The world's a big place, and the right tool can help you get out and enjoy a lot more of it. Whether it's something to keep you safe on the slopes, keep you charged when you're miles from a power outlet or just keep you entertained while you enjoy the sunshine, we've got a few ideas for the adventurer in your life, and you might find a gift or two for yourself while you're at it.
Catalyst waterproof laptop sleeve
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For the person who takes their laptop or tablet everywhere, the outdoors can be a bit daunting. From drops and shocks to dust and even rain, the threats to electronics grow the moment you step outside. Thankfully, there's the Catalyst waterproof sleeve, which gives you a protective carrying case for your tech devices.
A double-closure design seals out water with an IP66 rating, and a foam-cushioning liner protects against bumps and drops. It even has handy backpack straps for easier carrying. Available in several sizes, the Catalyst waterproof sleeve lets you take your mobile tech anywhere, even when the weather's bad.
BioLite HeadLamp 330
It's often the times that you're feeling your way around in the dark with a flashlight that you most want to have both hands free. With the BioLite HeadLamp 330, you get the best hands-free experience available, thanks to the lamp's lightweight design and adjustable tilt light. Designed for comfort, the HeadLamp 330 weighs just 2.4 ounces, has a snug-fitting headband, is lined with moisture-wicking fabric and lasts up to 40 hours on its battery.
The HeadLamp 330 offers both spot and flood modes, along with a locking on/off button that prevents accidental switching between modes. The rechargeable battery powers over micro USB and is positioned to distribute weight evenly between the front and back of the wearer's head. A size-adjustment clip lets you tweak the fit, and a reflective stripe on the rear battery means you'll be nearly as visible from behind as from the front. And to make the lamp work with your own style, the Biolite HeadLamp 330 is available in black, teal, red or yellow.
Coleman 3-panel lantern
Sometimes, you need one powerful lantern to light up a room or tent. Other times, you need lights to share. The Coleman 3-panel 600L LED lantern provides both, with a trio of independant, removable LED light panels that share a battery-packed base. Use two or three on the base as a lantern in your tent, or grab one to use as a reading light while you snuggle into your sleeping bag.
But there's more to the Coleman 3-panel 600L LED lantern than just the 3-in-1 design. Each panel has a magnetic backing that holds it securely in the base or that can be used to attach the panel to a metal object for hands-free use. Both the panels and the base are water resistant, and the base includes a USB charging port for powering up your phones and other devices.
Klymit Versa packable camping blanket and comforter
The Klymit Versa packable camping blanket and comforter is a 58 x 80-inch blanket that can be packed into the size of a pillow, weighs a scant 23 ounces and is perfect for everything from an evening bonfire on the beach to an overnighter in the hills. Made with advanced materials, like soft-touch polyester and Klymit's proprietary Klymalite synthetic loft insulation, it's a smarter blanket that will be at home stored in your backpack or stashed in the trunk of your car.
And it's surprisingly feature-filled for a blanket. The corners have snaps so you can quickly convert the blanket into something more like a sleeping bag; the built-in foot-box pocket lets you tuck your feet in for warmth; an integrated pull cord lets you snug the blanket around you, and corner hand pockets make wrapping yourself in the blanket easy. And when it's time to pack up, the foot box can be flipped inside out to become a stuff sack that stores the blanket and functions as a pillow.
Pelican 5050R flashlight
Pelican might be best known for its rugged cases and storage solutions, but the company also makes some pretty great flashlights. The Pelican 5050R flashlight is small enough to slip into your pocket, but it features an adjustable beam that transitions from tight spotlight to wide flood position with ease, thanks to a sliding beam reflector that's built in. Housed in anodized aluminum and delivering up to 800+ lumens of brightness, it's a great little flashlight for everyday or overnight use.
It's also rechargeable, with a micro USB port that lets you juice up the flashlight from wall outlets, laptops and backup batteries. On top of that, it also has a full-size USB port for power output, letting you use the flashlight's battery to power up your phones and other devices.
BioLite SolarPanel 5+
Get power for your gadgets wherever you are with the BioLite SolarPanel 5+, a portable solar charger and power bank that has a built-in stand and an integrated sundial so you can position the panel for optimal sun exposure. A built-in, 2,200-mAh, rechargeable battery lets you soak up the sun during the day and power your gadgets at night.
It's also made to withstand the weather, with a clear, protective layer covering the solar panels on front and a rubberized port cover sealing off the USB output and micro USB charging ports. Whether you're charging your phone on a weeklong excursion or just grabbing some free power through an office window, the BioLite SolarPanel 5+ is perfect for all your charging needs.
Fitbit Charge 3
If your outdoor time is centered on getting your steps in and your heart rate up, then consider the Fitbit Charge 3, our favorite fitness charger. We think it's the best fitness tracker out there, and not just because it lasts a whole week per charge. The compact fitness tracker boasts an OLED touch-screen display, built-in apps and a waterproof design.
But it's also versatile in what it lets you track. Beyond basics like jogging or circuit training, it also lets you measure and record your workouts in everything from yoga to mountain biking, and even swimming. And when you crawl into bed at night, it'll let you track your sleep, featuring in-depth sleep tracking and a built-in SpO2 sensor that can track blood oxygenation through the night, not only tracking the quality of your sleep, but even diagnosing sleep apnea.
Fugoo Style XL rugged/outdoor Bluetooth speaker
For a Bluetooth speaker that can stand up to the elements, there's nothing better than the Fugoo Style XL. This portable speaker lets you take your tunes anywhere, and its dustproof, waterproof design shrugs off the elements, whether that's sand at the beach or a dunk beneath the waves. The Fugoo even floats, so you won't have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of a lake or pool.
Fugoo's Style line manages to be rugged without looking like a piece of tactical gear, thanks to a mesh fabric exterior that looks more like a designer product than a rough-and-tumble device. Subtle touch-sensitive buttons give you volume adjustment and playback controls, and voice prompts let you use the simple interface for more-granular control. The XL boasts an impressive 35 hours of listening time on a full charge, with easy Bluetooth pairing to your phone or other device. And thanks to the speaker's eight built-in acoustic drivers, you'll get fantastic sound quality and volume, with 360-degree sound.
GoPro Hero 7 Black
When it comes to action cameras, the only name you need to know is GoPro. After years of making excellent compact, durable cameras, GoPro Hero7 Black is the best action camera the company has ever made. The 4.1-ounce device packs in a lot of new features, from 4K-video capture and baked-in stabilization to a time-lapse option called TimeWarp. This camera also offers livestreaming capability so you can share as you shoot to Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube and Vimeo while also storing video on your memory card.
Pair the camera with any of the dozen or so GoPro accessories out there, and you'll be able to do more than ever with the little action cam. Use a tripod or surface mount to put the camera on a helmet or monopod. Use a combination of hand grip and tripod for easy shooting on the go. Strap-on harness mounts let you put the camera on your body — or on your dog. There's even a mouth mount for holding the camera in your mouth as you surf or swim. The options are nearly endless, and the footage will look spectacular.
Garmin Fenix 6
Garmin's GPS smartwatches are made with adventure in mind, and the Garmin Fenix 6 is the newest offering, boasting tons of features above and beyond telling time and tracking location. The watch has a large, impossible-to-miss display that can display everything from custom watch faces to topographical maps, and it's readable in any conditions, even bright sunlight.
An optical heart-rate sensor keeps track of your pulse; a Pulse Ox sensor supports high-altitude workouts as well as sleep tracking, and GPS capability is combined with a compass, barometer and gyroscope for superprecise positional tracking anywhere on the planet. Preloaded with topographic maps and ski maps for more than 2,000 ski resorts across the globe, this is the watch to get for the active user. And with features like music playback, smartphone alerts, wireless payments and even solar charging, it's a pretty great smartwatch for anyone else, too.
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Brian Westover is currently Lead Analyst, PCs and Hardware at PCMag. Until recently, however, he was Senior Editor at Tom's Guide, where he led the site's TV coverage for several years, reviewing scores of sets and writing about everything from 8K to HDR to HDMI 2.1. He also put his computing knowledge to good use by reviewing many PCs and Mac devices, and also led our router and home networking coverage. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for TopTenReviews and PCMag.