Rugged Tech for Your Beach or Camping Trip
Tech, water and camping usually don’t mix. But if you’re heading to the beach, campgrounds or pool this summer, there’s no need to unplug completely. From the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active smartphone to the Philips Shoqbox Bluetooth speaker, there have never been so many great waterproof and shockproof tech options to help you capture great photos, blast tunes, and even help protect your skin from sun damage. Here are Techlicious’s favorite rugged summertime tech picks for an active day of fun.
Celestron Elements FireCel
If you’re out in the middle of the woods on a camping trip, it’s a smart idea to bring a little bit of spare power with you, just in case. That’s why we like the Celestron Elements FireCel – it serves as both a 2,500 mAh battery for all your electronic devices and a bright red-and-white LED flashlight. That flashlight has five different modes, including an SOS mode to find help in an emergency. And as an added bonus, the FireCel also works as a hand warmer in colder months, offering up to 3 hours of continuous heat.
The Celestron Elements FireCel comes with a USB charging cable and soft carry pouch. You can purchase yours at Amazon.com for $39.95.
WeatherFlow Wind Meter
Planning to go out on the water with a sailboat or windsurfing board? Don’t start your journey without first checking the wind conditions on the WeatherFlow Wind Meter. It’s a simple add-on anemometer device that connects to your Android or iOS phone and physically measures the wind speed where you are. The Wind Meter calculates wind direction, average speed and top gusts at any time, allowing you to recalculate your course on a moment’s notice.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active (AT&T Only)
Looking for a smartphone than can handle a day at the beach without worrying about water and sand damage? Take a look at the new 5.1” Quad HD Samsung Galaxy S6 Active smartphone. Not only is it a capable Android device with a 16 MP camera, an octa-core 64-bit processor and 32 GB of storage, but it’s also waterproof and dustproof. Specifically, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active passed military specification (MIL-STD-810G) and is rated IP68, which means it can survive submersion of up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active smartphone is an AT&T exclusive. The device is available in Camo White, Camo Blue and Gray colors. Expect to pay $694.99 for the phone outright, or 30 monthly payments of $23.17 with an AT&T Next plan.
For a waterproof alternative to the Galaxy S6 Active, check out the Sony Xperia Z4v, which ships later this year.
MoKo Waterproof Case Cover Pouch
If you don’t have a waterproof phone, that’s OK too – you can still take it to the beach with the MoKo Waterproof Case Cover Pouch. It’s a simple waterproof (IPX8) carrying pouch that protects most Android and iOS devices up to 5.7” while still allowing full touchscreen functionality. The pouch can be worn around your neck with the use of a lanyard, or around your arm with an armband. It works great when paired with an app like Whistle Camera (for Android via Google Play), which offers hands-free picture capability.
Panasonic A1 HD Action Cam
Not only are action sports incredibly fun to participate in, they’re incredibly fun to watch, too. So if you’re heading out on an sailing adventure on the bay or a biking trip through some mountain trails, strap on a 1.6-ounce Panasonic A1 Action Camera first. The dustproof, waterproof and shockproof camera mounts to whatever gear you’re wearing, capturing 1080p video of all the wild thrills and spills this summer. Built-in WiFi allows you to easily share your adventure video on social media, YouTube and more.
The Panasonic A1 is available in your choice of black and orange colors. The action cam is available on Amazon for $199.99. A wide range of mounting accessories is also available.
Philips BT2200 Shoqbox
No trip to the beach is complete without the tunes. We like the rechargeable Philips BT2200 Shoqbox as a modern option for bringing the party to the beach or pool. It offers a Bluetooth connection for streaming music via smartphone or tablet and a separate audio-in jack for older devices. A built-in mic allows you to use the Shoqbox for hands-free calling if desired. Most importantly, though, the Shoqbox is rated IPX6 for water resistance and floats if dropped in the pool.
The Philips BT2200 Shoqbox has a suggested retail price of $59.99. Bargain hunters can find the Shoqbox on Amazon.com for just $47.12.
iSwimband Drowning Detector
A day at the pool can be a lot of fun on a hot day, but for young kids, it can be dangerous too. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death, especially among those under the age of 5. Fortunately, the iSwimband Drowning Detector offers some smart, high-tech protection for your kids. It’s a tamper-resistant Bluetooth wristband with 100-foot range that sends your phone an alert should your toddler enter the water. You can also set the device to warn you if your little swimmer stays underwater for too long and is at risk of drowning. The iSwimband is no substitute for parental supervision – it simply offers extra protection and peace of mind.
The iSwimband Drowning Detector package includes the sensor (with clip), a headband/goggle strap, wristband and free companion app (iOS, Android, Kindle Fire). You can purchase one at iswimband.com for $59.99.
Waterproof Camera Case and Float
The beach is a great place for fun family photos, but a splash of salt water can ruin the sensitive electronics inside your expensive new camera. Consider protecting your device with a Dicapac waterproof case. Each keeps your camera safe from damage while still allowing you to take great pictures up to 16 feet underwater. The Dicapac WP-ONE protects point and shoot cameras for just $12.50, the WP-S3 ($51.35) keeps hybrid cameras safe and the WP-S10 ($63.70) protects compact digital cameras with larger lens attachments.
Want even more camera protection? Check out the Chums Waterproof Camera Float. It’s a simple foam-filled wrist lanyard that attaches directly to your camera (up to 7 ounces), allowing it to float on top of the water rather than sink to the bottom of a pool or the ocean. The bright yellow color makes it easy to see in murky water. Best of all, a float won’t break the bank – you can pick one up on Amazon for just $10.20.
JUNE UV Ray Monitor
We all love the summer sun, but too much of it can lead to burns, premature aging and – worst of all – skin cancer. The wrist-worn Netatmo JUNE helps mitigate these risks by tracking your daily sun exposure, measuring the intensity of the sun’s UV rays and providing smartphone reminders when it’s time to re-apply sunscreen or put on sunglasses. You can bring it poolside too: The chic, French-inspired design is both splash- and water-resistant.
The Bluetooth-powered Netatmo JUNE is available in three colors (platinum, gold and gunmetal) and includes a leather and premium silicon wristband, a USB charging cable and a storage pouch. You can get yours for $129.00 at Netatmo.com. For a more waterproof (albeit less elegant) option for swimming in the pool, take a look at the $49.99 SunFriend UV Monitor.
[Image credits: Celestron, WeatherFlow, Samsung, MoKo, Panasonic, Philips, iSwimband, Dicapac, June]