Lake Tahoe

Above: Lake Tahoe was perfect this holiday season.

I've been on vacation longer over the holidays than any time since I backpacked in Alaska 25 years ago. It began by spending five days skiing in Lake Tahoe with the family. The remaining time I spent at home reflecting on last year and thinking about the new year.

Ignoring the updates to Tableau Software last year, these items were my favorite new tech in 2016.

iPhone 7

I retired my 5s this year and upgraded to the iPhone 7, and I love it. Are you worried about the elimination of the headphone jack? I have no issue with that change.

Battery life is excellent. With 256gb of memory, there is plenty of room for music, photos and text files. The screen is large enough that I can write on it (fast) with an external Bluetooth keyboard. The camera is also a significant upgrade from my old phone.

I’m looking forward to trying wireless headphones. While the AirPods look good to me, I ordered new wireless headphones from Crazybaby. I’ll let you know how those workout when they arrive in late Q1 2017.

Jackery Pop Slim 5000mAh

This external battery charger is a compact perfect match for my iPhone 7. I can get a full charge cycle for my phone, iPad or my laptop. For $19.99 at Amazon it’s a good deal. Pairing the Polo Slim with the short cable provides a compact charging package.

Power Tools for Tableau

Late Q4-2016, we released significant upgrades to our Power Tools for Tableau: Desktop and Server products. We continue to add helpful features for Desktop, Server and enterprise deployment. I really love the new Data Discovery tool for Desktop that helps you analyze new data sets. And if you want to manage your server from your cell phone, our Remote for Tableau app has you covered.

SECRID Wallet

My credit cards were compromised three times last year. I travel a lot. I decided to get a card wallet that would prevent thieves from scanning my cards in airports. I’ve been using a small card sleeve from Bellroy for the past couple of years. I like small wallets.

The SECRID Cardprotector is small. It holds three embossed credit cards and my driver’s license. The cardprotector’s aluminum construction prevents unauthorized scanning and protects my cards from bending. I now use my Bellroy card sleeve to hold receipts and business cards when I travel. When I’m not traveling, the Cardprotector is all I need to carry. If I need to carry cash, a rubber band works great for strapping it to the outside of the aluminum case.

High Tech Clothing

My clothing must to look good, be comfortable and compress for packing. I found a couple of clothing vendors this year that offer durable, light and packable pants.

Outlier Slim Dungarees

A Brooklyn company called Outlier has a great pant called the Slim Dungaree. These pants that feel almost like wearing shorts. Constructed with a synthetic two-way stretch fabric called Workcloth. They have a canvas textured exterior with a soft interior. The material is coated to repel water and resist stains. If you spill liquid on it, it beads up and rolls off. At $198, Slim Dungarees are not cheap, but they are durable, light and good-looking.

When I’m in cold weather, I wear synthetic, long underwear to add warmth. They look good enough wearing with a blazer to work. Best of all they pack into much less space that jeans. I can carry three pairs of Slim Dungarees in the same amount of space as  one pair of jeans.

Kühl REVOLVR Pants

Another great pant is the REVOLVR from Kühl. These pants have relegated my Levis to the closet. Made from a hybrid fabric called ÜberKühl. Lightweight and tough, I wear them outdoors, around the house or out on the town in the evening or weekends. They’re delightful in hot weather. Adding long underwear, they are also comfortable in cold weather. Cost for these pants is around $75.

North Face Jacket

InterWorks provided me with a North Face jacket complete with the InterWorks logo. Water and windproof, it's another lightweight compressible piece of clothing. Pairing it with a wool or fleece sweater makes it suitable for cold weather. It also compresses well for packing. I love it! List price is $99-$119.

Did you find any cool gear last year? Get any good stuff for Xmas? Share your finds in the comments.

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Dan Murray

Director of Strategic Innovation