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Packraft Sled, Eileen Gu Skis, Adventure Dog Training Tool, and More Emerging Gear

Think you’ve seen the latest and greatest the outdoor world has to offer? Not yet, you haven’t. That’s what Emerging Gear is for!

a woman ride a bike in the company of two dogs(Photo/Adventure Dog Channel)
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We made it, folks! The light begins returning after today! To celebrate, let’s take a good look at the freshest innovations in the outdoor adventure world. That’s right, it’s Emerging Gear time. This week’s edition includes playful skis, toasty socks, and innovative wine that helps with bison conservation. What more could you ask for?

The Adventure Dog Channel

Dog trainer molly uhlig skiing with two husky dogs
(Photo/Adventure Dog Channel)

Dogs don’t just know how to safely tag along on your bike trips, paddling adventures, trail runs, and ski tours. You have to learn how to do those things, and so do they. That’s where the Adventure Dog Channel comes in. Molly Uhlig — a professional dog trainer based in Salt Lake City — breaks down how to get your pups ready for your joint adventures, and has plenty of activity-specific advice and training tips to offer.

The online courses run $36/month (or a yearly fee of $380) and include weekly virtual group training sessions. If you’ve got a doggo in the house that’s bouncing off the walls but isn’t ready for outdoor adventures, this course might just be your new best friend.



When the UYN Man UYNNER HERO SHOES first appeared in my inbox, I was a little aghast. What, I wondered, is this shoe for? UYN says “urban adventures,” but the more I considered the surprisingly aggressive Vibram sole, the seamless merino wool upper, and the waterproof membrane sandwiched into the construction, the more the shoes grew on me.

Finally, I decided they’d be perfect for wearing pre- and post-ski adventures. Those Vibram lugs should provide decent traction in a slushy, icy parking lot, while the “sock” upper probably feels glorious and warm after a full day of skiing and riding. The breathability inherent in a knit fiber over a plastic or leather upper probably feels great on sweaty, tired piggies as well.

I see only two downsides. The first is that you might get a few sidelong glances. The second is that they cost over $300, which takes me right back around to aghast. But, to each their own!

Alpacka Rafts Adrenaline Sled

a man riding the adrenaline sled off a snow jump

It was probably only a matter of time until a company already making sturdy, inflatable pack rafts realized it had all the tools it needed to create an inflatable sled. So it went at Alpacka Rafts, where the team is busy cranking out 2.75-pound, $150 sleds perfect for everything from backyard slides to epic backcountry adventures.

Like a camp chair or hammock, the Alpacka Adrenaline Sled isn’t a do-or-die adventure tool. But I’d imagine that also like those tools, a sled can add a ton of enjoyment and zest to an otherwise pedestrian trip. Alpacka Rafts makes the Adrenaline Sled out of the same sturdy material it creates its iconic rafts from. But heads up — the brand cautions against anyone taking the sled over non-snow surfaces (like ice).

Wide Open Socks

(Photo/Wide Open Socks)
(Photo/Wide Open Socks)

The geniuses over at my favorite sock makers — Darn Tough — have hit upon a winning and startingly simple idea. The brand found that a fairly large percentage of outdoor adventurers are wearing socks that are too tight. That’s counterproductive, as a tight sock can reduce blood flow, making for colder feet!

Yep, not everybody has a skinny foot and leg. So Wide Open, a new brand from Darn Tough, offers options. Each of the brand’s socks has extra width in the cuff, length, ankle width, and foot width. And with merino/synthetic blend fabrics, you get solid warmth-for-weight and warm-when-damp performance. What more could you ask for? Wide Open socks come in a range of sizes, styles, and colors.

Sawtooth STRETCH Expandable Tonneau Cover

Sawtooth STRETCH Expandable Tonneau cover

Short truck beds make for easier parking and offer other benefits that come from not driving a vehicle that can double as a barge. But when it comes time to haul cargo, you can end up second-guessing your short-bed decision.

That’s where Sawtooth’s stretchy tonneau cover, freshly released for short-bed trucks like the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, comes in. The cover stretches to protect and secure cargo that rises above or extends beyond the truck bed.

That’s big news as GearJunkie’s motors team just listed the Colorado as their adventure truck of the year. And the STRETCH Expandible Tonneau cover comes with a host of handy features — like tool-free installation, zipper, and Velcro-free sealing technology, and removable aluminum cross-supports to accommodate snow loading. Sure, you could spend precious time strapping, tying, and bungee-cording cargo into oblivion. Or you could just grab one of these starting at $500. Your choice!

1000 Stories Wine x Yellowstone Forever Bison Preservation

1000 stories wine collection

1000 Stories is an innovative winery out of California known for bourbon-barrel-aged selections and interesting takes on old favorites. Now the brand has partnered with Yellowstone Forever to support bison conservation at Yellowstone National Park.

“Yellowstone Forever is delighted to welcome 1000 Stories as a partner in our bison conservation efforts,” said Sam Barkley, Yellowstone Forever’s senior director of strategic partnerships. “The winery’s commitment will help us continue to fund on-the-ground conservation efforts, and introduce a new demographic of nature lovers to our important programs.”

To celebrate this partnership, you can use the code BISONSTORIES at checkout to get 20% off any purchase on the website. I recommend the Intro Bundle, which includes chardonnay, pinot noir, red blend, zinfandel, and cabernet sauvignon.

Helly Hansen Arctic Patrol Modular Parka 2.0

(Photo/Helly Hansen)
(Photo/Helly Hansen)

Helly Hansen knows that if you want to make good gear, you need to consult the people who need and use that gear the most. The latest example is the brand’s recently launched Arctic Patrol Modular Parka 2.0, developed in conjunction with professionals living and working in arctic environments.

The four-layer system comprises an insulation layer, a waterproof-breathable shell, an outer parka, and a utility vest with plenty of storage options. Mix and match at your discretion or as conditions demand. A suite of pockets, including a warming pocket for your phone, means this system is as useful as it is versatile.

Is this a $2,000 jacket? Yes. But if you are, say, studying polar bears at the top of the world, it’s exactly the level of engineering you need to keep you safe and warm.

Faction x Eileen Gu Signature Series Skis

Eileen Gu with the faction skis she co-designed

Eileen Gu is a freestyle skier, multiple X Games and Olympic medalist, and now co-designer of her very own skis. All this before the age of 21? Whew!

Gu worked with Faction on the Studio 0 Gu and Prodigy 1 Gu half-pipe and freestyle skis, respectively. The Studio 0 Gu includes features designed to hold up to the rigors of the half-pipe discipline, like a carbon weave, a symmetrical shape for multidirectional skiing, and specially reinforced areas to accommodate heavy stomps. Meanwhile, the Prodigy 1 Gu incorporates a poplar and ash core with an 88mm underfoot width and Faction’s freestyle-friendly elliptical sidecut design.

The aptly named Prodigy runs $550, while the Studio costs $700. Both sport variations on a leaping big cat design that’s streamlined while still being grabby. Both skis are limited edition, so act fast!

smith goggles

Indestructible Jacket, 3D-Printed Ski Goggles, Natural Fiber Fleece, and More Emerging Gear

This week's Emerging Gear column is jam-packed with up-and-coming products from quality brands. Don't sleep on the goggles! Read more…

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