vhf radio

Cobra Electronics HH500 Floating VHF Marine Radio

$149.95 (cobra.com)

Forget about blogging or Instagram-ing after the fact. That's so 2013. Sure, technology has made it harder than ever to disconnect, but easier than ever to show people back home about your paddling exploits. And now with the Cobra Electronics HH500 Floating VHF Radio, you can tell them, conveniently, in real time.

Wear Cobra's new Floating VHF Marine Radio on your life jacket and pair it with a safely stowed smartphone. Forget about the risk of dropping your dry-cased phone in the drink. The Bluetooth wireless link allows you to receive and make calls with supported voice dialing, and—yes, we tried—works to prompt Siri if you need to ask directions or existential questions on the water.

Seasoned sea paddlers will look past the techy phone tether to a price point that packs all the safety capabilities you'd expect in a new VHF, including a NOAA weather channels receiver, six watts of transmit power, plus a cool patent-pending voice rewind function that plays back the previous 20 seconds of incoming audio. Just don't expect Siri to bail you out twice.