A peek at emerging products on the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Bicycle Brake Light
An accelerometer gauges when your bike’s speed falls, triggering the FL30 rear light by Fabric. It automatically increases in brightness, just like a brake light. It retails for $40, and has static and multiple flash settings.
Helmet-Mounted SOS Tracker
In the event of dramatic deceleration, the PhiPAL sends an emergency message to your contacts along with your location. It fits on any helmet – bicycle, ski, motorcycle – and is intended to work for any incident that would cause an accident, including sudden health emergencies.
Ultra-Visible Cycling Jacket
Copious waterproof reflective material on the front and rear, neon waterproof-breathable sides, and four detachable lights make the Showers Pass High-Vis Torch one of the most eye-catching jackets we’ve ever seen. Both men’s and women’s trims run $325.
Phone Case With A Cause
All of Woodchuck USA’s custom wood products are handcrafted and made in Minneapolis. Its products range from wood-inlayed flasks, bottle-openers, journals, and its top-seller: iPhone cases. Best of all, for every product sold, Woodchuck plants a tree.
‘5 Quarters’ Knife
A stout steel blade, carbon-fiber handle, and titanium clip create a lithe knife that weighs 1.3 ounces, or about the same as $1.25 in quarters. The Ultra C-Ti will be the first blade from SOG Knives & Tools to hit the market in 2017.
Backpack Tent, Pad, And Bivvy
‘Stop, Drop, and Camp.’ That’s the idea behind the Shelterpack, an all-in-one, portable camping shelter. A single-person tent, memory foam sleeping pad, and bivvy cover all fold up, transforming into a waterproof backpack.
Jackey Power Pack
A new entrant into the portable power market, the Power Pro by Jackery boasts up to a week of juice for your gadgets. The Power Pro weighs 12 pounds, has solar-charging capability, and enough muscle to run a mini-fridge or flat-screen TV. The whole package will retail around $1,400, but Kickstarter buy-ins start at $375.
Tern’s First Electric
One of the preeminent names in folding bikes dips its toe into the electric bike market. The upcoming Vektron (sounds like an intergalactic superhero) comes equipped with Tern’s tool-free adjustable components, a built-in rear light, hydraulic disc brakes, and a 250 W Bosch motor. The Vektron will retail for around $3,400, but Kickstarter backers receive $300-$400 off.
Clean Feet, Anywhere
An unassuming Adventure Mat that folds down to the size of a small tablet device. The all-weather mat is for every time you need to change into, or out of, your footwear outdoors. It looks perfect for the beach, campsite, or ski slopes.
Knife To Benefit Fallen Firefighters
An industry team-up to raise money for a good cause: Spyderco knives and Never Summer snowboards release a limited-edition folding knife. Spyderco’s popular Native 5 receives a bright red handle and special blade engravings. Sales help raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on ordering.
After-Market Spare Tire Carrier
The Hitchgate swings open for rear-door access and holds a full-size spare tire. Made by Wilco, it fits “almost any vehicle” with a 2-inch hitch receiver.
Ski-Snowboard ‘Golf Bag’
The “only ski and snowboard travel bags that have extendable legs and wheels,” the $300 SkiGlider and FreeGlider bags hit the market for the 2016-17 winter season. It’s noted golf bag manufacturer Sun Mountain’s first step into the ski/snowboard market.
Origami Measuring Spoons
One of the more unusual and potentially ingenious innovations we’ve seen, the Polygons measuring spoons fold to accommodate different sizes, from 1 to 2 Tbsp., and 1/4 to 1 tsp. These plastic sheets look like a great space saver for campers.
Mountain Man ‘Lollipop’
Three brothers took up their parents’ challenge to either get summer jobs or start a business. Opting for the latter, they used a Scout background to handcraft and package (and market) these unique firestarting kits: Mountain Man Lollipops and Belly Button Lint, Sasquatch Scat, and more.
‘World’s Lightest’ Cast Iron Skillet
By using less material than traditional cast iron (up to 5 mm less thick), Marquette Castings created a skillet that is up to 20 percent lighter. Does this make it ideal for camping trips? Maybe. The 8-, 10-, and 12-inch pans will retail between $105-$135.
An “ultra-light fabric, woven with spandex” that’s breathable and dries in seconds, it’s not a new claim for an outer layer. But the FANIGHT‘s ReNano material absorbs UV light and reemits a glowing pattern for up to two hours. The glowing jacket will retail for $130.
‘Center Drive’ Multi-Tool
Ergonomics and price set Gerber’s new Center Drive multi-tool apart from others. A redesigned, full-size driver allows you to torque this multi like a standard screwdriver. It also sports an outboard blade that’s 30 percent longer than competing multis and spring-loaded pliers for $89.
RFID-blocking technology gets a fresh perspective on design. The CRATE titanium-carbon Multi-Mode wallet is modular and can be configured to any of five forms. An elastic band and various interchangeable shells let you assemble the wallet to custom fit what you’re carrying (business cards, credit cards, cash) and where you’re carrying it, from backpack to pants pocket.