Emerging Gear: Outdoor Products This Week

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

Off-Road Bike Trailer

Haul your camping gear and the kitchen sink in the Burley Coho XC. With attachment points to a bike’s rear hub (126- to 197-mm compatibility), the Coho XC allows you to haul 70 pounds of gear. We previewed this at last year’s Interbike show and liked the design. Burley built the Coho XC for a range of surfaces thanks to its coil spring suspension. Take it on singletrack, fire roads, or pavement. The Coho XC is available now for $419.

Summit Softshell Pant

Ride alpine singletrack with comfort in the Summit Softshell Pant. Pearl Izumi designed the pant for protection in hearty weather conditions. It uses fabric that protects against wind and water as well as fleece with water-shedding PI Dry technology on the back of knees. This prevents your pants from absorbing water when it’s raining or you splash through muddy trails. The Summit Softshell Pant is available this fall for $185.

Adjustable Titanium Wrench

Torque down that loose nut with the Ti EDC Wrench. A spinning mechanism slides one side of the wrench head to fit small to large bolts. The brand claims the Ti EDC Wrench can fit on 25 different wrench sizes. And thanks to its titnaium construction, the wrench should withstand cranking and corrosion. The Ti EDC Wrench is on Kickstarter now for $89.

High Heat Pizza Oven

The Napoli Outdoor Pizza Oven is capable of heating to 932 degrees Fahrenheit (500 Celsius) using almost any fuel source: wood, charcoal, wood pellets, or propane. The high temps allow you to cook pizzas in 90 seconds or less, or use a cast iron skillet to cook your favorite steak, fish, chicken, or vegetables. The oven is insulated so it’s not too hot to the touch. The Napoli Oven is available now for $299.

Sleeping Bag for Your Feet

Slip on the Teva Ember Lace and feel pillowy comfort wrap around your feet. Teva upgrades the Ember Lace to reach above the ankle with a lace-up version. The Ember Lace uses a synthetic insulation fill, nylon ripstop upper, and suede overlays. Around the ankle is a knit fabric for extra comfort, and a an EVA foam midsole cushions your step. The Teva Ember Lace is available now for $95.

Minimal Multitool

It may look simple, but the Halifax from the James Brand has three functions. With the Halifax, you can open a bottle and tighten flat or Phillips head screws. It’s made from 6AL-4V titanium at a 1/8-inch thickness. The simple multitool launched this week and is available for $50.

Water Filter for Kids

LifeStraw releases the Play filter, a 10-ounce filtration bottle designed for kids. The two-stage filter found in the bottle removes standard water filter nasties, like bacteria, chemicals, and bad taste. But it also eliminates 99.999 percent of microplastics and meets NSF-53 standards for lead reduction. Better yet, with every purchase of a LifeStraw the brand donates one school year’s worth of safe drinking water to a child in need. The LIfeStraw Play is available now for $40.

Aero Road Bike Bars

As seen in this year’s Tour De France, the biggest trend in road bikes today is aerodynamic gains. Vision’s new Metron 5D handlebar allows any rider to hide their cables from the wind. And you can save energy with its aerodynamic bars, where the wind hits first. Plus, a space molded into the bars houses electronic shifting components. But its biggest advantage is intimidation: It’s the best-looking aero bar we’ve seen. The Metron 5D is available now for $550.

Portable Bose Speaker

Take it to the beach, drop it in water, or use it around the house: Bose designed the SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker for portable adventure. Bose claims the SoundLink Micro is “better than any speaker of its size.” It’s waterproof, can pair with another SoundLink Micro speaker, and has a six-hour battery life. The SoundLink Micro is available now for $100.

Water Bottle Backpack

Thread International traveled to Haiti to start production on the Better Backpack, a 17- or 20-liter backpack for everyday use. The brand hired Haitians to recycle trash needed to make each pack. The result is a proprietary recycled wax canvas fabric that’s water resistant. Each pack is made from roughly 25 water bottles and has interior pockets for electronics and office gear. Better Backpack is on Kickstarter now for $119.

Lightweight Salomon Hiker

Salomon enters the lightweight hiking shoe market with the OUTline GTX. Modeled off a trail running silhouette, the OUTline GTX is built for comfort on the trail. It uses a grippy outsole, protective upper, and is very light at 12.3 ounces per pair. We imagine these to be an option for people who won’t run on the trail, but don’t want the bulk and heftiness of a traditional hiking shoe. The OUTline GTX is available now for $130.

Inflatable Backpack

Breathe into the Air Pack and watch its support grow. From Trexad comes the Air Pack, a portable and inflatable backpack. Designed for travel, the Air Pack fits into the palm of your hand when compressed and unravels to a sizeable daypack. The special feature of the backpack is its air channels that provide cushioned support. Along the back and shoulders, the air pockets redistribute the load from your pack. According to the brand, this feature “drastically reduces stress and strain on your back, shoulders, and neck.” The Air Pack is on Kickstarter now for $79.

Bioengineered Coffee Mug

Grip your coffee mug with the might of King Arthur freeing Excalibur. Well, maybe don’t use that much force. Jamber used 3D printing and bioengineering to update the classic coffee mug. The brand claims its coffee mugs enable the wrist to grip in the strongest and most efficient posture. Grab it and, according to Jamber, your hand becomes anatomically relaxed. The mugs are available in sets of two for $25.

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