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.
Rumpl NanoLoft Flame Blanket
According to our anecdotal studies, stray campfire sparks are the top threat to expensive winter layers and cherished blankets. For those chilly winter nights when you can’t help but scootch closer to the flames, Rumpl’s NanoLoft Flame Blanket ($129) has a fire-resistant exterior. The blanket passes the ISO 15025:2016 standard for fire protection against flames, and it’s fully machine washable. Each individual NanoLoft’s insulation is made from 12 recycled plastic bottles.
Osprey Talon Earth Backpack
Osprey outfitted its Talon Earth Backpack ($200) with “recycled fabrics inside and out.” In fact, this pack represents the brand’s most thorough application of recycled products yet. Even the YKK zippers are made from recycled plastic. At 22 L, the Talon Earth is a technical daypack designed for “dynamic body movement.” It’s the first Osprey product to be Bluesign-approved.
Quiksilver Highlite Arch Boardshorts
In true summertime fashion, we tested the Quiksilver Highlite Boardshorts ($65) by diving headfirst into a local swimming hole on a hot afternoon. While sitting on a sun-soaked boulder, the lightweight shorts dried completely in less than 10 minutes. Quiksilver’s proprietary “Highlite” fabric is made with recycled plastic bottles and a “plant-based” hydrophobic coating. We haven’t had a chance to use these shorts for their intended use (surfing), but they’ve been great for casual board-free summer fun.
This innovative flashlight doesn’t have knobs or numerous buttons. Instead, it uses hand motions to adjust the strength of its beam. Hold the Darkfade in your hand and turn it to the right, and the beam will brighten. Turn to the left, and the beam will dim. Another unique feature is the angled shaft, which feels more natural and ergonomic in the hand, or so the folks behind Darkfade claim. The light recently launched on Kickstarter, where preorders are available for about $130. The estimated delivery is spring 2023.
Ruffwear Web Master Harness
This structured, multiuse body harness from Ruffwear was just updated. The Web Master harness ($70) has a padded handle, belly strap, and two leash attachment points on the back. The foam-padded construction (with an updated foam) and anatomical design and provide balanced lifting and comfort for extended wear. The harness should be more breathable and flexible than prior versions. Plus, it gets a Bluesign-approved polyester ripstop fabric for improved resistance to fading.
HOKA Mafate Speed 4
The latest iteration of the HOKA Mafate Speed ($185) is lighter than ever — 8.5 ounces per women’s size 7 shoe. Key updates include a new two-part midsole that “pairs HOKA’s lightest, most responsive foam with a firm rubberized layer of EVA foam.” Underfoot, 5 mm of Vibram Megagrip with Traction Lug tread is designed to provide reliable grip on any surface. It’s available in men’s and women’s sizes.
Ibex Nomad Joggers
Try as we might, humans have not managed to create a synthetic material that is more comfortable than merino wool. Ibex specializes in the stuff, and the brand’s new Nomad joggers ($165) are made specifically for fireside lounging. The Nomad has the classic joggers look, with three pockets and an interior drawstring waistband. Men’s and women’s sizes are available.
Rhino Rig-A-Maroll Utility Bag
Some bags have roll-tops, and others have zippered closures. The STEP 22 Rhino Rig-A-Maroll ($125) has both. According to Rhino, this bag has numerous potential uses from “recovery gear to sleeping bags to moto gear.” The amusingly named Rig-A-Maroll is made from 1,000-denier nylon, and its total capacity is 44 L. The front panel can serve as a 28″ x 20″ “work mat” when opened.
LIVSN Designs just dropped their Flex Canvas pants — in overalls form! The Flex Canvas Overalls ($169 now) are a work bib style, featuring double-layer knees and seat, a kangaroo bib pocket, and a modern fit. They are made with made with 8-ounce EcoFlex Canvas, and have tons of pockets. The MSRP is $199 ($169 on preorder until August 31.) LIVSN plans to ship the overalls for delivery in October 2022.
L.L.Bean Mountain Classic Sweater Fleece
Much like grunge and rollerblades, fleece jackets peaked in the early ’90s. L.L.Bean’s Mountain Classic Collection is a throwback to the golden age of pullovers, and the “Sweater Fleece“ ($79) is the star of the show. This colorful retro layer reprises ’90s color schemes, patterns, and detailing, including L.L.Bean’s “signature woven alpine trim taping.”