Gift guide: Brilliant buys

Written by Jennifer Myers

POWER TO GO Powerstick; Ecosol Solar Technologies, $70 There goes the old “my cellphone died” excuse for not making that important call. This USB-powered portable charger is about the size of a stick of gum and comes with nine adapters that can charge the most popular cellphones, PDAs, MP3 players and GPS devices

GO AHEAD: FLIP OUT BlackBerry Pearl Flip; Research in Motion, $399 RIM’s first entry into the consumer market, the flip phone has plenty of power in a fun compact design. But it’s not just a pretty face. The phone packs the same impressive range of features you’d find in the original BlackBerry, including e-mail, messaging, organizer, browser, camera and video, to name a few

FASHION MEETS FUNCTION Voyager; LG, $449 A touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard mean you get the best of both worlds: use the touch screen to better navigate menu options and browse the Web, save the keyboard for quick and easy text messaging and e-mails. Other add- ons: a 2-megapixel camera and GPS navigation

POINT AND TAP Stylus 1050SW; Olympus, $349 Ever tried to take a picture wearing gloves? Now you can. The Stylus 1050’s new tap control technology allows you to take photos by tapping the camera’s top, back or side — without getting frostbite. It’s also freezeproof, waterproof and shockproof. You might just call it “lifeproof.”

ICE BIKE Alpine Brawler; Lenz Sport, US$2,000 Leave the plastic snow discs to the kids and hit the slopes with the Alpine Brawler ski bike. New from Fort Lupton, Colo.-based mountain bike maker, Lenz Sport, the brawler has full front suspension and speically designed ski blades that allows for speed and control whether you catch big air or barrel through moguls. Brakes not included

YOUR POCKET CADDIE SkyCaddie SG5; SkyGolf, US$399 If you can’t lower your handicap with the help of SkyCaddie, maybe you should give up golf. The SG5 lets you measure the full depth of the green from any incoming angle and displays distances for all targets and hazards, like water holes and bunkers, on 16,000 professionally mapped golf courses

WATERPROOF TUNES Soundwave; Freestyle Audio, US$90 iPods may be the No.1-selling MP3 player, but they do have one drawback — you can’t get them wet. Enter the Soundwave: a lightweight, waterproof MP3 player that lets you rock your tunes in or out of the water. Submersible up to 10 feet, the players holds 600 songs and gives you 18 hours of playtime per charge. It’s also compatible with Napster and iTunes

DIRT KICKER Eagle 150 dirt bike; Daymac, $1,599 Your mother likely told you to stay off motorcycles, but are you going to let that stop you? With a top speed of 110 km/h you you’ll be able to kick up plenty of dirt when you go off-road on the Eagle. Just don’t expect mom to do your laundry

HOCKEY NIGHT AT YOUR HOUSE Super Chexx hockey table; Gilchrist Games, $3,595 For the serious gamer, this all-time classic bar game is sure to bring back memories of fast and furious hockey action. Includes an automatic puck return, overhead dome lighting, and sudden death overtime if a game is tied after normal play

PINBALL WIZARDRY Family Guy pinball; Gilchrist Games, $4,995 Arcade aficionados will tell you that the Wii, PlayStation and Xbox combined can’t beat a pinball machine. Family Guy lets you enjoy the thrills of pursuing extra ball, free game and the reward that the pinball gods had the wisdom to name simply “special”

ROCK AND ROLLER BubblerJukebox; Gilchrist Games, $6,495 Whether you remember the Bubbler in the ice cream parlor, the drug store or the diner, you’re sure to think you’re stepping back in time. But keep your change in your pockets, this reproduction jukebox plays your favourite CDs, whether Buddy Holly or Beyonce

THE ART OF SPEAKERS The Drop; Scandyna, $849 Designed by the folks behind the legendary Nautilus speakers, The Drop from Scandyna boasts a sleek, organic design, yet doesn’t compromise on sound. Available in six colours, these speakers may also double for artwork — you can hang them from the ceiling or wall

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