Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gadgets: Summer Time Toys

With all this great weather we've been enjoying out here in Cali. I've been thinking, and well planning ahead to summer. And of course that means I've been shopping for some new toys for all those adventures. While most of the items don't fit within my current budget I still love to shop around and look at what I could be buying.

Now being a geek most of the items are gadgets, some aren't necessarily the most practical and some probably aren't the best bang for your buck but they are some of the cooler items that I've come across in my shopping.

Camping Gear:

Coleman 36-Qt. Electronic Cooler with Radio & Clock
This is one of those items within my budget but it doesn't have wheels so I'm not buying it.
Not just a cooler, the Coleman 36-Quart Electronic Cooler is a whole entertainment center great for the campsite, BBQ, tailgate, or wherever the party is. Built into the cooler's case are an AM/FM radio with Weather band, a digital clock, an MP3 player jack and headphone jack, and 1/2-watt speakers.

Igloo 100Dt. All-Terrain Cooler
This thing is the ultimate wheeled cooler. You can almost take this cooler anywhere you want to walk! Durable all-terrain tires support up to 300 lbs. Wheel swing arm locks up when not in use. Tow handle makes it easy to move/pull even when completely full.

Ozark Trail 9 x 9 First-Up Dome Tent
Sorry I couldn't find a link, they might not make these anymore!
I've owned several tents in my life, I've even had a few of those instant up tents. But this thing is by far one of the best tents I've ever owned. Everything folds in on itself. So all you do is spread it out, pull up on the center piece and its setup. Takes less than 2mins.

Coleman Rechargeable Portable Blender
Blend mixed drinks, smoothies, soups and more, right at the campsite, picnic, tailgate, or BBQ. The Coleman Rechargeable Portable Blender runs on a powerful, high-RPM motor that chops ice and blends ingredients quickly and finely. Make a 48-ounce pitcher of frozen drinks in less than a minute! The blender is easy to use, with a push-button on/off control. The stainless-steel blender blades, polycarbonate pitcher and molded black finish are durable and long-lasting. The lid features three convenient Pour settings: Open, Close, and Strain. The pitcher locks into the base, so it's easy and safe to transport.
The Portable Blender can blend 20-30 pitchers on just one full battery charged

Backpack Fishing Chair or camping folding directors chair
For get your standard folding chairs these things are a must have. The fishing chair is great for anyone stuck sitting shoreline waiting to catch the big one. It comes complete with rod holder and a handy beer/beverage holder. The directors chair has storage and small table.

SlumberJack Cot
If you absolutely must sleep in a tent forget about the airbed or mattresses a cot is the way to go. Throw a cot pad on there, your favorite sleeping bag and you'll feel right at home.

Water Gear:

Last year I was on the river tubing almost every weekend. The lakes were low so boating was out and the river was the funnest cheapest way to stay cool while soaking up some sun. This year will probably be no different.

Intex River Run River Tube
This is my tube of choice! With a mesh bottom you site just low enough in the water that you stay cool yet not so low you are uncomfortable. Two beer/beverage holders are great for keeping cans handy. A tie rope and handles are perfect for adding on accessories.

Intex River Run II
This is my newest addition. I love the single version of this tube but wanted the option of taking another person along or adding a cooler. They have a double version with a built in cooler however it only holds six cans so it wasn't practical. With this I can go solo and pack some gear on the other side or add a hot friend and we can enjoy the river together.

Lexan Medium Waterproof Utility Box
I got mine at Wal-Mart for about 1/2 the price and I'll say it was one of the best buys I made last year. This thing is perfect for anyone that is in or one the water for an extended amount of time. It has enough room for a wallet, cellphone and maybe even a pack of smokes and a lighter. Everything is held nice and tight in a completely waterproof nearly indestructible box, that floats (assuming a reasonable amount of weight is in it).

Atlantic EGO iPod Waterproof Sound Case
I don't have any iPod but if I did this would be a must have for the river trips or a day lounging poolside
Bring your iPod right into the pool with the Atlantic EGO iPod Waterproof Sound Case. This floating unit is shatter-proof, spill-proof and resistant to chlorine and saltwater corrosion. The crystal-clear body can be submerged up to 3.3' underwater, and provides 30 hours of big sound with expansive bass. The shatterproof polycarbonate casing comes equipped with two speakers and exterior controls.


Garmin Astro GPS 220 and DC 30 Bundle
Ever been out camping and worried your dog might get lost. Well no fear with this cool setup. The Garmin Astro GPS 220 is a feature packed GPS reciever that when coupled with a DC 30 dog collar will allow you to know where your pet is up to 7 miles away. This thing is truly one of the coolest gadgets I've had a chance to play with, unfortunately you can't use them while hunting here in Cali. But they are great for anyone that has pets out in the woods.

Olympus Stylus Tough-8000
At it's current price tag of $330 this camera is definitely out of my price range however if I had the extra cash available I'd say this is probably the one thing I'd splurge on and buy. The camera is shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof and even crushproof up to 220lbs of pressure (I didn't know that was an option.) Needless to say for the outdoorsman this is possibly the best camera on the market right now.

Pentax Optio W60 Waterproof 10MP Digital Camera
This was a secondary option to the Olympus line and another one of those items out of my price range at the moment, but I might have to get one just to check it out.
Perfect for taking pictures in all conditions especially for those crazy water fights, a day skiing or just floating on the river. Pretty much whenever you are just out having a blast and water is or might be invloved. This lightweight and fully waterproof camera features 10 megapixels and a 5x zoom lens with 28mm wide-angle capability. The enhanced design of the Optio W60 allows the camera to operate up to 13 feet underwater for two hours and at extreme temperatures well below freezing.

Sony ZS-H10CP Heavy-Duty CD Radio Boombox
If you need music that you can take with you on any rough and tumble adventure, look no further than the Sony ZS-H10CP CD Boombox. This tough unit is perfect for the job-site, workshop, or backyard, with a rugged and durable design that incorporates a water and dust resistant seal that protects it from the elements.

Solar Waterproof Phone
Not yet introduced, this waterproof solar-powered phone is one of the new products under Sharp's "Green Road Project" this is, according to Sharp, the first water-proof handset to be manufactured.

These are just a few of the gadgets I've had my eye on. There are so many more than this post would likely go on forever so I tried to keep it short and list some of the more appealing items I would actually buy and use. Sure a $4k satellite phone would be nice, or a $300 gas powered blender but I'm not likely to buy those anytime soon!

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