Hot Summer Gadgets


Written by Betty Wood
Photos and illustrations by Various
18 Monday 18th July 2011

Going on holiday this summer? Why not avoid the usual hassle of a bad-back with this Hybrid Lightweight Motorised Suitcase? Sensors in the handle detect when you’re having trouble pulling your heavy case and trigger a 12v NiMH battery operated motor which transfers 85% of the weight to the wheels making it almost effortless to pull the case along. It meets check-in requirements of all international airports and a 5 hour charge gives you 2 hours worth of power assistance – plenty of time to get to check in at your hotel. At an expensive £375 it’s probably beyond the average-spend for most but for frequent fliers who won't travel light it may be a good investment.

One of the big dilemmas of a trip down to the beach is deciding whether to take your new digital camera or not. Not only is there the peril of the sea to contend with - sand can be equally damaging to your equipment, getting inside the camera or scratching the lens and screen. The Aqua Pac is the perfect solution to this problem; the optically-clear trademark Lezflex windows mean you can operate all controls through the plastic membrane and snap away without obstructing your shot.  You can also take your camera to new depths as the case is completely water-tight and will float to the surface if you drop it. And at £25 it’s affordable to the penny-conscious consumer out there.

For a lot of 16-35 year olds, British summer time equates to one thing; festival season. But a week in a tent no longer means foregoing all of civilisation’s much fought-for luxuries, especially not since the development of this, the Gelert Solar Shower. Holding 20 litres, this nifty gadget allows you take a warm shower whenever the sun is shining as the black reservoir attracts and absorbs the sun’s heat, warming the water inside and allowing a home comfort away from home. Perfect for festivals, say goodbye to the long-weekend stench of years gone by as you hose yourself down with this reusable mobile shower device. And at the modest price of £6.50 your friends will thank you for the small investment.

It may not be the most hi-tech model on offer, but re-useable, portable and perfect for use on the beach, we’ve opted for the Whitstable Barbeque Bucket as our barbecue of choice this summer. Made from galvanised steel with a charcoal tray and griddle on top, the bucket features air hole punched sides which allow for maximum air circulation and an even heat when cooking. And because you can re-use it time and time again, this ticks off the eco-credential for those of you out there choosing to forego disposable barbies this summer.

The sun doesn’t just damage your skin – intensive exposure to the sun’s rays can damage your eyes too. Short-term exposure can cause photokeratitis (similar to sun-burn) but long-term exposure can lead to permanent retinal damage to the sensitive nerve tissue at the back of your eyeballs. Sunglasses are a great way to minimise damage to your sight and look stylish at the same time, and this summer’s popular style is the vintage inspired over-sized and butterfly frame.

For the fellas, tortoise shells frames are in is are 1970s Daddy B style. If you’re not a fan of the classic Ray Ban frame then worry not; aviators are sticking around for another season, but avoid the tired two-tone Top Gun look.

Make your barbecue experience even more exciting with this, the swashbuckling barbecue sword! This 19” multi-purpose prong is perfect for barbecuing sausages and running through your mortal enemy in one go.  Developed by the innovative nerds at thinkgeek, this is perfect gift for the barbecuing male.

We all know that chlorine and sea-water can really dry your hair out, so how about protecting your locks from the damp with one of these vintage inspired swimming caps?

If your summers are all about the water sports, what about grabbing yourself a Lavod AquaCube mp3 player? Completely water proof, this gadget means you can take 4GB of tunes into the pool with you (up to a depth of three meters)  and these comfortable specially designed waterproof headphones mean you’ll have great sound quality under water. Compact and light at less than 16g, the clip allows you to attach it to your goggles or swimsuit to leave your hands free.

Paddling pools might be for kids, but this one certainly isn’t. This inflatable 6 person spa is the cheaper alternative to a Jacuzzi at £294 and will hold up to 317 gallons of water. Its rapid heating system means it can be used even if the weather takes a chill and it’s completely portable.

These Reware beach bags are not only made from recycled plastic, they’re also a green way of harvesting the suns’ rays with these detachable miniature solar panel cells. Plug in and recharge your mobile phone, camera or iPod whilst you sunbathe. Perfect for day trips or weekends away – so long as the sun is shining.

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