G-Form Protective Apparel
For those who want to be more adventurous when camping, this new clothing line from G-Form uses Reactive Protection Technology that absorbs 90 percent of an impact -- ideal for mountain-climbers, aggressive trail bikers, or for your next outdoor paintball gun battle. There’s a Sternum Shirt for $40, Crash Shorts for $80, and a Compression Shirt that costs $100. They come in yellow on black or black on black.
Sony DEV-5 Digital Recording Binoculars
Anyone can bring along a pair of high-powered binoculars to the campsite. This new model from Sony, which cost about $2,000, adds major new features: you can record in 1080p high-definition and capture 7.1-megapixel still photos. The buttons for controlling the binocs are placed on the top for easy access. There’s a 10x analog zoom and a 10x digital zoom (for 20x total). But the most impressive feature is 3D support. You can capture video and stills in 3D to an SD card, them view the media on your PS3.
Motorola Talkabout MS350R Radios
With a connection radius up to about 35 miles (with good line of sight), the Talkabout Radios ($100) are the ones you want to send with kids when they go explore the campground. The radios, sold in pairs, include a built-in flashlight, can be set into an auto mode where they transmit what you say without having to press a button, and support NOAA weather channels. New for this year: They float in water.
Pelican 3715 LED Flashlight
Skip the el-cheapo flashlight next item you go camping. This 174-lumens model, which is brighter than most pocket business projectors, has two modes : high and low. There’s an indicator to tell you when you need to replace the 4AA batteries (they usually last for about 4.5 hours of use), and the outer shell is made from hard ABS plastic. The large light is designed to point down at a hiking trail.
Pyle PSWWM80 Weather Master VII
Many new watches include a temperature gauge and even a barometric pressure reading. The Pyle Weather Master VII watch, priced at $60, goes a few steps further. You can view the time, of course, but also a 24-hour history of temps and barometric pressure, helpful in seeing weather trends. The watch also uses symbols (like “sunny” or “cloudy”) to predict the weather for the next day.
Eton Rukus Solar
This Bluetooth-enabled radio charges using a built-in solar panel. You can connect over a wireless signal from your iPad, iPhone, or any device that can stream over Bluetooth (including some laptops). About the size of a shoebox, the $150 Rukus Solar has two small speakers that sound crisp but without a heavy, thumping bass. An elastic strap on the back holds your gadget in place. You can also connect up with USB or a 3.5mm auxiliary port. The radio charges in six hours and lasts six hours once charged.
Targus Legend IQ Backpack
This $50 backpack is perfect for outdoor excursions. There’s one large pouch for a laptop (with up to a 16-inch display size) and a second interior padded pouch for a tablet. Another interior pouch for a media player like the iPod Touch has a pass-through cable so you can connect your earbuds. There are side zipper pouches and several interior pockets. One plus for campers: the bag is designed to sit upright when you set it down on a picnic table for in a tent, which helps protect your gear from jostling.
Optrix HD Sport Mount
The GoPro line of head- or chest-mounted cameras capture a high-quality feed as you explore your surroundings, but they cost about $300. This rugged and waterproof case for the iPhone 4/4S or iPod Touch accomplishes the same goal of adventure recording, but costs just $90. Included attachments help you mount the case to your helmet or another surface. It’s also bump- and drop-resistant.
Camping with kids can be stressful enough. New high-tech gear, released for this camping season, helps you focus on the scenery -- not the batteries.