Future Gear 2010

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

It won’t be in shops until the spring or next fall. But here’s a peek at a few innovations and out-there gear items coming soon to an outdoors store near you.

Close up: Teva Illum sandals with LED

Glowing Sandals — Never trip in the dark again. A small LED light is built on the tow strap of the Teva Illum sandals, which come to market this spring. The flip-flops, available in men’s and women’s versions, shine a 10-lumen beam with each step taken. For beach hikes at night, the footlights are waterproof to three feet deep. $50 and up, depending on model. www.teva.com

Victorinox Presentation Master, a jackknife with a laser

Swiss Army Knife with Laser — Just when you thought nothing more could be added to a Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox unveils the Presentation Master. Beyond its small scissors, file and blade, the red-handled package includes a laser pointer and a 32GB data drive. A tiny fingerprint scanner encrypts the drive so only the owner can access the files and data stored inside. www.swissarmy.com

Packable mesh suit with Permethrin treatment

Bug Suit — Suit up for battle against buzzing objects. Sea to Summit’s new kit of no-see-um mesh clothing includes a mosquito-confounding jacket, mitts, pants, and socks — all coated with an Insect Shield Permethrin treatment to offer “superior bug protection.” The see-through polyester mesh packs up tiny when not in use. The head-to-toe suit is made up of a top and a bottom package, which are sold separately. The two products together will cost about $70 when they arrive in stores this month. www.seatosummit.com

Electrically-powered heated vest from Mountain Hardwear

Heated Vests — Body heat not enough? Electrically-powered heated vests are coming from Mountain Hardwear, which will sell a women’s and a men’s version ready for next winter’s ski season. The vests are prewired garments operated by a battery and embedded with heating elements. Bonus: beyond just heat, a power plug in a vest pocket can be used to recharge handheld electronics such as GPS units, cell phones and MP3 players. www.mountainhardwear.com

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.