Adventure-worthy gift ideas for the outdoorsy folks in your life

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A tent is in our Gift Guide 2017 roundup of best outdoor gear.
They're probably going to want a tent.
Photo: Chad McDonald/Flickr CC

2017 Gift Guide outdoor gear Gear-shopping for your favorite outdoors-loving friends and family members can be as daunting as trekking up Mount St. Helens as she’s about to blow. There are so many options — and so much crap! Nobody wants to waste money on a gift that’s not going to get used.

To help you out with your holiday shopping, we waded through the endless lists of camping and hiking gear and gadgets that came out in 2017. The goal? To find the perfect stuff your special someone will love.

Tiny drone brings thrill-inducing racing to the masses

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Mambo FPV
Mambo can be flown indoors or outside.
Photo: Parrot

FPV drone racing has been an arena reserved for uber-nerds that build their own racers the past few years, but that could soon change thanks to Parrot’s newest mini-drone.

The company unveiled its tiny creation, the Mambo FPV, this week which makes flying a breeze whether you’re a total beginner or have been slicing through the skies for years.

Affordable first drones and the perfect minimalist camera strap, this week on The CultCast

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Affordable first drones and our favorite gadgets on The CultCast!
Affordable first drones and our favorite gadgets on The CultCast!
Photo: 3DR

This week on The CultCast: Astounding facts and figures from Apple’s newest earnings report; Nintendo promises a bunch of new iOS games; how to get the best deal in cloud storage; affordable options for your first drone; the perfect minimalist strap for your mirrorless camera; and we pitch you our favorite gadgets in an all-new Fave N Raves!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code “CultCast” at checkout to get 10 percent off any hosting plan.

Parrot goes Disco and gives its new drone wings

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The Disco drone looks more like a hawk.
The Disco drone looks more like a hawk.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

It looks like the new hotness in drone technology — which many of us associate with quadcopters — is wings. Parrot, the company most well-known for its AR Drone and various mini-drones, is bring an all-new entry into the drone space: the Disco fixed-wing drone.

If you’ve ever wanted to fly your own remote-control plane and haven’t gotten into the technology yet, this just might be your time.

With this pot, your plants will survive in spite of you

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Parrot Pot. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
Parrot Pot makes it nearly impossible to kill plants. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

LAS VEGAS — Gardening isn’t easy. Especially if you leave home for weeks at a time and your plants go unwatered.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 You could hire a gardener, but Parrot is ready to make it easier and cheaper with their new automated watering pot. The device will keep your leafy friends hydrated with just a tap of your phone.

Parrot MiniDrone Is Most Lusted-After CES Revelation So Far [CES 2014]

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Journalists flocked to the Parrot booth. Credit: Eli Milchman

CES 2014 bug LAS VEGAS — Maybe tech journalists are prone to ADHD, and simply attracted to things that flit about. Or maybe the rest of the gadgets strewn about the room at CES Unveiled, the press-only event that customarily kicks off CES for journalists, just weren’t all that zingy this year. Or maybe Parrot‘s Lilliputian drone really is that cool.

Whatever the reason, Parrot’s new MiniDrone — a miniaturized version of their AR Drone with no camera but detachable wheels that let it roll about on the ground or “climb” a wall — drew throngs of tech bloggers and had camera crews lined up to film.

If The Doctor Used Headphones, They Would Be The Brilliant Parrot Ziks [Review]

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The Starck-designed Parrot Zik.

It has the technological sophistication of a sonic screwdriver. Its design elements look as if pulled straight out of another dimension. And there may not be another set of headphones on this planet — or any other — baked with as many ingredients as the Parrot Zik.

But we were curious — would all this tech work? And how would the Ziks sound? So we poked them with a stick, and here’s what we discovered. Allons-y!

Zik by Parrot
Category: Bluetooth Headphones, Circumaural
Works With: Phones, MP3 players
Price: $399

Parrot Asteroid Classic Car Sound System: The Deck I Wish I’d Had in High School [Review]

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This is the original Parrot Asteroid Classic car stereo head-unit ($349), and it made quite a splash when it launched last year. The single-DIN, 4×55 watt receiver boasts a formidable array of features: Bluetooth connectivity, powerfully accurate voice recognition for both calls and music, a GPS receiver, a bright, 3.2-inch LED screen and a quiver of apps that run off its customized, upgradeable, early-vintage Android 1.5 OS (all of which require a data connection via a dongle).

Though this model was originally called the the Asteroid (no Classic), the Classic nomen was added to lessen confusion as three new models were announced a few months ago. However, the Asteroid Classic still very much in play; in fact, as this review goes live, the Classic is the only member of the Asteroid family currently available, as its new siblings haven’t shipped yet.

With its Android-based OS, you’d be forgiven if you thought the Asteroid Classic was more friendly to Android phones than the iPhone. In fact, the opposite is true, as I’ll explain later. And while it suffers from something that can probably be described as teething trouble, it’s still a lust-worthy system.