11 Thoughtful Gifts for Dad

iStock, FatCamera
iStock, FatCamera

This holiday season, spoil your old man with gifts that will help him kick back, pick up a new hobby, or spruce up his space.

1. Pit Boss Single-Burner Portable Tabletop Grill

Pit Boss
Amazon

This portable single-burner grill features a 305-square-inch stainless steel cooking area, making it perfect for picnicking, tailgating, and camping. With a set of folding legs, the grill can be easily collapsed and stored in a trunk or truck bed.

Find It at Amazon for $61 and also at these other retailers:

2. Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch
Best Buy

This watch is perfect for active men: Sporting Apple's largest display yet, this "swimproof" timepiece comes equipped with electrical and optical heart sensors, an accelerometer, and even a gyroscope that can detect when dad trips while he uses the hiking workout feature.

Find It at Best Buy for $429 and also at these other retailers:

3. Cocktail Courier Subscription

Cocktail Courier
Cocktail Courier

A boozy version of Blue Apron, Cocktail Courier promises to surprise dad with a monthly shipment of ingredients—such as bitters and garnishes—needed to make some of the tastiest cocktails. Along with the ingredients, the shipment comes with a card providing step-by-step instructions from some of the world’s best bartenders.

Find It at Cocktail Courier.

4. Whiskey Appreciation Crate

Bourbon Kit
Man Crates

When dad is finished making those drinks, he might want to proudly display them for all to see. Thankfully, this box (or “Man Crate”) comes with a personalized whiskey decanter and a personalized pair of rocks glasses. Also included are two slate coasters, two sphere molds for making ice, a whiskey drinking journal, and an assortment of savory snacks.

Find It at Man Crates for $150.

5. Bushnell Phantom Gold Course GPS

Bushnell GPS
Amazon

Preloaded with maps of 36,000 golf courses from more than 30 countries, this Bluetooth-enabled GPS tells dad just how far he need to launch his next shot. The device boasts a battery life that can last up to two rounds, meaning dad can spend as much time hacking away in the bunker as he needs. (But he insists he doesn't need that, right?)

Find It at Amazon for $100.

6. Wise Owl Hammock

Hammock
Amazon

Made from heavy-duty parachute nylon, this hammock is soft, lightweight, and reliable. It can hold up to 400 pounds, in case dad's favorite furry friend is used to cuddling in for naps. And if dad isn't an expert at knot-tying, have no fear: The company will send an email with instructions after your purchase, making sure this hammock stays high-strung for good.

Find It at Amazon for $26.

7. Train spotting Log Book

Trainspotting Book
Amazon

This train spotting guide is perfect for any dad who slams the brakes every time he sees a freight train passing him beside the highway. With this handy logbook, dad will never forget the time he spotted a rare 4-6-0 chugging beside a Dash 8-32B.

Find It at Amazon for $7.

8. Himalayan Salt Plank

Himalayan Pink Salt Plate
Uncommon Goods

Forget the old-fashioned Charcuterie board! And don’t even think of chopping up your steaks on a cutting board made from plastic. Rather, impart some flavor by resting your food on this handsome slab of Himalayan pink salt. (Dad can even use it as a cooking pan!)

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $30.

9. Baseball Stadium Blueprints

MLB Stadium Blueprint
Uncommon Goods

These attractive, vintage-style blueprints depicting every Major League Baseball stadium are of museum-grade and printed on archival paper, meaning they’ll last forever on the walls of dad’s office.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $185.

10. Philips Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock

Sun Alarm Clock
WalMart

We’ll admit that $124 sounds like a lot for an alarm clock—but after just a few days, dad will thank you. Research suggests that, to avoid grumpiness and overall fatigue, it’s healthier to wake up to a gentle glow of light than the shrill screams of a sudden alarm. This light by Philips is indisputably one of the best.

Find It at Wal-Mart for $124.

11. Audio-Technica AT-LP2X Record Player

Audio-Technica Record Player
Guitar Center

Whether dad likes classic rock or the latest release, this sleek, silver turntable will give him the option to KISS (keep it simple, stupid!), or eventually add on speakers and amplifiers. Plus, a record player is the gift that keeps on giving—as in, it gives you the freedom to make future gifts all vintage vinyl.

Find It at Guitar Center for $180 and also at these other retailers:

Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System Is the Only Coffee Maker You’ll Ever Need

Amazon
Amazon

Update: The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System is on sale for $120 ($40 off) for Sam's Club members until May 19.

For people who just want a cup of joe to help them get out the door in the morning, the French presses, Chemexes, Aeropresses, Moka pots, and other specialized devices that coffee aficionados swear by probably seem more overwhelming than appealing. Ditto the fancy cappuccino machines at local cafes. That’s where Ninja’s new Hot & Cold Brewed System comes in: It was created to give coffee addicts a myriad of options with minimal fuss, not to mention minimal equipment. And it makes tea, too!

“Coffeehouses are known for having an endless selection, but current at-home brewers haven't given users the vast variety of choice we thought possible, and certainly not all in one product," Mark Rosenzweig, CEO of SharkNinja, said in a press release. "The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System changes the category entirely. This innovative system is more than just a machine you use in the morning; it's your all-day brewing partner.”

The Hot & Cold Brewed System comes with two baskets: one for coffee and one for tea. It knows what you're making to make based on the basket you insert, and the available options for that basket will light up. The machine allows the user to make six different sizes of coffee or tea, from a single cup all the way up to a full 50-ounce (10-cup) carafe.

And of course, as the name suggests, the system can make both hot and iced beverages. For coffee, it has five brew options: classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and specialty (a concentrated brew for milky drinks like cappuccinos). If you’re making tea, you can choose between hot and cold brews optimized for herbal, black, oolong, white, or green tea.

When you select an over ice or cold brew, the machine automatically doubles the strength of your beverage so it doesn't get overly diluted by the ice cubes in the carafe. Even better, the Ninja can make cold brew in just 10 to 15 minutes, whereas other systems and methods typically take hours. (Hot coffee is brewed at 205°F, while the cold brew is made at 101°F.) And the system has a hot and cold frother that folds into the side so you can make barista-level lattes, too.

These bells and whistles sound impressive on paper, but how do they perform in real life? Ninja sent me Hot & Cold Brewed System to test for myself.

Ease of Use

Though it might look like something developed by NASA, the Hot & Cold Brewed System is designed to easily work with the twist of a dial and the push of a button, and it delivers. From loading in the correct amount of grounds with the system’s “smart scoop” to picking what type of brew you’d like, it’s simple enough to use even while bleary-eyed in the morning. It’s also easy to schedule a delayed brew so you can do the rest of your morning routine while your coffee brews. (Here’s the only drawback I can think of about this machine: When it starts brewing, it’s kind of noisy—loud enough to make my cats jump. It’s not a dealbreaker, but if you live in a small apartment and plan to brew coffee so that it’s ready right when you wake up, it might be something to consider.)

The system even tells you when it needs to be descaled. The “clean” button will light up, at which point you simply fill the water reservoir with descaling solution and water and press the clean button. A countdown lets you know how much longer the clean cycle will last.

Taste and Flavor

I swapped out an old, cheap coffee maker for the Hot & Cold Brewed System, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Whether hot or cold, the coffee made by the H&CBS was a better, smoother cup of joe. That’s due to what Ninja has dubbed Thermal Flavor Extraction automated brewing technology, which, according to a press release, “knows the precise temperatures, correct bloom times, and proper levels of saturation for every possible beverage combination to ensure a great taste every time.”

Whatever tech they use, it works. The coffee I make in this machine is consistently tasty. The rich brew setting works exactly as advertised, too, providing a richer, bolder flavor than the classic brew.

Features and Accessories

One of the best things about the H&CBS is the fact that it cuts down on waste significantly. Unlike other machines, it doesn't require any plastic pods or paper filters. Instead, it comes with two permanent filters, one for coffee and one for tea.

And the cold brew function is a game changer if you prefer iced coffee to hot. Not only does it brew quickly, but it eliminates the messy cleanup that comes with making cold brew yourself.

Typically priced at $230 for the thermal carafe version (or $200 for the glass carafe), the Hot & Cold Brewed System is significantly more expensive than a simpler drip coffee machine. But if you’re a cold brew addict looking to treat yourself, it’s worth it. Consider springing for the slightly more expensive thermal carafe model, which will keep your java hot or cold for hours. (I’ve left ice in it overnight and found cubes the next morning.)

You can get the Hot & Cold Brewed System on Amazon, Walmart, Macy's, Sam's Club, or directly on Ninja’s website starting at $160.

Attention Aspiring Astronauts: Arlo Skye Now Has Space-Themed Luggage

Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

While some travelers are preoccupied with getting their luggage through airport security, the designers at Arlo Skye are thinking bigger. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the brand's new line of suitcases is inspired by space travel, with high tech features and a sleek, futuristic look.

Arlo Skye was founded in 2016 by alumni from Louis Vuitton and Tumi Inc. They set out to create luggage that emphasized design, with luxury polycarbonate suitcases available in trendy colors like rose gold and custom monogramming.

The company's Space Collection may be its most stylized line yet. It comes with a removable, 10,050-milliamp-hour charger with USB C and A ports for charging phones and other devices. The chrome-colored case is 22 inches tall, 9 inches deep, and 14 inches wide and weighs 8.5 pounds empty.

Space Collection suitcase from Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

Depending on what type of space traveler you are, you can get one of three designs laser-etched on the bottom of your luggage. There's Moon Shot, Team Human, and Occupy Mars; each engraving comes with a short ode to space and a small picture of its respective celestial body. Like other suitcases made by Arlo Skye, these bags are zipper-free and made from polycarbonate with an aluminum frame.

Whether you're a globetrotter or an aspiring astronaut, the Space Collection from Arlo Skye makes a great travel companion.

Buy it from Arlo Skye for $450.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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