10 Must-Have Gadgets for the Summer


Ah, summer. There’s just something about the summer.

It’s the time when possibilities seem endless and memories of summers past drive us to destinations as far as another part of the world, or as close as our backyard to try and create new ones. Summer, in a word, means adventure.

Like any adventure, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools to not only get the most out of it, but in some cases, survive it. So while items like a cooler and a good e-book might be known necessities, here are some gadgets you might not think of that can help make this summer adventure an instant classic memory.

Turtle Shell Speaker


One of the most exciting gadgets of the summer, the Turtle Shell from Outdoor Tech might just be the most versatile and complete outdoor speaker available.

Sure, it’s wireless with perfect sound quality, exceptional range (30 feet), battery life (9 hours) and speakerphone capability, but you’ve probably come to expect that in portable speakers. The Turtle Shell is unique, though, in just how good it sounds, and how durable it is, as it can’t be stopped by dirt, rain or shock damage. When you factor in such features as the ability to attach it to a bike, and some undeniably good looks, this is the only outdoor speaker you need.

Price: $129.95

BioLite CampStove


There’s a variety of gadgets built for camping that are, in one way another, designed to bring you the comforts of home wherever you go. That’s great, of course, but in some way you still want to be able to enjoy the outdoors without feeling like you’ve brought the entire modern world with you.

The BioLite provides a compromise in that department, as it’s an electric campfire that runs off twigs like a usual campfire, but provides a more powerful and sustained flame than you can get out of the old fashioned method. Even better, it takes the energy from that same flame and can convert it to an electrical output through its available USB port should you need it.

Of course, if a better campfire isn’t appealing enough, you can always add the available grill top add-on for a complete outdoor cooking tool.

Price: $129.95

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The Turtle Shell Bluetooth speaker offers portability and great sound

Turtle ShellWe’ve had the opportunity to test a lot of cool products over the years, and in particular I’ve put several different portable/wireless/Bluetooth speakers through the paces. Most of these products offer at least one or two cool features that make them appealing to a potential consumer, but the ones that wind up in the discard pile more often than not fail in the all-important category of sound quality. It doesn’t matter how many unique options you offer, how sleek your design is or how hip your logo looks; if your portable speaker sounds like crap, all that other stuff is worthless.

Ah, but when you find a Bluetooth speaker with those unique options, sleek design, modern look, and a surprisingly deep and rich sound output? That’s a speaker well worth owning. Measuring 5.5″x3.5″x2.5″ and weighing less than a pound, the super portable Turtle Shell wireless boombox from Outdoor Technology packs one heck of a punch. No flat, tiny sound from this little dynamo. The music playing from my iPhone through the Turtle Shell was crisp and deep with more than enough juice to kick an impromptu party into gear. Granted, this won’t replace your proper stereo system, but it’s not meant to. Instead, drop the Turtle Shell into your bag or even the pocket of your cargo pants whenever you head out the door, and you’ll never leave your tunes behind.

Turtle Shell

While this little boombox easily passes the sound test, its most appealing feature is its portability, and not just because of its size. The Turtle Shell is the first Bluetooth-enabled speaker to offer a built-in threaded tripod mount that will allow you to mount the speaker to almost anything using the optional Turtle Claw all-purpose clamp. Simply attach the Turtle Claw to the bottom of this rugged and waterproof speaker and then mount it to your bike handles, your kayak, a baby stroller, whatever. Or attach a carabiner to the steel loop under the Turtle Shell and then hook it to your belt loop or jacket during just about any outdoor activity. Of course, the threaded base allows the speaker to be mounted onto any camera accessory, such as the mini tripod that I used to test the Turtle Shell while cleaning my office the other day.

A rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery offering up to 8-10 hours of playback, an integrated microphone for speakerphone functionality, and a Bluetooth range of up to 33 feet further enhance this speaker’s versatility, and the integrated controls allow you to answer a call, play/pause your music, skip to the next track or just pump up the volume at the touch of a button. Plus, the Turtle Shell doesn’t discriminate against non-Bluetooth devices, allowing you to plug in just about any device with the 3.5mm input jack. In other words, the possibilities are virtually endless with this awesome wireless speaker, making the Turtle Shell the perfect addition to any hiking expedition, bike tour, camping trip or anywhere else in need of some spontaneous tunes.

Turtle Shell

Want to get your own Turtle Shell and contribute to the speaker’s introduction to the world? Head on over to Kickstarter, help launch the Turtle Shell by backing Outdoor Technology’s project, and enjoy exclusive rewards that include Outdoor Technology gear, Turtle Claw mounting clamps and, of course, Turtle Shells in seven different colors.