16 Outrageous Big-Boy Toys That’ll Help You Conquer Summer
16 gizmos and gadgets to help you conquer the season ahead
This is but one installment of 37 Things a Man’s Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September. Stay tuned all month for more.
If you’re gonna be outdoors a lot this summer, might as well show off.
That is not an invitation to remove your shirt.
Rather, it’s a prelude to our annual Toys of Summer, a seasonal compendium of gadgets, gear and vehicles that’ll help you embrace your inner 12-year-old between now and August.
Highlight include inflatable jet skis, customizable campers and Westworld-approved dune buggies.
Knee braces and ibuprofen sold separately.
Electric Surfboard: Shark Sport
If you’re a seasoned tube chaser, you already know that go-anywhere electric surfboards are surfing’s new frontier. And the Sport might be leading the pack: made of carbon fiber and weighing in at 60 pounds, this e-board (controlled by a handheld throttle) can hit a top speed of 30 MPH.
Cooler: Alpine Electrics Ice System
Because playing music through your car stereo will drain the battery, there’s the Alpine ICE. Equal parts cooler and stereo system, the ICE lets you keep the beers and meats cold while blasting your favorite summer tunes. (Bonus: It’s currently $200 off.)
Dune Buggy: Can-Am Maverick X3
Those badass dune buggies you’re seeing in the new season of Westworld? Look no further: With 24˝ of suspension travel and 15˝ of ground clearance plus a simple button press that activates intelligent preset calibrations, you can take these customizable SxS across any terrain. Wanna test it out? Take it for a 360-degree virtual spin now.
Superyacht: Heesen Sky
These award-winning, eco-friendly superyachts (which use about 30 percent less fuel than other large boats) from the Netherlands can be customized to your choosing. Start with the very slick 50m Sky model, which features four levels, a huge sundeck and space for a helipad. And they’re designed to offer an exceptionally smooth ride across choppy waters, so don’t forget the Champagne.
Camera: Rolleiflex Instant Kamera
Just about everyone who was anyone used to snap moody portraits with a Rolleiflex, an old-school camera one held at chest level so they could look through the waist-level viewfinder. The last one was produced in the 1960s, but the German company behind the legendary camera just brought it back with a twist: it’s now an instant camera that shoots Fuji Instax Mini film.
Action Cam: GoPro Hero Camera
Need an affordable, hard-wearing camera that can quickly share videos of reckless firework shenanigans this summer? GoPro’s back-to-basics Hero is just $200, and it includes a touchscreen display on the back, waterproofing up to 30 feet, low-light capabilities and easy shoot-to-social share capabilities.
Van: Outside Van Power Station
These Oregon van customizers took a 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 4×4 and reshaped it to suit the client’s stated purpose of “mountain biking outside Las Vegas.” Basically, it’s now a tiny home, trailer and off-grid power supply, complete with a queen bed and air conditioning. It’s a home away from home you can replicate … if you have about $320K to spare.
Drone: DJI Mavic Air
An eminently portable drone with 21 minutes of flight time, featuring seven cameras that can stitch 25 photos together in about eight seconds, creating crystal-clear 32 MP Sphere panoramas. When folded, the Mavic’s about the size and shape of a large smartphone.
Electric Unicycle: Mega Hub Motor
A self-balancing, monowheel vehicle that looks straight out of a knockoff Mad Max but offers a much smoother and quieter ride (3,000W brushless hub motor paired with a 17-inch wheel). Think of it as the beach cruiser of electric vehicles. Appropriately, it only takes about 5-10 minutes to learn how to drive, but you’ll have to build it yourself — which will take a lot more time but is relatively cheap to put together (under $700).
Modular Camper Kit: Fiftyten
A pop-up kit that transforms the beds of double-cab trucks into versatile storage and sleeping systems. Loosely translated, this is an instant camping and tailgating solution.
Trailer Valet: RVR
The trailer back-in, simplified. This remote-controlled, self-motorized rover will let you hoist and move your trailer sans help thanks to Caterpillar treads, a 360-degree range of motion and planetary gear motors that’ll handle single- and dual-axle trailers.
Speaker: Tivoli Audio PAL BT GLO
A weather-resistant portable radio that moonlights as a camp lantern. With a frosted LED display that can be adjusted to serve as a campfire, candle or full-moon substitute, the player’s rechargeable battery can provide 16 hours of illuminated tuneage.
Jetski: Seakart 335
A unique hybrid that combines the rush of a jet ski with the comfort of an inflatable boat, the Seakart’s Yamaha engine can propel thrill-seekers across the water at 45 MPH, which, by the way, will feel a lot faster given the Seakart clocks in at just over 11 feet long. And you can waterski behind it.
Knife: Winkler Camp Knife
Wouldn’t necessarily call it a toy, but this nearly 10” 80CrV2 black steel blade, available with a rubber, maple or micarta handle, will get you out of any camping misadventures. Designed and forged in North Carolina by a company that works with the U.S. special forces (including SEAL Team Six).
E-Bike: Düsenspeed Modell 2 Cafe Racer
The Swiss e-bike makers take their design cues from ‘60s-era cafe racers, with the Modell 2 clocking in at a top speed of about 100 MPH.
Grill: Fuego Professional
A former industrial designer at Apple designed this grilling beauty: notice the striking upright tubular base that holds the gas tank. The design choice also makes the grill a perfect choice for small patios or balconies, though the primary cooking surface can hold up to 20 burgers. Add in wheels, and you’ve got a versatile cooking unit that works pretty much anywhere.