Our Fave Gear – 2019 Holiday Gift Guide
Happy Holidays! There is much to be celebrated between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Boxing Day…and so many more. Whatever you are celebrating, if it includes gift giving, this one is for you.
We’re home for the Holidays (first time in four years) and it feels oh so good! We’re catching up with family, friends and already eating way too much.
For us, the holidays aren’t about gifts but rather giving thanks for all that we have that is worth celebrating. Family, friends, good health… May sound cliché but it doesn’t make it any less true. Absence does make the heart grow fonder and we’ve been away far too long.
However, the gift giving tradition in America is still going strong and so are the never-ending wallet depleting sales. But it really is prime buying time for those wish list items…and several things we paid full price for are now on sale. Sad 😢 for us but happy 😁 for you!
Here is our tried, tested and traveler approved gift giving guide. The items we think are so brilliant, you may need to gift it to yourself. That qualifies as self-love, right?
We’re not encouraging buying stuff you don’t need, but any grand adventure requires some gear. We’ve been traveling full time since 2011 and have purchased a lot of gear that has stood the test of time and continues to travel with us. We never recommend anything we don’t personally use and love.
These are our opinions and not sponsored content by any of the brands or companies mentioned. There is a buy link located within each product, some of those are affiliate links. An affiliate link simply means that if you click through and purchase (it costs you nothing extra) we get a few pennies too. If you enjoy what we do here, shopping through our links is a great way to help keep us creating and sharing.
Thank you for reading, watching and being a part of the journey!
DJI Osmo Action
Over the years we’ve had several action cameras from GoPro, Sony, SJCAM and YI. But the stabilization in the GoPro Hero 7 changed the action camera game (sooo good). Now DJI has taken the action cam game one step further with a forward-facing screen. Waterproof to 11m, Rock Steady stabilization, HDR video, 4k/60fps @ 100Mbps, replaceable lens cover and a ton of other features make this our new favorite action camera. Straight out of the box it’s less expensive than the GoPro 8 and it’s $100 off for Black Friday. Plus, we think the colors are truer to life vs the over warm GoPro colors.
We still love our Sony RX0ii but it’s more of an ultra-compact camera with pro features…it doesn’t below in the super wide angle action camera category. Which is why we still like having an action cam in our tool kit.
- Buy From DJI https://click.dji.com/ADlRfGR7KA0lynhBswGhmQ?pm=link
- (BTW the Mavic Pro 2 Hasselblad, Osmo Pocket and others are on Black Friday Sale too)
- Buy From B&H https://bhpho.to/2QB81gV
- Buy From Amazon https://amzn.to/34aYlgV
iPhone 11 Pro
Cell phones just keep getting better, and the new iPhone 11 Pro is by far the best cell phone we’ve ever used. Faster & smarter upgrades make this camera a serious photo/video tool. It has an incredible dynamic range, an automatic night mode to capture photos in near darkness & a portrait mode that doesn’t leave me wanting for my dSLR. With the 3 lenses it almost feels like I have the power of a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that fits in my pocket.
Finally, it’s a cell phone we’re excited to use for photos & video…which makes posting high quality imagery to social media way simpler. I could gush about all the sweet new features but I’ll keep it simple and tell you: The new iPhone 11 Pro is worth the upgrade.
- Buy from Apple or any Apple retailer: https://www.apple.com/iphone-11-pro/
Let me be honest: Gimbals are a pain in the butt. Setting up the gimbal for our big Sony cameras takes a lot of time and makes it a beast to carry around. Even worse, it brings unwanted attention to us while we’re filming. We’ve never been big fans of these big gimbals. But then… we bought a gimbal for our action camera, which was much simpler to use but it only worked for tiny cameras.
Our goal is always to capture quality footage yet be discrete and compact. So, I’ve always dreamed of a small gimbal that would work for our Sony RX100 pocket camera.
The Zhiyun-Tech CRANE-M2 is the first compact gimbal we’ve seen that’s made for the RX100 and beyond. It’s compact, lightweight and easy to setup: I can balance the gimbal in less than a minute. With this setup I can capture super smooth, 4k video without making a scene. It also has moving timelapse which I’m stoked about. I can’t wait to get out of the city and find some dark starry skies!
Best of all its multipurpose and works with cell phones, small mirrorless cameras (like the a6500) & action sized cams like the RX0, GoPro or Osmo.
Folding Electric Bike
We’ve had folding bikes in the past and loved them. We only let them go because we were short on space and didn’t think the islands would be very bike friendly. Oh, how we were wrong.
The collapsible nature of these bikes are handy for any traveling home (boat, van, RV, tiny home) and electric folding bikes are even better!
There are a lot of cheap, crappy e-bikes and a lot of solidly built folding e-bikes to choose from. It’s going to come down to your personal preferences and what you want out of a bike. Here are some of the features we like about our Blix Vika+
- It’s all about range! We can pedal around just like any bike using people power, or we can engage the pedal assist to kick up the pace or go into full lazy mode and let the motor do all the work. The beauty of electric bikes is how much further we can travel: 45-mile range AND how fast we get there: 20 miles per hour. Destinations that were once too far away, or hills that seemed insurmountable are suddenly achievable. Who needs a car!?!
- Style & Comfort. We really dig the clean cruiser vibe of this bike and the attention to detail. It just looks cool and with the wide, cushy seat and adjustable positions, we can ride in comfort for hours. No sore nether regions and no creaky backs.
- Practicality. The fenders keep the dirt and mud from flinging which means we can ride rain or shine. The rear rack gives us a place to load up cargo (hello provisioning runs) and they have lots of modular options for extra storage. Plus, the built in LED lights mean we can stick around for dinner after happy hour with no worries about riding home in the dark. And, the rear lights are connected to the brakes like a car.
- Buy From Blix – http://blixbike.com?aff=22
- Extra $100 off!!! Use Discount Code: Wynn100
- Plus, Black Friday Sale!!! Up to $500 off all bikes. Sale ends Monday 12/2 at 11:59pm
Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Wireless headphones are all the rage, especially now that Apple has launched their AirPods. But it’s the new Sony MH-1000XM3 over ear headphones that have blown our minds. The noise cancellation is top notch and when we put them on, we’re surrounded by the sound and all distractions fade away. This is incredibly useful for editing video or watching movies on the go…or anytime.
The touch sensitive outer part of the headphone allows me to pause the music and answer the phone, change songs, adjust volume, etc. If you want to geek out read the details on these cool features: Sense Engine, Adaptive Sound Control, Atmospheric Pressure Optimization and Quick Attention. They’re comfortable, the battery last for days and now they’re our go-to favorite headphones for most situations.
We’re still happy with our inexpensive Anker Bluetooth headphones. They sound good, they fit well, they’re IPX5 water resistant and the cord keeps them from falling out of our ear and being lost at sea forever. The magnetic snap is a nice little touch that securely keeps the headphones around my neck when I take them out. It’s extremely helpful while we’re out to sea or going for a lap on land. We have the older version https://amzn.to/2D37ZX2 but I’d recommend the newer model if you’re buying now.
- Buy new Anker Headphones from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XxHYso
Silicone bags (Zip Lock & Tupperware Alternatives)
Plastics are horrible for the planet and all living things, this much we know. A few plastic baggies here and there add up to major pollution – in landfills and in oceans as we’ve seen firsthand.
Scientists say if we keep up our plastic ways, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
Then there are the food safety concerns. Chemicals from plastic can leach into our food – especially oily foods or anything warm.
Avoiding plastics whenever possible is key but finding good alternatives isn’t always easy. We’ve tested at least a dozen alternatives and have landed on something we think works way, way better than the disposable plastic baggies.
Silicone bags are the peanut butter to our jelly! They are multipurpose, watertight, lightweight, durable, freezable, oven safe and non-toxic. Here are my top three favorite uses.
- We love good food and Jason has somehow managed to maintain the metabolism of a 15-year-old. Keeping snacks ready to go in the fridge and on us at all times is imperative to his happiness…which is directly tied to his stomach. These bags take up very little room, especially once they are empty. These have been a huge improvement over rigid storage containers in our backpacks and limited fridge/freezer space. Not to mention they don’t have lids to lose and they take up way less room in the cabinets!
- We live in a very wet environment. Waterproof and leakproof are always a huge bonus. Knowing that whatever we put in the bags will stay in, while the ever-present saltwater stays out, is fabulous! We use them to protect everything from food to passports, cell phones and even toiletries in our suitcase while traveling.
- Cooking and reheating! I love being able to take leftovers straight from the fridge to a pot of boiling water for a quick re-heat. We don’t use a microwave or sous-vide but they do work for those too.
When we first purchased our bags, there weren’t a lot of options out there and Stasher was known for the best quality and having corporate & social responsibility. Now there are new brands popping up every week at a much lower price point. Just make sure the ones you go with are 100% platinum silicone, food grade, oven safe and leak proof.
Insulated Drinking Vessel
Carrying a reusable drinking vessel is now a fact of life. A necessary item to be taken everywhere, much like keys and a wallet. Not only does it cut down on the amount of plastic/foam/paper cups we could go through, its insanely cost effective. Have you seen the price of bottled water lately? Yikes!!!
Bottled water sales in the USA were around 52 billion liters in 2017, surpassing sodas and soft drinks. And the saddest part of all, half of it is nothing more than filtered tap water!
With the water filtration/purification system we have on board, our water is better than bottled water and about 1000% cheaper. So, it’s a no brainer to bring our own bottle.
But, we use our drinking vessels for more than just water. Sometimes its tea, coffee, kombucha, beer, wine, cocktails…ya know, just about anything we want to drink. Which is why we always go for the double wall insulated. This way our cold drinks stay cold, hot drinks stay hot and there’s no condensation or funny plastic taste. And, they are made of stainless steel, not plastic.
We’ve tried lots of brands and these hold up the longest, have the best insulation, most user-friendly designs and optional lids:
- MiiR – https://amzn.to/35pdbk4
- Klean Kanteen – https://amzn.to/2OyndIP
- Hydro Flask – https://amzn.to/2OwStYM
Oh yea, and all three companies have good corporate social responsibility. We like voting with our dollars and buying from companies with a conscience, so we feel good about recommending these.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with gifting any of our Gone With The Wynn’s organic swag.