Got a bug in your ear for the sweetest new drops from established brands and scrappy young newcomers alike? You’ve come to the right place.
Welcome to Emerging Gear. Consider me your personal Hermes, a messenger guide on a journey through the best, most recent releases in the outdoor world. So buckle up, buttercup. Gear incoming.
The SnoStrip is a handy ski and snowboard holder that attaches magnetically to your car. Now you don’t have to worry about knocking your gear over as you put your boots on. The SnoStrip has been around for a minute, but its manufacturer, RigStrip, has updated it for the 23/24 ski and ride season. Improvements include capacity for two snowboards, deeper slots, two narrow slots for thinner skis (like XC sticks), and rubberized construction.
A word of warning — GearJunkie’s motors editor advises that you ensure your car is clean before placing and removing the SnoStrip, because dirt between your paint and the strip will scratch your car (which is what you’re trying to avoid in the first place!).
I’m a fan of Paka’s Hoodie for its soft and warm alpaca fiber, knit construction, and overall wearability (I’m wearing one right now). Now Paka has taken alpaca fiber, blended it with recycled polyester, and stuffed it into a jacket. The result is a garment that’s lightweight, sleek enough for layering, and retains insulative properties when damp.
I could see the Apu Lightweight Puffer being a go-to jacket for high-output cold-weather activities like ski touring, snowshoeing, or backpacking. And a splash of spandex in the shell fabric probably means the jacket won’t constrict you when you start moving fast.
As traffic in the backcountry increases, burying your toilet paper is starting to fall out of fashion, especially in delicate areas. Enter the Hydration Spray Lid, a nifty gadget from Lunatec that pressurizes Hydroflask, Takey, and Thermoflask bottles.
Once you’ve got pressure, you’ve got access to all kinds of backcountry utility — easier cleaning (of your dishes and yourself), a water pick, and yes, a bidet attachment. The upshot? You can care for your own delicate area while doing a solid (heh) for Mother Nature as well.
The Hydration Spray Lid is still in backing mode over on Kickstarter, with 21 days to go as of this writing. You can support the project for just $20 at an early bird price, with delivery expected for December 2023.
Garmin packed a ton of useful dive features into the Descent Mk3, including a 200m depth rating, tough sapphire face crystal, and smartwatch capability. But the shining star of the update is the computer’s ability to interface with the Garmin Descent T2 transceiver.
The combo allows a diver to ask for help with the push of a watch button. Other divers can then monitor depth and tank pressure if needed. Divers can also exchange preset messages from up to 30 m apart.
The communication-related features are coming soon via a software update, but in the meantime, the Descent Mk3 is still a powerful diving tool.
Dynaplug announced this week an addition to its popular Air Tubeless Repair Kit — a valve core remover built into the cap. Multifunctionality is always a good thing, especially for gram-shaving gearheads, so don’t sleep on this one.
The new Dynaplug Air Tubeless Repair Kit is milled from aluminum and weighs a svelte 0.7 ounces. And if you already own and use the earlier generation Dynaplug Air, never fear. Dynaplug offers an aftermarket valve core remover upgrade for just $20.
The Pit Command fire pit tool might just be the most overbuilt, bad-ass backyard bonfire implement you’ll ever have in your garage, and I love it for that. As of now, Pit Command makes all its tools in stainless steel. So go ahead and hack, stab, poke, and stir to your heart’s content. Stainless steel can take it.
For frosting on the cake, a recent collaboration with Bespoke Post has the Pit Command appearing in an eye-catching blue.
GearJunkie’s cycling editor told me that Princeton Carbonworks’ new Wake 6560 Evolution wheelset looks “stupid dope.” He’s not wrong — cool radiates off this thing like you just took it out of the freezer.
Princeton Carbonworks claims the Wake 6560 Evolution represents “the largest step change in performance we’ve made yet,” and points to lighter, stiffer, and faster construction than previous iterations in the line. Want to find out for yourself? It will cost you $3,150 at the low end. But you’ll be faster. Or at least cooler!
I’m including Duke Canon’s new cheekily named Illegally Cut Pine soap in this column for two reasons.
- Forget about cloying, overpowering shower scents. A nostril full of pine is great, everybody loves it, and you could do worse than smelling like you just walked out of a spruce forest.
- Purchasing a legal Christmas tree-cutting permit from a national forest is a fantastic way to help with forest management, support your local public land, and create a new holiday tradition for your family. You can head over to recreation.gov to find a national forest near you that’s selling permits. Happy (legal) cutting!
Skullcandy says its limited-edition Acid Snow Camo Collection is a “return to the brand’s roots” aimed squarely at the action-sports community. The colorful collection includes earbuds, over-the-ear headphones, and a wireless Bluetooth speaker. (The last of which you should not use while on the slopes or in the woods. Come on, people.)
The Dime 3 earbuds are affordable at $40, are sweat- and water-resistant, and have a 20-hour battery life. But my favorite feature is that they include built-in Tile connectivity. As an ADHD-afflicted adult with Tile tracking devices stuck to pretty much everything I own, I can get behind that, and I bet you can too.
Helly Hanson’s Winter 2023 ULLR collection results from close collaboration with the folks who need the most out of their gear — ski patrollers and professional winter athletes.
The Norwegian brand touts the chemical-free, waterproof-breathable membrane used in the line as the chief selling point, with superior fit and comfort falling closely behind. The collection includes a jacket, bib, and insulating layer, all of which Helly Hanson designed to be worn together. I like the frosty color scheme shown here, but if you want to stand out on the slopes a little better, the kit also comes in blue and purple.