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Magnetic Sunnies, Cutting-Edge Ski Boots, and More Emerging Gear

From next-gen tech to ingenious innovation, our weekly peek at emerging products examines the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.

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Take a look at this week’s roundup of the latest gear you might not see anywhere else!

Lange Shadow Ski Boots

Lange 2023/2024 SHADOW ski boots

Lange’s 2023/2024 SHADOW ski boots aren’t a modified reissue of an existing product — they’re an ambitious all-new model designed from the ground up. The brand’s first innovation came in 1962 when it introduced the first-ever vacuum-molded plastic boot shell. Now, Lange aims to step back into the driver’s seat with the SHADOW. Available in a wide range of sizes, shells, and flex ratings, the SHADOW features Lange’s Dual Pivot and Suspension Blade technologies, which “boosts power transfer and input up to 25%, giving you more power with less energy.” The one-piece liner has an asymmetrical toe-box and “creates a uniform, pressure-free fit, and a dynamic performance.”

Pictured is the 130 SHADOW MV, a stiff and aggressive version for expert skiers.

Thermacell ELL 55 Mosquito Repeller + Glow Light

Thermacell ELL 55 Mosquito Repeller + Glow Light

Every campground picnic table sports a classic array of paraphernalia — open beer cans, snacks, lanterns, bug spray, etc. In recent years, Thermacell’s compact mosquito repeller units have rightfully found their way into the mix. I’ve used Thermacell devices while car camping and deep in the backcountry, and they genuinely work to keep bugs away. The brand’s latest product is the EL55 ($50), a rechargeable repeller that doubles as a glowing light. Now, instead of packing that half-melted Citronella candle alongside your grandpa’s old tin lantern, this device might help you streamline your camping kit.

Though I’ve generally had good results with Thermacell products, the disposable cartridges are disappointing. They’re made of chunky plastic and never last as long as the brand claims.

Velocio x Bivo Stainless Water Bottle

Velocio x Bivo Stainless Water Bottle

Pushing personal performance barriers on a bike requires frequent and efficient hydration. This new bottle ($34) from cycling brands Velocio and Bivo was “developed by a former NASA engineer” and possesses a unique flow system that “allows users to empty the contents faster than a traditional water bottle.”

Personally, I don’t see how any “flow system” can be faster than a simple glass of water poured directly into an open mouth, but I can appreciate the intent here: a cyclist’s bottle should be easy to drink from. Stripped to the essentials, this bottle is made from stainless steel and minimizes excessive features. All proceeds from the collaborative bottle will be donated to 1% for the Planet.

Salomon S Pro Supra Boa

Salomon S Pro Supra Boa

It’s a big week for ski boot drops. Salomon’s S/Pro Supra Boa Boots ($750) for men and women combine several popular features found on previous Salomon models. The brand’s 3D Instep Shell, custom tongue, and Custom Shell HD are combined with a BOA fit system to create the “most high-performance medium volume boot ever.” Available in 105 and 120 flex values, the S/Pro Supra Boa comes with screwable aluminum buckles and a 45mm calf strap. The pictured 120 version is made for high-speed on-piste carving.

Shadelocks Magnetic Sunglasses

Shadelocks Magnetic Sunglasses

Like death and taxes, losing a pair of sunglasses is an inevitable part of life. We’ve all been there. First, you place the glasses on the bill of your hat. Next, you forget about the glasses. Finally, the glasses fly off in the heat of activity, never to be seen again. I recently went snorkeling at a popular beach and encountered more waterlogged Oakleys than coral.

Shadelocks has come up with a creative solution. Every pair of Shadelocks glasses comes with a pair of magnetic hat inserts. The inserts clip onto the inside rim of almost any baseball cap, which holds the gasses’ temple arms firmly in place. To the brand’s credit, the best sunglasses you can buy are those that you won’t lose after two weeks. The pictured pair is the NEO Tortoise Sunglasses ($75), which come with French-made Zeiss lenses.

Technica Mach 1 MV Women’s Boot

Technica Mach 1 MV Women's Boot

Female skiers rejoice! Tecnica is adding a 115 flex to the women’s Mach 1 MV series ($750). The new Mach 1 MV 115 is built for the highest type of performance, with a 4-buckle design, 100mm last, C.A.S. polyurethane shell and C.A.S. tongue, double canting, and a 45mm powerstrap. Previously, a mid-volume skier had to squeeze into a low-volume model (98mm last) if she wanted a stiffer boot or settle for a 105 flex in the Mach 1 MV. The Mach 1 MV series for men comes in 100, 110, and 120 flex, and for women now comes in 95, 105, and 115 flex.

Bedrock Sandals Split Toe Socks

Bedrock Sandals Split Toe Socks

Socks with sandals might be frowned upon in certain fashion circles, but why conform when you can be comfortable? These split-toe socks from Bedrock Sandals ($19/pair) make it easy to insulate your toes and still enjoy the convenience of slip-ons. From Chaco toe-loops to flip-flops (or thongs, for the Australians), these socks are compatible with all toe-threading footwear.

The pictured Birch colorway is inspired by knotted birch tree bark. A combination of Coolmax, nylon, and Lycra ensures stretch and breathability.

LaCrosse Ursa MS Hunting Boots

LaCrosse Ursa MS Hunting Boots

The Lacrosse Ursa MS ($300) is a new competitor in the high-end mountain hunting boot category. According to the brand, this boot’s design process involved consultations with experienced hunters and four seasons of field testing. Backcountry hunting involves long miles and heavy loads. I haven’t tested this boot, but it clearly possesses all the appointments expected of heavy-duty hunting footwear, including a burly upper, a GORE-TEX liner, and a stiff Vibram outsole. It’s available now and comes in two colors.

Free Fly Tradewind Travel Pants

Free Fly Tradewind Travel Pants

Free Fly is known for the wonderfully soft texture of its sun-protective clothing. I recently tested one of the brand’s sun hoodies, and — despite its affordable price — it feels like it’s made from the world’s finest cashmere. Now, the brand is expanding into the realm of pants with the Tradewinds, a classic-looking chino-style travel pant. The Tradewinds boasts the highest possible UV protection rating of UPF 50+. Aside from the sun protection and Freefly’s reputation for unmatched softness, the Tradewinds are prototypical chinos. They’ve got drop-in back pockets, a button closure with a zipper fly, and a fixed waist with belt loops — the works.

Proof Passport Field Jacket

Proof Passport Field Jacket

This robust jacket from Proof ($248) looks like it belongs on a botanist’s expedition to seek new plant species in the deep wilderness. It’s easy to picture a field journal in one of the square front pockets and various scientific instruments and vegetation samples in the other. Rightfully deemed the Field Jacket, Proof outfitted this piece of outerwear to “combine durability with comfort and technical performance.”

Beyond the jacket’s scholarly aesthetic, it also has a stowable hood, adjustable sleeve cuffs, and a durable water-repellent coating.

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