A peek at emerging products on the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
MelloShip Two-Person Hammock Boat
The MelloShip looks silly, and not too practical, but we have to admit, this seems like a great way to while away an afternoon. The base product is a pontoon-supported hammock sling for two hammocks. But the MelloShip is designed with a little more fun in mind: it is built to accommodate an after-market solar-powered motor so you can laze on the lake while moving.
Sunda ‘Flying Lemur’ Hammock Tent
Kammok breaks into the backpacking tent world with the Sunda “all-in-one hammock and tent.” Yeah, you read that right, it’s hammock and a tent! Named for the Malaysian lemur, the Sunda works as a covered hammock with bug net and tarp, minimalist hammock, primitive tarp shelter, and 2+-person ground tent. Having both ground and hanging options with the same shelter is awesome and we’re excited to test the Sunda soon. Live on Kickstarter now.
LVL Hydration Monitor
A new kind of bracelet, the LVL, can measure hydration levels in your body via a scanning light that “looks” through your skin to assess heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry, muscle oxygenation, total hemoglobin (blood flow), and lactate threshold. The old-fashioned way of feeling thirsty still works in a pinch, too, though with much less resulting data.
Stowable Roof Rack
The Stowaway roof rack system lets you haul your large gear when you need, and it tucks away in your truck when you don’t. The best part, there are no rails or bars and the system fits any vehicle. A great idea for anyone who doesn’t need a dedicated roof rack.
Lightest Ski Goggles
Electric claims its Electrolite goggles are the lightest “snow frame” goggles on the market at just 2.7 ounces. The slick EVA frame, molded-silicone strap, and oversize lenses set it apart from the crowd. It’s available in five colors and four lens styles for $140.
The Fenix 15th Anniversary Edition Flashlight kicks out up to 85 lumens in three modes and runs on just one AAA battery. Each has a unique serial number for collectors, and it’s a work of art at just 2.62 inches in length. Get one at FenixLighting for $60.
Survival and bushcraft expert Dave Canterbury, a lead instructor at the Pathfinder School, is something of a legend in the field. His new book, The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild, is hot off the presses. We’ll be getting a review copy ASAP.
The Campfire Defender is a small, fireproof tarp that covers your coals at night. The benefits are three-fold: It provides safety against stray embers from floating around the campsite, it keeps a fire pit from being doused in dirt and water, and it keeps coals warm for reigniting a fire the next day. The brand also pledges to plant a tree for every Defender sold.
The electric scarf is now a thing, and it looks ridiculous. But at least wearers will have warm (or cool) necks. As told by the the brand G2T, it’s “a tree-hugging, neck-hugging temperature controlling wearable that keeps you comfortable on-the-go while you stay connected.” It heats! It cools! It plays music! It redefines your “fashion, and style!” And it costs about $100 on Kickstarter now.
Airgrip One Ounce Sunglasses
Rudy Project’s newest sunglasses are light and adaptable to changing conditions. The wraparound Airgrip has interchangeable temple pads, one vented for activity, one solid for protection from sun and debris.
Code 10 Waterproof Lockable Backpack
The Code 10 is waterproof and has lockable pockets. A cable lock secures it to static objects. While it resembles a lifestyle pack, which it can be, the Code 10 also works as a dry bag and appears to have just enough features (bottle pocket, chest strap, roll-top closure) to double as an outdoor accessory.
Sentier Bike Trolley
Not to be lost in the melee of eye-catching bike innovations at this year’s Interbike (see our full rundown here), the Sentier Bike Trolley is one of the more adorable AND ingenious gadgets we’ve seen. It converts from luggage to a bike trailer. Lower-profile and more maneuverable than a trailer, the Bike Trolley looks like it would be perfect for commuters and short bikepacking getaways.
Photo by: Ruggero Arena
Lifetime Guarantee Backpack
Tyroze is a new backpack company that stands apart for a simple reason: It’s packs are guaranteed for life. “There are no doubts that our product can be used for a long time, which is why we provide a lifetime guarantee for our customers,” the brand states. “If backpack is damaged or just worn our customers can send the old bag to us and receive absolutely new instead.” Get one online now starting at $190.
Digital ‘Tracker’ For Fishing
Anglers can now enjoy similar “tracking” as that employed by athletes. The Anglr Tracker is like a FitBit for fishermen. The gizmo, attached to a rod, allows the angler to drop pins, count casts, mark catches, track fight time, monitor cast direction, and upload data to phones and computers.
Poop Anywhere With ‘InstaPrivy’
It might seem silly, but poop is a problem in some popular undeveloped camp areas. The InstaPrivy could offer a solution. The folding seat holds a trash sack (you might want to double bag this one!) and the kit comes with a shelter that gives the user privacy anywhere. A complete kit starts at $83.
Knife Sharpening Solution
Maintaining the correct angle is one of the trickiest parts of sharpening a knife. The Vipersharp knife sharpener takes away the guesswork with a simple system that holds the blade in place while a guide lets you quickly hone an edge to any angle you desire. It raised a hefty $40,000 on Kickstarter, and you can order one now for $150.