A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Stable Underwater Drone
Record adventures underwater with the Navatics MITO. The MITO is an underwater drone that connects to a 165-foot tether and is outfitted with four thrusters that let it hover. For optimal shooting stability, Navatics developed a new algorithm for underwater filming steadiness. It shoots in 4K at 30 fps and can shoot 8-megapixel stills. The Navatics MITO is on Kickstarter for $1,199.
'Intelligent Battery' Smart Watch
Track GPS for 120 hours with the latest watch from Suunto, the Suunto 9. Designed for long and arduous outdoor pursuits, the Suunto 9 aims for smart battery usage. The watch allows the user to change satellite ping frequency from the wrist to optimize for accuracy or battery life. It will even warn you about low battery preemptively based on your activity history. The Suunto 9 is available June 26 for $599.
Mountain Goat Hikers
Nike brings a fresh hiking boot design perspective with the ACG Ruckel Ridge. Designers strived for sensitivity and protection, combining Nike’s Air Foamposite and a high-shock-absorbing foam. While Nike drew inspiration from mountain goats, we expect it’ll see more use on city streets than high alpine ridges. The ACG Ruckel Ridge is currently sold out. A pair costs $180.
Inside the EverRatchet is a quarter-inch ratchet that lets you twist in screws and tighten bolts with ease. But beyond the ratcheting namesake, this multitool also boasts a plethora of other functions. It has seven wrench sizes, a bottle and box opener, a fire flint, and a #2 Phillips Bit. The EverRatchet is on Indiegogo now for $16.
Snappy Bike Bags
Load up your gear and secure it to your bike with an affirmative click with the Aeroe BikePack. On Kickstarter now, it’s a bikepacking system that efficiently uses mounts and waterproof bags. Fix the mounts on your rear wheel, seatpost, fork, or handlebars and use the fitting dial on the bag to click it securely onto the mount. Swapping out bags just got a lot easier.
Wrought Iron Pan
Cast iron pans are great for camping, but they’re very heavy. Solidteknics touts a lighter and tougher option with wrought iron. The brand claims it’s impossible to break and cooks and seasons like cast iron. Wrought iron means the pan was worked into shape from a flat piece of iron. The pans are made in the USA and on Kickstarter now, with one 10-inch skillet going for $69.
Ocean Lovers' Bottle
Remember the sea every time you drink from one of United by Blue’s Swim in the Sea Bottle. Each 32-ounce bottle costs $38 and is covered in hand-drawn aquatic graphics. The bottle is powder coated and insulated to keep hot drinks hot or cold drinks cold for 12 hours. And just like all United by Blue products, for every product purchased, the brand removes one pound of trash from waterways.
Tubeless Bike Lever
Go tubeless and fix flats or swap tires with the Lifeboat Tire Lever. From Snek Cycling comes a tire lever that can remove a valve core and function as a standard tire lever. It’s constructed of a plastic outer and metal interior for cranking down. It also has a bottle opener instead of a spoke tool. The Lifeboat Tire Lever is on Kickstarter now for $9.
Stop slapping mosquitos on your arms. Slap the Bandito on your wrist instead. From Guarden comes an eco-friendly mosquito repellent wrist band. It repels the pesky bugs with a nontoxic scent and “high-frequency sonic waves”. The scent is made with natural ingredients, like citronella, peppermint, and lemongrass oils. And the scent and battery, which lasts 500 hours, are both replaceable. The Bandito is on Indiegogo now for $34.
Sit back and relax in the SkyFloat, a chair that hangs from a single point. The SkyFloat provides back and head support without external aids such as ropes and rods. It sets up with a daisy chain and collapsible pole that spreads the chair apart. While it fits into a 23-by-4-inch stuff sack, it spreads to a 39-by-75-inch seating length that holds up to 400 pounds. The SkyFloat costs $70 on Kickstarter now.
Meet the fastest compact camera on the market, according to Sony: the RX100 VI. Sony introduces the RX100 VI, which combines a 24-200mm large-aperture lens and super-fast autofocus settings. The camera can focus in 0.03 seconds with 315 autofocus points that cover 65 percent of the frame. Rounding out the camera is a 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor. The RX100 VI ships next month for $1,200.
Bikebag for Flyfishers
Ride deep into the mountains to find that hidden honey hole with the Elwha Pack. Swift Industries teamed up with Tenkara Rod Co. to make a bikepacking bag compatible with a fly rod. You can use it as a handlebar bag or hip pack. The pack has a waterproof zipper, clips for attaching to handlebars, and a spot to place your rod. Available now, the Elwha pack costs $120.
Fruit Smoothie Clif Bar
New flavors from Clif include a fruit-filled option dubbed Fruit Smoothie Filled Energy Bars. The smoothie bar comes in three flavors: Strawberry Banana, Wild Blueberry Acai, and Tart Cherry Berry. It blends nut and seed butters with a creamy filling. Additional just-launched Clif bars include a Sweet & Salty Energy bar and Energy Granola. Smoothie bars costs $1.79 each, 10 ounces of granola costs $5.49, and each Sweet & Salty bar costs $1.49.
Versatile Hammock Shelter
Set up the Walden Hammock as an A-frame, lean-to, plough point shelter, or hammock. Walden Hammocks are seam sealed and waterproof, with straps on the end to easily convert from hammock to shelter. Some of the shelter conversions require trekking poles, but two trees work too. Walden Hammocks are on Kickstarter now for $79.
Shower, Faucet, Bidet
Use the HandyShower as a faucet, shower, or bidet for outdoorsy cleanliness. The HandyShower has multiple attachments for different spray nozzle settings. It draws water from an included 2-liter solar water bag and can operate with a foot pedal for hands-free use. The HandyShower is on Indiegogo now for $45.
Merrell's Minimal 'Trail Glove'
Touting a “custom network of durable meshes,” the Trail Glove 4 E-Mesh is the latest in a long-loved minimalist line from Merrell. New this spring, the zero-drop shoe has a wrap-over tongue and a flexible, barefoot-style feel. A lightly-treaded Vibram outsole and TPU toe cap make the 8-ounce shoe ready for the trail.