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Gear & Gadgets

From a Golfer's Journal to Full-Dress Fishing

May 11, 1997|JUDI DASH

Sporting folks always are on the lookout for items that enhance their play, whether it's the right clothing, gear that makes the going more comfortable, or little extras that add to the fun. Following are new products for golfers, fishermen and water sports enthusiasts, plus one for that most passionate of spectators--the baseball fan. Prices do not include shipping and handling. Many items may be available in area stores.

See-through dry bag: When the going gets wet, sporting folks can keep their gear and clothing dry in these clear, vinyl, waterproof See Bags from Cascade Designs, a manufacturer of outdoor equipment. The heavy-duty PVC-coated bags fold airtight, sealing via quick-release plastic buckles. The bags come in five sizes from 7 inches by 8 inches to 13 inches by 20 inches. I've tested these bags in deep water and found them good to their waterproof word.

Waterproof See Bags are $9.95 to $21.95, depending on size, from the Boundary Waters catalog; telephone (800) 223-6565.

Comfy canoe seat: Sitting in a canoe for hours on end can be a sore experience--but not with the self-inflating canoe seat from Slumberjack, a distributor of camping and hiking gear. Made of the same open-cell foam material used in self-inflating camping mattresses, this is basically a mat that becomes a chair via snap-together adjustable straps that hold the top and bottom parts taut when you sit in it. The quick-release buckles unsnap to help form a 15-inch-by-33-inch mat, perhaps for extra cushioning on camp-outs. Brass, screw-down air valves inflate automatically when opened for extra cushioning. Two underneath straps have side-release buckles for attaching to the canoe's seat, and a large mesh pocket on the back provides easy--though not waterproof--access to a Windbreaker, maps or lunch.

Canoe seat (SJM9102) is $49.99. For a store near you, call the manufacturer, Slumberjack; tel. (800) 233-6283.

Golfer's journal: Golfers often wax poetic about the great holes they have played--the tough course, the magnificent scenery. The Golfer's Travelogue helps keep those memories fresh and can provide useful information for the next time a course is played. The combination photo album/notebook contains journal pages for course details and notes (players and their handicaps, greens fees, caddie information, most challenging hole, personal appraisal and more). Vinyl pockets provided for each entry can safely store scorecards or photos from memorable golf rounds. The 8-by-5 3/4-inch journal runs 96 pages, with room for 24 entries. It is spiral bound with a padded green Leatherette cover and makes an attractive gift for a discerning duffer.

Golfer's Travelog is $28.50 from James Anthony Golf; tel. (800) 317-0525.

Posh fishing shirt: Gone fishin' gets the designer treatment with the Art Lee fishing shirt from Willis & Geiger, manufacturer of high-end outdoor wear. The all-cotton, pewter-colored, long-sleeve shirt was created in consultation with its namesake, one of the nation's top fly fishermen. Two large bellows pockets in front have spill-proof, envelope-style closures to keep contents in place. The flaps above them house two more pockets each, the arms have two more bellows pockets and there's a large pouch for a sweater in back. Details include a rod guide in front, and a back-of-the-net landing loop, as well as assorted other tabs and patches for hanging all the little doodads essential for a perfect catch.

Art Lee fishing shirt in medium, large and extra-large (item 4234-59F) is $98 from Willis and Geiger; tel. (800) 223-1408.

Baseball monitor: I had to wrestle the SportsTrax baseball monitor away from my husband to test it. He was that smitten with this tiny, battery-powered receiver that provides a play-by-play of major league regular season and playoff games. This is how it works: Correspondents provide information live from every stadium, which is communicated and updated continuously by satellite over the PageNet nationwide wireless network and picked up by the SportsTrax receiver (like a cellular phone). Measuring just 2 3/4 inches by 2 inches by 1 inch thick, the monitor shows the score, team at bat, inning, number of outs and position of base runners as they move around the on-screen diamond. An on/off sound activator provides a variety of audible alerts to keep fans up to date on action they might otherwise miss--start of games, ends of innings, runs scored and home runs (with the traditional rallying cavalry call).

Users also can call up the prior day's score as well as daily schedules and starting times. Easy-to-follow instructions show how to flip from one game to another. When no games are being played, you get prior game finals and start times of games scheduled that day. The unit operates on two AA batteries, and has a belt clip. Buyers pay a one-time price, with no monthly service fees. I followed the World Series last October when the SportsTrax was in its testing phase and found it great fun, even as a somewhat fickle fan.

Motorola SportsTrax baseball monitor is about $100. For a mail-order source or store near you, call Motorola; tel. (800) 937-4824.

Gear & Gadgets appears the first week of every month.

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