Eclectic Father’s Day Suggestions For a Cool Rockin’ Daddy

I am occasionally asked this time of year to suggest a cool Father’s Day gift. With a closet full of ties and slippers, I can understand how difficult the selection process can be. Here are some items that any Daddy will appreciate.

Samuel Hubbard

Comfort, style and color are what is promised and delivered with shoes from Samuel Hubbard. With a history of shoemaking in New England that goes back to 1930, the Katz family offers a range of colorful, sturdy yet comfortable shoes. I prefer the Navy Nubuck, as it allows me to grin knowing I am wearing blue suede shoes. From their ‘Un-Sneaker’ collection, the Free Hubbard model is what I have been wearing steadily for several weeks. They are made with the “finest leathers and materials from all over the world,” and were quickly broken in. I first discovered the Katz family shoemaking prowess when they were selling under the Rockport label, and the comfort lives on.

Hubbard Free in Navy Nubuck - not to be stepped on

Hubbard Free in Navy Nubuck – not to be stepped on


Not every Dad knows he’s ready for the Menaji Advanced Skincare line, but with the growing realization that taking care of the epidermis is not only a female pursuit, your dear old Dad will appreciate that you care. I like the Power Hydrator Aftershave, which is a more soothing product than alcohol-based aftershave. The folks at Menaji have blended a lightweight lotion containing chamomile, green tea, grapefruit peel, vitamin E and aloe. This line is good for grads as well, looking sharp in an interview is a key attribute and any edge will help.


Daddy likes quality emollients

Daddy likes quality emollients

Drone from RC Logger 

Like most guys, I grew up enamored with kites, gliders and models. I have watched from the sidelines the growth in the drone market. I know it will be many years before Jeff Bezos will deploy his fleet of drones to drop any items in this article directly on my doorstep, but the NovaX 350 from RC Logger is a great way to get in the air. Once you get the hang of flying, adding photography is inevitable. The NovaX 350 combines a rigid carbon fiber design with modern aeronautic technology in a multi-rotor platform. There is plenty of lift and room for a GoPRO or similar camera. In a future column I will dive deeper on the state of drones and my adventures piloting the NovaX 350. If you can find one, add a balsa wood glider to the drone you give your Dad, he will appreciate the sense of then and now.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 9.19.01 PM

Dad will love adding decals, the last and possibly best part of kit building…prior to piloting

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 9.18.21 PM MyCharge

When I need the confidence of practically never running out of a charge, I pack the Razor Ultra from MyCharge. The company has taken the time and expense to push the outer edge of battery technology, and their well-crafted chargers reflect this strategy. This nicely designed outboard charger feels solid at just over a pound in weight and a compact size of 4.4  x 3.0 x 0.9 inches. The brushed anodized aluminum packs one of the most powerful chargers in the MyCharge arsenal; the 12000mAh RazorUltra has a 3.4A shared output and can power two tablets simultaneously. I have yet to drain the unit; the company has tested the unit with 90 extra hours of power. With pass through charging the unit is recharged simultaneously with the connected device. And the unit holds its charge for over a year, so I keep it packed in my bag for peace of mind.

Hamilton Beach Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker

Daddy often is called on (happily!) to cook for the family, and relying on the old standards sometimes does not bring the same pizzazz to the table. Since adding the Hamilton Beach Panini Press to his arsenal, Daddy has returned to hero status at lunches especially. The clever hinged cafe style design of the unit lets Daddy stack sandwiches of any thickness, Dagwood-style, for even cooking. The increasing variety of ingredients loaded up is welcomed by the family.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV Digital Camera 

My Dad always had his camera out for any occasion. Although we moaned when he stopped us at the theme park or opening presents or at the beach, when he pulled out the slide projector at Christmas to run through the year’s highlights, we were all happy. I can still remember the smell of the projector bulb burning off the dust as he loaded each slide tray. Today, the ubiquity of digital photography (accelerated by the seemingly universal population of smartphone owners) has resulted in an avalanche of photos. Given the steady improvement of the cameras embedded in smartphones, who needs a separate camera? Today’s cool rockin’ Daddies often sport a small point and shoot digital camera, because they know that certain memories deserve awesome technology. Capturing imagery on the DSC-RX100 delivers rich pictures as a result of a magnificently large 20.1-megapixel 1″ Exmor RS CMOS sensor to produce high-resolution still imagery and 4K video. With video resolution options lower than 4K, clips of almost one half hour are possible. If you have discovered the slow motion feature on your smartphone, you probably soon tired of its fidelity. Sony has loaded up technology for you to make capture “Super Slow Motion High Frame Rate” movies at up to 40x slower than real time. All of this is due to the ultra-high definition high bitrate science that I only understand enough to enjoy. Packing this sturdy camera in Daddy’s pocket is a breeze.


By now, everyone even your Dad should have gotten religion about the wisdom of computer back up. Moore’s Law has applied to storage (but not batteries!), so cloud backup is sensible. But with the slimmer yet higher capacity outboard storage options on the market, it is hard to beat the offerings from industry innovator Seagate. The Backup Plus Ultra Slim combines the best of both worlds. As “the world’s thinnest 2TB mobile hard drive” the unit includes 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive® cloud storage for two years and Lyve® software compatibility, so Dad can back up, access and share his favorite files from any device or location. The 9.6mm dimension is readily comprehensible, but what do the other specs mean? How about more than 500,000 songs, 320,000 photos or 240 hours of high definition video in a sleek metal finish, that fits in Dad’s pocket? Plenty of room for him to digitize the hand drawn picture you will draw for him as well.


Tiny outboard AND cloud backup for smart Daddies

Tiny outboard AND cloud backup for smart Daddies


I have just added to my road warrior kit the Memory Frame Headset from SoundBot. The built-in microphone and comfortable ear clips let me stay in touch if I move beyond the Bluetooth in my car. The crazily inexpensive price (less than ten dollars) makes it a no-brainer (and good for kids funding their Father’s Day gift from the proceeds of a lemonade stand). Indeed, for particularly delicate conference calls while driving, I eschew the Bluetooth and rely on the SoundBot. While working out, I can listen to my newest favorite podcast and seamlessly take calls from my teenagers lobbying me about the next music festival.



Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.