A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Soft-Side Helmet Prototype
A concept product from designer Camille Morelle, the Surfety is a flexible helmet made for surfing. If brought to market the designer will use shock-absorbing pads and mesh made to protect a surfer from hitting his or her head on the board. There are ear pads and (weirder still) “vials containing a fluorescent liquid that can be released in a moment of emergency to alert people of your whereabouts.”
New Take On ‘Synthetic Down’
Materials giant PrimaLoft showed GearJunkie its Black Insulation ThermoPlume last week at a trade show. The fluffy synthetic insulation is an alternative to down, including characteristics that let a jacket manufacturer “blow” ThermoPlume into baffles on a puffy coat. The company’s CEO, Mike Joyce, said the material “acts as a true replacement for down [and] allows brands to replicate the design aesthetic and the manufacturing process of a down garment.”
Dirtbags rejoice: You can now string up a hammock inside your sedan with the aptly-named Car Hammock. It hooks to four points and gives a platform that hovers just above the seats. Just don’t sit up fast in the middle of the night.
A versatile, modular hammock, the Chameleon by DutchWare adapts to varying environments with zip-on bug nets and vented top covers. The company says it works no matter the temperature outside, and “no matter how many bugs.”
Move Over Duct Tape…
A new material, Braeon is a self-adhesive plastic ribbon that can be molded and bonded to almost anything as a quick fix. (See the ad hoc chain link in the photo; it’s made of Braeon.) The company notes you simply heat and “press to form the plastic into any desired shape,” whereupon it cools and converts to a composite that can purportedly withstand forces of more than 2,000 pounds.
Archery-Like Workout Device
Resistance training comes via working the Gorilla Bow, a “mobile gym” that looks like it could double for archery practice. It’s made of aircraft aluminum and can handle more than 300 pounds of tension.
Clip-On Pom Pom
Add flair to a hat or helmet with MyPomPom. The snap-on yarn balls come in multiple colors and sizes. They attach with an ABS plastic slot and pin produced on a 3D printer.
Winter ‘Race’ Shoe
Move fast in cold weather or on snow with the to-be-released La Sportiva Tempesta GTX. Lightweight for a waterproof shoe at 11 ounces, the company will market the Tempesta to winter runners who train or race no matter the temp outside.
Do you toss medicine balls in your undershorts? SAXX’s Strike is a new compression underwear that just hit the market. They are breathable, new-school boxer shorts that are designed with panels that wrap around muscle groups for support and performance (worn alone or under your pants). We got a chance to test them and they’ve performed well through several climbing and yoga sessions so far. Available now for $49.95.
KEEN Women’s Winter Boot
Look for these winterized KEEN kicks next fall. The Terradora Wintershell boots for women come in multiple styles and are snowshoe-compatible. A special rubber sole was designed for ice and snow. They are insulated and have a waterproof-breathable membrane included.
The first headband we’ve seen with aerogel used as an insulator, the OROS Insulated Headband is sold as warm, light, and quick-drying when you sweat.
Shoot-Off Bottle Opener
The CAPBOOM kind of does exactly what its name portends: This wacky accessory is sold as the “world’s first shooting bottle opener.” The makers say a cap can shoot off at speeds up to 60mph. Protective eyewear may be a good idea.
Ankor launches a pocket light/multi-tool combo product on Kickstarter this month. It gives illumination at a campsite, while the multi-tool offers implements to fix and modify gear on the trail.
Leather Duffle From ‘Moto’ Source
Made in the USA, the up-cycled Loopt Classic Duffle is comprised of excess jacket leather from Langlitz, a business that makes motorcycle jackets and leathers. The duffle costs $350 but is guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Lightest Hammock Stand
When no trees are around, a hiker can set up this stand. The YOBO hammock stand is made of aircraft-grade aluminum (provided by DAC) and packs down to a 32-ounce package during transport on the trail.
Ruger/CRKT Collab Blades
Ruger worked with CRKT to put out three new knives, seen for the first time at SHOT Show this week. We got a first look and loved the smooth action of the folder and the retro-blade styles in the 2017 line.
Fly Fishing Kit, For Kids
Sold as “the best setup for teaching kids how to fly fish,” the Cascade Package from Tenkara is shorter and easier to handle for little hands. It comes with “everything your little one needs to start catching fish” and costs $159.
Upgraded Avy Pack
Touted as the “next generation of avalanche airbags,” the AVABAG by ORTOVOX is lightweight and has a mechanism that lets a wearer easily practice opening the bag. It uses cartridges of compressed air, which are easier and less expensive to refill than nitrogen, ORTOVOX cites.
A stealthy look combined with subtle performance touches make the Tahquitz Pack by the brand BE unique. It comes in two sizes and has a roll-top closure, a quick-access camera pocket, hidden vertical daisy-chain, and a reinforced haul handle if you need to pull it to a belay at the crag. Available in June for $149.
Dickies Goes Outdoors
Workwear brand Dickies exhibited at the Outdoor Retailer trade show last week. The company unveiled its Dickies Pro with CORDURA fabric line, made (as the name states) with CORDURA fabric and marketed as uber-durable and “ideal for exploring, enduring, and working outdoors.”
Fjallraven ‘Eco’ Jacket
Made of partially recycled polyester and treated with a PFC-free DWR for water repellency, the Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket from Fjallraven lives up to its name. The top-end jacket will cost $650 when it comes to market later this year.