Father’s Day Gifts Served Up at BlogHer Food

Some last-minute Father’s Day ideas inspired by BlogHer Food, recently held here in Austin, Texas.

There are a few people and organizations that I try always to say yes to. Doug French and Dad 2.0,  the United Nations Foundation, Kristen Chase of CoolMomTech to name a few.

Add to that list the people from BlogHer.

So when they contacted me about the possibility of leading an excursion for the attendees of BlogHer Food here in Austin, my response was instantaneous. I’m in. What could be more fun than leading a group of mom bloggers through South Boston’s funkiest eateries?

The evening was a blast as we bounced from a funky Taco stand, to a global fusion hipster joint, to the craziest donut trailer of all time. Thanks to everyone who made it to all our crazy stops.

I also thought of the conference would be a perfect place to test out my leading candidates for the ultimate Father’s Day gift: a Korchmar Marshall backpack and briefcase combo. It will be a tough sell. I have loved my North Face backpack. Its numerous slots compartments and pockets are perfect for a gadget toting geek. The question is is it really suitable for a man of 46 to be hauling around a shapeless black backpack to professional events?

The Korchmar is a grown-up’s alternative to the collegiate knapsack. With its canvas material and leather trim, the craftsmanship is as sturdy as it is gorgeous to look at. With the straps stowed in their dedicated pocket the bag is a squarish briefcase.  With  pockets for laptop gadgets and gizmos, the commodious main pocket, and two large side pockets this bag easily swallowed all the gear that I transferred from my North Face.

With the straps deployed, this nifty little pack fits neatly on your upper back. You feel ready to move through an urban environment with the knowledge that you look spiffy while doing so. This is a rugged, handmade, leather-trimmed product lovingly made here in the USA and the price reflects that ($522). It’s a premium bag for a premium price. But you’ve been a good dad right? And you’ll probably never need another one.

If you’re expecting more new dad looking for something slightly lower down the price chain have a look at the Diaper Dude. Always dependable for creating thoughtful well-made bags at a reasonable price point ($78). And now they’ve made licensing deals with some of your favorite sports teams. The Boston Red Sox logo emblazoned on the front this bag dispels any notion that taking care of the baby is exclusively a mom’s responsibility. You can call it a diaper bag, but this piece can clearly  outlast infancy.

It won’t be here in time for Father’s Day, but if the guy in your life is a fitness nut, a data guy, or somebody interested in living up to their health and fitness resolutions, I suggest a fitbit Flex ($99). This item is certainly on the top of my list this year. I feel like this unit would complement my Nike+ running applications to give me a complete picture of the activity I’m doing when not running and also help me improve my sleeping habits. The units are currently backordered on fitbit’s website, but I think it would be worth the wait.

And I will say this again this year — there is no better gift than a gift certificate to a high end barbershop. A straight razor shave is an indulgence that many guys are hesitant to shell out for, but once you’ve had one, look out. A full man-spa haircut/shave/treatment is an awesome gift, and something dad isn’t likely to do for himself. These services will cost somewhere from $30-$75.

Have a great Father’s Day everyone.

Disclosure: I was provided test samples of the Korchmar and Diaper Dude bags, but was not otherwise compensated for the post. Opinions are my own.