A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
This cooler will insulate your food no problem. But charge up the battery, and the Infinite Cooler comes to life. Built into the 61-quart cooler are a digital screen, 360-degree light, camera, 550-watt blender, wireless USB charger, and Bluetooth speakers. The brand claims the cooler can keep ice from 7 to 12 days, but the electronics are where this invention shines. Infinite Coolers are on Indiegogo now for $229 early bird.
Floppy Lens Hood
Stretch the oversized floppy silicone lense hood over your camera and improve your photography. The simple and robust Ultimate Lens Hood fits over a range of camera lenses thanks to its stretchiness. When shooting behind glass, the lens hood will remove glare. And if shooting in the rain, it can fold back and protect the camera body. The Ultimate Lens Hood is on Kickstarter now for $39.
Water Bottle-Sized Chair
Grab the Go Chair from your backpack’s water-bottle holder, unfold it with one hand, and start lounging around the campfire. The Go Chair is a minimal folding camp chair that packs down very small. Its aluminum poles and ripstop ballistic nylon fabric allow the chair to fold into itself. It’s touted to hold 300 pounds and lift you 10 inches off the ground. The Go Chair is on Indiegogo now for $69 early bird.
Ultimate Direction Trekking Poles
Ultralight weight and super strength are the tenets of Ultimate Direction’s first trekking pole. The FK Trekking Poles are thicker than most, measuring 20 mm in diameter at the top, which the brand claims increases strength and stiffness. Ultimate Direction achieves this increased solidity without sacrificing weight, as each pole weighs 4 ounces. Rounding out the specs, the bottom of the poles are wrapped with aramid cloth for abrasion resistance, and the handles enable two grip positions. The FK Trekking Poles are available now for $150.
In bright sun, unroll the SOUL Inventions Solar Scroll to charge your phone, laptop, and other electronics. The Solar Scroll departs from rigid solar panels in its flexible solar panel design. This makes it a slightly more portable option. The Scroll houses a 5,200-mAh battery that enables much faster charging. Solar Scroll is on Kickstarter now for $129.
GEAR AID launches a survival blade with good steel and function at an affordable price: $30. The 3-inch, full-tang Kotu Tanto Knife weighs less than 6 ounces and is titanium coated with 420 steel. The brand claims it will function great for making kindling, batoning, or chopping wood. GEAR AID announced the knife at OR this summer, and it’s available in December.
Natural Energy Drink
Nomad Energy aims to shake up the energy drink market with a caffeinated beverage that uses natural ingredients. The brand claims to be sustainable by using cascara, a fruit typically discarded in the coffee-making process. But the brand found cascara is a nutrient-dense fruit with caffeine and potassium. Nomad Energy delivers 120 mg of caffeine with six ingredients: cascara, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, Himalayan pink salt, and carbon dioxide. Available on Kickstarter now, a nine-can case of Nomad Energy costs $30.
Functional, Minimal Shorts
These shorts appear minimal on the outside. But pull back the stitching, and the Mack Weldon Stratus Shorts are packed full of exercise niceties. The shorts have an integrated brief liner made with silver to resist odors. That means you can wear the Stratus sans undies. The waistband has a touch of elastic to stay in place, and the sides have a reflective detail for nighttime visibility. Mack Weldon just launched the Stratus Shorts for $88.
'Coyote Tan' Multitools
Leatherman this week introduces a new color: Coyote Tan. The Skeletool, Skeletool KBX, Rebar, Signal, Raptor, and OHT are now all available in a brownish-tan color. With the color, Leatherman offers a fresh look for its dependable multitools.
Bike Cleaning Kit
Clean your bike with the Muc-Off 8-in-1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit, $70. This kit comes with cleaning solution, bike spray protectant, claw brush, detail brush, soft washing brush, two-prong brush, sponge, and storage tub. We imagine the kit to be an easy, all-encompassing solution to riding in less-than-perfect weather conditions.
REI PacLite Rain Jacket
Wear Gore-Tex at a fraction of the cost with REI’s XeroDry GTX Jacket, which retails for $159. The XeroDry uses Gore-Tex PacLite, Gore’s two-layer waterproof and breathable laminate. We imagine the XeroDry to be great for backpacking, as the rain shell is light at 12.5 ounces. It’s constructed for durability in high-abrasion areas and for comfort elsewhere. The REI XeroDry is available now for late-summer and fall adventures.
Southern Tide x BOTE
Paddle fast and steady with the Southern Tide x BOTE standup paddleboard. The brands teamed to bring Southern Tide style to a BOTE SUP. The board includes a paddle strap, bungee straps on the deck, a BVA textured deck pad, and grab handles on the front, back, and middle. The SUP is available for $1,299.