The gear • September 2015
Worried about your gadgets’ survival skills on the beach? Tech journalist Derek Adams tells The Club which essential pieces of kit should survive any sandy or waterside excursions
Kobo’s Aura H2O e-reader (£140), as its name might suggest, can be submerged in one metre of water for up to 30 minutes, making it the ideal waterside companion. It can also hold more than four million books.
This silicone-protected, palm-sized Qdos Q-PUK Waterproof speaker (£40) is just the ticket for a day on the sand. Dust resistant and able to survive in a metre of water, the Q-PUK features Near Field Communication for Bluetooth pairing and automatic pause for hands-free conversation. It will play for up to eight hours on a single USB charge, and the sound quality isn’t bad either.
This ultra-tough Olympus TG-4 camera 16-megapixel snapper (£350) laughs in the face of sandstorms, shrugs off accidental drops and revels in a good 15-metre dunking. Standout features include an excellent f2.0–f4.9 lens; a decent focal length of 25mm-100mm; a three-inch monitor; an intuitive interface that makes menu navigation a breeze, plus GPS and a compass.
Despite the increasing popularity of smartphones, the humble camcorder is still the best way to shoot holiday movies. The new palm-sized 1080p JVC GZ-RX515 Full HD Everio camcorder (£330) has a Quad Proof body, which means it’s sand-, shock-, freeze- and water-proof. It also comes with a bright f1.4 lens and 40x zoom for capturing passing dolphins, yachts and jet skiers.
Apple’s iPad may be beautiful, but if you kick sand or water in its face, it’ll throw a wobbly. But the industrial-specced, 10-inch Panasonic FZ-G1 Toughpad tablet (£1,635) is sturdy enough to withstand the rigours of a construction site, so a little sand is never going to bother it. It’s expensive, but worth it for the joy of being sand-proof, drop-proof and water-resistant.
Overboard makes water- and sand-proof bags for sailors, canoeists, beach goers – anyone wanting to keep their gear safe from the elements. The 40-litre Overboard Classic Waterproof duffel bag (£45) folds flat for easy transport and provides enough space for a full gamut of seaside accoutrements. Best of all, it keeps everything completely dry and dust-free, and (if sealed correctly) even floats.
The ingenious CGear Sand-Free mat (£38) sheds sand like a giant sieve. Simply tap or gently shake the mat and watch the sand that covered your private sun space disappear through its ultra-fine, dual-layered polyethylene weave. Supplement it with CGear’s Sand-Free Tote (£20) and you won’t have half the beach following you home.
Before you pack your bag, take a look at the changes to BA’s hand baggage allowance. See ba.com for full details