Christmas Gadget Countdown Day 7 - leisure gadgets

Our favourite category, but where to start? Do we go for sports gadgets, motoring, music, gardening ... The best we can do if offer our random selection and see what readers come up with - let us know your favourite gadgets in this category.

Inspired by Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, MSN has put together a handy top 10 real life Bond gadgets  which take some beating for random and vaguely useful gadgets. For some real JB authenticity, you could just go for the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M SKYFALL Limited Edition watch. You could - if you had £4,500 to spend on a watch, and could find a store that still has one!

Mark Lee has suggested a pair of touchscreen gloves, available on the High Street and from all the best online gadget stores from £5 up to £30 for brands such as Berghaus and Timberland. With a smartphone and a pair of these you can email and tweet to your heart's content in sub-zero temperatures without getting cold hands.

Anne Fairpo, another outdoor type, recommends the Garmin Edge 800 bike GPS, the top of the range model with touchscreen and real 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey maps so you don't get lost. Works down to minus 15 degrees Centigrade, so better pack some touchscreen gloves too.

Talking of bikes, you can't escape the online adverts for the Smart e-bike these days. A cool-looking bike with a 200 Watt electric motor to compensate for my lack of fitness sounds perfect to me. I probably won't be needing a GPS but those gloves look tempting. Snag is, the e-bike starts at £2,500, maybe not expensive as bikes go, but you could clock up a few hours - or indeed days - on a Boris bike for that money!

Back in the office, Anne also rates the Blue Yeti USB microphone for podcasting. I like the look of the Pro version which offer both USB and XLR microphone connections and promises recording at a staggering 192 kHz/24-bit, which is they reckon is four times the clarity found on CDs – wasted then on a podcast, but a serious bit of kit for home recording.

However, my nomination for top leisure gadget of 2012 is the BioLite Camp Stove. Amazingly, this US company has designed a compact backpacking stove that burns twigs rather than gas or meths – and the built-in thermoelectric technology (I think that includes an electric fan!) generates quite some heat, using just 46g of wood to boil a litre of water in 4.5 minutes. However, the really clever thing is that it somehow also generates electricity to power or recharge any device with a USB connection. It may be £150, but if you've ever been hillwalking and your GPS or phone has run out of power, you'll appreciate what a small price that is to pay.

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afairpo's picture

No need for touchscreen gloves with the Garmin

afairpo | | Permalink

One of the joys of the Garmin is that you can use it with regular gloves – the screen is touch, rather than capacitive – so no need to replace cycling gloves etc (although using it with very chunky winter gloves might still be a challenge!)

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