A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
16-Foot Folding Kayak
Haul the Coast XT in the back of your sedan and unfold it when you get to the beach. At 16 feet tall and 34 pounds, the Coast XT is Oru’s most technically advanced kayak yet. Upgrades to this iteration include deck lines, thigh braces, zipper channels, and an entirely new fold pattern. The result is a comfier and easier-to-assemble boat. The Coast XT will cost $2,500 and is on Indiegogo now.
Roaming Dog Leash
Give your pooch more range to roam with the Knot-a-Hitch. Dog runs have been around since, well, disco, but this is a new, dialed system from Ruffwear. Attach a static line to two trees, clip the dog leash onto the static line, and that’s it. Knot-a-Hitch allows your dog to roam while staying on a leash. The dog-hitching system is available now for $60.
Take the roadtrip of a lifetime and rest easy with the Droplet Trailer. This tiny pull-behind weighs 950 pounds, making it towable by small vehicles. The Droplet comes with a queen mattress, collapsable table, and gas-powered kitchen. Rent or buy one on the brand’s website. The full trailer costs a hefty $15,450.
Quick, Safe Blade
Deploy the blade while your hands stay on the grip with the Morphing Karambit. The brand Caswell designed the knife for improved safety by preventing the blade from folding on one’s fingers. The steel used, CPM 3V, is exceedingly tough, and the entire build is sleek, with a pocket clip that lays flat. The Karambit is on Kickstarter now, with early bird pricing starting at $450.
'Most Technical' Shirt
Travel to any part of the world and be prepared with the Planet Earth Shirt. Vollebak makes this bold claim about its “most technical shirt ever built.” The specs include an anti-mosquito collar, a shirt-length vent on the back, six concealed air vents, a discreet zippered pocket, and a reinforced gadget pocket with eight loops for attaching gear. And they’re proud of it, pricing it at $345! Get one in black, green, white, or gray.
Rocking Camp Chair
Lean back … and forward and back and forward in the RoadTrip Rocker chair from GCI Outdoor. This camp chair folds up and uses “spring action rocking technology” for smooth rocking around the fire pit. The RoadTrip Rocker costs $60 and weighs 13.2 pounds.
Casual Glacier Glasses
Block the sun’s harmful rays from most directions while wearing the Treelines from Sunski. The shades are polarized and include detachable side panels that let you switch from full-on glacier to a more casual look. Best of all, the Treelines won’t break the bank compared to other glacier glasses, coming in at $89.
Budget-Friendly Elliptical Bike
Burn 33 percent more calories than a traditional bike when you ride the SUB, according to the brand. ElliptiGO releases the SUB, its most cost-friendly elliptical-bike machine. This model has an eight-speed freewheel hub on the back, wide foot pedals with adjustable toe cages, and a quick-release telescoping steering column. The SUB is for sale now and costs $799.
Auto-Unfold Car Shade
Protect your car from that impending hailstorm, or save time by not having to scrape snow. The waterproof Lanmodo Pro can deploy automatically and protects against leaf litter, bird droppings, and whatever else falls from the sky. It’s on Indiegogo now, with prices starting at $259.
Opinel No. 8 Upgrade
In the No. 8 Outdoor Pocket Knife, a classic gets an upgrade with a serrated edge and whistle. Made with sharp Sandvik stainless steel and a fiberglass-reinforced handle, this affordable knife should be well suited for camp chores. It’s for sale now for $39.
Stylish Silicone Rings
Get a stylish, adventure-friendly ring or wedding band with the Strata from QALO. With two color combos and three patterns, the Strata lets you add a bit more flair to your fingers. The silicone rings won’t get in the way of climbing rocks, kayaking, or playing football. The Strata is for sale now for $40.
Tiny Smart Sensor
Track temperature, moisture, CO2 level, brightness, noise, air pressure, sudden movement, and more with the Sense. This tiny sensor hooks up to an app and lets you see a host of conditions from its location. Its uses include monitoring the CO2 level in your car, the status of your laundry, and the temperature in your home-brew cellar or baby’s room. The Sense is on Kickstarter now and will retail for $50.
Wraparound Closure Cycling Shoe
Give your foot a hug with a bike shoe with the Bont Helix. The brand’s road cycling shoe uses a new lacing system with BOA cables that wrap around and under the heel of the shoe for a secure hold, without pressure points. The Helix is also anti-stretch and has a carbon fiber sole and toe vents. Get it for $399.
Portable Espresso Maker
Get trailside espresso from a device smaller than most water bottles with the Nanopresso. Simply pour in grounds and hot water, push the pump, and the Nespresso goes to work. The device measures 6.14 inches and weighs 11.8 ounces. And for extracting every last bit of espresso goodness, the Nanopresso is capable of delivering 261 psi. The portable espresso maker sells for $80 and comes with a protective case.
Burly Work Pants
1620 just released its 2.0 version of its Tweave Stretch Double Knee Work Pant. We tested the first version and were impressed with this rugged leg armor. With 54 percent Cordura, 41 percent nylon, and 5 percent spandex, these pants are crazy tough. But they have just enough stretch to move with you while thrashing through brush or pushing a wheelbarrow. They’re tough as nails and made in the USA.
Stretchy, Breathable Rain Shell
Black Diamond just released the Stormline Stretch Rain Shell ($150). The waterproof-breathable, seam-taped shell is super stretchy to move with hikers on the go. It also has pit zip vents, two zippered hand pockets, and a waterproof zipper centered on the front for the wettest conditions. And when the sun comes out, it stows into its own pocket.