40 Spot-On Gifts for Dads

No need to stress when it comes to dad's gift. From stylish jeans to the ultimate travel mug, these are great ideas from actual dads.

Published November 16, 2023
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It's the most wonderful time of the year! But it's also the most stressful. And overwhelming. And exhausting. Finding the perfect gifts for the important people in your life shouldn't be a chore, but when you're unsure what to give someone, the temptation to give up entirely and just hand them over a stack of cash becomes increasingly tempting. 

Don't throw in the towel just yet, though. We've taken the guesswork out of the gifting season by creating an expertly curated gift list filled with 40 picks from real dads for real dads. That's right; we asked dads to send us gift recommendations they'd love to receive, and here's what they chose. 

This isn't your typical generic holiday gift guide; this is the real deal. You can thank us (and these awesome dads) later.

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This dad needs coffee in the morning! I love this thing, it has a 14-cup capacity which is more than enough for the both of us in the morning, and a timer function. I just set up the coffee before I go to bed, and when I come downstairs there's a freshly brewed pot waiting for me.

- Marc B.

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Before I got this Blackstone griddle as a birthday gift, I had no idea how easy it was to make delicious meals on a flat top. I love that I can do meat on one side, and veggies on the other. It folds and rolls easily, so it's great for tailgating and other gatherings.

- Nick H.

Smart watches are popular but this watch will never go out of style and will never need a software update (or a battery). This diver-style watch is a tank. Wear it with a wedding suit or a bathing suit. It will fit right in. Also consider swapping out the metal band for a NATO strap (like a ribbon) which can be found in tons of colors and patterns. I've worn this watch almost daily for over a decade and it hasn't lost a beat.

- Patrick R.

I grabbed a pair of these Wranglers a couple of months ago, and I think I've worn them every day since. They took a few days of breaking in, but now the fit is fantastic - slim without being too skinny.The denim feels just as substantial as pairs I've paid five or six times as much for, but I don't worry about babying them the way I would with an expensive pair of raw selvedge jeans.

- Ethan T.

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I own a lot of pocket knives, but this is the only one I love so much I've bought it in five different colors. The Pioneer is just right for me - the main blade is big enough for any job, the awl is fantastic for slashing into boxes and packaging, and the bottle opener is there for all my beer and soda needs. It disappears into your pocket, so you won't even know it's there until you need it.

- Ethan T.

These pillows were easily the best upgrade I've made this year. For less than $40 I got two pillows in a strangely small box. About 15 minutes after unpacking them, they lofted into the fullest, squishiest pillows I've owned. They're the perfect mix of invitingly soft, yet perfectly supportive. Easily the best pillows in our house, and a ridiculous value for the price.

- Chris S.

These are fantastic looking cocktail glasses that are both stylish and can go in the dishwasher. This dad loves a good cocktail after the kids go to bed, and having one that looks nice, is sturdy, and can go in the dishwasher saves me time and makes me feel like I could be in a classy cocktail bar even when I'm at home.

- Marc B.

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Sometimes I like to get a little fancy with my cocktails, these cherries remind me of the ones nice cocktail bars will use. They are perfect and give an elevated look and taste to your cocktail vs their red counterparts.

- Marc B.

A glorious pair of male UGGs was, legitimately, one of the best gifts I've ever received. Sure, they may draw scrutiny from small-minded, uncomfortable-footed peers, but I've spent the last three years wearing these things and I haven't regretted a second of it. They're wildly comfortable and incredibly warm while remaining breathable. Do they look good? I'd say, only small minds prize style over comfort.

- Chris S.

I'm not sure how much of my parenting time is spent breaking down Amazon boxes for recycling, but I'd wager it's somewhere in the ballpark of 40 percent. This folding utility knife makes short work of them, or the number would be even higher. It's handy, fits my hand perfectly, and replacing blades is a breeze.

- Ethan T.

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Being a dad you go through a lot of plastic bags, whether its for keeping food fresh or sending in snacks to school or sports. With these, I can feel good about not adding a lot of plastic waste since they are dishwasher safe and you can use them over and over again. These things last too, I've had them for months and they're as good as new!

- Marc B.

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I made my own tiny wallet about 18 years ago, and I've never looked back. After that one literally wore through, I picked up this new tiny wallet on Amazon. I have no need for a rigid, tactical, bulletproof wallet - just something thin, well-made, and long-lasting, and this wallet fits the bill. It's really starting to break in after about six months of use, taking on a nice patina. And it's so small, I regularly have to tap my back pocket to make sure I didn't forget it at home.

- Chris S.

As a suburban dad, I'm deeply committed to the art of grilling burgers. This two-sided Lodge griddle instantly elevated my smash burger game. Just throw it on the grill for a few minutes until it's screaming hot, and start cranking out perfectly browned, flatted delicious patties.

- Ethan T.

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I believe I've convinced nearly everybody I know to buy a pair of these Harperton nail clippers. They're constructed of heavy-duty stainless steel, with ultra-sharp cutting blades that give a perfectly crisp, clean cut - which was a revelation after getting by with dollar-store clippers for most of my life. An absolute steal at around $10 for the pair.

- Chris S.

There is a reason this Coleman stove has been around for decades. It just works. When shopping for a camping stove, I wanted something that was reliable, relatively small, and easy to use. I also wanted to use fuel that was easily accessible and didn't require using throwaway propane bottles. This stove fits the bill. It always works and I can get fuel anywhere. It also has a sort of nostalgic charm.

- Patrick R.

We tend to travel a lot, and I'm someone who likes to keep things very organized. These packing cubes help me keep everyone's clothes organized, the variety of sizes helps me pack up my things as well as my daughter's in different sized cubes.

- Marc B.

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I spent my first 35 years on Earth thinking of myself as the kind of person who would never rhapsodize about the virtues of a commuter mug. Then I bought myself one of these, and that changed. It keeps coffee hot for hours, the locking lid is reliable enough to toss into a backpack, and even after six-plus years of heavy use, mine still looks more or less brand new.

- Ethan T.

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I found these earbuds in an article on our own site, and at around $20, had to give them a shot. I haven't used my $150 Airpods since. They're light, comfortable, seal your ear to block out noise, have insanely good battery life and (my favorite), you can adjust the volume via their touch controls. You can't do that on Airpods! The only downside is that the case isn't quite as satisfying to play with as the Airpods is, but at $20, it's a sacrifice I'd make again and again.

- Chris S.

Do you have a handy guy? Chances are his tool box is either A) Immaculately organized Or B) an absolute mess. If he falls into the second group, give him the gift of a clear mind with these socket organizers. I spent months researching and trying different socket organizers and these are perfect. They hold all sizes (metric and standard) and they are magnetic. The whole base sticks to any metal surface and the sockets themselves are held in place as well. It's also helped streamline house projects - I never have to go looking for a lost socket.

- Patrick R.

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This speaker flask is one of the most versatile products for outdoorsy dads out there. It keeps my morning coffee hot during early rounds of golf, and keeps my favorite cold drinks cold. Meanwhile, the speaker kicks out surprisingly great sound for its size.

- Nick H.

I won't dance around it - this is a premium gift - but isn't that really what gift giving is all about? Gifts should be elevated versions of necessary items. Would your recipient buy this for themselves? Likely not, which is why they will love it so much. This briefcase looks like something Indiana Jones would carry and it will doubtlessly survive any modern commute. It will easily carry a laptop, wireless keyboard, coffee mug, packed lunch, and a great paperback. Strap it to the front of your bike if you want to look like the vicar from a period piece on PBS.

- Patrick R.

Here's a can't miss stocking stuffer: the Cactus Scratcher. Vastly superior to all back-scratching alternatives, this telescoping model can reach nearly any itchy part of my body. They've even got a strap-mounted option for industrial-strength back-scratching. My wife is a fan as this has significantly cut back on my back-scratching requests.

- Chris S.

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Kids all make messes right? These OxiClean on the go pens help me get stains out of my clothes, as well as my daughter's clothes before the stain actually sets. These typically live in my car, and I always keep them handy.

- Marc B.

These shoes from TRUE Linkswear check all the boxes. They're insanely comfortable, lightweight, and level up pretty much any dad's style.

- Nick H.

This phone holder is primarily intended for use on airplanes (and I bring it and use it on every flight), but it's so much more versatile than that. It clips onto nearly any table-like surface and keeps my phone rock-solid steady. A great gift-on-a-budget, or stocking stuffer.

- Chris S.

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Family vacations and road trips are a dad's dream. Afterall, that's where some of the best memories are made. Any dad will love this push pin travel map because it shows him that those memories are just as important to you as they are to him.

- Nick H.

These things are amazing, I much prefer a nice big ice cube in a drink vs the ones from the ice maker. These are easy to use, easy to clean, and make very nice ice cubes. Pro tip put these in a bag so you can store more for parties.

- Marc B.

Being the parent of a 5-year-old means a constant war against mess - and one of my primary weapons is this tiny car vacuum. It plugs into my lighter and sucks up anything my daugher can throw at it: Saltine crumbs, trail mix leave-behinds, and errant dried-out french fries. It's ridiculously strong for its size, and spends most of its time barely occupying any space in our trunk.

- Chris S.

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You're no doubt aware of the famed "Stanley Cup" adored by influencers and sorority girls everywhere. What you may not be aware of is this incredible coffee mug. It's absolutely 100% leak proof (personally tested every morning when thrown hastily into my briefcase). It keeps coffee hot (but not unnecessarily scalding) for hours and it's easy to operate with one hand. It's also super easy to clean. Never rely on a cheap conference SWAG travel mug again.

- Patrick R.

Maybe it's a "Dad Thing", but there's something immensely satisfying about a well-crafted tool, and they don't come much better crafted than this Rotring 600 pencil. I've got one in silver and one in black (one for the wood shop, one for the house), and I love them. They're heavy, basically indestructible, and just get better looking the more you use them.

- Chris S.

Does your guy travel for work or spend a few days a week in an office? Give them this super lightweight laptop stand. It's compact (about the size of a pencil case) and the quality is great for the price. It makes my workspace more ergonomic and even helps keep my laptop from overheating. My wrist and neck muscles really appreciate it.

- Patrick R.

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As a dad, my coffee is a high priority. It needs to be easy, delicious, and plentiful. With the option to make a single serving or a caraffe, not to mention the iced coffee option, this coffee maker is a one-stop shop for his coffee needs, all year long.

- Nick H.

Part memoir, part instructional guide, and part pure, inspiring shop-talk, King's On Writing is one of those books I pick up at least once a year to page through, and find myself reading through once again. King's love of story is infectious, and his ability to guide us through his own childhood and early professional life is captivating. Whether or not you're a writer, there's much to glean from this unpretentious, lovely 'memoir on the craft'.

- Chris S.

This is without a doubt the greatest camping mattress available. It's not designed for backpacking (too heavy) but it is perfect for car and tent camping. The plush and thick mattress provides incredible comfort and the closest experience to sleeping at home.

- Patrick R.

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"You gave me a pen?" - YES an indestructible, all-metal pen that inspires confidence and will last forever. Pens are very personal and chances are, he'll be carrying this one every day almost immediately. As an extra bonus, it accepts the ink cartridge from a Fisher Space Pen. I've always been very picky with pens but never kept up with one until now. It is a part of my every day carry and ends each day on the dresser next to my wallet and phone.

- Patrick R.

This TV is affordable, is smart, and has a great picture. If you're looking for a good smart (Amazon enabled) TV this one is for you. Its lightweight and fits in a ton of places.

- Marc B.

This projector is the best bang for your buck. It provides excellent resolution and brightness without breaking the bank. There are hundreds of inexpensive projectors on the market but this one has been invaluable. It gets used for parties, family karaoke nights, and memorable movie nights. You can run an HDMI directly to it and can even connect it using Bluetooth. It's super simple and adds so much to even the most mundane events. Your kids will thank you.

- Patrick R.

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This shampoo and conditioner set helps my hair look more full, and gives it a nice shine. Sometimes your kids make your hair fall out a little bit, but these help combat that! They smell great too.

- Marc B.

I love to cook, and I like to have nice, durable, and sturdy cookware when I do. These are a fantastic set, they're heavy duty and a great brand. They cook very evenly and can even go in the dishwasher.

- Marc B.

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This is the perfect gift for anyone who likes music and/or a great cocktail. Not only does it include excellent cocktail and album pairings, it also provides historical context and party and listening recommendations. It's a great way to dig deeper into music you love while sharing the experience with others.

- Patrick R.

40 Spot-On Gifts for Dads