2021 holiday gifts for dads

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

This holiday season, show good old dad how you feel and plan the perfect gift, with some help from your favorite elves at CNET. We’ve compiled an awesome list of the latest and greatest products and fun goods to get your favorite father (or your least-favorite father — it’s holidays after all!) Whether he’s an outdoorsman, a foodie, a tech dude, an athlete or a curious type, you’re bound to find something amazing here to pop under the Christmas tree or present after lighting the menorah.

Once you hone in on that special something (perhaps it’s the massager or the solar-powered watch?), you can simply click to order and voila — it will travel from Santa’s workshop and arrive at its gifting destination. So you can kick back with Dad and enjoy the holiday season together. And maybe he’ll even share his artisanal bacon.

David Carnoy/CNET

Maybe you’ve eyed pricey Theragun massagers (which we’re big fans of, by the way) but haven’t pulled the trigger. The affordable Mini size is here to change that — and fulfill your holiday shopping needs. With the Theragun Mini, dads can knead his sore muscles using three different speeds. The ergonomic handle is easier to use than a bulkier, bigger massage gun and reduces wrist strain. The Theragun Mini provides 150 minutes of battery life and it’s actually quiet, making it nicely portable. The new fourth generation is available in black, dusty rose, white and red.

The Baconer

Imagine Dad’s delight when he finds five packs of premium bacon products under the Christmas tree. This sampler from pork purveyor The Baconer includes two packs of Small Batch Bacon, one pack of XXL Bacon Steaks (extra thick slices), one pack of Smoked Lardons and one pack of Ground Bacon. If Dad doesn’t devour his whole gift right away, this responsibly sourced, premium pork will last up to a month in the refrigerator or up to six months frozen.


Nixon’s Light-Wave watch is made from recycled ocean plastic, which is very cool, but that’s not the only impressive thing about it. The Light-Wave also features Epson solar-powered quartz movement — no need for batteries. The water-resistant watch comes in five colors (olive, black, gray, white/navy and bright citrus).

California Cowboy

Robes are a great and useful holiday gift, but what if dad isn’t the plush, fluffy type? Enter California Cowboy’s El Garibaldi Robe, for the father who enjoys relaxing in style. This robe not only has the looks (six unique prints are available) but also the features: a dry pocket for tech items, a bottle pocket, towel-lined interior, a sunglasses loop, and a belt with interior ties. Plus, each robe comes with fun extras like a koozie and bottle opener.


If you’ve got yourself a nerdy dad, pick up the CMY prism cube. Cyan, magenta and yellow (hence the CMY acronym) create a spectrum of translucent colors. Turn the cube over to view different hues; each angle is different. The CMY cube is a curious conversation piece, a fun office addition or objet d’art for dad. 

If the dad on your holiday list loves the great outdoors, this Joshua Tree National Park Desert Campfire candle will light his fire. Desert campfire, sagebrush and juniper scents mix and mingle in this popular Parks Project gift. The 11.6-ounce candle has an 80-hour burn time. Gift label included. Bonus: Your purchase supports the Joshua Tree National Park Association.


We don’t know if they’re slippers or sneakers, but these Tevas continue to be spotted in campgrounds and living rooms alike; they’re just that popular. And this year there’s a new model: the ReEmber, made from recycled materials. A cushion-y slip-on with a rubber sole, the ReEmber style is available in 11 tasteful colors. They’re sturdy, water-resistant and comfortable. What more could Dad want from his footwear?

Our Place

Move over, Always Pan; this year it’s all about the Perfect Pot. Same concept — this cookware has it all. After the success of the multifunctional Always Pan, Our Place designed this 5.5-quart pot to handle everything, from baking to boiling. It takes the place of six or more different kitchen implements, so really you can’t afford not to buy one! We love the pretty new blue color, blanch. If Dad is doubling-down on his lockdown-honed cooking skills, this is a great option.


If the dad on your list enjoys outdoor activities, he’ll appreciate having this practical blanket at-the-ready. Insulated and water-resistant, Voited’s Ripstop outdoor pillow blanket is perfect for camping, picnics, festivals, hiking, and just hanging out outside. We love its versatility; use the Ripstop as a blanket or sleeping sack, a cozy poncho, or stuff it into itself and use as a pillow. The water-resistant, machine-washable blanket is 54 by 80 inches, so it’s big enough to share. Bonus: It’s made from recycled bottles.

High Camp Flasks

This pair of stainless steel tumblers is nice enough to use at home, but they also come with a hard case that’s perfect for travel. Each durable tumbler holds 11 ounces of whiskey (or maybe spiked hot cocoa for the holidays) and features double-walled insulation to keep that drink chilled or hot. Available in stainless, copper, and gunmetal.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Does he want a Yeti cooler, but balk at the price tag? RTIC makes a very similar product for much less money. This durable model keeps ice cold forever (like up to 10 days). It’s the perfect choice for a camper or fisherman — or anyone who has some beverages they need to keep frosty! RTIC has a variety of sizes, from the personal 20 quart to the giant 145. The 45-quart version fits 36 cans inside.

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