A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
USA-made and -sourced, Voormi introduces its “PHASE-HVis” wool, which it claims “delivers a range of brilliant color previously unavailable for performance wool garments.” By blending high-visibility fibers with fine micron wool, the brand will produce fluorescent wool products for cyclists, runners, and hunters.
Sneak Peek: TNF Mountain Jacket
Waterproof zippers, a helmet-compatible hood, and articulated fit are base features in the made-for mountains Fuse Brigandine jacket, available next year. The North Face added “pro-level” enhancements like collar pockets for a radio mic, avy-beacon clips, a goggle pouch, and a wrist pocket with a lens wipe.
Fat-Wheel Bike Trailer
Burly launches its 16+ wheel kit, which gives a fat-tire option for the brand’s kid and cargo trailers. The $190 kit replaces the stock 20-inch wheels with fatties to add float for soft trails, sand, and snow.
‘Claw’ For Gold
Dip, shake, pour, and… Jackpot! Well, maybe. The Gold Claw claims to be “many times faster and yield more gold than traditional methods.” The $50, made-in-the-USA pan is designed for family fun, if not fortune, in the outdoors.
Heated Foam Roller
Nuke your favorite massage tool to double your pleasure. The Moji heated foam roller touts “dual-action therapy” with its $42 microwavable roller. The idea is that the heat relaxes your muscles and the foam roller, pretty much a staple for anyone who exercises regularly, works out the knots.
Interchangeable straps, scratch-resistant sapphire glass, a carbon-fiber face, and money for wildlife conservation… the Wanderlust LA Collection of analog watches is a simple accessory with some techie features. Its real selling point with us, though, is that a portion of proceeds from sales is donated to Wildlife Warriors (formerly the Steve Irwin Foundation).
Wear shoes to make you stronger, or at least accommodate your gym routine. The Nike DSX Flyknit is part flat-sole lifting shoe, part lightweight cardio trainer. The $160 Flyknit is available after New Year’s.
Wrap Food, Reuse
Wrap, wash, reuse. Bees Wrap, based out of Vermont, makes reusable food storage wraps — think cling wrap or wax paper, only washable. The brand just began a collaboration with Patagonia Provisions and now sells its product in a three-pack for $20.
Wear Snowboard Boots While Skiing
To most skiers, this looks ridiculous. But for newbies, or those who just can’t stand to crunch into ski boots but don’t want to snowboard, well, it’s an option. Snowboard boots tend to be a little more comfortable than ski boots, and MadJacks lets you wear them to drive skis. The ski- and snowboard-adaptable boot, $200 per pair, conforms to all ISO and ASTM standards for alpine ski geometry and snowboard strap bindings for soft boots. Send it Jerry!
5,000-Lumen ‘Light Bar’
The Big Ass Light Bar kicks out the same light as three 100-watt incandescent bulbs, claims the company. It’s raised $73,000 on Indiegogo so far. The $385 battery-powered work light is built to take a beating and is splash- and chemical-resistant.
Quick access to your gear is granted on the MHM Sultan 50 via a unique “s-zipper” — it unzips in a wrap-around motion, opening the entire bag to lay flat. A built-in, waterproof stuff sack for a sleeping bag and a pivoting hip-belt are further distinguishers on the $219 pack.
Need security for your goods? We have been testing the Pacsafe Vibe 20L (available in January) and love its low-profile look and hidden security features, including internal steel mesh that is hard to cut; locking zippers; and a cable-equipped strap you can lock to a pole.
Technical One-Piece For Kids
The Ninja Suit is a hooded, one-piece base layer. The company’s Youth Ninja Suit was upgraded with a better moisture-wicking fabric. Made for skiing and other winter activities, the company notes these suits will eliminate dreaded “snow-down-the-back-of-the-pants” emergencies on the slopes.
Climber? Try Grip-Strength Trainers
A made-for-climbers version of traditional gymnastic rings, the wooden Duck Rings give multiple grip options. The Norwegian brand notes you can “train almost any grip position you would use when climbing on real rock.”
Expanding Summit Pack
We tested and liked the Andrew Skurka designed Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor as a hiking pack. Now, the brand introduces a summit pack based on the same expanding design. The Flex Summit Pack is a lightweight (11.7oz) travel pack that expands from 18 to 23 liters and packs small to fit in luggage or other packs.