Socks lined with silver, an inflatable sled and sunglasses that let you field phone calls. Throw in a flying car and a smart-aleck robot domestic, and enjoying the outdoors would be like an episode of "The Jetsons."
All these new gadgets translate into plenty of potential gifts for the avid hiker, biker or runner on your holiday gift list. And they can be found at many local retail stores or online.
Whether you're on K2 or K Street, you're going to need protection from the wind. The Alchemy "soft shell" jacket by Mountain Hardwear is as stretchy and comfortable as fleece, but it's wind-proof and water resistant, offering almost as much protection as a less ventilated, less flexible "hard shell" jacket, which can make you feel like you're wearing a tent.
"It's much more breathable than any hard shell," says Eric Stern, a sales associate at Casual Adventure in Arlington (3451 N. Washington Blvd.; 703-527-0600).
More info: www.mountainhardwear.com.
Man cannot live on trail mix alone. The Jetboil self-contained cooking kit is about the size of a thermos and weighs less than a pound, including the fuel. It can boil water in 90 seconds, so campers can dine on pasta, soup, stew or frozen meals. The insulated cup keeps food warm and keeps hands safe without a potholder.
Stern says the Jetboil is one of the most asked-about items at Casual Adventure. Sandy Cohan, general manager of Hudson Trail Outfitters (multiple locations in the area), recommends the Jetboil Java Kit ($89.95), which includes the Jetboil, a coffee press and a sample of Newman's Own coffee. (The coffee press is available separately for $19.95.)
Price: About $79.99.
More info: www.jetboil.com.
Although getting a Stick for Christmas sounds like a step down from getting a lump of coal, many runners swear by it for pain relief. A center rod covered in rollers delivers a massage when you run it over sore muscles and joints. It can be used before or after exercise instead of stretching, says Ben Cooke, a sales associate at Georgetown Running Co. (3401 M St. NW; 202-337-8626). Cooke says he uses it on a chronically sore foot.
Price: Starts at $29.95 for a 20-inch model.
More info: www.thestick.net.
Last year, Oakley had a hit with Thumps, its sunglasses with a built-in MP3 player. This season the athletic multitasker on your list can order a pizza while running a 5K with Oakley's Razrwire glasses. The Razrwire comes in three color combinations and includes a Bluetooth earpiece that hangs from one side.
The unit can sync with a Bluetooth cell phone, and calls are answered and ended with a push of a button. Talk time on the rechargeable unit lasts up to five hours, so you can receive encouragement during an entire marathon.
More info: Oakley.com.
CW-X Pro Tights
With a web of colored bands over black tights, CW-X compression gear looks like something from Spider-Man's prototype closet. Those extra bands are designed to improve circulation and decrease muscle fatigue, Cooke says. The webbing also brings the hips and knees into alignment, increasing stability and improving performance.
More info: cw-x.com/ss/introduction.
Tie-Dyed Synthetic Shirt
Know someone who wants to pair cutting-edge fabric with old-school style? The synthetic material of these colorful shirts by Sport Science wicks moisture away from a runner's body and provides an earthier look than the sci-fi fashion of a lot of running gear. This is the gift for the jogger who never got over Phish breaking up.
Price: $27 for a short-sleeve shirt, $32.40 for a long-sleeve.
More info: www.smarterperformance.com.
Hvac Glycerin Socks
Socks lined with silver sound extravagant. But in reality the silver fibers in the Brooks HVAC Glycerin socks help regulate the temperature of your foot and fight odor-causing bacteria. And who can put a price on stink-free socks?
More info: brooksrunning.com.
Armstrong Jersey Replica
Shopping for a cyclist can be tricky, as many cyclists are particular about how their bicycles, helmets and clothes fit and function. "For a competitive rider, you might be better off getting a gift card," says Pete Custer, a sales associate at Revolution Cycles in Georgetown (3411 M St. NW; 202-965-3601). So let the cyclist on your list live out their Lance Armstrong fantasies, in regular or yellow-jersey mode. Trip to Paris with Sheryl Crow not included.
Price: $99.95 to $149.95.
More info: shopping.discovery.com.
Ironman Triathlon Ova
Timex's Optimal Viewing Angle (OVA) is one of those so-simple-it's-brilliant ideas. OVA watches are designed so they sit on the narrow, inside part of the wrist. That means a runner can check the time without breaking form.
The watch comes with an alarm, Indiglo light, lap counter, stopwatch and electronic training log.
More info: www.timex.com.
This sled would do Clark Griswold proud. Despite its hefty price tag, Cohan says the Airboard has been a big seller this season. Riders speed down hills headfirst, lying on their stomachs, and steer by leaning. The inflatable sled has a reinforced bottom to protect it, and you, from wear and tear.
Price: $269; $149 for the Kids Classic.
More info: Available locally only at Hudson Trail Outfitters, www.hudsontrail.com.