A lot of my time—especially these days—is spent with my kids. It’s been hard, yes, but also a blessing, because I might never get to enjoy so much uninterrupted time with them again. To keep myself productive and the kids entertained over the past couple months, I’ve come to rely on some specific gear. These items make great gifts for the dads in your life, during the quarantine and not.
Yeti Rambler 26-Ounce Vacuum Bottle with Chug Cap ($40)
At about 10 A.M., my kids go crazy. They’ve done a little homework, watched TV, and need to run around. As we head out to the local park or hiking trails, I always pack this bottle. It’s my favorite because it’s not only indestructible, but it also keeps my water cold and comes with Yeti’s Chug cap. Its durability is important because my kids always find clever ways to beat it up. And the proprietary cap is handy because my four-year-old can drink from the bottle without making a total mess, even in the car.
Ursa Major Sublime Sage Spray Deodorant ($18)
Thanks to the spray design, this deodorant goes on quicker and cleaner than any gel I’ve ever used. And when we’re ready to leave the house, every second counts when dealing with whiny, grumpy kids. I also love the scent and the fact that it’s made from natural ingredients. I’m not that worried about my deodorant choice, but my daughter is: it gives her peace of mind that I’m not rubbing unnecessary chemicals all over my body.
Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop 28L Backpack ($140)
“Dad, can I have some water?” “Dad, can I have a snack?” “Dad, can I have my jacket?” I probably hear similar questions 25 times a day, and all of them prompt me to dig through my backpack. That’s why I’ve come to love the rolltop Urban Ex, which has a single cavernous chute that allows for quick access to whatever my kids are requesting. In fact, if we’re just at the park, I don’t even shut the rolltop, so that the bag becomes a sort of large tote with shoulder straps. Bonus points for the fully waterproof design: the pack is easy to wash out if I forget a banana at the bottom of the bag and it gets smashed.
All Good SPF 30 Kid’s Mineral Sunscreen Spray Six Ounce ($22)
My kids hate sunscreen that burns their eyes and strings when it’s sprayed on skinned knees. That’s why we turned to this version from All Good; it uses zinc oxide and is much easier on their skin. Like all mineral sunscreens, it has to be rubbed in a little more, but my kids feel that’s a fair trade-off—plus, they like the smell. I like it because it comes in a spray bottle for easy application, and it’s not horrible for the environment (coral reefs specifically). I happily use the kid’s version on myself, but the company makes an adult option, too.
Poc Will Sunglasses ($130)
These shades are survivors because they’re built out of Grilamid—the same stuff high-end ski boots are made from—not to mention they’ve lived through constant wrestling matches with my rambunctious kids. Thanks to a special coating, the lenses are easy to clean of tiny fingerprints. When I get sweaty, hydrophilic rubber grippers on the nose and temples keep the glasses from slipping off. I also like the style. The nose bridge and unique shape of the lenses make them stand out in a sea of similar-looking dad-approved sunglasses.
Apple AirPods Pro ($235)
Sometimes I need to hide from my kids—either to get work done or take a break—and these headphones let me do it. With their built-in noise-canceling feature, I can work on the laptop for a couple of hours and not be distracted by shouting or whining. The high-quality speaker components create incredible fidelity, so I can appreciate whatever I’m listening to. Unlike over-the-ear sound-canceling headphones, these are also great for workouts: I can use them on a solo run or ride when some alone time to refresh is called for.