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Emerging Gear: Liquid Chalk, Rearview Bike Radar, and 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.

Specialized TURBO SL Vado SL E-bike
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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.

Crankbrothers Stamp Pedals

Crank stamp flat pedals

Crankbrothers just launched the Stamp 2 and Stamp 3 Flat Pedals ($80-119), made with Chromoly steel spindles and an aluminum or die-cast magnesium body. Both have a minimal 16mm profile. The brand claims the new pedals offer a variety of sizing as well as enhanced grip with 10 adjustable pins. The Stamp 2 will be an “enthusiast level” pedal while the lighter and smaller Stamp 3 is for elite performance. Check out the Stamp 2 and Stamp 3 pedals now.

Black Diamond Black Gold Liquid Chalk

small tube of Black Diamond black gold chalk

When I first started climbing, I thought all chalk was the same, but not so much in recent years. More brands are experimenting with different formulas and mediums of chalk. This week, Black Diamond hit the market with its new Black Gold Liquid Chalk ($20). Black Gold combines two of the brand’s original chalk blends and claims it offers twice the sweat absorption of regular chalk.

Merrell x Filson MQM Mid GTX

Merrell x Filson boot with waterproof overlays

Merrell and Filson collaborated to create the MQM Mid GTX Shoe ($160). At less than 2 pounds per pair, the boot looks promising for fast, light hiking. It has a GORE-TEX waterproof membrane, Filson-designed waterproof ripstop woven mesh upper, a contoured flexible insole, and a rubber outsole.

Tifosi Optics Sledge Sunglasses

tifosi sledge glasses

These full-coverage cycling sunglasses offer protection at an affordable price. The Tifosi Sledge ($70-80) has an ergonomic fit, vented frames, and 100% UVA and UVB protection. Each pair comes with three interchangeable lenses of different tints. The Sledge comes in four style options.


BitBuckle belt multi-tool

Gadget-lovers, take note! The BitBuckle ($60 retail) is a belt buckle and EDC multitool with six hidden bits, a hex driver, and a utility blade. The body is made from lightweight 7075 T6-alloy aluminum. The tool attaches to the belt buckle unit with industrial neodymium magnets; the bits also slide out with a magnetic push bar. It can also be attached to any belt. Watch for the Kickstarter, launching soon.

Gerber Ayako EDC Knife

gerber ayako knife with plain grind

The Gerber Ayako ($31) combines modern Japanese aesthetics with highly packable features. The Akayo has two different opening options as well as a 7Cr17MoV chromium-alloy steel and titanium nitride-coated blade with aluminum scales. The blade also has friction folders, a frame lock, and a pocket clip. The blade construction is nothing new, but we like its simplicity and design.

Vivobarefoot Addis Shoe

Vivobarefoot Addis footprint shoe

Vivobarefoot’s summer 2020 collection features three styles of a shoe dedicated to the brand’s Soul of Africa project: the Addis, the Ababa, and the Ababa Akaso. The brand hand-stitches them in Ethiopia. The Addis Shoe ($115) is a lace-up with a distinctive sole pattern inspired by the Laetoli footprints, human prints left over 3.6 million years go on Tanzanian soil. The Addis comes in black and brown and is available in men’s and women’s sizing.

Leatt 1.0 Urban Helmet

Leatt Urban 1.0 Helmet

From Cape Town, South Africa, bike brand Leatt has a whole new direction for 2020. The brand started out focusing on neck braces for MTB and motocross riding but is now marketing to urban riders. The 1.0 Urban ($50) uses a polymer compound shell with a skate-style design, impact foam, and the brand’s turbine technology, which reduces rotational forces and absorbs more energy on impact to keep your noggin’ safe. It comes in four colors and two sizing options. Best of all, it’s really budget-friendly.

ShadeCraft Robotics Suntable

Suntable charger and speaker

This table is also a solar panel, phone charger, and Bluetooth speaker. Stick the Suntable (now for $299) in a sunny spot in your backyard and listen to solar-powered music or even charge your phone on the built-in charging shelf. The powder-coated steel table incorporates a lithium battery that powers 360-degree JBL Bluetooth speakers. At $299, it has a lot of functionality for a single product with many functions.

Mustang Survival Callan Waterproof Shorts

side view of Mustang Survival Callan shorts

The Mustang Survival Callan Shorts ($150) offer paddlers a waterproof option for cool-to-warm weather when pants are too much. The shorts have a three-layer waterproof fabric (with a 25,000mm water column rating), a reinforced seat, a zippered thigh pocket, and cinch cords on the legs to keep water out. (We think these would be great for kayakers who frequently travel over portages, watersports in the winter, or for expedition anglers.)

Specialized Turbo Vado SL Bike

specialized Turbo Vado bike

Specialized’s Turbo Vado is the brand’s slimmest take on a battery-equipped e-bike. Bottom line: It’s light enough to carry. The Turbo Vado SL (from $3,350) is a 10-speed bike with hydraulic disc brakes that can assist up to 28 mph, has up to a 120-mile range, and weighs 33 pounds. Other features include a 320Wh battery and LED and Bluetooth display. The main differences in the models are aluminum versus upgraded carbon forks and the additional “EQ” commuter accessory options.

Garmin Varia RTL515 Rearview Radar

garmin varia rear light for bike

Although Garmin has been making these rearview devices for years, the new models have a lot of cool updates. The Varia RVR315 rearview radar ($150) pairs with a Garmin bike computer or smartphone to alert you of approaching vehicles. The radar weighs just 1.8 ounces and has 7 hours of battery life and a range up to 153 yards. There’s also the Varia RTL515 (a radar and taillight combined) for $200. Both work with the Varia app to show graphics of cars approaching from behind, and vibrations or lights to indicate cars passing on the left or right sides.

BOGS Footwear Kicker Rain Chelsea Boot

Kicker Chelsea Rain Boot

The Kicker Rain Chelsea (on sale from $34) is one of BOGS’ new women’s 100% waterproof styles. The Chelsea Rain Boot is made of a flexible rubber exterior with an algae-based EVA footbed and nylon shank for stability. While practical for wet and stormy weather, we like that they come in four classy and stylish colors. See the similar men’s style here.

Dovetail Workwear Maven Maternity

Maven maternity workwear jeans

This niche category of workwear has lots of women excited. Dovetail Workwear is launching its first maternity line this spring. The Maven Maternity Pants ($99) are made of heavy-duty denim, with integrated elastic waist inserts and hidden elastic back waistband. The pants will also have 10 functional pockets, a tool loop, hip slot, and more.

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