A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Fastest Marathon Shoe
Lace ’em up and break the two-hour marathon barrier. Nike aims to help the most elite runners on Earth do just that with the Zoom Vaporfly Elite concept shoe that goes against conventional design. A 21mm forefoot stack and 9mm offset provide a cushier profile than traditional low-to-the-ground endurance shoes. But it goes farther, with aerodynamic elements, high-energy-return foam, ultralight weight, and custom fit tailored for each athlete. The shoe is so unique it’s already sparked a debate as to whether it should be legal!
Extra Stretchy Running Vest
Custom trims for men and women, super breathable, and flexible enough to wear over clothes, NATHAN’s Vapor running vests aim for the perfect fit. The women’s VaporHowe (pictured) and men’s VaporKrar have two 12-oz. soft-flask pockets with straws, and multiple stash pockets. The lightweight vests carry a hefty price: $150-$180 depending on size.
Super Deluxe Coil
‘Lean back and hang on.’ Rock Shox advertises its Super Deluxe Coil as the perfect rear suspension for trail, enduro, and downhill riding. You read that right: The brand aims to put a coil shock on your trail bike. It has remote lockout for stiffness while pedaling hard, and only comes as an installed option from the factory.
Official Boy Scout Buck Knives
For all those Boy Scouts out there, Buck recently licensed five knife models with the group. Now, the Duke, Folding Hunter, Vantage, Spitfire, and Mini Spitfire are available with the Boy Scouts insignia and can be custom engraved. Get one here.
From street art to pack design, Timbuk2’s Apexer bags are custom-designed by the famed San Francisco graffiti artist for which they’re named. The $119 Messenger, Tuck Pack, and Mini Prospect Pack are part of the brand’s “Future Shapers Campaign.” The campaign will highlight famous influencers who benefit and give back to their cities, with events and limited product releases.
Cruise up to 70 miles at nearly 30 mph on a single charge with Stromer’s ST1 X electric bicycle. The $5,000 aluminum commuter syncs with smart devices to control locking functions and power output.
Expanding Rooftop Tent
A new model for rooftop tent maker iKamper, the Skypcamp is an expandable hard-shell abode. This thing has blown up on Kickstarter, raising nearly $2 million with more than a month remaining. It stands apart from other hard-shell rooftop tents with the ability to expand outward, allowing space for two adults and two children. Pricing starts at $2,050 on Kickstarter.
Activewear For Breastfeeding
Stay active without worrying about when and where to nurse. Designed by a mom for moms, Kojo activewear is a synthetic baselayer with specially designed pockets for breastfeeding “comfortably and discreetly.” The upstart brand is live on Indiegogo now with long- and short-sleeve layers.
Active UV protection, for kids! Oakley launches its first line of youth lenses with three prescription and sunglasses frames: the Turbine, Crosslink, and Radar (pictured).
Chewable Coffee Bar
Now you can have your coffee and eat it, too. Ritual Energy packs 100-mg of caffeine-loaded goodness into a bite-sized bar. There are no artificial sweeteners or ingredients, and we can attest they taste delicious. A sack of 15 single-bite bars costs $22.50.
Better Skin For Bikers
No chemicals, no bacteria: Cycling apparel-manufacturer Donkey Label launches a line of waterless skin-care products. Typically, hygiene products use chemicals to fight off yeast and bacteria that contaminate water-based products. Use discount code DLCARES to try out the soaps, chamois butter, and recovery oils.
Store the sun’s power and charge “up to 20 percent more efficiently” than other solar power banks. That’s the claim from Cortex. The brand says its line of direct-current power cells are more efficient than competitors. They have scheduled wake-up and shut-off modes, so you can set power to run when you want it. It’s live on Kickstarter now.
Low-Light Fishing Sunglasses
Enjoy 100-percent UV protection, and glare-cutting polarization for fishing near dawn and dusk. Costa Sunglasses new Sunrise Silver Mirror polarized lens gives anglers a new choice for when fishing is best. The lenses allow more light transmission than most polarized lenses, providing “highest light transmission of any polarized lens on the market.” Sight cast at sunrise and sunset in a variety of frames, like the $219 South Point (pictured).
Keep your stuff safe from theft and abuse. The Venturesafe by Pacsafe has slash guards, a puncture-resistant zipper, locking pockets, and an internal cable lock. Available in 45L ($180) and 65L ($270).
This flashlight mimics sunlight to help you see color at night. The Nitecore MT06MD utilizes high-color-rendering light, so it illuminates objects with clearer detail, as the sun would. Combined with a photo-biologically safe light, the MT06MD is ideal for first responders to locate and evaluate people in emergency situations.
Roll up your sleeves and cast. Ball and Buck’s 2017 fishing line includes water-resistant Angler’s Shirt. The $178 shirt is made in Boston, has button-up sleeves, and is compatible with an attachable fly patch.
‘Perfect’ Running Shorts
Reflective elements, bacteria-fighting fabric, and the “perfect length” for running, Rezlo’s Euclid running shorts are a simple, lightweight garment. The shorts sport a 4.5″ inseam and are made in the USA, $65.