GearJunkie Emerging Gear

Ahead of the curve, cutting-edge, and to-be-released gear.

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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.

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.

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.

‘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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Pocket ‘Sword’

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

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.

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.

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