It’s starting to get down to the wire for holiday gift buying. If you’re still at a loss as to what to get your tech-obsessed friends and family, we’ve put together the best gadgets for anyone’s vehicle. We didn’t choose obvious products like a car charger and such, but instead handpicked some under-the-radar options you may have otherwise overlooked. There’s something for every budget so don’t worry if you’re only looking for a stocking stuffer or small gift for your office Secret Santa.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have Bluetooth connectivity baked into their car. That didn’t pose much of an issue in the past since there was usually an AUX connector at-the-ready, but it’s quite an issue now since Apple abandoned the 3.5mm headphone jack with iPhone 7. Anyone struggling to get music, podcasts or phone calls piped through their car’s stereo system would welcome a Bluetooth adapter this holiday season.
This iClever Himbox Bluetooth 4.0 Car Kit (model HB01) is just $29.99 and receives great ratings from thousands of Amazon users. For a more affordable and versatile battery-powered option, we’d recommend this adapter from Mpow for $14.99.
Help keep your friends and family safe by gifting a power bank that packs enough punch to not only recharge an iPhone several times over, but can also jump start a car in case of an emergency. Anker sells a 400A/10000mAh dual-USB option for $58.99. It is capable of jump starting a 3L gas or 2.5L diesel 12V engines about 15 times and is small enough to fit in your glovebox. It also features a built-in LED flashlight, which can be an absolute life-saver during a breakdown. Browse the more than 1,000 reviews and you’ll see that it really works.
Surprise someone this holiday season with a dash cam for their vehicle. It’ll provide a practical use of documenting roadway incidents for insurance claims and police records, plus is downright fun when it catches something crazy going down. Both of our top picks are easy to install in any car and feature a broad field of view: the Z-Edge Z3 2560×1080 Dash Cam with a 3-inch screen and a 145-degree FOV (field of view) includes a 32GB microSD memory card for $105.99 and Vantrue’s OnDash R2 2560×1080 Dash Cam with a 2.7-inch screen and a 170-degree FOV for $146.99.
A dependable windshield mount for your iPhone also makes a terrific gift. Instead of having your iPhone bounce around in a cup holder or slide across your dash, the mount positions it safely within your sight so following GPS directions and viewing iMessages is a breeze. iOttie’s Easy One Touch Smartphone Car Mount is compatible with a range of devices (2.3-3.2 inches wide), including iPhone 6/Plus and 7/Plus. Best of all, it’s the most affordable product on this gift guide at just $19.99.
Our final gift recommendation for the techie in your life who spends a lot of time in their vehicle is a power inverter. This model from BESTEK pushes 300W of continuous power and 2 AC outlets, which are ideal for keeping a laptop running during lengthy rides. What’s more, the unit has dual USB ports (2.1A, 1A) and a relatively compact design. You can buy it right now for $29.99.
More 9to5Toys Gift Guides:
- Ideas for Music Makers – pocket synths, headphone accessories, DIY kits and more
- Ideas for the Techie Traveler – best messenger bags, Bluetooth gear, accessories and more