Socks are the hot Father's Day gift—if they're for an iPad

Consumer Reports News: June 13, 2011 01:40 PM

With less than a week to go before Father's Day, Consumer Reports checked in with several daddy bloggers to see how the 2011 Father's Day Gift List is shaping up. While a few traditional items—including cufflinks, neckties, and a new wallet—are making this year's round-up, there's a clear preference for the latest gadgetry. "What I hear more than anything else is the iPad," said Cyrus Kirby, editor-in-chief of Father Geek, a website which espouses "Better Parenting Through Games & Geekiness." Video game consoles, e-book readers, GPS devices, smart phones, and MP3 players are also high on the list.

(Visit the Consumer Reports Electronics & Computers page for buying advice and Ratings to these devices).

Other daddy bloggers expressed a similar sense of tech-centric man-childness. "Aren't we all just big children at heart?" asked Adam Cohen, whose blog carries the tag line "Who's the bigger baby?" Ken Cheung, founder of Daddy Forever, agrees. "I think the modern man is all about the man cave. We want the latest, greatest, and largest flat screen TV for watching sports. We want surround-sound with ground shaking bass for our action/sci-fi movies and the coolest games to play with our buddies and kids."

Beyond games and gadgets, bloggers talked up the popularity of fantasy sports experiences, such as a destination golf trip or an outing to the Mario Andretti Racing School. Cohen also mentioned "Bacon of the Month" clubs, presumably for the dad whose preferred form of competition is eating. And for dads who like to cook as well as eat, a new grill or grilling accessory is a perennial favorite. In the latest Consumer Reports review of grills, we liked the Margaritaville G1000 Ride Behind tailgating grill ($400), which attaches to any vehicle's receiver hitch. We also like the iGrill, a Bluetooth-enabled meat thermometer that works with an iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, allowing Dad to keep tabs on the grill from the horseshoe pit or other remote location.

Of course, when it comes right down to it, most dads say they'd take a bit of quality time with the family over the latest gizmo. "For me, the best gift I can get for Father's Day is celebrating it with my three children and wife," said Kirby. "We go to the park, eat a great picnic lunch, play games, and have a wonderful time as a family." Cohen added in the appeal of a drama-free day. "I really don't need anything more," he said. "But I would like the new iPhone." And, perhaps, a sock to go with it.

Daniel DiClerico

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