While the keep-it-simple-sailor philosophy underlies our selection process, we do stumble upon products that, although far from necessary, fulfill their primary mission: incite an urge to splurge. If you have a sailor on your gift list who seems attracted to gadgets, bags, and cool apparel, here are three of our testers favorites.
Gill Thermogrid Jacket
Testers put Gills new Thermogrid pullover jacket through two dozen wash cycles and it looked and worked just like new. The stretchy, polyester material is almost as light as a long-sleeve t-shirt, but the weave and pile keep you warm even when wet. Sweat is no sweat. The material is breathable and wicks away moisture.
Spinlock Essentials Packs
Whether you need a pocket for your granola bars on the dogwatch, or need a place to stow your flashlight or personal locator beacon (PLB) Spinlocks new Essentials Packs-a chest pack, side pack, and belt pack-are good for stowing personal items. The lightweight, self-draining bags feature two-way, plastic zippers and a clear top panel. Designed to be used with Spinlock Deckvests, the bags can also be attached to other inflatable PFDs waistbelts or a regular belt as well. The packs range from $24 to $35.
Garmin Quatix 3 Watch
Garmins Quatix 3 ($600) brings your NMEA 2000 networks navigational data straight to your wrist. It uses a separate NMEA transceiver (Garmin GNT10, $150) to wirelessly stream NMEA 2000 boat data (speed, depth, temperature, wind data, etc.) from compatible Garmin systems. The watch has its own GPS, and is equipped with navigational tools, tide data, an anchor alarm, and carries out racing functions like tack assist, countdown timer, distance to line, and time to burn. Its bonus features include a man-overboard alert function that will send an MOB alert to a networked chartplotter when the wearer goes in the drink (Note: PS has not yet fully tested the MOB feature.)