($519 for the duo pack, also available in quad and six packs, ceecoach.com)
The biggest problem for paddlers when it comes to most on-water communication devices is that you have to stop paddling to talk. Anyone who’s ever had to put down the paddle to fumble in a life jacket for a bulky two-way device or radio will revel in CeeCoach’s private communication solution. The new Xtreme is a waterproof, hands-free device that, via a private bluetooth connection, allows a small group to connect when no networks are available. Though the German-designed devices were built with coaching in mind, using a moderator mode where up to 5 participants can listen in to an instructor, we like the on-water application for paddling groups and tour guides. Imagine using the active conversation mode on your next multi-boat trip when the group separates out of earshot. The Xtreme provides that communication link between users ranging to a distance just over 1600 feet. And yes, if you’re wondering, the small device with a simple and intuitive three-button design wired to ear buds with a microphone, will even connect to your phone for incoming calls. That is, if you insist on being that connected when you’re on the water.
-- C&K editors pay tribute to the Gear We Love.