Christmas in Australia means summertime fun! Getting outside with any of these new presents will make the outdoor lover in your life supremely pleased with their haul. Here are our favourite picks for the best gadget gifts to use outdoors.
Feel like literally hanging out in the woods? The Tenstile hanging tent lets you do that. It hangs above the floor so you can be out of the reach from predators and other stinging things on the forest floor.
It's not cheap, and it's not light, but it certainly makes a great family gift for that next trip out into the woods.
Tenstile Connect Tree Tent, $667
Camelbak Groove Water Bottle
When you're sipping your water in the wild, you want to know it's fresh and free of impurities. That's where a carbon filter comes in. Water passes through activated carbon to get 99.999 per cent of the nasties out before you drink it.
A great one for the outdoors is the Camelbak Groove, which purifies the water through the straw so you get delicious, clean aqua every time you sip.
Camelbak Groove, $34.99
DJI Phantom 3 Drone
DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision+ really upped the ante for a consumer-friendly all-in-one aerial photography drone. It shot solid 1080p video, and its built-in stabilised camera kept the shot super smooth. Well, the Phantom 3 is here — and while it isn’t perfect, it blows the doors off the 2 Vision+. It’s a mighty sweet birdie.
It's expensive, but totally worth it for hot drone footage.
DJI Phantom 3, from $1299
Oral B SmartSeries 7000 with Bluetooth
Oral-B's SmartSeries 7000 is a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled toothbrush that connects to a free app that tracks how often you're brushing, whether you're doing it right, and for how long.
The SmartSeries counts to 120 seconds for you, vibrates when you're pushing too hard, records your daily "times," and tries to entertain you with tips and news headlines while you brush.
Oral B SmartSeries 7000, $179
The Surge isn't quite the lightweight fitness tracker we've come to expect from Fitbit. It is indeed a smart watch, but perhaps not the smartwatch you might expect. It’s a so-called “Fitness Super Watch” designed with runners in mind, adding built-in GPS (for a total of eight sensors) to track your routes and give you access to all kinds of workout data. You could already track routes with the GPS in your phone and the Fitbit app, mind you, but with the Surge you can leave your phone at home. Plus, it comes with every other Fitbit feature including the Fitbit HR’s heartrate monitor, and gives you a manufacturer-estimated seven days of battery life too.
Alternatively, if you want something a little more hardcore for hiking...
Fitbit Surge, $319
GoPro Hero 4 Session
GoPro has a new action camera out, called the Hero 4 Session. It’s the smallest GoPro yet by a massive margin, being 50 per cent smaller and 40 per cent lighter than any other variant of the Hero 4, it’s waterproof without an additional case, and you can switch it on and start recording with a single button.
Sitting in the middle of the current GoPro line-up — that is, above the entry-level Hero and Hero+LCD — the Hero 4 Session records in 16:9 1080p60, and 720p100 resolutions and frame rates, as well as various 4:3 formats like 1440p30 and 960p50 and the 4:3-squishing Superview. With a native 4:3 sensor inside, the Hero 4 actually auto-orients its video recording whether it’s the right way up, upside down or otherwise on its side, which massively boosts the range of mounting options and different uses. Like more expensive GoPros the Session has ProTune recording, which is a flat colour profile better suited to post-processing video recording.
GoPro Hero 4 Session, $579.95
Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Smartwatch
...try the Garmin Fenix 3!
Whether you run, bike, swim, surf, snowboard, paddle, hunt or ride motorcycles, the Garmin Fenix 3 can keep up.
The Garmin Fenix 3 is, as you guessed, the successor to the Fenix 2. Garmin has fixed all of the biggest complaints about that watch, with the biggest being the slow GPS acquisition. By adding the ability to connect to the Russian GPS equivalent, GLONASS, you can now use 24 more satellites (+ the 32 from GPS) that ultimately give you a much quicker and more reliable location lock.
Garmin Fenix 3, $729
If you’re an adult, you should own a multi-tool. This is a Fact. But if you’re also a frequent flyer, you’ll know the annoyance of not being able to carry said multi-tool through airport security both in Australia and internationally. This is where this nifty new tool will come in handy — the Leatherman Tread packs 29 different tools, sans knife, into a vaguely fashionable bracelet.
The Tread is a multi-link bracelet, with 9 links each with 2 to 3 tools on the outer edges — Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, a bottle opener, a cutting hook, glass breaker, and so on.
Leatherman Tread, $394
Microsoft Surface 3
The Surface Pro 3 was hailed as the ultimate outdoor computer by Gizmodo's own adventure testers, and now there's a smaller, cheaper and more versatile model available called Surface 3!
It’s powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor and packs in either 64GB or 128GB of solid state storage. The Surface 3 also has a slightly smaller display than the Pro 3, measuring in at 10.8-inch. It has a resolution of 1920×1280 and a 3:2 aspect ratio. Other goodies include an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-focus and Wi-Fi 802.11ac. Microsoft hasn’t switched up the charger again for its new Surface, instead it’s practically done away with it. You’ll be able to charge the Surface 3 on MicroUSB. Obviously if you don’t have Microsoft’s 13W brick it’ll be slow going, but it’s as universal a charger as it gets, making it great for plugging into a solar charger for the outdoors.
Surface 3, $699
Lifeproof nuud Case
Lifeproof make a variety of cases that are designed to make sure your devices survive the rough wilderness.
The LifeProof Nuud, for example, is a ruggedised case for Apple’s iPad tablets. It’s waterproof up to a depth of two metres, dirt and snow proof and can withstand serious physical punishment. LifeProof cases are designed to survive everything from off road driving to skiing, hiking and swimming.
Lifeproof nuud, $129