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.
Weston x NativesOutdoors Ridgeline Carbon Splitboard
Weston’s latest splitboard ($949) is the result of numerous brand and interpersonal relationships. Through NativesOutdoors, CEO Len Necefer Weston met and teamed up with Diné Navajo artist Vernan Kee, who developed the graphics that appear on the topsheet. To add a philanthropic component to this collaborative project, Weston will donate $10,000 to help fund the Wood For Life Tribal Fuelwood Initiative in Southern Colorado, a forest restoration program that directs small-diameter fuel wood to Indigenous reservations. The splitboard has tip-to-tail carbon stringers and an aggressive tapered directional shape.
POC Dimension Avalanche Backpack
Airbag backpacks are increasingly becoming standard backcountry ski kit in avalanche-prone areas. All such backpacks aim to provide flotation on snow and protect against burials. POC’s fluorescent-orange Dimension Avalanche Backpack ($1,300) utilizes an “Alpride E2 Electronic airbag System,” which should offer speedy inflation and a 162L airbag. When the airbag is not in use (ideally it never will be), the pack is loaded with handy storage features like glove-friendly buckles, a fleece-lined goggle pocket, and ice axe fixations.
Under Armour SlipSpeed BOA Sneaker
Traditional shoelaces will never die. Still, with every passing year, more and more athletic footwear joins the BOA revolution. Under Armour’s SlipSpeed training shoe ($150) is designed to save athletes time with a “micro-adjustable” BOA dial and a crushable heel counter. According to the brand, many young athletes heel-crush the backs of their trainers when they’re standing around in between workouts and don’t want to fully lace up. To accommodate this behavior, the SlipSpeed has a foldable rear end designed to improve versatility without sacrificing durability. And a mesh-laden, breathable upper should keep perspiration at bay.
Surly Skid Loader E-Bike
Surly’s Skid Loader e-bike ($4,799) is designed for cargo hauling and maximum utility. In some cases, it might even serve as a compact alternative to car ownership. Three robust frame sizes are available, and each is equipped with a spacious rear rack and dual-battery capacity. Unlike many cargo bikes, the Skid Loader has a shorter wheelbase, which makes it more maneuverable in small apartments, elevators, and other tight spots. The Bosch battery pack offers four levels of ride assist as well as 85 Nm of torque for schlepping heavy cargo. The rear rack is rated to haul up to 100 pounds.
Jones Women's MTN Surf Jacket
Jones Snowboards’ brand image has always involved big-mountain freeriding and deep, dry, untracked powder. This season, Jones is significantly expanding its apparel offerings, and the women’s MTN Surf Jacket ($500) is one of the most intriguing styles in the bunch. In key areas that tend to get wet while riding, the MTN Surf jacket utilizes rugged two-layer waterproof ripstop fabric. Around the torso, stretchy and breathable material is used instead for optimal temperature regulation. Lightly insulated with 100% recycled Primaloft Bio polyester, this jacket functions best in chilly conditions.
KUIU Kenai Packable Glove
The first snows have arrived across the West, but in many states, deer and elk hunting season remains in full swing. KUIU’s Kenai Gloves ($79) offer packable hand protection in a lightweight and compressible package. Just 2.8 ounces per pair, the Kenai is all about insulation. High-loft Primaloft Cross Core Aerogel stuffing is contained in a DWR-treated stretch ripstop shell. Conductive thumb and index finger tips enable basic smartphone use.
Altra VIA Olympus Road Running Shoe
When designing these brawny trainers ($170), Altra incorporated as much cushioning as it possibly could — and then added a little more. The VIA Olympus caters to runners seeking maximum cushioning and an ergonomic forward-leaning stance. According to the brand, the VIA Olympus is quick on foot and nimble despite its bulk. Three colors are available in men’s and women’s styles.
Reebok Nano X2 Froning
To construct the latest iteration of its longstanding Nano X2 training shoe ($150), Reebok worked with Rich Froning Jr., often deemed the “fittest man on Earth” by the greater CrossFit community. Just like the high-speed racecars that inspired this shoe’s design, the X2 Froning is stripped down, lightweight, and “competition-ready.” Pairs of the X2 are available in unisex sizing and two colors. A size 9 weighs 10.4 ounces.
Fat Tire x Tenkara Fishing Rod
Beer and fishing go together like shallow riffles and damselflies. New Belgium Brewing Company — with its water’s edge breweries in Colorado and North Carolina — has long been associated with life on the river. Now, the beloved beermaker has teamed up with Tenkara Rod Co. on the Fat Tire Rod, a limited-edition 12-foot rod made from carbon fiber. For $195, the rod comes with everything you need to fish, including fishing line, three Tenkara flies, tippet, and more. According to Tenkara, the 12- to 20-plus-foot casting range is ideal for medium-size creeks and rivers.
LINE Pandora 104 Skis
The skiers behind GearJunkie are “very stoked” about the 2023 LINE women’s Pandora 104 all-mountain skis ($650). LINE’s Pandora series has been a hit among surfy skiers for numerous seasons. The 104 size offers a sensible middle ground between speed, edge hold, and powder-stash playfulness. Carbon stringers from tip to tail keep the total weight of the Pandora 104 down to about 3.5 pounds per ski. A groovy topsheet design created by Alicia Rainaud adds extra style and flair.