Be ready for summer with these six finds

Casio STB1000

Now there’s a watch that’s ideal for those who like to carry their smartphone, but don’t want to have to hold it to control their music and fitness monitoring.

Casio STB1000

The Casio STB1000 is a Bluetooth enabled watch that makes entertainment so much easier when running. Tied wirelessly via Bluetooth to your smartphone, you can now pause, play and advance your tunes from convenient buttons right on your watch.

If you use fitness apps like Abvio®’s Runmeter, Walkmeter, and Cyclemeter, as well as Wahoo Fitness®, you can tap into their power as well via Bluetooth.

My favorite feature – this thing doesn’t need to be recharged daily like you-know-who. It has a button cell battery and will run for years.

If you like to do laps, the Casio STB1000 will keep track of them all. Waterproof to 100 meters, you can even do laps at the bottom of your pool (separate air tank recommended but not included.)

Heart rate monitors and cadence monitor can be purchased separately for maximum fitness monitoring.

Another great advantage of the Bluetooth connection to your phone is being able to easily set alarm times and reminders.  World time, multiple alarms, countdown timer and 12/24 hour time formats are all available. Set either a tone or vibration alert – or both.

Probably the last thing you’ll want while running is to be notified of emails or texts, but if you do, the STB1000 can do that as well.

Lost your phone? – the STB1000 can trigger an alarm sound on the phone, even if in silent mode.

Tip: The watch will show a Bluetooth symbol when you first connect it, but it will disappear after a short time.  Don’t assume your connection is broken like I did.  It merely goes into sleep mode if not needed. Fire up your phone to make a connection and it’s instantly back.

Check out the STB1000 and Casio’s full line of watches here.

Biaggi 22” Zipsak

When you need a spacious bag for travel, but you don’t have tons of places to hide it at home, the Biaggi 22” Zipsak may be just what you are looking for.

Open, the bag measures 22 x 14 x 10 and weighs just over 4 pounds. Four spinner wheels make it easy to pull or push through the airport. Multiple pockets are ideal for quickly accessed essentials. A removable shoulder strap gives support when the ground is too rough for the casters.

Biaggi Zipsak

At home, the bag zips down into a compact case that can easily be stored on a shelf, in a cupboard or a drawer.  You may have seen them on Shark Tank, and now you can order one for yourself at http://www.biaggi.com/.

Specs:

  • Dimensions 22″ x 14″ x 10″. 4.3 lbs
  • Durable, high-density Crinkle Oxford Nylon resists tears and is easy to clean
  • 4-Spinner wheels for ease of mobility
  • Generous packing capacity
  • Folds compact to fit anywhere – shelf, drawer, under bed
  • PERFECT for space restricted lifestyles
  • Two year limited warranty

Pakems

We’ve been using a couple pair of these Pakems for almost a year now and they have become the go to slipper/shoe/boot for travel.  Weighing almost nothing, they pack down extremely flat in their own storage bag, but when you arrive, they make the most comfortable lounging around footwear you’ll ever own.

Pakems boots

Available in multiple colors, you can even get them in camo for your tactical relaxing needs. Check out all the available models here at the Pakems Store.

Specs:

  • Pakems weigh just about 15 ounces and can be reduced to a two-inch profile.
  • Pakems feature lightweight rip stop fabric & rubber soles for traction.
  • Great for sport enthusiasts, commuters and travelers who want comfort.
  • Low or high-top styles for different environments.

SealSkinz

If cold, damp climes are in your travel plans, you need to get to know SealSkinz, the waterproof socks extraordinaire. I’ve been enjoying a couple of their many models – a thin ankle-length sock  and a mid-weight mid length sock.  Both are made of Merino wool and are comfortable to wear in warm or cool weather.

SealSkinz socks

Available in four sizes, you can get just the right size for all day comfort and protection.  The thin weight socks are ideal when you don’t need protection from cold, but just from moisture. The mid-weight obviously give more thermal protection as well as being waterproof.

Despite being waterproof and windproof, the socks won’t make your feet sweaty. They are perfectly breathable and suitable to wear all day long.

Elastic around the top edges keeps water from running down into the sock.

Specs:

  • Totally waterproof, breathable and windproof
  • Merino wool lining for moisture control & comfort
  • Elasticated ankle & insteps offer support and a comfortable fit
  • Outer lining: 87% Nylon, 13% Elastane
  • Membrane: Hydrophilic Membrane
  • Inner Lining: 51% Merino Wool, 30% Polyester, 15% Acrylic, 3% Elastodiene, 1% Elastane

Check out their entire line of socks, gloves and hats at http://www.sealskinz.com.  Really great products that actually work as advertised.

UNU Ultrapak Battery Pack &iPhone battery case

Unu Ultrapak Tour

Everyone seems to have the same problem with the day being longer than the charge on their phones and tablets.  By now you know you need a portable battery pack if you are going to be off the grid for any amount of time.  That favorite beach or wooded overlook probably doesn’t come with a 110v outlet to recharge your phone.

UNU Ultrapak TOUR

Here’s one to consider: the UNU Ultrapak Tour.   The TOUR packs an amazing 10,000mAh of juice and its little brother, the GO packs 3,000mAh.  10,000mAh is enough to charge both your tablet and your smartphone.

An on-board LED shows how much battery power you have left and also shows time needed to recharge the unit.  The best part is that this thing recharges FAAAAST!!!  Only 110 minutes to completely recharge the whole unit.  Some competitors take 4, 6 or even 8 hours to recharge.

It will also charge your phone fast. In fifteen minutes, your iPhone can be recharged completely. Compare that to about a 10% charge you’ll get in fifteen minutes using the manufacturer’s supplied cable and wall plug.

It even comes with an integrated flashlight that you can turn on and off with two rapid presses on the power button.

This is one you’ll want to check out at http://www.myunu.com.

iPhone 6 Users

You are going to want to check out the UNU DX-6 Protective Case for iPhone 6 as it comes with a built-in 3,000mAh battery pack that has kept me going 24 hours a day for some months now.  I’ve really come to depend on it for both protection and the additional life it gives my phone.

UNU DX-6 Protective Battery Case for iPhone 6

Even though the battery life on iPhone 6 is much better than previous models, it still can’t survive a full day if I’m actively using it for video or GPS.  That’s when the DX-6 case really shines.

Another feature of the DX-6 case I love is that it recharges with a standard USB micro cable. Now, I don’t have to worry about carrying a special  cable for the Apple lightning connector.  Just about everyone has a USB micro cable should I forget mine.

Plus, if I’m in a hurry, I can recharge the DX6 with a micro cable and the iPhone with the lighting cable both at the same time using the UNU Ultrapak.  This is one Ultrapowerful combo.

Disclaimer:  The manufacturer’s each provided a unit for me to test to do this review