Fathers Day Gift Guide 2019
Engearment Approved Dad Stuff
Here are the Engearment.com staff picks for awesome Fathers Day gear. We have tested out each one of these items and assure they will make Dads happy to receive them. Skip the damn neckties!
To all the Dads out there, granddads, dog dads and every other kind of dad you can think of. This gift guide is for you!
Mystery Ranch Scree is one heck of a nice day pack. Made from 210 Robic nylon and designed to be opened with ease. I had never used a pack with the unique 3-way zipper system before. After a month of using this pack, it is now the go-to hiking pack. Everything Mystery Ranch makes is designed well and built tough. Heck, 3/4 of the packs they make for military, firefighters, and hunters. So you know these are made to last! $190
Patagonia Nine Trails
The Patagonia Nine Trails is part of a series of packs that are lightweight, comfortable and great for day hikes. The back panel helps wick away sweat and the shoulder straps are cushioned for long days on the trail. I have been using the 28L version for almost a year and really like it. Full review HERE.
Hydro Flask Journey Hydration Pack
These take after the Soft Side cooler build from Hydro Flask (mentioned below in Camp section). I have never seen a hydration pack like this! The materials are super burly and create a waterproof pack. The hydration reservoir is surrounded by insulation to keep the water cold for very long amounts of time. Plus, they carry well and look sharp. Full review here. Grab the Journey here $200.
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25L Backpack
This pack is made of super durable material that we could not rip. Will Coleman took it over to abuse it on his many sufferfests. From backpacking and climbing to splitboarding and farmers markets – this pack does it all. Read our detailed review HERE. MSRP $140
Blackstrap Sun Protection
We LOVE Costa sunglasses over here. Everyone on the team has a pair and we would not leave home without them. They all feature polarized glass lenses for optimum clarity. Some of the models even feature recycled materials.
Read more about the Costa X Bureo collection HERE. These are premium sunglasses that will last a lifetime. Worth every penny. Ranging in price from $80 to $250. The models we are most fond of are the Spearo (Will Coleman’s favorite) $190 , Aransas (read review here) $250, and Baffin (read review here) $220 and Pescador (read review here) with side shields $270
Nite Ize Runoff Wallet
The creative geniuses over at Nite Ize keep coming up with awesome solutions to some common problems. Case in point, the RunOff collection of waterproof storage containers. I reviewed the Runoff packing cube and love it. I keep my camera and electronics in it when camping in winter storms. They sent over the Runoff Wallet recently. It is perfect for hiking and keeping your cash and cards safe from the elements. Grab one for $25
I had an Opinel knife hanging off my climbing harness for over 25 years. I still have it but it now lives in my fishing kit. It is only there because it has a tendency to now open of its own accord; nothing a bit of duck tape cannot fix. These iconic French knives favored by gardeners were first made in 1890. They are simple. A sharp blade that is easy to hone. A beautiful wooden handle. And, a locking mechanism so that they do not close by accident. They are light and come in different sizes.
Hands down the least complicated general purpose knife I know. Strong enough to whittle firewood into feather sticks. Sharp enough to gut a fish. Small enough to keep in your pocket and not give off a Rambo vibe. You can buy the blades in either carbon steel, better for sharpening. Or, stainless steel, better for dad’s who do not want to deal with rust. These are a classic gem. $15 at REI
Rab Bothy Bag
This is the gift dad does not know he wants. Hell, he doesn’t even know it exists. The likelihood is that YOU have never seen one of these before either. Bothy bags are brilliant. As an instructor in the UK, it is one of the tools I always carried and I mean always. I had several of them made to cater to any group size.
The basic premise is that it is a cube of fabric without a floor. You organize your group so that they stand facing each other in a rectangle or square. Then, pull the shelter out of its stuff sack and hand everyone a piece of the hem. They duck underneath it, bring the hem below their butt and then sit down at the same time. The result is instant. Multiple people in an enclosed space lift the temperature significantly. Bodies provide the frame. And, suddenly you are all dry, out of the wind, able to talk and feeling warmer.
Depending on the material they can be noisy and they are not favored by claustrophobes. Farting is also, deemed an offense punishable by banishment, even by the normally accepting outdoor crowd. This though is the most efficient and simple group shelter system I have used.
I normally have a Rab bothy bag in my daypack. I picked mine up in Sierra Trading post for $30 having always carried a (relatively heavy) 4 person one from the UK for over 20 years. Rab makes them in 4 sizes and 2 weights. Superlight 2 (8oz) and Superlight 4 (11oz) are the two I would suggest unless working with groups.
If you have not seen one before check it out. Dad will be amazed and wonder how you knew he wanted it. Inform him the Welshman told you. This is one piece of wizardry he will not want to miss out on.
Roofnest Rooftop Tent
I have never been a fan of rooftop tents, until the Roofnest. We have been testing it out for the last month and are VERY impressed! The first night out was in a snowstorm and temps in the teens. My wife and two dogs were cozy and warm all night.
It sets up fast and has a built-in mattress. The collapsible ladder packs up small for storage. Inside the tent are several organizational items and a mesh canopy to dry things out in. Here is our detailed review on the Roofnest Eagle Rooftent. Bottom line, we love it. Grab one for $2800 from Roofnest.
ENO Lounger DL Chair
Looking for a comfortable, packable chair? Look no further! This easy to set up chair has a built-in head pillow! Through in an oversized cup holder and you have an afternoon lounge station. I like that you can adjust how high or low you want the Lounger. This makes it great for BBQs or outdoor concerts, where you have to be below a certain height. Grab one from Backcountry.com $125
ENO Skyloft Hammock
This hammock is all about chilling! Literally. The head and toe area are airy mesh to allow for circulation and cooling. Hence the name of “loft”! It sets up with the Atlas Straps $30 wrapped around a tree or other stable object. This is not a super light hammock. Coming in at 3lbs. If you want light, check out their Single and Double Nest hammocks. We own those and love them too. But, this makes one heck of a nice relaxing hammock. Perfect for a dad to chill out in. Get one at REI $130
These Solo Stoves are genius. They burn almost any source of biomass (wood, pellets, even damp wood). The design creates a very hot fire that completely burns the material. Leaving very little waste. There is a range of stoves, from backpacking size to backyard firepit. We use the Bonfire $350 (but on sale for $255) for car camping and the Solo Lite $90 (on sale for $60) for backpacking.
Lander Cairn XL Lantern
This is not a regular camp lantern! The features on this light still blow me away. It syncs up via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet. From there, you launch it’s app (yes, this light has it’s own app!). In the app, you can set up what time you want the Cairn to turn on and off. What color and brightness you want. My favorite feature is the proximity turn on. Meaning, it turns on as you get closer to it. Think about that for a minute. Grab one from REI $99
Hydro Flask Unbound Soft Side Cooler
This soft side cooler from Hydro Flask is about as sleek and functional as it gets. My wife and I have been using the 22L cooler for the last 5 months and love them! They are great for camping, outdoor concerts, and farmers markets. The build quality is nothing short of amazing. Read the full review here. $275 for the 22L. There are more in the line up though.
Mountain Hardwear Phantom Alpine 15 Sleeping Bag
This ultralight and efficient sleeping bag features new Pertex Y-Fuse and RDS down. We loved this bag for mild winter camping and spring alpine missions. Premium down sleeping bag! Read our detailed review HERE. MSRP $550
Arctic Zone Titan 55Q Deep Freeze Roto Cooler
This beast of a cooler doubles as a seat for two while it keeps things cold. Roto-mold construction makes this durable and effective. Microban coating on the plastic makes it easy to clean and resistant to bacteria. A nice perk. It is even bear-resistant! $245 on Amazon
Dogfish Head Beer!
Dogfish Head launched two new beers aimed at the outdoorsy active beer lover. Slightly Mighty – a lower calorie IPA that goes down easy. At under 100 calories, it actually tastes good. Thanks to monk fruit, they were able to reduce the calories and still have a damn good beer.
If you like sours, then you are in luck. The Sea Quench Ale is all about lime and salt. I found it very refreshing while post hike and setting up camp.
Sea to Summit Pillow
Let’s face it. Dad has forgotten how to spend money on himself since your kids arrived. Sure he will break down and buy something utilitarian at times. But, when was the last luxury he bought himself? A beer here or a minivan there. But, really who was it for? Even the beer was to calm his nerves so he would not return your tantrum. So imagine my surprise when I broke down and bought one of these last hold out items. I had been cramming stuff sacks with stinky apparel from hard days hiking for decades.
I didn’t need a pillow. Who used them? And then my head was cradled and elevated above the neck-cricking ground. Get this, I actually got a good night’s sleep in a tent. These things are light and have a plush surface to rest your face on. They don’t even complain when you drool on them and he will. OK, I am now one of those people. I am sure your dad would like being one too. $40-60 at REI
Sawyer Mini Filter
Coming from the UK I struggled with not being able to drink straight from a stream. I like fresh potable water being as plentiful as my sons pee when I was on diaper duty. I began using a pump filter system but opted for iodine due to reduced weight and inconvenience. Let me tell you iodine tastes about as good as your diapers back in the day. Yet, I could not find a better system.
Pumps mean there are things to break. There are also things to clog and I felt I was cleaning my filter more often than using it. I was slow on the uptake of gravity filters, they are also expensive for what they are. Enter the squeeze filter the price was right and I decided to try one out.
I was an instant convert. These guys weigh about 2oz, and take little space in your pack. There are no moving parts, they come with the tools necessary to clean them and you can do it in the field. You do not have to wait for chemicals to work. You can put a straw onto one end and drink or you can squeeze into a clean bottle. Again backpacking simplified. $20 at REI
Tenkara USA Rod & Fly Tying Kit
If you want to atone for all the noise you made Dad suffer then help him find an activity like fishing. You may even have St Peter (or whoever else) smiling at you and letting you past. If you don’t need to think of dad swearing amidst a tangle of line. Or, fly punctured bleeding lips then Tenkara is the way to go.
Imagine the aesthetic of fly fishing with the ease of a wormed hook attached to a fresh cut pole. Throw in the catch rate of a Norwegian trawler and you may have described Tenkara fishing. Tenkara is a reel less fly fishing system used by Japanese creek fishermen. It is a simple and beautiful form of fishing. If you want to carry a pole when backpacking this is the ticket.
For a few ounces you can be fully kitted out. If he needs something to do on winter evenings tying his own flies is going to give him an enormous sense of well being. Tenkara flies are as simple to tie as cooking ramen noodles. I have used an Iwana rod by Tenkara USA since going to the Tenkara summit last year. It is well weighted and easy to use.
You may consider a Hane if you want to fish while backpacking or a Sato if you want to throw down a bit more cash. Their Tenkara kit will give you everything that you need to go with the rod. (A full kit will cost somewhere between $200 & $280, a fly tying kit with vise is $145)
Mystery Ranch Rover
Once again, Mystery Ranch over-delivers on the travel bag. This 43L backpack suitcase is carry on bag at its best. There are so many features on this, that I will let Alex from Mystery Ranch tell you all about it! Grab one for $185
Lander Commuter Backpack
This is my current everyday backpack. This pack is so full of features that I am still finding them out, after a month of using it! Much like the Cairn lantern above, Lander over engineered this pack and we all win from that.
It easily holds my MacBook Pro 15″ and iPad in the protected, zippered pocket. My second favorite pocket is the diagonal zip pocket. It holds a pad of notepaper, pens, chargers and such. Gusseted pockets on the side hold small to medium sized water bottles. I was able to get my insulate 22oz MIIR bottle in there. The materials are waterproof too. Below the bag is chilling in a mild rain storm (with my electronics in it!) Yes, everything was safe 🙂 $150
Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel
This duffel is made from recycled windshields! Besides that, it works great at keeping gear dry and safe during travel. Several sizes to choose from. I use the 60L and 130L wheeled versions. Full review here. Grab the duffels here and wheeled ones here.
I am so impressed with Saola and their environmentally friendly mission to make good shoes. Shoes made from vegan-friendly and recycled materials.
I have been wearing the Cannon Knit all month and think they are comfortable and look sharp. I highly recommend these shoes if you are looking for good quality footwear that does good for the planet. $100
Check out the founders and their mission!
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Boot
These shoe/boot/sock things are really comfortable. We did a detailed review and video on them already and you can check that out here. These boots are light and grip on everything we have put under them. Get a pair at Backcounty.com $200
Hoka Challenger ATR 5
We are big fans over here at Engearment, in case you have not noticed LOL. Check out some of our favorite HOKA One One shoes here. The Challenger ATR 5 is a great trail running shoe with good grip. The lightweight build and balanced cushion make for a good run. Will uses them for legit trail runs. I use them for a daily use shoe as they are so dang comfortable! $130 at REI
Xero Terraflex Shoes
Shark Tanks aside you will not find many barefoot shoes with teeth like these. They are also as tough as the aforementioned shark’s skin. I have had the same pair for two years. They have been backpacking in the Weminuche and had countless days on the high peaks of Colorado. Finding a barefoot shoe that I felt good wearing up Mt Massive was revolutionary for me.
I have had a lot of pairs of barefoot shoes over the years, but they do not last me a year and my feet bruise on rocky terrain. We need a shoe that lets our toes spread out. One that encourages us to use the muscles in our feet this translates as happy days on the trail. A big tip for dad I use a rock plate from an old pair of Altras for those rocky trails. $100
Evolv Cruzer Psyche
Another shoe that I have had for two years and worn most days since. I bought these for a climbing trip to the UK with my son. I was attracted to the minimal midsole which translates as encouraging a better posture and being lighter on my feet.
I expected to wear them for approaches but we also ended up using them on a lot of the routes we climbed. The other place these have excelled has been on my bike commute to work. I do not have traps on my pedals and these are suitably stiff and, sticky as flypaper.
Need a quick spurt to pass the car that cut you up, these guys do the job and look great into the bargain. Like barefoot shoes, these are wide enough for my feet to breathe. Thankfully, being a climbing shoe they are not too wide to make my footwork sloppy. (MSRP $80 – but on sale for $60 at REI!)
This is another high-end sock that we all dig. I have pairs that are 3 years old and still going strong! Grab them at REI
These socks really impressed our testers too. You can tell a lot went into designing these socks. Aimed at runners, they definitely held true to their claim as being “America’s #1 running sock”. They are even labeled left and right. Check out their line up here.
Kuhl Radikl Pants
I feel like I should be sponsored by KUHL for how often I recommend them! LOL. In all honesty, I live in KUHL pants and shorts, year round. They are the only pants that consistently fit my legs and allow for a full range of motion. If you need your pants to stay together as you do kettlebell swings and deep squats, then get your ass in these pants. $90 well spent.
We love wool at Engearment. Ridge sent over their Journey t-shirt $50 and Heist Hoody $100 to test out. I think they are both a bargain for what you get. Most merino wool shirts cost at least 25% more than the Ridge clothes. I really like the Heist Hoody. It fits perfect and feels great. For reference, I am 6’1″ 205lbs wearing XL hoody.
Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell Jacket
This light jacket has to be the most used wind jacket in our crew. It stretches, breaths well and defends against wind and light precip. Packs up super small and fits perfectly. This will make any dad happy! Read our full review HERE. MSRP $130
Sherpa Adventure Gear Gurhkali Pants
Sherpa makes some great gear and these pants are the bees knees! Made of a stretchy, yet very durable material, these pants are made to last. Cotton infused with Dyneema (yes Dyneema!) make these pants much tougher than they look. Though in spandex and you have work pants that allow you to deep squat with ease. I used these on camping trips the last few weeks and found them so comfortable that I fell asleep in them! Despite the comfort, they handled the job of cutting wood and bushwacking. Grab a pair on sale at REI for $135
Insta 360 One X
This has been my go-to camera all winter. It takes amazing video at 5.7k and can shoot in HDR. No other camera in this price range can offer that. It makes getting good footage idiot proof. Seriously. Just stick it on a selfie stick and go do something. The software erases the selfie stick and you are left with an amazing video that looks like someones else shot it. Like your own personal drone or something.
It just blows my mind and it will him too! This is the best dad camera out there. You never miss a moment! He can shoot in 360 and even make these “tiny planet” pics. Kids love the videos and pictures too! $400 on Amazon
The DJI Osmo Action is being called the GoPro killer. That is some aggressive language, but it seems accurate. I have been using it for the last few weeks and can attest to its ease of use. You can use your voice to turn it off or take videos. It shoots in 4k 60 frames a second and can shoot in HDR as well. The onboard stabilization, called Rock Steady, is better than the GoPro too. Bonus – it is durable as heck and waterproof. It is being so well received that it may be out of stock! Grab one while you can! $350 on Amazon
Ultimate handheld recovery tool. I have been using this for 8 months on myself and anyone else that sees it. What looks like a fancy jigsaw, is actually quite nice at loosening tight muscles and improving recovery. We did a very detailed review on it here. $350 at REI
That does it for the 2019 Fathers Day Gift Guide. We all hope you found it helpful and find that right gift for the lucky man. Even if you don’t get anything from this guide, please take a moment to thank the fathers in your life. From all of us at Engearment, take care!
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