Emerging Gear: Outdoor Products This Week

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

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Tow-Behind Cooler

Load up your suds, or sodas, hitch ’em to your bike, and go. The BikR BundlR is an 80-quart cooler with an add-on tow bar (and included cutting board and cup holders). The brand, Rovr, is new, and aims at the high-end camping crowd. The base Campr cooler costs $545. Adding the Bikr tow rig brings the price to $600.

Polish Down Puffy

Made from what’s touted as “the best down in the world,” Polish manufacturer Cumulus packs 900-fill hydrophobic down into Pertex waterproof fabric for its Incredilite Endurance Jacket. Compared to a Patagonia Nano Puff hoodie, the Incredilite weighs less (305g vs. 362g) and costs the same ($229). One drawback: It’s only for sale online.

Performance Hiker For Women

Teva takes a stab at waterproof-breathability with its Anhu boot line. The Montara and Sugarpine (pictured) are made of waterproofed mesh, leather, and suede. A Vibram sole and a fun, retro look round out the offering.

Moosejaw Outerwear

Good quality at less cost, Moosejaw launched its new outerwear line this year. We tested the Men’s Harper Softshell Jacket (left) and Woodbridge Stretch Fleece Hoody (right) this winter and have been impressed with their performance. Bonus: Each jacket comes with a custom moose-antler bottle opener.

Modern Bike, Charity Cause

Stripped-down, minimalist… and charitable. Two Minnesota brands from very different sectors team up to make a no-frills, modern-looking bike for a cause. For every Blu Dot x Handsome bike (furniture designer and bicycle manufacturer, respectively) sold, Blu Dot will donate a bike through World Bicycle Relief. The $800 Blu Dot x Handsome has a Brooks leather saddle and bar grips, and a single-speed drivetrain geared for urban commutes.

Versatile Fixed-Blade Knife

Start a fire, fashion a spear, and mount the sheath anywhere. Morakniv calls its recently-released Kansbol the most versatile blade in its stable. A 2.5mm Swedish stainless-steel blade with 90-degree spine for use with ferro rods (sold separately), and a multi-mount sheath for more stowing options combine for a nice fixed blade. At $40, it’s also reasonably priced and early reviews look promising.

Inflatable Balance Board

Practice your balance and strengthen your core, anywhere. The Kumo Board is designed to be both portable and skill-level adjustable thanks to its high-pressure inflation technology. You can use a bike pump to inflate the board and roller. No price yet; a Kickstarter launches in January.

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