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Lennard Zinn’s holiday gift guide for 2013

On Black Friday, longtime tech contributor Lennard Zinn highlights five gift ideas for the holidays

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The holiday shopping season officially opens today, on Black Friday. I’ve combed the tradeshow floors for 2013 and think these five gifts are worthy of falling on any cyclist’s list.

Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap Mini

The $90 PowerSync SolarWrap Mini portable charger is a 90-gram (3 oz.) flexible, 18-inch-long roll-out solar panel attached to a 4-1/4×1-1/4-inch cylinder housing a lithium-ion battery and battery-level indicator LED. 10 hours in the sun will fully charge its battery. Alternatively, to already have full power available as soon as you go off of the grid, rain or shine, you can charge the battery via its Micro-USB input port from a USB cord connected to a computer, wall outlet, or cigarette lighter.

Through its USB output port, it recharges mobile devices at the same speed as a wall outlet. The 1000mAh (milliampere-hour) battery holds enough charge to fully recharge a smart phone once, an iPod twice, and a camera battery 2.5 times; it powers my Garmin many times on a charge. The thin-film solar technology not only makes it rollable or foldable, but it also can be torn or otherwise damaged in sections, and the undamaged portion will continue to produce a charge from the sun, even without full sun available.

Attach it to a backpack, tent, or tree or lay it out in the sun to charge.

Go Puck

Smaller yet heavier (170g) than the Bushnell SolarWrap Mini and holding more charge, the Go Puck is a portable charger for your handheld devices. Plug it in and charge it before you go off the grid; it fits in your hand and easily into a pocket. It has two USB ports for Standard and Rapid Charging at up to 2 Amps, and it comes with a USB cord and adaptor tips for mini USB, Micro-USB, Apple devices, and a number of other phones.

It is available in two models, the 6600mAh (milliampere-hour) 5X model for $100 and the 4400mAh 3X model for $70.

Heal Packs

Activate these squishy packs by squeezing the stainless steel button inside; they get warm immediately and soothe aches and pains. Recharge Heal Packs by putting them in boiling water for 5-20 minutes. You can also throw them in the freezer and use them as cold packs. Different shapes are available for different areas of the body. And if you think this is a cheap item that will leak or burst or stop recharging, don’t worry; they come with a lifetime warranty. The green goop inside is medical grade, latex free, and non-toxic. Prices range from $14 to $90 depending on size.

Osmo Active Hydration for Women

Osmo founder Dr. Stacy Sims, along with Skratch Labs founder Allen Lim, PhD, started the trend of low-sugar hydration drinks intended to replace water and electrolytes without shutting down digestion with too many calories. As a former triathlete and bike racer, she not only experienced digestive shutdown with other sports drinks, but she also experienced difficulty dealing with premenstrual and hormonal issues of a woman. Sims claims that a woman’s estrogen and progesterone impact her performance as an athlete, so she came up with hydration drinks exclusively for women, and another line for men.

Her three Osmo products (pre-, during-, and post-exercise) formulated exclusively for women are intended to improve power output and endurance, avoid premenstrual performance decline, and optimize training adaptations. The mix retails for $15 for a 15 oz. bucket; $2 for individual-bottle packs.

30 Seven Electric Heated Clothing

If you hate getting cold, this could be the ticket for you. 30 Seven makes battery-powered electric-heated gloves, insoles, jackets, vests, and base layers. They are not cheap ($300 for a jacket), but if they end your days of being cold, that could be a value. The rechargeable Lithium-ion battery packs are small and light.