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10 great gifts for Dad

This Father's Day, give Dad something he'll actually use

Jun. 11, 2009 - 02:32PM   |   Last Updated: Jun. 11, 2009 - 02:32PM  |  
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He's got a garage full of tools, but does he have a camouflage recliner? This year, get creative and give Dad one of these thoughtful and unique gifts that let him share his service pride, make the most of his off-duty time or relax in peace. Take our word: He'll thank you for it.

Camo rocker/recliner

Now your favorite outdoorsman can lie low with this camouflaged oversized, overstuffed, comfy recliner. The high roller rocker/recliner chair features an all-steel seat box for years of rugged use and is available in several camo patterns to stay hidden even in front of the television. You can get one at http://www.basspro.com">Bass Pro Shops.

• Cost: $500

Ambient's Baseball ScoreCast

Hard-core baseball fans, take note: http://www.ambientdevices.com">Ambient's Baseball ScoreCast updates scores every half inning for every Major League Baseball game. A wireless network also delivers complete standings and schedules to the device, allowing you to stay on top of the game, even when you're out of cell-phone range or away from your computer.

• Cost: $130

Smith & Wesson Soldier watch

What do you get when you cross a rugged, utilitarian tool with a stylish timepiece? The S&W Soldier Wrist Watch, a water-resistant (up to 100 meters) precision watch with pressure-sealed tritium tubes that glow in the dark and a scratch-resistant mineral crystal face. The whole lightweight-polymer body can withstand heavy blows from weekend warriors or hardened operators. Available http://www.campco.com">online.

• Cost: $100

Big Bertha Driver

It's the quintessential driver — and the quintessential Father's Day gift. The http://www.callawaygolf.com">Callaway Big Bertha Diablo golf club is a full-titanium, customizable driver for the amateur, experienced or pro golfer in your life. Big Bertha's new Hyperbolic Face Technology increases the speed of the ball across the face — no matter how you hit it— to get the ball farther down the green, and is perfect for those with an aggressive swing. It made Golf Digest's 2009 list of hot drivers under $350, earning a gold medal and props for being "as hot as its color." As Callaway says, "Go ahead. Knock the hell out of it."

• Cost: $300

Garmin 550t GPS

http://www.garmin.com">Garmin just announced its new, top-of-the-line Oregon 550t hand-held GPS unit, a small, waterproof unit that has the ability to PID a target or an area of interest with a geotagged photo. Six hundred bucks buys you a 3.2-megapixel camera (slightly better than cell phone quality), a 3-D compass that displays a direction even when the unit isn't level and a new sunlight-readable display. Plus you get the standard Oregon touchscreen and a preloaded 100k-scale U.S. topographic map set.

• Cost: $600

Fillo backpacking pillow

This new compact, lightweight (10 ounces) camping and backpacking pillow from http://www.nemoequipment.com">NEMO can ensure a good night's sleep no matter where you find yourself: in a cramped ship, on an overseas flight or out in the field. It stuffs smaller than a 1-liter water bottle for easy storage in a ruck and uses a combination of memory foam, air and microfiber fabric for extra comfort.

• Cost: $39

14-MPH cooler

You might think he's the dad who has everything, but we guarantee he doesn't have this: a mobile ice chest that can go up to 14 mph. From http://www.Hammacher.com">Hammacher Schlemmer, this unique gift comes with a 500-watt electric motor and holds up to 24 beer cans — and an adult rider. You can clock 15 miles on a single charge, and the ride feels like a golf cart, says the company. It was spotted on the "Today" show last month, but we're pretty sure your dad will be the first one on base/post with one.

• Cost: $500

IronKey USB Flash Drive

It's billed as the most secure USB flash drive in the world, and it's perfect for the tech-savvy father in your life. The IronKey has a waterproof, metal casing, encrypted backup and up to 8 gigabytes of password-protected storage space. It was designed specifically for military and Defense Department applications, so it's secure, reliable and — most important — as rugged as you are. It's also small, weighing in at an ounce. Visit http://www.ironkey.com">IronKey's Web site for all the specs.

• Cost: $50-$200

A romantic getaway

The tech gear and gadgets are nice, but nothing beats a quiet, romantic weekend away from the stresses of life, the kids and work. To give him a Father's Day he'll never forget, plan the perfect weekend getaway for him and his wife or girlfriend. With travel prices as low as they are this season, a Saturday night at a nice hotel could cost you less than a hundred bucks. Add a nice dinner: $75. Breakfast in bed: $25. Movie tickets, gas and a nice bottle of champagne: $100. The look on his face when he realizes he just scored a weekend away from reality: priceless. Check with your Morale Welfare and Recreation office or a travel agent for details. Web deals and all-inclusive packages abound.

• Cost: About $300

Jim Beam Operation Homefront bourbon

Now you can give a gift to the dad who has everything — while supporting service members in the field at the same time. http://www.jimbeam.com">Jim Beam's limited-edition Operation Homefront bottles of White Label bourbon, 50,000 of which shipped to liquor stores last month, sport the patriotic design of the organization that provides emergency aid, financial assistance and social outreach to service members and their families. A portion of the proceeds go directly to Operation Homefront.

• Cost: About $17

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