Holiday shopping for active loved ones doesn’t have to be limited to gear and apparel. From cameras to headphones, gadgets make great gifts, and you don’t have to guess on sizes. Active Junky’s pulled together some electronic gift ideas that your friends and family will love to receive this holiday season and to use when off on adventures.
Have a look at some of our favorite techy gadgets, and check out the other activity-specific gift guides from Active Junky, or gift ideas from our sister site, Tom’s Guide, with over 250 techy gift ideas. And don’t forget to sign up for Active Junky for the best deals and cash back on your gear and gift purchases.
The Hero5 Black is GoPro’s newest action camera, improving on previously available models with incredible photo and video quality.. Although slightly bigger than the unhoused Hero4, the Hero5 is waterproof to 33 feet without requiring an extra case like older GoPros. An improved LCD preview screen accompanies the new 4k video resolution and video stabilization feature, and audio updates allow you to record separate WAV audio files in addition to video. Still photos are shot at 12MP resolution with options of Wide Dynamic Range HDR and RAW image formats. Other updates like Voice Command and GPS tagging make GoPro Hero5 Black a great gift for adventurous shutterbugs.
For most of us, music while exercising is a necessity, and a good pair of workout Bluetooth headphones can make a world of difference. Aftershokz Trekz Titanium were designed with athletes in mind: lightweight, sweatproof and secure. A great option for urban runners who need to be aware of their surroundings, Trekz’s off-ear design uses bone conduction technology to transfer music through the cheekbones rather than in the ear – hear traffic, have a conversation and even take phone calls without having to fuss with the headphones. At only 1.25oz, they’re comfortable while producing high-quality stereo sound for up to six hours without ringing your eardrum or impeding your hearing.
Take your tunes along where ever your adventures take you with this Bluetooth speaker from LifeProof. In true LifeProof fashion the Aquaphonics series is waterproof, dirt-proof, snow-proof, and drop-proof. The AQ10 will also float, so you don’t have to worry about losing your tunes while you are floating down the river. The sound quality on the AQ10 is impressive for such a small speaker—deep lows and crisp highs will have you dancing around the campfire all night. One of the more impressive features of the speaker is the 13-hour battery life. Testers were used to having the party cut short by a dead battery, but not with the AQ10. After a full day rock climbing, a week of inactivity, then a cold night where temps dropped into the single digits, the AQ10 was still going strong and even had enough juice to give a phone a quick charge in the morning using the built-in USB out port; all off one charge. Added features like a built-in microphone for taking speaker phone calls as well as a small stash box to keep your keys or credit cards safe all make the AQ10 the perfect Bluetooth speaker for your adventurous life.
JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker takes all the quality of previous models and makes it waterproof so you can enjoy music on the boat, on the beach or even in the rain for up to 20 hours. JBL Bass Radiator and stereo sound produce high quality music streamed via Bluetooth connecting with up to three devices for sharing music with friends. Compatible with SIRI and Google Now voice assist, Voice Assistant allows you to control your music without your phone and even take calls with noise- and echo-cancelling speakerphone. Available in five color options, the portable Bluetooth speaker is about the size of a water bottle and weighs less than two pounds.
Goal Zero is a leader in portable and solar power sources, which can be invaluable in the backcountry when relying on rechargeable devices like headlamps and GPSs. The Solar Kit includes the Venture 7,800mAh weatherproof recharger paired with the reliable Nomad 7 solar panel, which testers used to capitalize on sunny days by setting the kit out on a rock or stump. The Nomad 7 can fully charge the Venture in 9 hours, and with a full battery, the Venture provides up to 5 full smartphone or GoPro charges, or 5 to 10 headlamp charges, making this solar kit great for backcountry use, especially at only 1.5lbs that can easily be divided between two people.
Whether traveling abroad or working in the office, the recipient of these noise canceling headphones will appreciate the quality and function of QuietComfort 35 from Bose. Advanced acoustic noise canceling technology measures and counters surrounding sounds, creating a quiet atmosphere for focus. Or listen to tunes streamed via Bluetooth from your phone or MP3 player, a feature not available in previous models. Buttons on the right earcup play, pause, skip tracks and adjust volume, and the built-in microphone allows you to take phone calls, as well. With or without enjoying Bose’s speaker quality, the 20-hour battery life will block unwanted noise all day.
Active Junky loved this Casio digital watch complete with the ProTrek. Convenience features intelligently packaged in a big-buttoned, gloves-on model put testers on the hunt for important data within moments. At about 3oz and packing a 6-month battery life in a wrist-friendly design, the most central functions are a quick press away: altimeter, compass, thermometer, alarm, barometer and stopwatch. Testers favored the bottom-center light activation, workable display size and flexible band. For the majority of life’s activities, this highly water-resistant watch should more than suffice his watch and digital tracking needs.
The Motorola T600 H2O outshone its competition in many tests, most importantly in the range and clarity tests. It also stood out as one of the few models we reviewed to be completely waterproof and able to float. Along with its advanced features and SOS options, this Motorola model won over testers as the Best Walkie Talkie. While the T600 H2O didn’t transmit as far as the maximum stated range (as was to be expected and the case with all models), it performed the best in our range and clarity testing. On the high-power GMRS channel, it performed the best at the 2-mile range despite some static. Even on the FRS channel there was little difference between the 1-mile and 2-mile marks. This walkie talkie is waterproof rated to IP67, making it fully waterproof. It includes the power-saving transmission timeout, and you can either recharge the power pack via-USB or use three AA batteries. This model includes Motorola’s Emergency Alert Mode, which emits a loud emergency tone and then sends a 22-second transmission, hands-free, to any compatible Motorola walkie talkie within the range of the unit.
For the health conscious person in your life, the Fitbit Charge 2 is a simple but thoughtful gift that’s among the easiest fitness trackers to setup and use. All data is tracked on the device and synced via wireless connection to the Fitbit smartphone app. It counts number of daily steps, distance and floors. It also tracks calories burned based on BMR and activity, and monitors your heartrate both while resting and active. It senses when you’re asleep, keeping track of restless and awake minutes during the night. The band is comfortable and lightweight, with a larger display screen than the previous Charge model to let you view more data without pulling out your phone.