USA Weekend: Great gifts for dads and grads

Here are high- and low-tech ideas.

Whether your family is celebrating an important milestone this year or simply honoring the man of the house, you want to give the perfect gift. And often, familiarizing yourself with that special person's interests is most important when finding the best presents. ìA gift that speaks to who he or she is as an individual is best,î says Kevin Rooney, vice president of merchandising for RedEnvelope.com. Several experts gave us a rundown of this year's best gifts for everyone from the geek dad to the adventurous grad:

SOL Origin Survival Kit ($60)
. This palm-sized wonder is an essential for the adventurous dad or grad taking some time off to backpack or travel, says Mark Jannot, editor in chief of Popular Science. No bigger than a small digital camera, the SOL (ìSurvive Outdoors Longerî) kit is 17 tools in one and can be operated with a single hand. Tools include a knife, whistle, compass and fire starters, all outfitted in one sturdy, waterproof package.

Point-of-view cameras ($50 and up). An especially great gift for grads, point-of-view cameras have had a strong showing this year in electronic sales. Adrenaline junkies strap the small cams (which shoot in high-def) to their helmets, bikes or skateboards when zipping down hills or practicing sophisticated tricks. ìYou can film your crazy flips or epic wipeouts, play them back later and post them to YouTube,î Calore says.

Allerta inPulse Smart Watch ($149). The inPulse smart watch is ìthe latest and greatest all-in-one watch,î Jannot says. The device syncs through Bluetooth with any Blackberry phone, which allows you to receive e-mails, texts and call/voicemail alerts via the watch. And, Jannot says, it looks good.

Amazon Kindle ($139-$189). The most popular e-book reader is a great gift for the dad who may be hesitant to try out a device with seemingly endless uses, like the iPad. ìIt's perfect for someone who isn't necessarily a huge Web person,î says Michael Calore, product reviews editor of Wired. Calore applauds the Kindle's simplicity: ìIt fits into people's lives in a pretty frictionless way; all you have to do is essentially turn it on and start reading.î

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