By Leighanne Ellis
What’s bird-watching without binoculars? Vortex Optics provides a view even an eagle would envy. Completely waterproof and fogproof, the Crossfire lens is multicoated to improve clarity and light transmission. Enjoy the VIP Warranty promising free repairs and replacements for damaged or defective parts at no extra cost.
Crossfire II Binoculars, vortexoptics.com, starts at $189.
By Erica Fairbanks
The Power Monkey eXtreme is a powerhouse of battery life. The portable charger connects to a wall outlet or solar panel (included) to quickly charge the reserve battery, and holds 75% of its battery even after a year of not using it – so you can charge it up, pack it away, and pull it out for use whenever you choose without having to recharge. You can charge anything with its USB input – and it comes with multiple attachments.
Power Monkey eXtreme at Magellan’s, $199.50
By Alexis Evans
A beach bag is a necessity for any water filled day. Opt for a waterproof bag with a zipper like Michael Kors’ Kempton Nylon Tote, which will ensure no water will seep in and damage any cameras or cellphones. Lug your stuff in style by choosing flirty bright colors or nautical stripes to give your bag some pizzazz.
Michael Kors Kempton Nylon Tote, Available at Macy’s http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/michael-michael-kors-handbag-kempton-nylon-large-tote?ID=665417, $138
By Alison Shapiro
You shouldn’t have to worry about losing your keys and wallet along the trail or in the fields, so it’s best to have an easy, lightweight bag that will hold all your necessities. The Solid Packable Cinch Sack by Lands’ End comes in six colors and features an easy-close drawstring to make getting something in or out simple. Made of resilient 420D polyester, the bag also features mesh pockets on its sides for water bottles so you can stay hydrated in the outdoor hear. The two-strap bag ensures that it won’t be slipping off your shoulder when walking, hiking or playing in the parks this summer.
Solid Packable Cinch Sack, landsend.com; $14.
For a trip to Charlottesville, you’ll need a cute yet functional overnight bag. The journey isn’t so far and long to need an over-the-top suitcase, and totes like this can be stylish, functional and easy to carry. Something light that matches your earthy surroundings should look right and fit all of the clothes you’ll need for wining, dining, beer-ing and listening to tunes all over the Monticello and Blue Ridge Wine Trails.
What if you need to make an emergency call when you’re hiking and your cell phone doesn’t work? The SpareOne Mobile Phone is the answer. Without a SIM card, this AA battery-powered phone has an emergency dialer and can be geo-located in an emergency. It comes in a waterproof bag that ensures a functioning communication device no matter what happens. The LED Torchlight on top provides you up to 24 hours of continuous light.
SpareOne Mobile Phone; spareone.com; $99.99
By Ryan Cornell
When you’re poolside, dropping a call usually means a trip to the electronics store for a new phone … unless it’s protected inside a LifeProof iPhone Case. The cases are submersible up to 6.6 feet and come with a 90-day warranty. So you can fish it out, towel it off and forget about the rice.
Radio Shack, $79.99, lifeproof.com
By Ryan Cornell
It’s common knowledge that helmets save lives. The newest safety device by ICEdot takes this lesson one step further. Lone bicyclists who attach the sensor to their helmet and install the device’s smart phone app can pedal assured knowing that their GPS location and crash severity will be automatically sent to emergency contacts in the event of a critical impact.
ICEdot Crash Sensor, icedot.org, Price not yet announced.
By Katie Kreiger
Walking or hiking long distances? Pack light with the Airtech Backpack. The bag has multiple compartments designed to hold your belongings with built-in air cushion technology. You’ll be able to pack your laptop and heavy items without feeling as much weight on your back, allowing you to walk more comfortably.
The AirTech Backpack, airbac.com, $89.99.
This portable digital alarm clock eliminates that uncertain feeling that arises when you’re traveling and find yourself going to sleep in a place that doesn’t have an alarm clock. No need to worry about oversleeping or being late again! This plastic, sturdy clock gets the job done. A simple tap on the screen illuminates the backlight. The clock also features the temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. / $24.95; www.llbean.com