A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Ammo Box Grill
Load up the 12-gauge and fire… a couple burgers. The C4 Portable Grill has ammo-box inspiration and construction. The $120 12-gauge all-steel grill by M Grills comes with a grate and weighs a stout 18 lbs.
Make Better Routes
Turn any Strava file into a personalized route. The Hammerhead Karoo sports several features cyclists love: compass, accelerometer, GPS, WiFi, big keyboard — but most interesting is its Strava-to-navigation function, which creates a route from the social activity site. Available late summer.
GORE-TEX Stretch Fabric
Launched in military clothing, GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology is designed to offer weatherproof protection with durable stretch and recovery. This allows the jacket to move better with the wearer. For now, Outdoor Research is the first brand to use the new technology in a tactical jacket. Expect to see the waffle-like fabric expand to the outdoors market soon.
Inflatable Carbon SUP
Tackle choppy waves or long tours with the performance of a hardboard and the portability of an inflatable. Hala introduces unidirectional carbon fiber into the tops and bottoms of its 2017 SUP lineup. The brand claims this provides 300-percent more rigidity versus traditional inflatables.
Run a fan, charge your drone, or power a 42-inch television with this wallet-sized battery pack. The $130 AdventureUltra is the most powerful power bank myCharge offers. It pumps up to 49 watts, weighs about one pound, and sports USB and A/C ports.
Safer Bikes For Kids
Lighter frames, chains that won’t slip, and flat-proof tires — Ezra Bikes builds bikes that are easier for kids to ride. And with all models under $350, they’re a little friendlier for parents, too. Live on Kickstarter, all Ezra bikes are aluminum, have chain and derailleur guards, and tires guaranteed for 5,000 flat-free miles.
Full SRAM System
Tackle climbs, flats, and downhill with the first fully engineered and cross-compatible 1x drivetrain system. Available August, SRAM’s GX Eagle chain, cassette, crankset, chainring, driver body, grip shifter, and derailleur will work with any SRAM Eagle drivetrain component.
Nimble, yet stable, the 14-foot Scupper kayak by Swell claims it’s the fastest sit-on-top on the market. The major innovations include lowered footwells that put riders’ feet below the water line and one-way valves that evacuate water. Available in rotomolded plastic for $995 and fiberglass for $3,995.
Polarized Floating Sunglasses
Don’t lose your shades, or your phone, when you’re in the water. Live on Kickstarter, Seafarer’s sunglasses have polarized, hydrophobic, anti-fog, and scratch resistant lenses. Best of all, they float and come in a carrying case that doubles as a waterproof phone box.
Dyneema Moto Jeans
Ditch the leather chaps for some more stylish and protective jeans. Spanish custom-motorcycle manufacturer El Solitario dives into the apparel game with the 62-percent Dyneema ES-1 jeans. Renowned as the lightest and strongest fiber on earth, Dyneema is fifteen times stronger than steel and light enough to float on water. But these pants aren’t cheap. At more than $600 a pair, they’re right up there with premium leather.
Enhanced iPhone Photos
Spend less time editing iPhone pictures by capturing better images. SANDMARC offers two filters it claims will improve photos on your phone by controlling light, adding motion blur, and removing reflections. The $49 drama filter with mount brings out more vibrant colors, while the $79 set of Scape filters reduce glare and create crisper images. Both are available with discounts now on Kickstarter.
Parachute material makes up every Crapchute reusable bag. The brand claims the totes are the lightest and strongest available. Made from boxed woven, rip-stop polyester and nylon parachute fabric, each bag can hold up to 100 lbs. Live on Kickstarter.
30-In-1 Collapsible Duffle
Charge your phone, prevent spills, store dirty laundry, illuminate dark pockets, and more. The EZ_Duffle, now on Kickstarter, has 22 different compartments, three reconfigurable internal layouts, a removable battery kit for charging devices, a vented laundry compartment, built-in LEDs, waterproof toiletry pockets, and its stiff exterior collapses down for transport.
Dial in grind, shot size, and desired brew — all without electricity. The Porta Rista, live on Kickstarter, comes with a hand-crank, adjustable burr grinder, and three brew modules: drip, press, and espresso. It’s hand-powered and non-electric, but there’s no heater. So, you’ll have to boil your own water.
Beef up your wheels where it counts: the axles. Available in 12mm and 15mm, The Robert Axle Project’s Lightning Bolt-On Axle aims to replace less durable axles, and lever-handle axles that come loose. Made of 7075 aluminum, the axles fit front and rear, and work with gravel, mountain, and road bikes.