A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Portable Smart Grill
Car camping? Unfold this grill, stream music, drop in coals, and fry, barbecue, or rotisserie roast dinner. The Uber-Q by the Asado Group has a variety of cooking attachments, weighs less than 4.5 lbs., folds to 4cm thick, and can pair with your phone to stream music, provide grill temp and ambient weather info, and more. It’s live on Kickstarter for $172.
Take all the photo, video, and navigation equipment necessary to capture an off-road adventure with this single device. Magellan’s TRX7 CS comes preloaded with more than 100,000 off-road trails, has offline GPS navigation, and a still/video camera. The TRX CS is not a cheap toy; it retails for $750.
Ghost Whisperer Bag
From puffy coat to lightweight sleeper, Mountain Hardwear announced this week it would add sleeping bags to its popular Ghost Whisperer line. We have covered (and loved) the warm and ounce-conscious Ghost Whisperer jackets. Available spring 2018, the GW sleeping bags will come in 40- and 20-degree ratings, sport 900-fill RDS down, 10d nylon, and weigh under 1 lb. 1 oz. and 1 lb. 13 oz., respectively.
Send instant messages, images, and GPS locations on your smartphone without cellular coverage, satellite, or Internet access. Sonnet is another entrant into the mesh network phenomenon that allows backcountry navigators to connect with other users off-grid up to three miles away. It’s weatherproof and comes with no subscription costs. Live on Kickstarter, beginning at $89.
Custom Fly Rod
Add a little pizzaz to your next catch with one of Redington’s customized fly reels. Launched this summer, the i.D. reels come with 34 different removable decals. The aluminum reels come in three sizes, and as pre-spooled ($110) and stand-alone ($90) options.
Jon Olsson Packs
Pack your gear with flair, Db’s latest collection showcases a collaboration with Swedish pro skier Jon Olsson. The new Camo Edition design graces four of Db’s most popular bags: The length-adjustable ski/snowboard Original Db, 15L Base, 30L Hugger, and 90L Big Bastard roller.
Add an extra measure of safety to your next run or bike ride. The LumoGlo Crossbelt has eight different patterns, shines all around you, comes with an emergency strobe, and features an automatic brake light. Live on Kickstarter beginning at $37.
Wear it as a backpack, sling it messenger style, or carry it like a duffel, Triple Aught Design’s Axis Expedition Duffel is built for outdoor use. 510-denier Cordura resists tearing and sheds water to keep your gear intact through harsh environs. Available now in small, medium, and large from $195-$275.
Hike with this grill. The Gizzo launched last month on Kickstarter with the aim of making grilling at the campsite a bit easier. At eight or more pounds, it’s not for ultralight packers, but it does fold up to about an inch thick and fits in the included backpack. Beginning at $85, the Gizzo advertises to set up in 45 seconds, stands about 23 inches tall, and claims to accommodate up to eight burger patties.
Weatherproof Photo Sling
Take more camera gear with less space. Mind Shift Gear releases the PhotoCross shoulder bag. It’s available in two sizes (for laptops or tablets), is weather- and tear-resistant, has padded interior compartments to separate camera and computer gear, and exterior accessories for a tripod and water bottle. Available now, $115-$130.
Snuggle up warm for some serious winter camping with Therm-a-Rest’s Polar Ranger. Rated to minus 20 degrees F, the Polar Ranger uses 800-fill hydrophobic down throughout, has a snorkel hood for face coverage, and quilt loops for added warmth. The 3 lb. 3 oz. bag is available January 2018 for around $700.
Shapeshifting Sun Hat
Wear it, pack it, sleep on it, or swim with it, this sun hat won’t lose its shape. The Shapeshifter sun hat, live on Kickstarter for $40, sports a brim with special wire that is able to bend and retain shape in a variety of positions. In fact, the inventor claims it won’t so much as flap in a 65 mph wind, but it can be shaped and reshaped indefinitely, whatever form the wearer wants.
Long known for its durable and rugged canvas bags, Seattle-based Filson today launches a collection made with heavy-duty nylon. The $245 Duffle Pack can be carried as a duffle or a backpack, and inside is an expandable pocket liner for dirty clothes or wet boots.
Pack this anorak. Rooted in back, hip, and shoulder packs, Herschel Supply launches its apparel line this month. The $70 Voyage Anorak offers wind- and water-protection, ripstop fabric, and an integrated stuff pocket to pack the jacket into itself.
Bring camp-factor and a little luck on your next bike ride. PDW’s Lucky Cat Cage is a $25 side-loading, aluminum bottle cage based on the Japanese good-luck “Maneki-neko” (beckoning cat).
Socks For A Cause
Wear socks that keep you, and the Earth, protected. NORTHSOUTH’s Max Your Days socks feature blister-proof design, anti-sweat fabric, and reflective decals to safeguard your feet. And as part of the Wear5050 program, 50-percent of profits go to environmental organizations, so the planet benefits, too. Live on Kickstarter, beginning at $23.