A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Meet the thinnest, strongest leather on the planet. Ecco partnered with Dyneema to construct leather that’s bonded with Dyneema fabric. The result is a lighter, stronger textile with possible applications in bags, coats, packs, and more.
Smartest Cellular Watch
Make and receive calls, monitor heart rate, even set up a virtual perimeter with a watch. And no, it’s not THAT watch. The LooK smartwatch from Laipac Technologies launches this week and also sports a “Guardian Angel” feature that detects when you fall, an SOS button to contact preset contacts in an emergency, and a “Geo Fence” that notifies you when someone, or something, enters a selected perimeter.
When the going gets tough, crank up the A/C! Coolala introduces “the world’s first portable, solar-powered air conditioner.” The Coolala will cool an area up to 150 sq. ft. using solar, battery, d/c, or a/c power. Coolala will retail for $499 with the solar package and $599 for the power bank upgrade. Live on Kickstarter with discounts.
Splash through rain and tumble down hills with your most sensitive electronics. Lander unveils its 35L Traveler (pictured) and 25L Commuter packs. In addition to the main gear pocket, Lander adds a seam-taped “Crash Pad.” The compartment is waterproof, heavily padded, and has charging ports—all too keep your electronics happy. Live on Kickstarter.
Cushion and flex when you want it, firmness when you need it. Fizik’s 2018 Versus EVO line sports updated construction that uses less padding, so it’s lighter. But smarter materials that “progressively cushion” your seat mean that as you press down more, the saddle becomes firmer, providing increasing support when it’s needed. Shop the Arione, Antares, and Aliante online.
Magnetic Dog Gear
Drop it, clip it, forget it. MAGDOG launches a line of magnetic gear for keeping your dog secure. The brand has a magnetic latch leash that works with its collar or harness. And each item has a unique I.D. so if Fido wanders off, whoever recovers him can look up where he belongs online. Live on Kickstarter.
Lifelong Adventure Backpack
No zippers, just American leather, copper rivets, and brass hardware. Welsh Mtn Co. touts its packs “last a lifetime” with fewer components to break, and durable materials and construction. Its debut products have an old school look, including the roll-top leather pack, messenger bag, wallet, and even a pipe roll. Live on Kickstarter.
MTB Neck Brace
Go big with a little more security. The Leatt DBX 3.5 neck brace combined function (preventing neck injury) with form (lightweight and comfortable) to win an innovation award at this summer’s Eurobike show. We’ll get our first peek at this $250 brace at Interbike this month.
Gear for Happy Trees
Help plant the one-millionth tree with Woodchuck USA’s latest wood-crafted gear. The brand, which plants a tree for every product sold, expects to plant the one-millionth seedling in October. To contribute, check out its line of new products, including the upcoming wood-covered journal with waterproof paper. Check out Woodchuck USA’s American-made products for more.
Wool Duluth Packs
Add a little softness to your next rugged adventure. Duluth Pack teams up with Pendleton Woolen Mills to launch a limited run of canvas Duluth Packs with wool accents. The line includes a pocket pouch, ladies purse, and round duffel. Pre-order now exclusively at Duluth Pack. The packs will launch at select retailers beginning Sept. 19.
Wear plants, feel better. That’s essentially the claim behind the Botanist Watch, live on Kickstarter. The campaign purports to alleviate “Nature Deficit Disorder” with the “World’s first moss and flower-infuse watch.” Feeling out of touch? Head over to the campaign to learn more.
Minimal MTB Jacket
Stay warm and dry through the nastiest riding weather with minimum bells and whistles. Sweet Protection unveils this year’s line of shoulder-season gear, including the waterproof-breathable Delirious jacket. The $299 Gore-Tex shell has a cell phone pocket, reflective accents, and not much else you don’t need.
Few things matter more in the outdoors than keeping your feet warm and dry. Wigwam’s spring 2018 synthetic socks have moisture-control tech that moves damp away from your foot. And the collection is emblazoned with one of four outdoor destinations: Mt. Whitney, Jewels Route, Beacon Heights, and the Ice Age Trail. Find more info on Wigwam.com