The Commute: AKG K495 NC
These noise cancellers offer superb sound and also work as “normal” headphones once the battery’s died. Thus, you can still block out the sound of wailing as you enter your 17th hour stuck in a tunnel.
Price: £350 | Link: AKG
The Commute: Nintendo 3DS
Now you can enjoy 3D games, portable multiplayer and revel in the new splendour of intense purpleness on the way to work. Now that is time optimisation.
Price: £140 | Link: Nintendo
The Commute: Rohan Pacific Shirt
Rohan’s patented coolant tech uses mica crystals in the knit of the fabric which, through a combination of science and witchcraft, make you feel cooler the hotter you get.
Price: £52 | Link: Rohan
The Commute: Unit 4 Portable iPad bags
Is it a sack? A satchel? Scandinavian? It’s certainly the latter, the jury’s out on the first two. This sleek carry-all has pockets for your iPad, laptop, phone, kitchen sink and more.
Price: $39 | Link: Unit Portables
The Commute: Apple iPhone 4S
The do-it-all mobile, with the best selection of travel apps and games to make your journey whiz by. Also packs an eight-meg/1080p camera for capturing road rage incidents and mad, racist women on public transport.
Price: from £499 | Link: Apple
The Flight: Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700
With a handy keyboard dock, this is a tablet made for proper typing. runs Ice cream sandwich, the latest version of Android.
Price: £TBC | Link: Asus
The Flight: Bell & Ross BR-03 Radar
This pro Aviation watch qualifies you to perform emergency landings just by owning it! Okay, it doesn’t, but it does look chunkily sex-o-matic, though.
Price: £2,800 | Link: Bell & Ross
The Flight: Sennheiser PX 200-II
Don’t fancy the high-end AKGs above? these are noise isolating and maintain hush without breaking the bank or bulking your luggage. the steel reinforced headband makes them tough, too.
Price: £70 | Link: Sennheiser
The Flight: Evian Facial Spray
Five hours on a plane can leave even the freshest of face resembling Emperor Palpatine. relax: a few blasts of this will leave your skin smoother than Vader’s helmet.
Price: £7 | Link: Evian
The Flight: Mu Folding Plug
The Great British plug is a huge, pointy thing that has more metal in its construction than some cars. This fold-up version makes it far more compact, and also prevents in-luggage scratching as the prongs are covered.
Price: £25 | Link: Mu
The BBQ: Weber Smokey Joe
Incinerate meat anywhere with this lightweight barbie, which comes with a triple-plated cooking grate and lid-lock functionality for your safety and convenience.
Price: £65 | Link: Weber
The BBQ: Zoku Seven-minute Ice Lolly Machine
As the name hints, this contraption turns out frozen, stick-mounted snacks in seven minutes. cheaper and more convenient than a dash to the ice cream van, kids.
Price: £31 | Link: Zoku
The BBQ: Bodum Fyrkat Grill Nipper
These long-reach, heat-resistant silicone-gripped tongs are ideal for snaffling sausages off the grill. Or someone else’s plate.
Price: £14 | Link: Bodum
The BBQ: Electric BBQ Meat Thermometer
A quick prod and this’ll tell you your meat’s temperature and whether it qualifies as “still mooing”, “medium rare” or “recognisable only from dental records”.
Price: £13 | Link: Firebox
The BBQ: Y-Grinders
Still packing salt and pepper shakers? This lets you grind both from the same, groovily stylish and faintly organic-looking mill.
Price: £32 | Link: Joseph Joseph
The Festival: Fieldcandy Circuit Board Tent
Wear your geek credentials with pride, with a tent that looks like a circuit board. Guaranteed to stand out from the masses of identikit, pop-up jobs.
Price: £495 | Link: Fieldcandy
The Festival: Klipsch Lou Reed X10i
These beauties offer a three-button remote, a mic for hands-free calls and the reassurance that comes from knowing audio quality has been approved by Lou reed, the writer of heroin and metal machine music.
Price: £300 | Link: Klipsch
The Festival: Olympus Tough TG-620
Waterproof to 5m, shockproof to 1.5m and freezeproof to -10ºc, this captures the parts of festivals you don’t remember. Its little bro’ the 320 and several tough alternatives are reviewed on p118.
Price: £230 | Link: Olympus
The Festival: Pack-away Kettle
Hedonism’s all well and good, but make sure you have a cuppa every now and then to dilute the warm scrumpy and £5-a-can tuborg. This kettle packs flat for storage, making it as much of a festival essential as Aspirin.
Price: £30 | Link: Firebox
The Festival: Veho Pebble Pro
Thanks to a plethora of adaptors, this’ll juice your PSP, iPhone or other smartphone. Providing you can get a signal, you’ll never have to go “off grid” again.
Price: £80 | Link: Veho
The Car: Belkin TuneBase FMX
Say goodbye to drive-time boredom and blast your own choice of music instead – this iPhone dock sends tunes to your car radio via its FM tuner.
Price: £70 | Link: Belkin
The Car: Jawbone Era
The Bluetooth headset it’s okay to sport, with NoiseAssassin tech to terminate background noise using a kind of electronic garotte.
Price: £100 | Link: Jawbone
The Car: Nokia Lumia 800 with Drive
This Windows Phone 7 handset comes with the Drive turn-by-turn navigation app, so you don’t actually need to shell out for that satnav above (that’ll teach you to be impulsive). With 2D and 3D modes, it’s about as polished as smartphone GPS goodies get.
Price: £300 | Link: Nokia
The Car: Paul Smith Tago Driving Shoes
Classy, soft, off-white leather and suede uppers make these the Roger Moore of driving apparel. Just add an Aston Martin and the ability to “act” using only your eyebrows.
Price: £149 | Link: Paul Smith
The Car: TomTom Go Live 1005
A monster five-inch display makes for easy navigation, while HD Traffic tech updates you every two minutes. Also, it can read directions in a Darth Vader voice.
Price: £270 | Link: TomTom
The Home Office: Stadler Form OTTO Fan
With three speed settings, this wooden-framed fan will keep you cool as the mercury rises. Has the added benefit of instantly giving your office space the feel of an early 90s warehouse rave.
Price: £225 | Link: Heals
The Home Office: Alan Paine Ice Cool Knitwear
Supima cotton and clima-fibres react to your body temperature, so you can stay cool without the ignominy of working whilst wearing a vest and say, “I’m feeling too hot – think I’ll put my jumper on.”
Price: £95 | Link: Alan Paine
The Home Office: Kartell Spoon by Antonio Citterio
Thermoplastic layers adjust to your weight, meaning comfort even if your beach diet hasn’t gone entirely as you’d hoped.
Price: £390 | Link: A White Room
The Home Office: Contigo Autoseal Water Bottle
Make embarrassing desktop spillages a thing of the past with this leak-proof water bottle. Just press to sip and release to seal.
Price:£15 | Link: Contigo
The Home Office: Persol Steve McQueen
These tortoiseshell sunnies fold up to fi t in your pocket instead of perching on your head, threatening to fall off, as you slip from desk to garden. Steve never would’ve stood for that…
Price: £280 | Link: Mr Porter
The Washroom: Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Sport Body Wash
The packaging was “inspired by sports materials”, but this smells of grapefruit and bergamot rather than, say, a tennis racquet.
Price: £20 | Link: Issey Miyake
The Washroom: Lab Series Moisturising Aftershave Spray
A fruity mix of cranberry, blueberry, pomegranate and grape, this spray is rich in antioxidants and better in the heat than heavier creams.
Price: £19 | Link: Lab Series
The Washroom: Panasonic ER-GC50
This adjusts in 1mm gradations, stopping you inadvertently bringing back the bowl cut. Boasts “30,000 hairs per second” cutting speed and is washable under a tap after use, too.
Price: £51 | Link: Pansonic
The Washroom: Polo Ralph Lauren Robe
Relax like a less decrepit/tragic Hugh Hefner in this luxury cotton robe. Cigars, cognac and leggy lovelies young enough to be your great grandchildren optional.
Price: £135 | Link: Ralph Lauren
The Washroom: Wild and Wolf Qwerty Washbag
Faux leather, embossed with a Qwerty keyboard – obviously – with waterproof pockets aplenty inside.
Price: £25 | Link: Wild & Wolf
The City Break: Nixon Trooper Three-button Mic
Made from moulded silicone, these ultra portable cans are as urban as Tinchy Stryder on a Boris bike. With phone controls (and three buttons, geddit) on the cord, they also double as a handsfree kit, isn’t it, blood?
Price: £70 | Link: Nixon
The City Break: Apple iPad with Time Out Apps
The best tablet coupled with the best free city guides means your passport to great weekend breaks doesn’t need to weigh a ton.
Price: From £399 | Link: Apple
The City Break: HTC One X
With a hi-def, 4.7-inch screen, 1.5GHz quadcore chip and eightmeg/ 1080p camera, this is all the phone you need in 2012 – and should still be looking fairly cuttingedge come 2013.
Price: £450 | Link: HTC
The City Break: Lomography LC-A+ Silver Lake
With orange leather and lustrous chrome, this stylish retro camera, straight out of The Ipcress File, will make you look quite the debonair gent about town. Not a lot of people know that.
Price: £376 | Link: Lomography
The City Break: Sony Bloggie Live
This is the first pocket cam to offer live streaming via Wi-Fi, so you can broadcast your hols as they happen (arguably not ideal for your loony mate’s stag do).
Price: £195 | Link: Sony
The Beach: Kindle with Overboard Case
A four-clip slide seal system makes your Kindle submersible to 6m. The only way to read 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (NB: not waterproof to 20,000 leagues).
The Beach: Boss Skin Moisture Cream SPF 15 UV
This potion stops you burning in the sun while keeping your skin hydrated. As a result, you should end up looking tanned and healthy rather than turning orange like Ricky Martin from The Apprentice, or ending up looking like the result of a chip pan fire.
Price: £23 | Link: Boots
The Beach: DryLite Micro Towels
These super-absorbent towelettes roll up to fit in a coat pocket and come in a pleasing range of attractive yet stain-concealing colours.
Price: £11 | Link: Firebox
The Beach: Lifeproof for iPhone
This case has an IP-68 rating, with military-grade resistance to shock, dust and water. Despite that, it doesn’t add an excess of bulk, and multi-touch continues to work just fine.
Price: £60 | Link: Lifeproof
The Beach: Monster iSport Livestrong
With a secure, comfortable fi t and rotating tips, these headphones provide excellent noise-blocking. They’re also thoroughly water resistant – ideal for the beach and conceivably able to stand up to a brisk swim.
Price: £130 | Link: Monster
The Kids: Aerobie Superdisc
This flying disc – not a Frisbee; never that – is ideal for young ’uns and beginners, thanks to its soft edges and ability to float in the pool. Don’t be fooled, though: this thing can really fly.
Price: £10 | Link: Aerobie
The Kids: Nerf Vortex Vigilon Blaster
Lock and load: this plastic-spewing gat holds five long-range discs. The clip drops down at the touch of a button for action movie-style reloading.
Price: £18 | Link: Hasbro
The Kids: Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
Controlled via a smartphone app, the latest AR.Drone hovers, soars and captures what’s going on with a 720p camera.
Price: £300 | Link: Parrot
The Kids: Takeya Flash Lemonade Maker
Add water, ice and use the screw-on juicer to squeeze lemons straight into the pitcher. An air-tight lid keeps the contents fresh and the same company also does an iced tea maker.
Price: £13.50 | Link: Takeya
The Kids: Water Bomb Factory
Attach this weaponising spigot to a hose – bans don’t apply to this usage – add a balloon, and you’re ready to launch what could technically be construed as common assault in under six seconds.
Price: £9 | Link: Firebox
The Games: Carlton Razor 1.1
Made from Japanese carbon – the best kind of carbon, for our money – this badminton racquet is built for power. It’s perfect for ruining garden parties with your Pimm’s-fuelled aggression yet again this summer.
Price: £160 | Link: Carlton Sports
The Games: Adidas London 2012 - The Albert
The official ball of the Olympics, this allegedly takes its name from the Cockney rhyming slang for ball: “Albert Hall”. Just mind your syrup doesn’t come off when using your loaf, alright guv’nor?
Price: £85 | Link: Adidas
The Games: Nike Miler Running Shirt
Dri-Fit UV fabric protects you from sun rays while wicking away sweat, so you can keep going for longer. A loop on the back keeps headphone cords safely out of the way, too.
Price: £22 | Link: Nike
The Games: Garmin Approach S3
Packing info on 27,000 courses, this golf watch would be the best caddy you could ask for, if only it would get off your wrist and carry your damn clubs.
Price: £280 | Link: Garmin
The Games: Puma Red Pulse Cricket Boot
Add a dash of IPL-style glamour to your Sunday league match. An EverFoam slow recovery heel offers a snugger fit and better energy absorption as you lunge down the wrong line to be beaten in the flight by that 50-year-old off-spinner with an artificial hip.
Price: £90 | Link: Puma
The Reality: Neo Geo X
A 3.5-inch, handheld version of the console we couldn’t afford in the 90s, with 20 games built in. An AV output means you can play Metal Slug et al on your telly, too…
Price: £TBC | Link: Neo Geo X
The Reality: Gin Mare
Hot and bothered? Retire to the drawing room to enjoy Gin Mare’s blend of sun-drenched citrus fruits, Arbequina olives, thyme, basil and rosemary. Simply dilute with vermouth to taste and add an olive.
Price: £34 | Link: Gin Mare
The Reality: Loewe Connect ID
Sun ruining your well preserved pallor? The 2,160 design options of this work-of-art-cumtelly is the best excuse to stay out of it, with 200Hz 3D screen, 500GB PVR and 80W speakers!
Price: From £1,395 | Link: Loewe
The Reality: PowerA Air Flo Xbox Controller
It’s never too hot to game with this pad. It boasts a two-speed fan, keeping your palms cool and stopping build-up of mysterious grey gunk.
Price: £18 | Link: PowerA
The Reality: Pure Evoke Mio Union Jack
Feel “proud” this Jubilee summer with Pure’s patriotic DAB in your kitchen. It’s got an auto-dimming display for when the sun goes in, audio in and outputs, and Great British sound, gawd bless it.
Price: £150 | Link: Pure