Outdoor technology has come a long way since the first issue of BRO. What seemed like a product out of a ‘90s sci-fi movie feels like an antique now. Here’s a look at some of the most advanced gadgets on the outdoor market today.
Bike Computer: Sigma Rox 9.0. You get all the speed, distance, cadence, heart rate, altitude, and temperature functions of your typical high-end wireless bike computer, but what sets the Rox 9.0 apart is its usability. The computer was modeled after standard cell-phone design, so just about anyone who picks one up will be able to operate it out of the box. The 9.0 also comes with Data Center software that allows you to upload the details of your ride to your computer and analyze everything on a color-coded graph. $249. sigmasport.com.
Handheld GPS: Garmin Oregon 550t The top-of-the-line Garmin GPS features a 3.2 megapixel camera, an easy-to-use touch screen and comes pre-loaded with the most detailed GPS maps on the market. Handy applications include 3D map conversion, a three-axis compass, and a barometric altimeter that keeps track of altitude and weather conditions. Thanks to on-screen prompts and the touch screen software, navigating various applications is quick and easy. There are cheaper GPS’s on the market, but can you put a price on actually being able to use the expensive piece of equipment in your backpack? $599. garmin.com.
Wrist top computer: HighGear Axio Max The Axio Max uses a Swiss air pressure sensor, the most accurate barometric gauge on the market. Our tester liked the data log capability, which records your run or hike and allows you to look at your starting elevation, max elevation, and cumulative gain or loss. In addition to the altimeter, you get a barometer with a 12-hour weather forecast, compass with adjustable declination, and a data log with a 10-run memory that stores altitude records. $150. highgear.com.
Heart Rate Monitor: Tech4O Accelerator Pulse
This heart rate monitor features a 50-lap chronograph and an impressive accelerometer that gauges your running speed and distance without the need of a footpod or GPS. It’s not dead accurate, but it’s less expensive than a GPS or footpod option.