A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
A leather jacket that’s soft, smooth, and… see-through? Danish brand ECCO Leather introduces Apparition, the “world’s first soft transparent cow-skin leather.” According to the brand, water-resistant, clear leather that’s pliable has “endless” applications, including jackets, shoes, bags, and more. For a bizarre look at these jackets, check out ECCO’s interpretive dance video. Scroll down past the baffling video for more info.
Done cooking? Roll this barbecue grill like a yoga mat and hit the road. The aluminum BISON Rolling BBQ Grill has a roughly 10″ by 12″ cooking surface and packs down to about 12″ long by 2″ wide. The BISON comes with grill and guard, stake stand, and pack sack, and weigh less than 1.2 lbs. No word on price or launch date.
Exotac puts everything you need to start a fire in your pocket. The aluminum nanoSPARK is waterproof, weighs less than an ounce, and has storage for tinder (five pieces included) and replacement flint. Live on Kickstarter, from $22.
Dial comfort to 11 with the Beanbag Hammock. Made by the company of the same name, the Beanbag Hammock went live to consumers this year and has a crowdfunding campaign in the works. The $199 standard and $249 double-wide are made in Nicaragua.
Sunglasses Frame, Made From Plants
Made with a new lightweight plant-based resin it calls Z-Lite, ZEAL Optics updates its Magnolia and Incline (pictured) frames. The $149 frames are also available with prescription lenses.
Get rad with one tire powered by a “Hypercore” motor, the $1,500 Onewheel+ marks the latest evolution of uni-wheel, electronic board sports. The Onewheel+ launches in May and sports more power, speed, and an improved ergonomic deck compared to its predecessor.
Leather Bike Boots
Clip in like a cowboy, on a bicycle. DZR’s leather Turin Boots sport spd-compatible soles and no laces, so they’re definitely crank-friendly. The limited-edition, $200 boots are available online.
Self-Adjusting Bike Light
Set it and forget it. Garmin’s Varia 800, launched this week, boasts up to 800 lumens of light. But it will automatically dial down the lumens on its own based on ambient conditions, biker velocity, and ride profile (when paired with compatible tracking device). The $150 Varia UT800 runs up to 1.5 hours on full power.
Drown out the world around you with ear buds when you want to, or stay tuned to ambient noise when you need to. This month, Conduit launched its $190 Dynamic Bone Conducting Headphones, which transmit sound through your jawbone so you can listen to music without cancelling sounds around you. But you can also plug in the attached earphones for full-sound immersion. The DBC Headphones are titanium and sport up to six hours battery life.
Wick sweat and look buff for less. Dick’s Sporting Goods unveils a private-label compression line of apparel. Second Skin has men’s and women’s styles, including short- and long-sleeve tops, tank tops, sports bras, socks, and bottoms. The compression wear runs between $40-$70.
Start fire the old-fashioned way. The KonvoySG Carbon Steel Fire Striker fits almost anywhere and contains a steel strike grip and English flint stone. According to Konvoy SG, even beginners can get fire going with light strikes. The Fire Striker Kit costs about $38 and is guaranteed for at least 50,000 strikes.
16 Cameras In 1
Combine the functionality of 16 cameras in one super small package with the Light L16. The phone-shaped L16 packs 16 individual 13-megapixel sensors into a frame 6.5″ x 3.3″ x 0.94″ and is among the smallest cameras capable of 52 megapixels. L16 is building all pre-orders, but you can sign up to buy the camera when it’s released later this year. The camera was first announced in 2015, but it looks like it’s finally about to hit the market.
Tiny Tactical EDC
Carry the “world’s smallest tactical pocket knife,” according to its maker, Bomber & Company. The B-2 Nano Blade is a locking-foldable, stainless steel knife with serrated and cutting edges. It weighs less than 1 oz. and measures just over 3 in. (80mm) when open, meaning the blade measures roughly 1.5 in. It’s live on Kickstarter with buy-ins starting at $25.
Adjustable Bike Storage
Replace your stock bottle-cages with Wolf Tooth’s adjustable B-RAD (Bottle Relocation Accessory Device) system. The $18 B-RAD base screws into bottle mounts and has a sliding track to adjust bottle location, and straps for spare tubes or other accessories.
Steel Gear Tag
Never lose your gear again, or at least, make sure everyone knows it belongs to you. Everyman developed its Hideout Gear Tag, a 0.6-oz, stainless steel update on the luggage tag concept. It looks like an improvement on the standard plastic laminate tags we’re used to seeing. If funded on Kickstarter, the Hideout Gear Tag will retail at $21.