Let’s face it, as father’s we’ve gotten a wide variety of trinkets and ill-conceived clothing items on our big day that are probably sitting in the basement unused or in a landfill decaying.
Instead of being the kind of enablers who help you qualify for the next season of “Hoarders,” we at Petersen’s Bowhunting have got a better plan. We’re going to provide you with a list of gifts the bowhunter and father on your list would actually love to own. Shocking, we know.
So whether Dad is looking for a new folding knife, rain jacket or pair of boots for his next hunt, we’ve got just what you need. These are our picks for the best Father’s Day gifts of 2014.
- The Predator Series was made for hunters who demand all-around capability in their optics: mobility without weight, ease of use and bright picture in any light. With its lightweight roof prism design, game-revealing CAT Color Adjusted Transmission coatings and excellent low-light performance, this is an all-around favorite. Versatile enough for western big game hunters or eastern whitetail hunters. Price: $460
- The <a href="http://www.steiner-optics.com/binoculars/hunting/predator-10x42" target="_blank">Predator Series</a> was made for hunters who demand all-around capability in their optics: mobility without weight, ease of use and bright picture in any light. With its lightweight roof prism design, game-revealing CAT Color Adjusted Transmission coatings and excellent low-light performance, this is an all-around favorite. Versatile enough for western big game hunters or eastern whitetail hunters. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>460
- Although <a href="http://www.adidas.com/us/shoes-men-s-outdoor/_/N-svZu2Z1z13y9p" target="_blank">Adidas</a> has made running shoes for years and has even made some pretty slick trail shoes, you may not think of them as a hiking boot company. That’s bound to change with the Terrex Fast X Mid GTX, which is a sort of hybrid between a running shoe and hiking boot. At just over 12 ounces, the Mid GTX is an extremely lightweight, agile boot that is built tough enough for aggressive terrain and comfortable enough to protect your feet when the miles start adding up. <p></p> The Mid GTX incorporates the adiPrene cushioning you’re used to from Adidas running shoes, which protects your mid-sole and forefoot. The boots are springy enough in the forefoot to allow for a strong toe-off, while the stiff midsole gives you the kind of support you need to hurdle rocks and land safely on uneven terrain. The Traxion outsoles are made by Continental, the famous tire maker, and feature aggressive rubber nubs that grip well on even the most rugged terrain. Add it up and the Terrex Mid GTX boots are a perfect fit for everything from fishing and early-season hunting, to a day at the range or on the trail. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>185
- When it comes to making stylish, performance athletic clothing, <a href="http://www.adidas.com/us/" target="_blank">Adidas</a> is no rookie. As it turns out, the company also has a thing for outdoor gear like the new <a href="http://www.adidas.com/us/product/mens-outdoor-hiking-wandertag-jacket/D81993X?cid=D81994&breadcrumb=1z13071Z1z11zrf&search=Hiking+Wandertag+Jacket+in+Men%27s+Outdoor&cm_vc=SEARCH" target="_blank">Wandertag</a> jacket, which is available in insulated and uninsulated versions. The jacket is perfect for hiking, of course, but also makes a terrific outer layer for a number of outdoor activities. It is made from 100 percent nylon Ripstop material, while the Climaproof technology protects you from wind and rain. A mesh lining gives you breathability when your body temperature starts to rise, while a stowaway hood gives you added protection for your head and neck. The Wandertag jacket has an athletic fit and packs down nicely in a backpack, so you can take it with you wherever you go. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>100
- As the company's name implies, <a href="http://fitssock.com/" target="_blank">FITS socks</a> are form-fitted and extremely comfortable, especially when you're putting miles on your feet. Based out of Tennessee, FITS makes socks for everything from running and hiking to casual and tactical applications. The <a href="http://fitssock.com/upland-crew.html" target="_blank">FITS Upland sock</a> is built for long days in the field chasing birds and is anything but the sock your Dad will toss in the bottom of his dresser drawer. The Upland sock is 70 percent wool, 22 percent nylon and the rest polyester/spandex. This particular blend gives you plenty of cushioning and insulation but won't cause you to overheat when walking or hiking. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>21
- <a href="http://www.danner.com/boots/" target="_blank">Danner</a> has long been hailed as one of the premiere boot makers in the world, but that doesn’t stop the West Coast company from forging ahead into new territory. The Danner Gila is the company’s newest iteration and was designed with the Western mountain hunter in mind. Based on boots Danner built for military operators in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan, the Gila boots feature a rugged outsole to handle nasty terrain and a Gore-Tex lining to keep you dry all year long. The boots wrap snugly around the ankle and provide enough support for the steepest trails or mountains you can find. As we tested these boots, however, we quickly realized they’re just as comfortable for light hiking or office wear as they are for the toughest adventure you can throw at them. The Gila boots, which feature Optifade Open Country camo, are built to last and are perfect for the Dad on your list this year. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>180
- <a href="http://www.gerbergear.com/" target="_blank">Gerber</a> has long been known for producing quality knives and tools. They’ve hit another homerun with the <a href="http://www.gerbergear.com/Essentials/Knives/Outrigger-Serrated_31-001944" target="_blank">Outrigger</a> knife, a fine edge folding knife that weighs just 1.9 ounces and clips nicely into the corner pocket on a pair of pants. The center of the aluminum handle features cutouts to reduce weight, while a SoftGrip overmold wraps around the outside for improved grip and comfortable feel. The Outrigger has dual thumb studs for easy opening and a plunge lock (push button) to secure and release the blade. It really is a perfect fit for pocket carry, especially in backcountry or survival situations where weight is always a factor. It’s also great around the home and office, however, because you barely realize it’s there until you need it. And the Gerber name means you’re getting a sharp, reliable blade that’s backed by a lifetime warranty. Tough to beat for the Dad on your list. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>49
- <a href="http://www.hoyt.com/" target="_blank">Hoyt</a> has come out with the perfect quiver to match its 2014 bow line. The <a href="http://www.hoyt.com/accessories/hoyt_arrow_quivers.php" target="_blank">Arrow Rack</a> line of quivers is exceptionally lightweight and designed to fit close to your rig for a compact and well-balanced setup. There are two models—the In-Line and the Double Gripper (pictured). They each are equipped with the universal Quick Detach System, are available to hold four or six arrows and will provide the utmost arrow security. Both fixed-blade broadheads and mechanicals will be handled with no problem. Color options include Realtree Xtra, Max-1, AP Snow and Black Out. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>100
- <a href="http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/index.page" target="_blank">Nikon’s</a> smallest laser rangefinder to date — the <a href="http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/Nikon-Products/Binoculars/ACULON/index.page" target="_blank">ACULON</a> — measures 1.5x2.9x3.6 inches and weighs only 4.4 ounces without batteries. It offers a 6X magnification eyepiece and 20mm objective lens with long eye relief, while all glass receives Nikon’s multilayer coatings for bright, clear images. <p></p> Distant Target Priority Mode automatically displays the range of the farthest target from a clustered arrangement; helpful when ranging through grass or branches. It provides yardage from 6-550 yards with single-button operation, including continuous scan mode. They’re offered in green or Realtree Xtra Green. <p></p> <strong>MSRP: $</strong>170 (green), <strong>$</strong>190 (camo)
- The new <a href="http://mathewsinc.com/product/arrowweb-ct-series-quiver/" target="_blank">ArrowWeb CT quiver</a> is Mathews' lightest, most compact quiver to date. The quiver features a reduced profile that improves balance to your bow setup and eliminates excess weight. The hood matches the riser design on Mathews bows and comes in 10 different colors. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>NA
- Hydration systems have been around for a while, but they’ve never been this well designed. The <a href="http://www.cascadedesigns.com/platypus/hydration-systems/big-zip-lp/product" target="_blank">Platypus Big Zip LP</a> comes in three sizes, from 1.5 to 3 liters, and fits nicely into the pouch on hydration-compatible backpacks. The key feature is a zip top bag that is secured by a rigid plastic bar. Once you’ve filled your Platypus with water, you simply slide the blue bar across the zip-lock system and hang inside your pack. Even with the bag flipped upside down and pressure placed on the sides, the bag seals completely. <p></p> A low-profile design allows the Big Zip LP to ride flat in your pack, while a quick-release hose and shutoff valve make drinking and refilling easy. With multiple sizes you can bring the right bag for your next adventure, whether that’s a short summer hike or a weeklong backpacking trip deep in the backcountry. The bag is also BPA-free, has a silver-ion antimicrobial treatment to keep it fresh and folds down into a compact, lightweight package for storage. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>35 to 37
- <a href="http://pse-archery.com/" target="_blank">PSE</a> produces some of the best bows on the planet. While much of the focus is on flagship bows, they’ve also got some under-the-radar offerings that are pretty cool. Case-in-point is the new <a href="http://pse-archery.com/c/bowfishing-bows_tidal-wave" target="_blank">Tidal Wave</a>, which is a fish-killing machine (literally). <p></p> Featuring a 6-inch brace height, draw lengths up to 30 inches, a mass weight of only 3.3 pounds, an axle-to-axle measurement of 32 inches and a peak draw weight of 40 pounds, this is definitely not your grandpa’s bowfishing rig. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>280
- Another tool that has found its way into our shop is the <a href="http://www.realavid.com/bowsmith-box.html" target="_blank">Bowsmith</a> from <a href="http://www.realavid.com/" target="_blank">Real Avid</a>. The Bowsmith contains needle-nose pliers, a string spreader, knife blade, fletching stripper, nock crimp, string loop setter, and a bevy of other tools (28 in total). <p></p> This handy tool set is small enough to stow away in a pack as well, and it can be invaluable in bow camp when the nearest pro shop is far away. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>50
- The new <a href="http://www.scottarchery.com/releases-single-caliper" target="_blank">Mongoose XT from Scott Archery</a> is packed with features bowhunters are sure to love. First and foremost is the new, ultra-thin, in-line caliper design with a titanium-coated, stainless steel jaw. <p></p> The trigger-enhancing return spring makes for a constantly closed position and an increased range of trigger adjustibility. A knurled, forward trigger optimizes draw length and gives the shooter a comfortable feel. Lastly, the patented, five-hole, spiral connector will adjust to fit any archer. You can customize your look with either black or Realtree. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>100
- If you’re looking for the ultimate baselayer for your next outdoor adventure, <a href="http://www.smartwool.com/" target="_blank">Smartwool</a> has got you covered…literally. Inspired by life in the Rocky Mountains, the people at Smartwool specialize in making baselayers that wick away moisture, fight body odor and yes, keep you amazingly warm. The <a href="http://www.smartwool.com/clothing/baselayers.html?collections=9917&gender=9914" target="_blank">NTS Micro 150 collection</a>—which includes baselayer shirts, underwear, pants and socks—is especially geared for the active sportsman in all four seasons. It’s also a great option for backpackers, hunters and fishermen who want a great baselayer but don’t want to overheat while staying active. Smartwool’s merino wool construction also makes for incredibly soft materials that allow for a wide range of motion. And yes, the Smartwool underwear will give you a whole new perspective on what moving comfort is all about. Trust us, this is one kind of wool the Dad on your list will actually love. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>75 (tee), 75 (pants), 48 (underwear)
- If you’re looking for a great pair of pants to go with the Kirby shirt, <a href="http://www.stio.com/" target="_blank">Stio</a> also makes a phenomenal <a href="http://www.stio.com/mens-crester-pant-3562" target="_blank">Crester</a> pant that is extremely soft and lightweight, a perfect selection for outdoor summer adventures. Because they’re built from a tough and stretchy DWR-treated Sphero LT material, the Crester pants are great for hiking, climbing or fishing, and they wick moisture away from your body. They also dry quickly if you do happen to soak them in the river. The Crester pant is great for the sportsman and father on your list. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>115
- As any Dad can attest, we get our fair share of regrettable gifts, from the sweaters we’ll never wear to the trinkets and gadgets that won’t last five minutes. More than a few of us have a lifetime supply of Santa Claus ties and dress socks we’ll never wear…at least not willingly. If you want to get the Dad on your list something that’ll actually make him smile, look no further than the <a href="http://www.stio.com/mens-kirby-windshirt" target="_blank">Kirby Windshirt from Stio</a>, an outdoor lifestyle and clothing company from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Not only is the Kirby Windshirt fast wicking and quick drying, it’s also dang good looking. It’s made from 100 percent nylon weave and is made to wear everywhere from the backyard to the backcountry. It features two chest pockets and a shirttail that can be worn tucked in or out. Trust us, Dad will love this shirt. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>115
- <a href="http://yeticoolers.com/" target="_blank">Yeti</a> has a reputation for making some of the best coolers on the market, no question about it. The company has also used its expertise to build a new set of <a href="http://yeticoolers.com/rambler-tumblers/" target="_blank">20- and 30-ounce Rambler tumblers</a> that keep liquids cool or hot for a crazy amount of time. The Rambler tumblers feature kitchen-grade stainless steel construction and double-walled vacuum insulation to keep your drink freezing cold or piping hot, and yes, they are as good as advertised. The Ramblers keep ice twice as long as plastic tumblers and are BPA-free (including the plastic lid). Trust us, these Rambler tumblers are way better than a coffee cup that says “Best Dad Ever” on it. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>30 (20 oz.), 34 (30 oz.)