This story is part of Father’s Day Gift Guide 2020, featuring our top picks for dads who love tech.
My children would probably tell you that I’m not the easiest to shop for, so I know that finding the perfect gift for dad on Father’s Day or a birthday year after year can be challenge. Dads can be too low-key about what they might really want, and they often seem to already have many of the things they really need, but our selection of great Father’s Day gifts can help.
Read more: These are our favorite gifts for grads in 2020
This sleek, waterproof aluminum tube has just about all of the gear you could need in a pinch. That includes a 200-lumen LED flood beam flashlight, a compass, a modest first aid kit and everything you need to start a fire — each neatly packed into a modular storage puck. There’s also some rope, a wire saw and a razor blade, some tape, sewing gear, fishing gear and everything you’d need to purify 7.5 liters of water. Weighing in at just under 1 pound, these supplies are great for camping — but just as useful to stash in a car, boat or home.
Kammock’s Roo Double hammock was recommended by a friend and it’s already transformed my family’s summer for the better. It’s big enough for dad plus one — or maybe two other pint-sized companions — as long as you keep the total to under 500 pounds. And, crafted from ripstop nylon, it’s lightweight enough to throw in any backpack or day bag.
You’ll need some sturdy straps to rig the hammock to trees. However, if you can afford it, I’d recommend Kammock’s Swiftlet hammock stand. It’s lightweight, surprisingly simple to assemble and adjust and it comes with a terrific carrying case. The company is currently accepting Swiftlet preorders for a July 31 ship date.
In an era of toilet paper shortages, a bidet is a sound investment and a thoughtful Father’s Day gift. It’s also a healthier and potentially more sustainable alternative to paper goods. There’s much to recommend about the Omigo. Importantly, it’s dead simple to install; I’m not much of a plumber and it took me less than 45 minutes to get it up and running, with zero issues.
It has everything one could want in a bidet — rear and front wash nozzles, a seat heater, multiple temperature and position settings and a nifty blue nightlight. That noted, at $584, the flagship model is far too expensive and the features that are exclusive to it aren’t essential. I’d recommend the OmigoSL instead, which costs nearly $200 less but gives you all of the vital bells and whistles. It comes with a 90-day free trial that leaves you on the hook just for shipping costs. Note that you can also make your own bidet, if you’re the DIY type, or opt for something considerably more affordable, such as a Tushy model.
There are plenty of great waterproof Bluetooth speakers on the market but perhaps none quite as distinctive as the Demer Box. The sound quality is top-notch: This thing has audio that’s loud and crisp, with a big-time low end. Built in the USA, the “crush-proof” Pelican case is waterproof and nearly indestructible, and the DB2 model is big enough to carry several beers and a handful of other valuables. The rechargeable battery lasts for roughly 40 hours.
That noted, if you’re looking for a much more affordable speaker, we recommend the $30 Tribit X Sound Go, which is also waterproof and delivers surprisingly good sound for the price.
Dads need distraction as much as anyone right now — and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the wildly popular island life simulator, appears to be the best way to temporarily check out of 2020. It’s nearly impossible to find the Nintendo Switch in stock anywhere, though the less expensive Switch Lite has been popping up over the past few weeks. You can generally find it at major retailers for its $200 list price. If you get the chance, buy it. Your dad will be psyched to get this as a Father’s Day present.
Read our Switch Lite review.
Read more: Best TVs and streaming devices for Father’s Day 2020
A great TV is the bedrock of every dad’s home entertainment system and this particular model offers the best bang for the buck, straight up. The latest version of the TCL 6-Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to improved color and its well-implemented full-array local dimming, which helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. As if that’s not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.
Read our TCL 6-Series (2019 Roku TV) review.
Once you’ve got a solid TV in place, dad’s A/V situation could use a boost for Father’s Day. The Vizio SB3621 delivers stellar performance for an ultra-budget sound bar as well as including Bluetooth connectivity and Dolby and DTS processing. Dollar for dollar, we think it’s the best soundbar on the market.
If your dad has all of the practical bases covered, get him a toy. DJI’s brand new Mavic Air 2 has a ton of cutting-edge features including more than 30 minutes of flight time, a 6-mile range and a handful of safety upgrades including improved obstacle avoidance and air traffic alerts. Plus, the camera hardware is legit: This drone can capture 48-megapixel photos and 4K video at 60 frames per second. If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, the previous Mavic model is available for $100 less and the Mavic Mini can be had for as little as $400.
At $100, this 10-ounce coffee mug is way too expensive to buy for yourself — which could make it an ideal gift for a dad. The Ember keeps coffee at the perfect temperature — technically, 130 degrees F, though that’s adjustable via the iOS- and Android-compatible app — for about an hour. If you take your coffee seriously, it’s a life-changing accessory.
Read our take on the Ember Mug.
It’s cool-looking, tough as nails and big — with a bigger-than-advertised 62-quart capacity. In CNET’s roundup of best coolers, we designated the Lifetime High Performance Cooler as the best-designed. Dad will appreciate the dual-locking lid latches, roped handles and built-in bottle opener. You can buy it for under $100 at Walmart, too.
Read our review of the Lifetime High Performance Cooler.