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With Father’s Day fast approaching and pandemic restrictions finally easing up, summer 2021 feels like a ripe opportunity to celebrate the Dads in our lives more than we ever have before. Doors are opening again for barbecues, ball games and beyond. Dad is free to spend quality time with family, entertain friends, exercise and look and feel like his best self.
Now that we’ve resumed our regularly scheduled programming, what’s on Dad’s wish list for Father’s Day this year? We picked the brains of a few real, live papas for their very biased opinions. Then we turned to Amazon to find the most popular items — and best deals — to help make Dad’s wishes come true.
It’s not too late to impress! Here are 10 last-minute Father’s Day gifts that are budget-friendly and Dad-approved.
Toast Dad’s big day with his favorite cocktails, but first make sure you have the proper equipment on hand. Have you ever seen someone try to shake a martini or pour a Manhattan by holding plate over a glass? Don’t let Dad be that person.
The Mixology Bartender Kit has everything an amateur bartender needs to stir up something stellar — a leakproof shaker, mixing spoon, tongs, jigger (that measures an ounce and a half, btw) — and it all comes in a compact stand that sits stylishly on a shelf or countertop when not in use.
“This is a wonderful gift for anyone for any occasion! It has everything you need to create a great drink, and the booklet with classic recipes is an awesome addition if you don’t know what to make,” wrote one fan. The quality is great and very classy/fits beautifully with my kitchen! Having a stand is also genius and makes my bar area perfectly concise.”
Shop it: Mixology Bartender Kit with Stand, $25 (was $30), amazon.com
Phil Mickelson stunned the golf world a few weeks ago by winning the PGA Championship at age 50. On Father’s Day weekend he’ll try to follow that up with a victory at the U.S. Open, the only golf major that has eluded him. If he does, chances are he’ll be wearing a Mizzen + Main Phil Mickelson Golf Polo when he hoists the trophy. Give Dad the opportunity to wear the exact same item.
This polo is a prize in and of itself — Dad doesn’t even need to be a golf fan! — with its trim fitting but stretchy fabric and cooling quick-dry technology.
“It has a slight taper which gives the shirt a tailored look,” wrote one commenter.
“Mizzen shirts are outstanding. They breathe and stretch as well as anything in the space,” added another.
And perhaps the most relevant testimonial: “I bought this for my husband for Father’s Day and he loves it. He especially loves how light weight the material is (especially for those hot summer golf days).”
Shop it: Mizzen + Main Phil Mickelson Mens Golf Polo, $78, amazon.com
With restrictions finally lifted from backyard barbecues other outdoor gatherings, grills are bound to be fired up en masse all across the country this summer. This will be Dad’s moment to bask in all his backyard-chef glory.
Let the Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer be his ticket to the juiciest steaks and drumsticks on the block. This secret weapon gives an accurate readout in as little as three seconds. It even has a handy temperature guide to help achieve the desired doneness. And if Dad happens to leave the thermometer out in the rain, no sweat — this baby is waterproof, too.
“We were very happy with the Kizen meat thermometer. We used it to cook a 16-pound prime rib, and it was perfect! Customer service has been outstanding,” shared one reviewer.
Another was impressed with its “assortment of concise and easy to follow directions, tips, and bonuses.” And right now it’s on sale for 20% off on Amazon.
Shop it: Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer, $16 (was $20) amazon.com
You know that Dad’s a stickler about the caring for his car, and cleaning the little corners of a vehicle’s interior can present quite the frustrating challenge. Enter the the Worx Car Vacuum Cleaner, a handy handheld device that takes tidiness to the next level. That’s why it’s earned a spot as a number-one bestseller on Amazon with thousands of five-star reviews.
Dog hair, cookie crumbs, sand, dirt — nothing will stand in the way of this vacuum’s suction power. It comes with a 16-foot cord, three precision targeted attachments, and a fully loaded interior car detailing kit housed in an ergonomic design.
This review captures the sentiment among users delighted to give their cars interior a from-the-dealer look: “I like the long hose and crevice tool which allows access to tight areas such as down the side of the seats and Central console. Good stiff brush to work on ingrained bits like pine needles. Very effective filter with handy cleaning brush. Highly recommended.”
Americans are traveling in record numbers this summer. No better way to hit the road than in a nice, clean ride.
Shop it: ThisWorx Portable, High-Power Car Vacuum Cleaner, $35, amazon.com
Plenty of people were still able to play golf during lockdown thanks to the sport’s inherent social distancing. But that also meant a lot of newbies got in on the game — and more balls than ever wound up in forests, ponds, backyards and beyond. Long story short, a few new sleeves of golf balls are always a welcome gift.
We asked our staff Golf Dad which golf balls he’d love to receive for Father’s Day. His answer? Callaway Supersoft. “The soft cover gives you feel, like you can actually control the spin and where the balls going,” he told us. “These balls feel like premium balls that cost twice as much.”
Golfers on Amazon agree, making the Supersoft a Best Seller. “Nice soft touch around the green and good feel off irons/woods,” said one “improving hacker” in a five-star review. “There’s something about the matte finish that makes the ball ‘feel’ better and I think they fly further,” added another commenter.
Shop it: Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls, 12-Pack, $23, amazon.com
From ball players to Brooklyn hipsters to guys who just threw away their razors amid the pandemic and liked what they saw, the beard trend is only, er, growing. If that trend has come into your life in the form of a hirsute dad, why not embrace it by giving him the wildly popular Arkam Deluxe Beard Straightener for Father’s Day? This gadget has 68 percent five-star-review rate on Amazon.
The Arkam Beard Straightener’s brush and comb and other tools (packed into a nice portable carrying case) use patented ion and single stroke technology to tame a wild mane quickly, providing a sculpted, even cultivated look that lasts all day long.
“This thing will take you from a 1 to … a 7 no problem,” one bearded believer gushed in his Amazon review.
And one very satisfied wife reports, “My husband raves about it! He has a birds’ nest beard, and this brush softens and straightens it in a few brush strokes. His beard looks fuller, longer and healthier than ever before.”
Bonus: It’s 24% off on Amazon right now.
Shop it: Arkam Deluxe Beard Straightener, $38 (was $50), amazon.com
For a backyard barbecue or poolside lounging, you can’t beat the Doss Soundbox. This sharp-looking waterproof bluetooth speaker delivers 12 watts of full-bodied stereo sound with enhanced bass, plenty to fill the yard and pump out Dad’s favorite playlists for up to 20 hours on a single charge.
“Beyond superb” is how one Amazon reviewer described the sound. “The built-in sub-woofer gives amazing bass for how big the speaker is. An amazing bluetooth speaker.”
Added another in a five-star review: “You will be amazed at that sound coming from a speaker that is less than $100.” Much less, in fact.
Shop it: DOSS SoundBox Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, $25.50 (was $30), amazon.com
Whether Dad hits cleanup in a recreational league or enjoys a trip to the batting cages with his power-hitting kids — or even if he’s a major leaguer — this simple, inexpensive batting training aid is a must. Simply slip the Prohitter on the thumb of the top hand holding the bat for a comfortable, enhanced grip that leads to more power and takes away the sting if you get jammed by a nasty fastball. The Prohitter is a can’t-miss Father’s Day gift.
“Gets the bat in a great position in my hands,” said one reviewer. “Makes hitting very comfortable and seems to help send more energy from my hands into the bat.”
Another reviewer was impressed with the Prohitter’s durability. “Purchased for my husband. He used it all season and it is still in excellent condition. Really helped him from getting ‘rung’ when he hit the ball to close to the handle.”
Shop it: Prohitter Batter Training Aid, $12, amazon.com
With gyms closed and stay-at-home orders in effect during the pandemic, 2020 wasn’t a banner year for fitness. This set of resistance bands offers a simple and effective way to get back in shape for pool season.
With five exercise bands, five loop bands, door anchor, two cushioned handles (all in a compact carrying case with user manual), Whatafit allows you to perform a variety of resistance exercises to chisel everything from arms and shoulders to chest, glutes and legs.
“Having the resistance bands gave me creative workouts for all around body!!! Very satisfied with the durability and quality,” wrote one fit shopper.
Whatafit is also versatile enough for beginner, intermediate and expert workouts. “The various resistance of each cord allows you to start out light and progress to something heavier at your own pace,” said another impressed Whatafit user.
Shop it: Whatafit 16-Piece Resistance Exercise Band Set, $30, amazon.com
Speaking of getting fit, Celsius energy drinks are great way to kickstart a workout. Studies show this Amazon best-selling health and fitness beverage helps reduce body fat, increases endurance and provides greater resistance to fatigue. It has zero sugars, preservatives, artificial ingredients or colors. It’s also delicious and available in a host of natural flavors in addition to the popular sparkling orange.
“I have been drinking Celsius every single day —it’s how I start my day.” said one reviewer. “If you’re looking for natural energy with no sugar, crashes or jitters—this is it.”
“The best tasting energy drink out on the market!” enthused another. “I don’t feel guilty drinking it because it’s only 10 calories and I feel so energized throughout the day without the dreaded crash.”
And just on a side note, one of our testers said she drank one the morning after her best friend’s birthday party and it was “the best hangover cure ever!”
Shop it: Celsius Zero-Sugar Sparkling Fitness Drink, $30 (12-pack, 12 oz. cans), amazon.com
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