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Solo Stove Popcorn Maker, National Park Carhartts, CBD Chamois Cream, and More Emerging Gear

Outdoor gear is constantly evolving, just like the natural wonders that it helps us explore. Find the latest and greatest every week in Emerging Gear.

popcorn in pot by solo stove fire pit(Photo/Solo Stove)
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Recreating outdoors isn’t a static endeavor. Much like Mother Nature’s constant fiddling with weather and terrain, the outdoor gear industry continues to reinvent and innovate, looking for new ways to accommodate eclectic pursuits with a single product.

Want a backpack that can strap to your bike on the way home from work? It’s here. Would you like an inflatable tub for cold plunges anywhere you go? That’s now a thing. How about a life jacket styled specifically for freestyle kayakers? Well, of course! There’s no niche too small, my friends.

Find your niche — and a piece of gear to help do it — right here in Emerging Gear.

Astral Indus Life Jacket

astral indus life jacket
Indus life jacket; (photos/Astral)

I can’t recall seeing life jackets that actually look cool.

I suppose that means Astral understood the assignment for its freestyle kayaking-inspired life jacket, which just launched this week. Astral calls the Indus the world’s first high-buoyancy Personal Flotation Device inspired by freestyle. It offers kayakers a hefty 22 pounds of buoyancy as well as a low-profile pocket design in a jacket meant to allow free movement.

The Indus comes equipped with a quick-release rescue harness, reinforced shoulders for added strength, customizable fit options that avoid the face, and protection for the back against impacts. Made with sustainable materials, it costs $375 through Astral’s website or select retailers.

Taint’d Love CBD Chamois Cream

(Photo/Taint’d Love)

I’m not sure I can imagine a better name for a glorified butt cream than Taint’d Love.

A cycling chamois cream with CBD and arnica, Taint’d Love and the eponymous company behind it aim to help riders cope with saddle soreness. The addition of CBD and arnica offer natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits for cyclists spending prolonged periods on their seats, the company said.

After a soft launch last year, the cream is now widely available through the Taint’d Love website. A 119 mL tube costs just $24, so if your derriere needs some tender loving care, rub some on before your next ride (and don’t forget to play the Soft Cell hit as you pedal away).

FLOWBIO F1 Hydration Sensor

flowbio hydration sensor S1
A woman runs with the S1 hydration sensor on her left arm; (photo/FLOWBIO)

It’s the most accurate wearable hydration sensor ever made — or at least that’s what FLOWBIO says.

The company just dropped the S1, a wearable sensor tailor-made for triathletes, cyclists, and runners. Developed in London, it’s designed to measure both water and sodium losses in real-time, and it uses an algorithm to create a personalized hydration profile for each user, FLOWBIO said. Athletes can then use their profile to view personalized hydration plans.

The S1 sensor can be attached to a chest or optical heart rate strap and should be worn directly against the skin. The S1 Companion App provides users with a variety of hydration data. Already used by the EF Pro Cycling Team, the S1 costs about $413.

Plunge Evolve Series

Plunge Pop Up
The Plunge Pop Up; (photo/Plunge)

Plunge, the company that makes some of the highest-quality (and priciest) cold plunge tubs on the market, just released its newest line, the Evolve Series. This series includes two significantly more affordable options — the Plunge Evolve Air ($1,190 tub only, $4,490 with chiller) and the Plunge Evolve Pop-Up ($150 tub only, $3,490 with chiller).

Both of these new plunges are inflatable, making them more portable and less expensive. This is a marked difference from the acrylic and fiberglass tubs that Plunge offers. The Plunge Air is the larger of the two thanks to its bathtub shape, which provides enough room to lie down, while the Ice Bath Pop-Up is more of a barrel-style tub.

Both work with the Evolve PlungePure Pro Chiller ($3,500), which is quieter, Bluetooth-enabled for remote control via smartphone, and has a temperature range from 37 to 120 degrees. On the other end of the Evolve line’s price range is the Plunge Evolve XL ($3,390 tub only, $6,690 with chiller), a heavy-duty acrylic and fiberglass plunge tub paired with the PlungePure Pro Chiller.

If you’re interested, then consider buying soon. All of these products are currently discounted on the Plunge website.

Front Runner Pro Bed Rack System

front runner pro truck rack
(Photo/Front Runner)

Front Runner just dropped the Pro Bed Rack System, offering a new storage solution for truck owners who love outdoor adventures. It’s designed to enhance gear-carrying capacity and accessibility.

The Pro Bed Rack System aims for easy access to a truck’s load bed area, with multiple accessory channels and T-slots for the swift attachment of a wide array of accessories. Fixed-top cross bars are included for durability as well as cross-bracing at both the front and rear.

It’s compatible with a variety of truck models, including the Ram 1500 Crew Cab, Ford F150 Super Crew, Ford Ranger T6, Jeep Gladiator, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Tacoma, and Toyota Tundra Crewmax. Price varies by vehicle, ranging from $2,630 to $3,125.

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Solo Stove Popcorn Maker

solo stove popcorn maker
(Photo/Solo Stove)

Movie nights in the Great Outdoors just got a lot tastier.

Solo Stove wants to upgrade your camping (or maybe just a backyard movie night) with a popcorn maker priced at a modest $50. This cooking pan works with any Solo Stove fire pit, and has a quick-detach handle and a “pop-n-pour” lid designed to keep popcorn kernels contained during the popping process.

That means it’s easy to pour out the popcorn single-handed, the company said. Pan design also aims for consistent heat distribution so you can make sure each and every kernel gets popped — without burning.

Teva Hydratrek Sandal

teva hydratrek
The Hydratrek Sandal; (photo/Teva)

Teva’s newest sandal takes design inspiration from an unlikely source: the wide, sticky feet of tree frogs.

The Hydratrek Sandal mimics the exceptional wet traction abilities of these cute little amphibians with an outsole that “maximizes surface area contact and allows ample water dispersion underfoot,” Teva said. Grip is further enhanced by “high-performance” rubber and uniquely designed channels in the tread.

A textured topsole and padded straps keep the feet stable and locked in to the shoe. If you’re looking for a durable water sandal for tackling summer fun, this could be a solid option. The sandals cost $85 and come in four colors.

Carhartt National Park Collection

carhartt cap saguaro

If I know one thing about outdoor gear, it’s that National Park-inspired designs will never go out of style.

Carhartt seems well aware of this, having just launched a National Parks Collection that includes T-shirts and caps for four parks that reflect the awe-inspiring landmarks of American West. The parks include Yellowstone, Sequoia, Saguaro, and Denali.

Personally, I’d love to snag a Canvas Saguaro National Park Patch Cap for $25, or the Yellowstone National Park Graphic T-Shirt for the same price.

Smith Triad MIPS (With Crash Detection)

smith triad helmet
The Triad MIPS helmet; (photo/Smith Optics)

Smith’s latest bike helmet comes with a sweet new feature: a crash detection sensor.

The $190 Triad MIPS helmet is designed for road, gravel, and cross-country. It’s one of four Smith models that will incorporate the company’s other big announcement: the launch of its Aleck CS crash detection sensor.

Integrated into the helmet’s fit system, the sensor is designed to measure impact forces, verify the rider’s status, and, if necessary, dispatch an emergency message with the GPS location to pre-selected contacts. This connectivity extends to a smartphone app, linking riders with their emergency contacts and other Aleck app users within a 1.8-mile radius. Surprisingly, access to the basic features doesn’t require a paid subscription.

Ucon Acrobatics Hajo Medium Pannier Backpack

ucon acrobatics pannier backpack
(Photos/Ucon Acrobatics)

I love modular gear, and this pannier/backpack hybrid looks like a sweet new example of flexible design. It will likely appeal to anyone who welcomes the thought of strapping their pack to the bike instead of their shoulders.

In other words, the Pannier Backpack Edition from Ucon Acrobatics targets urban bike commuters. It’s got a hook-and-loop system with a sturdy metal buckle for quick mounting. An additional hook at the bottom provides extra stability, and Ucon promises that the conversion between pack and pannier is quick and easy.

Made from recycled fashion waste, it’s still far more durable than artificial leather, Ucon said. Available in a handful of colors, it retails for about $176.

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