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The best sports and outdoor tech for the holidays

These are our top gift picks for athletes and outdoor lovers.

David Carnoy
1 of 28 Joshua Goldman/CNET

GoPro Hero 6 Black

The GoPro Hero 6 Black is the best all-around action camera.

2 of 28 Joshua Goldman/CNET

GoPro Hero5 Session

The Hero5 Session is a grab-and-go GoPro for people who don't want to fuss with settings.

Fitbit Ionic Watch
3 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit's new Ionic is a well-designed smartwatch with a fitness slant that should get even better as the company adds apps to its new app store.

Bose SoundLink Micro
4 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose SoundLink Micro

The fully waterproof Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker has integrated "tear-resistant" flexible rubber strap, which you can use to clip the speaker onto a bag or just about anything else you want to clip it onto, including your bike's handlebars. For its tiny size, it delivers impressive sound.

5 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

DribbleUp smart soccer ball

The follow up to DribbleUp's Smart Basketball is a Smart Soccer Ball with an augmented reality spin. It pairs with an app (and camera) on your iOS or Android phone to track juggling and feed you interactive drills to help increase your dribbling skills and footwork.  

The ball comes with a cheap tripod to position your phone in front of you, but the training exercises work best if you can also connect your phone to a TV in front of you.   

6 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Wilson X Connected Football

Wilson's smart football is a good buy for anyone who wants to see their throwing stats and have some fun -- but it's double the price of a normal football.

7 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is an excellent watch for both serious and casual runners.

8 of 28 Altra Running

Altra Torin IQ Smart Shoe

Sure, you can track your runs with a fitness tracker. But Altra's Torin IQ Smart Shoe has a sensor built into the shoe itself. It not only tracks how far and how fast you've run but also tracks your how your foot is hitting the ground and lets you analyze you stride and improve your running technique.

9 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

The Forerunner 735XT is the watch to get for serious triathletes. And for more you can get the newer and more feature-packed Forerunner 935. It's got similar features to the Fenix 5 but is smaller.

10 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Wilson X Connected Basketball

Wilson's smart basketball can help you improve your shot with a variety of game modes and drills.

11 of 28 K2

K2 Spyne 120 Heat

New for 2017, K2 is making a couple ski boots with USB-rechargeable Thermic heat technology built right into the liners. The Spyne 120 Heat, the higher-end of the two boots (the other is the B.F.C. 100), is geared to more advanced skiers. 

Garmin Vívosmart 3
12 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin's Vivosmart 3 activity tracker may not have HR in its naming scheme like its predecessors -- the Vivosmart HR and GPS-enabled Vivosmart HR+ -- but it does include a heart monitor with 24-7 monitoring and adds new, smarter features while returning to the slimmer design and hidden display of the original Vivosmart. 

13 of 28 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Garmin Vívosport

Depending on your point of view, you can call Garmin's new Vívosport a high-end activity tracker or an entry-level sports smartwatch.

The Vívosport has a similar feature set to the lower-priced Vívosmart 3 we recently reviewed, but adds GPS and LiveTrack4, a feature that tracks your activity and location in real time and sends alerts to designated friends and family members, telling them where you are on a web-based map. Garmin says the Vívosport is the only fitness band to include this LiveTrack feature.

Like Garmin's other smartwatches and activity trackers, this model is fully waterproof and can be used while swimming. Battery life is rated at up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 8 hours in GPS mode.

Bose Soundsport Free Wireless
14 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose SoundSport Free

Remove the cord from Bose's popular and highly rated SoundSport Wireless earphones and you're left with SoundSport Free, the company's new totally wireless earphones.

They cost more than Apple's AirPods, but the SoundSport Free are true sports headphones and -- despite the higher price -- could prove to be a compelling alternative to the AirPods, particularly for fans of Bose's StayHear+ Sport tips and a semi-open design that doesn't require you to jam the tips into your ears to maximize sound quality.

15 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

BeatsX wireless sports headphone

The BeatsX is a fresh take on the neckband-style wireless headphone that LG popularised with its Tone headsets and has been copied in recent years by an assortment of other companies. As in the past, Apple and Beats haven't reinvented the mousetrap, so to speak, but they have built a better one.

16 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Fitbit Alta HR

Long battery life and stylish design combined with improving app software make the Alta HR one the best all-around fitness trackers for most people.

17 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Anker SoundBuds Slim

Anker's SoundBuds Slim are among our favorite budget in-ear wireless sports headphones.

18 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

AfterShokz Trekz Air

Early AfterShokz bone-conduction headphones sounded so bad it was hard to recommend them to anyone. But the company's designs and technology have come a long way and its new Trekz Air is a compelling wireless sports headphone. 

In case you don't know what a bone-conduction headphone is, it's one that delivers sound through your cheekbones. That's right, the headphone driver doesn't go in your ears or cover them, it sits directly in front of them, resting on your face.

The big benefit to the technology is that thanks to its open design, you can hear what's going on around you while listening to music or having a phone conversation through the headphone. That openness allows runners and bikers to hear traffic, an important safety feature. Also, some race coordinators don't allow you to wear anything in your ears, which is where a headphone like the Trekz Air comes in handy, particularly for people who need to listen to music while they run. 

19 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Fitbit Charge 2

The Fitbit Charge 2, which has a built-in heart-rate monitor, remains one of our favorite activity trackers. 

20 of 28 Joshua Goldman/CNET

360fly 4k

The 360fly is a good option for shooting and sharing 360-degree shots on the go.

21 of 28 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Sony Action Cam X3000R

Optical image stabilization on the 4K-resolution Sony Action Cam X3000R helps make shaky footage a thing of the past.

22 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

BioLite Solar 10+

The BioLite Solar10+ integrates a rechargeable battery and has a second fold-out panel to achieve 10-watt charging.

23 of 28 Amazon

Polar M460

New to cycling and want to track your rides with a device other than your phone? Check out the Polar M460, a refreshed version of the popular M450 (we reviewed it last year) that adds support for advanced cycling metrics.

24 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Garmin Edge 520

More seasoned riders will be more interested in the mid-range Garmin Edge 520.

25 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Zepp 2

The Zepp 2 is the perfect gift for any golf lover. The small sensor attaches to your glove and can measure metrics such as swing speed, vertical angle, backswing and more. All that information is then transmitted over Bluetooth to your Android or iOS device, where you can analyze the data, view a 3D 360-degree visualization of your swing and receive personalized coaching to help improve your game.

26 of 28 Garmin

Vivofit Jr. 2

Thanks to a licensing deal with Disney, parents can now buy their kids a Vívofit with Disney, Star Wars and Marvel-themed bands. Characters include Minnie Mouse, BB-8 and Marvel's Captain America, and each band theme offers a corresponding mobile app adventure where children can complete missions to unlock a new character.

The Vívofit Jr. 2 costs more than the original; however, this new model has a color screen while the original had monochrome display.

27 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Garmin Fenix 5

The Fenix 5, the successor the the Fenix 3 HR (there was no Fenix 4) is the ultimate smart sport watch for the outdoor lover. It's packed full of features and sensors to track a variety of activities. The waterproof design and sapphire-protected display help it handle anything you throw at it. At its price, though, it's only for serious athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.

28 of 28 Amazon

Nite Ize Radiant 300 Rechargeable LED Lantern

Nite Ize Radiant 300 Rechargeable LED Lantern includes a 2600 mAh battery that delivers several hours of fairly bright light. There's also Radiant 400 model that provides even brighter light.  

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