These days, creative professionals — photographers, videographers, producers, designers, musicians, engineers — are on the road more than ever. They’re on location, touring the country, bouncing in and out of terminals, or off deep in the wilderness. Their most basic need: to be mobile. Whether it’s something to make them work more efficiently or just something that they’ll use every day, these are the best gifts for the on-the-go creative professional.
GoPro HERO7 Black
The creative in your life deserves better than making do with their smartphone camera. GoPro’s new HERO7 Black offers next-level HyperSmooth stabilization and the ability to livestream straight to social media. With its ruggedness and hands-free capabilities combined, there’s not a better camera for on-the-go out there.
Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset
These in-ear headphones are perfect for audiophiles and smartphone videographers. Thanks to their two omnidirectional microphones, the headphones are able to record stereo audio so that when you listen back to it, it sounds expansive and way more immersive. It’s basically like surround sound system for your ears. Also, when listening to normal mono audio, they can function as really good noise-canceling in-ear headphones.
(Read our full review of the Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset, here.)
Google Pixel 3
Not only is the Pixel 3 the best Android smartphone you can buy, it also has the best smartphone camera system. It takes better and more realistic portrait, landscape and low-light photos than the iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy Note 9. And it’s video capabilities — focus tracking, zooming and optical stabilization — and really impressive.
(Read our full review of the Google Pixel 3, here.)
Mophie Powerstation USB-C 3XL
This beautiful beast has a 26,000mAh capacity and is powerful enough to charge any of the latest MacBook Pros or MacBook Airs. It has a dedicated 45-watt USB-C input port so you can recharge it quickly. Plus, you can use the same charger you use with your laptop, so you don’t need to travel with all those extra cords.
2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
The MacBook Pro remains Apple’s ultimate laptop for app developers, photographers, videographers and music producers. The 2018 model is more powerful thanks to Intel’s 8th-gen chipset. It has more more memory and SSD storage. And it has an improved, quieter keyboard. And, of course, Retina display is still as gorgeous as ever.
(Read our full review of the 2018 MacBook Pro, here.)
Lacie Rugged Hard Drive
For any creative on the move, they need an external harddrive to backup and store their photos, videos, music and other files. And they need one that can handle a drop. Traveling can be hazardous, after-all. This one is just that, plus it works with USB-C, so it’ll work seamlessly with a new MacBook Pro or other USB-C latoptop.
Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L
Peak Design makes some of our favorite outdoor and adventure backpacks. This one, the Travel Backpack 45L, is perfect for photographers. It has special dividers for the camera, lens, adapters and all your other accessories. There are lots of little details, too, like strong magnetic closures, clever clasps, and plenty of interior pouches and pockets. Plus, it’s compact enough to not be a pain when traveling.
(Read our full review of the Travel Backpack 45L, here.)
Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2
As a creative, using a MacBook Pro also means acquiescing to the dongle life. This dongle by Satechi has all the essential ports: three USB 3.0, a 4K HDMI port to hook up a monitor, Ethernet, and an SD/microSD card reader. It supports USB-C pass-phrough charging, too. A nice touch is that you can get this dongle in the same space grey or silver colorway as your MacBook Pro.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Noise-Canceling Headphones
Out of all the noise-canceling headphones we’ve tested, the Sony WH-1000XM3 reign king. They offer the best active noise-canceling. They sound great. And they’re more feature-rich than any other of their competitors. The addition of a USB charging port is a nice modern touch, too.
(Read our full review of the Sony WH-1000XM3, here.)
For musicans, producers and audio engineers, the Duet is a great portable USB audio interface. It has two analog inputs and four outputs, so you connect it to your computer as well as your guitar, mixing board, or keyboard — whatever — and record up to 192kHz / 24-bit. It’s simple and beautiful, and thanks to a software upgrade the Duet works with Mac, PC or iOS devices.
Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 VI
The latest addition to Sony’s popular RX100 line of compact cameras is a specialist in superzoom. It has a wide 24–200mm lens — ridiculous for a camera its size — and promises to provide significantly better magnification than the Sony’s previous best compact camera, the RX100 V, which has a 24-70mm lens. If you’re somebody taking photos of landscapes or far-off subjects, this little guy blows all the latest smartphones way out of the water.
Hydro Flask 18 oz Standard Mouth
Everybody needs a insulated bottle. At least, that’s what we believe. This one by Hydro Flask is one of our favorites. It protects its content’s temperature for up to 24 hours. And it’s made of durable stainless steel, so it’s not going to get punctured or crap out on you mid-adventure.
Adidas NMD_R1 Sneakers
Travel shoes are underrated – or at least, they’re often overlooked. The NMD_R1 sneakers by Adidas are the perfect combination of comfort, good looks and light weight. Plus they’re not terribly expensive.
Don’t know what to get the people on your list? We’ve got you covered with our holiday gift guide.