Some great gizmos for summer adventures and a wowza backpack to put it all in .
Unwired for Sound
Music and summer adventures go together like patios and mojitos, right? Well, if you’re wearing headphones, maybe they go together like crutches and daytime television. Whether your conveyance of choice is a bike, board or boat, Kanye could end up costing you your safety – unless you go earbudless with the Tunebug. This wireless pseudo-speaker connects to any Bluetooth device and channels your tunes through almost any surface you stick it to, including your helmet.
This Is the Droid You’re Looking For
There’s no knocking the iPad from its position at the top of the tablet heap, but for those increasingly annoyed at Apple’s uncaring customer service, the good news is there are plenty of options this summer. One of the most promising is the Motorola Xoom Tablet with its one-GHz dual-core processor and one GB of RAM, all of which makes it very fast for web browsing and pretty good for video viewing. Its 10.1-inch HD display runs on the very flexible and fast-growing Android system. Although the 150,000 Android apps currently available are only about a third the number available through Apple via iTunes, the best thing going for the Xoom may be the fact that it’s not an iPad. $599, motorola.com
Lighten Your Load
Pay $800 for a backpack? Some may balk at that. But the Ralph Lauren RLX Solar Panel Backpack may be worth the price if you’re going someplace sunny, you’ve got gear and you want to look good. The Italian-made backpack is thin and fashionable and, yes, even classy (as far as backpacks go). With proper sunlight, iPhones and other mobiles can be charged in two to three hours. $800, ralphlauren.com
Summertime is all about the outdoors, and the Contour GPS HD wearable camera will add a whole new layer to capturing your hike or your next biking trip. With its new built-in GPS, not only will the experience be recorded in hands-free HD, but the speed, location and elevation will also be saved. The camera can also be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth to your mobile as a live viewfinder. $300, contour.com
Eye In the Sky
Earlier generations of GPS units had downsides, most notably maps that needed updating, tinny voices and a lack of traffic alerts. The Magellan RoadMate 2055 belongs to the new generation of devices that have made the GPS you purchased just two years ago look clunky and obsolete. The 4.3-inch screen is bright, the voice clear and recognizable, and this little unit now comes with free lifetime traffic alerts so you know exactly what time you’ll arrive at your destination. $200, magellangps.com
Light Your Fire
From the country that brought you The Girl Who Played With Fire comes the Swedish Firesteel. The device, originally developed for the Swedish Ministry of Defence, is small enough to fit in your pocket as a key chain. Its 3,000-degree-Celsius spark makes building a fire easy at any altitude – and it even works when it’s wet. Simply strike the firesteel rod with the detachable striker and there’s fire every time. Different models are priced from $7 to $13 and range from 1,500 strikes to 12,000 strikes. swedishfiresteelarmymodel.com