Special Report

Gadgets for an action-packed summer

Here are some of the top gadgets for more energetic holiday makers

 

And so, at last, you’re off on your summer holidays. You’ve worked hard all year, navigating the choppy post-Brexit waters, and trying to stay afloat in the swirling Trumpian tides. You’ve been swimming with the sharks and trying to reel in some big fish – now it’s time to come up for air and get some well-deserved rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

But what kind of a holidaymaker are you going to be this summer – a beached whale or a barracuda? Are you going to spend your precious two weeks splayed out on a sun lounger, your only movement being a flick of your finger as you beckon the waiter over to fetch you another margarita? Or will it be a fortnight of non-stop activity, as you hone your surfing/paddle-boarding/diving skills, and maximise your enjoyment of the great outdoors?

If you’re planning on doing the former, you probably won’t need much in the way of gadgetry – a cooling fan, perhaps, or a pair of Bluetooth headphones, or a selfie stick that doubles as a spray tan applicator. But if, like us, you’re planning an action-packed holiday that puts you through your paces, then you might just get some use from these gadgets, especially designed for that go-getting holiday.

Bose Soundlink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker, €229.95 and €329.95

When you’re on the go this summer, you’ll be listening to music in a variety of places, from the boat deck to the campsite, and you won’t be doing it alone in your lounger – you’ll be sharing sound space with a bunch of other like-minded active types. So, you need a Bluetooth speaker everyone in the immediate vicinity can enjoy, one that’s portable, hard-wearing and water-resistant. The Bose Soundlink Revolve is one to get excited about – it’s a small speaker that packs a big 360-degree sound, and is designed to go wherever you go. With its highly efficient transducer, dual-passive radiators and omnidirectional acoustic deflector, this baby can deliver a satisfying sonic experience in all directions, and its soft material exterior makes it bump-resistant and easy to grab and go. Its rechargeable battery is good for a whole day of listening. Choose from the Revolve (€229.95) or the Revolve+ (€329.95) which is bigger, even louder and comes with a handle for easy portability.

Cross Peerless TrackR Pen, €225

Remember that Mont Blanc pen you lost while trekking up Mont Blanc? Or the Visconti pen you left behind at that trattoria in Tuscany? Makes you wonder if you should just put a 10-pack of Bics in your luggage and have done with it. But you don’t have to give up the luxury pen for fear of losing it on holiday. The Cross Peerless TrackR Quartz Blue ballpoint pen is a beautiful writing instrument with a built-in Bluetooth tracker, so if you leave it behind in a restaurant, it will send an alert to your smartphone. And if you misplace your smartphone, the pen will tell you where it is. The pen’s mechanical parts also come with a lifetime warranty, which is nice.

Insta360 Nano Camera, €147 from ie.onedigitals.com

So, you’re going to take some holiday snaps to show to the folks back home. Or maybe a few clips to give a flavour of your active holiday. That’s hardly going to capture the full sense of being on top of a mountain, up in a hang-glider or jumping out of a plane. You need to get the whole rounded experience, and the Insta360 Nano Camera will be just the job. It turns your iPhone into a 360-degree camera, so your holiday clips can be transformed into virtual reality films that you can immerse yourself in back home – and make your friends feel they’re stepping into your adventure holiday too. The Nano allows you to upload your 360 degree videos to Facebook or YouTube, and you don’t have to buy a separate headset to get the VR experience – the packaging can be quickly turned into a Google Carboard-type headset.

GoPro Hero5 Black, €469.99

If you want the best action footage of your whitewater rafting, clifftop bungee jumping or reef diving, the good old GoPro is still the way to go. The GoPro Hero5 Black is the company’s latest and best camera; it takes stunning 4k footage, with superb stabilisation, and you can edit your footage right there and then. It’s also waterproof to 10m without a housing, and can be voice-activated – very handy when you’re holding on to that ledge for dear life. The company is doing a limited time offer, throwing in a free Chesty chest strap and battery with every Hero5 purchase.