If your trips tend to be of an adrenaline-filled nature, it’s only natural to want to record all the fun you’re having. Whether you’re under the waves, climbing sheer rock faces, rafting down rivers, or anything else, a tiny action camera is an ideal addition to your packing list.
For the longest time, GoPro was the only real game in town. As with most other technology, though, a number of other manufacturers have arrived on the scene recently, driving prices for decent gear right down.
We’ve covered over half a dozen of the best GoPro alternatives of 2021 here, from low-cost value picks to the ideal action cameras for divers, 4k video filmmakers, and more.
The best value for money right now is the Akaso V50 Elite, which does a surprising amount for not much money. There are many other good options as well, so it’s worth reading our full list and choosing one that best fits your needs and budget.
Drones have gone through a similar transformation to action cameras, becoming incredibly popular over the last few years. While market leader DJI is still going strong, dozens of other companies are snapping at its heels, often offering more features for less money.
While some of the cheapest models are little more than toys, you don’t have to spend much to get something worthwhile. Pay more, and you’ll be rewarded with drones capable of recording spectacular video footage, with extra features to help you capture it.
We’ve done a deep dive into the current options, and rounded up several of the best drones for travelers in 2021, no matter what your budget looks like.
Whether you’re just starting out and want to spend as little as possible, are a seasoned professional looking for the best drone on the market, or are anywhere in between, we’ve got you covered.
Our current top pick is the DJI Mini 2, thanks to its mix of small size and weight, good battery life, and stable footage. At the top end, its big brother Mavic Air 2S captures high-quality 4k video, and adds a longer range, collision-avoidance sensors, and more.
While all of the action cameras we recommend can be used underwater, there are benefits to larger waterproof cameras as well. They’re easier to hold and use, have better battery life, and depending on the model, may have better photo and video quality as well.
Our top overall pick is the Olympus Tough TG-6, but there are plenty of other options depending on your needs and budget. You can find all our picks for the best waterproof cameras here.
Handheld GPS Units
Whether you’re heading into the middle of nowhere, or are just into the fun sport of geocaching, a handheld GPS unit is extremely useful for knowing exactly where you are, and how to get to wherever you’re going.
Even basic models let you track your position on detailed topographical maps, chart potential routes, and save waypoints. More advanced ones add everything from weather forecasts to emergency SOS alerts, or are optimized for marine and other kinds of use.
While your phone likely has most of the same features, handheld GPS units are more rugged, have longer battery life, and are more accurate, especially when you’re somewhere without cell service.
Our top pick for most people is the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr, but if you’re got more specialized needs, one of our other recommendations may suit you better. You can find all of our handheld GPS unit recommendations here.
Waterproof camera image via Unsplash