8 Wildly Different Holiday Gift Ideas for Dads

Buy him gear, not stuff

By Eric Cohen December 3, 2019

Dads on TV are often portrayed as bumbling incompetents when it comes to parenting. But most dads I know are rocking the parenting thing. So show him a little love with some sweet gear this holiday season! Here are eight ideas, hand selected by me -- the original Macaroni Dad -- that are sure to please: 

1. The NordicTrack Percussion Massage Gun

If your guy works hard, or works out hard -- or not -- he'll love the NordicTrack Percussion Massage Gun. Massage Guns are great for relieving muscle tension and aches. And if you are lucky, he'll give you a turn with it too. They first came out about 5 years ago and the original ones cost upwards of $400. This NordicTrack retails for just $99. Available for sale at 

2. Stay Dry Denim Jeans

Parenting is messy. If I had a nickel for every time my kids spilled something on me, I'd have almost as much money as if I had one for every time I spilled something on myself. Well Duer brand has the solution with their Stay Dry Denim Jeans. Stretchy for comfort, and water repellent for, you know, life. I've been living in mine the past few weeks and they are a treat. Check them out at Duer's website for $139. 

3. Hydroflask 32 oz. Wide Mouth

As dads, we usually end up in the role of pack mule, carrying for all. The Hydroflask 32 oz. Wide Mouth makes a great gift for year-round adventures. Fill it with hot chocolate for the family. Or fill it with coffee for those dad-only winter outings. Then there's the iced beverages to enjoy in the summer...I could go on. The limited edition versions make for a unique standout gift. Choose his favorite here for $44.95

4. Seirus Heatwave glove liners

Speaking of snowy adventures, as dads we are always buckling ski boots, or zipping snowsuits, or fixing something outside and you need warm hands and some dexterity. The Seirus Heatwave glove liners are a neat gift. I often ski wearing mittens as they are super warm -- but I can't do much of anything in them. So when the kids need help, I take off my mittens. But with these glove liners, my hands don't freeze. They also have touchscreen tips on the index finger and thumb so you can answer those texts and take pics. Just $19.99 makes them a great stocking stuffer. Find them here

5. SunCloud sunglasses

I've included sunglasses in a few holiday and Father's Day guides. You know why? Because I'm brutal on sunglasses. From minor scratches to the time I leaned over a bonfire and they fell off my head into the flames, mine rarely last more than a couple of years. That's why I'm a fan of SunCloud. They are great looking and great performing eyewear and don't break the bank. SunCloud has a plethora of styles, most around $49, that fit all faces and needs. And they are polarized, which is super important and usually found in much more expensive sunglasses. I've been sporting the Low Key model and digging them. Find the perfect pair at their website

6. Pelican Marine phone case

The reason you have gear is to do stuff. To have and share experiences. And capturing those experiences so we can share them, and not just on social media, is a big part of the joy of the experience. And here's something to help you safely capture those moments of family fun (and guy fun), the Pelican Marine phone case. Not only does it protect your phone against drops, but it's water tight. Now, I wouldn't take it scuba diving, but for the "whoops" moments, you'll save your phone and your memories. At $79 it's a bit more than regular cases, but for waterproof protection, it's worth it

7. Darn Tough Vermont wool socks

Socks. Dads always need socks. Maybe not the most glamorous gift, but always welcome. If you are going to get dad socks, don't just get him any old pair. Go for good ones, like socks from Darn Tough Vermont. Wool socks that live up to their name. They are made in the USA and have different styles for different activities, from hiking to running to skiing and even just everyday work/lifestyle socks. Find your guy's fave here for about $20 a pair.

8. Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler

Last, dad is going to need something to haul this gear around in. We are big fans of Eagle Creek and their Cargo Hauler is a beast of a duffle bag. The 40L is a great size for a weekend trip, or as a gym bag, or even a baby/diaper bag that doesn't look like one. It comes with backpack straps for hands-free action, a divider in the main section, and a shoe pocket at one end that's completely separate from the rest, perfect for dirty shoes or, ahem, diapers. $99 for the smaller 40L size and they go up to a giant wheeled 130L bag. Here's their website