Christmas man-gadgets: Run, cut, explore

Christmas man-gadgets: Run, cut, explore

Things that come in handy when you're getting sweaty.

Leatherman Wave Multitool


$88.95 l Best

This is Leatherman's most popular multitool. It's an all-rounder, with standard tools like a bottle opener, scissors and knives, to hard wire cutters, a diamond coated file, wire stripper, and a stainless steel pair of ever-handy needlenose pliers. It's 10cm when closed and weighs 241g. A handy way to go when you're sick of trying to find all your small tools.

Adidas miCoach SPEED_CELL

Price: $100 l Adidas

The football boot-makers have designed a pair of runners ($160) and boots ($300) with…wait for it… a slot for this small sensor that stores up to eight hours of data about how fast you are running, accelerating and other statistics. The sensor then pairs to your iPhone or laptop  via a USB dongle, so you can monitor your progress. Footballers can connect the data to the miCoach app, which converts it into something that looks like a PlayStation game. If you don't have the adizone F50 runners or boots, you can clip the sensor onto other types of shoes. It's all rather fancy, but if it helps get you out the door...

Contour Roam

Pricde: $299 l

This tiny Full HD 1080p video camera features a rugged aluminum body, designed to withstand abuse, and is waterproof to one metre. The ContourROAM features a standard tripod mount but is also designed to strap to your helmet, bicycle crossbars or wherever the action is happening. A sliding switch offers simple one-touch recording and the camera features a rotating lens so you can mount it in any direction and still record right-side up. You’ve also the option to take 5 MP photos. The 170 degree wide-angle lens and a built-in mic ensure you don’t miss any of the action, with video recorded to a microSD card.

Panasonic Toughpad

Price: unknown l Panasonic

We're not sure what environments you're likely to be using a tablet while standing next to a blowtorch, but what do we know? This tablet survives blowtorches. And being on the receiving end of a thumping from a rubber robot arm. And getting blasted with what appears in the video to be sand. And water. One caveat: At the time of writing we did not know if and when this device would be sold in Australia and at what price. But it's a standout, and while it's supposed to be for business users, there's no reason why it would be out of place on a worksite, around the house, or in the shed. Keep an ear out for a local release.


Powermonkey eXplorer

$119.99 |

A solar gadget charger is the perfect companion if you’re getting away from it all. The pod-shaped 2200 mAh battery can be charged using AC power, USB or the solar panel.

Garmin Forerunner 610


$449 | Garmin

This watch measures your pace, tracks your location, monitors your heart rate and uploads all your vital stats to the web afterwards. Pricey, but something to keep in mind if you're also on the lookout for a new watch.

Luxa2 H10 iPhone Bike Mount


A handlebar-mounted iPhone case. Weather-sealed, touch-sensitive, it’s designed for the iPhone 3G through to the iPhone 4.

Sony DEV-5 digital binoculars

Price: $1999 l Sony

The people at Wired have pointed out that these don't look a million miles away from the binoculars used by Luke Skywalker, only these things actually work and can record HD footage of whatever you're looking at. Magnification goes up to 10x, or 20x with digital zoom. Back home, hook it up to a TV with an HDMI port, and a 3D Bravia, you'll be watching your footage on the big screen in 3D. Of what, we're not sure. You get up to 3 hours battery life of recording 2D video.

Fiskars Splitting Axe X17

Price: Spotted online for $78.60 l Fiskars

We thought about including some power tools in this list, but decided instead to pick this specially designed log splitter. It has what Fiskars describes as a "virtually unbreakable" shaft, plus a soft grip to reduce shock and a special coating that reduces friction when you pull it out of logs. It weighs about 1.5Kg.

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