2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Gearheads
Whether it’s a neat tool or the promise of a few laps at Laguna Seca
Every year around this time, most of us go through the same old thing: the holidays are coming up and we have no idea what gift to get for that special person in our life. Julie has just about every piece of hockey gear imaginable, Sam has enough V-Bucks to buy the entirety of Fortnite, and Ashleigh has the whole Stephen King collection. Twice over.
While we can’t help with recommended fiction reading, wheels.ca is more than prepared to give you a hand in choosing a present for the gearheads in your life. Whether it’s a neat tool or the promise of a few laps at Laguna Seca, these ideas are sure to resonate with your relatives who have gasoline in their veins. Listed below from the cheapest to most expensive.
You’re on your own for selecting Stephen King books, though.
Drive Coffee: starting at $18.00
There’s a solid chance that the gearhead for whom you’re shopping enjoys a great cup of coffee. After all, we’re a hyper bunch with a five-cup-a-day habit, right? No? Okay, maybe that’s just me then. No matter the amount of coffee they consume, they’re sure to appreciate these car-themed grounds from Drive Coffee. Packaged in natty motorsport tins, a variety of flavours and grinds are available, including a few cans of nitro cold brew. With packages paying homages to the likes of Le Mans and the mighty Ferrari F40, there’s a solid chance you’ll find one of their faves amongst Drive’s products. They even offer coffee makers in Gulf and Martini liveries.
Stanley Power Station Jump Starter: $95.99
Any gearhead who’s cranked their car only to find themselves with a fistful of no-go will appreciate this jump starter. It isn’t the smallest one on the market but it is one of the most versatile. With a trio of USB ports and a high-powered LED light, this power pack can help charge small devices in addition to getting your car back on its way. One advantage this unit has over smaller and cheaper packs is the presence of a dedicated ‘on’ switch. While this might seem like a small detail, boosters that require a trickle of electricity to activate are absolutely useless when faced with a completely dead battery. The Rolling Stones said it best: start me up.
Tapplock One Plus Padlock: $129.99
Whether it’s a dirtbike on the back of a pickup or a bundle of tools kept in a hastily built shed, most gearheads have at least one item they need to keep behind a lock and key. With this fingerprint enabled biometric padlock, you can forget the second half of that duo. The lock itself reads like a standard and stout padlock, made of zinc alloys and a reinforced stainless steel shackle. Simply press your thumb or phone against the reader to pop the lock, never having to worry about forgetting a key or combination again. The company claims it’s good in temperatures down to -20C and, if your finger is injured or phone is dead, a morse code feature allows you to tap your way into an open lock.
Rhino Rack Ski & Snowboard Carrier: $149.99
Do you have someone on your list who likes to carve a few slaloms or shred the halfpipe? This rooftop solution from Rhino Rack is just the ticket for securely transporting skis or snowboards to the mountain. A trick release mechanism allows users to open and close the ski and snowboard carrier with gloved hands, a feature that will save time compared to fumbling with unruly tie downs. With a lock built right in to the unit, you know your gear is safe and secure when on the vehicle.
NextBase Dash Cam: $229.99
You hope it never happens. But if it does, having a dash cam recording the seconds before an accident can make the difference between proving your point and suffering a mark on your insurance record. On the flip side, it can be used for taking track day or autocross footage. This cam from NextBase records in 1440p HD resolution and has a handy 2.5-inch touch screen on its anterior side for easy set up. Its small size allows it to be tucked away out of sight behind your car’s rearview mirror. Pair it with your phone for real-time viewing of footage, or download the video right to your device. It also plays well with Amazon Alexa and, in a fit of real-world usefulness, has a sensor that can wake-to-record if someone bumps into your parked car. The biggest endorsement? This is the unit your author uses in his own car.
Land Rover Defender Lego Set: $249.99
This one isn’t restricted to those still in grade school simply because it is a Lego set. The young-at-heart gearhead will be more than happy to unwrap this pint-sized Brit on a holiday morning. Made up of a staggering 2573 pieces, this model does a great job of recreating the boxy visage of the newly revived Defender. Details abound, including replicas of accessories that can mounted to the square-jawed off-roader.
Dyson V7 Trigger: $299.99
With a straight face, we can tell you that this gift idea really sucks. No one has been able to come up with a silent vacuum cleaner yet but this handheld unit from Dyson comes pretty close. At nearly $300, this thing isn’t cheap but you can be sure that it’ll clean up – both literally and figuratively. Said to have ‘fade-free’ power, this little brute has fifteen cyclones working together to erase all evidence of that late night trip to McDonald’s. Fully charged, it’ll go to work for thirty minutes, hoovering up microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Cardo Packtalk Bold Communication System: $339.95 (US)
Trying to yell instructions at your riding partner can be a chore at speed, even though that person’s ear is mere inches from your mouth. This intercom system solves some of the usual Bluetooth annoyances while delivering crystal clear JBL sound. The units are IP67 rated, meaning they’ll withstand weather and the occasional dose of off-road mud. The system is always on, activated by the utterance of “hey Cardo”, meaning no more fumbling with buttons or fiddly slider wheels. And, yes, you can use it to stream music from your smartphone. Range is about 1000 metres. Like the dash cam listed above, this product is your author’s personal selection for keeping in contact with buddies out on the trail.
Apex Driver Training: Call for Pricing
Whether you are a first-time track rat or a grizzled veteran, the goal of driver training is to help a person become a better driver while having a great time with a group of like-minded gearheads. The Apex organization promotes itself as offering a safe and comprehensive single day of advanced driver training, delivered through one-on-one experiences at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park just outside of Toronto. Driving a car on track can be a blast, and Apex aims to give drivers a better understanding of their vehicle’s potential as well as their own.