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Great Tech Bargains for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Prepare for spring with these low-priced gadgets

Despite what Punxsutawney Phil (or any groundhog) might say on the matter, nothing will stop many people—in particular those who live in a cold-weather climate—from counting down the days until winter ends and it's time to hit the park, beach, or backyard.

These devices, all recommended in our ratings, are easily portable. The best part? You don't have to wait to get a great tech bargain since the following products are low-priced year-round. 

1
Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit Charge 2

For anyone looking to jump-start a workout plan, a fitness tracker is a great way to go. And the full-featured Fitbit Charge 2 offers great performance at an attractive price.

We found that the splashproof Charge 2 fits comfortably on most wrists, pairs easily with smartphones (especially iPhones), and runs for nearly an entire work week on a charge. Its controls are simple and intuitive.

The Charge 2 provides real-time heart-rate monitoring with inactivity alerts and can track steps, sleep, and calories burned. Its OLED display has very good readability in bright light and excels in low light, so you won't struggle to see your stats on a sunny day.

As a bonus option, take a look at the Apple Watch Series 1, a highly rated smartwatch that's sold at a steep discount compared with its more expensive Apple Watch siblings.

    2
    Amazon Kindle w/ Special Offers (Touchscreen)

    Amazon Kindle w/ Special Offers...

    E-readers have never lost their appeal for consumers who want read outdoors and travel with a library of hefty tomes like Haruki Murikami's "1Q84"and Tolstoy's "War and Peace" concurrently.

    The Kindle features exceptionally fast response when you're turning it on and opening e-books. It works equally well in both bright light (the beach) and low light (an airplane). It lacks the versatility of a tablet, but then again, it will run for nearly a month on a charge. That's a trick no tablet can match.

    The Kindle will run you about $100 if you opt for the version without ads. To save some money, choose the $80 ad-subsidized model.

      3
      Marshall Stockwell

      Marshall Stockwell

      Resembling a guitar amp, the Marshall Stockwell is a nicely priced speaker that will run for 10 hours or so before you need to plug it in. The retro styling is a major attraction, granted, but that's not the only reason to choose this speaker. It delivers good sound quality and is easier to use than most models in our ratings. We really liked how all the controls were clearly labeled and were easy to access. It also has one analog audio input, so you can use it with non-Bluetooth devices.

      There are less expensive portable speakers out there (the Creative iRoar Go being one), but the Marshall Stockwell's mix of price, looks, and performance make it hard to ignore.

        4
        Canon EOS M10

        Canon EOS M10

        The Canon EOS M10 is a small lightweight mirrorless camera that does a great job across the board. It captures very good photos (with and without a flash) and videos. At less than $500, it’s relatively inexpensive for a camera with manual controls and interchangeable lenses. And it has an excellent-quality swiveling touch screen LCD.

        As an added bonus, owners of Canon's line of EF and EF-S lenses can pick up a $200 adapter to use with the M10, opening up a wide arsenal of glass. 

        But this camera lacks a hot shoe, so you won't be able to use an external flash. But the M10's built-in flash works well.

          5
          Kodak PixPro SP1

          Kodak PixPro SP1

          Rugged enough to withstand a 7-foot drop and water resistant to a depth of 33 feet, the Kodak PixPro SP1 is a budget-friendly action camera built to keep up with you.

          Our testers ranked it ahead of the $200 GoPro HERO4 Session in picture quality, ease of use, and versatility. And the two-plus hours' worth of battery life places it among the best in class.

          The camera comes with a 1.5-inch liquid crystal display and an image stabilizer to counteract shaky hands and bumpy roads. As an added bonus, the PixPro SP1 can capture photos at 10 frames per second in Burst Mode.

            6
            Scosche SportFlex 3

            Scosche SportFlex 3

            For those who can't run without the soundtrack to "Rocky" playing on repeat, the SportClip 3 is a true champ.

            Priced at about $30, the headphones deliver very good sound, according to our testers. In fact, they scored comparably to the $130 Bose SoundTrue Ultra.

            In addition to being splashproof, these isolating headphones feature ear hooks that keep them firmly in place even with vigorous head movement. And the built-in function controls are compatible with multiple smartphones, including all iOS devices.

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              Tercius Bufete

              I'm an avid photographer and tech nerd with a passion for writing about gadgets and consumer technology. Originally from Los Angeles, I'm now an East Coast transplant searching for the perfect burrito in Brooklyn. Follow me on Twitter @terciusbufete