The greatest gift you can give your dad this Father’s Day is booking a trip to spend time with him in person. But if you don’t want to show up empty handed, here are a few of AFAR’s favorite Father’s Day gifts, selected with supporting small businesses in mind.
Leatherology Harwood Weekender
For the dapper weekend warrior
Buy Now: $375, leatherology.com
Anyone in the market for a new overnight bag or personal item will love the Harwood Weekender by AAPI-owned Leatherology. This small leather duffel with room for a few changes of clothes and a laptop also has pockets galore, magnetic clasps, and three different styles of monogramming. And it has a trolley sleeve to slide over carry-on handles so it doesn’t fall off. Choose from classic black and multiple shades of brown leather, or if dad isn’t afraid of a pop of color, a dazzling azure blue.
Purist 10-Oz. Maker Mug
For the coffee snob
Buy Now: $38, puristcollective.com; rei.com
Pairing a reusable coffee mug with a bag of beans from a favorite local coffee shop is the best way to encourage a dad to go ecofriendly on his early morning coffee runs. Though this looks like a stainless steel bottle, the Purist Maker Mug is actually lined with an ultra-thin layer of nonporous glass. That means this travel mug won’t give coffee that dreaded metallic taste other reusable cups do; it also weighs just over half a pound. (Glass bottles also mean you can switch between coffee, water—and heck, even wine—without the lingering scent of the previous beverage.) This 10-ounce model comes with a leakproof scope top designed for hot coffee, since it allows for sipping from any side. Purist also sells basic screw-top caps with carrying loops as well as flip-tops, for those who will also use this bottle for cold drinks.
Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Backpack
For the grown-up backpacker
Buy Now: $350, matadorup.com
If he’s still using the pack he’s had since the ‘90s, here’s a sleek upgrade: The Globerider45 Travel Backpack is the first-ever generalist travel backpack from Matador, a outdoor gear brand known for its minimalist and ultralight gear. Made with Bluesign-approved recycled material, this pack is designed for one-bag travel with room for 45 liters of gear while remaining carry-on compliant. It features a clamshell design with plenty of internal pockets to keep shoes separate from clothes, as well as an external-access laptop pocket, a water bottle pocket, and an admin pocket for passports and other small gear. Its padded hip belt and breathable back panel and shoulder straps keep loads comfortable no matter how long the walk to the hotel is.
ENO DoubleNest Hammock
For the relaxed outdoorsman
Buy Now: $56 (was $75), eaglesnestoutfitters.com; rei.com
Anyone passionate about camping already owns a tent. But does he have a hammock for posthike naps in the afternoon? Asheville-based Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) has been making travel hammocks since 1999, so they know what they’re doing. The DoubleNest hammock can fit up to two people and support up to 400 pounds of weight, yet weighs just over a pound itself and stuffs down into an included sack for packability. Choose between a variety of bold color combos, two different Grateful Dead prints, or a limited-edition print designed by artist Leandra Taylor in partnership with the nonprofit Outdoor Afro. In addition to planting two trees for every hammock sold, ENO gives 1 percent of its annual sales to nonprofit environmental organizations as a member of the 1% for the Planet group.
Cariuma Canvas Slip-Ons
For the dad who likes comfort and has style
Buy Now: $79, cariuma.com
It’s time to replace those worn-out Vans. Made with an organic cotton upper and a grippy natural rubber sole, Cariumas are a more sustainable version of the classic slip-on and are available in five different colors. As part of its efforts as a B Corp, Cariuma started its own Reforestation Program in its founders’ homeland of Brazil. For every pair of sneakers sold, the brand plants a pair of trees in the Brazilian rain forest. So far they’ve planted more than 2 million trees.
Oru Kayak Lake Kayak
For the sporty traveler
Buy Now: $499, orukayak.com; rei.com
AFAR’s own deputy editor—and dad of three—Tim Chester is a fan of Oru’s foldable kayaks for their lightweight design and ease of use. (They fold and unfold in about 5 to 10 minutes.) The San Francisco–based company’s newest kayak, the Lake, is its most affordable one yet at $499. Just 17 pounds and made with only two parts, it’s also more portable and easier to assemble than the others.
VSSL Insulated Flask + Speaker
For the dad who always makes the best playlists
Buy Now: $150, vsslgear.com
The best travel accessories are dual purpose to limit overpacking. Case in point: This flask from outdoor gear brand VSSL comes with a tiny-but-powerful waterproof Bluetooth speaker that screws onto an 8-ounce chamber to store a spirit of choice. Its lid comes with a magnetic carabiner to clip to backpacks, plus a pour spout and a twist-off lid for easy cleaning. But that’s not all: It’s also insulated so it’ll keep liquids cold for 10 hours and hot for five. The battery in the speaker lasts up to five hours and can be recharged via an included USB-C charging cable.
Armando Cabral Quebo Zip-Pouch Slippers
For the sophisticate
Buy Now: $495, shop.armando-cabral.com
Designed by Armando Cabral—a model turned entrepreneur born in Guinea-Bissau and raised in Portugal—these luxe slippers come in eight vibrant colors of supple deerskin leather. The best part? Each pair zips flat into an included pouch, so they can be tucked away in a personal item after they’re done being used at a hotel or on an airplane.
Nomadix Changing Poncho
For the surfer
Buy Now: $70, nomadix.com
Getting in and out of wet suits is awkward enough. This Nomadix poncho doubles as a cover-up for quick changes on the beach and as a beach towel. It’s made with a sand-resistant MicroTerry material that dries four times faster than cotton terry (fear not that dreaded mildew stink if it happens to be forgotten in a beach bag). Available in three sizes, the M/L is designed for people up to 6’4”. Nomadix makes all products with postconsumer recycled plastic and is a member of the 1% for the Planet group.
Candy and chocolate from his favorite city
For the guy with a sweet tooth
Buy Now: From $10, goldbelly.com
You can’t go wrong with chocolate as a gift for anyone with a serious sweet tooth. But instead of delivering any old bar to your dear old dad, give your gift a travel angle and put together a selection of goodies made in his favorite city. Left his heart in San Francisco? Consider sweets from the likes of Dandelion or Recchiuti. Missing Memphis? Phillip Ashley Chocolates and Shotwell Candy Co. both ship. Not sure where to start? Goldbelly has dozens of options from the USA’s best gourmet chocolate shops and organizes them all by region on its website to make searching easier.
Nocs Provisions Field Issue 8x32 Binoculars
For the bird-watcher
Buy Now: $175, nocsprovisions.com
Improve the adventures of aspiring and novice bird-watchers with the gift of high-quality zoom. For a lightweight model under $200, the new Field Issue 8x32 from Nocs Provisions is waterproof and made with a rugged housing to stand up to all kinds of travel. For dads who already own a pair of binoculars, this Northern California–based small business also makes beautiful woven tapestry straps that work on any pair of field glasses (or cameras, too).
For the all-weather dad
Buy Now: $110, us.rains.com
A little rain can’t keep dad from spending most of his time outdoors? To keep him dry, give him a brand-new rain jacket from the Danish company Rains. This style comes in a dozen colors from basic black and army green to fun shades of cobalt blue and cheery yellow—making it easy to shop for your dad’s personality.
Priority Bicycles Apollo Gravel
For the sightseer
Buy Now: $1,999, prioritybicycles.com
Made for both pavement and gravel, this all-road bike performs as well on trails as it does on city streets, making it an excellent travel companion. Plus, NYC-based Priority Bicycles designs its bikes for a low-maintenance lifestyle with grease-and-rust-free Gates Carbon Drive Belts instead of traditional chain drives. That means no more stained pants and dirty hands.
This article was originally published in 2020; it was updated on May 25, 2023, with new information.