Gabba 2 jacket prepares you for the worst [Reviews]

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With a zip of the sleeves the Gabba 2 jacket readies you for any amount of inclement weather.
With a zip of the sleeves the Gabba 2 jacket readies you for any amount of inclement weather.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Gabba 2 Convertible Jacket

If one Gabba is excellent, then Gabba 2 has to be better.

The Gabba 2 Convertible Jacket is just that — Gabba turned up a notch.

Take what was the highly popular and highly functional original Gabba jersey, add some removable sleeves, and the Gabba 2 jacket is the perfect on-the-road companion.

Smart sensor will blast you with backyard weather data [Reviews]

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Like my own personal weather station for the backyard.
Like my own personal weather station for the backyard.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: Eve Weather by Elgato

Sure, I can check the weather using any number of built-in or third-party apps on my iPhone, but what if I want to know what the humidity is in my own backyard?

Weather nerds rejoice — we now have a way to access and track the weather from anywhere this simple, easy to use white box and associated app is placed. The Eve Weather outdoor weather sensor melds right in with Elgato’s other HomeKit-compatible products, too, letting me check the details of my local microclimate with ease.

I can also ask Siri what the temperature is in the backyard, which is all kinds of cool.

Virtually indestructible backup battery gets you off the grid for longer [Reviews]

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Rugged, powerful, portable.
Rugged, powerful, portable.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: GoBatt 12000 Rugged Portable Backup Battery by Scoche

Once a year, I head into the backwoods outside of Anchorage and spend a week or so at a public-use cabin by a lake to unplug and clear my head of the necessary evils of urban living.

There’s no running water, no electricity, no internet. It’s delightful, but it takes some planning to keep my iPhone charged up in case of emergency.

I can’t wait to take this rugged, high-capacity, waterproof backup battery with me this year, as it’s the perfect companion for a modern outdoor adventure.

Beefy iPad Pro case is worth its weight in protection [Reviews]

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As a working iPad, the Pro needs protection like Gumdrop's DropTech Case for iPad Pro.
As a working iPad, the Pro needs protection like Gumdrop's DropTech Case for iPad Pro.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Best List: DropTech protective case for Apple iPad Pro by Gumdrop

Apple charges a whopping $599 to repair a broken screen on an iPad Pro. With its 13-inch screen, yeah, the Pro has a lot of glass, but 600 bucks is nearly as much as it costs to buy a new one. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.

So I’m grateful that my iPad Pro is safely ensconced in the equivalent of a big, rubbery safety blanket. Gumdrop’s DropTech Case looks like a flattened tractor tire, with big ridges on the back for maintaining a grip. It’s not elegant by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m confident it’ll save me a trip to the Genius Bar.

Customize your MacBook with precision skins [Reviews]

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Precision-fitted skins from dbrand let you put a personal wrap on your electronic devices.
Precision-fitted skins from dbrand let you put a personal wrap on your electronic devices.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: MacBook Pro Skin by dbrand

The time I spend hacking away on my laptop at coffee shops, hotel lobbies and conference room floors I inevitably spot another MacBook user with a cooler-looking laptop than mine, filling me with envy.

Well, dbrand has the goods to make the other coffee shop patrons jealous.

Elgato’s latest smartplug is a super-cool energy watchdog [Review]

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Elgato's Eve Energy Switch and Power Meter will track and control all your pluggable devices.
Smarten up your house with Elgato's newest energy switch.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: Eve Energy Switch and Power Meter by Elgato

Thanks to this cool little HomeKit gadget from Elgato, I know exactly how much energy my PlayStation 4 uses (79 watts). I also know how much energy is sucked away by my living room lamp (40 watts), my big HDTV (143 watts) and my Apple TV (8 watts).

All I did was plug each of these devices into Elgato’s new Eve Energy Switch and Power Meter, and then pull up the associated app on my iPhone to get instant information on the power being pulled through whatever I’ve plugged in.

The smartplug is also voice-activated, letting me turn on and off whatever device is attached to it.

Neat, huh?

Speedy 3-port charger takes the hassle out of travel

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iClever BoostCube wall charger
I'd rather pack one of these than three bricks, personally, but I'm crazy.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Best List: iClever BoostCube 3-port wall charger

I have a bit of an embarrassing problem: Part of my device-charging setup in my bedroom includes a power strip that sits on the floor next to my bed. It isn’t the worst thing ever, but it’s ugly, and sometimes I trip over it. But I may have found a solution in the 3-port iClever BoostCube. It will save my pride, and some space in my bag when I travel, and that’s just good news all around.

Plus, the ports glow an eerie blue when it’s plugged in, and that’s really cool-looking.

This coffee maker makes mornings suck less

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Zojirushi's Fresh Brew Plus  coffeemaker will keep your joe fresh and piping hot.
Zojirushi's Fresh Brew Plus coffeemaker will keep your joe fresh and piping hot.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Fresh Brew Plus coffee maker by Zojirushi

Every coffee fiend has a morning ritual. For me, it’s getting up before my wife and brewing a half-pot of strong black coffee that we can share. She usually gets up much later than me (lucky her), so a thermal carafe works wonders for us: I can drink mine as early as I like, and she can enjoy hers at a more leisurely hour.

That’s one key reason I’ve abandoned fancier coffee makers and set up shop with a Zojirushi Fresh Brew Plus — among its other features, it boasts the best carafe I’ve ever used.

Killer ski jacket takes you from slopes to chalet

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Helly Hansen updates its resort jacket.
Helly Hansen updates its resort jacket.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Helly Hansen Alpha 2.0 Jacket

This jacket delivers comfort, no matter the conditions.

They call it the “Classic Resort Jacket,” and if this means I can hit the frontside corduroy, and the backside snow bowl, and also sip hot toddies in the lodge without ever worrying about maintaining or regulating my temperature, then they nailed it.

Priority Bicycles drop the chain for a ‘maintenance-free’ ride

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Priority makes owning a bike simple.
Priority makes owning a bike simple.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Best List: Priority Bicycles Classic Diamond frame bike

When it comes to bicycles I am profoundly inept. Riding is fine. Just don’t ask me to fix it when it breaks.

My assembly and maintenance skills are so bad, the last time I reviewed a bike I put a critical piece on the wrong side and didn’t realize my error for weeks until someone finally pointed it out in pics.

So when the folks at Priority Bicycles told me they have a bike that pretty much never ever needs repairs, I couldn’t wait to saddle up and see how well it rides.