Skip to main content

Catherine Lane/iStockphoto

The car is one of the biggest toys any father owns, which makes it only natural that dads look to accessorize their four-wheeled havens. Here's a range of portable gadgets that fill the needs for communication, entertainment and even a little safety.

BlueAnt Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset

  • $149.99
  • Available at: Best Buy, Future Shop, Tbooth, MyBlueAnt.com

This impressive headset fuses both style and function, which is nice for aesthetics but proves invaluable in keeping communication open. The Q1's core feature of conversing hands-free works well, consistently providing clarity to voices on both ends, though this can be challenging in noisier environments. The Q1 supports up to eight phones, meaning that dad could have both a work and personal phone connected at the same time and answer the one that rings.

Story continues below advertisement

And if either one of those phones runs on Google Android, BlueAnt's free app works in tandem with the headset to read text messages to him. The voice prompts built-in to the headset also announce who's calling. If dad is unsure of all the voice commands available to him, he can just ask, "What can I say?" anytime and the Q1 will list them all.

XM XMp3 Radio with Car Kit

  • $199.99 ($69.99 for Car Kit)
  • Available at: Best Buy, Future Shop, XMRadio.ca

Although the XMp3 satellite radio receiver is primarily a portable device for consumers' pockets rather than their cars, the separately-sold Car Kit effectively changes the scope of the device in giving dad the option to listen in the car as well (a Home Kit also comes with the XMp3).

The included memory card slot also means he can listen to music stored on a microSD card. The XMp3 does a good job of alerting you when your favourite artist, song or sports team is playing on any of the 99 channels. Up to 100 hours of programming can be recorded, and this can be spread out over five channels at once.

The potential pitfall here is that the initial hardware investment is met with residual costs that average out to $13.74 per month on a one or two-year subscription. All told, it does make the XMp3 Radio and Car Kit an expensive gift.



Michelin Smart Jumper Cables

  • $39.99
  • Available at: Zellers

While there may be many dads out there astute enough to know how to boost a car, this is an item that would offer them peace of mind in case spouses or children take the car out for a spin. For the dads who aren't that car-savvy, this could be equally useful.

Story continues below advertisement

These "smart" jumper cables take any guesswork out of connecting batteries from two cars by adjusting the polarity electronically, no matter which clamps are planted on either end. Once the green LED light indicates a successful connection is made, the user knows he's done the job right.

The built-in surge protector is also a key bonus because it ensures that the car's electrical system and fuses are safe from short-circuiting. The cables also work in harsher weather conditions, making it ideal for Canadian winters.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter