Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

Take a peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design. Explore the grid or click through for a slideshow.

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Lululemon Chargefeel
Lululemon Chargefeel

Known for its leggings — but soon to be known for its footwear — Lululemon entered the footwear space earlier this year with the release of its Blissfeel running shoe. Now, the brand continues to expand its footwear line with the Chargefeel ($138). Designed for running, training, and on the go, the Chargefeel is built like a running shoe with the side-to-side stability of a trainer. It’s available in both a low and mid version.

Thermacell Rechargable E55 'Mosquito Shield'
Thermacell Rechargable E55 'Mosquito Shield'

It’s the peak of summertime. The sun is high, campgrounds are packed, and mosquitos are at their irritating worst. Thermacell has been around for 20 years, but it still feels like a game-changing innovation in the world of mosquito evasion. According to the brand, the new Rechargeable E55 ($40) can create a 20-foot zone of protection from buzzing bloodsuckers and features an improved 5.5-hour battery. Like most Thermacell products, the E55 comes with a 12-hour disposable cartridge and emits a DEET-free spray.

Lacaida 'Fern' Metered Climbing Rope
Lacaida 'Fern' Metered Climbing Rope

As most climbers have experienced, locating your rope’s halfway point at a rappel anchor can be a time-consuming headache. Meet Lacaida (Spanish for ‘the fall’) — makers of safety-minded climbing ropes with clear markings every 5 m. The Fern ($269 for a 60m), named for a local crag near the Lacaida factory in Arkansas, is the new brand’s flagship product. This dynamic 9.6mm single rope is marked every meter near the midpoint and ends at every 5 m in between. With the Fern in your crag kit, you’ll never again have to wonder if you’ve got enough rope left. Plus, you’ll always know the exact length of every pitch that you climb. Route developers rejoice!

Alternative Current 'Wide Aperture' Angel Cam
Alternative Current 'Wide Aperture' Angel Cam

Since climber and aerospace engineer Ray Jardine invented the first climbing friend (or, cam) in 1970, improvements to the concept have been subtle. The new Angel Cam ($245) from Alternative Current may be the biggest active protection innovation in decades. Unlike most cams on the market, the Angel can fit a broad range of crack sizes. In some ways, the design is similar to Omega Pacific’s discontinued Link Cam, except that the Angel only comes in one size. Thanks to a wild X-shaped design, the brand claims the Angel can fit into cracks between 1 and 3.9 inches in width — the same range covered by five Black Diamond Camalots.

Appalachian Gear Alpaca Wool T-Shirt
Appalachian Gear Alpaca Wool T-Shirt

Much like the wheel, there is no need to reinvent the T-shirt. However, Appalachian Gear’s new AG-Tee ($92) is a high-tech take on an old classic. According to the brand, it invested 2 years into field research and fabric development. The result is “a lightweight, high-performance, American-made, 100% natural fiber Tee.” Made from 80% Alpaca wool and 20% TENCEL, the AG-Tee is free of synthetic materials and is “completely launderable.” It’s available in men’s and women’s sizes.

Exped Widget Electric Sleeping Pad Pump
Exped Widget Electric Sleeping Pad Pump

We’ve all been there: lightheaded and sore-lipped while we repeatedly exhale into a stubborn sleeping pad. Exped — maker of some of our favorite pads and mattresses — announces the Widget ($50), a compact electric pump that doubles as a portable power station and camp lantern. No longer will you need to Wim Hof your way to a comfortable night’s sleep. The Widget fits in one hand and weighs 6.7 ounces. Exped specifically designed it to fit easily into a backpack. A single USB port on the side of the Widget can be used to charge headlamps, phones, and other small devices.

NORCO Fluid FS Mountain Bike
NORCO Fluid FS Mountain Bike

For many beginner-level mountain bikers, finding a full-suspension bike with an approachable price point is difficult. The tagline of the Norco Fluid FS ($2,699-4,499) is “Every Rider, Every Trail,” a reference to its relative affordability. There are technically four different bikes in the Fluid FS range, with a handful of key components being the difference between each. The cheapest model is the Fluid FS A4, which comes with a RockShox fork and a Shimano Deore groupset. All four models have 29-inch wheels with Stan’s tubeless-compatible rims and four-piston hydraulic disc brakes.

Machines for Freedom Everyday Bib Short
Machines for Freedom Everyday Bib Short

Part of Machines for Freedom’s latest collection, the Everyday Bib Short ($168) is a “quick dry, moisture wicking” everyday chamois. According to the brand, the seamless silicon leg gripper “eliminates band and thigh bulge.” Two rear pockets are large enough to store a phone or wallet. As a bonus, the four-way stretch material has the highest possible UPF sun protection rating. It’s available in a wide range of sizes.

  • Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

    Lululemon Chargefeel

    Known for its leggings — but soon to be known for its footwear — Lululemon entered the footwear space earlier this year with the release of its Blissfeel running shoe. Now, the brand continues to expand its footwear line with the Chargefeel ($138). Designed for running, training, and on the go, the Chargefeel is built like a running shoe with the side-to-side stability of a trainer. It’s available in both a low and mid version.

  • Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

    Thermacell Rechargable E55 'Mosquito Shield'

    It’s the peak of summertime. The sun is high, campgrounds are packed, and mosquitos are at their irritating worst. Thermacell has been around for 20 years, but it still feels like a game-changing innovation in the world of mosquito evasion. According to the brand, the new Rechargeable E55 ($40) can create a 20-foot zone of protection from buzzing bloodsuckers and features an improved 5.5-hour battery. Like most Thermacell products, the E55 comes with a 12-hour disposable cartridge and emits a DEET-free spray.

  • Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

    Lacaida 'Fern' Metered Climbing Rope

    As most climbers have experienced, locating your rope’s halfway point at a rappel anchor can be a time-consuming headache. Meet Lacaida (Spanish for ‘the fall’) — makers of safety-minded climbing ropes with clear markings every 5 m. The Fern ($269 for a 60m), named for a local crag near the Lacaida factory in Arkansas, is the new brand’s flagship product. This dynamic 9.6mm single rope is marked every meter near the midpoint and ends at every 5 m in between. With the Fern in your crag kit, you’ll never again have to wonder if you’ve got enough rope left. Plus, you’ll always know the exact length of every pitch that you climb. Route developers rejoice!

  • Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

    Alternative Current 'Wide Aperture' Angel Cam

    Since climber and aerospace engineer Ray Jardine invented the first climbing friend (or, cam) in 1970, improvements to the concept have been subtle. The new Angel Cam ($245) from Alternative Current may be the biggest active protection innovation in decades. Unlike most cams on the market, the Angel can fit a broad range of crack sizes. In some ways, the design is similar to Omega Pacific’s discontinued Link Cam, except that the Angel only comes in one size. Thanks to a wild X-shaped design, the brand claims the Angel can fit into cracks between 1 and 3.9 inches in width — the same range covered by five Black Diamond Camalots.

  • Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

    Appalachian Gear Alpaca Wool T-Shirt

    Much like the wheel, there is no need to reinvent the T-shirt. However, Appalachian Gear’s new AG-Tee ($92) is a high-tech take on an old classic. According to the brand, it invested 2 years into field research and fabric development. The result is “a lightweight, high-performance, American-made, 100% natural fiber Tee.” Made from 80% Alpaca wool and 20% TENCEL, the AG-Tee is free of synthetic materials and is “completely launderable.” It’s available in men’s and women’s sizes.

  • Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

    Exped Widget Electric Sleeping Pad Pump

    We’ve all been there: lightheaded and sore-lipped while we repeatedly exhale into a stubborn sleeping pad. Exped — maker of some of our favorite pads and mattresses — announces the Widget ($50), a compact electric pump that doubles as a portable power station and camp lantern. No longer will you need to Wim Hof your way to a comfortable night’s sleep. The Widget fits in one hand and weighs 6.7 ounces. Exped specifically designed it to fit easily into a backpack. A single USB port on the side of the Widget can be used to charge headlamps, phones, and other small devices.

  • Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

    NORCO Fluid FS Mountain Bike

    For many beginner-level mountain bikers, finding a full-suspension bike with an approachable price point is difficult. The tagline of the Norco Fluid FS ($2,699-4,499) is “Every Rider, Every Trail,” a reference to its relative affordability. There are technically four different bikes in the Fluid FS range, with a handful of key components being the difference between each. The cheapest model is the Fluid FS A4, which comes with a RockShox fork and a Shimano Deore groupset. All four models have 29-inch wheels with Stan’s tubeless-compatible rims and four-piston hydraulic disc brakes.

  • Emerging Gear: DEET-Free ‘Mosquito Shield,’ Inventive Climbing Cam, & More

    Machines for Freedom Everyday Bib Short

    Part of Machines for Freedom’s latest collection, the Everyday Bib Short ($168) is a “quick dry, moisture wicking” everyday chamois. According to the brand, the seamless silicon leg gripper “eliminates band and thigh bulge.” Two rear pockets are large enough to store a phone or wallet. As a bonus, the four-way stretch material has the highest possible UPF sun protection rating. It’s available in a wide range of sizes.

Austin Beck-Doss
By

Austin Beck-Doss regularly relocates according to whichever climbing area is in season. In addition to covering gear and the outdoor industry for GearJunkie, he enjoys writing about music, culture, and personal observations from time spent in the natural world.

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