Tech and Gear Holiday Gift Guide From earbuds to fitness trackers to portable phone chargers, it can be daunting to determine which new tech products are best for you—and near impossible to pick out a gadget to gift to a friend. We narrowed down the options to our top picks that we think anyone will love. There’s everything from the expected (Bluetooth speakers and tablet case-stand combos) to a few fun surprises (Greek-yogurt maker and pillow coolers).

Less Than $25

Instead of just stuffing a candle into that empty Champagne bottle, turn it into a lamp! Put this lampshade-like gadget into the bottle's opening, plug it into any USB 2.0 or 3.0 port, touch the top of the lamp, and voilà! The LED light lasts 50,000 hours but only eats up 1.2 watts of power, making this gift super green. ($24.99;

The "low battery" notification on smartphones is enough to set anyone into a panic. That is, until they discover the Jackery Mini charger. It’s about the size of a lighter, so it can fit in even the smallest pockets. And it’s got enough battery power to fully charge a smartphone. The only downside: You can no longer use the excuse that you were unreachable because your phone died. ($19.95;

The Wallet Ninja literally fits a bag of tricks into a credit-card-sized gizmo. Eyeglass screw driver? Check. Bottle opener? Check. Cell phone stand? Check. Can opener? Check. And it’s TSA approved, so it’s perfect for all of those travelers on your gif-giving list. Once you experience the wonder of the Ninja, you’ll be the one asking, “What’s in your wallet?” ($9.99;

A screen protector may seem like a pragmatic gift, but this one isn’t just to keep a phone from getting scratched. When the phone isn’t in use, the screen will become a high-def mirror (which disappears when the screen is on), so you don't have to resort to using the camera to see if there’s kale stuck between your teeth! Available for iPhones (including the 6) and Samsung smartphones. ($19.99;

This is the perfect gift for friends who complain of unbearably hot nights in apartments without air conditioning. The flash pad sits on top of your pillow—no more flipping it over to find the cool spot! And the gel inside the pad moves heat away from the head and neck to keep that area of the pillow the perfect sleeping temperature. That’s one cool gadget. ($19.99;

Less Than $50

Greek yogurt is still in the nutrition spotlight after many years, no doubt because it’s a delicious, thick source of protein and can stand in for mayo, sour cream, or butter without any detection from taste buds. But since it’s so popular, it’s still expensive. This machine lets Greek freaks make their own from milk and a yogurt starter. We see a lot of parfaits in our future. ($29.99;

This gift is made for the gadget-minded bartender wannabe. Download the free accompanying app, then stir and shake up perfect cocktails by setting the shaker (or a glass or pitcher if there’s a crowd) on the scale. No measuring necessary—the app (which is easy to use thanks to the tablet/phone stand that comes in the kit) shows you when to stop pouring and will recalculate if you "accidentally" over-pour. Search the 300-plus recipes by what ingredients you have at home, or create your own poison and add it to the library. ($49.99;

Now those who bike to work can easily and safely bring along their morning coffee or tea. This holder attaches securely to the handlebars, and it flips to accommodate two sizes of cups. Which leaves us wondering: Can we go through the drive-through on a bike? ($39.00;

For those who find themselves carrying tons of gadgets (and all their corresponding cords!), this is the must-have organizer. The Power Folio holds a tablet, two smartphones, and a portable battery pack to charge them. And, best of all, the Power Folio artfully hides all of those cords, so you can spend your time enjoying your gadgets, not untangling them. ($35;

This super-compact travel bag is just the thing to reform our overpacking ways. The design includes separate mesh compartments for shirts, pants, socks, and underwear, plus a metal hook for easy hanging, so there’s no need to unpack when you reach your destination. Simply hang up the bag and, ta-da, you’ve got a portable wardrobe. There's even better news for outdoorsy types: Rolo was specifically designed to fit where the bedroll goes on hiking backpacks so you can fill your backpack with other hiking essentials. ($49.99;

Not everyone likes using laptop touchpads, especially if they’re a designer or someone whose job requires intricate movements that are better controlled with an arm rather than a fingertip. This mouse is contoured and has soft rubber grips for a comfy fit in your hand, and the wheel is specifically designed for scrolling online. But with jazzy designs and an 18-month battery life, we’d use it for anything we’re doing on a computer. ($29.99;

Think of this as TV 2.0: Stream what you want to watch from hundreds of free channels, cable channels you already get, and any streaming services you subscribe to like Netflix and Hulu Plus with this tiny stick. Use the accompanying remote, or download the free app to use your phone or tablet to control your TV (and stream photos, songs, and videos too). ($49.99;

With our smartphones tethered to our hands at all times, we snap more photos than ever before. But do those photos move off your phone? Flickr makes it super easy to create beautiful albums, which will surely become your new favorite coffee table reads and next year's family gifts. You just upload your photos to Flickr, select the ones you want to make into a book, and then the people at Flickr do all the formatting for you. (starting at $34.95;

Give friends this nifty gadget and never again have to go on bar crawl search of their lost keys. This little square connects to items like keys, a wallet, or a tablet, so they can be tracked by the free app. Thanks to the magic of Bluetooth, the app will show the last location where your phone was in contact with the Tile. Head to that spot and once you are within 100 feet, the gadget starts chirping until you’re united again. The Tile lasts for a year without any charging or other upkeep and is currently only available for iPhones. (starting at $25.00;

Less Than $100

These wireless headphones are super versatile—whether you’re on the train, in the office, or going for a run. The specially designed ear cushions mean your head doesn’t hurt after hours of listening, and you'll want to listen for hours with the superior sound quality. You might even start hearing baselines you never knew existed in your favorite songs. ($79.99;

Talk to anyone with an electric toothbrush and they’ll likely tell you it changed their life—or at least their dentist visits. And the stats explain why: Compared to a manual toothbrush, this one clears off six times more plaque, a main culprit in gum disease and tooth decay. Just how powerful is this guy? In the two-minute cycle, it delivers more brush strokes than a manual toothbrush can in a month. Now that’s muscle! ($59.99;

The speaker is about the size of a softball and looks like an enormous tadpole. Its “tail” can be looped for easy carrying on everything from backpacks to bicycles, and it’s also sturdy enough to be coiled into an on-the-go stand. But the design isn’t the only impressive thing about this Bluetooth speaker. The first time we turned it on, we couldn’t believe the volume—and the thumping bass—that came out of this tiny pod. Another cool feature: The Swimmer (as its name would suggest) is waterproof, so it’s perfect for a pool party or if you get caught in the rain on a bike ride. ($59.95;

This one’s for all the artsy Instagrammers who want their photos to really stand out. Attach the magnetic lens to any Android or iPhone lens (attach an additional lens, if you really want to be super artsy), and use the free app to move around the “sweet spot” in the photo and blur everything surrounding it in a way that CNET described as “a combination of motion blur and depth-of-field blur.” Translation: It looks really cool. ($69.95;

Waterproof, lightweight, and compact, this video recorder will capture all of those awesome adventures from gutsy mountain bike descents to pristine skiing action. The touchscreen makes it easy to use mid-sport, and it’s so compact it won’t get in the way of your maneuvers. The price point is also pretty sweet. ($99.00;

Otterbox made a name for itself as the shatterproof must-have case for your smartphone. Now they’ve done the same thing for tablets—with loads of bonus add-ons. The case protects a tablet against wear and tear (and 20 foot drops!). Otterbox also offers a portfolio (the easiest way to carry your tablet), a wall mount (perfect for checking recipes on your tablet in the kitchen), and a power dock (the best way to keep your tablet on your bedside table). (starting at $79.95;

These ergonomic earbuds fit snugly in the ears and actually stay there, even on the longest and sweatiest runs. We also found the rubber ear piece to be much more comfortable than hard plastic versions like the ones that come as a standard iPhone accessory. And like those iPhone headphones, the Yurbud Venture Pro comes outfitted with a sweat- and water-resistant microphone so you can control phone calls, music tracks, and volume through the click of a button. ($74.99;

Splurge (#treatyoself or Others)

Buh-bye, restrictive heart strap! Adidas developed this wristband by working with athletes, trainers, and teams, using their feedback to improve it. Fit Smart measures heart rate, calories, pace, distance and stride rate—all from the wrist—and uses vibration and visual cues to coach the user along so they get the most out of each workout. With the app, you can access hundreds of free training plans created by elite coaches; track workouts and progress toward goals; and customize the wristband settings. ($199.00;

This portable speaker is the perfect gift for that tech-friend who loves the newest gadgets but also has an eye for design. The Bongo looks equally at home in any living room or on the sand for a day at the beach. It’s about the size of a wine bottle and has an eight-hour battery life, so it’s easy to tote around on day trips. And the speakers pack a serious punch: The powerful beats are perfect to get any party started. ($145;

We all have that daredevil in our lives—the one who climbs bridges or icebergs—and the GoPro Hero4 is the perfect splurge gift for them. After all, why go drainage ditch kayaking if you can’t share it with the world? GoPro has cemented itself as the leader in wearable cameras, but the Hero4 ups the ante. It's the first model to include a touchscreen display, so users can control framing and playback with a few simple taps. ($399.99;

Written by Jeff Cattel and Brittany Risher

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