Pro mountain guide JF Plouffe (pictured) plans to spend his Father's Day deep-water soloing with his wife and two kids.
Pro mountain guide JF Plouffe (pictured) plans to spend his Father's Day deep-water soloing with his wife and two kids. (Photo: Courtesy of JF Plouffe)
Gear Guy

What Are the Coolest Father’s Day Gifts?

Pro adventurer dads share their suggestions. (Hint: Rooftop tents, not ties.)


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Your dad is a badass. To figure out what you should get him this Father’s Day, we asked five badass pro-level outdoor athletes for their hero-gift suggestions. Here’s what they said. 

Explorer Mike Libecki

Mike Libecki will be on Mount Kilimanjaro with his 12-year-old daughter, Lilliana, this Father’s Day. It isn’t Libecki’s first big adventure with his daughter: Last year, the pair traveled to Antarctica, and Africa is Lilliana’s seventh continent. “Time spent in nature with my daughter is the most amazing Father’s Day gift ever,” Libecki wrote in an email. As for gear, he suggests Goal Zero solar panels and charging kits for phones, iPads, and laptops. 

Pro Kayaker Ken Hoeve

Elite kayaker and river SUP athlete Ken Hoeve usually spends Father’s Day enjoying a river with his two sons, Hunter and River. Hoeve suggests a folding car-top Tepui tent as a perfect gift. “I can easily set the tent up from start to finish in three minutes—and then climb right into bed,” Hoeve says. “It takes about five minutes to take down.” He was also impressed with how comfortable the integrated mattress is: He’s already slept in it three times this week.

Paralympian Josh Dueck

Josh Dueck plans to start Father’s Day with a call to his dad, thanking him for instilling a passion for adventure in his son. Dueck will be en route with his wife and daughter to Yosemite as part of a multiyear adventure. He told us that his ideal day would be spent near a river with his daughter. “The best piece of adventure gear that I could not live without and would suggest to anyone with kids is the Thule Chariot child carrier,” Dueck wrote in an email. It’s very versatile—good for cycling, cross-country skiing, or running. “The Chariot allows us to be active as a family and lets us get outside to enjoy nature without limitations,” Dueck wrote.

Pro Ice Climber Aaron Mulkey

The Wyoming local suggests the lightweight Rab Flashpoint jacket because it can scrunch down smaller than the palm of your hand. “It’s so small, it feels stupid not to take it,” Aaron Mulkey says. The Flashpoint saved his hide this year when a wet storm rolled in after he topped out on a climb in Norway on what started as a bluebird day. He wouldn’t have packed a jacket if it hadn’t been so convenient. It also came in handy when an alpine climb with his daughter turned unexpectedly rainy. “It made a miserable child a happy one who wanted to finish the climb,” Mulkey says. 

Pro Mountain Guide JF Plouffe

After pretending to sleep in long enough for his son to deliver him pancakes, Helly Hansen- and Rossignol-sponsored mountain athlete JF Plouffe (Instagram: @jfplouffe) plans to head out with his wife, his one-year-old daughter, and his eight-year-old son in the family’s 12-foot Zodiac boat to go deep-water soloing. Since he already has sweet gear from his sponsors, he wants a set of BaseCampX throwing knives to play with while he’s camping. “I already have a slingshot from them and love it,” Plouffe says.

Lead Photo: Courtesy of JF Plouffe

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