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Practically indestructible gadgets that make great gifts

It is so annoying when a fairly new piece of tech kit fails. Here is a roundup of practically indestructible tech items that will cope with the rough and tumble of your daily life.

Holiday Gift Guide

ZDNet Recommends: Holiday Gift Guide 2021 ZDNet Recommends: Holiday Gift Guide 2021 Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Here's a great lineup of gift ideas and resources to get you started.

There are a few tech gadgets that, to me, seem like poorly made, or cheaply. Your new phone arrives and needs to be cosseted in a case right away; they seem so fragile.

Flimsy gadgets do not seem to last any time at all, making you wish that you had bought a more rugged item in the first place.

So here is a selection of my favorite rugged items that seem practically indestructible and might last you a good while longer than the breakable tech gadgets that frustrate you so much.

Waterproof Smartfire 5.0

If you do not mind barbecuing in the rain, then you will love the new waterproof Smartfire 5.0

Waterproof Smartfire 5.0
Smartfire

Finally, a Smartfire that copes with rain, and snow for all of us that love to barbecue in all weathers. No more protecting your Smartfire in a plastic box to keep the rain off.

The Smartfire 5.0 has a silicone sleeve that fits over the unit and deflects the rain off the bottom of the unit. The air intake is now at the bottom of the unit to minimize water ingress and make sure your BBQ is cooked perfectly. Innovation after user feedback. Fabulous. 

XG-Tech rugged case for iPhone 12 Pro Max

This case will make sure that your shiny new iPhone 12 Pro Max does not get damaged

XG-Tech rugged case for iPhone 12 Pro Max
XG Tech

The XG-Tech rugged case will protect your iPhone 12 Pro Max with three layers of protection. It has a polycarbonate inner case, soft silicone cover, and a swiveling belt clip. You also get a tempered glass front to protect your phone.

Apple iPad Air shock absorbing silicone case

Make sure your iPad Air is protected from rough handling

Apple iPad Air shock absorbing silicone case
Gumdrop Cases

Reinforced silicone rubber at the corner means that if you drop your iPad Air, the device will survive. Ports are covered and the screen is covered with an integrated snap-on screen cover for extra protection.

High Tech pet collar and transmitter

This collar will keep your dog safe and sound - even when wet

High Tech pet collar and transmitter
High Tech

Water-resistant digital transmitter for use with Yard Barrier sonic fence, and Power Pet electronic doors. This collar can cope with rain, and water sprays to keep your pet where you want it to be.

G-Technology Armor ATD rugged portable external hard drive

Make sure your external drive is rugged enough to safely store your data -- whatever happens

G-Technology Armor ATD rugged portable external hard drive
G Technology

This external drive uses USB 3.0 technology and is rain and dust resistant IP54 rated. It will store up to 4TB reading the drive at 136Mb/s. It is shock resistant when dropped from a height of 1m on a carpeted concrete floor.

Garmin Instinct rugged watch

Rugged enough to cope with all your fitness activities

Garmin Instinct rugged watch
Garmin

The Garmin Instinct is rugged enough to withstand shock, temperature extremes and is water resistant to 100m. It has GPS, a heart rate, and activity monitor. It can even monitor your stress levels and save activity profiles for you to train against. You can also use the TracBack feature to navigate back to your start point using the same route.

Mini Rhinos Bluetooth headphones

Long playtime and water resistant headphones that are foldable too

Mini Rhinos Bluetooth headphones
Mini Rhinos

These Bluetooth headphones are IPX6 water resistant and will give up to 12 hours playtime. They are foldable, slim, and have small ear cups. Have a look at in-ear buds, or hybrids for under $100 if you prefer a smaller form factor.

Tech Armor radiation blocking iPhone screen protector

Protect your brain from your phone's RF emissions

Tech Armor radiation blocking iPhone screen protector
Tech Armor

Protect your head and brain from RF emission sources whilst still having 3D touch accuracy and protect your screen from impacts with this Japanese Asahi glass protector. It will fit iPhone X/Xs, and iPhone 11 Pro .

Asus Chromebook Flip 2-in-1 laptop

A rugged Chromebook with a 360 degree hinge

Asus Chromebook Flip 2-in-1 laptop
Asus

This 11.6-inch HD Chromebook has been built to military standard 810G for durability. it has a spill-resistant keyboard and a 360-degree hinge. Inside,  there is an Intel Gemini Lake Dual-Core Celeron N4000 Processor, up to 2.6GH,z and it has 4GB RAM and 1366 x 768 resolution.

Ulefone Armor X7 rugged smartphone

A tough smartphone with a long battery life

Ulefone Armor X7 rugged smartphone
Ulefone

Running Android 10, this dual-SIM 5 inch FHD display rugged phone is IP69k certified, has a 4,000mAh battery and a 13MP rear camera. It has fingerprint and face recognition as well as a configurable button for easy access to apps.

Flynn Tech portable solar power bank

A phone charger that charges itself using solar power

Flynn Tech portable solar power bank
Flynn Tech

Charge your phone using solar power from this 10,000mAh water-resistant power bank. It takes 5 hours to charge in the sun, and will charge most phones two or three times. It has two USB ports so you can charge multiple devices.

Gorilla Box magnetic stash case

Keep your spare key safe and secure with this ultra-strong stash box

Gorilla Box magnetic stash case
Gorilla Box

Hide your spare key or GPS tracker in this 3.15 x 2 x 1.2-inch magnetic box that has rust proof neodymium magnets to securely attach it to your vehicle. Removeable foam inserts ensure your items do not rattle around.

Need more gift ideas?

Check out our ZDNet Recommends directory or Holiday Gifts hub for some more inspiration. 

Our sister sites also have the following gift guides: 

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