Father’s Day honors the hard work and dedication of our dads. And what better way to honor your outdoor-loving dad than to gift him some great gear. We field tested some new products and found a few items we’re sure any dad would love.
California Cowboy Tropic High Water shirt
While some might consider a simple shirt to be a relatively humble gift, smart kids will realize their dads will love the detail-rich Tropic High Water Shirt from California Cowboy. The lightweight cotton-blend material (64% cotton, 33% Tencel, 3% Spandex) is suitable for light activity, such as fishing from a flats boat or even an off-shore cruiser. It breaths well and dries quickly. But the shirt’s unique fish-pattern gives it enough flair and style to be suitable for dinner and drinks out after a day of fishing. The shirt also sports California Cowboy’s signature features, including a dry pocket perfect for storing a phone, a pocket sized to hold a beer bottle, a bottle opener pocket with included opener, and a sunglass loop.
The feature-rich stylish Tropic High Water is available in a wide range of colors and patterns. $115. Buy Now.
Danner Trail 2650 Campo shoes
Savvy modern hikers have learned to lean on well-built trail shoes to protect their feet without the weight of traditional full hiking boots. While there are lots of options for supportive trail shoes today, hikers who want to go as fast and light as possible on the trail will appreciate the new Danner Trail 2650 Campo shoe. When laced tight, the leather-and-fabric uppers wrap snugly around the foot like a running shoe for blister-free fit without being constrictive. The Vibram outsoles are medium-density providing good traction on sloppy trails, while still being grippy and firm on slick rock. Any father who want a do-it-all low-top hiker that fits a like a runner will love the gift of Danner’s Trail 2650 Campo shoes. $140. Buy Now
Benchmade BugOut 535-3
Portland-based Benchmade makes some of the finest knives we’ve used, and their folding every-day carry models stand as at the pinnacle of their design achievements. The Bugout series represents the best of their lightweight EDCs and a new variant, the Bugout 535-3, moves the needle even further into the excellence range. The new Bugout sports milled carbon-fiber handle scales, a premium S90V super steel blade, and cool blue anodized aluminum hardware. The Bugout also boasts Benchmade’s outstanding AXIS lock mechanism – we reviewed the first ever Axis lock 20 some years ago, and it still stands as the best locking system we’ve seen. When closed, the knife measures just over three inches long and a narrow profile and sleek scales lets it slide comfortably into any pocket. $300 www.benchmade.com
Ledlenser H7R Core Headlamp
Whether reading while laying in a sleeping bag, moving around a well-furnished camp in a drive-up campground, or trying to set up a remote camp during a backpacking outing, a headlamp makes life easier. Not only does a headlamp free up hands for whatever task needs performing, but the light is automatically, and instantaneously, directly right where where your attention is focused. The new Ledlenser H7R Core is a powerful LED headlamp capable of lighting up a campsite, piercing the pure darkness of a moonless night in the forest, or tracking a dog that wonders off before dawn. The H7R throws a brilliant 1000 lumens up to 250 meters. The light is rechargeable and has a full 4 hour burn time on the brightest setting. $100. Buy Now.
Orvis Clearwater Trout Spey 4wt Outfit
For fathers who love fly fishing, the new Orvis Clearwater Trout Spey rod and reel outfits could be the perfect surprise gift. Traditionally, spey casters used the two-handed casting technique to target hard-to-reach fish like salmon and steelhead in broad tree lined rivers. Today, a growing movement has trout anglers adding new lightweight two-handed rods to their quiver of single-handed rods. Trout spey rods can deliver a big, heavier streamer to trout on the far side of wide rivers, and the Orvis Clearwater Trout Spey 4wt rod and matched Clearwater IV reel is a great all-around trout kit. The 11’4” rod is stout enough to get streamers across wide rivers, and delicate enough to feel the tug of gentle takes from modest-sized trout. The outfit comes complete with backing and line – a Mission Shooting Line with Skagit Head. The Clearwater kit is a great tool for single-hand casters to step into the world of Spey. $600. Buy Now.
MiiR 64oz Growler
What dad wouldn’t the gift of beer? And even more so, the gift of the means to carry home their favorite pub brew? With the boom in popularity of craft brewers, growlers have become ubiquitous in our culture. Glass, plastic, ceramic, steel, and titanium containers exist to help beer drinkers carry their favorite draft home. The MiiR 64 oz Growler represents one of the best options we found for clean carrying of ale. The double-walled steel tank holds four pints of beer and keeps it cold for days at a time (if the beer will stay in the growler that long!). The MiiR growler is power coated for durability and style, and features a pour handle to help make distributing the beverage easy. The lid is pressure-sealed with a locking clasp to avoid the problems associated with threaded lids – no threads to hold grit and grime and no need to fumble with screwing on the top after dark. Just the lid and clip down the clasp. The MiiR Growler is also remarkably affordable at just $55. Buy Now.