A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Better Smartphone Thermal Imaging
See infrared heat with a smartphone attachment. FLIR delivers a more affordable ($200) thermal imaging camera for your smartphone with the FLIR ONE. The brand also launches FLIR ONE Pro ($400), the “most advanced FLIR ONE to date.”
Off-Grid Survival Axe
This burly axe-based tool has a glass breaker, claw hammer head, saw blade holder, and a lot more. It’s made in the USA and is finally shipping to its initial Kickstarter backers, so you can get one on Amazon for $77 now.
Breathe Underwater: Self-Fillable Tank
The Scorkle is a tiny dive tank that refills using a hand pump. It gives a swimmer 10 minutes of underwater breathing per fill, according to the brand. While similar to small backup tanks used by divers for years, the mini tank offers the freedom to refill via pump anywhere for short, shallow dives.
4Ever Knife Survival Blade
This rugged blade launches on Kickstarter soon. Nolan Brundige designs and builds it in the USA in 440C stainless or Damascus steel to “chop, cut, carve, and survive.”
No-Zipper Camping Bed
The NoZipp Mobile Bed includes an inflatable sleeping pad, a foam sleeping pad, and a down quilt. The package, which the brand rates to 15 degrees F with a weight of 3.5 pounds, can be used as a single system. Or use the components alone. Considering the quilt contains 850-fill down, this one could be a value at $200 when it launches on Kickstarter Monday.
Backcountry Denim Co. weaves its recently-launched blue jeans with Dyneema, one of the strongest fibers on the planet. The brand makes the jeans in the USA and guarantees seams and hardware for life. Get them now on Kickstarter from $90.
Boa builds the athletic-shoe oriented Boa Run closure system with textile-based laces and guides. The twist-to-tighten shoe closure is made specifically for running. Early adopters are Asics, New Balance, and Under Armour. Expect to see shoes with these closures, like the New Balance Fuel Core (pictured), released from June through August.
For professional mechanics (and serious amateurs), Abbey Bike Tools designed a specific line of tools that service RockShocks bike suspension products. The line includes sockets, brushing tools, dust seal tools, wrenches, and more.
Hydration… On Your Arm?
Wetsleeve is a $50 hydration bladder worn on your arm. It holds 12oz. of water inside a fabric sleeve and is meant to replace a handheld bottle for runners. It’s a quirky product, but we will withhold judgment on the “arm hydration” category for now.
Patagonia Women’s Daypacks
Coming fall 2017, Patagonia designed three new daypacks for women. The women’s version of the Paxat, Refugio, and Chacabuco Packs have a shorter torso length, narrower straps, and a more tapered to fit to better integrate with a women’s form.
Crocs Water Shoe
Crocs calls the Swiftwater Wave its “most active, water-friendly shoe to date.” It has siped outsoles for wet traction and a fixed heel strap for a secure fit. And with a price tag under $40, you won’t be afraid of losing them in the rapids.
Shimano Ultegra R8000 Group
A new component group from Shimano, Ultegra R8000 aims to be “more versatile than ever before.” The road-oriented brakes, shifters, derailleurs, and chain increase efficiency for road and gravel bikes, the brand states.
Waterproof Backpack Fits In Pocket
Certainly not the first backpack that compresses to a tiny stowaway form, the Sea x Sky has one significant feature: It’s waterproof. Made of Cordura fabric, the brand claims the pack is submersible, yet it folds up and stashes to a size smaller than an iPhone. Get it on Kickstarter for about $60.
Wiggle your toes on a CrossFit-specific shoe collaboration between Gold’s Gym and Vibram. The limited edition V-Train for men and women give the “flexibility of a barefoot shoe, with increased support and structure for high impact training sessions.”