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Emerging Gear: Outdoor Products This Week

A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.

Laserlight Core
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A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.

Bike Light Projector

Laserlight Core

Project a vibrant green cycling notification in front of your bike with the Laserlight Core. By integrating a laser projection into a bike light, the Laserlight Core enables riders to project a bike symbol roughly 20 feet in front of the rider. This makes both pedestrians and motorists aware of you before you’re there. The Laserlight Core is on Kickstarter now for $69.

Folding Hoverboard

UrmO foldable hoverboard

The UrmO may look like any dated hoverboard, but this option aims to be more commuter-friendly thanks to its foldability. UrmO is an electric, two-wheeled vehicle that self balances, with a top speed of 10 mph and a range of 13 miles. Unique to this commuter is its folding design. UrmO is on Kickstarter now for $1,503.

Aerogel Gloves

Outdoor Research BitterBlaze Gloves

Keep your hands warm with some of the most advanced insulation out there: Aerogel. Available in the Outdoor Research BitterBlaze gloves, Aerogel is made of 98 percent air, meaning it’s incredibly light and a terrific insulator. Sure, the BitterBlaze gloves are expensive at $135, but you get Gore-Tex gloves that are insulated, waterproof, and great for winter conditions. The BitterBlaze gloves just released on REI.com.

Smart Wallet

Ekster 3.0

Click a button on the Ekster 3.0 and your credit cards pop up. Dubbed a “smart wallet,” the Ekster is a slim folding wallet. It has a trackable insert in case you lose it, RFID protection, and a card-slider mechanism. This smart wallet is on Kickstarter now for $49.

Handlebar Bike Lock

Quick Stop Bike Lock

Before heading into the grocery store, lock your handlebars to disable them with the Quick Stop Bike Lock. This bike-theft prevention invention launches on Kickstarter on October 16. It functions with a lock that attaches to your steering tube. When you turn the key, it detaches your handlebars from the rest of the bike, preventing thieves from steering the bike. It’s intended for quick stops, hence the name, and will sell for $60 Super Early Bird.

Minimal Key Ring

The Micro is an expandable key ring that is debatably the most minimal out there. It keeps your keys in line with a series of washers and helps them lay flat — unlike traditional key rings. It comes with a box cutter/bottle opener tool and can expand to accompany up to 10 keys. Slughaus designed an EDC tool that’s simple but smart, and we were surprised we hadn’t seen this yet. The Micro is on Kickstarter now for $16.

Reusable Silicone Bags

Zip Top reusable silicone bag

Say goodbye to plastic bags with reusable Zip Top containers. Zip Top makes silicone bags that are sealable and can withstand being microwaved or placed in the oven or dishwasher. While these bags will fit in at school, work, or the park, we imagine Zip Top will be a good option for trail food when camping. Check out the bags on Kickstarter for $28.

Stretchy Gore-Tex Jacket

Mammut Nordwand Flex jacket

The Nordwand HS Flex jacket from Mammut won a Best in Show award at the Outdoor Retailer 2018 winter market because of its stretchy Gore-Tex. It’s available for purchase now for $650 in (only) men’s. The Nordwand was one of the first jackets to employ a bi-elastic Gore-Tex stretch fabric. It’s waterproof and breathable, and Mammut placed the stretchy fabric in the hood and shoulders for mobility. When you swing ice axes in this jacket, don’t expect resistance.

Waterproof Dog Jacket

Ruffwear waterproof dog jacket Vert

Keep your pooch protected in the waterproof, windproof, and breathable dog jacket from Ruffwear. The Vert is a fleece-lined jacket for dogs. It has a spot to attach your leash via a portal on the back, and side-release buckles are designed to make this jacket easy to take on and off. Rounding it out, Ruffwear included a reflective strip and a loop for attaching lights. The Vert is available now for $80.

Durable Merino Baselayers

Aspect Ridge Merino Baselayer

Ridge Merino spun its merino wool baselayers with nylon to improve durability. By spinning wool yarns around nylon, the brand increased the durability of its clothing by 51 percent. The brand calls this tech (m)Force, and it’s in the new Aspect Merino Wool Baselayer Series. Check it out here, where pieces range from $60 to $70.

Polar Fleece Blankets

Polar Fleece Slowtide Blanket

Cozy up in the Slowtide Polar Fleece Blankets this fall, a blanket made from the same material as your old-school fleece jacket. But this updated Polar Fleece is 100 percent recycled and sports updated graphics. Polar Fleece is hand-sewn in New England with soft, warm polyester fleece. Grab one for $40 later this October on Slowtide’s site.

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