Gift Guide

8 Gifts for the Portland Techie

From a Nike Apple watch to a waterproof speaker to an essential oil diffuser—here are our recs for locally-found tech treasures.

By Shannon Daehnke May 23, 2022

In the world of TikTok product reviews and Amazon wish lists, it can be tricky to buy local, especially when it comes to gadgets and electronic gizmos. This list of Oregon-made and locally found tech toys is perfect for everyone, from the should-be-a-member-of-Geek-Squad-boyfriend to the grandpa who is just now figuring out Facebook.

Apple Watch Nike Series 7, Nike Local


Image: Nike

Even if you haven’t been on a run since before the iPhone was invented, this Nike x Apple collab could inspire you to become the next Usain Bolt. This watch pairs with the Nike Run Club app, and comes with a tiny, watch-shaped coach who tells you to “keep going.” It also has a GPS, a “winning streak” feature to help you—or the runner in your life—compete against your own personal record and customizable color options.  

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Audio-Technica Turntable, Platinum Records Local


You know your turntable is audio-tech-junkie approved when you can find it on sale at a small audio company like PDX’s Platinum Records. Compared with the glut of cheaper options on the market, more high-tech turntable options like this one from Audio-Technica would be a bargain at twice the price. Perfect for vinyl fans.

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JBL Flip 5 Portable Waterproof Speaker, REI Local


Image: REI

Whether you’re hosting your daughter’s end-of-the-year pool party or a beer pong tournament in your frat’s backyard, a portable waterproof speaker is without a doubt a summer staple. Pretty much every college freshman in the dorms owns this speaker from REI, and if it’s loud enough for the (irritable) RA’s to constantly dole out noise write-ups, it must work well enough.  

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Polaroid Now I-Type Instant Camera, Pro Photo Supply Local


Image: Polaroid

Whether you were alive during the Polaroid era, or just want to pretend that you were, this super retro-looking (and ironically very much resembling the-OG-Instagram-logo) camera is the perfect choice for an on-the-spot-snapshot that you’ll probably end up finding a way to share on IG anyways. Although you can buy polaroid cameras pretty much anywhere nowadays, the brick-and-mortar Pro Photo Supply has been a PDX-staple since ‘83, and we’d like to help them keep it that way.  

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Car Thing, Spotify


Image: Spotify

After a confusing back and forth via text message with a friend who owns this Spotify Car Thing (which looked a little something like this: what’s that Spotify car thing called again? The Spotify Car thing? Yes, that. Yes. What?), we finally found the Car Thing. Perfect for the cars that don’t have a super high-tech Tesla-adjacent screen on the dash, the Spotify Car Thing “is its own thing” that works entirely through your phone. A perfect gift for the dad who recently discovered Spotify, the daughter who really needs to stop taking aux too seriously while driving, or the mom who needs to find new music besides Ed Sheeran’s most recent radio hit.  

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Baggu Moss Trippy Checker Duck Bag, Tender Loving Empire  Local


Image: Baggu

This super trendy checkered tote is truly the perfect work bag. For one—it’s actually cute. And two—it’s big enough to take the entire office with you wherever you go. Sure, it’ll fit your laptop, bus pass, and almost-empty container of emergency Advil. But this tote can handle whatever the work day requires—a change of yoga clothes for when you need to decompress, an extra desktop-sized computer and keyboard in case of technical difficulties, a rotisserie chicken for lunch, a “hang in there” cat poster, a handle of vodka, or a small therapy dog.  

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Spa Diffuser Set, The Essential Oil Company Local


Got an anxiety-inducing, calls-for-an-impromptu-glass-of-wine-or-three-after-work email from your boss? Chill out and turn on this color-changing diffuser from the Oregon-based Essential Oil Company to transform your WFH space into your happy place. Choose from three different scents: lavender, citrus, and pirates (?), and a bunch of different colors depending on your WFH mood—red for angry, blue for sad, green for envious-of-people-who-are-not-at-work. If you don’t already have one of these, you’re missing out on a level of relaxation that only one other type of...diffusible...substance can provide.  

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3D printing pen, A3D Store Local


Image: A 3D Store

This seemingly-magical pen from the PDX-local A3D store is essentially just a handheld version of a 3D printer that allows you to “draw” anything into existence. If (like us) you're still a little fuzzy on the exact details of 3D printing, it seems that you can create anything from a sunflower to an oddly shaped penguin to a minion (why)— or maybe, if you’re feeling crazy: a 3D-printed 3D printing pen.  

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