This week, the Fodor’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide helps you shop for The Gadgeteer in your life. Check back each week for new gift recommendations that will please every traveler on your list. So far we’ve also revealed top gifts for The Jetsetter, the Global Nomad, and the Family on the Move.
Always armed with the latest devices, the Gadgeteer is connected, confident, and calibrated for any trip. Whether trekking through the Himalayan mountains or the skyscraper canyons of New York, they use technology to enhance their travels, capturing high-definition memories and breezing through airports with ease. These cutting-edge gifts will satisfy even the savviest of travel-centric techies.
1. V-Moda Crossfade LP Custom Headphones
What It Is: This pro DJ-worthy headset ($200) kicks out the kind of rich, full sound you don't just hear, you feel. Its steel frame is both flexible and durable, and the memory foam ear cups offer sumptuous noise-isolating, wear-all-day comfort. Best of all, they're customizable with colors, text, and images, making them the perfect personalized gift for anyone who truly enjoys their music.
The Kicker: A form-fitting case also houses two tangle-free, Kevlar-reinforced cables (one audio only, the other with a built-in microphone/three-button remote).
Where to Buy: V-Moda
2. SeV Travel Vest for Women and Men’s Explorer Shirt
What It Is: Among the newest pocket-filled apparel (women’s vest $125; men’s shirt, $85) in the decade-strong SeV line, these versatile, well-designed items inspire a sense of adventure. They don't just cleverly conceal your gadgets, but also keep them accessible, organized, and balanced—so you can comfortably keep your favorite devices and accessories on hand.
The Kicker: Since some of their larger items have pockets big enough to house a tablet, you may be able to get away with avoiding the hassle of lugging a carry-on bag.
Where to Buy: GetSeV.com
3. Vuzix Wrap 1200VR
What It Is: These spiffy specs ($599) allow you to privately view video—both regular and 3D—as if it were on a huge, high-resolution widescreen TV. But they also offer a component for virtual reality games: they can track your head movements, so as you turn, the view of what you're watching or playing automatically moves accordingly. The bundle includes a set of detachable stereo earphones and a carrying pouch.
The Kicker: They're wearable over many styles of prescription eyeglasses and feature an adjustable nose bridge and eye separation.
Where to Buy: Vuzix
4. ContourGPS Camera
What It Is: The world's smallest and lightest GPS camcorder ($299) lets you capture full HD video hands-free via a range of helmet and other mounts. Built for real-world conditions, the wide-angle lens on this tough little camera adjusts on-the-fly as the lighting changes. And the free custom software not only displays the first-person footage and locations from your adventures, but also gives you a platform to share them with the Contour.com community, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
The Kicker: Bluetooth capability—in conjunction with an Android or iOS app—turns your smartphone into a viewfinder to help initially align and plan out your shots.
Where to Buy: Contour
5. Heys Touch Luggage Scale
What It Is: This tiny little travel tool ($35) can help you avoid overweight baggage fees. Just turn it on, hook your bag, and lift. Once it locks in your bag's weight, the digital readout—which features a handy touch screen—changes color.
The Kicker: It's offered in seven fun colors and can display kilograms (for international travel) as well as pounds.
Where to Buy: Heys USA
6. Voltaic Systems Fuse 10W Solar Laptop Charger
What It Is: This durable, lightweight, waterproof sleeve ($339)—made from recycled soda bottles—is part carrier, part charger. Strapped to your bag, it'll easily hold a tablet or small laptop, along with documents, cables, and small devices. Its efficient solar panels can provide about 30 minutes on your laptop after just an hour of direct sunlight. The beefy battery, when fully charged, can double your laptop's runtime and re-juice your smartphone many times over.
The Kicker: Right out of the box, it's ready to charge most current devices, via either its USB port or the 14 common laptop and cell phone connectors included.
Where to Buy: Voltaic Systems
7. MotoActv Fitness Tracker
What It Is: Pop this tiny two-inch touch-screen device (from $249) into a wrist strap, bike mount, or arm band and you've not only got a cute little music player, but also a powerful fitness and training tool. It helps you schedule workouts, analyze performance, and track goals. And the desktop software can synch both your workout data and your iTunes playlists.
The Kicker: Integrating its two functions, this device can create your ultimate performance playlist, based on the songs during which you tend to burn the most calories.
Where to Buy: MotoActv.com
Written by Scott Tharler
Fodors.com Travel Technology Columnist Scott Tharler is an expert in gadgets, gambling, and travel. He's written hundreds of mobile and wireless tips for Sony and PC World, and four books. You can find his daily gadget blog on Discovery News and weekly gadget advice column in Boston's MetroWest Daily News.
Photo credits: courtesy 1) V-Moda; 2) SCOTTEVEST.com; 3) Vuzix; 4) Earl Harper Harper Studios Inc./Contour; 5) Heys USA; 6) Brett Beyer Photography/Voltaic Systems; 7) MOTOROLA MOBILITY, INC.