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.

Gel ‘Bumpers’ In MTB Helmet

Leatt, a South African maker of bike helmets, claims a new technology will reduce concussion and rotational acceleration with its “360-degree Turbine Technology.” Soft “bumpers” that reduce both vertical and rotational forces are inside the helmet, pressing against the head. Find it on the 2017DBX Enduro and All-Mountain helmets from the brand.

DIY Big Head Helmet

Less an emerging product and more a nod to the brilliant minds of Reddit, we saw this home hack to convert a motorcycle helmet to one giant, life-like head bubble. Looks like a Photoshop project, but no doubt some intrepid DIYer could make this into a fully-functional helmet to freak out the world as you ride.

Most-Funded Backpack Ever

Currently funded at $5.5 million on Kickstarter, and with 22,000 backers, Peak Designs lauds the Everyday Backpack as the “best EDC on the planet.” Multiple access points, pockets upon pockets, flexible dividers, and external carry straps make it unique. We got to test one out this week and can attest that its slick design is great for everyday use.

World’s Smallest VR Drone

The Vidius VR HD, made by Aerix, measures just over 4cm x 4cm square and 2.5cm tall, making it the smallest 720p VR drone on the market. Because of its diminutive size, you don’t have to register it with the FAA.

Bike Helmet With Music

The first “smart helmet with bone-conduction technology,” the Coros LINX wirelessly connects to your phone with a handlebar-mounted remote and lets you take calls or listen to music without ear buds. Speakers near the chin strap transmit audio, allowing you to hear ambient sound as you ride.

Airless-Tire Commuter Bike

No more flats. Specialized breaks new ground in the mass-production bike market with a stock airless-tire build. The Alibi is a mainstream consumer ride equipped with Nimbus Airless tires filled with solid EVA foam.

iPhone, No Headphones

Apple dropped the bomb that its upcoming iPhone 7 will have no headphone jack. Everything else is an upgrade: improved camera, battery life, display, and durability. (Photo credit: Jan-Willem Reusnik)

iPhone Headphone Hack

The Wicked Audio Bluetooth Reach was designed to make all wired headphones wireless. With the upcoming launch of the no-jack iPhone 7, the $20 Reach becomes a workaround for anyone who just loves their cords (or doesn’t want to shell out $160 for Apple’s wireless Air Pods earbuds).

Hidden Seatpost Bike Pump

The Topeak Ninja P bike pump is made for anyone sick of the hassle of carrying a pump in a pack. The pump weighs 2.2 ounces and fits in 27.2mm, 30.9mm, and 31.6mm seat posts, hidden until you get a flat or need a shot of air.

Upgradable Backpack

Customizability and variety set the PRVKE 21 apart from other camera backpacks. It accepts branded add-ons to expand the bag’s capacity. A camera cube for lenses, a removable waist strap that converts the camera cube to a fanny pack, accessory straps for added storage, and a rainfly are some of the upgradable goodies.

Bicycle Sidecar

The BikeBuddy is a bicycle sidecar build kit that fits onto most BMX and mountain bikes. The base kit can be upgraded with various canopies and enclosures.

Zero-Adjust Trainer

Blackburn’s FLUID Trainer purports to make riding with a trainer hassle-free. The trademark Fastcrank mounting system is designed to require minimal adjustment to fit the bike. Best of all, Blackburn claims its tension rollers never need adjustment because “it’s always perfect, just like when you ride.”

Wrist-Mounted Bike Mirror

Cyclists get an eye to what’s behind with the Rearviz Sports ST-35, an adjustable, arm-mounted rearview mirror. It costs $34.

Les Stroud Waorani Machete

Survivorman Les Stroud puts his name on this 18-inch machete called the Waoriani. Made by Camillus, the machete blade is a “Carbonitride Titanium Stainless Steel” and has an 11.75-inch edge. It ships with a sheath for $46.

Blue Boot

Rocky Boots and Poler Outdoor Stuff worked together on the namesake ROCKY x POLER boot. It has a leather upper, Goodyear welt construction, and should look slick in the city as the autumn leaves start to fall. They’ll be available online soon for $160.

Body Lube For The Outdoors

Body glide is well known among athletes for preventing the dreaded chafe. It’s now aiming at the outdoor market with a similar formula. Hunters will appreciate the no-scent formula, and the camo package lets you know it’s not just for the spandex crowd.

Four-Frequency EPIRB

EPIRBS are automatic rescue beacons used on boats and ships. McMurdo developed two new EPIRB models for faster search and rescue at sea. The SmartFind and Kannad SafePro EPIRBs will be the world’s first distress beacons that support each of the four frequencies used in the search and rescue process: 406MHz and 121.5MHz for beacon transmission; GNSS for location positioning; and AIS for localized connectivity.

MacAskill Bike Loafer

Five Ten will release what it calls “the most versatile serious riding shoe available.” The Danny MacAskill shoe has a sticky Stealth S1 rubber sole that’s designed to be stiff enough for riding but comfortable walking thanks to an EVA midsole.

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