If you’re leaving the UAE for a winter break up north, you’re going to want to soften the icy blow
Cool tech for cold climates: 8 must-have gadgets
And just like that, winter is upon us. Many will flock up north to enjoy a ski holiday, or to visit family and friends back home. That trek means you’re likely to be venturing into much colder temperatures than we’re used to in the Middle East. So to soften the icy conditions, here are some of the hottest tech products to wear, to pack and to keep organised with while you’re on your winter getaway.
1. Feel snug in a bugaboo
Inspired by its 1986 interchange jacket, the limited-edition 80th anniversary Bugaboo jacket by Columbia delivers three-in-one benefits, and a few special enhancements, too. With its waterproof and breathable technology, this version is designed to help you stay outside for longer. A few of the nifty specs include a seam-sealed nylon shell and a zip-out fleece liner. Plus, if you’re a fan of Columbia and you’ve followed the brand through the years, you may enjoy some of the embossed quotes from chairman Gert Boyle. The jacket is available in two colours: black and red spark, and retails at Dh730. Buy it at www.columbia.com.
2. Stay warm in a heated hoodie
Tech, fashion and winter clothing are not often be flung together in the same sentence, but Polar Seal is aiming to break the trend. Its heated zip top is designed to keep you warm in the most extreme conditions, but with a fashionable touch. You get away with wearing it on the slopes or in a buzzing metropolis. The flexible, lightweight product has a large upper and lower back heater, which can be activated on their own or separately with a touch of the button on your sleeve. You can also choose between the three warming levels. Note, it’ll take 10 seconds to warm you up. Get yours from www.indiegogo.com; from Dh326.
3.Hotfoot it with thermal insoles
Cold feet should never be encouraged, in the metaphorical sense, or when you’re out and about for that matter. While we can’t stop the former, the physical bit can be halted. Just try out the Warm Series. These connected insoles are designed to keep your feet warm and to keep you comfortable. Plus, there are sensors built in, which will help you monitor your physical activity, too. Regulating the temperature is controlled by the app and recharging is simple. This is done by using a USB cable, another handy design feature of the Warm Series. Get yours at www.digitsole.com; prices start at Dh835.
4. Keep pollution and germs at bay with a bioscarf
Whether it’s the cold nip in the air or you’re hopping on some form of public transport, you’ll be exposed to air pollution, germs and the dreaded cold and flu bugs. Wearing those medical masks isn’t exactly the most attractive. That’s where Bioscarf products come in. It’s the first scarf with protection built into it, and it’s known to filter out an average of 99.75 per cent of all airborne particulates. You can choose between white, black, green or camo, and if you prefer a scarf to a gaiter, they have that too. Buy it at www.bioscarf.com. From Dh143.
5. Protect your phone from the cold with a thermal sleeve
As a resident of the UAE, you may have realised how much of an impact the hot weather has an on your phone’s performance and functionality. Well, the cold weather can impact the performance of the device, too. So if you want to capture the snowcapped mountains for your social platforms, you should consider buying the Phoozy sleeve or “capsule” for your phone. It has a chromium thermal barrier shell and SpaceTech Penetration Layer that will keep your mobile warm, and it’ll preserve battery life, too. The sleeve sells for Dh110 and you can order yours through www.phoozy.com.
6. Stay connected with Mobile Wi-fi
Stay connected on the slopes, or anywhere for that matter, with a Mobile Wi-Fi M7650 device – TP-Link’s 4G router. Travellers are often concerned about weight limitations and carrying more than is needed. This compact router is light and perfect for your travel needs. It’ll give you a 600 Mbps download speed, and you can connect up to 32 devices at any given time – a benefit for families travelling with multiple devices. So what about the battery? It will keep you ticking over for a good 15 hours. There’s a slot for one micro sim card and one micro SD card. Note you’ll need to get your own sim and data package with roaming, so factor those costs in, too. It’s available at all major department stores in the UAE, including Carrefour and Lulu, for Dh999.
7. Zone out with noise-cancelling headphones
While you might be making your way to a peace-and-quiet mountain setting, your journey there might be a different story. So if you’re looking to get a head start on your noise reduction en route, try out the new Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones. With up to 30 hours of battery life, an intuitive voice prompting system and touchscreen, these easy-to-fold-and-store cans are a must for your travels. Get yours from www.sennheiser.com, with prices starting at Dh1,499.
8. Get organised with Knomad
You might be preparing to leave your desk behind for a week this winter, but your tech gadgets are a little harder to part with. Cables for your cameras, phones, laptops and other electronics can also cause a bit of a clutter. So to keep everything organised and in one place, consider portable organisers by Knomad, available in two sizes: 10.5-inch and 13-inch. A prominent feature in many travel products these days is RFID-protected pockets, which Knomad has in its offering, too. Buy it from Virgin Megastore and iStyle stores across the UAE. Prices start at Dh289.