A Tough Life: Robust tech

Robust tech to make the most of the great outdoors

Travel 1 Mar 2018

Pirelli 1900 by Tecnorib

Technorib Pirelli 1900, from €1,350,000



This new Pirelli 1900 from Tecnorib is possibly the finest RIB you can buy and is made under licence as part of the Pirelli Design project. The idea is to offer the high-end design features of much bigger yachts with the characteristic sportiness you get with a RIB. Stable, rugged and seaworthy, the inflatable collars mean the craft maintains buoyancy even if a large quantity of water is shipped aboard in bad conditions. A new and decidedly appropriate feature for the Pirelli RIB range is the inclusion of the brand’s wet tyre tread pattern featuring on those inflatable tubes. The 18.5m boat has a 2,000-litre fuel tank supplying the two 800hp MAN i6 engines, with a maximum speed of 45 knots (over 50mph).

From €1,350,000; tecnorib.it

Leica X-U



There are many rugged cameras on the market – and nearly all don’t look attractive, or offer the highest specs for photography. However, Leica’s X-U model, developed with Audi Design, is a good-looking top-quality Leica 16.5MP APS-C camera that can also shoot underwater. Though not quite ready for any deep dives, it is waterproof down to a respectable 49 feet (15 metres). What’s more, it is even shockproof and sealed against dust. This level of ruggedness is achieved by pairing its CMOS sensor with a fixed f/1.7 23mm lens, and housing the rear buttons underneath an anti-slip thermoplastic elastomer layer, which also covers the majority of the body. Aside from the 3-inch screen and built-in flash, the camera has a dedicated underwater mode to make the most of your submarine shots.

£2,770; leica-camera.com

Panasonic Toughbook CF-33



While computers still do not take kindly to being mistreated, if you’re in the market for a rugged PC, look no further than the 2-in-1 Panasonic Toughbook CF-33. Its detachable keyboard means it works as either a laptop or a tablet, it has Windows 10 Pro; 12-inch anti-reflective QHD screen; an Intel Core i5-7300U vPro processor; 8GB of RAM and 256GB memory. But what makes it rugged? It is IP65 certified, which means it is water- and dust-resistant. To prove it, Panasonic strapped the CF-33 to a water ski and took it for a ride on a lake, then played squash with the tablet – and, yes, it still worked after the shenanigans were over.

£2,627 + VAT; business.panasonic.co.uk

Danner Ridge boot
Danner Ridge boot



Established in 1932, Danner is one of the best outdoor boot brands in the US and is now available in the UK for the first time. Danner’s latest creation is the Ridge. Horween leather, a flexible Vibram sole and Gore-Tex are combined with waxed canvas quarter panels that result in a good-looking outdoor boot. Not only will the Gore-Tex liner keep your feet dry as you stomp over hill and dale, the addition of those waxed canvas quarter panels means the boot is considerably lighter than others. Also, the entire footbed is made of open-cell polyurethane to help with heat dissipation and air circulation, so overheating on long walks shouldn’t be a problem either.

£271.45; danner.com

Filson duffle pack



Filson is famous for its heavy-duty duffles, and rightly so, but its new collection shuns the weight of the traditional tin cloth in favour of 600 denier all-weather tear-resistant nylon. To give you an idea of how hard-wearing ballistic nylon is, it was originally developed by the DuPont corporation as a material for flak jackets. Filson’s resulting bag is not only lightweight but also supremely rugged. The real trick of this 40-litre duffle, however, is its ability to morph between three different bag styles effortlessly. Rucksack straps hidden in the base mean you can carry it like a duffle with the hand straps and removable shoulder strap, or deploy the backpack straps to keep your hands free. It even has a padded pocket sized to fit 38cm laptops. Thanks to the Duffle Pack’s versatility and durability, it is ideal for a holiday.

£240; filson.com




If you’re going out into the wilds you are going to need something to keep things cool. And, of course, it will need to withstand more than a few knocks. But this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your tech cravings. Take the Kube: with its attractive aluminium and coated polymer aesthetic, not only does it keep your perishables and beer chilled, it features an integrated quality wireless sound system – and it is no wallflower: it can push 122dB output, more than enough for large open spaces, and is good for up to 50 hours of playback. The enormous 300,000mAh lithium-cobalt battery also means you can charge USB devices. Another excellent feature is the LED lights that automatically illuminate the interior when opened. The Kube is also splash- and water-resistant.

$2,999; kubesound.com

SanDisk Hardrive
SanDisk hard drive



For rugged hard drives, pay a little extra and get a solid-state drive (SSD) version. Unlike traditional hard drives, they have no moving parts, and so are much more sturdy. SanDisk has just launched a new portable SSD designed with drone enthusiasts and photographers in mind. The pocket-sized design, which is smaller than a smartphone, even has a loop so you can clip it to your backpack. It delivers high-speed storage and, with a 1TB capacity, you should have plenty of space to capture 4K footage to your heart’s content. To top it off, the casing has an IP55 rating, so water and dust will not corrupt your precious pics and vids.

£341; sandisk.com

Swarovski Optik CL Pocket



Known for its exceptional range of binoculars, Swarovski’s Pocket is the latest addition to the CL family, launched in 2011. The real trick of these binoculars is that they are foldable and compact, plus they have the finest optical quality without compromising the field of view (357ft/119m) thanks to the individually adjustable twist-in eyecups. An 8x magnification is coupled with a fully sealed body, which means these can be submerged in water to 4m (13ft) and will be protected from both moisture and dust. All the internal air is replaced with nitrogen gas, which cleverly prevents the internal glass surfaces from misting up, so you’d need not fear extreme temperature changes.

From £570; uk.swarovskioptik.com