Santa’s not the only one making lists and checking them twice this time of year. We know plenty of you out there in the are compiling wishlists in your tally books, guessing what your loved ones are pining for. This is where we come in. From coffee gear to gadgets and goodies, gCaptain’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is a selection of the finest gifts of 2013.
1) Aeropress Coffee Maker – Most sailors we know enjoy a thick, strong cup of coffee but you only have options most automatic espresso makers. You can use an single serve coffee machine like the Nespresso that works great but uses dried out beans that were packed months ago or you can dump an extra cup full of grind into your coffee maker and hope for the best. AeroPress is a better option because it’s fast, simple and makes a strong cup of coffee that will put hair on your chest and taste better than a french press. Best of all it’s easiest clean up of all. This is the coffee maker of choice at gCaptain HQ. ($26)
2) Bonavita Electric Kettle – If you go into any hipster coffee shop you’ll likely to find a $50 Hario Buono kettle. Coffee aficionados use the Hario because it’s elongated spout in order to better control your pour. Aboard ship that same spout design means you’re less likely to spill the water when your vessel is rolling. We like the Hario but for $5 more you can get this electric version.
3) Airscape Coffee Canister – You can buy the best, most expensive, coffee beans in the world but if you don’t store them properly they will dry out and begin to go stale. Air is the number one enemy of many things, including fresh food items like coffee. Unlike canisters that lock the air inside with the contents, the AirScape is an innovative container that removes substance-eating air.
4) Encore Burr Grinder – This is the the most expensive piece of coffee gear on our list you’ll own but also the most important. Those “whirlybird” coffee grinders pulverize your beans and leave you with an uneven grind but great coffee is ultimately about extraction. You want even extraction. The first step to an extraction is an even grind — and you want the particles to be as close to the same size as possible. For that you’ll need a burr grinder and our favorite is the Encore.
P.S. Need Coffee? Then check out the article The Best Coffee Beans.
1) GoPro Hero3+ Camera ($399) – HERO3+ Black Edition. 20% smaller and lighter than its best-selling and best reviewed predecessor the Hero3, the Hero 3+ delivers improved image quality and powerful new features like slow motion video geared for versatility and convenience. The waterproof case also means you can capture video footage above, on top or under the sea.
2) Bose QuietComfort 20i ($299) – Bose has long had the best noise canceling headphones but only recently have they offered this technology in a small, in-ear, design. These cans block the outside world with full-on noise reduction but also have a built in “Aware mode” that let some of the outside noise in, perfect for answering the stewardesses question of listening to the announcement on your ship’s PA.
3) DeLorme InReach SE ($298) – Text messaging from the middle of the ocean… what more could a sailor want (except maybe some peace and quite).
4) Logitech BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ($199) – Logitech calls this speaker “Life-Resistant” but that just means is water and stain resistant making it ideal for use out on the deck of your ship. This unit is also bluetooth enabled and allows you to switch songs, adjust volume and take phone calls from up to 50 feet away. The rechargeable battery has 15 hours of playback.
1) Kindle Paperlight 3G ($179) – In the battle for the best e-book reader, the critics are split between Amazon’s Kindle readers and Barnes & Noble’s Nook but we like the kindle better for its larger library of available books and a 3G version that allows you to download content from ports around the world.
2) Fintie Folio Case For The Kindle Paperwhite ($10) – This is the Kindle case we preffer because it’s cheap, well built and comes in all our favorite colors. Did we mention that it only costs $10?
1) New Leatherman Wave ($56) – Just months ago Leatherman redesigned their most popular knife and the result is a solid knife sold at a very reasonable price. This knife comes with 17-tool multitools all constructed of stainless steel and backed by Leatherman’s 25 year warranty.
2) Spyderco Atlantic Salt ($75) – This is our favorite knife. Constructed of H-1 steel the blade does not require heat treatment, gets harder and tougher with use and is absolutely impervious to rust! The Atlantic Salt’s sheepfoot blade allows safe, efficient cutting and its large 14mm Round Hole makes one-handed opening easier with gloved or wet hands.
3) Kaenon Rhino Sunglasses ($125) – Sleek, sporty and stylish these glasses will turn heads when you stride down the streets of south beach but… We don’t recommend any gear based on how it looks. We only recommend based on how it performs and Keanon glasses simply have the best polarized glass around.
4) ACR RescueLink PLB ($264) – If your ships starts sinking and you only have time to grab one item before heading to a lifeboat… grab this. From the north pole to the south, from the date line to the Greenwich meridian, the ResQLink+ will notify the Coast Guard that you are in danger. This unit uses the same technology as an EPIRB but in a tiny package making it perfect for clipping to a lifejacket during harsh weather.