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Gadling's gift guide for the outdoor and adventure traveler
In this first of several Gadling gift guides, we'll follow the tradition of all other sites by suggesting some great gift ideas for travelers. Today, we'll take a closer look at some impressive kit for the outdoors and adventure traveler.
Since I am more geek than adventurer, you'll notice a trend towards battery powered gadgets. Some of these great products were featured here on Gadling this year, others will be reviewed in the coming weeks, so keep paying attention to our product reviews!
Contour HD camera
The Contour HD is a lightweight HD digital camera that can be attached to almost any surface. It features a really impressive wide angle rotating lens. To top it off - the camera also features 2 lasers, which help adjust the camera so you know exactly what you are shooting.
One of the coolest features of the ContourHD is its large sliding record button, which allows you to immediately start recording whenever you want, without having to fiddle with small knobs. The slider is large enough to operate when you are wearing gloves.
The camera itself is only part of the package - once you have recorded some awesome adventure footage, you can share it with the world on the VholdR ContourHD community. If you have recently paid attention to Mike Rowe on "Dirty Jobs", you'll have noticed him climbing off the edge of a building using one of these cameras to record his antics. We'll have a full review of the ContourHD here on Gadling next week.
Price: $279.99 (Contour HD) and $329.99 (Contour HD 1080p)
Where: ContourHD retailers
180s Quantum Vent gloves with Tec Touch
There is very little "high tech" about most gloves, unless those gloves are the new Quantum Vent gloves by 180s. These gloves are obviously designed to keep your hands warm, but they also feature an adjustable venting system and a goggle wipe.
The really cool feature comes from 180s patented "Tec Touch" system. This nifty invention allows you to control your iPod or other capacitive touch screen device without having to take your hands out of your gloves. Metal conducting fabric on the inside of the gloves, and a metal tipped finger make it possible to switch tracks or start your iPhone fart app on the slopes.
Where: 180s product page
Garmin Oregon 400t
You can tell I'm not much of an outdoors person, because I'm the kind of person that would pick a GPS unit before even thinking about good boots. Still, a good outdoors GPS device can be a real handy piece of kit.
One of the best outdoor units is the Garmin Oregon 400t. This device combines a waterproof touchscreen GPS unit with a compass, barometer and even wireless connectivity with other Oregon devices. You can plot tracks, view topographic maps and of course, find your way back to basecamp (or your car).We reviewed the 400t earlier this year.
Where: Garmin product page
Eagle Creek Take 2 ORV Trunk 28
Adventure travel is not always lightweight travel. If you need to haul a lot of gear, then check out the new Eagle Creek Take 2 ORV Trunk. This large rolling case features 2 separate compartments, with enough room for a ton of kit. The bag works as a rolling trunk, or as a shoulder bag (with the included shoulder strap). If holds 49 liters of stuff, and weighs just 12lbs when empty, which is really impressive for a bag this large.
Compression straps help reduce its bulk. and "off road" wheels let you pull it through smooth hotel floors as easily as through muddy trails. A full review of this bag is coming up later in December.
Where: Eagle Creek product page
SPOT Personal satellite messenger
If you really love the outdoors, you'll regularly find yourself well out of range of cellphone signals. This is where the SPOT personal satellite messenger can help. This small device communicates with a constellation of satellites to relay your position, inform people that you are "ok", or send an emergency message in need of immediate assistance.
Sure, it may not be a replacement for a true emergency beacon, but at just under $150, it is a really handy tool, with a proven track record of saving lives. We reviewed the previous (larger) generation SPOT unit last year.
Price: $149.95 + $99 annual subscription
Where: SPOT retailers
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TX1 waterproof camera
Heading to cool locations is great, but if you'd like to share your trips, you'll need a camera that can survive the elements. The Panasonic DMC-TX1 is a waterproof and shock/drop proof digital camera. Its internal 4.6x wide angle zoom lens shoots in 12 megapixels, and allows you to record HD video clips. We reviewed the Lumix DMC-TX1 here.
Price: $379.99 (MSRP)
Where: Panasonic Lumix retailers