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A Father’s Day Gift Guide Penned By an Actual Father

Because, who better to advise than someone with a Dad bod, right?

Let me pull back the curtain a bit on how magazines work. A holiday—say, Father’s Day—approaches, and there’s a hastily called meeting about how it’s going to be covered and ultimately some 19-year-old intern gets tasked with figuring out what your 63-year-old father would want. But not at WL. Here you have an honest-to-God father of two girls on the job to give you insight without equal.

Yeti Backflip 24, $400

Men love Yeti, the ascendant cooler company that has now branched into all sort of gear (mugs, bags, chairs) and everything they do is a perfect mix of rugged, functional and beautiful. The only rub is that it’s expensive, but it should be—it’s the best and it will last forever. I know the words “heirloom cooler” seem odd, but that’s exactly what these are. I’m choosing this new option that just so happens to fit a flat of beer perfectly, but to be honest I’d be more likely to fill it with charcuterie and La Croix for my kids…but I’d still look like the guy who’s hauling 24 beers around so it would up my dwindling street cred to boot.

Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste, $41

Everybody is a wine expert these days, and even the most casual drinker is expected to be comfortable with terms like “terrior” and “volatile acidity.” This book from star sommelier and winemaker Raj Parr really is one stop learning: the perfect, up-to-date compendium to the old world that touches on new trends as well as putting them in their proper context. Invaluable.

Pure Martini Glass by Schott Zweisel, $114

Martini glasses aren’t something most Dads buy for themselves. They’re an item you either got as a wedding present or bought early on and continue to use them notwithstanding that classic angled design seems like it was made to encourage spilling. Here’s the nice thing about these from Schott: they look far more elegant than the traditional design, they’re far more practical than the traditional design, and at $114 for six, they’re reasonably priced.

Ampersand Gin, $35

And it’s time to fill those glasses with something deserving. There’s a slew of craft distillers out there willing to step out to the task. But I’m going to give you the straight goods here: I was a judge for this year’s Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition and as such probably blind-tasted 200-plus gins over the course of a month, and there are peaks and some serious valleys as far as craft gin goes. Ampersand is a peak (they won a Gold last year), but not only is the gin a winner, they’re one of the few distilleries that doesn’t stratospherically price their wares (you can find it starting at $35, which is pretty amazing given what other craft distillers are charging.) Plus, it looks cool.

Estwing 22oz Framing Hammer, $50

How many areas are there that you can buy the best without spending more than $50? My brother worked as a framer one summer and on his first day on of his new colleagues took one look at his generic hammer and said “Dude, go buy yourself an Estwing.” Wise words. And as soon as I was old enough, I bought one for myself and I’ve used it ever since. You can tell a lot about a person by the hammer they use, so choose carefully.

Saphir Shoe Polish, $23

And speaking of being able to buy the best for peanuts, my guess is that if you look in your Pop’s closet you’ll find a worn out tin of Kiwi shoe polish. There’s nothing wrong with category dominator Kiwi, but there’s nothing right about it either. Saphir, on the other hand, is the Bentley of shoe polish, and it’s only nominally more expensive. It blows my mind that we live in an age where men have never spent more on their shoes, but less on taking care of said shoes. Do your part to help buck that trend.

Kick-Ass Garden Hose, $55

I’d like to introduce you to a dream of a garden hose. It’s long, it’s crazy durable, the fittings are absolutely tight and well machined and it even looks sorta cool. I realize I’m in serious Dad territory here, but truthfully a well constructed house is a daily joy and it’s a pretty affordable way to bring that sort of sunshine to your old man. This link is from Coscto’s US site, but I bought mine a week ago at the downtown Vancouver Costco for $55.

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