Some think that the outdoors and technology shouldn't mix. But I have always believed that technology can make your outdoor experience better. In this Best of Show we have included some of the newest electronic technology that we saw during the Outdoor Retailer Show. Some of it is now available and others will be soon. I am sure you will find something that you want.
Timex Ironman One GPS + Watch
Wearable technology has been growing at an extremely fast pace and Timex has developed a game changer with their new Ironman One GPS+. This watch helps you stay connected even if you leave your phone at home. Three of my favorite features are the ability to send email based messages right from the watch, the ability to track a user's location to anytime and anywhere and the custom-built “Find Me Mode” safety solution, which allows users to send an alert with exact location in case of an emergency. Also it has 4 GB of memory for music for those that need music while out.
• Ability to track speed, distance and pace in real-time and instantaneously share performance metrics through your favorite social media and online fitness platforms
• Water resistance up to 50 meters, an essential feature for water exposure, training in the rain or swimming
• Built-in MP3 component with 4 GB of memory to play music via a Bluetooth headset
• Always-on, sunlight-readable, high-resolution touch display
• One year of data connectivity by AT&T included for U.S. and Canadian subscribers
• Availability: Fall 2014
• MSRP: $399.95
Garmin Fēnix 2 ABC
If you are looking for a multisport GPS watch, the Fēnix 2 by Garmin might be the perfect solution. Whether running, climbing, riding, hiking, skiing or swimming, Fēnix 2 provides users real-time feedback on their progress and helps them achieve their training goals. Advanced running dynamics, for example, can coach users to become more efficient runners. Fēnix 2 also features dedicated training modes like swim and ski modes to collect data and gauge efficiency. With ABC features like an altimeter, barometer, and a 3-axis compass, Fēnix 2 provides navigation functionalities and guidance off the beaten path.
• Tracks distance, pace and heart rate
• Calculates recovery time and VO2 max estimate (when used with a heart rate monitor¹)
• HRM-Run monitor adds data for cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation
• Connected features, including uploads to Garmin Connect and BaseCamp for live tracking and sharing
• High-sensitivity GPS positioning, 3-axis compass with altimeter and barometer
• MSRP: $399.99 or the Performer Bundle with HRM-Run for $449.99
Best it now at REI: http://www.rei.com/product/872993/garmin-fenix-2-gps-abc-watch
Magellan Echo Fit
Magellan launched the Echo watch during the Winter OR show and I gave it a best of show award then. But with a few improvements with the Echo Fit, I again think this watch deserves an award. Now the Echo Fit is a 24 x 7 smart sports watch that does it all - sports, activity and sleep. Its ability to interact with your favorite sports app and track your daily steps and sleep eliminates the need for a separate activity tracker. With wireless uploads to the Magellan Active app, users can set daily goals, monitor their performance and post it to social media if desired. The data is synced and viewable online at Magellan Active for more in-depth analysis and activity trends, as well as the ability to automatically sync with third party services, like Strava and MapMyRun. Using ultra-low power components and running off a replaceable coin-cell battery that will last 4-8 months with typical usage, athletes can depend on the Magellan Echo Fit 24-7 without having to recharge it. Its sleek design and watch functions (time, alarm and stopwatch) make Echo Fit the perfect everyday watch for tech-savvy athletes.
• Available: September 2014
• MSRP: $129 or $179 with Heart Rate Monitor
• Compatible with the latest iPhones and Android 4.4 smartphones.
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless
Do you always wear headphones when working out? If so, the new Sport Pulse Wireless headphones can help take your training to the next level. Combining an in-ear biometric heart rate monitor, immersive Dolby Digital sound and real-time voice coaching, Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless can help you reach your goals. Encased in carbon fiber, these earbuds are built to take a pounding and are sweat- and storm-proof, so there is no excuse for missing a training session. Jabra commissioned Campbell University in North Carolina to independently verify the performance of the heart rate monitor technology for fitness and active usage. The comprehensive trial included runners on a treadmill and simultaneously tested Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless against a medical electrocardiogram (ECG) machine. The results clearly showed an extraordinary accuracy with a 99.2% correlation, proving the advanced nature of Jabra’s in-ear heart rate technology.
• Availibility: Currenty available for pre-order on Jabra.com/sportpulse and will be available at Best Buy retail stores and BestBuy.com beginning late September 2014.
• MSRP: $199.99
Olympia RG850 Flashlight
The RG850 is Olympia's top of the line flashlight. It comes equipped with a built-in battery charger that allows the 18650 Li-ion battery to be recharged while in the flashlight. It utilize innovative Cree® LED technology to ensure high-brightness and long life. It is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum with Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish. The RG850 also has five light settings including strobe and SOS for emergency situations and on the high setting, you will get a super bright 850 lumens. It is waterproof and impact resistant to 1.5 meters.
• 5 light settings: High→Middle→Low→Strobe→SOS
• Beam distance: 389 Meters
• Micro USB charging port
• Compatible with: 2*CR123 or 1*18650 rechargeable batteries
• Smart circuit for rechargeable batteries
• MSRP: $89.99
Bushnell Rubicon H250L AD Headlamp
When developing the Rubicon line, Bushnell used their 65 years of optical craftsmanship knowledge and blended that with Cree LED technology to offer a brighter and more consistent light. The innovative Total Internal Reflective (TIR) optic prism collimates light for increased distance and visibility, while the Cree LEDs provide bright, consistent illumination throughout the beam. The first feature that set this light apart from others I saw at the show was the auto dim feature. This light automatically adjusts the brightness of the light from long distance brightness to a dim light for close viewing. It also has a 312 lumen boost feature and battery saving lock-out switch.
• Dual output: spot for long range, flood for wide proximity lighting
• Rear mounted external battery for extra-long runtime
• Regulated circuit delivers consistent brightness throughout the useable life of the battery
• Red Halo low-lumen mode designed to enhance sight without compromising natural night vision
• MSRP: $59.95
Nite Ize INOVA radiant Flashlight
Nite Ize introduces the new INOVA Radiant Flashlight Series, the newest innovation in high power, energy efficient LED. Constructed with a rubber-coated handle and octagonal body to prevent from rolling, the Radiant AA features 150 lumens and water- and impact-resistant materials for simple, practical and powerful LED lighting that fits right in your pocket. A patented optical system provides a tight white focused spot with flood beam, while strategic venting allows for heat dissipation to optimize performance of the flashlight.
• Dual Light Mode Functionality. Features both HIGH and LOW Light Output Modes
• Lumens: 150 High | 13 Low
• Run Time (up to): High 1 hour 30 minutes | Low 17 hours 30 minutes
• 2-Position push-button end cap switch activates High & Low Modes
• Electronically controlled for uniform light output
• Weight: 4.50 oz. (127 g)
• Limited Lifetime Warranty USA
• MSRP: $24.99
There are a few different products that use thermoelectric technology on the market, but I love about the design and idea of the KettleCharge. When in the backcountry or even car camping there is always a need to boil water. As you bring the water to a boil, electricity is produced and sent to the Power Handle, leaving you with potable water and 10W of usable power. The KettleCharge is ready night or day, and at 10 watts, it will charge USB devices as fast as a wall outlet, even tablets. It works on a wide range of stoves and serves as a perfect personal-scale generator for your everyday devices.
• 10W On-Demand Power
• Smart LED Dashboard
• Battery Boost
• Folding Power Handle
• 750ml Stainless Steel Kettle
• Multi-Stove Integration
• Flexible USB Extender
• MSRP: $149.95
Buy it now at REI: http://www.rei.com/product/877669/biolite-kettlecharge
Secur Products Solar Power 6000 Charger
The Solar Power Bank 6000 is a foldable solar battery bank that can be used to charge your electronics. By using Dual Ultra High efficiency solar panels, the Solar Power 6000 provides up to four times the charging power of traditional solar panels. This powerful battery bank is water resistant, about the size of a deck of cards, and has built-in cords with two female USB ports so you can charge any of your devices. A typical charge can recharge a cell phone up to 6 times.
• Dual High Efficiency Solar Panels for fast charging
• High capacity lithium polymer battery
• Dual Female USB ports for charging any digital devices – charge iPhone and iPad at the same time
• Built-in full size male USB cable and plug
• Built-in male micro USB cable and plug
• Built in micro USB port for charging via any USB power sources
• LCD display screen indicator for current battery charge
• Water resistant and built to travel
• Charging time via USB charger - 6 hours
• Charging time via built-in solar panel – 12 - 14 hours under full sunlight
• 6" x 3.65" x .75" (9.5 oz.)
• MSRP: $129.00