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.
United Shapes Cadet Freeride Snowboard
United Shapes is the archetypal modern snowboard brand. Its shapes are simple, its graphics are spare, and its manufacturing process aims to minimize waste. The brand’s latest offering is the Cadet ($699) — a limited-release all-mountain freeride deck that “loves to soar.” Made with United Shapes’ standard three-wood core and woven carbon stringers, the Cadet offers “precise handling, power, and stability in all conditions.” It’s available in four sizes, 150, 154, 158, and 162.
Velo 'Luminous Tiger' Mountain Bike Saddle
Bike saddles don’t get much more ornamental than this — it’s a shame that it’ll spend most of the time hidden under someone’s bum. Velo’s Luminous Tiger bike seat ($99) is the latest addition to the brand’s Chinese Zodiac series. The saddle is 158mm wide and 270mm long. Velo’s reversed “ArcTech” design aims to promote stability and support in various riding positions. An integrated “I-Carry” handle on the rear aids in lifting heavy e-bikes during transport.
CamelBak Powderhound 12L Snow Pack
CamelBak’s new 12L Powderhound ($110) looks a lot like the brand’s other low-profile hydration packs. Upon closer inspection, this model comes with a few key features that add extra utility for resort skiing. The Powderhound’s outer material is “SnowShield” — a specialized fabric made to repel snow and keep it from sticking to the pack. An insulated sleeve in the shoulder strap aims to prevent icy tube blockages. The external straps are designed for the “easy transport” of a snowboard or pair of skis. The main compartment holds 10 L of cargo plus a 2L bladder.
Roark Accomplice Shelter Modular 14L Pack
Roark made its name with rugged activewear clothing. Now, the brand drops its first-ever collection of packs. Dubbed the Accomplice series, these compact bags are designed to “bring the functions of an adventure bag to your daily carry.” The pictured Shelter Modular Bag ($65) is a simple grab-and-go with coated waterproof outer material and a traditional roll top. The seals are fully sealed, so the Shelter could be a handy addition to a summer SUP outing.
Dropracks Accessible Vehicle Roof Rack
Rooftop storage only makes sense if you can access it. Dropracks is a Norwegian engineering company responsible for a variety of automotive cargo solutions. The Droprack is a roof rack with an integrated crank that lowers your cargo and “makes it easy to lift” heavy loads on and off your car. The Droprack has been sold in over 20 countries, but it’s brand new to the U.S. market. It’s available in two sizes — one for station wagons and SUVS ($2,150) and one for vans and large pickups ($2,350).
Smith x VSSL Backcountry Supplies Kit
Goggle and helmet maker Smith forms a peculiar partnership with premade kit builder VSSL to release the Backcountry Supplies gear kit. The aluminum capsule contains standard first-aid items (finger bandages, antiseptic wipes, etc.), a few emergency preparedness tools (lightweight wire saw and firestarting kit), and a gear repair kit. Though the hardy light-up aluminum tube looks sleek and durable, the $120 price tag seems excessive. Inflation might be through the roof, but drugstore Band-Aids still cost $0.12.
Sage Kotsenburg x Db Snowroller Bag
Air travel with a ski or snowboard kit can be a logistical headache and a potential risk to your gear. Adventure travel company Db and Olympic gold-medalist snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg team up to drop a limited-edition color of the well-regarded Roller Bag ($349). To shield the precious cargo within, this bag is framed with ABS ribs and covered in “abrasion-resistant” face fabric. The color represents Kotsenburg’s slopestyle podium summit. A matching gold duffel bag and pack are also available.
Vermont Glove Tuttle Gloves
Under several different names, the Vermont Glove Company has been making goat leather work gloves for over a hundred years. It manufactured electrician gloves in the ’20s and parajumper gloves during World War II. In recent years, the company has shifted its focus toward lined ski gloves. One of its new styles for this season is the Tuttle ($130), a polyester and wool-lined leather glove with an elastic under-sleeve cuff. The complementary yellow-on-purple color scheme would fit right in at a Lakers game.
Jones MTN Surf Anorak
Made for “slashin’ and bashin’ in the resort or backcountry,” the Jones MTN Surf Anorak ($440) is made from a combination of breathable panels and two-layer 20k waterproof fabrics. The most breathable materials are located on the chest and back areas for core temperature regulation. The hood and arms — where skiers and boarders get the wettest — are impenetrable. The oversized kangaroo pocket is the perfect receptacle for phones, gloves, and snacks. From the armpit to the hem, dual side vents instantly turn the MTN Surf into a winter poncho. Men’s and women’s styles are available.
Ibex Wool Aire Vest
Ninety-nine out of a hundred puffy layers are insulated with polyester fibers or down. The Wool Aire Vest ($235) from Ibex is the rare exception — this sleeveless wonder is filled with merino wool. I’ve tested the jacket version of the Wool Aire, and it’s exceptionally warm for its minuscule weight. According to the brand, the face fabric is waterproof and breathable. Twin handwarmer pockets with zippers are lined with fleecy goodness. Men’s and women’s (pictured) styles are available.
Borvo Instant Broth Packets
On a frigid day in the backcountry, hot broth in a thermos is like an ace in your sleeve. Borvo broth is a new upstart making powdered packets of Instant Sipping Broth ($14 for six servings). Its beef and vegetable flavor includes straightforward ingredients — beef, onion, garlic, cumin, etc. A single 18g pouch yields 8 ounces of broth and contains 10 g of protein. According to the brand, 100% of the packaging is compostable.
Kimos Heated Thermos
Electric countertop kettles have largely replaced their stovetop predecessors. Though I miss the sound of a freight train whistling in the kitchen, I can admit that electric kettles are faster, quieter, and more efficient. The new Kimos Thermos ($89) delivers the benefits of an electric kettle in a portable wireless package. It holds just over 12 ounces, and an LED light indicates how many boils are left in the battery. To help prevent painful accidents, a small vent hole automatically opens when the water boils. Preorders are available now on Indiegogo..