Earlier this Spring, we ran a Mother’s Day Gift guide and we’ll be doing more gift guides as we discover useful products and services that make traveler’s lives easier, both on the road and at home.
While the timing of this Gift Guide will certainly be useful for the upcoming Father’s Day Holiday, these gifts make great choices for early summer getaways, birthdays and beyond. Let’s start with a product line from RCA that I discovered at a GetGeeked event in San Francisco later last year and just had an opportunity to put their latest Android tablet to the test.
The RCA Pro Android Tablet
The RCA Pro 12.2″ full HD IPS Quad-Core Tablet comes with a detachable folio keyboard and Office Suite Pro and has 32 gigs of memory. RCA tablets also come with 64 gig options.
My initial thought was: “well, we have an iPad at home, so why would we need another tablet?” Anthony uses our iPad more often than I do, and he used to have an Android phone, so I thought about getting the male perspective on this new tablet. It was a great idea, but the truth is: we both loved it!
While I have tested out iPads with Bluetooth keyboards, they often don’t work well and I keep forgetting to pack them when I run out. This gem provides a secure docking system so you won’t have to worry that the tablet will accidentally disconnect from the keyboard or walk out the door without it.
Now, let’s move onto our favorite men’s clothing pick so far this year.
We love the IBEX brand so much that we also included some of their women’s clothing picks in our Mother’s Day Gift Guide. IBEX is a recent discovery which is surprising given that I lived in Boston for ten years and Vermont is home base for this clothing line dedicated to high quality Merino Wool.
You might be thinking: not quite the best fit with summer around the corner, we know that our readers are global and even though its getting warmer in North America, it’s winter elsewhere in the world. And, truth be told, I headed to Patagonia when it was warm in California only to need plenty of warm gear when I arrived.
That said, they have plenty of mid-layer options available, such as this ideal Indie hoodie which comes in a soft green, blue, gray and orange. It’s an all-season Merino jersey that uses a natural fiber layer that is perfect for post-gym cool down, morning warm up, or all-purpose travel layers. It also includes thumb holes for easy layering, so we’re not surprised that it’s one of their top sellers.
If you’re not into hoodies, then how about a soft easy-to-care for short sleeve shirt that can go with a pair of jeans or dress up a casual pair of pants for dinner, especially ideal during a Spring or Summer dinner when you’re on the road. Below, their Jackson Shirt is shown in a neutral green, however they have 3 plaid options as well.
Think music events, sight seeing, barbecues and film festivals as well. They use soft natural wool fiber so it falls well and doesn’t wrinkle easily, which is a godsend for avid travelers.
What we love most about their clothing is that it’s super soft AND high quality – you can feel the difference the moment you put the garments on.
Their lightweight merino wool outperforms synthetics and cotton year-round and the temperature regulating and moisture managing properties of Merino add to the comfort. They also offer great jacket options, as well as fun colored boxers as well. More can be found at www.shop.ibex.com.
D-Link Full HD 180-Degree Wifi Camera
Whenever you travel, do you ever wonder how your home is doing if no one is there to watch it? D-Link’s DCS-2630L Full HD 180-degree wifi camera is your solution.
Imagine being able to see your home while you’re basking in the Caribbean sun? Available over on Amazon, features of this home surveillance gizmo include a 80-degree Ultra-Wide View, which is the widest angle lens on a fixed camera so you can see more of your home at a glance. There’s also a full HD 1080p video, which gives you rich detail and crisp image quality results — high quality streaming and recording.
Sound detection and enhanced motion detection with 2 PIR sensors sends you automatic push alerts and triggers recording to a microSD card. This allows you to view these visuals and audio on your mydlink app or via any web portal.
The camera comes with a built-in microSD/SDXC card slot, which supports up to 128 GB capacity which equates to the ability to record approximately a week’s worth of 1080p clip recordings, based on motion or sound triggers, schedules, or continuous recording. If you’re traveling for longer, you can have your neighbor swap out a card for an additional week’s worth of recording.
You can view, control, pinch to zoom up to 8x and communicate with two-way audio using the free mydlink Lite app available they offer for iOS, Android devices and Windows phones. What else is cool is that it offers night vision vision up to 16-feet, which is pretty reasonable. It’s a great solution for those heading on the road and want peace of mind at home.
For more information, check out their home products page: http://us.dlink.com/product-category/home-solutions/view/network-cameras/.
OlloClip Lens Sets for iPhones
We wanted to put a few of OlloClip’s latest add-on lenses for iPhones to the test on a recent trip to the Caribbean. And so, with an iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 at our disposal, we tried out the Telephoto + Wide Angle + Macro 10x + CPL Lens Set for the iPhone 6, which included four lens options: 2x Telephoto, Wide-Angle, Macro 10x and the Circular Polarizing Lens (CPL), which I couldn’t quite figure out. Luckily we have plenty of other trips this year to play with them.
What’s great about these OlloClip add-ons, is that while I still bring my Canon 7D with me wherever I go, I often leave it in the hotel room when I head out to dinner, go cycling, hiking or do water activities. I have an Olympus Tough TG4 underwater camera, which I reviewed in late 2015 and we’d love to review the latest version (it does a great job, is lightweight and durable). So, more often lately, my trusty Canon sadly takes a back seat.
When you’re in a rush, want to travel light or simply can’t be bothered, we often end up taking more shots on our phones, so why not have lightweight options to improve our photo quality, zoom in or get wide-angle shots without the hassle?
The lenses clip on and off your phone in seconds and you can take a selfie or capture your world with both the front and rear-facing cameras (useful for travelers). It also works with all of your favorite photo and video apps so there’s plenty of versatility and ease-of-use built in.
The Telephoto allows you to get 2x optical magnification, allowing you to get twice as close to your subject – while the removable CPL reduces glare and reflections and makes colors look rich and true to life. Then, you can flip the lens over and capture it all with nearly double the field of view with the Wide-Angle lens. As an added bonus, unscrew the Wide-Angle lens to reveal a Macro 10x lens – this is great for those up close flower shots or even food, which we do plenty of when we review restaurants. Those of you who have an iPhone 6, you can buy the kit on Amazon.
The Active Lens Set for the iPhone 7 is also available on Amazon and has multi-element Telephoto and Ultra-Wide lenses. The complete system, loaded with a 2x optical zoom and “action camera” field-of-view, makes it easy to shoot farther and wider using what they refer to as the CONNECT interchangeable lens system.
Features include new improved optics, a nice hinged base which helps to keep the lens flush with the camera for improved optical performance. (we found this to be better on the iPhone 7 than the iPhone 6 kit). It also includes a wearable pendant stand which helps to keep the lens accessible and opens to create a pocket-sized tripod – how cool is that? More information can be found at www.olloclip.com.
How many times have you gone through a set of earbuds? Thrown them away because they get tangled too easily, the sound quality is lousy or they simply stop working. The guys over at Zagg.com are dedicated to earbuds and great sounding audio from those earbuds is iFrogz and since we had never tried them, we decided to put a few different styles to the test.
Where they nailed it consistently overall, was during workouts (the sound quality is so much better than my previous sets, so mutes out the horrible music they play in my gym) and in the car during conference calls – hands free of course. These wireless bluetooth earbuds have 9 mm drivers and deliver great sound for both music and calls.
Available on Amazon, their wireless hub houses music and call controls for easy use on-the-go. The above images shows the earbuds in blue however they offer them in fun colors and different ear plug sizes come in the box. Their Charisma Wireless earbuds also feature silicone tips that fit really small ears as well.
Their EarPollution Plugz noise isolating earbuds in red/black are super comfy and give you even higher quality sound.
We were blown away by their crisp highs and booming bass especially given the sweet price point. We also love the fact that nearly all of their earbud options come in plenty of interesting colors that are compelling for both men and women. Two thumbs up! More information on www.zagg.com.
We took a look at their women’s hiking shoes and they also make comfortable and durable sandals for both men and women. The Khombu brand is all about quality and their boots, walking shoes and sneakers can not only handle every-day, all-terrain, but they offer waterproof and water-friendly protection.
Their Men’s Shark Adventure Sports Shoe (pictured below) comes in both black and gray.
They’re leather, with synthetic soles, have great ventilation, a necessary for a sport’s shoe with bungee closure for easy adjustability. The insole is removable, also a necessary for a sport’s shoe and the materials they use dry quickly, which is useful after a muddy hike. You can get them over on Amazon at a ridiculously reasonable price.
Their shoes and boots all use quick dry materials and have drainage outsoles. Their winter offerings have a thermolite lining for extremely cold temperatures, grip outsoles for superior traction and memory foam insoles for added comfort.
Wild name right? I had to do a double take too when I first hear the name. The reason it has this name however is because it does what the name suggests: helps with sweat issues. Swampbutt Underwear is a great option for exercising whether that be at the gym or on a hike in your favorite destination.
We were curious about the Men’s Performance SwampButt Underwear so decided to put them to the test. These are perfect for guys who have sweat issues south of the belt and we learned that they’re also super comfy.
These boxers are available in 5 colors: black, brown, blue, white and burgundy. They were created to draw sweat away from the skin and are made with 91% polyester and 9% spandex so easily washable.
They’re form fitting and quick drying as well, which is a great option for avid travelers. Also from the same brand is a more traditional brief style boxer in white. More information can be found on their site at www.swampbutt.com.
We just discovered Hot Sox, which offer fun collections for both men and women. Their selections for men are wide and varied from more standard prints and designs to specialty ones, like their Artist Series, Norman Rockwell and fun travel socks, representing images from different cities around the world, we all know and love.
Below are some of the Norman Rockwell sock options we got in to test out – how creative, right?
And, how cool are their Houses of Parliament socks?
Their socks feature styles that would interest everyone from the businessman to sports fan, from the techie to the outdoorsman. There are so many choices to select from, you’re bound to find an option or two for the guy in your life, or for your dad or son. In addition to their artist and travel series, they have socks with billards, beer socks, vintage cars, golf, guitars, food and more.
Their silkscreened bright opaque socks are more than just a novelty — they’re fun! We love their travel offerings too — see below for some of their fabulous city socks. Given how much we love San Francisco since we’re based here, we love that you can get the Golden Gate Bridge on a pair of socks!
Note: We were given product to test out and play with but are reviewing them because of our interest in the product(s) and relevance to our audience. All opinions expressed are my own. In some cases, there are Affiliate links to buy products which helps go towards the cost of running the site, but is either the same price if you went direct and in some cases, less. We are grateful for and appreciate your support so we can continue to keep the site purring.