In case you missed it, Father’s Day is right around the corner. The bad news? Dads are notoriously tough to shop for. The good news? We’ve got you covered. We’ve searched high and low and come up with seven of the very best and coolest solar powered gadgets that will keep the dad in your life entertained for hours and make you the best gift giver this Father’s Day.
Solar powered charger
A quality solar powered charger is at the top of any eco-friendly dad’s must-have gadget list. There are tons of choices available, from the most basic clip-on keychain USB solar chargers to professional grade electronics chargers. We think that portability is key here, so the smaller and more compact, the better. As far as compact chargers are concerned, we love Cling Bling’s solar window chargers, which take roughly two hours to charge a smartphone via USB cable and now cost only $40 from their website (plus a further 25% off if you hurry!).
Solar battery maintainer
Motorhead dads, or anyone interested in things with an engine, know that nothing puts a damper in your day like a dead battery. Buy your dad a solar powered battery maintainer so he’ll never have to run into this problem again. Perfect for cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, boats, or anything with a battery, this clever gadget is the jumper cable of the future. Compact and easy to use, solar battery maintainers are equipped with photovoltaic panels that connect to the lighter socket in your car or straight onto a battery with alligator clamps. Choose from a wide variety of styles, shapes, and sizes, from brands like Sunforce or NPower. The best part? This gift is super affordable, ranging from around $15 to $30 per unit.
If the dad in your life is obsessed with the great outdoors, a solar radio is a must-have for every outing. We particularly love the Etón FRX3 American Red Cross radio, which comes equipped with many functions, including an AM/FM radio, glow in the dark locator, crank charge, LED flashlight, and USB smartphone charger. A solar radio is perfect for camping, backpacking, fishing, or off-grid living, and it’s particularly equipped for emergencies (hence the thumbs up from the American Red Cross, who advocate preparedness in the event of natural disasters). Grab this radio for only $69.99 from Etón’s website while you still have time.
Solar powered robot
Okay, a solar powered robot is technically a kids’ toy, but what man doesn’t have a little boy left inside him? If this sounds like something your dad will enjoy, we recommend buying a build-it-yourself kit like the OWI 14 in 1 Solar Robot Kit (around $20 from Amazon) that comes with, you guessed it, 14 DIY robotic options. This gift will provide hours of fun for the whole family, not least for your dad.
Solar powered bike lock
For dads who love cycling, a solar powered bike lock just might be the coolest gift they’ve ever received. Skylock leads the way in this field, with a clever standard-style bike lock that comes with built-in photovoltaic panels that last up to a week once charged. This small but powerful lock links to your smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing you to lock and unlock the bike on the go. In case you didn’t think it could get any more impressive, Skylock also has added security notifications that let you know if someone tries to unlock your bike or tampers with the lock. Pre-order yours now for the discounted price of $179 and delivery from early July—we don’t think your dad will mind getting this Father’s Day present a little late.
This gift might sound a little cheesy, but we promise that a solar backpack will be more useful that you could possibly imagine to the dads in your life. Outdoorsmen, cyclists, and even festival goers will appreciate the backpack/tech infusion trend. Surprisingly, there are tons of options when it comes to backpack style, from traditional, hard-wearing designs to messenger bags and leather satchels. We are particularly fond of the Birksun Boost, a Jansport-style design that comes in lots of bright colors, costs from $99.99, and is perfect for the hipster dads among us.
Solar stone wireless speaker
Tech-savvy dads, party planning dads, and even homebody dads can appreciate the technology behind this ingenious solar product. Wireless speakers, equipped with photovoltaic panels on top, are cleverly disguised as rocks to fit in to your backyard’s natural scenery while providing hours of audio entertainment. There are several options available online, but the ION Audio stone wireless speaker is waterproof and comes with a 48-hour rechargeable battery. This product costs a cool $129.99 for one speaker, but is absolutely perfect for pool parties, summer entertaining, and outdoor movie nights. Plus, who doesn’t love tech that doesn’t look like tech?
If you’ve read through our list and still haven’t found quite what you’re looking for, there are plenty more solar powered gadgets out there—solar powered watches, flashlights, and fire starters, to name just a few—that are sure to satisfy your dad this Father’s Day.