Buying dad a Father’s Day gift on a budget can be tough — you might feel like you owe him a lot, after all he’s done for you over the years (or maybe he just has expensive taste). Golf clubs, fishing gear or a trip to the championship game, well, they don’t come cheap. But if you’re willing to think outside the box and give Dad something that’s thoughtful and well-made or just plain fun, you can make his face light up for less than a c-note. Our list of picks below is a good place to start.
Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook
Everyone knows you’ll get great bacon and steak from a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. What plenty of people don’t realize is that the humble skillet, which you can get for as little as $10, is capable of helping you fry, cook and bake everything from frittatas to Dutch babies and even fruit pies. This straightforward cookbook will give your dad dozens of fresh ideas and ways to get started.
Stanley 24-Ounce Vacuum Mug
There’s a good chance your dad already has one of these, maybe in a different size or a different color. If he doesn’t already own one, there’s no way he won’t appreciate the gesture; if he’s already set, it wouldn’t hurt for him to have a backup (or just a fresh-from-the-factory replacement) waiting in the wings.
Underwood Pinot Noir
This canned wine is plenty light to sip on its own, or with antipasti; the fruity, earthy nose gives way to a buttery finish that compliments olive oil like you wouldn’t believe. And as for the canned-wine thing, it’s a nice solution to whether or not you should open a whole new bottle after the first one is gone. It’s also so much more convenient for transport and storage when grilling or going out camping.
Filson Washed Twill Cap
This simple baseball cap is made from the same twill cotton Filson uses for its famously rugged bags. Combine that construction quality with Filson’s simple styling — and wildlife-inspired embroidery — and the end result is something that looks as good now as it’ll look in a decade.
Estwing Sportsman’s Axe
Estwing’s American-made tools are iconic, and few utility items are more deserving of “icon” status than this hatchet with a leather-stacked handle. Whether he uses it to break up kindling, clear brush or pound the occasional nail (the flat side of the hatchet head is made especially for hammering things) this is a tool your dad can hang onto and use for practically forever.
Russel Athletic Fleece Crew
You may not know this, but Russell Athletic invented the original cotton sweatshirt for football players nearly a century ago, and the brand has recently come back to the heritage apparel market with tees, sweats and fleeces that are extremely cool. Dad will love the hefty quality and rich colors, even more so if his old team sweatshirts are long worn-out (or just got stolen by his kids).
Minnetonka Double-Bottom Driver Mocs
Soft and pliable enough to wear with a bathrobe around the house, sturdy enough to wear with jeans when errands need running — these mocs are perfect go-between pieces of lounging gear that help a guy stay comfortable without looking like a bum. That’s practically always a win in Dad’s book.
Lagavulin 16-Year Scotch
If he’s a scotch guy or even just a whiskey guy, your dad will get a lot of enjoyment from Lagavulin’s 16-year single malt. It’s considerably more smokey (“peated”) than expressions from Macallan or Glenlivet — it’s an Islay whisky, not a Speyside — but it’s also not as intensely smokey as Laphroaig, and for the money, it’s one of the best scotches out there.
Hudson Made NY “The Worker’s Box”
Hudson Made NY’s products are actually made in a small shop in New York, with quality ingredients and premium packaging that more than justify paying a bit extra. If your dad’s the type to scrub up with a plain bar of soap and roll on with his day, he’ll welcome some high-end, low-maintenance grooming products that look and smell as great as they feel.
Anker Liberty Air Earbuds
If you’ve used true-wireless earbuds, you know the massive upgrade it can be from the wired-in version — nothing dangling, nothing tugging at your ear, nothing to come unplugged. For half the price of AirPods these are a pretty valuable addition to Dad’s tech lineup.
Filson 1.5-inch Bridle Leather Belt
Every man needs a great leather belt, and even if your dad already owns one, he probably won’t say no to another. Filson’s option is strikingly well-made and promises to last for years, and it’s one of those small details that can communicate quality and attention to detail without demanding attention.
Best Made Co. 15″ Toolbox
Best Made produces a lot of great riffs on classic items, including this stylized toolbox in 22-gauge steel and your choice of color. His most-used tools would fit nicely, but so would his fishing tackle or other odds and ends.
Timex MK1 Aluminum Watch
One of the most classic field watches of all time, Timex’s MK1 is modeled after a watch the brand produced for the US military during the Vietnam War. Powered by a reliable and accurate quartz movement, and housed in a sturdy aluminum case, the MK1 is a watch Dad can strap to his wrist and not worry no matter where he’s going or what he’s doing. Bonus: it looks really damn cool.
Levi’s Engineer’s Coat
This workwear classic has been designed and produced largely the same for decades, a testament to not trying to fix something that works so well. This version from Levi’s features three patch pockets on the front, one internal chest pocket, brass buttons on the placket and cuffs, and a relatively roomy cut.
Arturo Fuente “Chateau Fuente” Cigars (box of 20)
Cigars are a fun gift you’ll be able to enjoy together, and this specific box is rated extremely well for flavor, smoothness and consistency, making it a pretty safe buy if your dad smokes the occasional stogie. Bonus points if you can get him out on the links (or a nearby beach) to light up the first one.