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Great gift ideas for good ole Dad this Father's Day

See also

Lenovo IdeaPad, Radio Shack, Dyson, Soda Stream, Samsung, Mastrad, Purefizz Soda Maker, Reed's Ginger Brew, Epson Home Cinema


What to get Dad this Father’s Day? There are so many options out there you want to make sure that you’re picking the right gift for that special father figure in your life to show your thanks for all those wonderful things he’s done.

Let’s start with the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15D. This super cool dual-mode laptop is thin and light and also has the ability to flip 300 degrees from laptop to stand mode. My Dad tester was impressed with its clear resolution and large screen size. He enjoyed watching movies on the Lenovo Flex 15D and said its crisp visuals were comparable to his large high definition flatscreen television and he was also surprisingly impressed with the computer’s sound system. He also really liked the Lenovo Flex 15D’s touch screen which made it easy to navigate and use. For your techies, the Flex 15D is powered by an AMD A6 quad-core processor and boasts up to nine hours of battery life. The Lenovo Flex comes preloaded with Windows 8; and only weighs five pounds. Prices start at $549, the Lenovo Flex 15D is sold at Best Buy, Staples, Amazon and the Lenovo online store. My Dad tester said it was the best Father’s Day gift he’s ever gotten. If that isn’t a reason to buy one, I don’t know what is. STARS: *****

Does Dad like music? Radio Shack has a ton of different electronic gadgets that are probably on Dad’s wish list. One might be Apple’s 16GB iPod Nano ($139). Approximately the size of a credit card, the iPod Nano is the thinnest iPod to date. The Nano’s touch display is about twice the size of the last versions. My Dad tester was excited to test the Nano since he is a gym-rat and wanted an alternative to using his iPhone in the gym. The iPod Nano even has FM radio with live pause and rewinding capabilities. The iPod Nano has up to 30 hours of music playback and 3.5 hours of video playback – when fully charged. It was easy for my Dad tester to transfer his music to the Nano and then he was off and running, literally. A great gift idea for the music loving Dad. STARS: ****

Why not give Dad a break this Father’s Day with Dragon 12, the world’s best-selling speech recognition software. According to the company, “the Dragon 12 allows the user to turn his or her talk into text -- from capturing ideas and creating documents, to email (supports Microsoft Outlook, gmail and hotmail) and searching the web, to using simple voice commands to control many of the popular programs you use every day at home, work – and beyond.” My Dad tester was surprised with the accuracy of the software and thought it was interesting product to test. He did say he wasn’t sure if he would use it on a daily basis and said it was sorta like having Siri for his computer. Another tip, don’t forget to turn off the microphone otherwise Dragon 12 will continue transcription -- which his kids found pretty entertaining. STARS: ***1/2

One last option for the tech savvy Dad is the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard ($149.99). This one-touch streaming media control comes with a keyboard plus touchpad that allows the user to browse the web on a TV-connected PC or MAC computer. You can also enable your smartphone to connect via the Harmony app for iOS or Android – my Dad tester admitted he didn’t get the chance to try this function, yet. The included Harmony Hub reads the signal from the Harmony keyboard and the Harmony App and translates it to IR, Wi-Fi®, and Bluetooth. My Dad tester really liked the fact that the Harmony Smart Keyboard is compatible with entertainment devices and access Internet services like Netflix® and Hulu™ on your PC, Mac®, Apple TV, Roku®, Xbox® or PS3 -- he has a Roku. My Dad tester said it was a great way to avoid those tedious searches he used to have to do on his cable remote control and which typically ended in frustration. STARS: ****

Summer is here and it’s heating up. So why not get Dad the latest high tech fan from Dyson? The Dyson Cool AM06 Desk Fan ($299) is 75 percent quieter than its previous version, and 40 percent more energy efficient. My Dad tester was impressed with the amount of breeze and air movement this Dyson Desk Fan is able to accomplish. According to the company, “the Dyson Cool AM06 Desk Fan’s brand-new features include a handy remote, LED display, and convenient sleep timer and is powered by the company’s signature Air Multiplier technology and is bladeless." Equipped with 10 different settings, the small remote control makes useability a cinch. My Dad tester really liked the fact that this fan is bladeless and makes for easy cleaning and doesn’t compromise on the air flow quality. Available for purchase at and major retailers for $299, but with Dyson’s ongoing promotion, you can save $50 on this fan. STARS: *****

Does Dad like to entertain? Then check out these two options from Mastrad. Mastrad’s Ice Ball Molds ($19.99) are a great conversational piece and according to my Dad tester they just seem to make a drink look more sophisticated. The mold comes with four molds that are easy to fill and you can customize the iceballs by adding flavoring, color or using alternative liquids like juice or liquor. My Dad tester enjoyed using the Mastrad Ice Balls in his Jack on the rocks and thought they were a great. STARS: ****1/2

Gifters may want to accompany the Mastrad Ice Balls with Mastrad’s new Purefizz Cocktail Kit ($80). The Purefizz Soda Maker comes with a recipe guide and according to the company, “can virtually carbonate anything including water, herbs, syrups, cocktails and more.” Mastrad’s Purefizz Soda Maker is portable -- so you can bring it to a picnic in the park or a friend's BBQ party. My Dad tester liked that he could make his own unique flavors of soda. The Purefizz Cocktail Kit’s Soda Maker makes three drinks per cartridge use and its stainless steel bottle holds three cups. It should be noted that the CO2 Charger is not included. My Dad tester liked the size and portability of the Soda Maker and that you can store unused carbonated drinks in the Soda Maker. The container is also dishwasher safe. My Dad tester strongly suggests releasing the extra CO2 and allowing the bottle to sit for a few minutes before opening; he learned the hard way and had a mess to clean up. STARS: ****

Is Dad a fan of Moscow Mules? Reed's Inc. has kept the trend of the Moscow Mule alive using its Reed's Ginger Brew. The Moscow Mule is typically made of ginger brew, vodka and lime and traditionally served in mule mugs (which are also available for purchase form Reeds). My Dad tester said he preferred his with just a splash of Reed’s Ginger Brew. Available in seven different flavors including Original Ginger Brew, Extra Ginger Brew, Premium Ginger Brew, Raspberry Ginger Brew, Spiced Apple Ginger Brew, Cherry Ginger Brew and Extra Ginger Brew Light 55. My Dad tester really liked the authentic Moscow Mule mugs ($19.99 each) – which feature the recipe for the cocktail on the box’s side. Prices vary, log on to STARS: ***

Summer is perfect for backyard BBQs and Dad will probably want to host a few this summer. So why not add an element of entertainment by buying Dad the Epson Home Cinema 500 ($379) this Father’s Day? According to Epson, “the Home Cinema 500 delivers a brighter image at up to 2,600 lumens of color and white brightness.” My Dad tester said the set up was easy and it only took him about five minutes. The Home Cinema 500 has HDMI connectivity that is compatible with numerous connecting devices including your Blu-ray® player, game console, streaming box, and more. It also comes equipped with built-in image adjustment tools. My Dad tester set his up in his man cave and watched a movie; he then later set it up outdoors for the kiddos and hosted a fun family outdoor movie night. He said the picture was crisp and liked the size of the projector which made it easy to move and set up. The Epson Home Cinema 500 was a Father's Day gift favorite! STARS: *****

If Dad is hands on in the backyard then check out the Razor-Back SuperSocket Shovel ($26). The shovel features a socket five inches longer than a standard shovel that helps reinforce pressure when digging larger jobs. My Dad tester liked the shovel's forward-turn step and wooden handle. He plans to utilize it for his outdoor gardening honey-do jobs. He also loved that the shovel comes with a lifetime warranty. Available for purchase at Home Depot. STARS: ****

iDeaTV ($59.99) is a good idea for Dad if he loves spending time on his tablet. This plug and play devise was designed to allow the user full access to a functional Android tablet via your existing television screen. My Dad tester said it was easy to set up, he just simply plugged the USB port into his television and used the included keyboard. The device allows the user to use apps, games and even a mobile browser like HBO Go – which could be redundant if you have an Apple TV or Roku already installed. My Dad tester said his connection was ok and most liked iDeaTV allowed him to access everything he typically did via his iPad but with the viewing of his large screen television. Available for purchase on STARS: ***

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro provides Dad with the ability to keep an eye on the house even when he’s not there. The SmartCam HD offers real-time video and audio monitoring. Its great as a nanny cam or pet cam too. My Dad tester said the SmartCam HD was simple to set up and allows him to access it via his iPhone. The SmartCam HD is actually accessible via web site or smartphone app on an iOS or Android. It can be customized to notify the user to receive notifications when there is sound or motion in the camera’s line of sight. According to the company, the device features, “a 1080p full HD resolution with 128 degree ultra-wide angle lens.” This allows users the ability to see much clearer and much more of their homes and families. When setting the device up it is set to the lowest quality setting but can be easily changed via the app to 720p using the HQ icon and in the webviewer you can change it to 720p or 1080p. You can also view the video footage in full screen by clicking on the four arrows icon (only in Internet Explorer). My Dad tester liked that he could check in at home and thought the notification system was really cool. STARS: ****

Does Dad spend time out on the ocean? Is he a boater? Then check out the Monty Leather Boatmoc Tan Shoes ($130). According to the company, these shoes were, “biomechanically engineered to the classic boater.” Featuring patent-pending Microwobbleboard™ midsole technology for instant relief from underfoot pressure - these cool, tumbled-leather marina-mocs are designed to float. My Dad tester liked the look of the Canvas Navy Shoes much better than the Tan but said they were comfortable and had a good grip. Good thing because he has plans to enroll in a sailing class this summer. STARS: ***

1-800-BASKETS has a wide range of gift ideas for Dad. The company sent my Dad tester its Dad’s Tool Bucket Snack Set ($39.99). The Tool Bucket is filled with delicious gourmet treats including Lucca & Sons® Beef Summer Sausage, Beer Nuts® Cashews and Shortbread Cookies. My Dad tester’s favorite was the beer nuts. He also liked the size of the tool bucket which he said was perfect to store stuff for small house projects. STARS: ****

Most dads could use some extra hours of sleep. If that’s your Dad, then check out the Dreampad pillow which delivers music only the user can hear. According to the company, “the Dreampad process brings about a relaxation response from the body and mind which has been aptly described as a “massage to the nervous system" for a great night's sleep.” My Dad tester was a little skeptical but willing to give the Dreampad a try. When ordering your Dreampad you can also order an MP3 player that has preloaded music included -- it's sold separately. Then you simply plug the MP3 player into the Dreampad. My Dad tester said he felt like he was at the spa the first night. The Dreampad’s relaxing music lulled him off into a deep sleep. My Dad tester’s daughter asked to try the Dreampad out herself and she also loved the tranquil music. My Dad tester did say that the MP3 player Dreampad sells is a COBY and not the best quality so you may want to save your money and use an existing MP3 player rather than purchase the Dreampad’s COBY MP3 which is sold separately. STARS: ***

Bolivares, a bold new All-American brand of menswear, combining classic and casual influences from North and South America, has some great pieces for Dad. The company sent my Dad tester its Gonzalo Zip Front Hoodie ($199) in cobalt blue. This ultrasoft and luxuriously sweatshirt is handcrafted in Peru and made of 100 percent Peruvian cotton. The sweatshirt has a nice weight to it and includes ribbed cuffs and a two way gold zipper. A great “dress up” sweatshirt. My Dad tester felt very Mark Zuckerberg. It should be noted the Gonzalo Zip Front Hoodie is machine washable but dry cleaning is recommended. The company also sent my Dad tester its Cesar Crewneck T-Shirt ($49). A t-shirt is an everyday essential and the Cesar T Shirt made from fine Peruvian cotton is soft and breathable. It comes in standard fit which my Dad tester really liked. STARS: ****

Another option for the sports fantatic Dad comes from Fanatics is a leading online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise offering hundreds of thousands of officially licensed items via its Fanatics and FansEdge brands. In addition, the Company powers the e-commerce sites of all major professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, PGA), major media brands (NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FOX Sports) and over 200 collegiate and professional team properties. The site has a wide variety of team gear to choose from. The company sent my Dad tester its Nike San Diego Padres Cage Performance Shorts in gray/navy blue ($41.95). My Dad tester liked the shorts elastic wasteband and Dri-Fit technology and sports his to the gym. Fanatics also sent its Nike San Diego Chargers Arch Long Sleeve T-Shirt in charcoal ($31.95) which is made of 50 percent cotton and 50 percent polyester. My Dad tester enjoyed the soft material and the fact that the shirt is tagless. Also sent was Fanatics ‘47 Brand San Diego Chargers Varsity Scrum Premium T-Shirt in gray ($37.95). This nostalgic print t-shirt is made of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent polyester. My Dad tester loved the print and has worn the t-shirt numerous times since receiving it. Whatever team your Dad is a fan of, Fanatics selection of goods will impress. was another Father's Day gift favorite. STARS: ****1/2

Looking to impress Dad this Father’s Day? Then what about serving him a cappuccino in bed? Check out the Keurig Rivo brewing system ($229.99). Keurig has partnered with Lavazza to bring a professional style brewing system to the convenience of your home. My Dad tester is a self proclaimed caffeine addict and always has a cup or two every morning. He really loved the fact that the Keurig Rivo brewing system’s froth system which consistently produced a nice froth regardless of the milk type he used. Lavazza has a wide variety of capsules to select from including Espresso Classico, Espresso Intenso Espresso Delicato and Espresso Decaf ($14.99 for a box of 18). My Dad tester’s favorite was the Espresso Delicato. The Keurig Rivo makes cappuccinos and lattes. Buyers can also purchased the company’s cool Rivo Pack Carousel ($29.99) that holds 20 Rivo packs at a time and allows the user easy and convenient access to their capsules. This is a great addition to breakfast in bed and sure to impress Dad. STARS: *****

Another great gift idea is from Nutri Ninja ($89.99). The Nutri Ninja has a powerful 900 watt motor that is designed to break through seeds, skins and stems. This is a great piece of machinery for the avid juicer. The Nutri Ninja can blend whole fruits, vegetables and ice into a customized smoothie. My Dad tester enjoys a morning juice before a morning run and said he was impressed with the quality and consistency of the Nutri Ninja. According to the company, the Nutri Ninja can also be used to make sauces, dressings, dips, purees and frozen desserts. My Dad tester really liked that the Nutri Ninja comes with 18 and 24 ounce single serve cups which made cleaning up simple; and he liked its simple click in and click out usability. It also comes with 30 recipees and a wellness guide. STARS: ****

Dads tend to do most of the yard work. At least that’s how it was in my household when I was growing up. If your Dad is outside most weekends then consider buying him the Netatmo Weather Station ($179). The Netatmo Weather Station includes indoor and outdoor modules to help dad stay informed of the weather and air quality in and around his home. The station also comes with a free companion app for iPhone and Android that allows Dad to access real-time temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, C02 concentration and noise pollution information. It can also be customized to alert him if the temperature hits a high or a low. My Dad tester really liked that it could notify him if the air quality in his home needs to be cleaned. He has started to check it daily as he is getting ready to work to figure out what to wear. The Netatmo Weather Station is available for purchase at Apple, Amazon, Brookstone and STARS: ****

The Mio ALPHA is a good gift idea for Dads who like to work out. The Mio ALPHA is the first heart rate monitor sports watch without an annoying chest strap. How does it work? According to the company, “the Mio ALPHA uses LED technology to measure the heart rate through the blood flow in the wrist while exercising.” My Dad tester really liked how he was able to set a target heart rate zone and review his total exercise time and assess how much of that time was spent in his targeted zone. He also really appreciated the fact that the Mio ALPHA is rechargeable. It should be noted that the Mio ALPHA can also be synced to the users iPhone. My Dad tester did mention that the buttons are on the smaller size. Overall, he gave it three and a half stars. STARS: ***1/2

If Dad likes to grill and is into camping or tailgating, then the Grill Daddy 6 in 1 Camping & Tailgating Grill Set ($39.99) is right up his alley. The Grill Set features interchangeable attachments, including the Grill Daddy Fork, Spoon, Spatula and set of Tongs. All attachments are made from durable stainless steel and equipped with the patented Heat Shield. My Dad tester liked that the 6 in 1 Camping & Tailgating Grill Set came with a convenient carry case which he could store the grilling tools when not using. He also liked that they all came apart and could be stored in the included carrying case – great when on the go. STARS: ****

After the end of a stressful day some Dads like to kick back and have a drink to unwind. If your Dad enjoys tequila, then consider the Spice Lab’s Himalayan Salt Tequila Shot Glasses and Sea Salt Collections. These shot glasses actually made Oprah’s Favorite Things 2013. Priced at two for $19.95; four for $29.95 or six for $39.95, my Dad tester liked that these shot glasses have the look of rose quartz but are actually carved from food-grade Himalayan pink salt. My Dad tester is a big fan of tequila and was more than happy to test these shot glasses. He poured himself a shot of tequila and since he actually enjoys tequila and typically sips it found himself sipping rather quickly because the salt from the shot glasses tends to seep into the tequila. So he suggests pouring smaller portions so you don’t feel rushed -- if you're a true tequila drinker. STARS: ***1/2

Now what to put in those Himalayan Tequila Shot Glasses? What about Herradura Silver Tequila ($21.99 – 375ml bottle and $39.99 – 750 ml bottle)? Herradura Silver Tequila is aged for 45 days and according to the company, “has tastes of oak and tangy citrus character that brings more agave flavor.” With a 40 percent alcohol content, Herradura Silver Tequila was a favorite with my Dad tester. He enjoys tequila and typically sips it to savor its flavors; and Herradura Silver didn't disappoint. STARS: ****

If your Dad likes a drink with a little bit of bubbles then Soda Stream (starting at $99) is what he’s looking for. You can make your own homemade sodas in the convenience of your home. My Dad tester liked the machine’s snap lock function and easy to gauge carbonation level. Buyers can choose from over 60 different soda mix flavors – my Dad tester’s favorite was Kool Aid Cherry Cola with some added Vanilla Vodka. According to the company over 10 million Soda Streams have been sold. My Dad tester suggests having a Soda Stream Mixology Party…he plans on hosting one very soon. His wife is now obsessed with the Soda Stream and uses it more than he does. STARS: ****

Now if Dad is a wine connoisseur, consider purchasing him a VinEdge ($29.99), a wine preservation tool that makes storing wine clean and easy. VinEdge allows wine lovers the ability to extend their enjoyment for a bottle of wine by creating a “seal.” This is how it works, open a bottle of wine; pour yourself a glass; attach the Vin-sert to the VinEdge Cork; and insert into bottle of wine. As the user pours the wine, the Vin-sert inflates in the bottle to create a vacuum of sorts. This helps to reduce oxidation and preserves the remaining wine for later. My Dad tester did say it wasn’t the most glamorous looking device but it did do what it was supposed to do. Users will have to purchase additional Vin-serts since they detach and remain in the empty bottle once the wine is completely consumed. My Dad tester thought this was an interesting concept; he however is not a wine connoisseur to whom the VinEdge may be better suited. STARS: ***1/2

Disclaimer: I and/or my Dad testers were provided with product samples or loaner products but all opinions are solely mine and/or my testers.