your fave streaming services and you can probably watch about anything at anytime. You can use Mohu’s “TV For Free” tool which will show you the best antenna based on your location and an average number of channels you should receive (In my case, the  Mohu Curve 50 ).


Polk AudioPolk Audio

Better Sound: Here’s a really nice way to add the home theater effect to Dad’s man cave. MagniFi One from Polk Audio uses Bluetooth wireless technology so the set up can be completed in a matter of minutes. It also has a very small profile (less than 2″ tall) and can be placed directly underneath the TV. I tried one out recently and switched around from watching a series about horses to a live concert. While I’ve always been aware of the sound on my favorite programs, the experience was transformed and elevated.

The Outdoorsy Dad: He’s always hiking or biking and otherwise trying to figure out how to be more fit.

Oregon ScientificOregon Scientific

For the Weather Watcher: Oh, you know what he’s like. Always checking the hourly forecast to know if he needs to remind you to bring a sweater (or extra blanket) along. Oregon Scientific created the Wireless Weather Forecast Station for your weather obsessed dad. It’s fairly simple to operate (even updates automatically when the clocks change), monitors both outdoor and indoor temperature and even has an ice alert.


If Dad is complaining about knee pain but still loves the great outdoors, these Monoprice Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are amazing for hiking, backpacking or just strolling around the city. They’re also really lightweight and have cork grips and a fast-locking system so he can adjust them according to his height.

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