Thoughtful and Unexpected Gifts for 2021

by | Nov 20, 2021 | Golf Shoes

Here’s a little secret: Dads don’t generally look forward to opening presents nearly as much as his kids do. Why? He already knows the drill—he’ll get an assortment of socks, perhaps a new tie and some shaving cream. It plays out the same every year, with the occasional sweater thrown in for good measure. If that sounds predictable to you, perhaps it’s time to mix things up a bit and look for more clever and thoughtful gifts. The good news is that with a little digging, there are a lot of options that feel more personal and speak directly to his hobbies, interests, passions and favorites.

Whether your dad is excited by fancy shaving tools, grilling utensils or video game accessories, … [+] there’s something here that he’ll love opening from you for the holidays.

Mr Porter

The bottom line is that with the help of this gift guide, you don’t have to go for the same mundane dad gift. You can choose to get him utensils for his backyard grill, a rugged travel hammock or a clever one-player escape room game designed by Neil Patrick Harris. Not unique enough for you? There’s also a tiny arcade cabinet and a mouth-watering box of snacks. We’ve rounded up 39 of the coolest and most memorable gifts out there, so read on for the some great gift ideas for Dad.

For The Dad Who Deserves To Wear Something Nice

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Fun fact: Every Dad loves a Henley—it’s the universal shirt. And this soft knit cotton from Rag & Bone is stylish, comfortable and machine washable. It’s available in Deep Navy or Jet Black.

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For Dad The Grillmaster

Even if your dad doesn’t do much cooking in the kitchen, the backyard is another story entirely. If the weekends are for grilling steaks, burgers, ribs and chicken, then he might need some new tools for the job. This Grillaholics BBQ grill tool set comes with four heavy duty stainless steel utensils, including a spatula, tongs, brush and fork. They’re all dishwasher safe and come with a slew of thoughtfully designed features.

For The Dad Who Loves To Learn

Does your Dad have a thing for James Cameron movies, Gordon Ramsey cooking shows or learning science from Neil deGrasse Tyson? Sign him up for a year of MasterClass and he can learn directly from these icons and dozens of other experts and celebrities. Because dad was right all along: Learning is fun.

For The Dad Who Washes His Face With Bar Soap

Is Dad in need of a skincare upgrade but not sure where to start? This six-piece set features all the essentials he needs to target various skin concerns (dryness, fine lines, clogged pores and more), in the form of expertly crafted creams, balms and serums. Plus, you can get the whole set for 30% off through the end of the year.

For The Dad With A Green Thumb

If Dad loves tending to a garden—whether growing veggies, herbs or flowers—Tertill has a weeding robot that he will love. It automatically weeds from the start of growing season all the way through the first hard frost, eliminating the need to weed by hand anywhere in between. Tertill is weatherproof and solar-powered; he won’t need to charge it or shield it from the rain. Also, keep an eye out for a sale: From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, it’ll be marked down to $249.

For The Dad Who Camps, Boats Or Tailgates

If Dad looks forward to the weekend so he can throw some beverages and snacks in a cooler and hit the road, the Yeti Roadie 24 is calling “shotgun.” It’s thin and light, but the Permafrost insulation can keep ice frozen for literally days at a time. And the 13-inch internal height means it can even carry most wine bottles.

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For The Dad Who Wants To Be MacGyver

It’s a pen. A black ballpoint, to be precise, that you twist to write. But that’s not all—it also has four rules inscribed on the sides, a mini screwdriver with interchangeable bits and a stylus built in as well. It’s handy and will make him feel like a spy.

For The Dad Who Fondly Remembers Arcades

Dads are just kids in bigger bodies—and play with more expensive toys. This mini-arcade cabinet plays an officially licensed recreation Pac-Man, Galaga and two other games, recreating the ones that Dad grew up playing in the arcade. It’s housed in a compact cabinet that fits right on the table or desktop.

For The Dad With A Sweet Tooth

If you think kids have a sweet tooth, you haven’t met your dad yet. But don’t settle for giving him mundane treats like chocolate chip cookies—here’s a collection of more than a dozen unexpected yet absolutely beloved snacks, all packed into one box. Give him peanut butter puffs, ginger cookies, white cheddar popcorn, Bavarian pretzels and so much more. And if this particular collection doesn’t quite hit the spot, explore Mouth’s other options—there are a bunch of carefully curated boxes.

For The Outdoorsman Dad

If Dad would love to go on a hike, mountain biking, downhill skiing, surfing or a dozen other outdoor activities, help him along the way. You can buy a 57Hours gift card for any amount of money that he can apply to a custom adventure of his choice, tailored to his skill level.

For The Dad Who Likes To Be Cozy

Anyone looks about 10 points cooler in a cardigan, and this number—made from merino wool with a snazzy striped trim—will become an essential part of Dad’s favorite comfy outfit, perfect for both lounging around and taking a work-from-home Zoom call.

For The Dad Who Collects Wine

A Corvain wine preservation system lets Dad tap into some of his prized vintages without actually opening the bottle, preserving the wine for months or even years. The secret of the system: It distills the contents of the bottle through a tiny needle and fills the open bottle with ultra-pure argon gas to keep it pristine. This package is everything dad needs to get started with the next level in wine preservation.

For The Dad Who Keeps The Thermostat Too Low

Every dad needs slippers—especially the one who has cold feet because he keeps the thermostat too low. These are warm, soft and comfy, and made of sheepskin to nestle your dad’s feet in a cushiony pillow of bliss, while shearling insulates and wicks away moisture. It’s also rugged enough to stand up to year-round abuse, thanks to a double outsole and rawhide laces.

For The Dad Who Wants To Be Ready To Nap Anywhere

This durable hammock can support up to 220 pounds. It’s easy to hang between two trees and rolls up into a very compact travel bag for storage and transport. This is a great gift whether your dad goes camping or just wants to hang out in the backyard.

For The Dad Who Prefers To Walk The Course

If Dad’s ready for a new pair of golf shoes, these Nikes are a little trendier than your classic FootJoys, but offer just as much traction, support and better breathability. And because they don’t look like a golf shoe, Dad can wear them to and from the links, or anywhere else he prefers.

For Gamer Dad

If your dad is as obsessed with video games as he was when he was 17 and still regularly plays GTA5, COD or Fortnite, feed his gaming obsession with a mouse worthy of an elite gamer. The Razer DeathAdder v2 is one of the best-performing mice you can buy with a 20K DPI optical sensor and eight programmable buttons. True gaming pros love this mouse, and it’s not even very expensive.

For The Dad Who Likes Like His Steak Perfectly Cooked

Equipped with two sensors so it can measure the temperature of the meat as well as the ambient temperature of the oven or grill, Meater can help Dad cook meats perfectly. A wireless transmitter lets him monitor the cook up to 165 feet away, and the probe charges in the dock thanks to a AAA battery, so it’s always ready to make steak at a moment’s notice.

For The Dad Who Likes A Close Shave

Anyone can get an electric razor and slice the stubble off their face. The D.R. Harris Chrome and Resin Three-Piece Shaving Set is a luxury for men who want to enjoy the process of shaving, who love the feel of warm cream on their face and thrill at the idea of handling the brush and razor, then hanging the tools back on the stand when they’re done. It’s not inexpensive, but for the right dad, it’s better than a lifetime supply of razor blades.

For The Dad Who Takes All His Calls On Speaker

If Dad is still listening to his All Things Considered podcast with jangly $30 earbuds, it’s time to give him a massive upgrade. The AirPods Pro have best-in-class noise cancellation as well as sweat- and water-resistance, which means you can exercise with them without fear of ruining them. They also charge wirelessly and come with three sets of silicone tips to fit Dad’s ears just right.

For The Dad Who Loves A Nice Charcuterie Board

If Dad wants to snack on the prosciutto while Mom is still arranging the tableware, maybe this is the year you give him his own charcuterie board full of treats. This crate is filled with nitrate-free meats like Black Forest Schinken, Salame Rustico and Prosciutto Crudo Italiano Addobbo, as well as cheeses like Caprino Piemontese, Panpetato and Swiss Diablo.

For The Dad Who Should Be Rocking Out More Quietly

AirPods are fine, but Jabra’s Elite 85t earbuds are among the best true wireless earbuds you can buy, offering superb sound quality and excellent noise cancellation. They also have a great fit, are customizable via the mobile app and last up to 25 hours on a charge when you top them off with the wireless charging case. Bottom line: If your dad is an audiophile, these earbuds will make him very happy. And keep an eye on sales, because for much of November you will be able to get these for 35% off.

For The Dad With An Even Deeper Urge To Learn

MasterClass and its celebrity instructors is admittedly awesome. Wondrium, formerly called The Great Courses, has a smorgasbord of online educational videos, too. But where MasterClass emphasizes glitz and glamor, Wondrium streams classes and documentaries that will make Dad feel like he’s in a fascinating and engaging college lecture hall. This is where to send your lifelong learning Dad.

For The Dad Who Loves Escape Games (When No One Else Does)

If Dad loves puzzles and adventures but no one else in the family can muster a lot of enthusiasm for escape rooms, Neil Patrick Harris has just the thing for him. Box One is a clever, funny and wholly unexpected adventure designed by everyone’s favorite Doogie Howser. It is designed to be played alone, but it’s also a blast for two people (like Mom and Dad together) to work through.

For The Dad Who Would Love A Personal Shoutout from Ted Nugent Or Gilbert Gottfried

Imagine your Dad getting a personalized video greeting from his favorite movie star, athlete, comedian or other celebrity. Whether it’s Star Trek’s Brent Spiner, wrestling’s Bret Hitman Hart, Ghostbusters’ Ernie Hudson, the one and only Penn Gillette or any of the thousands of other celebs at Cameo’s roster, you can get Dad’s favorite personality to record a personal video message—at a surprisingly affordable price (some are well under $100, though it varies by celebrity).

For The Dad Who Is Proud Of His Beard

Dad probably keeps his feelings about his itchy beard to himself, but now you can help him solve his beard struggles with Every Man Jack’s Beard Oil. Derived from natural oils and made with cocoa butter, a few squirts rubbed into his beard every day will relieve the itchiness and leave him with the soothing scent of sandalwood.

For The Dad Who Remembers How Delicious That One Restaurant In Toledo Was

Cheesesteaks from Philadelphia, bagels from New York City, tacos from Austin. If your Dad fondly remembers how awesome the food was at a particular restaurant that’s regrettably 2,000 miles away, or just likes to sample food from iconic diners around the country, a Goldbelly gift card will help him enjoy a new restaurant or revisit an old favorite without leaving home.

For The Dad Who Loves To Grill

If Dad’s already a BBQ ace, he might already be eyeing a kamado-style grill. It’s a beloved form factor among outdoor foodies because the all-ceramic construction is ideal for retaining heat. This petite version from Kamado Joe clocks in at 68-pounds and has a cast iron stand for convenient carrying—to the tailgate, camping and more.

For The Dad Who Needs A Scarf Upgrade

Upgrade Dad’s decades-old scarf with this classic plaid muffler from Pendleton. Made in Italy, it’s 100% wool and has classic fringe detail at the ends.

For The Dad Who Decided to Go All-In On The Beard

If Dad’s beard has gotten a little out of control, this sleek, high end trimmer from Bevel can trim and detail no matter his facial hair situation. Plus, its ergonomic design and cordlessness make it a favorite among users.

For The Dad With Team Spirit

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If Dad can’t wait for the upcoming season, what better way to show his commitment to his favorite team than with a vintage logo cap? Whether he’s into the Yankees, Astros, Phillies, Mets or Pirates, there’s something for him here with every MLB team properly represented.

For The Dad Who Likes His Coffee Piping Hot

It’s the holy grail for coffee fans—a mug that keeps coffee warm for hours, no matter how long you nurse it. If Dad likes to drink the hot stuff at his desk, Ember’s Smart Mug 2 can keep 10 ounces of liquid hot for 1.5 hours at a time—or all day long if the mug sits on its charging coaster. Using the app, Dad can dial in the precise temperature he wants, from 120 to 145 degrees.

For The Dad With Sore Muscles

Help Dad relieve his bad back, stiff neck or sore muscles with a Theragun percussive massager. It comes with five different heads to target different areas. And the Therabody app personalizes a unique wellness routine based on Dad’s activity, injuries and ailments.

For The Dad Who Dances Around The House (And Outside It)

Wireless, weatherproof and drop-resistant. The Tribit StormBox Micro is a rugged and resilient portable speaker, but the best part is that it sounds amazing—especially considering its small size and affordable price. If Dad loves music, he will adore owning the StormBox Micro.

For The Dad Who Needs A Nice House Shoe

We love the rubber soles on these fur-lined Ugg slippers, which make them just as good for wearing around the house as they are for taking out the garbage or checking the mail.

For The Dad Who Dances With Pooch

Lots of dads are unabashed animal lovers. If yours adores his dog or cat as if it were his first-born child, then you owe it to him to frame this modern art riff on his favorite pet. With just a few clicks, you can create a stunning modern art-take on a portrait of your family dog or cat—choices include line art, filled form silhouette and abstract versions of dozens of breeds of dog and cat. You can choose the print size and graphic color, and even add text to the picture.

For The Dad Who Wishes He Was Mike Nesmith

For a dad of a certain age, growing up watching The Monkees was a right of passage. And every kid who watched those pre-fabbed four goof around on the small screen wanted to be Mike Nesmith. If your dad still loves The Monkees, he can finally get his wish by wearing a green knit beanie modeled after the one Mike wore in every episode of the show.

For The Dad Who Likes His Whiskey Neat

There’s no denying the utility of a whiskey stone to reliably chill down a drink without diluting it. We particularly like these sculptural ones, made from marble and soapstone, which do it with a little extra flair.

For The Dad Who Keeps His Toiletries In A Plastic Sandwich Bag

If a plastic zip-top bag has been your dad’s dopp kit of choice, it’s time for an upgrade. Leatherology has some crave-worthy, gorgeous kits like this full grain leather bag with internal and external zippered compartments and nickel hardware. Want to up Dad’s game on a budget? We also love Hershel’s Chapter Travel Kit which looks snazzy, is waterproof and costs just $35.

For The Hobbyist Dad

Cooking, woodworking, painting—this cotton apron can take on pretty much any mess Dad will throw at it. Its extra tough canvas weave means it’s not only durable but will last for years. And when it’s really dirty, it can go right into the wash.

For The Spin Master Dad

SoulCycle isn’t just a place you go to anymore—this bike lets you to sweat your way through virtual classes and simulate the experience of being in a SoulCycle studio…at home. The bike isn’t inexpensive, but if you have the means, Dad will love making a home workout room with this Peloton-like bike. And it’s $600 off through the holidays, so this is a good time to invest in one.