TOP GADGET PICKS
Our equipment buyer Dave has put together a selection of his best gadgets for the season. Whatever your outdoor passion, there’s a gadget, electrical gizmo, camping contraption or fitness facilitator for you. Read on to find out more, including the latest action camera, fitness trackers and head torches.
GoPro HERO5 Black
The new GoPro HERO5 Black is an incredibly powerful action camera capable of creating stunning videos, and importantly, it makes it easier than ever to do. To name just a few of the improvements over its predocessor, the HERO5 Black is now waterproof to 10m without the housing, has advanced image stabilisation, much improved audio and can be controlled using voice commands. A 2 inch touch display means you can preview and playback your shots, and even edit on the fly. This really is the best GoPro, ever.
Petzl Reactik+ Headtorch
Petzl’s new Reactik+ head torch is the perfect accompaniment to your night time adventures whether it’s running through the night on an ultra run, ski mountaineering, escaping to the wilds for a camping adventure or night navigating up your favourite peak to do some stargazing. The Reactik+ uses a sensor to detect the ambient light levels and adjusts its brightness accordingly, to provide optimum settings and maximise battery life. If you’re looking ahead to see what is coming up on the trail the torch will detect a lack of incoming light and brighten, or if you stop and look at a map it will dim so the wearer isn’t dazzled with excessive brightness. As if that wasn’t clever enough, users are now able to connect the headtorch to their smart phone via bluetooth and manage battery life, customise beam patterns and change beam brightness.
FITBIT Charge 2
The FITBIT Charge 2 will do just about everything…apart from doing your run for you. It now has a heavily improved screen design which is nearly 4 times bigger than the previous Charge but is still sleek and comfortable to wear. With connected GPS via your smartphone it can provide a huge array of stats for your favourite activity and when you power down for a sleep the Charge 2 monitors your sleep to help you make the most of it. It even has an integrated heart rate monitor via the wristband which cleverly monitors your heart rate during the personalised guided breathing sessions to help you relax during the day!
HotRox Electronic Hand Warmer USB
Hand warmers finally make their way into the 21st century with the clever HotRox electronic hand warmer. Until now, hand warmers have either been single use or have required a recharging by heating in boiling water. With the HotRox hand warmer you can simply plug into the mains to recharge or into your computer USB. This convenience means you’ll never need to be caught out with cold hands again.
Suunto Spartan Ultra Titanium HR GPS Watch
The Suunto Spartan Ultra Titanium HR is a fully-featured GPS watch for the most demanding of athletes and covers just about every activity imaginable, with support for over 80 different sports. The watch is beautifully designed with a titanium bezel and a stunning outdoor grade colour touch screen and has customisable watch faces and a barometric altimeter. Built to satisfy serious endurance athletes, the Ultra is capable of up to 65 hours of battery life in GPS mode and 15 days in time mode, so will provide navigation and workout data through all of your adventures.
Loungair Air Lounger
We don’t think that all gadgets should be about maximising activity rates, going vertical up big peaks or blazing trails in them middle of the night. The Loungair Air Lounger is a gadget to help you to go horizontally in the most relaxing way, wherever you may be. It’s a portable sofa, just pull it out, waft it full of air, and lie back in comfort. Simple, but very effective.
Garmin VivoSmart HR + GPS
Garmin’s Vivosmart has become even smarter with the addition of an integrated wrist heart rate technology and GPS. As well as tracking all of your steps, calories and setting intelligent goals, the inbuilt GPS will provide data on all of your activities such as running and cycling and trekking. Once you get home you can automatically sync it with your smartphone and view your activities on Garmin Connect. Paired with your smartphone, the Vivosmart will keep you updated with smart notifications and meaningful insights.
Expertly picked by
Dave Housley, Equipment Buyer
Our Equipment Buyer, Dave Housley, has worked for Cotswold Outdoor for over 30 years and has amassed a wealth of knowledge about outdoor kit. His favourite outdoor pursuit is currently mountain biking but he has also climbed and travelled in the Alps, the USA and Nepal and more recently visited a number of active volcanos just for fun.