You know dad wants gadgets, and you know grads want gadgets — now you need to find the right ones! Our dads and grads gift guide can help, letting you in on some of this year’s hottest gadgets, along with a few unexpected gems. You could get lucky, too — we’re giving away a box of Super Mario goodies, and that’s something dads and grads alike can love. The box includes Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, an Amiibo figure, a Super Mario Bros puzzle, and a Super Mario themed water bottle. Enter below to win.
The multitool! Can’t go wrong — whether it’s a dad or grad, they’re virtually guaranteed to get some use out of it. This modular modern Swiss Army Knife has space for keys, a pocketknife, a pen, and even a USB flash drive. The Keyport Pivot can be customized, so you can just get the modules your dad or grad needs.
Back in the day you’d probably buy dad a box full of tools that included a tape measure. But it’s 2017, and instead of giving dad an old school tape measure, get him the InstruMMents Pen. This pen is able to measure depth, height and length, and it will send all of the measurements to your smartphone. Every handy dad will love this tool. Oh, and it also works as a pen and stylus.
InstruMMents – $179
Why get away from what works? The Beats Pill+ has been rocking since 2015, and with great volume, long battery life, and a much more balanced sound than Beats was previously known for, this still stands out as one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers on the market. All that, and it’s still small enough to go almost anywhere — like the park, the quad, or dad’s riding mower.
Yet another guaranteed winner for dads and grads alike. The Lego Architecture series of sets covers some of the world’s great buildings and skylines, but we’re partial to this London set that ropes in Tower Bridge, Big Ben, and the London Eye.
An expensive phone deserves a classy case. As usual, Nomad is delivering the leather goods with this beautiful folio wallet case. Great for a grad who has to start pretending to be a professional soon!
Despite appearances, there’s no digital assistant to get activated by the next stupid commercial here. The Bose SoundLink Revolve is all about the music. The Bluetooth speaker emits sound in a circle, using multiple drivers, two opposing passive radiators, and a transducer to produce room-filling sound. If they’ve been really good, get them two — any two Bose SoundLink speakers can be synced wirelessly for stereo sound.
Giving a backpack to a student as a graduation gift seems like it’s in the same vein as giving mom a vacuum cleaner for Mother’s Day, but hear us out. This isn’t so much a backpack as it is a guarantee that your grad will never suffer a dead battery on the go. It has a huge 22,400 mAh battery pack, which is enough to charge several smartphones and tablets multiple times. It can even be used to safely charge laptops, and has a heat sensor that will shut things down if danger is detected. You’ll need an HP power adapter to charge the backpack’s battery pack, though, so if your grad doesn’t already have one, you’ll have to buy the more expensive bundle.
Arguably the best dad gift on this list, the Grillbot’s sole purpose is to automate one of the most annoying dad chores of all — cleaning the grill. To be honest, we’re not all that sure it’ll do the job perfectly, but watching this thing bounce around the grill with its three rotating bristled brushes is probably funny enough to make it worth the purchase.
Grillbot – $140
Got a grad ready to get a taste of apartment life? Help them settle in with the iRobot Braava Jet. Like its vacuum sister, the Roomba, the Braava Jet specializes in cleaning floors without humans having to lift a finger (well alright, one finger to turn it on). The Jet is outfitted with replaceable mopping pads and cleaning fluid, making quick work of messes on hard floors.
Another multitool, but this one is nothing like the other one. The Lever Gear Toolcard is strictly for the handydad or grad — if there are summer home improvement projects that need doing, here’s a way you can subtly move those forward. The tool packs in 40 functions, most dedicated to either storing tools or taking measurements. Oh alright, there’s a bottle opener on there, too.
Your grad was awesome enough to get an iPhone 7 last year. Yay! But now they can’t use their old headphones anymore. Sad. We’re not on board with Apple’s decision to leave off the headphone port either, but if there’s a silver lining, it’s that headphones can now use features that would otherwise require bulky batteries. Take these in-ears from Beem United — using a Lightning connection, they can totally eliminate background noise using active noise cancellation. Just one little thing — that’ll run down the phone’s battery faster, so make sure they’re ready for that.
The Fridge Museum is no longer the only place for your kids’ masterpieces. This year, dads can score a smartphone case with the little ones’ best artwork. Just snap and upload a high-resolution, clear photo of their drawing and add some text (you have to give the artist credit!), and Casetify will send over dad’s new favorite smartphone case. Casetify can make cases for an impressive number of devices, too, so there’s a chance you can give this to dad even if he doesn’t have an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy S.
You’re really still going the box of chocolates route? Alright, well if you insist, at least make it special — Patchi goes all out on their specialty boxes of chocolate. The boxes are elegantly designed, and while their names don’t make it clear what’s actually in them, the descriptions reveal mixes of flavored, milk, and dark chocolates. There should be a box to satisfy any kind of chocolate lover.
Bluetooth headphones are convenient, but they don’t always turn out well. The main culprit? Connectivity — often, otherwise good headphones can’t stand up to interference from wind. That’s why when shopping for wireless headphones, it’s good to check out companies that have been working with Bluetooth for a while — and Plantronics definitely qualifies. Besides using their Bluetooth expertise in the BackBeat 500 wireless headphones, they’ve managed to get up to 18 hours of battery life without making the cups (or the price) too bulky.
Dad got a favorite sports team? Grad loves to represent their school? Microsoft now lets you customize the Xbox One controller online with their Design Lab. The front, back, D-pad, joysticks, and bumpers can all be colored individually, and there are few options to let you change up the view and start buttons and the ABXY buttons.
Got a dad or grad who got themselves a PSVR? It might not be the most powerful virtual reality headset, but it’s the most happening one for gamers right now. If they’re looking for a new game, look into StarBlood Arena. It’s a multiplayer-focused arena shooter, with the players controlling small ships that zip around trying to shoot each other down. Just keep in mind that with VR still being in its infancy, it can be hard to find others online for multiplayer matches. Oh, and did we mention this is virtual reality and involves ships zipping around? It looks super fun, but it might not be for the faint of stomach!
Everyone loves to get their dad tools for Father’s Day, but how about getting them something more personable? That’s where this Personalized hammer comes in. This 16oz hammer can be custom engraved with a message on its handle.
For the sporting grad, look into these sensors from Blast Motion. They’re best known for their stick sport sensors. Going on the ends of baseball and softballs bats and golf clubs, the sensors can pick up stats like swing speed, time from start of swing to contact, and even the angle of the swing. The app (Android and iOS) can be used to review those stats, while the cloud-based Blast Connect service offers coaching and analysis. Could be a nice gift for the grad trying to push into the big leagues.
Want to encourage some, uh, good habits? Now that the studying is done, it’s time for grads to start partying hard (haha just kidding they were doing that anyway). Monster gets the party started in a particularly wild way, with the kaleidoscope-like Superstar Ravebox, a boombox with massive sound and an equally loud light show. It’s pretty expensive, but hey, if they worked hard, they get to play hard.
For dads and grads who are thinking about starting to pound pavement, these Brooks runners are a great, cheaper way to get into quality running shoes. They offer the kind of insole support needed to keep runners healthy, but are lightweight enough to not weigh runners down. Just don’t be surprised when they start dropping hints about more expensive pairs this time next year!
This new instant camera is tiny, lightweight, and spits out square 2.4″ x 2.4″ photos, all without needing any ink! It’s like Polaroid meets Instagram, so there’s something there for both dads and grads!
Everyone’s still trying to pin down the must-have VR game in the early going, and based on sales, it might just be this one. Farpoint is a new VR space shooting sim, and it was one of the E3 darlings from last year. Early reviews have been mixed, but for VR enthusiasts looking for something new to try, it sounds like the shooting gameplay isn’t bad. It helps that the game is being sold in a bundle with the Aim gun attachment for the PlayStation Move controller.