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.
POC Zonula Goggles
To signify its continued partnership with Swiss ski racer Marco Odermatt, POC drops the new Zonula Goggle ($260). The brand is known for its sleek and high-tech head protection and eyewear, and the Zonula appears to fit the mold. The Cat 2 Clarity Comp Spektris Blue lens is manufactured by ZEISS, a Swiss precision optics company known for innovative ideas and high-end performance. On the Zonula’s strap, an illustration of a roaring lion gives the goggle some unique competitive flair.
Sanuk Cozy Vibes Low Wool Slippers
The state of coziness is impossible to achieve with chilly feet. As the season’s first cold snaps sweep across the country, Sanuk drops a few additions to its Cozy Vibes slipper collection. One of the new styles is the Low Wool Slipper ($90), a slip-on with a collapsible heel and a sugarcane EVA outsole. For insulation, Sanuk incorporated a blend of fresh and recycled wool and a soft bio-based sock liner. The Low Wool is available in two colors, Natural and Dark Grey (pictured).
Outdoor Research Prevail Heated Gloves
For folks with chronically cold fingers, traditional passive-insulation gloves don’t always do the trick. I’ve been an admirer of Outdoor Research’s electric heated gloves for several seasons, and now the brand is back with a fresh style. The Prevail heated gloves ($329) utilize OR’s tried-and-true ALTIheat heating element, which provides three heat settings via fully integrated wiring. According to the brand, the Prevail gloves are much more dexterous than their previous models.
Article One x Mission Workshop Sunglasses
Article One is based in Michigan, but its stylish-yet-sporty sunglasses frames are crafted in Northern Italy. The brand’s latest offerings include this unique take on the classic aviator shape. Unlike most aviators, these shades ($255) feature angular frames and Article One’s signature adjustable nose pads. Many lens and frame colors are available including a posh green-on-green option.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer With Snap Closure
There are lots of mega lightweight puffy jackets on the market, but Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperer sits proudly on top of the pile. For the first time in the decade since the Ghost Whisperer first dropped, the jacket is available with a snap closure ($295). With a total weight of 7.1 ounces, the all-snap version is a full ounce lighter (and $30 cheaper) than its front-zippered sibling.
High Camp Flasks 'Torch' Pocket Flask
Since the dawn of chairlifts, skiers have utilized the mechanized uphill trip as the perfect opportunity for a nip of the good stuff. High Camp Flasks’ 6-ounce Torch ($99) fits perfectly in a pocket and comes with an integrated magnetic shot glass. It’s double-wall insulated, and the stainless steel construction is fully plastic-free. In the summer heat, the removable bottom allows users to add ice cubes to the Torch. It’s available in four colors.
Orphosis 'Shape Shifting' Backpack
This modular urban commuter backpack has two modes — “Adventure” and “Play.” To alternate between modes, an Origami-inspired series of folds transforms the pack’s capacity from 15L to 27L and back again. On the interior, a plethora of padded sleeves and pockets keeps the wearer’s laptop, pens, tablet, and phone neatly divided into separate compartments. According to the brand, the Orphosis can handle all sorts of wear and tear from soggy bike rides to and spontaneous weekend overnights. Delivery is slated for 2023, and preorders are currently available via Kickstarter for $149.
Kora Yardang Quarter-Zip Midlayer
I recently acquired one of Kora’s new Quarter-Zip Yardang jerseys ($140), and the texture feels like a combination of silk, cashmere, and a cumulus cloud. If you must know the actual stats, the Yardang is composed of 70% “ultrafine” merino and 30% Himalayan yak wool. Kora claims this exotic blend effectively regulates body temperature and lessens any extremes of feeling hot and cold. In my experience, it’s an ideal midlayer in freezing temps and a comfy outer layer between 50 and 65 degrees.
GORUCK Heritage 2 Waxed Canvas Rucksack
A material known for its lifelong durability and time-worn appearance, waxed canvas is currently enjoying a strong resurgence. GORUCK, a backpack brand with special forces roots, announces the Heritage 2 Rucksack ($545), a compact bag with a lifetime guarantee. The Heritage 2 is available in 26L and 34L configurations, both of which are fully TSA carry-on compliant. Two major compartments house a variety of smaller pockets. Representative of the brand founder’s military background, three rows of MOLLE attachment points give the bag a tactical aesthetic.
Flock Together — Outsiders: The Outdoors is Yours
Part memoir, part manifesto, “Flock Together — Outsiders: The Outdoors Is Yours” is a bird-watching book written by sports coach and activist Nadeem Perera and creative agency founder Ollie Olanipekun. The book’s six chapters delve into the relationship between nature and people of color. According to the book’s authors, “Flock Together” “assesses the systemic issues impacting the mental health of people of color,” and asks, “How can nature help mitigate this?”
Nomadix Puffer Blanket
Nomadix announces its first insulated product, the Puffer Blanket ($100), with the tagline “Own Less, Do More.” To live up to this catchy phrase, the brand designed the Puffer for maximum versatility. When packed down, the blanket is slightly larger than a regulation football. Once unfurled, there’s enough length for even the 6-footers among us to keep their toes tucked in. A series of Snappy Versatility snaps allow the Puffer to transform into a minimalist sleeping bag in seconds. The recycled polyester fill promises to keep users warm down to about 50 degrees. Five pleasant colors are available.
Prometheus Design Werx Insulated Ramen Bowl
Much like puppy kisses and waist-deep powder, a hot bowl of noodle soup warms the soul. One of the most popular noodle soups on Earth, ramen is hearty, flavorful, and simply glorious on a wintry afternoon. Prometheus Design Werx’s new Insulated Ramen Bowl ($89) is ready-made for enjoying ramen off the grid. Its titanium construction is designed to hold up to the rigors of camping without weighing down your kit. According to the brand, this bowl is designed after the traditional “Tayoudon” bowl shape, which allows a “golden proportion of 70-80% food to volume ratio.”
Oros Voya & Veer Pant
Oros’s take on trail-to-office attire hits the market with the new men’s Veer and women’s Voya Pants ($180). Made of recycled nylon and a bit of spandex, these commuter pants are made to stretch and resist moisture with a PFC-free DWR finish. The Voya and Veer Pants use Oros’ SOLARCORE insulation in the front, side, and back of the thighs for targeted warmth without the bulk. When it comes to fit, the women’s style has a tall elastic waistband and drawstring for customization, while the men’s version has belt loops on the waistband and snaps at the bottom of the hem.
Askov Finlayson Preservation Vest
The Preservation Vest ($195) is Askov Finlayson’s first foray into the realm of midlayers. Until now, the Minneapolis-based brand has been known for its burly parkas and “climate-positive” approach to apparel manufacturing. Designed to be a staple of a well-rounded cold-weather layering system, the Preservation Vest is stuffed with a generous helping of recycled Thinsulate insulation. The 100% nylon shell is also made from recycled materials.