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.

Better Than GoPro?

GPS giant Garmin takes a big swing again at the action-camera market with its VIRB Ultra 30, announced this week. Like GoPro’s Hero series, the VIRB shoots HD but adds features like voice-command recording, stats tracking, and live streaming. ($500).

Pop-Up Tent With Solar Power

The brand Cinch follows up its successful 2014 launch with another pop-up, this time bigger and glampier. The Ultimate Pop-Up Tent offers extras like a solar charging bank that sits on the shell, LED lights on the interior, and glow-in-the-dark guy lines. It sets up in less than a minute, the brand claims. ($250 and up).

World’s Lightest Bike Shoe?

At about 4.7 ounces per shoe, the Prolight Techlace biking shoe from Giro was developed to trim all the fat. It comes to market in April of 2017 for a not-lightweight $500.

Tiny Sphere Bike Bell

Palomar made a cute little bike bell, the Nello, which magnetically attaches to your handlebars. Press the ball and it rings, whistles, and honks your presence to motorists and pedestrians and you roll safely along.

Tiny EDC Kit

The Motion Capture MS5 everyday-carry kit has just enough gadgets to channel your inner-Macgyver. The 7.5-inch pen capsule contains gear for fishing and sewing, USB charger, compass, blades, water filter, GPS tracker, magnesium stick, tiny gas burner, and more. ($45 and up).

Pocket Arrow Launcher

We covered the premiere product from Pocket Shot earlier this year, a palm-sized, high-speed sling shot alternative. The company’s latest invention is a Pocket Shot with whisker biscuit that can shoot full 30-inch arrows. $65.

Shimano MTB Shoe

Shimano’s S-Phyre line of road and mtb shoes were announced this week. The XC9 has a synthetic leather upper and Michelin rubber on the sole. Its 18mm toe spikes for grip are optional add-ons. ($400)

Action-Sports Smartwatch

Customizable stat tracking, live surf conditions worldwide, and Google’s Android Wear technology are packed into Nixon’s rugged smartwatch. The Mission has an impressive 100-meter depth rating and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 2100 system-on-chip. Available this month.

EDC Multi-Tool Benefits Veterans

The GRIPsher is “designed to replace all the times you use your finger tips to pinch a hex bolt, your finger nail to screw in a flat head, or pinch a wire to strip it.” The 1.5-ounce multi-tool has dozens of features made to be executed with one hand. For every black model sold, another will be donated to a veteran. ($35 silver; $60 black).

Lighter MIPS Helmet

The 2017 Bell Zephyr road helmet has progressive layering, modular foam padding, and a recurve shape that all work to improve comfort, reduce weight, and provide more safety. It has a MIPS system, which is touted to reduce oblique forces in a fall, and it weighs just 9.2 ounces.

Urban Pocket Knife

The Urban Husky is designed as an alternative to larger, “offensive-looking” pocket knives. The Husky is handmade and non-locking. It’s light, at 2.1 ounces, and has a lanyard hole for easy carry. It’ll open a letter, slice a tomato, look handsome in a suit pocket and maybe trim some facial hair for a hefty $220.

Burly ‘Steel Will’ Blade

Not one for the urban styling? Need a knife to get work done? Check out the new Steel Will Druid 290. The burly build of this Italian-made knife makes it a standout far from civilization. We’ve used it briefly, and the N690Co steel holds a great edge. The hefty blade opens with a hardy “thunk” and the deeply-grooved nylon and fiberglass, steel-lined handle gives exceptional grip even when wet. It has a pocket clip but ships with a beautiful leather sheath, too. The liner-lock makes a secure cutting tool that won’t accidentally close during hard work. At $120, it’s a solid value.

‘Elite’ Ear Buds

Jabra introduces the Elite line of ear buds, which it calls the “most technically advanced true wireless sports earbuds.” The Elite line has in-ear heart rate monitoring, four microphones for intelligent switching during calls, and runs up to three hours for stereo music and calls.

Secure Car-Lean

Sport Bumper has been around a few years as a magnetic device that allows users to lean skis, poles, guns (check local regulations), or other long items against a car without fear of them falling and scratching the paint. The brand launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop a stronger magnetic ski bumper and another designed specifically for fishing rods and firearms. If you tend to lean stuff on your car and like to keep your paint intact, check it out.

Sleek Urban E-Bike

FREYGEIST launched its first electric bike in 2015. This summer, the brand previewed a new generation with a sleek design and lighter weight, starting at 26.5 pounds.

TomTom ‘Adventurer’ Navigation Watch

GPS navigation company TomTom launched three new watches this week, and the Adventurer grabs attention with a lot of useful tools in a $350 package. It allows for “Route Exploration,” which navigates routes from Strava or other mapping applications, plus a built-in heart rate monitor, barometer, compass, and on-board music player. Multiple sports modes let users track their activity for running, cycling, swimming, treadmill and gym workouts. It hits the market in October.

Modular Water Bottle

Available later this month the Phil from Palomar is three water bottles in one. Parts unscrew for easy cleaning, including four cylinders that can be configured to hold varying liquid capacities.

Magnetic Bike Lights

The Lucetta lights affix to your steel bike frame via magnetic force. One light is red, the other white, and they can throw a steady beam, slow, or fast strobe with a click

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