Those who love the great outdoors and adventuring will appreciate a thoughtful gift that keeps this desire in mind. We have some great options to consider in the realm of tech.
Shelter by Cinch
For those who love camping, the Shelter by Cinch is a neat alternative to a tarp. Developed by inventor Jake Jackson during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Shelter by Cinch is a tarp made of 3,000HH ripstop polyester with heat-sealed seams and SPF 50+ UV resistance. This is held up by a flexible fibreglass shock-cord pole that forms the arched main entrance, two carbon steel poles that hold up the roof, storm straps, and pegs to keep it secured to the ground. Once assembled, it measures 78.8 x 149.6 x 112.2 inches. Jackson claims it can be easily set up in minutes by a single person, and neatly packs away into the included cylindrical nylon bag, which measures 23.6 x 7.9 inches so it can easily fit in the trunk of a car. There’s an Indiegogo campaign running for the Shelter with estimated shipping for January 2023. You can buy in for about $336 and provide your loved one with a certificate confirming it’s on the way.
Parkit Exploration with Voyager Chair
This isn’t technically a tech product, but the outdoor recreational chair pairs perfectly with a group of friends, gas fire table, and some wonderful tunes playing from a portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s ultra-durable, made of aircraft-grade aluminum with woven polyester webbing and faux teak armrests. It’s designed to mimic the natural sitting position, so it’s not too long to the ground. But the coolest part: there’s insulated cooler storage under the seat so you can literally pop your arm underneath to grab another brewskie or bottle of chilled wine to pour a refill. It’s large enough to hold ice for up to eight hours. There’s also, of course, a built-in cupholder. With hands-free carry straps, it’ll be your go-to chair for traveling to the kids’ soccer and baseball games all summer next season. You can feel good about the purchase, too, since a Mangrove tree is planted for every Voyager chair that’s purchased. They sell for from US$203 ea.
Third Eye Headlamps TE14
Shine 168 lumens of brightness with these headlamps that are perfect for camping, outdoor music festivals, picnics, hikes, at the beach, and more. With an IPX6 waterproof rating, you can pretty much wear it anywhere and in any setting. There are six brightness settings and red and white lights, powered by three AAA batteries so you can easily pack some spares in case you end up using it more than you anticipated. Made of recyclable, non-toxic plastic, each headlamp even comes with a lifetime warranty and no-questions-asked 100% return policy. It’s a universal fit but there are tons of designs and colours to choose from so you can find the right one for every person on your list. Each one is US$50 making it the perfect Secret Santa gift for the co-worker or group of friends.
Fujifilm X-H2 Mirrorless Digital Camera
For those who want to capture their adventures while out and about, the Fujifilm X-H2 mirrorless digital camera features a new, back-illuminated 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor and the high-speed X-Processor 5. It’s dubbed the “world’s first” APS-C camera to enable 8K/30P Apple ProRes internal recording. With a high-resolution 40.2MP sensor and fast shutter speeds, you can leave the aperture wide open in bright or high-contrast conditions such as on a sunny beach or a ski slope, or to instantly freeze motion down to a millisecond. With the new sensor, 8K movies can be recorded internally at 30P in 4:2:2 10-bit colour. It is capable of delivering up to 2x of digital zoom with little-to-no loss in resolution, when recording video in 4K, even with a prime lens attached to the camera. With Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR lens, zoom movements seamlessly transition to the digital zoom function when the lens reaches its maximum focal length. X-Processor 5 features subject-detection AF based on deep learning technology that automatically detects and tracks a broad and diverse range of subjects, including animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, and trains. The 79 weather-sealed points offer a high level of dust and moisture resistance so they can take it virtually anywhere, including temperatures as low as -10°C. The top panel LCD, adjustable AF ON button, 1.62 million-dot vari-angle LCD monitor. X-H2 has one CFexpress Type B memory card slot and one UHS-II SD memory card slot: you might want to grab them a memory card to go with it. MSRP $2,550 for the camera body and $3,200 for the X-H2 digital camera with XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR lens kit.
Apple Watch Ultra Smartwatch
The obvious Apple Watch option for serious adventurers is the Apple Watch Ultra, which is designed to be used in extreme environments thanks to its rugged aerospace-grade titanium case and flat sapphire front crystal. With 2,000 nits of brightness, twice as bright as previous generation Apple Watches, it includes a Wayfinder watch face with a built-in compass and space for up to eight complications. You also get a customizable Action button you can use for workouts, Backtrack (which shows where you have been should you get lost or disoriented), compass waypoints, and more. With a battery life of 36 hours per charge, there is a low-power setting that extends this to 60 hours. Three built-in microphones provide improved sound quality during voice calls, combined with advanced wind reduction algorithms. There’s also improved GPS positioning, and watchOS 9. View up to six metrics at once, including segments, splits, and elevation. Other features include heart rate zones, custom workouts, pacer, and, coming later this year, race route. A new multisport workout includes auto-detection so triathletes and duathletes can easily track multiple workouts, back-to-back. The Ultra can operate in extreme temperatures, from as cold as -20°C to as hot as 55°C, and is certified to the relevant aspects of MIL-STD-810H, used for military equipment and popular among rugged equipment manufacturers. Testing includes low pressure (altitude), high temperature, low temperature, temperature shock, contamination by fluids, rain, humidity, immersion, sand and dust, freeze/thaw, ice/freezing rain, shock, vibration, and more. It can also be used under water with a WR100 certification, which means everything from recreational scuba diving to wakeboarding. With the new depth gauge, you can even see time, current depth, water temperature, duration under water, and max depth reached. In partnership with Huish Outdoors, it can also be used with the Oceanic+ app as a dive computer. Other new features include temperature sensing for women’s health, and Crash Detection. It sells for $1,099 and comes with three months of Apple Fitness+. If you know someone who already owns one, you can consider getting them some accessories, including new band options like the Trail Loop for endurance athletes and runners, Alpine Loop for explorers, and Ocean Band for those who love to engage in extreme water sports.
Sonos Roam SL Speaker
This more affordable version of the Sonos Roam speaker, the Sonos Roam SL, offers many of the same features with the exception of a mic. This means it cannot directly connect to a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but it can once paired with another Sonos or other smart speaker. Selling for $199, it looks almost identical to the Sonos Roam and similarly connects via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth so you can easily use it at home or on the go. You’ll get up to 10 hours of battery life per charge and up to 10 days in sleep mode. There’s also a Battery Saver setting so the speaker will power down completely when not in use. You can stereo pair the Roam SL with a second Roam SL or a Sonos Roam via Wi-Fi. The speaker is dust-proof and fully waterproof with an IP67 rating, so you can comfortably take it by the pool, to the beach, or even in a light rainfall. Thanks to the triangular shape and soft profile, the Sonos Roam SL is easy to carry around, while tactile buttons help avoid accidental button presses while on the go. You can position it vertically for a smaller footprint or horizontally for added stability on uneven surfaces outdoors. There’s no automatic Trueplay tuning to adjust the sound based on your environment, nor will you get Sound Swap to send the audio easily from the speaker to the nearest Sonos device with a single hold and press of the play/pause button. But if you don’t think they’ll mind, the Sonos Roam SL is a neat option.
Bontrager Ion 100 R/Flare R Light Set
Perfect for cyclists, the Bontrager Ion 100 R/Flare R Light Set (US$75) allows them to ride safely and be seen. It’s a set of front and rear daytime running lights with a broad and powerful beam and balanced options. The lights are rechargeable via USB, with light output scaled back once the battery falls below 5%.
Cobra Jump Starter 800A
If they love taking to the open waters in a boat, or traveling by vehicle, the Cobra Jump Starter 800A is a nice safety device to have. Available for US$80, it can be used to start a dead car or boat’s battery without any outside assistance needed. As a bonus, it also includes a built-in power bank for mobile devices and LED flashlight, making it a great device to have in case of emergencies. Keep it with their car, boat, RV, camper, or motorcycle and they’ll thank you should they ever need to use it.
Cobra RX680 Waterproof Walkie Talkies
Channel your inner Stranger Things kids with this long-range walkie talkie set (US$80) that has an impressive 61 km range so you can keep in touch with loved ones traveling behind, or emergency services as needed. With two in a pack, both rechargeable, they come with 60 preset channels, including 38 pre-programmed and 22 standard FRS. The waterproof design means that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Voice-activated transmission (VOX) means you can communicate while keeping your hands free, something hunters, hikers, and skiiers, will appreciate. A patented vibrating alert will advise when there’s an incoming transmission. The built-in LED flashlight is a useful addition.
Monster Vision Image Stream+ Projector
WiFi HiFi’s John Thomson reviewed this projector and called it a “fun accessory a an affordable price.” The Monster Vision Image Stream+ is a compact projector that comes with a 120-inch diagonal cloth screen and aluminum frame. An HDMI cable and remote are also included, as is a convenient black nylon storage bag. Get a picture of up to 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution with 3,000 lumens via Wi-Fi, HDMI, or USB connection to a source. Perfect for watching a movie while you’re at a rest stop with the RV, camping, or even in the backyard at home, it’s a solid option. With support for both Android and iOS, you can even stream right from your smartphone. At $429, it’s a great option for outdoorsy folks who still want to enjoy a little screen time every now and then, even under the stars.