Here is the best tech gear for the warm, summer months
The warmer months are setting upon us and everyone is inching out of their homes into sunny weather. It doesn't matter if you are going on a trip or just to the park, this collection of our favorite tech gear is perfect for the great outdoors and warm, summer weather.
The Coolest Cooler
The Coolest Cooler made huge waves with its record-setting crowding funding campaign and we aren't shy to say we eventually picked one up.
It is a massive rolling cooler that has a ton of tricks up its sleeves. First and foremost, it is a great cooler. It kept our drinks cold for hours on end in the hot sun, was easy to move around thanks to the wheels and handle, and easily opened with dual top doors. On the flip side of the right door is a stack of four washable, plastic plates and a ceramic knife — all perfect for a picnic.
On the front is a compartment to store odds and ends and comes with a standard corkscrew wine opener. Ours also came bundled with the Coolest Speaker which is a small, silicone encased water-resistant speaker with a design to match that of the cooler.
Arguably the most unique features of the Coolest Cooler is the built-in blender. Scoop up some ice, add your drink, and mount it right on top to make the perfect frozen beverage while partying. We've used the blender a few times now and while it doesn't match our Vitamix, it didn't struggle turning some bagged ice into a great margarita.
OtterBox Venture Cooler
We had to mention a second cooler on this list because both are pretty exceptional. OtterBox isn't just about iPhone and iPad cases anymore, they have full-on massive coolers that take Yeti to task. OtterBox's coolers come in 25, 45, or 65-quart sizes — the middle of which we own.
When sealed, we kept ice in here for just under two weeks before it all turned to water. Getting through a long weekend has been no issue for us with this rugged cooler.
It is super easy to open with large silicon clips, and a locking kit keeps everything secure. OtterBox got this certified bear-resistant for those who venture with it into the wilderness.
There's also a huge variety of accessories to customize these coolers as well. There are dividers for the inside, trays for keeping certain contents dry, stainless steel drink containers, bottle openers, dry boxes with clips, and much more to make the cooler your own.
The dry boxes are also one of our favorites. With any gear you take out, keeping it dry can be pretty important. Whether you are scuba diving, boating, jet skiing, or even camping you don't want certain stuff to get wet. A dry box is designed just for that purpose and easily clips right to the side of our Venture 45 cooler.
Since we are talking OtterBox, we should mention OtterBox cases as well. The OtterBox Defender, Symmetry, and Commuter cases are some of the most popular and protective ones with the Defender leading the pack. When we are going to the great outdoors and want to make sure our phone doesn't wind up toast, we put it in our OtterBox case.
Lander Torrey case
When we are going somewhere in the summer that is less rugged and sunnier, we pull out our Lander Torrey case. This is perfect for the beach, boating, or anywhere where we will be in the sun.
The Torrey case has a special liner dubbed ThermoLine that helps prevent overheating. If you've ever left your phone in the sun and got the warning your phone couldn't function until it cools down you know the struggle.
This won't prevent that from happening completely but it does help significantly. There is also an optional wrist strap which we use when taking pictures in more precarious situations. Say shooting pictures over the side of a speed boat for example. That way if we happened to hit a bump, we don't lose our phone.
Lander Lightning cable
There are a ton of Lightning cables out there, but when we are going campaigning or out at night during the summer, we use our Lander cable.
It is interwoven with highly reflective fibers that make it stand out with even the littlest bit of light. Drop it on the ground and find it in a split second. It can also be useful when tossed into the bottom of a gear bag or suitcase.
Nomad mini multi-cable
Nomad on the flip side offers a foot-long multi-cable that also comes in handy. When we are out, we don't want to be bringing a pile of cables along for the ride. This cable is short and has three different tips to charge the majority of any gear you may have.
GoPros, iPhones, iPads, cameras, battery packs, flashlights, or whatever else you may have will charge over Lightning, Micro USB, or USB-C.
Nomad Rugged Battery
To go with those cables, you need some sort of battery. The most rugged battery we've used is the Rugged Battery from Nomad. This is covered in silicone so it is gentle in your bag and is able to withstand drops.
It has USB-C and USB-A outputs to again charge two devices at once. The most useful feature has to be the Tile integration though. Using this you can see the last known location and if nearby, make it emit a noise to help you find it. When you're outside who knows where things get misplaced, but with the Rugged Battery Nomad has you covered.
If you don't want to bring a full battery pack with you, consider something along the lines of PowrTab. These tiny, recyclable batteries are one-time use, in the case of an emergency. Just rip open the package and connect it to your phone. Instant power.
They hold their charge for long periods of time before being opened and can really save you when your phone is dead and you have an emergency. It only adds a couple hours of talk time so it won't last you long, but that should be all you need.
Lander Cairn lanterns
If we are going to the beach, camping, or on a vacation, we always take a light. This can be a flashlight, or lately, the Cairn lanterns from Lander.
There are a few different models, but we prefer the larger of the two. It has many hours of 350-lumen brightness and a built-in mounting bungee to hang up. It is app-connected so you can adjust the brightness and color as well as automatically dim as you walk away (to save battery) and brighten as you come back.
A USB-A port also allows the light to act as a backup battery too.
Peak Design Tech Pouch
We could really recommend anything from Peak Design, but keeping it simple, we wouldn't go anywhere without the Tech Pouch.
There are a ton of small compartments on the inside for lenses, cases, cables, batteries, etc or any other small gear you are toting about.
It is part of a larger line of new gear that includes the 45L travel backpack, packing cubes, a camera cube, and a wash cube. They are designed to work together, or on their own.
There are lots of great lenses out there for your smartphone. One of them we've used a lot recently is the lineup from Sandmarc. These are premium lenses that provide stunning looking images. By using lenses, even larger ones like these, you can ditch your dedicated camera and get even better pics.
Sandmarc makes several different lenses from tele lenses to wide angle lenses and they all have a place in our gear bag.
FlirONE Pro IR camera
A thermal camera can be a fun accessory to bring along, as well as a useful one. Using the FlirONE Pro you can take stunning thermal images that others just fake with filter apps. You can measure the temperature of surfaces like the boat dock or a fire pit.
If you are camping or in the dark, you can see what creatures are wandering through the woods or where your friend went to keep track. If camping, a thermal camera can help make sure there are no embers left that have the propensity to flare up after you leave.
They have utility at home as well, such as finding leaks around windows or door frames, warm spots where something may be living in walls, find leaks in pipes, and much more.