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Emerging Gear: Upgraded ‘Playbike,’ Extreme Solar Charger, 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.

female in short sleeve jersey and knee pads riding ibis mojo v4 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.

Roval Alpinist CLX Wheels

Roval Alpinist CLX wheelset

The Alpinist CLX wheels are the lightest road clincher wheels Roval has ever made. With these wheels, Roval found a way to pare down on weight without sacrificing strength and durability. The hand-built, carbon-rim wheelset weighs an impressive 1,284 g, with redesigned rims, hubs, spokes, and lacing pattern. Roval also made the wheels tube type-specific. Get the full wheelset starting at $1,100.

Hitch Bottle

pouring brewed coffee into Hitch bottle coffee cup

The Hitch ($55) is the latest design in drinkware — it’s a bottle, lid, and removable 12-ounce cup all in one. The 18-ounce bottle is double-walled to keep contents cold and has a hidden sleeve the cup slides into and locks in place. You can stack both vessels for one-handed carry. Fill it up yourself or at the coffee shop, which means wasting fewer single-use cups.

Western Rise Evolution Shorts

western evolution shorts

The Evolution Shorts (preorder now for $85) are what many have been anticipating from Western Rise — a short version of the brand’s most popular pant. The Evolution Shorts use the same durable, breathable nylon fabric as the Evolution Pants, with a DWR water- and stain-resistant treatment, a zippered security pocket, and an 8-inch inseam. The shorts also have two-way-stretch fabric, front and back pockets, and an internal drawstring.

CAPRA Transforming Chair

Mulibex capra transforming chair

The CAPRA (now for $179) is a transformable chair system with a convertible frame, four interchangeable seat options, and a carry bag with insulating insert (it doubles as a cupholder or snack pouch). This camp chair weighs 2 pounds but can support up to 550 pounds thanks to its aerospace-grade aluminum with reinforced hubs. The brand has performed weight and drop tests, and claims the CAPRA can adapt to a variety of environments.

Ibis Mojo V4 Bike

Ibis Mojo 4 rear and fork suspension mountain bike outdoors

The new Ibis Mojo V4 (starting at $2,999) has upgraded geometry, the brand’s shortest chainstays, DW link suspension, and a design built to accommodate a dropper post of virtually any height. The Mojo 4 is an “all-mountain playbike,” with a 5.9-pound carbon fiber frame, more aggressive head tube and seat tube angles, 27.5-inch wheels, and Shimano components. There are many build options available.

Box Synergy FROST SUMMITS Series Powerbank and Charger

BOX frost summit series

Box Synergy claims its new SUMMITS Series (starting at $45) solar charger and power pack can operate at temps down to -58 degrees F. The waterproof and dustproof SUMMITS solar charger can power up a smartphone in 3 hours. It also has IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity so you can get access to real-time tracking, performance data, and more (by connecting to an app). The FROST power pack can similarly function in extreme places and is shockproof.

GoPro Zeus Mini Magnetic Light

GoPro zeus mini light

The GoPro Zeus Mini ($70) is a magnetic clip light designed for hands-free lighting in the outdoors. The Zeus Mini is waterproof to 33 feet and mountable with a clip or magnets. It has four brightness modes, a 200-lumen light that swivels 360 degrees, and a built-in rechargeable battery with up to 6 hours of runtime. The light comes with a charging cable, mounting unit, and light-diffusing cover.

Rackle Alex Hemp Shoes

Rackle hemp shoes

The Rackle Alex Shoes ($90) are putting sustainability first — they are designed to fall apart. The shoes are made from a custom hemp fabric, with antimicrobial lining and lacing made from recycled PET water bottles. The one-piece sole also uses 80% less adhesive (on average) than standard shoes. Rackle estimates these shoes can break down 30-50 times faster than shoes made with foam. They’re available now for men and women.

Gleam Outdoor Atom Lantern

Gleam Outdoor Atom lantern and solar panel

This camping lantern’s technology provides 0-100% dimming control for an “extraordinary” glamping atmosphere. The Atom Lantern ($139 on Kickstarter) has a warm-color LED light kicking out up to 1,660 lumens, an aluminum body, and a hanging hook and magnets for attaching to different surfaces. Our favorite feature? It’s compatible with solar arrays so you can even charge it off the grid.

Muck Apex Mid Zip Hunting Boot

muck boots Apex Mid Zip hunting boots

The Muck Boot Co. Apex Mid ($140) is a high-performance hunting boot “built for high endurance outdoor pursuits.” The Apex boot is made with a 100% waterproof exterior, EVA midsole, lugged rubber outsole, and waterproof zipper closure. The Apex Mid is lighter in weight and has a more athletic fit than previous styles. It will come in five colors in men’s and women’s sizing.

Bryton Sport Rider 320 Cycling Computer

Bryton Sport Rider320 cycling computer

Bryton Sport’s Rider 320 ($120) is new cycling computer built with an optically bonded 2.3-inch screen and long-lasting 35-hour battery life. The Rider 320 has Android and Apple app integration for smart notifications and is equipped with GNSS (global navigation satellite system). It can measure speed, cadence, heart rate, distance, and ANT+ pedal support metrics. All those features for $120 is a pretty good deal.

PortableHeat Heated Sleeping Unit

man in baseball cap demonstrating portable heating bed unit

The PortableHeat ($227) is a new venture for “glamping.” The device heats for your bed, bivy, or chair. It looks a little bulky (and by no means essential), but it’s also easy to set up. Unroll the self-inflating pad (with a built-in pillow) under a sleeping bag or atop a chair or cot, attach the heating unit to a heat source, and plug in the lithium power pack. The PortableHeat provides up to 19 hours of continuous warmth.

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