in the US is Sunday, June 21. That may seem like a little way off, but with the pandemic causing shipping delays, you should probably get on the ball a little earlier this year to get Dad a gift. Wherever you buy, we’ve assembled some great gift ideas here in the in $51 to $100 range, all of which have been fully reviewed or anecdotally tested by CNET editors. These should arrive on time — if you hurry.
Looking for more affordable gifts? Check out the.
Hyperice’s original Hypersphere massage ball ($150) is quite powerful but a bit on the large side and requires its own power adapter to charge it. Meanwhile, the new smaller Hypersphere Mini ($99) — about the size of a softball (3-inch diameter) — charges with a Micro-USB cable (a full charge offers more than two hours of battery life) and actually works better for rolling out your muscles, with three speeds to choose from. It also travels better.
The Dad Hoodie
If there ever was a piece of clothing that was meant to be a Father’s Day gift, it’s The Dad Hoodie. Not only is it one of the most comfortable hoodies you’ll ever wear (yes, it’s soft), but its breathable mesh lining has several integrated pockets for storing everything from your phone to diapers and baby bottles. It comes in multiple color options and makes for ideal work-at-home wear. This is a hoodie you can live in, as embarrassing as that sounds.
Anker’s Soundcore Motion Plus is larger than many mini Bluetooth speakers, but it’s still compact and manages to sound quite a bit fuller than much of the competition under $100, with bigger bass, more volume and better clarity. It’s also fully waterproof (IPX7 rated) and has support for the aptX streaming codec for devices like Samsung’s Galaxy phones that support it. Battery life is rated at 12 hours at moderate volume levels. There’s even an app for tweaking the sound. It’s an excellent value at $100.
Blue or red versions are available for $3 more.
For several years Gunnar Optiks has been making “computer glasses” designed to block blue light and help alleviate the eye strain that you get from staring at displays for long periods. The glasses come in a variety of styles and a few different tints, ranging in price from $50 to around $100. The core models have an amber lens, antireflective coatings and slight magnification. You can add a prescription lens through the Gunnar website, but those RX packages cost more.
Love it or hate it, the plank is one of the best exercises for strengthening your core. But actually planking — maintaining what amounts to a stiff, unmoving push-up, where you strive to keep your whole body rigid, like a plank of wood — can be a little boring. That’s where the the Stealth Core Trainer comes in.
It looks like a fancy padded board on top, with a sphere on its underside that sits in a base module. The design allows you to swivel from side to side and up and down as you hold the plank position, ideally with your body perfectly parallel to the ground. You then plop your smartphone down on the board and launch one of the planking games in the companion app — two are always free and there’s a monthly subscription for additional “premium” games.
The basic model, which should work for most people, is now on sale for $99 (it lists for $149). With shipping times delayed due to the pandemic, it takes a couple of weeks to arrive but you can tell Dad it’s in the mail.
The Soundcore listed above is our new pick for best sound quality in the sub-$100 price field. But that model is pretty beefy. By contrast, Bose’s fully waterproof SoundLink Micro fits into the palm of a hand, and it delivers impressive sound for its small size. If Dad likes listening to music or podcasts in the tub or on the deck, this is a great option. I haven’t heard of anyone not liking this as a gift, and it can sometimes be found on sale for $20 off.
Why buy AirPods or other name-brand truly wireless headphones, which can cost $160 and up? The Anker Soundcore Life P2 earbuds deliver solid sound quality for around $60 and are also decent for making calls.
The Upright Go 2, a little device you stick onto your skin at the top of your back (between your shoulder blades), monitors your posture and vibrates when you’re slouching. Using the companion app for iOS and Android, you can set up training regimes and keep track of your progress. This new second-generation version is 50 percent smaller than the original. Additional adhesives cost $10 for a 10-pack but some people use double-sided tape to save money. There’s also a new Upright Go necklace accessory ($20) that allows you to not bother with adhesive strips.
The adhesives (10 are included) kept the Upright Go 2 on my back just fine — I barely noticed the device was there except for when it vibrated — and you can wear it for several days without replacing the adhesive. That said, the necklace is the way to go. It’d be nice if it was included as part of a bundle.
Amazon’s smallest Echo Show lists for $90, but frequently sells for less than $70. If you’re looking for a video-enabled Echo device for Dad’s nightstand or home office, this is the most affordable option. The newer Echo Show 8 lists for $130. (It may also be on sale for less than $100.)
Logitech MX Master 3
Best everyday mouse under $100
I’ve been a fan of Logitech’s earlier MX Master and MX Master 2S mice, which shared the same design. For the MX Master 3, Logitech’s engineers have made some upgrades to both the design and the mechanics of the mouse, most noticeably to the scroll wheel, which is driven by electromagnets and is buttery-smooth to operate. It’s fast and quiet — you can zip through literally thousands of lines in seconds when you switch from ratchet to free-spin mode. This stylish mouse costs just less than $100, and it’s a neat upgrade for Dad, whether he’s got an old desktop PC or a laptop with a stubborn trackpad.
Dad’s probably watching more streaming TV than ever, just like the rest of us. And this add-on Roku model will turn even an old HDTV into a state-of-the-art streamer that gets every channel, from Netflix to HBO to Hulu, and everything in between. It streams up to 4K resolution, and the included remote controls the TV’s power and volume, too.
Dad might not be using this as a travel speaker anytime soon, but the UE Wonderboom 2 is great for around the house, too. It’s pretty compact and offers better — and bigger — sound than some of its slimmer and smaller rivals. This wireless speaker is available in about a dozen fun colors, it really can float and has better battery life than the original Wonderboom.
It’s time to upgrade Dad’s PC keyboard — and the MX Keys is arguably the smartest low-profile Logitech keyboard I’ve used. It has “spherically dished” keys that kind of cradle the tips of your fingers, and the keyboard is responsive and tactile. In that sense, it’s similar to Logitech’s Craft keyboard, which lists for twice the price.
The keys light up as your hands approach and there’s a sensor that adjusts the illumination according to the lighting conditions. You can also turn off the light if you want to save battery life. The dual layout is designed for both Mac and Windows users, and MX Keys is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android systems.
Using illumination, you can get 10 days of operation on a full charge or up to five months with backlighting turned off. When it’s time to recharge, the battery indicator LED glows red and you can continue using the keyboard while charging via USB-C.
The ultimate gift for a dad who’s always losing things, Tile Stickers are little round trackers that pair with your phone. To find one, you just tap the app to make it ring. But you can also use a smart speaker like the Nest Mini or Amazon Echo Dot. Now, instead of having to find your phone before you can find your other stuff, just tell Google or Alexa to help you locate whatever’s missing.
Amazon sells this same four-pack with an Echo Dot for $100.
With restaurant visits off the menu for the foreseeable future, an Instant Pot is a great addition to increasingly busy home kitchens around the world. It’s a perfect gift, both for people who love cooking and those who hate it. It can pressure-cook, slow-cook and just about everything in between. Right now, the best deal is at Amazon, where the 6-quart model is $79, but keep in mind this product has dipped as low as $60 throughout the year. Check out CNET’s list of the best Instant Pots of 2019 for more inspiration.
Anker makes a few affordable AirPod alternatives that deliver truly excellent value for money. I like the $60 Soundcore Life P2, but the superior Soundcore Liberty Air 2 earbuds sound even better and are a top model for making calls.
Like the AirPods Pro, the Liberty Air 2 do a remarkably good job of muffling ambient noise — callers said they could hear me fine even with a lot of street noise around me. While these Anker Soundcore earbuds don’t have active noise canceling, they sound nearly as good, fit comfortably and their noise-isolating design passively seals out a lot of ambient noise. They have an IPX5 water-resistance rating, which means they can withstand heavy sprays of water, and are suitable for sporting activities.
Looking for more options? Check out our list of the best true wireless headphones under $100.
Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
Yes, the Echo Dot sells for half the price, but it’s worth splurging on Dad’s special day for the full-size Amazon Echo — especially when if it’s marked down (it sometimes drops to as low as $65). In addition to its zillions of smart home functions, this voice-controlled speaker delivers better-than-average sound quality and doubles as a straight-up Bluetooth speaker, too. Oh, and it tells jokes that only a dad can appreciate.
There are plenty of great Alexa-powered Echo products, but in this price range, we’re loving the Google Nest Hub (formerly known as the Home Hub). The smart display gives you instant access to a world of answers whenever you say, “Hey, Google,” and the device’s lack of a camera makes us feel better about having it in the bedroom. (Note that Google introduced a larger 10-inch version of this product with a camera called the Nest Hub Max, but that will run you $230.) The retail price of this product is $129, but it’s regularly on sale for less than $100.
In CNET’s recent roundup of best coolers, we found that this Lifetime High Performance Cooler delivered the best design of the bunch. It’s also tough as nails, and offers a nearly 63-quart capacity. Whether Dad is stocking beer by the summer grill or at an autumn tailgate party, this is a great pick.
Yes, the Kindle app is available for free on phones and tablets. But if Dad’s a book lover, the Kindle Paperwhite beats a phone app because it offers distraction-free reading. Other ways the Paperwhite beats a phone: It’s readable in full sunlight or in a darkened bedroom, it’s fully waterproof and its battery lasts days or weeks, not just a few hours. The Paperwhite normally retails for $130, but it routinely drops to $90 or less, which is why we’re including it here. Wait for that price before scooping it up.