9 Essential Gadgets You Need in Your Bag This Summer

Summertime is synonymous with outdoor adventures, travel and, whether you love it or hate it, the heat. Although it’s not the official season yet, high temperatures are in full force and the time has come to break out your water floaties or hiking boots.

Whatever your plans are, make the most out of your summer with a tech designed to make you feel more comfortable and safe, and have more fun. Whether you’re looking to escape the heat while you’re out and about or want to make your summer travel more convenient, these nine gadgets have you covered.

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1.Handheld misting fan

It’s difficult to think of a situation where a handheld fan mister isn’t extremely relieving during summer. I purchased several handheld fan misters for me and my travel mates for a trip to Palm Springs and I’ve never been so appreciated in my life.

A misting fan also comes in handy while you’re sitting poolside, camping without AC, on a walk… the possibilities are endless.

This one from Amazon costs $13 and it comes with a USB rechargeable battery, three speeds and a 20-milliliter water capacity.

2. Smart luggage

The 26-inch SmartLuggage from Heys is a travel junkie’s best friend. While it won’t technically fit inside your bag, it’s a carry-on that boasts three smart features including a TSA smart lock that allows you to wirelessly unlock and lock your suitcase, a built-in scale to weigh your bag and a proximity detector that’ll alert you if you’re too far away from your bag.

It also has a 360-degree spinning wheel design and a durable, polycarbonate construction. Right now, it’s on sale for $297.

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3.Fitness tracker

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Track your daily activities, exercises and more this summer with a wearable fitness tracker.

I use a Garmin Vivomove Style because it’s a hybrid between a fitness tracker and an everyday watch. It performs like any fitness wearable as it tracks steps, heart rate, intensity minutes, stress levels, sleep stages and more, but it has a hidden touchscreen display with a traditional watch face so it looks like a premium watch. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are tons of fitness trackers to choose from.

It’s on sale for a little over $260.

4.Waterproof speakers

The JBL Clip 4 Eco speaker is displayed against a yellow background.

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At $80 the JBL Clip 4 Eco speaker is waterproof and compact and has a built-in carabiner so you can clip it to any backpack or belt buckle and listen to your favorite music while you’re out and about. It also has an environmentally friendly design, made with post-consumer recycled plastic.

5. Emergency multitool

The React 7-in-1 emergency tool will save you during situations big or small, from a dead phone battery to being stuck inside your vehicle. It’s a power bank, flashlight, emergency alarm, window-breaker, seat belt-cutting device that fits in your bag or glove box.

You never know when you’re going to need it, but you’ll thank yourself that you have it. It costs $40 on Amazon.

6. Waterproof phone cases

you could go out and spend $100 or more on a waterproof case, or you can spend $17 on a universal waterproof case that protects your phone from water, sand and dirt for a lot less. The ProCase on Amazon is compatible with iPhones or Androids with a 7-inch screen (measured diagonally). It’s waterproof up to 100 feet and is designed with a neck strap so you can transport your phone hands-free.

7. Sunscreens

The 15 Best Mineral Sunscreens in a line with a pool in the background

Caroline Igo/CNET

I admit this isn’t actually a gadget, but it’s an important summer essential that without a doubt belongs in your bag. Wearing sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Sunscreen should be applied liberally (every two hours at least), and a good rule of thumb is to opt for 30 SPF or higher.

8. Cooler backpacks

Tired of dragging your heavy cooler through the sand or over rugged, rocky terrain to get to your summer hangout spot? Help is here with the Hydro Flask Day Escape Pack. You can throw this 20-liter cooler over your shoulder like a backpack, and it stays cold for up to 36 hours.

It also has a watertight zipper so it won’t get leaky during transport. I own the older version and it didn’t come with this feature, so there were several times that I bent over while wearing the backpack and had ice-cold water spill down my shirt. Needless to say, this was a smart addition.

You can get a Hydro Flask backpack cooler for around $200.

9. Smart water bottles

If you’re like me, you don’t drink enough water during the day. Hydration is crucial, but especially during the hot summer months and outdoor activities. With a three-week battery life, the Noerden Liz smart water bottle glows every two hours as a reminder to stay hydrated. Another unique feature is its UV-C light lid that sanitizes the mouth and bottle.

The Liz bottle retails for $79.

For more tips on getting through the summer, here are 12 hacks to sleep cooler during warmer months, three tips on beating allergies and the best summer beach and pool accessories, according to the CNET staff who use them.