Gift Guides

16 Awesome Gift Ideas for Dad

. 5 min read . Written by Russell Smith
16 Awesome Gift Ideas for Dad

Hit a home run this Father's Day

My holiday gift guide was a big hit with readers, so I wanted to share some ideas for Good Ole Dad’s Day coming up on June 19th. Kids, wives and significant others – these gifts will help make the day an awesome one for the man in your life.

For the Chef Dad

Cowboy Cauldron

“Badass” does not begin to adequately describe this mixed fire pit – grill. A show-stopping signature piece for any backyard, you’ll enjoy years of use from any of them – from the small THE DUDE to the Ranch Boss. If only I could convince my wife to let me have one….

Three Little Pigs BBQ Sauces and Rubs

The owner, Chris Marks, is a many-time world BBQ champion. His “BBQ Bootcamp” rocked my world two years ago. His sauces and rubs bring some of that championship magic to your backyard. Try the Touch of Cherry and Kansas City Championship, especially.

For the Outdoors Dad

Rite in the Rain

Makers of the best all-weather, bad-weather, rain, snow, hurricane, dropped-my-journal-in-the-water notebooks. They sell golf journals, travel journals, and an array of tactical options too. (Including the beef calving one, sure to be a top seller among readers of Solvitur Ambulando.) Alas, they have discontinued the Fly Fishing Journal – I’ve almost completed my second one, so I’ll have to find a new option.  These notebooks simply can’t be destroyed, they’re light, and hey, they look cool.

BioLite Headlamp

You will barely notice wearing the BioLite Headlamp 200. Super-lightweight, making it perfect for any nighttime activity. Including, for me, reading in bed so I don’t bother my wife with a bedside lamp.


I never see ads for these rods anywhere. I don’t find many guides that use them or even know about them. But the guides who know, know. Hands down, their 4-weight is the best rod I’ve ever used.

Abel Reel

I don’t have one. I want one. Sleek; dare I say, sexy. Some models come in cool, artistic designs (eg, Grateful Dead, fish patterns, and customizable options). Friends who have one swear by it – not simply for the cool factor, but because it gets the jobs done on the water extremely well.

Shibumi Shade

Hittin’ the beach this summer? Keep that epidermis safe from the sun with one of these Shades. Light, easy to pack and take down. You’ll love it.

For the Style Dad

Rowing Blazers Hats

My friend Jack Carlson makes the neatest, most unique styles available today. You will stand out from the crowd in any of these lids. And if they get the Duke and Duke Commodities Brokers banker bag back in stock, grab one.

Rancourt & Co. Shoes

Durable. Gorgeous. Elegant. Beautifully made in the great state of Maine. Not the cheapest out there, but they last and keep looking great. My Mocs wore comfortably right out of the box. If loving a shoe is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

A Continuous Lean (Michael Williams) and The Contender (David Coggins) Newsletters

Two style writers who each have their own paid newsletters. Style writing, like baseball and fishing writing, can devolve into weepy, overwrought cliches. Not with Coggins and Williams, because they do not write – really — about style. They write about living deliberately. When their newest missives hit my inbox, I stop what I am doing and read. Buy a subscription to either and you also obtain access to their fun podcast, Central Division.

Tom James Company Gift Card

As my friend and clothier Herb Melton mentioned, every man could benefit from developing a relationship with a stylist who knows him, his preferences, his sizes, and his aims in life. Look great, feel great and be great in tailored clothes from Tom James. Their clothiers come to you – home or office – making the entire process easy peasy. In Louisville, contact my friend Herb or his colleague Jordan Yocum. Outside Louisville, you can find a nearby clothier here.

Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen

What can I say – I love a good fountain pen. These from Kaweco exude modern class. Plus, they’re generally inexpensive. I use the orange (called “Fox” by Kaweco) Skyline Sport all the time at home. Add some emotion and elegance to Dad’s life.

Knit Tie from J. Press

Hey, if you’re getting Dad a tie for Father’s Day, give him something unique, yet tried and true. These are gorgeous and hit just the right note.

For the Self-Improvement Dad

Mental Models for Better Thinking

Longtime readers know I think Farnam Street is the single best resource available today to improve yourself, your thinking and your way of life. Its newest class – on developing mental models in life – is superlative. Buy it for Dad. He, and you, will be thrilled.

The Histories by Herodotus (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (Amazon Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Herodotus has gotten a bit of a boost, reputation-wise, in the last few years. I’m coming to the game late, but I can see why. Thucydides belonged to an era of civil war – say, the last 1000 years in Europe, for instance. But the world has evolved, as it is wont to do. Herodotus examines two worlds at their peak duking it out for supremacy. Yes, both worlds are fractured and in a way divided. But when the chips are down, the Greeks and Persians each unite against the terrible threat posed by the other. You know the outcome, and we are, we believe, beneficiaries of that outcome. The contemporary world more and more resembles the age of which Herodotus writes. We would be well-served to understand it. This translation, by renowned Greek and Roman historian Tom Holland, is readable and modern.

To all the Dads out there – and Dads to be – enjoy your day and your family. That is the true gift, and you are the true gift to them.

Thank you to Anthony Pica and JUDE KLINGER for reviewing and editing this article.


Images created by Olivia Lund.