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Our Favorite Things: Tech accessories for your next trail run

Not all of us care to take our gadgets with us on the trails. But for those who do, there’s a wealth of accessories to help you tote your phone, tunes or other electronics on your next run.

1. Boost Your Phone Battery on Long Runs
iPhones and other smart phones can come in pretty hand on the run, whether to navigate with GPS, listen to music, take photos or use apps to track workouts. However, using too many of these functions tends to drain the battery life quickly.

  • Mophie Juice Pack Plus
    $100; www.mophie.com
    Invest in this rechargeable, external battery case, and you can expect up a sizeable boost in the hours your phone can sustain on the go—up to seven extra hours of data usage, eight hours of talk time or 44 hours of audio playback. Available for a variety of devices.

2. Save Your Electronics from the Rain
How many times has a sudden, unexpected downpour interrupted a long run? Sometimes, our first worry is whether the $600 smartphone in our pocket will survive the deluge.

  • LifeProof Let’s Go! iPhone Case
    $80; www.lifeproof.com
    Put your mind at ease with LifeProof’s waterproof, snow-proof, shockproof and dirt-proof case—literally, so waterproof that you can take it swimming with you. It’s a slim, lightweight case that adds little bulk, and everything—buttons, sound, camera lens, etc.—remains fully operational while protected. Available for a variety of Apple devices.

3. Keep Your Headphone Cords in Place
Tangled headphone cords can be a royal pain, especially on the trails, getting caught on everything from swinging elbows to protruding shrubs and branches.

  • RaceReady StreamLine Shirt
    $31; www.raceready.com
    Made in the USA, this nifty tech tee has vertical headphone cord “tunnels” on both the front and back, so you can thread your headphone cord through and not worry about it catching on anything as you run. The tee features a pleasantly long cut for reliable coverage that won’t ride up.

    *RaceReady is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its next phase of product development. Learn more here!

  • O!Snap Magnetized Headphone Clip
    $15; www.osnapclip.com
    The cleverly-named O!Snap headphone clip has another take on corralling headphone cords. This small, magnetic clip snaps onto the collar or hem of your shirt or jacket and secures dangling cords out of your way.

4. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Whether you’re on the road or the trail, and especially during races, remaining aware of your surroundings is important for your safety. Yes, you don’t want to give up your music … Now you can have the best of both worlds!

  • Aftershokz Open-Ear Headphones
    $80; www.aftershokz.com
    Engineered for athletes, these innovative, sweatproof headphones rest in front of your ears, rather than partially inside them, and rely on something called “bone conduction” to deliver sound to you. Vibrations bypass the eardrum and instead transmit sound waves through your skull, where they are eventually interpreted by your inner ear. Sound quality was indistinguishable from our favorite earphones. The headphones also include a microphone for making phone calls and an external volume-control module.

5. Ditch the Headphones Altogether
Or, you can really reach the cutting edge of modern sound technology through another company’s innovative take on bone-conduction tech.

  • Cynaps Bone Conduction Cap
    $79; www.maxvirtual.com
    This breathable, moisture-wicking running cap delivers tunes through a module buried inside the hat itself, negating the need altogether for headphones. Amazingly, through its bone-conduction technology, it still keeps music relegated to the listening pleasure of the wearer alone. It adjusts easily to fit a variety of head sizes with a hook-and-loop closure at the back. The battery and control panel, which are tucked inside of the brim of the cap, are small—but not negligibly so. It’ll sync up with your phone or Bluetooth. The only downside, of course, is that if you get tired of wearing a cap, you can no longer listen to your music.

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