What’s the secret to the art of great gift giving? Choosing a gift that acknowledges a person’s unique skills, shows interest in their interests, and encourages their personal passions. Father’s Day is an ideal time to express your appreciation by putting creative thought behind gifts that he’ll cherish and genuinely enjoy. Here’s a gift guide sampling of winning gifts for dads with all sorts of passionate pursuits.
The Wine Connoisseur
Every dedicated “enophile” – knowledgeable wine aficionado – adores building his collection by hunting for special finds wherever he goes. But when father knows best, it’s difficult to choose the perfect bottle as a gift. Instead, you can’t fail but give him the next best thing: the world’s best-quality wine bottle carrier. Vinarmour makes the world’s first collapsible, leakproof, protective wine case and has rightly become an indispensable wine tote and accident resistant travel accessory. It conveniently packs nearly flat in a suitcase when empty, and quickly expands when a wine bottle needs extreme impact protection against punctures and breakage. The secret is the interior uses the same materials that make bulletproof vests, plus a 3-ply inner layer that maintains wine temperatures 30% better than neoprene. The stylish outside is dressed to the nines in Scottish Waxed Cotton (from the original maker, Halley Stevenson’s, no less), with sturdy leather straps made by the venerable Horween Leather Company of Chicago. To help dad look like the wine connoisseur that he is, spring for the optional leather shoulder strap for safe hands-free carry to impress wine stewards and diners when BYOB’ing. $299.
The Gourmet Cook
If your father is a whiz in the kitchen, give him a best-in-class gift to elevate his food game, whether it’s slow-cooking, roasting, frying, baking, BBQ’ing, or mastering an open-fire cookout. Proudly made in the USA, Smithey Ironware Company crafts heirloom-quality cookware to be cherished, whether it’s a hardworking cast iron skillet, a carbon steel wok, or the ultimate 20-piece set. All Smithey pieces are designed to get even better over time, withstanding heavy-duty use and temperatures at least 700 degrees. We love the classic lidded Dutch Ovens for endlessly-versatile daily use. Naturally non-stick, all Smithey’s are easy to clean and won’t ever chip or stain – not even from Paprika Stew, baked casseroles, short ribs, burnt cornbread, or chili cooked over a campfire. Available in 3.5 quart and the ideal 5.5 quart. $200 – $295
The Yoga Master
A deeper practice begins with the right tools. Help dad achieve zen and stabilize his Warrior 3 with the TRX Pro4 Yoga Bundle, a three-piece yoga set with everything needed to practice and improve your yoga postures. The TRX Pro4 system with handled bands are made to help users progress from yoga pose to pose. The lines on the non-slip Suspension Training Mat can help him gauge the progress of his Triangle pose , and the soft, padded TRX Yoga Block offers support in everything from Crescent Lunge to Camel. It’s the boost he needs at home, and in the studio. Giving a TRX yoga bundle as a gift practically guarantees you’ll receive a grateful namaste bow. $277.
For the father who’s the “speaker of the house” (so to speak), a wise man with sage advice (wanted or not), or simply a talker with the gift of gab, encourage him to share his thoughts, ideas, memories, and knowledge with the world by taking up podcasting. All he needs to get started is a smartphone app to record and edit, and a high-quality mic to capture every word. JLab Audio’s Talk Pro USB Microphone provides professional-quality resolution of 192kHz/24BIT with four directional patterns to ensure clear recordings and delivers excellent sound range for impressive results. It even optimizes sound quality for important business calls, music recordings, streaming and gaming with its hassle-free connection. $149
Is dad down with SUP? Stand-up paddleboarding is the fastest growing watersport for all ages, and no one makes a better portable board than Bote. Bote’s Wulf Aero 10′4″ Native Floral Inflatable Paddle Board is a super-stable inflatable that’s easy to pick up, pack up, and set up. It weighs just 29 pounds, and comes fully loaded with an adjustable paddle, removable fin, hand pump, repair kit, and travel bag. Just add water. $529.
The King of the Castle
For the man who takes his role as protector seriously, thank him with an easy-to-install home-improvement device that makes it easier for him to guard home and family. Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell features a motion detector, emergency siren, and instant video/audio alerts that are sent to your phone. The wire-less, easy-to-install, battery-operated video doorbell links directly to Wi-Fi to keep your phone connected to your home from anywhere. You can see more at your front door with a wide, 180-degree view, 1:1 aspect ratio, night vision, and HDR video quality so you can see packages on the ground, and visitors from head to toe. See, speak, and hear from visitors, and receive a video call whenever the doorbell is pressed. It has two-way audio so you decide if you want to chat or let guests leave a voice message. The rechargeable battery can be used without wires or connect the device to existing wiring for uninterrupted power. $180.
For the man who’s goes to the ends of the earth looking for adventure, buy him passage on a once-in-a-lifetime 16-day Arctic journey with Ponant on one of the world’s best expedition ships. Le Commandant Charcot is the world’s only luxury icebreaker and the only dedicated passenger “yacht” to take travelers to the geographic North Pole for polar bear sightings, ice-fishing, naturalist-led excursions, scientific collaborations, and Instagram photos like no others. On board, the menus are designed by acclaimed French chef Alain Ducasse, the champagne is Veuve Clicquot, the wellness program is by Biologique Recherche, and the privileged guests occupy just 123 staterooms and suites. Arctic summer season departures start at $35,960 per person, but when you’ve got the best dad in the world, the price, of course, is no object.
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Based in Los Angeles, Vicki Arkoff is Editor at Large for Pursuitist and a founding editor for Holiday Goddess, the online destination for chic women travelers from the editors of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Conde Nast Traveler, and BBC. Her travel and lifestyle reports can also be been seen in Atlas Obscura, The Awesomer, DaySpa, The Chicago Tribune, CNN Travel, JustLuxe, Lonely Planet, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Toronto Star, WellSpa 360, WestJet Magazine, Where Traveler, Where Guestbook, Yahoo News, and dozens more. She's co-author of the bestselling Holiday Goddess books (HarperCollins and iTunes) including 'The Holiday Goddess Guide to Paris, London, New York, Rome,' a travel Top 10 staple. As editor, Vicki's other books include 'Sinatra' (DK), 'Inside Mad' (Time-Life) and 'Virgin Los Angeles' (Virgin Books). She is one of the Usual Gang of Idiots for MAD Magazine, an entertainment reporter (Daily Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, CREEM), and authorized biographer for pop culture icons from the Beach Boys to Beastie Boys, Paul McCartney to MC Hammer.