The Best Outdoor Gadgets for Apple Products, Under $60
For many people (myself included), Apple isn’t just a brand or a portfolio of tech products. Apple is a way of life. It’s an obsession. The phone, the watch, the tablet and laptop—these items have become fully integrated into our day to day routine. Life without them seems... empty. So we’ve found the best accessories that allow you to take your “precious” into the wild and keep them safe.
Lander Moab Apple Watch Case and Band ($30)
(Photo: Courtesy Lander)
Most Apple Watch cases add considerable bulk to an otherwise slim wearable, but the Moab maintains a svelte look while still protecting your pride and joy from bumps and scratches. It’s made from a stiff urethane-carbon combo with built-in air pockets and it comes with a woven nylon band that’s DWR coated to help fight odor. Unfortunately, Lander doesn’t make the case for the Series 3 watch anymore, so this will only help you out if you’re rocking the Series 4.
Nomad Pod Pro Battery ($50)
(Photo: Courtesy Nomad)
Extra batteries are easy to come by, but Nomad’s Pod Pro is designed to simplify your mobile charging needs with a 6000mAh battery that can charge your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time. It has enough juice to charge each device twice in one sitting, which has made it my go-to battery for weekend excursions. Even more attractive is the built-in cord organization: the Pod Pro has an integrated lightning cable for an iPhone and a magnetic system that keeps your Apple Watch cord wrapped inside the aluminum case. It’s certainly heavier than some featherweight batteries (Nomad says the Pod Pro is 4 ounces), but you’re getting two chargers and a cord organizer in one package.
Joby GripTight One GP Stand ($35)
(Photo: Courtesy Joby)
For most of us, the iPhone has eliminated the need to bring a camera on our adventures. But if you’ve ever tried to prop up that phone to take a picture of yourself, you’ve certainly missed your old camera’s square body. Thankfully, Joby extended its GorillaPod tripod system to accommodate thin, unwieldy smartphones. The square grip can work on just about any phone, regardless of size. Just like the original GorillaPod, the legs can adjust to off-camber surfaces or wrap around small branches or fence posts. And yes, this tripod can also work as a selfie stick.
Catalyst Waterproof Laptop Sleeve ($55)
(Photo: Courtesy Catalyst)
You’re not going to take your laptop kayaking, but how often have you been caught in the rain on a commute? It happens. Enter the Catalyst Waterproof Laptop Sleeve, which is made from ripstop nylon with a DWR finish, welded seams, and a double closure system (waterproof zipper and a Velcro strap) for an IP66 waterproof rating. It fits 13-to-15-inch laptops or tablets, and an interior padded sleeve helps protect your computer against drops. It also comes with two straps and multiple D-rings so you can wear it as a standalone backpack or shoulder bag, but I like it better as extra protection inside my daily pack. There are also a couple of small pockets inside the bag that are big enough for your charger, phone, or wallet.
LifeProof LifeActiv Cable Lanyard ($40)
(Photo: Courtesy LifeProof)
I hate packing charging cords (see my love of the Nomad Pod Pro). But LifeProof’s LifeActiv cable provided a solution to my gripe by transforming a cable into a lanyard that you can strap to a backpack or compatible phone case. When in use, it’s a 15-inch lightning to USB charging cord that supports a 2.4 amp charging speed, but the ends screw into a cap to form a waterproof and dust-proof lanyard that doubles as a wrist strap for your phone (if you have the compatible LifeProof Fre case). Or you can hook it to your backpack so you have a charging cable handy.
Nite Ize HandleBand Handlebar Mount ($18)
(Photo: Courtesy Nite Ize)
I’ve used many different phone mounts for my bike over the years, but the HandleBand wins for its combo of security and ease of use. It’s a completely tool-free mount, so you can move it from bike to bike with a rubber harness system that secures to your handlebars and wraps around your phone. It rattles a little when you’re on rough trails, but it’s plenty secure for road cycling and commuting, and it gives you easy access to maps, phone calls, and ride data.