It's that time of year again, and we've rounded up gifts for everyone on the list. Athletic-Minded Travelers can go big, small or somewhere in between!
For the "Heavy" Traveler: Sometimes, you just have to check the bag. And boy oh boy if you exceed the airline's weight limit, you'll pay up! Enter the Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale ($20) that attaches to the handle of your suitcase! Know before you go!
For the Music Lover: How do you get pumped up for a big day at the office or a life-changing meeting? You listen to music while you get ready, right? If you're a smartphone junkie, there's probably a plastic bag that accompanies you into the shower for some muffled music and the chance of ruining the one item that gets you through your busy day. Why not slap a speaker on the wall and use Bluetooth to jam out? Fresh eTech ($20 on Amazon.com) has a waterproof shower radio that links with your phone to play music in the shower, in the kitchen, by the pool, or wherever else you take it.
For the Coffee Drinker: Oh so many products just for you!! First, one of our editors raves about the Bialetti Mukka Express ($80-$100), which produces a cup of cappuccino in less than 3 minutes on the stove top. Italian families have been using Bialetti products for so long that ovens in Italy come with a burner shaped exclusively for these single-serve machines. You can make one every morning, have it rinsed, dry and ready to go for tomorrow in less than 10 minutes.
Next up for java Joes, the Mizudashi Cold Brew Carafe ($20) from Japanese glassware manufacturer Hario is perfect for cold brewing coffee. Iced coffee is the goal and this one does it right. It's one liter and will fit in the refrigerator. You can also buy it from Ritual Coffee for $25.
This one will please ANY Hot Beverage Drinker: Coffee Joulies ($60 for 5 pack) will cool down your hot treat and keep it at the perfect temperature. And let us tell you, drinking too hot beverages is a major health risk. (Read our post.) Each Joulie shell is filled with an advanced phase change material that melts at 140°F. Put them in your coffee and they absorb heat when it is too hot; and then when your coffee reaches the perfect temperature this stored heat is released to keep it there longer. Wow!
For the Decor Conscious Cyclist: These pillows, blankets, placemats and cutting boards are fun, artsy, and showcase the bicycle. The Christen Treat "Bicycle" series can be found on a very cool site called Kess InHouse. Prices range from $10-$100
For The Traveling Kid at Heart: Kickboard USA makes fabulous scooters and the Micro Luggage ($299) has an integrated 3-wheel kickboard so flyers can zip through airports with a little footwork. And don't worry, the kickboard folds right up into a conventional size luggage piece. Why not have a little fun while carting your belongings to the gate? Bummer that the fun costs so much! If you buy via Hammacher, you get their lifetime guarantee.
For the "Connected" Road Warrior: If you and your care are nearly inseparable, you need this ergonomically designed Dual-USB Y Car Charger from TYLT ($30). The design ensures that you can either share the charging wealth or have 2 devices charging at the same time. The neon color will help you quickly locate it!
For the Avid Backpacker: The SnowMiner Headlamp from Snow Peak ($50) is a 2 for 1 deal. It offers a high quality headlamp that easily converts to a hanging lantern. Go from focused light to ambient light in a single push of a button. For those who want to minimize the weight of their pack, it's a great option.
For the Techie &/or Home Security Buff: The indoor Quirky Spotter Sensor ($50) tracks temperature, humidity, light and senses motion. You can connect via Wi-Fi and control it from anywhere via a smartphone app. Basically you can monitor your home when you are not there. ** This is a very NEW product and likely later versions will be better. See CNET review.
STOCKING STUFFERS aka Small Gifts
For Anyone: Swiftwick Compression Socks: Our avid, and very sock-particular, cyclist tested the "Sustain" ($12-$17) line in varying conditions. His take: the sock is thin but thick enough to provide cushion and impressive moisture/sweat control. He gave a thumbs up to the in-between height above the ankle. Swiftwick socks are made in the U.S. using the latest in performance compression and moisture-wicking technology. The Sustain is made from post-industrial recycled nylon
For Shavers: Do you like a clean shave, but loathe the annoyance of a nick? Pick up a travel friendly sized set of "Styptic Matchbooks". They stop the bleed. $4
For Anyone: Energy Bars & Snacks: We love trying new foods, and so will your family and friends. So give your favorites. Here’s what we’re passing along: Bonk Bites, NuGo Free Dark Chocolate Crunch, & Perky Jerky Turkey. The Jerky is our cure for the salt/chip craving.
For the Runners & Walkers: The SPIbelt ($20) is a super small personal item belt that comes in a wide array of colors. It's just big enough for the smartphone, keys, & cash. There’s a kids’ version too.
WAIT!!!!! You want MORE MORE MORE??? This is our SIXTH annual gift guide. So that means there are FIVE MORE lists. Take a look!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!