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Ah, the sweetheart of black-ops agents and adrenalists every-where. This next-gen chrono is as tough as they come, is good down to 200 meters, features ultra-precise atomic timekeeping, and charges via any available light source. gshock.com…

This green-minded company’s solvents, lubes, and polishes are all biodegradable, and the reusable bucket comes with a paper-based cellulose sponge and horsehair brushes. And, yes, all of it works as well as—if not better than—the traditional stuff. pedros.com…

For starters, the interface is almost too much fun, like having a Mac in your hands, and audio integration is a snap with iTunes. Like the first-gen iPhone, the 3G has a 3.5-inch touchscreen that’s almost impossible to scratch—proven on multiple beach trips. Unlike the original, it boasts a…

Whether it’s Black Eyed Peas or ABBA that gets you pumped to run, this iPod Nano–size armband (made for the Generation 4 version) won’t slip down your arm while running. It will also pull your whole look together—it’s constructed from nylon, just like high-end running shoes.

Snap these aluminum grabbers onto any pair of Dynafit bindings and you can ski-climb slopes up to 25 degrees before having to de-skin and boot-pack. Available in three widths (82, 92, and 100 mm). 8.3 oz; TAGS: steep slopes, security…

Place two fingers on the Duo’s sensors and, seconds later, you’ve got your pulse rate. The bargain price also includes a wireless heart-rate strap (for more accurate measurement) and chronograph. www.highgear.com…

WEATHER BEATERThe Stylus 500 is one of the only cameras out there equipped to handle a downpour: I shot supercrisp photos along B.C.’s Howe Sound Crest trail in rain that would have fried most digis faster than you can say “one-year warranty.” The secret? Tiny rubber gaskets within the all-metal…

BEST FOR PORTRAITS Are you a people person? What separates this camera from all the other 6-meg point-and-shoots is a sensor that enables it to detect faces in the frame—up to ten at a time—and automatically set the precise focus and exposure for each one. I was skeptical, but at…

Designed by a fireman, the Rescue is the ultimate emergency knife, with snub-nosed blade, thumb stud, seatbelt hook, and window punch, plus an oxygen-tank wrench in the handle. gerbergear.com…

Audio quality is still not as good as you’d expect, but it’s good enough, and the two-inch screen renders video surpri­singly watchable. Buying the red unit helps fight AIDS in Africa. Mac or PC; apple.com…

Thank goodness for progress—the underwater MP3 player is finally here! The two-inch-diameter earbuds on the OCEANIC H20 AUDIO ($399) clip to your mask strap or sit inside your hood, sending sound waves a short distance through water, to play a surprisingly hi-fi starfish soundtrack.

Besides being mighty handsome, the sapphire-crystal Night Vision II has a superbright LED that not only allows reading in the dark but, should you get stranded, can also strobe/signal for help for a week straight. swissarmy.com…

For pushing big sound around outside, the rugged Tailgater is a solid value. A 16-watt amp powers a six-inch woofer and one-inch tweeter; it’s not stereophonic, but it’ll get the party started. Just dock your iPod (or use one of several other auxiliary jacks) for 12 hours of audio…

One-Man Band A versatile backcountry watch at a great price. The Nomad has no fewer than eight intuitively designed functions: time/date, compass, altimeter, barometer, stopwatch, timer, alarm, and temperature. Yellow hurts your eyes? It also comes in white or black. freestyleusa.com…

Trust us: It’ll make you a better photographer. The simple, intuitive M8.2 demands that you actually turn the aperture ring and shutter-speed dial manually, not just fondle screens. Luddite madness? Or a call for patience and thoughtfulness? The latter, no question. After days of shooting in Vancouver,…

Four two-inch speakers—a pair of twist-off satellites, on three-foot tethers, and a subwooferlike bass unit—make this 40-watt aluminum system bump like a P-Funk track. www.thinkoutside.com…

Lose the chest strap. With a touch of the finger, the 10M takes accurate readings in four to five seconds, twice as fast as other strapless monitors. Don’t look for lap features or data storage, but you do get the usual zone alarms, a stopwatch, and a calorie counter.

Beneath the waves, this scuba bad boy—an air, nitrox, and gauge computer with electronic compass, four-button operation, and giant matrix display—is king. suunto.com…

Named for the speedsters who wear it on the track, TAG HEUER’S FORMULA 1 ($600) is an all-around performer, even away from the asphalt. This rugged Swiss Miss serves up easy-to-grasp ridges on the crown, a unidirectional bezel, and a 200-meter depth rating for fumble-proof visibility on land and sea.

ALL-WEATHER BADASS Digicam designers must not get out much; the 790 SW is one of only two made to scoff at the elements. (The other is Olympus’s even tougher, fancier, pricier 1030 SW.) Rubber gaskets seal out dust and render the camera waterproof to ten feet down—a feature we tested…

Big. And burly. With its roomy grip, double-pointed aluminum blade, and virtually unbendable shaft, this was our favorite shovel. 40 in extended, 29 in collapsed, 1.8 lbs; life-link.com…

An upgrade to Minox’s proven, staff-favorite HG line, the powerful APOs deliver great edge-to-edge color quality in a tough but lightweight magnesium package. But that don’t come cheap! 8.5×43; minox.com…

Slap Happy This watch’s fumble-free solution to recording your splits: Smack it! The slap-sensitive face works great (and is especially useful when wearing the watch under long sleeves). Plus, the enormous display is very easy to read. Note: Accidental bumps can trigger the timer, and the wrist strap is not…

The iPad adds 3G connectivity to the debut version’s wi-fi so you can Web-browse, watch movies, or read the new issue of your favorite outdoor magazine from your car or a park bench. No, it won’t replace your laptop just yet, but in our go-everywhere testing, it lived up to…

Little Big Gun If Leica’s method is to strip a camera down to its beautifully crafted essentials (and then charge a lot for what’s left), Olympus is doing just the opposite—packing features and even a hefty interchangeable lens onto a true point-and-shoot body and then charging fairly little. That combination…

At first glance, the six-megapixel Optio WPi looks no different than any other point-and-shoot. But hidden within the metal exterior are a series of rubber gaskets that seal out water (and dust), rendering this pocket cam completely submersible. Swimming in up to five feet of water and shooting in…

Aimed squarely at the Gen Xbox crowd, the Sidekick looks and feels like a game controller. If you’re all thumbs, you’ll be all right with the more than 30 downloadable games from T-Mobile.com, e-mail sync, contact manager, and instant messenger. And should you find yourself locked up in a Turkish…

The HG stands for “high grade,” and testers agreed it’s worthy of the acronym (and price). Not only are they the most comfortable binocs to hold; the HG consistently dished up brighter and crisper images than all the others. 8×33; minox.com…

This titanium-banded beast tracks elevation gain and changes in atmospheric pressure (weather coming!). And should you get turned around in the backcountry, it even has a compass. casio.com…

Coordinate surf rendezvous with this tide-tracking titanium piece, which keeps you abreast of conditions, can handle depths of 200 meters, displays moon phase, and runs off a nine-jewel Swiss movement. nixonnow.com…

Expensive? Yes. But this easy-to-use torque wrench is cheaper than the high-end components you’ll destroy if you tighten them past the recommended torque—or your hospital bills if those components fail while you’re riding. syntace.com…

This is what happens when you get one of the world’s toughest adventurers to help design a multitool. You can open the tool’s two knives with one gloved hand, and there’s a sturdy needle-nose pliers and even a reamer that can bore holes through wood. 8.8 oz;…

If you’re in training mode, try this low-profile, watch-style monitor, which can track up to nine runs. Moving on up to a triathlon? It’s water-resistant down to 50 meters. Plus the sleek interface is so intuitive that I wore it—and got it—right out of the box.

To cut about a half-pound out of their widest skins—they’re designed specifically for skis 110 millimeters or wider underfoot—Black Diamond has stitched a tough, waterproof nylon panel between strips of skin material. Other benefits we liked: It makes them easier to peel off and reduces a bit of drag…

This wrist-top GPS manages a knife-edge feat: It’s equal parts cool and geeky. Sporting the X9i, I launched out on a run from my hotel room in downtown Buenos Aires. Within minutes, the 12-channel GPS receiver had locked on to satellites and was displaying my speed and distance. When…

DAY TRIPPERCanon engineered this 7.1-megapixel, brushed-aluminum jobbie for road warriors. Why? Its retractable, extra-wide, 28–100mm (film equivalent) zoom lens nails broad outdoor landscapes. In Punta de Mita, Mexico, I immortalized sweeping beach vistas—from the locals slicing open fresh coconuts under palapas to the surfers riding the point break—that…

WEATHERPROOF POCKET CAM Thanks to internal gaskets, the slim Stylus easily fended off steady rain while I was shooting in a storm on the west coast of Vancouver Island—conditions that would have fizzled non-water-resistant cameras in less than a minute. My other favorite feature is its image-stabilized 5x zoom lens…

With titanium handles and a veritable panoply of smart, multifunctional utensils, this thing is the RoboCop of all-in-one tools. leatherman.com…

Satellite-telephone time ain’t cheap, which is why the handset of the GLOBALSTAR GSP-1600 ($599, plus monthly subscription fee) switches over to a regular cell network whenever you roam within range of one. In the backcountry, the 13-ounce phone patches in to the company’s fleet of birds for direct-dial via outer…

The MAGELLAN SPORTRAK TOPO ($269) is the first GPS sold with pre-installed elevation maps of the entire country. The six-ounce waterproof unit holds 108 megabytes of contours and elevations (along with 16 megs of memory for personalized mapping), and renders them sharply on the gray-scale screen.

The LCD digits look like they did circa 1981, but the no-nonsense Road Trainer’s functions are all 2009. With included heart-rate-monitor strap, it spits out maxes, averages, calories burned, six zones, split times for 50 laps, and so on. timexironman.com…

Feature-fanatic Timex does an about-face with the simple, analog Rugged Field series. The shock-resistant housing (smaller than most), water-resistant leather-and-canvas strap, and daiquiri-green Indiglo light make it a sweet deal for unfussy explorers. timexexpedition.com…

Maverick Most of us won’t need a watch that’ll withstand 12 G’s, but it’s nice to know it will keep ticking through an inverted flat spin. Add Casio’s antishock technology, 200-meter water resistance, atomic timekeeping, and solar power backup and you’ve got a high-performance, well-priced workhorse. Bummer: Learning to operate…

These “green” binocs use lead-free glass and non-chloride rubber, plus the case is made with eucalyptus pulp. And they’re both water- and fog-proof, a claim verified after we dropped them in a stream. 10×25; nikonecobins.com…

Fancy yourself a Mr. Fixit? You’ll never lack for the right screwdriver with this foldout tool and its six interchangeable bits (Phillips, flat, and Torx). Fix failed? The ‘biner clip can pop open a cold bottle of consolation. www.leatherman.com…

Not sure if you need a heart-rate monitor? End the debate with this bargain: It has basic functions (percent of max, calorie burn, and vibrating or audible HR zone alarm, but no lap splits or data storage) in a reasonably low-profile design. www2.oregonscientific.com…

Music, photos, and video, sure—but FM, dual-orientation display, line-in recording, and a mike, too? This diminutive dude does it all. And talk about cute. PC only; creative.com…

Just as Apple polished its Mac over the years, NIKE has perfected the user interface on the OREGON SERIES ALTI-COMPASS ($199). Huge numbers deliver the most critical information, and a clever system of rotating buttons allows you to scroll through barometer, thermometer, weather, and altitude readings.

From a forge known for out-standing innovation and design comes this watersport knife, which features a combo blade with a snub nose—lest you poke a hole in your hose or raft—and an antigravity sheath (i.e., you can mount it upside down). crkt.com…

Made of lightweight carbon fiber, this sturdy probe is long enough for real rescues and thick enough to feel solid in chunky debris. 8 ft extended, 16 in collapsed, 8.7 oz; genuineguidegear.com…

This versatile polycarbonate binoc has an upgraded, open-bridge design, creating a grip more comfortable than on previous Excursion models. The 400-foot-plus field of view is ideal for spotting game out in the wide open. 8×36; bushnell.com…

Front of the Pack A GPS watch without compromise. The Forerunner 110 measures distance, heart rate (with $50 strap), and real-time pace. The interface is intuitive, uploading to a computer is easy, and the watch itself is smaller than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Add it up and you’ve got…

It has a date window, military-time markers, rotating bezel, 100-meter water resistance, and not much else—except for the great Swiss Army design that spawned a thousand imitators. This time with a cool European black-on-black feel, antiglare crystal, and comfy rubber strap. TAGS: classic, cool…

Why They’re CoolOK, the prisms in the new Conquest line don’t quite match the light transmission of four-figure Zeisses, but these suckers cost $600. You still get anti-reflective lens coatings that deliver terrific brightness and dead-on color rendition. » For 10x binos, they’re exceptionally easy to hold, even during prolonged…

Before you cry sticker shock, consider this: The 5D’s 12.8-megapixel sensor puts it among the very best digital SLRs available, and last year a comparable resolution would have set you back twice as much. Unlike most D-SLRs, the 5D sports a full-frame sensor that’s the same size as traditional…

The original Rolodex killer will now call the office about your, um, plumbing emergency, check the online snow forecast, provide a soundtrack for your climb (via an onboard MP3 player), video your epic descent, and then e-mail your friends to brag about it. Beat that, three-by-five index card! Off the…

These pocket-size compacts deliver impressive optical performance for such a small package. Serious birders might want more power and clarity, but amateurs won’t be disappointed—or burdened (they weigh just 11.8 ounces). 8×28; vortexoptics.com…

Get a video of your buddies skiing through the biggest storm of the season. This waterproof digital camcorder with image stabilizer won’t go kaput when covered in fat flakes. sanyodigital.com…

Loaded with backcountry tools like a digital compass, alti-meter, barometer, and ther-mometer, this chronograph does everything but radio search-and-rescue. origowatch.com…

This 63-piece collection has all the basics (hex wrenches, chain cleaner, cable cutter), plus enough advanced equipment (derailleur-alignment gauge, threadless saw guide, bearing-cup press) to open your own bike shop.

Why It’s CoolShall we begin with the puny footprint, 4.1-ounce weight, and 4.2-megapixel image resolution? » You get multi-mode metering like you’d find on more expensive models. For example, there’s “spot,” so you can read right off someone’s nose, and “multi-point,” which is best for trying to nail both the…

You Can Hear Me Now?! A godsend to anyone who’s accidentally water-skied with a phone in his pocket, the Brigade is the first messaging phone sold in the U.S. that’s shock-resistant and waterproof (to one meter, for 30 minutes). At 4.4 inches long and 5.5 ounces, this sideways-clamshell unit is…

Depress a button and the Griz’s handle folds open. Push another and the handle lengthens to twice the length. Now you’re digging. We like how quick and easy it is. And the solid D-shaped handle. And how the big, gently serrated blade bites into rock-hard snow. 28 oz;…

Face it: You’re too old for the PlayStation. Still, an all-business laptop would be pure drudgery. Lucky for you, Alienware—the Miami-based notebook-gaming powerhouse that custom-manufactures some of its systems with twice the computing oomph of an Xbox—has released a hybrid that can crank through the “Legendary” level of Halo 2…

If you thought real GPS navigation was beyond your budget, you haven’t seen the cell-phone-size 210. It’s not the only player in its price range, but it stands out for its internal 22MB memory—essential for digital mapping. The 210 ships with a built-in North American base map that shows…

THE BIG EASYWithin its minimalist design, the 5.1-megapixel R707 packs some sophisticated imaging features. The adaptive light setting helped bring out foreground details in tough-to-expose backlit situations. To wit: I nailed the “Hell, yeah!” expressions of my climbing buddies at the foot of a wall in Skaha Bluffs, B.C.—a detail…

DOUBLES AS A PHOTO ALBUM Sony has recognized the way people use digital cameras today—to show pictures, not just take them—and created a model well suited to the task. The DSC-N2 records each photo twice—once to the memory card and once, at a lower resolution, to an internal 26MB memory.

These two ounces of steel are all you need if you want to whittle or slice salami. Or snip Cubanos—there’s a built-in stogie slot. xikar.com…

This unit bangs out some of the best sound we’ve heard from a digital audio player. Sixty hours of playback per charge, FM, and voice recording only sweeten the deal. Mac or PC; cowonamerica.com…

FOLLOW THAT VOICE Calling HP’s Travel Companion a GPS unit just isn’t fair. The 4.3-inch screen is huge, and 3-D technology means maps can be viewed topographically or at street level—making for foolproof (and fun) navigation. On the road, mate it with a Bluetooth cell phone and it doubles…

With 75 preprogrammed beaches around the world, the 100-meter-depth-rated Tide 3.0 churns out high and low tide, direction, and wave height for any day in the next 15 years and features stopwatch, alarm, and dual zones. freestyleusa.com…

The confidence inspirer: All uncluttered TAG manliness, this sixties-inspired watch is water- resistant to 200 meters, with super­luminescent hands and a bezel coated with scratch-resistant titanium carbide, the stuff used on drill bits. tagheuer.com…

The Milestone Sunglasses powerhouse Rudy delves further into timepieces with its best watch yet, in an edition of 1,985 to mark 25 years in business. Like their shades, the Steelium is built to perform and endure, with a two-dial chronograph and 100-meter water resistance, while holding to a classic look.

Is there a heart rate monitor watch that doesn't look like a HR monitor/watch. I am in the market for a new everyday watch and HR monitor and was wondering if I could kill two birds? –Craig (Pittsburgh, PA)

From game-changing new materials (like moisture-wicking cotton) to evolutionary leaps in engineering (like a rotating helmet for extreme crashes), the avant-garde of 21st-century gear has just one thing in common: a total disregard for the status quo.

I love going to Burning Man but the environment just destroys all my point-and-shoot cameras. Dust gets in there and after a few days the pictures start getting blurry and a few days after that the moving parts stop moving. The reason I have sacrificed these point-and-shoot cameras is because the best shots are at night, turning on the flash just lights up the dust in the air and not the environment, and I like keeping the camera in a pocket so if I'm running around its not flying all over the place. Do you know of an indestructible camera that takes awesome night shots, if not a moderately priced sacrificial camera that takes great night shots where fire and glow sticks are the main source of light? -Daniel Long Beach, CA

Eight watches that go from work to adventure with style.

These cameras can handle being dropped, wet or frozen—and still take great shots.

The Solar Impulse completed its first night flight at 7:00 A.M. GMT, Reuters reports. Andre Borschberg, the pilot, kept the solar-powered aircraft aloft for just over 26 hours before landing at an air base in Vaud, Switzerland.

A Solar Impulse model HB-SIA  airplane took off from Switzerland Wednesday morning in an attempt to be the first solar-powered plane to fly for 24 hours, according to CNET news. The plane is designed to fly at night with solar power stored…