A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Protect your bike from the elements by storing it in one of Alpen Storage’s futuristic pods. Currently in production, Alpen Storage offers bike capsules that tout complete weatherproof protection. You can mount it onto any surface, be it your truck bed, backyard, or parking garage. Alpen Storage is accepting preorders now for September shipping, with storage units that cost $899.
Chop thick brush with the Barebones Japanese Nata Machete’s comfy handle and sharp blade. The full-tang stainless steel and walnut handle provides for lasting rough use. Inspired by Japanese design, this machete also has copper accents and a 12-inch blade. The Nata Machete Tool just released on Amazon for $65.
Portable Power Station
Charge the Jackery Explorer 240 in 9-10 hours via its solar panel. Then, power your laptop, phone, and camera over and over again. The Explorer 240 is a portable energy station that puts out 240 watts of power, with AC, DC, and USB power sources. It claims to charge a MacBook up to four times, an iPhone X up to 20 times, and a GoPro 35 times. Then, when the Explorer 240 is out of juice, hang its 50-watt solar panel to charge it back up. The Explorer 240 is on Amazon now for $300.
Running Coach in Your Shoes
Receive realtime feedback on your stride thanks to Runvi’s 30 pressure sensors and two accelerometers. Runvi is an insole full of technology in a svelte design. When you run or walk, Runvi records your cadence, foot-strike pattern, and symmetry in addition to basic running metrics. Suggestions come through paired headphones or phone to help with efficiency, injury prevention, and fatigue. Runvi is on Kickstarter now for $140.
Zero-Gravity Bean Bag
Achieve the feeling of full-body weightlessness when lounging on the Moon Pod. Dubbed a zero-gravity beanbag for deep relaxation, the Moon Pod uses high-friction microbeads that respond to every inch of your body. This prevents bean bag sag or wear. You can use it like a chair, recliner, or bed — and it feels like flotation. The Moon Pod is on Kickstarter now for $249 early bird.
Beautiful Fly Reel
Pull in your next big lunker with the Instagram-worthy Sesson Fly Reel. Session worked with an Encinitas, Calif., artist to create a wave-crest design. The reel is anodized aluminum and has a carbon disc drag system that is sealed from the elements. It’s balanced best on a 6 or 7 weight rod but can flex to 5 or 8 if needed. A screwdriver converts the reel from left-hand to right-hand wind, and it comes with a full-refund guarantee. The Session Fly Reel is on Kickstarter now for $199.
Folding Studio Light
Perfect the lighting for your home studio with the Omnio Lamp. This science-fiction-looking light has four pivoting arms and up to 4,200 lumens of flicker-free light. Position it for closeup product shots, or spread out the arms for shooting portraits: the Omnio Lamp is versatile. Omnio is currently on Indiegogo for $415 super early bird.
Elegant Bike Hanger
Turn your bike into the centerpiece of any room with The Copenhagen Series Bike Hanger. A simple design, the Copenhagen Series takes retired handlebars and attaches them to a mount. The stem is adjustable to accommodate a variety of bikes, and it attaches with three screws in the wall. The Copenhagen Series Bike Hanger is on Kickstarter now for $88.
Backcountry.com Camping Gear
Released this summer, Backcountry.com’s in-house line of camping gear includes a tent, duffel, sleeping bag, and apparel. Tested on a recent weekend trip in the Rocky Mountains near Vail, Colo., the two-person Lodgepole tent set up quickly for car camping and worked well enough for a few nights’ sleep. The Pluma 15 down sleeping bag was very comfortable. And it included nice design touches like a pouch for foot-warmers at the bottom of the bag, a pocket for your phone near the chest, and an extra layer of down for padding around the head.
Walker, Tricycle, Scooter Kit
Use Infento’s modular construction kit to build a tricycle, scooter, bike, or whatever else you can imagine. Inside Infento’s construction kit are instructions and easy-to-assemble parts for vehicles. You can pick from 32 different rides and learn to build simple machines. Infento is on Kickstarter now for $179 and up — depending on the kind of ride you want to build.
'Turtle Shell' Speaker
Turn your summer barbeque into a party with some powerful outdoor speakers like the Big Turtle Shell Ultra. The latest iteration of Outdoor Tech’s Turtle Shell line, the Big Turtle Shell Ultra is the brand’s loudest speaker yet. Plus, the speaker daisy-chain connects to other speakers via Bluetooth, with a range of up to 30 feet. The speakers are waterproof, serve as power banks and lanterns, and have built-in mics so you can receive and make calls. Back the Big Turtle Shell Ultra now on Kickstarter, with one speaker for $107.
Dialed Toiletry Pack
Gone are the days of bulky, toothpaste-stained toiletry packs. Enter the Expeditioner, from Gravel. The Expeditioner just ended funding on Kickstarter and will soon be available for purchase. Inside are dedicated pockets for your toothbrush, toothpaste, and razor. Plus, there’s a clear TSA-approved bag for liquids and a soft, fleece-lined pocket for valuables. The exterior is waterproof and designed to take a beating. Read more on the Expeditioner on its Kickstarter page.
Neoprene Pack Series
Protect your belongings with the durable and waterproof neoprene of the Transit Collection. From HEX come five packs made with supple neoprene. Inside each pack are pockets for organizing. There are laptop sleeves on the backpacks, and the neoprene is treated for water resistance. Transit Series items are available now and range from $35 to $100.