Optimal Prime

This Stuff Really Ties The Room Together

The other day I bought a pair of Aviator sunglasses on Amazon and I got to thinking that my recent (say the past four months) Amazon.com order history could sort of serve as a mildy interesting father’s day gift guide. And because I don’t really love the idea of gift guides on their own, I figured an all Amazon Prime list could be an interesting experiment for ACL. So I pulled together a pretty solid little gifting run-down for guys based on a bunch of stuff I own and have ordered from Amazon.

Obviously there are a few classic Non-Amazon things I always think would make for a great gift for a dad on father’s day. A cashmere sweater is always something nice to receive as a gift because it’s frequently an indulgence that guys won’t buy for themselves. I’ve been wearing this S/S cashmere from J.Crew a lot recently and really like it. A Filson bag is another thing that is basically the perfect gift for every guy and should be considered always and forever. The Original Briefcase or the Medium Duffle are failsafe and I would predict a 99% gift-happiness success rate as a Father’s Day gift. It’s worth noting that we do work for Filson, full disclosure. No one pitched this for inclusion though, it’s just my own personal affection for Filson that got them here.

The lure of Amazon Prime is strong, and I find myself seduced by the ease and free shipping. So here are some of the things that I have purchased from Amazon recently which could could also be great for a Father’s Day gift – or just for you. Or maybe all you need is a chunky sweater and a White Russian?



Opinel No 8 Stainless Steel Folding Knife

These knives are classic and still made in France. They are also inexpensive, so when you accidentally bring one to the airport and have to jettison it you won’t be crushed. I tend to always have these around and like to give them away to friends as little gifts. Every guy likes a pocket knife and Opinel is a crowd pleaser.


BeoPlay A2 by BANG & OLUFSEN

There are almost literally a million portable Bluetooth speakers in the market, but these Bang & Olufsen speakers are really great on many levels. They sound awesome, have a decent amount of bass for something so small, and generally put out a really rich flow of audio. They also look nice and don’t make any annoying noises when they start-up or pair with your phone. I love to use it in the backyard or even in my cart when out on the golf course. The leather strap is also a nice touch.


Made in USA Deluxe Pizza Oven Kit for Kettle Grills

I’m a charcoal man. Gas grills just aren’t my thing. Unfortunately my wife knows what a Big Green Egg costs, so I’m not going to be able to just slip one of those things into the backyard without some serious sessions to convince her that a BGE is more important than a Restoration Hardware chaise lounge or the like. But the Weber Grill is an icon of American design and a great grill for the money. After taking the Roberta’s pizza making class (a good gift in its own right) in Brooklyn a few years back I became obsessed with homemade pizza. This grill-to-pizza-oven insert will make any Weber into the pizza making machine you always wanted. It’s a great little program to ratchet up the difficulty of making pizza at home. It will also make anyone using it look like a genius. (Side note: I get my 00 pizza flour on Amazon as well.)


Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones

Nice headphones are worth it in my book. I love the audio quality of these Bowers & Wilkins P5s and prefer the old school look over a lot of the newer headphones. At $279 they are spendy, but not obscene. So you don’t need to be fully insane / vigilant about losing them or ripping the cord apart or whatever. If the dad you are gifting is super into hi-res audio or is a full blown audiophile, maybe these aren’t right for him. But I would think most guys would dig these. Just remember this isn’t an audio forum – so any of you headphone nuts out there please refrain from freaking out about this choice and suggesting some $55,000 pair of headphones.


American Optical Original Pilot Eyewear 55mm Silver Frame with Bayonet Temples

Saw these at a retail store the other day for $120. Then I found them on Amazon for about $50 with free shipping. AO is a real Army Navy brand. They are still made in the U.S. and I love the plastic temples (which are like that so you can wear them with a helmet). My buddies (shout out to Jamie and Johnny) all wear these and swear by them. They aren’t the nicest sunglasses in the world, but they are different than what everyone else is wearing, the price is right and U.S. made is a bonus.


Bushnell Tour V3 Jolt Standard Edition Golf Laser Rangefinder

These rangefinders are really nice to have. They aren’t a necessity, but they make club selection much easier and can help you score a lot better – especially if your short game is questionable. That said, they are a bit of an indulgence and make a nice gift that anyone who plays golf even semi-frequently will put this to a lot of good use.


Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

Along with the Weber, these coolers are classic Americana and everyone should own one. I know the Yeti is the perfect parallel to the Big Green Egg, but the Coleman is iconic and great for light duty at a cookout or by the pool.


Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver

When we moved to Los Angeles I finally felt like I had the room to set up a proper record player program. I got this great Audio-Technica turntable and have been going crazy buying vintage and new vinyl (may I recommend Sturgill Simpson’s new album). Instead of buying a bunch of new speakers, I hooked the turntable to my Sonos system and can’t be more into what is happening music-wise at our house. A good record plus a double Play:5 + Soundbar + Sonos Sub combination in my den is deadly.


Other Odds & Ends

Everything from Anker. This company is the best when it comes to chargers and batteries for your phone and iPad. Lastly, the Native Union Night Cables are awesome and we have them all over the place.


Comments on “Optimal Prime

    Michael Moskovitz on May 10, 2016 11:09 PM:

    Thank you for suggesting “Made In USA” American Optical. As the owner of two pairs of their eyeglass frames I would also include Shuron.

    johnnydark on May 11, 2016 1:22 AM:

    Speaking of Made in USA, there are two excellent choices in audio that you missed.

    U-Turn Audio makes a wonderful and extremely affordable turntable in the US (VPI Industries in New Jersey makes an even better, but somewhat less affordable table called the Traveler, too).

    For headphones, check out those from Grado Lab. There are about 100 companies making audio equipment in the US – in fact, I was inspired by “The American List” to create one dedicated to audio companies. https://windhaming.com/american-made-audio-list/

    Jody on May 11, 2016 1:48 PM:

    Your wife wont let you buy a Big Green Egg but a $400.00 Bluetooth speaker is alright? The Bose Soundlink Color rocks the house for $120.00. Granted, it doesn’t have the aesthetic charm of the B&O speaker but the cost difference is substantial and the difference is sound is marginal. You REALLY should spring for that BGE… that is money well spent.

    Michael Williams on May 11, 2016 2:19 PM:

    @Jody My wife doesn’t really care. I was just taking a piss. The Weber goes hard enough.

    Colby on May 11, 2016 8:14 PM:

    Michael – great list and I’ve always wondered about the AO glasses. Good to know they’re decent. Also, I think you should try out the Texas Toothpick by Case. I love my stag bone and it’s very easy to carry (oh, it’s also American): http://www.wrcase.com/sidesearch/index.php?q=texas+toothpick

    Reinhold Messner on May 12, 2016 6:27 PM:

    Nice list and Opinel is A+. The headline pic is almost a selfie now, no?

    David Kelly (@Hawksian) on May 13, 2016 3:21 PM:

    Good Lord, blaring music on the golf course, using range finders and taking a golf cart? Please don’t frequent any of the clubs I play.

    Michael Williams on May 13, 2016 3:24 PM:

    @david You seem so painfully uptight I have to think that would work itself out naturally.

    David Kelly (@Hawksian) on May 13, 2016 3:41 PM:

    I’m sure it would, stick to the munis.

    Michael Williams on May 13, 2016 3:50 PM:

    I would much rather play a shitty course than play with shitty people. Now David, why don’t you get back to your day of begrudging music and motorized people movers. And i’m getting the last word here because this isn’t a democracy. So please now do go away.

    David Deviney on May 13, 2016 8:16 PM:

    Range finders speed up play and a little music in my cart keeps me calm while i am waiting for the foursome in front of me to find the yardage on the sprinkler head.

    Andrew on May 14, 2016 9:15 PM:

    The Anker recommendations are great. Stumbled upon their products one day, now own their battery pack for my bag, charging cables and phone charger. Great products

    Johnny Musselman on May 16, 2016 1:00 PM:

    Glad you are enjoying your AOs!

    Ted Harrington on May 21, 2016 12:21 AM:

    Stick to the Munis!

Comments are closed.