A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Credit Card Bike Tool
Carry a range of common bike tools in your wallet. The Cyclist Card is a 2-oz., convertible steel multi-tool. It packs over 43 functions into a 3-inch-wide frame. Plus, an add-on auxiliary tool attaches to add leverage for torquing fixes, and 1/4-inch allen and torx bits.
Solar Power In A Briefcase
Charge up with the sun using this compact briefcase. The Renogy Phoenix has two 10-watt solar panels that can be upgraded to 120 watts with additional photovoltaics. The 12.8-lb. solar station can charge in as little as 2.5 hours from the sun and has AC and car charging ports. The Phoenix sells on Amazon for around $590.
Kayak For Fly Fishermen
Take to trout streams, lakes, and ponds alike in a kayak specially designed for fly fishing. Built to aid in fly line management and rod storage. The snag-free deck prevents hook catches on-board, while the 12’8″ body improves speed and tracking. The Jackson Mayfly costs $1,900.
Custom order a shoe for each foot that is “3D-knitted” by machine. This is not footwear for hiking, biking, or running: but the tech is intriguing. The benefits of the JS 3D-Knit Shoe are light weight (less than 5 oz. per shoe), breathability, and near-lossless material construction. Plus, each shoe is customized by the buyer and knit specifically for that order.
Comfort On The Run
Run with hydration, food, and extra gear freely and comfortably. Cotopaxi offers a new take on the running pack with the Veloz, live on Kickstarter now. A four-point hook harness does away with the dual buckles found on most runners’ packs. This design is meant to promote unencumbered range of motion.
Stretch out and hang with abundant room. Grand Trunk’s OneMade Double Trunktech ($119) is a made-in-USA, two-person hammock. It’s 10.5 feet long and 6.5 feet wide. The aptly named 14er straps ($45) are each 14 feet-long, sticking with the “bigger is better” theme. Both the hammock and straps worked great in our tests.
Fuel-Free, Flameless Lighter
Click a button for a wind-resistant, fire-starting electrical arc. UST’s TekFire Fuel-Free Lighter is USB rechargeable. A small arc of electricity spans two nodes to light dry tinder. Retail is $25 and it’s available mid-March.
Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws every day. That motivated Klean Kanteen to create reusable straws. Dishwasher-safe, these are made of flexible silicone on top and stainless steel on the bottom. Packs of four are available this April for $10.
Featherless Insulation Feels Like Down
Feel warm, pillowy, and puffy… without the feathers. Marmot’s Fall 2017 Featherless Jackets have 3M Thinsulate Featherless Insulation. Made to feel and act like real down, this insulation is new to Marmot’s jackets. There are also elastic cuffs, an attachable hood, and it can compress into its own pocket. Grab one this fall for $200.
Cycling Shoes For Anywhere
Ride and stride in slick kicks that don’t look like traditional cleated cycling shoes. DZR’s latest release, the SPD-compatible Minna, is made of suede, synthetic leather, and sports a reflective heel strap. The $119 shoes are designed to be flexible enough for walking, yet stiff enough for pedaling.
Bug-Repellent Picnic Blanket
Lay out the perfect picnic or beach hangout and keep the bugs away. Toad&Co’s 2017 Open Air Collection includes a line of DeBug garments. The DeBug Ground Cover blanket is treated with permethrin, which is not new. But its “proprietary formula” promises bug-deterrent qualities that won’t wash out over 70 loads of laundry.
‘Easy Go’ Ski Bib
Women can “go” more easily when backcountry skiing in these clever bibs. Strafe’s Scarlett Bib for women, available this September, incorporates a halter design with side zip pockets. According to the brand, this makes it “extremely easy for ladies to use the restroom.” The waterproof-breathable eVent fabric is air permeable, but not cheap: $470.
Gregory Commuter Pack
Stash in style with Gregory’s Baffin commuter pack. The 23-liter, water-resistant pack looks like other top-loaders, but Gregory added a suspended laptop sleeve, a mesh bottle sleeve, sunglasses and keys pocket, and a full-length center zip for quick access. Look for it this fall, $100.
Urban Hemp Onesie
Rock it like a toddler. Make no mistake, the sPACYcLOUd Hemp Onesie is not a pair of coveralls. But it does have plenty of storage: wallet pocket, earbud loop, pocket notebook sleeve, side pockets, and two-way zippers. The brand claims the $160 onesie is the first ever made out of hemp.
Fjallraven Layering System
Stay warm, stay dry, reach the top. Fjallraven aims to outfit serious mountaineers with its 2017 full layering system. Start with merino wool for the upper and lower base layers. Add a Lite Insulation Jacket or Insulation Parka. Wind-stopping, water-resistant shell jackets, and trousers complete the alpine outfit. Depending on the combination of options, the full system will retail for up to $700.
One Insole For All Shoes
Reduce foot fatigue and increase flexibility within any shoe. The OrthoLite claims its Super Sipe design, with siped cuts in the ball of the insole, will “magnify the natural flex” of dress shoes to hiking boots. These insoles were created for shoe designers to implement into their creations.
Light up the night with 600 lumens blasting from your forehead. Ledlenser releases its Outdoor Series of headlamps and flashlights this year. The $80 MH10 is the flagship headlamp. Super bright, it has 120 hours of battery life, a rear-facing red light, and an emergency lamp for when the battery runs low.