The term “Dad” is synonymous with strength and love for many of us. Whether he is your own father, the father of your children, a grandfather, or a mentor who has made an incredible impact on your life, he deserves to be honored. Let’s celebrate the fatherly figures in our life this Father’s Day (and every day) with a gift that will surely bring a smile to his face! We consulted our Hike it Baby staff and volunteers to create this list of products they recommend to make dad’s life both more comfortable and more adventurous.

Mauricio Valadrian, Hike it Baby Board Member

Merrell Range Laceless AC+ – I came across the Merrell Range Shoe when I was offered to participate in a photoshoot for Hike it Baby, and had never worn a Merrell shoe before. It seemed like the kind of brand that is a bit pricey and maybe more for the “outdoorsy” type person. I can say with 100% sincerity, I have worn this shoe just about every day since, and that was…11 months ago. It’s like the comfy socks you wait for to get out of the laundry each time, but attached to a super sturdy sole, and it has an excellent grip. I use this pair for everything, hiking and walking about the city. They are just awesome.

Posture Corrector and Back Straightener – I just started using this, and it has been really nice. I’ve been meaning to figure out a permanent solution for my slouching since I notice it more and more in my pictures, and I’ve seen the “techie” approach with a Bluetooth device that vibrates, but I know that eventually, I’d tune it out when I concentrate. So I found this. There are a few other brands, and I’m not sure how different they all are, but this one feels like it is well manufactured and as comfortable as it could be expected for a posture corrector.

All-Around Favorite

Merrell Jungle Moc Shoe – This iconic shoe from Merrell is the epitome of low-maintenance, comfortable footwear. It features a smooth suede upper and Merrell air cushion underfoot for extra support. The best part is that it comes in a kid version as well so you can outfit the whole family in these cozy, slip-on shoes!

Colin Giblin – Hike it Baby Board Member

L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Hooded Jacket – I bought this jacket this past winter after having forgotten one on an early-season work trip to Vermont and have never been more grateful to have forgotten something. It feels like wearing a sleeping bag that just gently rests on you. The coldest days were truly no match for this jacket, including spending 10 hours standing in the cold at the FIS World Cup ski race at Killington Mountain over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Deuter Pulse 1 Hip Bag – I was gifted one of these last summer and it instantly became a favorite while mountain biking. Having regularly used a backpack for water and tools while out on the trail, this was a welcome change from the sticky back that comes from miles of riding with a pack on. Lightweight enough I barely noticed it there, but with enough storage to keep everything I needed, phone, keys, tools, and water, close by.

All-Around Favorite

L.L. Bean Men’s Airlight Pullover  – This quilted pullover provides all the performance features you need for outdoor adventures, and plenty of wear-anywhere style. Light as air and designed with a thin, low-profile baffle construction that actively increases thermal efficiency. That means you stay warm when the temperatures drop and dry and comfortable during high-intensity activities.  

Ryan Idryo – Hike it Baby East Bay, CA Branch Ambassador

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator hiking shoe – This has been my go-to hiking shoe for longer than I can remember.  I’ve tried others, but have always come back to the Moab.  For me, it has the best combination of comfort, durability, traction, and price that I’ve found.  I live in California so a lot of my hiking is hot and dry, so I prefer the non-waterproof version for a little extra breathability, but I’ve got a second Gore-Tex pair for wet and muddy hiking. Truth be told, I have a third, semi-retired pair that I keep for things like the Zion Narrows. It’s comfortable enough that it’s frequently my daily shoe, but it’s firm and well-fitting enough on the trail that I don’t need a 3rd party insole.  There are variations on it too – a wide version, their own waterproof membrane, a lighter version (the FST), and a mid-height boot. It also comes in a decent selection of colors which I appreciate.

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter – If you’re still using a hand pump or a squeeze water filter, this will amaze you.  Fill it up, hang it, go take care of the kid, and come back in a few minutes to a bag of clean water. You also don’t have to stay down by the water source with all the mosquitoes, you can bring it back to your hiking group or your campsite while it filters. You can use the included squeeze valve to rig it up like a hands-free faucet so you can easily wash up the little one.  I’ve only been using this a couple of years now, but I haven’t had any clogging issues.  You do have to be careful with it because the filter, being made of tiny hollow fibers, is destroyed if it gets dropped.  There’s a 2 liter one, but I use the 4 liter because I also take it backpacking when I want more water. For just hiking the 2 liter might be a better choice, depending on your family size.

Monkey Mat – This is the all-purpose ground cloth that I keep in my diaper backpack.  Before my kid could crawl, this is what I could set him down on when we were taking a break.  Now that he’s older, it’s where I lay out the snacks to keep them contained and visible.  It has weighted corners to keep it from blowing away and loops in the corners to stake it down or hang it up to dry.  They don’t advertise this usage, but being windproof and water-resistant, it can be a warm and cozy poncho in an emergency.  When you’re done, you shake it off and stuff it in the pouch – no need to fold it neatly!  I machine wash and line dry it if it gets dirty.

All-Around Favorite

Joules Father + Son Swimsuits – Matching swimsuits are the Father’s Day gift and are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face this summer! A fun way to spend quality family time, mini-me dressing expresses the special bond between a parent and child. Joules Ocean Swimsuits come in a range of seasonal prints whether you find yourself seaside, poolside, or running through sprinklers in your own backyard. What’s even better? These are part of Joules’ Responsibly Joules effort to lessen their environmental impact and are made of recycled plastic bottles. Get ready to make a splash and create memories to last a lifetime.

However you celebrate Father’s Day this year, we hope that you spend some time outside. Have converstaion on your patio, take a walk around the neigborhood or hit up your favorite trail if you can do so safely. Share your Father’s Day outdoor adventures with the Hike it Baby community by tagging @hikeitbaby and using the hashtags #hikeitbaby and #togetherwehike.

Join a community of like-minded parents and caregivers with a shared mission of connecting families with babies and young children to the outdoors and each other. Learn about Hike it Baby donation-based membership options and join the fun today!

About Hike it Baby

Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to getting families outdoors and on trails across the U.S. and internationally, supporting, educating and inspiring families through their more than 300 communities across North America. Since its grassroots inception in 2013 in Portland, Oregon, Hike it Baby is now a growing community of 270,000 families and 500 volunteer branch ambassadors hosting more than 1,600 hikes per month. More information, as well as daily hike schedules, can be found at, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Photos courtesy of Merrell, L.L.Bean, Deuter, Gravity Works, Monkey Mat, Joules.

Editors Note:
We hope you enjoyed reading this article from Hike it Baby. We’re working hard to provide our community with content and resources that inform, inspire, and entertain you.
But content is not free. It’s built on the hard work and dedication of writers, editors, and volunteers. We do not make this ask lightly, but if you are able to afford it, make a donation, and become a Hike it Baby member.  A membership also makes a great gift for that new parent in your life. We make an investment in developing premium content to make it easier for families with young children to connect with nature and each other. If you can, please make a contribution and help us extend our reach.

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