In case you haven’t been keeping track, 2023 is the 500th year of Sweden as an independent nation. To further glorify the occasion, 2023 marks 50 years since H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf became Sweden’s head of state. Why not celebrate with a gorgeous ornate blade from the Swedish brand Morakiv?
The limited edition King’s Knife ($163) boasts a highly figured curly birch handle, laser-engraved stainless blade, and navy-blue decorative sheath. If you’re in need of a new utility knife, go with one that’s fit for a king.
Kora — a brand that specializes in apparel made from yak wool — is no stranger to unusual materials and experimental fabrics. The new Kora Bamboo Long-Sleeve Shirt ($95) is almost entirely composed of bamboo fibers, with a dash of spandex thrown in for stretch.
Often considered to be the fastest-growing plant on earth, bamboo is more than just a snack for pandas. Because bamboo requires minimal fertilizer and self-regenerates from its own roots, it’s a highly sustainable crop. Plus, the resulting fabric has naturally sweat-wicking and cooling properties. I haven’t worn this exact shirt, but the bamboo-based layers I have worn are impressively comfortable.
Northwest River Supply (NRS) and Chaco are pillars of the American whitewater enthusiast community. Both brands make reliable water sports equipment, and both have been around for several decades. For every pair of collaborative sandals ($100) sold, $10 will be donated to Diversify Waterwater, a nonprofit organization that works to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in paddle sports by holding free community paddling events.
This isn’t the first time the two river gear giants have joined forces. I once owned a pair of NRS Chacos, and river folk would often approach to pay them a compliment and request to trade them for the shoes off their feet. Eventually, I gave in and gave them to a Utah-dwelling Grand Canyon fiend. May they be worn in good health and prime CFS.
It’s well-established that base layers made from natural fibers are the gold standard for active pursuits. ARTILECT is relatively new on the active apparel scene, but the brand has made rapid strides toward becoming a proven leader in quality and product design.
GearJunkie has tested a handful of the brand’s products, and so far they’ve lived up to the brand’s claims and justified their price tags. So I believe the new Utilitee ($85) will do the same.
Made from a blend of Nuyarn merino wool and plant-based Tencel fiber, this tee meets today’s highest standards in activewear materials. The loose-fitting cut and flat seams should bolster comfort in warm conditions.
Our cycling testers have used and abused several bike racks made by 1UP USA, and they’re consistently stellar. The brand’s no-nonsense designs are simple, solid, and built to last. Now, in the midst of a booming e-bike revolution, 1UP drops the Xtreme Duty ($850), a beefy tray-style rack built to haul the heaviest bikes that money can buy.
To thoroughly support bikes that weigh up to 150 pounds, the Xtreme Duty has reinforced bent arms and an upgraded catching glide bar system. It comes with a single tray, but it’s possible to tack on additional trays using 1UP’s Add On. The brand’s V Style Rack is another handy accessory that eases the struggle of loading and unloading.
Light pollution is the thorn in the side of stargazers across the globe. According to a 2022 study, average sky brightness is increasing by 7-10% per year. We’re seeing fewer stars than ever before.
In an effort to turn back time to the literal dark ages, telescope manufacturer Unistellar developed “Deep Dark Technology” to “automatically remove” interference using trained algorithms that can distinguish celestial light from the general din of humanity. It’s a welcome development for urban-dwelling telescope hobbyists from Toyko to Las Vegas.
It’s nearly summertime, or as the fair-skinned folks call it, sunscreen season. Over the last few years, sun hoodies have stepped in to reduce the need for greasy lotions and sticky aerosol sprays. Duck Camp’s new Rockport Hoodie ($89) is just that — a lightweight layer with top-notch UPF protection and thoughtful features.
I’ve tested lots of sun shirts, and they aren’t all made equal. I like that the Rockport has thumb loops for hand coverage and a deep wraparound hood.
Oura tracks your fitness and sleep stats by measuring motion, blood oxygen level, heart rate, and more — all from a ring on your finger ($299-409).
This week, the company announced Oura Circles, a social feature on its app that lets people share their “daily scores” and other metrics with family and friends. You customize the granularity of data to present, and people in your “circle” can then send reactions and support based on your sleep quality and other health metrics or goals that you share.
Unline the 400-foot-tall behemoths that we gaze at from America’s rural freeways, this mini wind turbine ($400) easily packs down and fits in a backpack. When set up in a backyard or campground on a breezy afternoon, the Shine Portable Wind Turbine can generate sufficient wattage to charge phones, tablets, and other small devices — as long as the wind is blowing at least 8 mph.
While this 3-pound unit isn’t as reliable as a gas or battery-powered generator, it still could be a handy source of backup power in a blackout — especially if the blackout is caused by high-intensity wind.