Just try to pry this cool urban dad vest off your man! Not since Seinfeld’s “man purse” has a guy’s accessory been so thoroughly useful. The DadGear Diaper Vest is literally a wearable diaper bag, with pockets for diapers, wipes, bottles — and even a changing pad hidden in the back. Leaves Dad hands-free for kid wrangling; looks cool, too. Genius! $79; dadgear.com.
The ultimate dad duffel for a day at the beach — or a long weekend: It’s Rick Steves’ Drop-Bottom Duffel. The separate “drop bottom” compartment keeps wet stuff separate from the rest; there’s a nifty wallet/cell phone pocket, too. I love the grab-and-go handles on either end. Great size, great looking, supersturdy and destined to become his fave bag. $79.95; ricksteves.com.
Sure, it’s designed for kids, but what dad wouldn’t love to launch one of these babies? Those whiz kids at SmartLabs really got it right with this Remote Control Rocket kit. Assemble the rocket (cinchy!), pop batteries into the remote control and load that sucker up with baking soda and vinegar. Goes up to 30 feet! Fun factor, on a scale of 1 to 10? Toy-tester Aidan sez, “Is there anything higher than a 10?” $19.19; smartlabtoys.com.
Here’s a manly accessory for the hands-on dad in your life: burp clothes with boy-themed trim and cutaway sides, so they fit against Dad’s neck. No more drool on his dress shirts (or Dead tee). $10; lildarlins.org.
Dress ‘em funny while they’re still too young to talk back! MeMo Baby has onesies that’ll have Dad in stitches with sayings like “Who’s My Daddy?” and “Hair Club President.” We have some to give away, in size 6–12 months; we’ll pick the design. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; don’t forget to put MeMo in the subject line.
Gifty books for nifty dads . . .
Sci-Fi Baby Names by Robert Schnakenberg. Anakin . . . Trillian . . . light years from Jason and Jennifer! Indulge your favorite dad-to-be’s inner Trekkie with this out-of-this-world (no kidding!) book of names. The editors of ParentMap are not responsible for any baby-naming fiascos that may result from this review. $12.95; Quirk Books.
The Pocket Guide to Mischief by Bart King. I hesitate to review this book; it only encourages a certain type of dad! This guide to pranks, insults and general badness begins with an all-important chapter on choosing your nemesis. Plenty of poop humor, loads of cool “gee whiz” info; written by a longtime middle school teacher, and it shows. Your overgrown kid will love it. $9.95; Gibbs Smith.
The Baby Bonding Book for Dads by James di Properzio and Jennifer Margulis. Here’s a sweet little primer for just-this-minute fathers, full of encouragement, advice and lovely black-and-white photos. My favorite sentiment: “Babies are patient little creatures who forgive your mistakes.” $15.95; Willow Creek Press.