A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
'Swappable' Shoe Concept
Zip on a fresh pair of shoes for any occasion with ACBC’s Shooz. Dubbed the “world’s first travel sneakers,” Shooz offer dozens of combinations of uppers and soles—for business, casual, or sporting needs. Plus, the upper “skins” are recyclable, and each pair lays flatter than traditional shoes for packability.
Carry, inflate, and paddle this 17-pound kayak from Advanced Elements. The skin-on design of the AdvancedFrame Ultralite inflates around an aluminum frame. After paddling, it packs up small for transport. Available in 2018.
Carryall MTB Pack
Hit the trail with all the hydration, tools, repair items, nutrition, and necessities to get you through a day of backcountry riding. The $110 Henty Enduro pack has space for a 3-liter water bladder. There are zippered lumbar and hip pockets for gear and a mesh pocket for maps. Padding near the kidneys and over the lower back and hips gives comfort and some protection in a crash.
“See more, feel less.” That’s what Adidas Splite ultralight goggles offer. The frameless ski goggles weigh 80 grams (2.8 ounces) and are bendable for easier packability. Plus, the Splites sport anti-fog treatment and cost less than $100.
Keep yourself visible on the bike with the Rayo “smart” taillight. This light not only has variable brightness for day and night riding, but it also features an automatic brake light and customizable blinking pattern. And it pairs with an app to alert you if it detects “unfamiliar bike movement” when you’re away, signifying a possible theft.
Add versatility to your winter wear with Bergaffe Outerwear. Austrian for “mountain monkey,” Bergaffe launches a wind shell, Primaloft jacket, and snow bibs. Each garment includes extras like a detachable hood, integrated microfiber cloths for goggles, ski pass pockets, and more. Live on Kickstarter this week.
World's Lightest Sandals?
Techies and hippies unite—the 3D-printed, minimalist sandal is here! French brand iGUANEYE launches its Jungle sandal, a rubber sole with a single toe pocket and heel piece. Best of all, each pair assembles like a puzzle, so you can mix and match the toe-heel support with soles of varying thickness.
NASA-Inspired Sports Bra
A true “space-age sports bra”? This one was created by a former NASA space-suit designer. It’s called the Siggie Lodoen sports bra, and it offers microfiber padding in the cups, “one-way stretch” for bounce control, and the brand’s patented Space Band feature for extra support during high-impact activity. Live on Kickstarter.
Minimalist Folding Knife
Everyone needs an everyday-carry knife, and the iQ Flipper offers a stylish, minimalist take. Inspired by Japanese Higo knives, the iQ sports a 2.9-inch VG10 steel blade and a carbon-fiber-inlayed titanium handle. It weighs just 2.2 ounces.
Leather Helmet Bag
Keep your helmet secure and protected. The Classic is a full-grain-leather, padded motorcycle helmet bag with shoulder strap. Plus, a stash pocket—accessible from the outside of the pack—makes use of the dead space inside the helmet to place small items. Live on Kickstarter.
Scottish-Made Field Jacket
Add utility, fashion, and longevity to your wardrobe with Mission Workshop’s Eiger Waxed Canvas Field Jacket. While it costs a staggering $685, this Scottish-made, weatherproof coat is “guaranteed forever.”
Cold? Add sleeves. Working out? Strip ’em off. Ki Made launches what it calls the “world’s first modular clothing system.” Though zip-off pant legs have been around for decades, Ki Made’s approach brings the concept to an entire outfit. Both pants and shirts have zip-together long and short sleeves and pant legs to transition between activities.
Electronic Bug Shield
Emit a forcefield to keep blood-sucking intruders out—no super powers required. Thermacell’s Radius is a rechargeable, invisible repellent that emits a 110-square-foot barrier with enough juice for 40 hours of bug protection.
Goat Skin Glove
A good pair of lined work gloves provides warmth without sacrificing utility. The $118 MTN Utility Gloves have Primaloft Gold insulation and a goat leather outer to provide waterproofness and durability.