Emerging Gear: Outdoor Products This Week

A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.


Mega-Bright Mini Light

It’s just over 2 inches long. But the Mini Mark II from FourSevens LLC can purportedly blast a stunning 1,020 lumens from its dime-size lens. A custom lithium-ion battery is required to power the micro LED. It costs $55 but is currently over-ordered and out of stock due to high demand.


Paper Helmet

It folds up like a book and is made of waterproofed recycled paper. The EcoHelmet was designed to be a one-time-use, recyclable helmet for city bike-share riders needing head protection ad hoc. This week, the “radial honeycomb pattern” lid won the prestigious International James Dyson Award.


All-Season Humanitarian Tent

A reversible fly can be configured to trap heat (cold climates) or reflect sun (where it’s hot). The WeatherHYDE is touted to be an “all-season, life-saving tent” made for those experiencing homelessness and humanitarian needs. Help the project gain its altruistic goals via a Kickstarter campaign seeking to fund the tent.

Rugged, Recyclable Snowshoes

With a name that means “The Great Winter,” Fimbulvetr is all in on snow gear. The new HIKR snowshoes ($270) are made of recyclable plastic. They have adjustable heel lifts and an asymmetric shape designed for improved stance.

puffe electric outdoors blanket

Camp-Kitchen Organizer

Loaded with more than 30 kitchen and cooking essentials for campfire meals, the K.U.B. by Castle Brooks Unlimited comes with stainless steel cutlery and mugs, plates, tongs, a cutting surface, and more. The kitchen-in-a-box packs down to a 20-inch briefcase for transport and stowage.

Water-Power Charger

Add water, get power. The Cube by Nature’s Battery might have the potential to be a real game-changer (and that’s in an industry dominated by would-be “game-changers”). Dissolved oxygen from water is drawn out to create an electric charge using treated carbon, aluminum, copper, and magnesium. $55 gets you this brave new power product.


Yak Wool

Wool that is “warmer, softer, and more breathable than merino”? That is the claim from Peak to Plateau, the makers of a new line of yak-wool base layers. The company purchases yak fiber direct from farmers in the Tibetan Plateau at a “guaranteed fair income” price.


Pedestal Sock-Shoes

Shoeless workouts are possible with Pedestal Footwear. The floor-gripping socks have durable construction and are made to be worn indoors while exercising and lifting weights. The brand claims you get a better workout when your feet are flexible and engaged on the ground. Manufactured in the USA.


Wood-Frame Backpack

Coming out in 2017, the Ruckbug is a new take on backpacks, including a wood external frame and a detachable carrying system to make it modular. A water- and dust-proof lid opens to an 18-liter space inside.