Emerging Gear

Ahead of the curve, cutting-edge, and to-be-released gear.

Emerging Gear: Outdoor Products This Week

A peek at emerging products, culled from crowd-source sites like Kickstarter, PR campaigns, and industry scoops on the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.

Bike In A Backpack

The pakiT City Bike is about as portable as a bicycle can get. The $1,500 foldable ride comes in six sizes, accommodates riders up to 190 lbs., and folds into a soft-side backpack in about 30 seconds (according to the company). Best of all, it’s a belt drive, so no greasy mess.

Wooly Speaker

Woolrich and Goal Zero co-branded the Rock Out 2 speaker, which has the iconic Original Buffalo check-wool pattern. It’s water resistant, wireless, and retails for $79.99.

Canyoneering Rope Kit

Maine-based Sterling Rope Company gets deeper into canyoneering with its CanyonLux rope and Blitz bag, shipping in 2017. The 8mm rope has a new kind of core using braided Spectra and a polypropylene inner core. The bag has a “stand-up and stay-open” design and fits up to 250 feet of rope.

Roll-Top Hydration

State’s first roll-top backpack, the SED Hydration Day Pack, is made in collaboration with Road Runner Bags and built in the U.S.A.. The Cordura pack just came to market for $120. It carries up to 16 liters of gear and a three-liter bladder for hydration as you bike.

Breathable Backpack Frame

A drawback to some packs is back sweat. Virtually every yolk is different – mesh, straps, foam, and other tech makes for little consistency in performance. Enter the Ventra Mainframe ($90), an add-on frame that attaches to a variety of backpacks and gives ventilation between the bag and your back.

Most-Cush Camp Chair

Synthetic-fill insulation and baffled nylon warm campers sitting on the Cozy Cover camp chair accessory from Alite Designs. We’ve tested and approve this model, part of a line of extras for mini, round-the-campfire chairs. The Cozy Cover costs $40 and is available now.

Women’s Hunting Boot

The Original Muck Boot Company collaborated with Girls With Guns clothing company on the Arctic Hunter, a large-lugged boot with insulation to keep feet warm down to -40F, according to the brand. Available next week starting at $170.

Wheel-Balancing Magnet

Made for racers, the SpeedBalance rim magnet ($36) is touted to save one watt of power at 30 mph. The rim-mounted counterweight is an upgrade for cyclists looking to shave thousandths off their time-trial attempts by offsetting minute imperfections in wheel spin created by the long valve stems necessary in deep-V carbon rims.

LED Daisy Chain

A fun take on campsite illumination, the REVEL LIGHT, launching on Kickstarter Aug. 27, is an expandable strand of solar-charged LED lights. Each 30-foot length has 100 lights. It puts out 350 lumens to light a whole site. Available in multiple colors for $40.

Wolf Tooth Bike

The Minnesota-based crew behind Wolf Tooth components launched a new line of bikes. Otso Cycles will ship two maiden builds, including a carbon-fiber mountain bike that moonlights as a stout fatbike and a stainless-steel cross/gravel/adventure bike model. Both rides include the brand’s patented dropouts, which allow up to 20mm of chainstay length adjustment.

Backpack With A Mission

Ethnotek employs artisans in Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam for its pack designs. The brand upped its socially-minded ante with the Premji Pack, made of recycled plastic bottles. It has requisite features like a stretch-mesh bottle pocket, zip pocket in top hood, and a top-loading 20-liter main compartment.

Forsake For Women

Forsake is launching its first line of women’s boots with a combination of style and function fit for “summits and sidewalks alike.” The boots are complete with Thinsulate insulation, anti-microbial footbeds, and waterproof leather.

Wireless Headphones For Outdoors

AxumGear’s Bluetooth-based True Wireless headphones have no cord and are built with a waterproof coating to resist sweat and rain. The company touts the buds’ “studio soundtrack quality” audio, four-hour battery life, and a carrying case that doubles as a charger. $300 on Indiegogo now.

Brooks ‘Beta’ Helmet

Bike-seat brand Brooks England has two new helmets, each designed to be as distinctive on riders’ heads as its saddles are on their… you know. The Island (pictured) is for urban commuters. The Harrier model has more ventilation and lower weight for competitive cyclists. Brooks is “beta-selling” these helmets on Triboom ($160-$200) now and asking buyers to test the helmets and provide useful feedback for a production run.

Watch ‘Made For Space’

Luminox used “input from astronauts and test pilots” in the design of its XCOR Automatic Valjoux Chronograph 5260. The result is a durable watch touted to work in the “pitch black of space.” For those of us back on Earth, it’s a beautiful bit of bling that empties the wallet at $3,000.

Rocking Bike (Not Horse) For Kids

In an effort to get ’em started young, Strider Sports targets toddlers age two and under with its Rocking Base, $80. (The unit is an add-on for any Strider no-pedal bike.) Tiny bikes lock into the plastic rocking platform so Poopykins can start practicing before he or she can walk.

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