Awesome Outdoor Gadgets You Should’ve Purchased Yesterday
If you’re equal parts outdoorsy and tech-savvy, then this list is for you. True, many of us (and our wallets) are still suffering from the post-holidays hangover, and big purchases may not be high on our priority list. But forget about buyer’s remorse and consider how much you’re boosting the economy by taking home one of these nifty gadgets. So don’t be selfish — America needs you.
Zeal iON HD Camera Snow Goggles
The 411: This state-of-the-art eyewear is outfitted with a high-def camera that allows you to capture 8MP stills or 1080p video. If the technical component sounds distracting (read: dangerous), don’t worry — the mechanism doesn’t limit your vision, and all of the buttons are located on the side to allow easy access as you careen down the slope. The rechargeable battery lasts up to six hours, and the inner lens is equipped with an anti-fog treatment to ensure crystal-clear imagery. But forget about the camera for a second — the goggles on their own are superior to most other models. The frame is lightweight and well-ventilated to provide comfort throughout the day, and the triple-density foam keeps out unwanted moisture.
What the experts say: “We’ve seen camera-goggles before – Liquid Image makes a variety of ski goggles and underwater goggles with built-in cameras. The difference with the iON is that it comes from a dedicated eyewear manufacturer rather than a consumer electronics brand. So buyers get what should be a high-performing pair of ski goggles with anti-fog, mirroring Optimum lenses in addition to filming capabilities” — Gizmag
How much: $399
Ortovox Avalanche Transceiver S1+
The 411: Everyone who ventures into the backcountry should carry some sort of avalanche transceiver in case of an unexpected slide, and this model by Otrovox is among the best on the market. The device is equipped with Smart-Antenna technology that adjusts to the nearest antenna and improves range by more than 40 percent. If you’re the one doing the searching, the transceiver will begin transmitting a signal within 55 meters of the buried individual(s). Plus, there’s an automatic switchover of 1-2 minutes in the event that a second avalanche strikes. And at less than 250 grams, the device is so light that you won’t even notice it in your pocket — until you need it, that is.
What the experts say: “Improving the original S1, the 2011 S1+ features Smart Antenna Technology, which actually improves your chances of being recovered by transmitting from the most effective antenna based on its position in the burial” — Backcountry.com
How much: $448.95
Columbia Electro Amp Core Vest
The 411: A lot of you are too young to remember the tech vest craze of the late 90’s, when wearing one of these bad boys was cooler than rockin’ to the new Everclear album or cruising down the highway in a white Dodge Neon. Times have changed, but Columbia has given us a reason to bring back this ‘vintage’ style. The Electro Amp Core Vest is outfitted with a heat pack sewn into the breastpocket; instant warmth kicks in with literally the push of a button, and you’ll forget about not having sleeves. This lightweight vest is available in men’s and women’s sizes.
What the experts say: “The Electro Amp Core Vest is the warmest vest you’ll ever buy. With battery powered heat pads placed throughout the vest, you’re in control of just how much heat you want to bask in” — Trekt
How much: $150
The 411: Despite the ubiquity of cell towers, picking up a phone signal is still damn near impossible in many wilderness areas across the country. Enter this satellite phone from Thuraya. In addition to clear, uninterrupted service in even the remotest corners of the outdoors, the phone is also equipped with state-of-the-art GPS tracking, emergency SMS capabilities, and a 2-GB external memory card. You can even access the Internet, if you so desire; the satellite-mode has a battery life of six hours, which is more than enough time to call for help and post your dire situation on Facebook (or Friendster, if you’re that guy/girl). Other functions include a day planner, MP3 player, and a media center that allows you to upload still images and videos. It’s like your smartphone, only water-, shock- and dust-proof.
What the experts say: “Sat phones usually look like retro mobiles from the last century but with the XT, Thuraya has dressed up its high-tech-comms in a sexier package. It’s not just stylish; it’s tough too” — The Gadget Show
How much: $1,095