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Dads: You know them, you love them, and you’re finding it increasingly difficult to shop for them with each passing year.
So what do you do? Do you settle for yet another tie? Do you really want to get them another box of frozen mail-order steaks?
What if you had a team of product experts at your fingertips who spent the entire year testing everything from refrigerators to hair dryers in an effort to figure out what is or isn’t worth the money? What if you could have those experts put together a carefully curated list of gift ideas for dad that the experts themselves could vouch for?
Relax—we’ve arrived, and this year’s gonna be different. No more gift cards, no more cufflinks. These are the best gifts for dads of 2018, according to Reviewed:
1. For dads who rock out: A weatherproof Bluetooth speaker
If there’s one thing dads from all walks of life can agree on, it’s that stuff should just work. Especially tech stuff. Based on this criterion, the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker couldn’t be more dad-friendly. Simply turn the Flip 4 on, wait a second or two for it to pair, and you’re good to go.
The Flip 4 is JBL’s follow-up to the Flip 3, our winner for the best portable Bluetooth speaker under $100. In fact, if you’re looking to save a bit of cash, the JBL Flip 3 is still a slam-dunk purchase, and you can usually find it on sale.
Like its predecessor, the Flip 4 is splash-proof, features a rugged design, and pumps out some seriously good sound. We should know—we’ve tested a ton of Bluetooth speakers. Plus, the pairing process couldn’t be simpler, so consider it pre-approved by fathers everywhere.
2. For dads who cook: The perfect cast iron pan
Cast iron cookware provides one of the most reliable and rewarding cooking experiences one can hope to have, but deciphering all of the marketing hoopla that comes with it can be a daunting task. That’s why we put them all to the test and compiled a list of the best cast iron pans you can buy right now. The winner? None other than industry-favorite Lodge.
Our only complaint about this 12-inch, pre-seasoned pan is that it doesn’t come with a lifetime warranty from Lodge. Fortunately for your dad (and maybe for you), it’s such a durable beast of a pan that it’ll most likely become a family heirloom.
3. For dads who love Netflix: A new TV
The 2018 Vizio E Series is currently the top pick in our roundup of the best TVs under $500, which makes it the perfect gift for siblings looking to pool their resources for a gift this year. The E Series might not be the best or the brightest 4K HDR TV around, but there aren’t many TVs in this price range that can match its color and contrast performance.
Simply put, Dad’s not gonna have any complaints about his new TV—especially if he’s never owned a 4K TV before.
4. For dads who get their hands dirty: A pair of the best work gloves
Whether the dad in your life builds houses, hauls lumber, or just spends his time kickin’ it in a woodshop, he’d be hard-pressed to find a pair of gloves better than the A518s from Carhartt. In fact, in our roundup of the best work gloves, these reasonably-priced numbers earned the No. 1 spot.
Why do we love ’em? It’s simple—they’re tough without sacrificing flexibility. Our expert even typed up his review of these gloves while wearing them.
5. For dads who grill: The perfect set of tongs
Your dad’s grill is a sports team, and like any team, its star players come and go with each passing season—what were once your father’s All-Star cooking tongs are now old, achy, and ready to retire.
These 16-inch grilling tongs from OXO were the best tongs we tested in our quest to find the best grill and kitchen tongs, and they’re ready to get their call-up to the big leagues. OXO’s signature non-slip grip will keep your dad in control while maintaining a safe distance from the heat, and the scalloped pincers offer ample surface area for gripping delicious foods.
When it comes to dad’s grilling roster, there’s always room for improvement.
6. For on-the-go dads: The best noise-canceling headphones
Behold: the headphones your dad envies whenever he sees them on an airplane.
The Bose QuietComfort line enjoys a reputation among frequent travelers as the most comfortable noise-canceling headphones around. The newest version—the Bose QC35s—performs so well that they’ve earned themselves the top spot on our list of the best noise canceling headphones you can buy. Simply put, they sound as good as they feel, and their noise-canceling chops are unmatched.
If you want to learn more about these cans before snagging a pair for your dad, feel free to peruse our Bose QC35s review. That way you’ll have all the answers and look extra thoughtful when Dad unwraps them.
7. For dads who spend time in the kitchen: Our favorite knife set
If your dad’s recently cussed at a pile of tomato goo while trying to build the perfect BLT, his dull knives probably aren’t cutting it anymore. The solution? Better blades.
Dad’s in luck—our own Lindsay D. Mattison, a professional chef and writer, recently tested a collection of cutlery to see which of them had the chops to chop their way to the top of our list of the best knife sets. In the end, it was this gorgeous 18-piece from Zwilling J.A. Henckels that stood a cut above the rest.
This set is perfect for people who lack a decent knife set and folks looking to upgrade. It comes equipped with all of the essential knives, and because they’re from a company with a sterling history, you can be sure these blades are sharp.
Please, think of the tomatoes.
8. For dads who fix things: The best cordless drill kit
No one’s in a better position than us to recommend a powerful, reliable cordless drill kit—we tested nine of the most popular and then ranked them in a roundup of the best cordless drills you can buy. Pound for pound, the overall best for the money is the Makita FD07R1.
The drill itself features a short snub-nose that makes it easy to maneuver it in tight spots. It’s lightweight, but the overall design feels high-quality despite the lack of heft. Most importantly, though, the Makita FD07R1 features a powerful motor that handles most tasks with ease.
9. For dads who drink beer: Our favorite home brewing kit
I believe it was Billy Shakespeare who once said, “beer is the food of love,” but don’t quote me on that one.
As beer continues to enjoy a golden age, more and more folks are trying their hand at brewing their own at home. Freelancer Ben Keough, an expert on all things homebrew, recently put nine beer brewing kits to the test in a head-to-head battle of the best beer brewing kits.
In the end, the MoreBeer Deluxe home brewing kit took home the gold. It offers users almost everything they need to brew their first beer, including a kettle and fermentor. If you know a dad who’s always toyed with the idea of making their own beer, or has maybe tried unsuccessfully in the past, the MoreBeer Deluxe kit could be the perfect gift.
10. For dads who frequently fly: The top option for checked luggage
For people who fly on a regular basis, traveling with reliable luggage is crucial. That’s why we decided to take a good, hard look at several popular suitcases designed to be checked once you get to the airport. In our roundup of the best checked luggage you can buy, one suitcase soared above the rest: the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2.
This 29-inch suitcase offers 137 liters of packing space and rides atop four magnetized wheels that are designed to move smoothly and in the same direction. Although it’s not much to look at, we loved the durability the Platinum Magna 2 brought to the table.
If Dad is in need of better luggage, this suitcase will almost certainly provide years and years of reliable performance.
11. For dads who need their sleep: Our favorite bed pillows
Tossing and turning is no way to spend an evening. This year, give Dad the gift of a good night’s sleep: the Xtreme Comforts shredded memory foam pillow.
What’s so exciting about a pillow, you ask? This cozy little number from Xtreme Comforts topped our list of the best bed pillows, which is no easy task given how much we freaking love to sleep. It’s filled with tiny shredded pieces of memory foam instead of one big ol’ slab, which doesn’t seem like it’d make much of a difference until you feel how effectively this pillow cradles your head.
Trust us: You’re gonna love it. I mean, your dad will love it. You’re shopping for Dad, remember? Stay focused!
12. For dads who like a little heat: A fun hot sauce sampler
Dad Classification #4347: Dads who try to impress us with their tolerance for spicy foods.
One of the earliest documented dad classifications, #4347, is known by its repeated cries of “do you have something other than Tabasco?” as well as, “these wings aren’t spicy enough, and my night is ruined.”
Feed #4347’s appetite for heat with this sampler pack of seven different hot sauces from The Good Hurt Fuego. From garlic herb to ghost pepper, there are several flavors and spice levels so dads everywhere can scoff and say, “you call this hot?”
13. For dads who want to stay active: The best fitness tracker
For some of us, staying active isn’t easy. For others, fitness is a lifestyle. The beauty of the Fitbit Charge is that it’s useful to everyone, regardless of how much they exercise.
Once upon a time, the Fitbit Charge 2 topped our list of the best fitness trackers. This holiday season, the brand new Fitbit Charge 3 sits on that throne.
Whether the dad in your life is a fitness fanatic or just looking to make some minor lifestyle changes, the Charge 3 makes a stellar gift. It features everything we love about the Charge 2—namely its ease of use and its comfortable design—plus improved battery life. Did I mention they finally made one that’s waterproof?
14. For dads who love to compete: A luxury version of a classic board game
If there’s one thing that’ll make your dad happier than when he outscores you in Scrabble, it’s the opportunity to school you in the best version of the classic word game he’s ever laid eyes on.
This handsome edition features a swiveling solid-wood cabinet with mahogany finish, an embroidered tile pouch, and matching mahogany tiles. Think of it as a classier, upscale version of the game your dad has been kicking your butt in your whole life.
15. For dads who binge their favorite TV shows: The best streaming device
We tested several streaming boxes and streaming sticks in our quest to find the best streaming devices, and the Roku Ultra stood above the competition as the overall best device money can buy.
With the Roku Ultra, Dad will be free to stream his favorite shows and movies in 4K and HDR. We love Roku’s easy-to-use platform, and the remote control is by far the easiest to use of all the devices we tested, which means you won’t spend the holidays showing him how to use it.
16. For dads who want to take their cooking to the next level: An amazing sous vide cooker
Sous vide cooking with immersion circulators combines two elements of cooking that dads of all types can appreciate: precision and simplicity. You can learn more about sous vide cooking in our cooking expert’s in-depth guide to everything you need to cook sous vide at home, but essentially, immersion circulators heat food in to exact temperatures in a water bath, resulting in perfectly cooked meals every time.
We extensively tested nine of these gadgets to determine which were the best sous vide immersion circulators you could buy. The 800-watt, Bluetooth-powered Anova precision cooker took home our top spot thanks to its sleek, lightweight design, and most importantly, its accurate temperature control. This means your dad can expect quality performance and easy-to-use controls, all from a trusted brand that we love.
If your dad is looking to step up his cooking game, the frontier of sous vide cooking is a good place to start.
17. For dads with a beard: The best trimmer money can buy
When it comes to facial hair maintenance, bearded dads deserve better than crummy old scissors or a busted set of clippers.
The Wahl Lithium Ion+ comes equipped with every type of trimming guard a face will ever need, runs on a long-lasting, 4-hour lithium-ion battery, and features a professional, stainless steel design. When it comes to performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better trimmer on the market right now.
How can we be so sure? We tested ten of the most popular trimmers in our round-up of the best beard trimmers money can buy, and the Wahl Lithium Ion+ came out on top.
18. For dads who travel: A timeless, classy toiletry bag
Look, I know that in the grand scheme of things it’s not very important, but listen up: All dads need to stop packing all of their vacation toiletries in plastic freezer bags.
Herschel specializes in simple, fashionable bags, from backpacks to duffle bags. This swanky-looking toiletries bag will keep all of your dad’s bathroom products in one easy-to-stash place—and it’ll look good in his suitcase and hotel bathroom.
It comes in an array of colors, but all of them feature a fabric liner and waterproof zipper. With over 400 reviews under its belt and an average Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it’s time to ditch the sandwich bag, dad.
19. For dads who need their meat perfectly cooked: The best digital meat thermometer
There’s nothing more disappointing than overcooking meat, and as much as your dad might think he can pull off a perfect medium-rare without the help of a thermometer, there’s no substitute for immediate precision.
We recently put together a list of the best digital meat thermometers, and this affordable thermometer from ThermoWorks won us over with its rotating display and three-second readout time.
20. For dads who have their hands full: A unique stand to hold any device
If you’ve ever watched your dad try to follow a recipe on his tablet while cooking, there’s a very good chance you’ve also watching him spill food on that very same tablet.
Slope is a mobile device stand from Wiplabs that uses micro-suction technology to securely hold a smartphone or tablet in place without any sticky adhesives. It’s perfect for keeping your tablet away from the cutting board or your smartphone propped up on an office desk.
A word of caution, however: Slope won’t work with rubber cases or cases with a texturized surface.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.
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