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.
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.
Topo Designs x Danner Collab
U.S. manufacturers Topo Designs and Danner teamed on two sweet products. The Klettersack x Danner ($189) is Topo’s classic backpack made with metal hardware, a leather base, and a co-branded label. The high-end Ridge Boot ($380) has bright side panels for a modern look coupled with traditional leather.
Electric Blanket For The Outdoors
The Puffe is a portable battery-powered heated blanket. It warms up in seconds, is durable, water-resistant, and machine washable. This could be the most travel-ready heated blanket ever: The battery pack also charges a cell phone, and it provides a flashlight for after-dark adventures.
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.
‘Made For Motion’ Backpack
In an industry virtually drowning in packs, HEIMPLANET tries to slip its way in with a model that’s both tough and sleek. A 3D polygonal yoke to inhibit “sweat-back,” waterproof nylon, and a laptop sleeve (that doubles as a hydration-bladder compartment) mark the Motion Series packs’ callout features.
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.
Road Glacier Glasses
The brand Electric this week launched its Road Glacier protective Grilamid sunglasses. They have interchangeable and removable eye-shields. Plus, two adjustable temple options ensure fit and function.
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.
Smartwatch For The Outdoors
Listen to music, take a phone call, pay for a bottle of water, or navigate through the woods, all simply using your watch. The Samsung Gear S3 smart-watch also syncs with fitness apps, and it tracks stats like altitude, distance, and direction.
Set ‘N Forget Quick Release
Mountain bikers take note. A 12-position indexing head lets you set the best position for your quick-release handle and be certain it’s tight. Paul Components’ Set N’ Forget quick-release thru-axle aims to take the hassle out of properly tightening the skewer (and keeping the twist handle in a convenient position).
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.
This keychain-size knife, called the Pocket Samurai, is tiny and sharp. It has a 440c stainless steel folding blade and titanium handle. $40 at Statgeartools.com.
Magnetic Fitness Pouch
Stash your phone, cards, and keys in this mountable case. It clips onto clothing via a strong magnet; put the frame inside your shirt then clip the case in place on the outside. The Easy Pocket Pal ($25) was made for runners and bikers looking to store small goods while on the move.
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.