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Emerging Gear: Outdoor Products This Week

From next-gen tech to ingenious innovation, our weekly peek at emerging products examines the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.

Arara bike light
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A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.

Wood-Burning Backcountry Stove

rocket stove

Gather sticks for fuel and get cooking with the Kombius. A minimalistic stove, it works by layering sticks in the side to fuel the main body. The included pot and pan fit on top, and it weighs 2.2 pounds. Find one on Kickstarter now.

Will Light Fire Starter

Light fuse, start fire. That concept launched the Will Light Fire Starter. The Will Light is simple to use and makes starting fires pretty much foolproof. Once lit, the brand claims the hockey puck-size product burns hot enough to light even wet firewood. So just stack wood over the puck, extend the fuse, and light. Several sizes are available from about $7 and up.

Sidearm-less Sunglasses

obroz sunglasses frameless

Keep your shades in place by ditching the sidearms with Ombraz. The uniquely designed shades operate with a tightening cord that wraps around your head. The brand claims the the lack of arms makes the glasses more durable and able to stay on your face through class 5 rapids. Carl Zeiss lenses round out the build, which launches on Kickstarter soon.

Heat-Blocking Tent

Stay cool camping in summer with the Siesta2 tent’s “heat and light-blocking fly fabric.” Maker Outback Logic claims the two-person backpacking tent stays much cooler than other tents in sunny weather. The free standing tent can mount an optional fan for even more ventilation. Get one starting at $200 on Kickstarter now.

Dialed Urban Pack

Alpha 31 urban pack

Conquer the urban grid with the Alpha 31 pack. The 31-liter pack is designed with easy access and weatherproofing in mind. The brand used a mixture of Cordura nylon and polyester X-Ply to build a tough pack. It can fit a 15-inch laptop and has YKK AquaGuard zippers. It’s on Kickstarter now for the early bird price of $279.

Backpack Solar Panel

energizer solar power backpack

Charge on the go while wearing the Energizer Wanderer pack. With an integrated solar panel and cords that pass though the interior of the pack, the 30-liter Wanderer is capable of charging two devices in sunny conditions. It comes with a power bank and costs $160 on Amazon.

Arara Bike Light

Arara bike light

Light up your wheels and alert cars and pedestrians of your presence with bike lights from Arara. Attach the lights to the rim, and magnets power the light while pedaling, so there’s no charging involved.  When you pedal, it illuminates the entire rim. The lights are four for $76 on Indiegogo now.

Minimal Photo Sling Pack

Mountainsmith photography pack

Sling out your camera quickly without feeling weighed down in the Descent Small. The 6-liter sling pack is water resistant and weighs 1 pound 10 ounces. We imagine the Descent Small would work well for rock climbing, scrambling, or activities that require hands on the ground. The Descent Small, with the rest of Mountainsmith’s new camera pack line, is available now.

Adjustable Tenkara Rod

tenkara zoom rod

Cast with a 10.5- to 12-foot Teton Zoom Rod. The telescoping rod has a cork handle, carbon fiber build, aluminum fittings, and collapses to 24 inches. New to Tenkara? It’s a fly rod without a reel. Simply tie line to the end and fish, with the rod length enabling accurate casts in small water. It’s available on Kickstarter now, with discounts starting at $175.

Mirrorless Sony a7 III Full-Frame Camera

sony a7iii

Capture the shot, and more importantly the light, with the Sony a7 III. Sony’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera can shoot 4K movies and 10 fps continuous stills and has 693 phase-detection autofocus points and 24.2 megapixels. The best part is its price: $2,000. Available this spring.

Easy Access Bib Shorts

pearl izumi bib shorts

When nature calls on a bike ride, answer it easily with the Women’s P.R.O. Escape Bib Shorts from Pearl Izumi. A v-strap drop-tail design lets you take a nature break conveniently. And the minimal seaming and Escape chamois make this a bib you won’t want to take off. It’s available now for $170.

6-in-1 Phone Lens


Add more depth to what your phone can shoot in the Shiftcam 2.0. Six lenses in one, the Shiftcam is a phone case and camera lens combined. It adds a 2x telephoto, 20x macro, 10x macro, 120-degree wide angle, 180-degree fisheye, and front facing wide-angle lens. It’s compatible with iPhones 7 through X and is on Kickstarter now.

Tyvek Backpack

timbuk2 parachute tyvek pack

The strong yet light material Tyvek, common in home construction, is the secret to the Timbuk2 Launch pack. With Tyvek construction, the Launch weighs 1 pound 5 ounces, fits 18 liters of gear, and should keep the elements out with a waterproof top flap. It’s for sale now at $129.

Luxury Picnic Rug

persian rug

Eat outside in style with the Gold Scout LUX Picnic Rug. The rug has a Persian carpet look and feel but is made from recycled water bottles. It measures 4 ft. 7 in. x 6 ft. 7 in. and has a water-resistant top layer and waterproof base. The Gold Scout LUX launches on Kickstarter March 6, retailing for $170.

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