Welcome to the latest edition of iDB’s ongoing Gift Ideas series, where we provide curated roundups of some of our favorite products. Throughout the year we cover and test a number of devices and accessories, so we decided to use that experience to help those searching for the perfect present. Today’s roundup is focused on fitness geeks.
Apple Watch Nike+
This pick shouldn’t need much explaining. The Apple Watch Nike+ was built for fitness-tracking. It includes all of the great features of the Apple Watch Series 2—the faster processor, enhanced waterproofing and built-in GPS—as well as Nike-exclusive features like custom watch faces and a perforated sports band. All of these things combine to make a sharp-looking smartwatch and activity-tracker that’s perfect for walking, running and even swimming. Comes in both 38mm and 42mm models, and in multiple colors.
Powerbeats3 Bluetooth Headphones
I’ve tried working out with various wireless headphone models, and my favorite is still the Powerbeats line. They look great, sound great, fit comfortably, and stay on even during intense training. From what I’ve read, the Powerbeats3 are the best yet. They have enhanced connectivity and battery life thanks to Apple’s new custom W1 chip, and an improved fit. If the person you’re shopping for doesn’t have a good quality pair of wireless, sweat-resistant headphones, I’d get the, a pair of Powerbeats.
Alternative: At half the price, I also really like the JLab Audio Epic2 Wireless Sport Earbuds.
Tribe Water Resistant Sports Armband
Even if you have wireless headphones, you’re still going to need a place to put your iPhone while you’re working out. If your attire has deep, secure pockets, you could use those, but a lot of folks opt for a good armband. The Tribe AB37 is super popular in this category, with a 4.5 star Amazon rating on nearly 10K reviews. It’s made of high quality soft neoprene, has a double adjustable velcro band for a secure, comfortable fit, and features a reflective strip for added safety during late-night runs. The Tribe band also has a separate pocket for your house key and comes with a free screen protector.
Note: made for the smaller iPhone 6/6s/7, but a larger one for Plus models is available.
Weight Gurus Connected Body Fat Scale
A smart scale is another essential accessory for fitness geeks. They can help you track your progress on whatever weight goal you have in mind, and provide you with other useful data like your BMI, body fat % and more. We like the Weight Gurus because it supports up 8 users, syncs data with Apple Health and a wide variety of third-party apps, and comes with a 5-year warranty. It has features non-slip, scratch-resistant feet, 4 precise weighing sensors and a large, tempered glass surface that holds up to 400 lbs.
Alternative: the Withings Body Scale is another popular smart scale, but is significantly more expensive.
Vibrelli Universal Bike Phone Mount Holder
If the person you’re shopping for would rather ride their bike than go for a run, consider getting them a bike mount for their iPhone. This one from Vibrelli is a good choice, thanks to its secure and flexible design. It fits almost any smartphone up to 3.7-inches wide and most motorcycle/bicycle handlebars between 0.9″-1.3″ in diameter, and it features a quick release clip and adjustable clamp so you can lock-in and remove your device quickly.
Beddit 2.0 Smart Sleep Tracker
Fitness tracking doesn’t just stop at the gym. Knowing how well you are sleeping can also prove valuable when painting a picture of your overall health. And for this, we really like the Beddit 2.0 Smart Sleep Tracker. There’s no annoying sensors to wear or worry about, just place the sensor under your bed sheet and plug it in. During the night Beddit tracks your sleep time, heart rate, snoring, breathing and night-time events (e.g. bed exits), and in the morning, the iOS app tells you how you slept. It also has a Smart Alarm that wakes you up at an optimal time, and coaching tips on how to improve your sleep.
Tangram Factory Smart Rope with Embedded LEDs
The jumprope is, by its very nature, a simple piece of workout equipment, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. Tangram Factory’s Smart Rope proves that by offering built-in tracking for things like calories, jump count, workout time and interval training. Plus, it has these embedded LEDs that can project your workout status into the air while you are jumping rope. To top it all off, Tangram’s Smart Gym software syncs data with Apple’s HealthKit and other fitness apps so you can track your progress.
Sport2People Waterproof Running Belt
If you don’t want to go with the armband, the running belt is another great option for carrying your iPhone with you while working out. This is a good one from Sport2People, that’s made of waterproof/washable neoprene material and has two large expandable pockets. It can hold everything from you iPhone to keys, credit cards, money, and any gels, lotions or creams you might need while on the go. It’s adjustable for waist sizes from 28″ to 50″ and has 3 reflective darts that increase your safety during late night or early morning running.
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband
Not everyone needs a smartwatch. Some folks may just want a simple fitness tracker, and for this it’s easy to recommend the Fitbit Charge 2. It’s a third of the price of the Apple Watch, but is still a very capable wearable that does stuff like track your steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes, monitor your heart rate, and send alerts and notifications from your smartphone. This is the #1 best seller in its category on Amazon, and I don’t know of a more popular fitness band.
You can buy the Fitbit Charge 2 Fitness Wristband for $120.
Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor and Workout Tracker
Ok forget the wristbands and smartwatches and notifications. For a more serious tracker, look at the Wahoo TICKR X. This is the official HR monitor of defending Tour De France champions Team Sky, and it offers real-time tracking and viewing for status like heart rate, training zones, calories burned and reps completed on your smartphone. It too is compatible with a wide variety of fitness apps, including Apple Watch integration, and the battery should last you several months.
Also be sure to check out our other gift idea roundups: