Get outside, and take your gear

— -- It's almost fall, but that doesn't mean you're ready to stay inside. Here are a couple of gadgets that can add some fun to your outdoor activities:

Eco Pod case

The Eco Pod from Grace is a solid plastic case that keeps your mobile phone or digital audio player safe and dry, and lets you listen to music or podcasts when you're getting wet and dirty.

The case has an IPX7 rating, which means the contents inside will stay dry through heavy rain or even submerged down to 1 meter. The interior compartment has a pair of elastic bands to hold an iPhone, iPod or smart phone, plus some extra space for money, credit cards or an ID.

There's also a volume-control knob, and the case comes with a pair of rubber-tipped earbuds that also have an IPX7 rating. The sound quality doesn't match Dr. Dre's Beats, but then you wouldn't want to be wearing those buds when you're floating in a pool or rafting down a river.

Grace also makes other waterproof products, including a weather radio and a boombox.

$50 from www.

Audi Solar Sound Speaker

Credit German engineering or Chinese manufacturing ingenuity. Either way, the Audi Solar Sound Speaker is a multipurpose gadget that earns its keep by performing a variety of tasks.

At its heart, it's a portable stereo speaker that provides a sound boost to an iPod or mobile phone slipped inside the zippered clamshell case or to a tablet computer or portable DVD player using its stereo cable.

With its solar panel embedded between the speakers, it can recharge its internal battery simply by basking in the sun. Kind of like you and me. If there's no sunlight handy, it can draw a charge from a USB cable connected to a computer.

But wait, there's more.

The Solar Sound Speaker has yet another cable that will deliver a modest charge to an exhausted cellphone or music player. It comes with five different adapters with tips to fit most portable gadgets.

And, with its four-ring Audi logo, it's a snappy-looking addition to any glove compartment, even if it's not in the dashboard of an A5 Cabriolet.

$45 from www.

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