A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Fastest $4K Bike
Diamondback emerges from the wind tunnel with new ideas to make road bikes faster. The massive orange “Vortex Generators” visible in the image are one of many research-based improvements on the new IO. Despite the odd name, the bike will likely be the fastest $4,000 bike in the world when it arrives in the coming months. (We aim to test that claim spring 2018).
Inflatable Surfers' Vest
The latest effort to improve surfer safety found two watersports-industry giants teaming up to rethink flotation. Quiksilver and Aqua Lung launch the $990 Highline Airlift CO2-powered inflatable vest. A slimmer profile than previous vests, multiple inflation tabs, and an emergency deflation tab mark its main features.
Don’t worry about finding a cozy tent pad, just pitch it on the lake with SmithFly’s floating Shoal Tent. A six-inch air chamber buoys the tent, which uses no poles and is totally inflatable. It accommodates campers up to six-feet three-inches tall, and measures six-feet wide by six-feet long. Available now for winter shipment for $1,499.
Want to learn more about this crazy contraption? Check out our deeper look here.
Body Temp Thermostat
Warm up or cool down by dialing in your preferred temp with the Embr Wave wearable. The wrist-mounted body thermostat offers “thermal relief” by creating warm or cool sensations against skin. According to the brand, “it immediately recreates the chill of an ice cube on your skin in the summer or the warmth of your hands by the fireplace in the winter.” Live now on Kickstarter.
High Tech Skateboard
Kick, push, charge, and more with the YikeBoard. The dual-battery electronic skateboard cuts weight with a carbon-fiber body, weighing 14 pounds. The YikeBoard can charge your devices, reaches a 20 mph top speed, and runs between 10–14 miles on a full charge.
Swiss Army 'Wine Master'
New this month, Victorinox aims straight at your picnic basket. The Wine Master is a simple knife meant to slice a little cheese while opening your bottle. But it’s no liquor store cheapo. The $162 tool has a four-inch locking blade to do actual work if needed, and the five-coil screw should never strip through a soft cork. It ships in a leather pouch and gift box.
Cell Service Booster
Go deeper into the adventure without sacrificing signal strength, thanks to the weBoost Drive Sleek. The $200 dash-mounted device boosts 3G and 4G LTE signals up to 32 times for cars, vans, RVs, and boats.
Warm up your race muscles using Castelli’s $200 Cross Prerace Jacket. PrimaLoft insulation on the front helps keep wind out and body heat in, while water-repellent fleece on back allows excess heat to escape.
Pack your winter toys and travel easily using Dakine’s latest rolling bags for snow gear. The $210 Boundary Ski Roller and $200 High Roller Snowboard bags have removable internal bags to organize boots and outerwear. The Boundary and High Roller hold two pairs of skis and two snowboards respectively, plus poles and a helmet.
Shacket season is back! The $130 DC Network Technical Riding Jacket lets you choose your style, with reversible diamond-quilted flannel on one side, and polyester on the other. Both sides are water-resistant.
Insulated or lightweight, fleece or shell—with Terracea’s 3-in-1 jacket the choice is yours. The Terracea has two parts—an inner midlayer and outer shell—that can be used individually or in tandem. Choose from two styles of midlayers, the Landing or Crossing. Then pick one of two outer layers, the Station or Peak, each available in an insulated or non-insulated style. Live now on Kickstarter.
Break down knots and increase blood flow with “the most powerful portable deep tissue device on the market.” The rechargeable TimTam Power Massager 1.5 operates cordlessly, offering up to 2,000 strokes per minute. The handheld muscle buster costs $400.
EDC Water Bottle
Keep only what you need close at hand with the Rushpack. Basically a utility koozie for your Nalgene, the Rushpack has pockets for your phone, keys, ID, and wallet. Live on Kickstarter
Keep tabs on your important gear with the Tile Sport Bluetooth tracker. The $35 device pairs with an app and has a keyring loop so you can clip to almost anything you want. Great for camping, the Tile Sport has a 200-foot range, is waterproof, and lasts one year on the factory charge.
Better iPhone Shots
Capture more depth and more scenery on your iPhone 8 / X with SANDMARC‘s clip-on lenses. The latest releases offer Wide angle, fisheye, and macro capabilities for the newest iPhones.
Easier Tie Down
No buckles, no clips, no metal moving parts, the Wrap Tie looks like a big innovation in tie-down technology. Launching on Indiegogo today, Wrap Tie straps have a closed loop on one end to allow different securing options, and use a “patent-pending fastening system” to keep it in place (it looks like a series of Velcro segments). We look forward to giving this a try soon.
Luggage for a Cause
Pack it, carry it, wear it, and feel good knowing you supported a cause for refugees fleeing crisis. All of Us is a new luggage brand out of Minnesota, and 10 percent from each sale of travel duffels, backpacks, and more goes to the International Rescue Committee.
Cozy, soft, snuggly, pet-able. We previewed the Lily Fleece from Backcountry’s house brand, Basin + Range, and it’s awesome. During a recent launch party, numerous ladies sporting the fleece commented on how great it looked and felt. Meanwhile, everyone else was wishing they had one. Available now for $120.
Green Apparel for Less
Buying sustainably shouldn’t break the bank, that’s the mantra behind pro surfer Kelly Slater’s Outerknown Nomadic Collection. Shirts, socks, bottoms, and jackets, like the organic cotton and eco-friendly DWR Coast Jacket (pictured) cost less than big name brands’ high-tech outerwear. The water-repellent Coast Jacket costs $88.
New Nut-Butter Clif Bars
We’ve tried ’em, we like ’em. Clif Bar launches new flavors with gooey nut butter in the middle, including banana chocolate peanut butter, caramel chocolate peanut butter, and blueberry almond butter.
French 'Le Chameau' Hunting Boots
The French brand Le Chameau began making hunting boots in 1927. But until recently, the iconic European footwear was hard to find in the U.S. This year, the brand made a push to the new market with the Condor, a burly hiking boot for stalking rugged terrain. The waterproof leather boot has a burly Michelin OC Deep Forest sole and Nubuck Leather upper. It’s pricey though, at $400.
Skullcandy Hersh 3 Headphones
Skullcandy’s Hersh line of headphones hits a middle price point with quality comparable with more premium models. We gave the Hersh 3, released last month, a try and were impressed. At $130, these Bluetooth over-ear headphones are comfortable for long airline flights and have 22-hour battery life. They recharge fast, with 10 minutes of charging time fueling four hours of listening. And the sound pumping from 40mm drivers is respectable for the price.