A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Add a “heartbeat” to your feet. Footbeat aims to help improve circulation in your feet using a pulsing massager embedded in the insole. Sold as a $449 system, the massager, insole, moc, and special socks work while you’re resting to encourage blood flow through your trotters.
Lightweight Travel Hammock
Pack a little extra comfort without the weight penalty using ENO’s new SuperSub hammock. At 9.8 oz., it weighs less than half the normal DoubleNest, but keeps the same dimensions. It borrows fabric and design elements (toggles instead of carabiners) from ENO’s ultralight backpacking hammocks but is big enough to fit two adults comfortably. Our editor tested it on a recent trip to Hawaii along with the Helios Suspension. The package weighed under 14 oz. and was easy to stash in a pack. Both are available now for $85 and $35 respectively.
End the struggle to secure gear on your roof rack with the Moki Doorstep. The design hooks onto your car’s door latch and holds up to 300 pounds. Use it for better access to racks atop even large SUVs. Live on Kickstarter, starting at $30.
Key Multi Tool
Add utility to your keychain without unnecessary bulk with the MyKee 2.0. We featured the original low-profile multi, but the latest version adds a saw blade, improved front claw, and adds an extra hex key (now four) with improved contact. In all, MyKee 2.0 sports 20 functions in a near-weightless (0.2 oz.) titanium frame.
Altra Solstice Running Shoe
If you have wanted to try Altra, this is the perfect shoe to get you hooked. The Altra Solstice will suit your needs. It is breathable, soft, flexible, and affordable ($90). The engineered mesh upper is ready to perform, while the midsole is soft and cushioned. The outsole is durable enough for everyday wear on the run or just around town. For now, the Solstice shoes are only available at JackRabbit.
Waterproof Bottle Opening Speaker
Crack open a cold one while playing your favorite single, the Scosche BoomBottle MM puts more “fun” in “functionality.” Available this spring, the BoomBottle features auto EQ to adjust sound output to indoor/outdoor environments. Plus, the bottle-opening speaker is waterproof, floats, and has two magnetic surfaces – one on top to hold your phone and another on bottom to secure it at varying angles.
Men's 'BallPark' Endurance Shorts
Crush more miles with a little less discomfort in Saxx’s Pilot 2N1 Endurance Running Shorts. Known for its male anatomy-specific undies, Saxx adds its “BallPark” technology to the $65 minimal running short, with no pockets and flat seams to prevent chafing.
No-Slip Hammock Pillow
Get a good night’s hammock sleep without all the slippage. TreeHugger introduces the $17 Camping Hammock Pillow, a sub one-pound packable pillow that has two straps to connect to the outside of your hammock. The result is a pillow that stays put. Plus, it comes with its own attached stuff sack, so it can clip to your pack.
Making breakfast, going for a jog, hanging out at the beach – ever wanted to make it all harder? The xChain adds five adjustable, weighted links to just about any activity. Shape it like a kettle bell, wrap it around your shoulders, or swing it like an axe, the xChain piles 10 extra pounds onto most activities. No word on its weight, but it starts at $200.