A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Motorcycles, ATVs, jet skis, and now, e-bikes. Yamaha actually launched its first power drive for bicycles in 1993, but the brand unveiled its first line of pedal-assist e-bikes in the USA this week. We’ll get a closer look at Interbike, but we know there’s an XC MTB (top), UrbanRush city bike (bottom), and two hybrid-type commuters.
PBR Beer-Pocket Coat
Hold my beer. And his beer. And her beer. And, well, hold all the beer with the 686 Sixer jacket. Don’t be fooled, the Sixer actually has pockets for 11 beverages (assuming you’ll be drinking the 12th). The PBR design costs $250, but the black and grey-camo options are $230. The pockets are insulated to keep cans cool, and the coat is waterproof and vented.
The Keyport Pivot is a modular, customizable multitool that keeps keys organized. It starts at around $30, but you can add on a host features and options. Choose from knife, key locator, flash drive, pen, and more.
OddLot Labs’ Quiver adventure pack(s) gives you a quiver of packs on a single frame. The back pad and shoulder straps slide out and strap into the 25L Sidestep or the 26L Bandit for various uses. It lets you keep the two bags packed and ready for use, just swap the straps and go. Or just buy two-day packs – the kit costs $140.
'Handsome' Bike for Visually Impaired
“Ride More Together.” That’s the theme behind Handsome Cycles’ Kickstarter campaign, which launches the Pillion tandem. Easy step-through design, five-speed Sturmey Archer internal hub, TRP Spyke 180mm disc brakes, and oversized boom tubes for smoother riding combine for a safe, comfortable tandem. Plus, funds from the Kickstarter go to provide bikes for the visually impaired.
Expandable, Waterproof Tail Bag
Take all your gear, then take more, and keep it safe. Upstart ALMS NYC launches the 12L tail bag for gear-loving motorcyclists. The waxed-canvas bag sheds water, has a removable cargo net that adds 25 percent more storage area, and sports a hidden pocket for valuables. The included metal attachment system fits any style of bike.
Truck-Saving Bike Rack
Throw it in and go, your bike that is. Yakima’s tailgate-protecting, bike-cradling GateKeeper offers a basic bike carrying option for pickup owners. Available spring 2018 in 54-in. with five bike cradles for $139 and 62-in. with six cradles for $149.
Warmer, Lighter BUFFs
One of our favorite pieces of adventure gear just got a little better. The versatile BUFF pairs with PrimaLoft to make a fall line of ThermoNet hats ($27), balaclavas ($37), and the multi-function headwraps ($27). The result is a lighter, warmer material.
Slide, stomp, kick – repeat. Drift Boards innovates a new way to explore the winter wilds with its debut product. What are Drift Boards for? According to its Kickstarter, “situations where snowshoes are too slow, split-boards and removable skins are overkill, and XC skis are too cumbersome.” The carbon-fiber Drift Boards weigh 3.75 lbs. per pair, and sport built-in climbing skins to glide up, across, then down snowy mountains.
35-Degree Bag + Quilt
Not too cold, not warm, just right – with the shoulder season upon us, Klymit’s 35-degree KSB aims for that sweet spot. The $170 KSB 35 has the brand’s adjustable Length Lock system for height adjustment and can be fully unzipped to work as a blanket
'Eazy' E-Bike Conversion
Take two minutes to cruise 85 miles. Eazy Bike wants you to have your very own e-bike without spending the big bucks to buy one. The Eazy Bike conversion kit consists of a battery, pedal sensor, and motor, and installs on the bike you already have. It’s completely waterproof and can reach 20 mph with an 85-mile range. It’s available for preorder now.
Chaco does more than sandals. The new $150 Teton boot has a waxed-canvas, full-grain leather upper, and padded liner with pigskin leather lining to keep your foot protected.
Better Oar Grips
Treat your hands to a longer, more comfortable day in the boat. Gilman Grips introduces a simple but smart add-on for rowers: ergonomic handles. At $60 per pair—and early-bird discounts—it’s worth a look if you paddle far.
Better Bike Case
Upright, hard-sided, and wheelable, Topeak’s latest PakGo X bike case makes traveling with a bicycle easy and safe. The $850 case, available January, fits 650c and 700c road bikes, time-trial bikes, and some hardtail mountain bikes. Look for it exclusively at Todson.
Off-Grid Menstrual Kit
Go With Your Flow and spend more time outdoors. This camp-friendly menstrual kit helps you handle your period (and stashing menstrual trash) anywhere there’s no waste bin – be it in the great outdoors or at a festival. One GJ editor recently took the clutch to the Boundary Waters and loved how organized and clean it kept her things.
Blast radio or an iPhone playlist in the rain all day long. Kicker’s $300 Bullfrog BF 200 speaker has built-in FM tuner and Bluetooth, 20-hour battery life, front-and-back speakers, 100-ft. pairing range, and weatherproof construction. Available this fall.
Waterproof Outdoor Blanket
Snuggle up anywhere – even on dust, damp, or dirt. The Seasons Blanket, live on Kickstarter, has a DWR-treated canvas bottom the prevents any moisture from pushing through. The cotton-twill upper offers a soft spot to sit or lie down. Plus, it has a roll-strap and buckle for packing away. It measures 4.5′ x 5.5′ and weighs 4 lbs.
You don’t have to be rower to look classy in the elements. Scull & Sweep’s $275 Regatta Blazer is welded and heat sealed to keep water out, has reflective piping for visibility (and to show off how sharp you look in the dark). Add “dashing” to your outdoor lexicon.