The Best Travel Tech of 2014

Six gadgets for the road.

—Will Palmer

(Inga Hendrickson)

Six gadgets for the road.

—Will Palmer

Grain Audio PWS Speaker

There’s been a glut of portable Bluetooth speakers in recent years, but few deliver the kind of rich, deep sound that makes you want to bring one with you. The PWS ($249) is that rarity. It sounds incredible and has six to eight hours of battery life and a throwback design, with (FSC-certified!) walnut housing and rubber bumpers.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Outdoor Tech Privates Headphones

The price is good. The sound is vibrant, with respectable bass and clear mids. But it was the user-friendly features on these Bluetooth cans ($100) that made them our new faves. You can see how much power you have left on a little gauge on your smartphone, and volume and track selection are controlled by a swipe of the right earpiece.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Digital Treasures The Soldier Power Supply

Don’t let a dead cell phone leave you stranded. The shockproof, waterproof (to three feet) Soldier ($90) will charge an iPhone three times, taking four or five hours per charge, or a tablet once. It can also double as a flashlight in a pinch and will even flash an SOS signal.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Nokia Lumia 2520 Tablet

Even the iPad-partial among us were seduced by the colorful, intuitive Windows RT platform on this travel-handy, 32GB tablet ($399 with contract). It’s light, it has a gorgeous 10.1-inch 1080p screen that you can read outdoors, and it comes with the Microsoft Office suite, making it equally adept at work and play (especially if you add a $150 keyboard).

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Phone

What’s a Robin Thicke–endorsed phablet ($199 with contract) doing in "Outside"? We couldn’t help it. The multi-window functionality and stylus make it a better multitasker than the iPad, and movies have room to breathe on the beautiful 5.7-inch HD screen. Pair it with the Galaxy Gear watch ($199) and you can talk into your wrist like 007.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Leica C Camera

Thanks to its large 1/1.7-inch MOS sensor and 12.1-megapixel resolution, the Leica C ($699), while offering manual options, can take crisp, perfectly lit images with minimal effort, as well as 1080p video. And we love the integrated Wi-Fi, which lets us upload photos to a tablet.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)

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