Gerber Shard Keychain Tool ($7)
Take that ridiculous guitar-shaped bottle opener off your keychain. It’s not a badge of drinking honor, it’s a badge of shame that you don’t know how to crack a beer in a multitude of other more resourceful ways. Got it? Good, now recycle it (we’re in Portland, for chrissakes) and replace it with Gerber’s Shard, a tiny little keychain gadget that includes useful tools like flathead and Philips screwdrivers, so you can save the day when that rusty grill starts falling apart at a cookout. Or shotgun a beer. Or whatever. Yes, there’s a still a bottle opener on here, but do yourself a favor and learn to open a beer with another beer – you’ll never be thirsty.
Yes, beer coozies are cool again, what with the PBR-ification of hipsterdom, but let’s get real: they don’t actually keep your beer much colder than a paper bag. And while various freeze-first varieties have popped up over the years, they all have two serious drawbacks: first, they last about as long as one beer. Second, they leave a puppy-sized puddle on the table as they melt. The revolutionary Tjiller, aside from being delightfully difficult to pronounce, has been designed with a proprietary gel that sits behind an aluminum membrane. This is the point of contact with the can, which ensures a slow release of temperature that keeps the Tjiller cold and dry long after your Kisai Intoxicated watch tells you it’s time to go home.
Fujifilm FinePix XP200 ($300)
There are various ways to tell if your summer vacation won’t suck. Will it involve water? Dirt or sand? The potential for long falls off high things? Any of these indicate a solid vacation choice, and all of them require a camera that can handle various vacation-related mishaps. The FinePix XP200 has a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor for better low-light capture, image stabilization, a 5x optical zoom, and shoots video in 1080i HD; but that’s not why you need it this summer. You need it because all of the above come packaged in a bomb-proof casing that’s waterproof to 50 feet and shockproof to 6.6 feet. We’re not exactly sure why the shockproof rating is measured in feet, but we bet you’re going to find out. You know why? Because you summer vacation is going to be awesome.
Biolite Camp Stove ($130)
When you’re going “real camping” (as opposed to those “car camping” wusses) space is at a premium and you can’t afford to load your pack with a bunch of unitaskers. The Biolite is different from your average camp stove right out of the box, in that it runs on small pieces of wood instead of white gas or kerosene. But what makes it particularly awesome is that it will both cook your food and charge anything with a USB charging port. (Hey, just because you’re hardcore doesn’t mean you don’t wanna kick it next to the campfire and play Plants vs. Zombies, right?) The Biolite uses heat to create thermoelectric power and charge it’s built-in battery. Like any campstove worth its salt, it also has a fan to get your biomass fuel up to temperatures high enough to boil a cup of water in about two minutes – just enough time to text your friends and tell them how much better meals taste when taken under a canopy of stars, far from their petty luxuries.
Kisai Intoxicated LCD Watch ($150)
The only downside to summer BBQs is the part where you drive home tipsy, get pulled over, and lose your license … or worse. Get a post-cookout gut check with the Kisai Intoxicated watch, which packs a built-in sobriety test and a fully functioning breathalyzer. Just blow into the watch, and its blood-alcohol meter tells you exactly how much sauce is flowing through your veins. The LCD screen lights up green, yellow, or red to quickly let you know when Johnny Law is going to strongly disapprove of your driving. Of course, Intoxicated also sports a clock, calendar, alarm, and charges via USB – none of which will be of much use if you wind up in jail, but are otherwise useful little additions to a device that will make you the most responsible killjoy at the party.
Samsung Ativ Book 5 with Core i5 ($850)
It’s summer; no matter how much work you have to do, you are not doing it at the office. Untether yourself with the 14-inch Ativ Book 5, which delivers all the goodness of a touch-enabled Windows 8 experience and Samsung’s SideSync software. That latter tech allows you to pair your Samsung phone to the computer so you can do things like answer text messages from you boss while grinding away at the keyboard. And after you’ve doused your burning inbox with a Corona, the Book 5 offers Intel’s HD Grahpics 4000 chip and two JBL speakers with Bass Boost, which means you’ve got a mini home theater in your laptop bag. That’s important, because you’re only allowed two carry ons for the flight to your beach-side not-office.
Puzzlebox Orbit ($189)
“Oh, you have a kite there? That’s nice. Excuse me while I fly this helicopter with MY BRAIN.” This could be an actual conversation you have with someone this summer, if you decide that your most complex organ needs to be a bit more involved in your play time. The Puzzlebox Orbit acts like an EEG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroencephalography, but, you know, for fun. Put on the electrode-filled cap, then let your brain do the flying. It reads for certain brainwaves, so all you need to do is concentrate. It only goes up and down, which isn’t all that impressive as far as super powers go, but it’s still cooler than all your friends who have to use their hands to do things. So lame.
Drivemocion LED car sign ($30)
Summer is here, which means giving up the comfortable confines of your Lay-Z-Boy and getting your butt out the door for another memorable road trip! Only this time, let drivers around you know exactly what you’re thinking with the Drivemocion LED car sign. Think of Drivemocion as rear-mounted billboard for your thoughts and emotions. The sign suctions to the rear of your car and displays a number of pre-written messages like “back off,” “slow down,” and “sorry.” It even has facial expressions you can choose from, so you can kick off that summer romance straight from the road!