A peek at emerging products on the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Power Egg Drone
How much does the world want a drone shaped like an egg? Apparently a lot: The Power Egg raised more than $15 million in pre-order sales in China. The unique design by Power Vision is touted as “the world’s most intuitive consumer drone, designed for both enthusiasts and first time drone owners.” It has a one-handed controller and the props fold into the body for transport. It’s certainly unique, but pricey at $1,288.
Leatherman – Shinola Collab
Leatherman and design brand Shinola partnered on this limited-edition multi-tool. Designed on the popular Leatherman Charge AL chassis, it has needle nose and regular pliers, a saw, bit drivers, wire cutters, and diamond-coated file among its tool list. It stands apart with premium materials like 154CM knife steel and aircraft aluminum handles. The Shinola Charge AL also has a quick-release lanyard clip and a full bit kit that includes bit drivers for bicycle maintenance and watchband repairs. Shinola also added a matte blue coating and custom leather sheath. Just 500 will be made, but it’ll cost you at $250.
Smaller, Burlier Solar Power Pack
Kalisaya launched with the mission to “replace the diesel generator.” The KaliPAK 401 works for emergency response or a camping weekend off the grid. The 13 lb., $800 pack has four 40W solar panels and packs a punch. The pack can charge an iPhone up to 64 times and is compatible with the KaliAPP, which lets you monitor your device from your phone.
Gloves Warmed By Sun
Seirus claims its new SolarSphere insulation in the namesake gloves “uses the sun to amplify temperatures inside the glove up to 10 degrees.” The sun’s infrared, according to the brand, increases heat within the glove. We’re not sure how this is different from any other black surface, but the brand assures we’ll notice a difference. This one will be in testing as soon as the snow flies. These cost under $50 and are available at the end of October.
Simple-Style Waterproof Panniers
North St. Bags makes no-frills cycling bags and duffels. The just-released Morrison waterproof panniers ($190) can be removed and worn as a backpack and have modular Velcro inserts to keep gear organized.
No Service Phone Network
GoTenna keeps you connected off the cell phone grid. The original goTenna allowed cell phone texting between two users where cellular networks didn’t reach. The new goTenna Mesh builds on that concept by turning all users into relay networks. This allows you to send private or group messages to anyone with a Mesh, well beyond the unit’s 3-mile range if other Mesh users are there to pass the message along.
Synchronized Safety Strobes
A series of front- and rear-facing bike lights synchronize to strobe in an “impossible-to-ignore pattern.” That’s the idea behind Arsenal Cycling’s 4Sync lighting system. Any one of the four rechargeable lights controls the strobe pattern of the others. Consequently, all lights flash in unison.
Wireless Sport Ear Buds Under $80
Optoma just released the NuForce BE Sport3 wireless ear buds. Like other high-end wireless sport buds it has a weather- and sweat-resistant casing, bluetooth compatibility, and up to 10 hours of battery life. Unlike many options, it comes in at under $80.
Water Bottle That Tests And Filters
The Ecomo is an insulated travel bottle. The brand says it tests the amount of “contaminants” in water and filters them out (if you want). It is rechargeable and works with an optional “hydration tracker” that you wear on your wrist. A single filter lasts 2-3 months. Expected retail is, HOLY CRAP, $229, with a March 2017 release.
Seriously Good Meat Sticks
The New Primal added some unusual, delicious new flavors to its lineup of meaty protein snacks. We tried Habanero Pineapple Beef, Cilantro Lime Turkey, and Maple Bacon Pork sticks (the brand’s first pork product). They’re yummy. At $2 a pop, and with the company’s commitment to healthy and humane practices, these are great on-the-go grub.
Recycled-Bike Bicycle Hanger
Anyone who stores a bike indoors knows it’s difficult to do without cluttering a space. KP Cyclery developed a fashionable and clever solution. The Bike Hanger uses polished handlebars mounted on a finished wooden back to create an artistic – and adjustable – home bike rack. The whole system retails for $135.
‘World’s Toughest Duffel’
Amabilis is so confident in its new DAVE Jr. Duffel 2.0 that it backs every one with a lifetime warranty. The “toughest duffel you’ll ever own” claim stems from the 23-liter pack’s double-layer, military-grade tarpaulin body and ceramic armor plated bottom. Available spring 2017.
Crossover Fat Bike
Tumbleweed Bicycle Co.’s Prospector fat bike stomps into the growing “go anywhere” bicycle market. It’s made to tackle fat bike terrain, but with smaller specs. This allows it to accept many standard mountain bike components, thanks in part to a fully custom 73 mm bottom bracket. Thus, it’s touted as easier to service in remote areas.
Vibram Gym Shoe
A new partnership between Vibram and Gold’s Gym will produce a FiveFingers Cross Training shoe to be released next spring. No word yet on what will make these shoes better for gym-goers, but in a statement, a senior product designer at Vibram said the partnership aims for “natural fitness, indoors or outside.”
Travis Rice Boot
DC releases the Winter 17 Travis Rice Boot as a follow-up to Rice’s latest snowboarding film, “The Fourth Phase.” The $400 boot, featured in the movie, has an asymmetrical outsole, storm flap, and Boa Closure System.
Serious Alpine Layering Kit
Patagonia’s new nine-piece High Alpine Kit is a tightly integrated layering system for high alpine environments. From base layers to parka to bivy system, the kit works to keep climbers comfortable at minimal weight. It’s available for men and women and retails for over $1,000 for the full kit.