What Father’s Day Gifts Will My Dad Actually Use?

The best gifts don’t have to cost a fortune

Jun 18, 2015
Outside Magazine

Save your money this year and get Dad something he’ll actually use. These 10 awesome gear gifts each cost less than $10 and are a good place to start. 

Rumpl Beer Blanket ($7)

  Photo: Rumpl

We love the Rumpl Beer Blanket because it packs down to nothing, insulates beer as well as any hearty neoprene koozie, and looks way cooler draped over an ice-cold Pabst.

Vapur Incognito Flexible Flask ($6.99)

  Photo: Vapur

This 10-ounce malleable flask easily slips into a jacket pocket or backpack. Even though it’s plastic and flexible, we found the Vapur to be plenty hardy after we shoved it—filled with whiskey—into an overflowing backcountry ski pack on ski tours this winter. 

Klean Kanteen 16-Ounce Steel Pint ($9.95) 

  Photo: Kleen Kanteen

While we prefer insulated pint glasses, their price points are above our $10 cap. A nice single-walled, stainless-steel option like the Klean Kanteen 16-ounce will serve Dad well on car camping trips this summer. Beer tastes better out of metal than plastic, the reusable cup is less wasteful than its Solo cousins, and you can insulate it with a koozie (see Rumpl, above). 

Nathan Tri-Color Ankle Band ($7)

  Photo: Nathan

Keep Dad safe with this simple, effective, high-visibility ankle band. Whether he's running or cycling in the morning or evening, this 13-inch adjustable ankle bracelet will help make him more visible to drivers on the road. The band has three different reflective colors to make it even more eye grabbing. 

GSI Outdoors Spice Missile ($9.95) 

  Photo: GSI Outdoors

Make delicious food in the backcountry with this ultralight six-spice holder. The 2.1-ounce plastic unit is about the size of a Snickers and increases camp food flavor profiles exponentially. Tip: Try New Mexican red chile powder on mac and cheese.

Nikwax Tech Wash ($9.75)

  Photo: Nikwax

Instead of buying your father an expensive new waterproof-breathable jacket, teach him how to maximize the life of the one he already has. A great place to start: Buy him a 10-ounce bottle of Nikwax Tech Wash to replace normal household detergents, which strip away water-repellent treatments. Tech Wash actively helps revitalize DWR coatings while cleaning the funk off the fabric. 

Coughlans 6-Egg Holder ($3.25) 

  Photo: Coghlan's

If Dad is an avid backpacker or camper, this classic hard-plastic six-egg holder is the best $3.25 you can spend on him. Bringing along six fresh eggs leads to much tastier, unprocessed meals. So ditch the instant oatmeal and opt for fresh scrambled eggs (and bacon) instead. 

Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Repair Tape ($4.95) 

  Photo: REI

Yes, duct tape can patch a piece of gear in a pinch, but Gear Aid uses a more powerful adhesive to guarantee that the ripped seam stays fixed in the field. 

MSR Folding Spoon ($3.95) 

  Photo: MSR

At 9.5 grams, this folding spoon is lighter than two nickels. The folding and locking mechanism is simple, intuitive, and keeps the spoon stable while Dad shovels Top Ramen into his mouth. 

Beyond Coastal Active Face Stick ($6.99)

  Photo: Beyond Coastal

Beyond Coastal’s Active Face Stick is about the size of a book of matches. The lotion smears on solid and has been my number one choice on both kayaking and backcountry ski trips for the past year because it holds up well to water and sweat. 

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