Our new column offers a peek at emerging products, culled from crowd-source sites like Kickstarter, PR campaigns, and industry scoops on the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Think electric bikes are too much like motorcycles? This one doesn’t try to hide it. Let ‘er rip on this e-bike with 1,000 watts of power, ready for any terrain. It even has a built-in cup holder. Get it during the fundraiser from $1,800.
Katadyn Water Filter – Lightest In World?
A squeeze bottle that weighs mere grams paired with a squirt-cap that nixes 99.9999% of bacteria and protozoa using a 0.1-micron hollow-fiber filter? That is the claim with the just-released Katadyn BeFree bottle filter, which needs no back-flushing (just shake it to clean). We can’t wait to test it. Available now at REI, and coming to other retailers Sept. 1 for $40.
Pocketknife Is A Brand New Classic
This Case knife comes from a storied factory in the Bradford, Pa., hills that has been around for decades. But the design is new, and beautiful. The Sunflower Minni Copperlock is handmade by American artisans and sits easily in the pocket with a length of 3 5/8 inches and weight of 2 ounces. Get one now for $56.
Kenyan Running Shoes
Everyone knows Kenya is a dominant force in distance running, and now it has its own shoe. Launched on Kickstarter, the Enda is Kenya’s “first running shoe.” These are light, at 7.9 ounces, with a 4mm drop. Will they make you run like a Kenyan? Doubtful. But at $100 a pair, it’s not a huge gamble to try the new kicks on the block.
Multi-tool On Your Belt
Fix Manufacturing wants to put a multi-tool on your belt. Like, in the buckle. These are cleverly designed for specific sports, so there’s one for biking, another for boardsports. They look cool, and are cheap, starting at just $25 on Kickstarter.
Modular Backpack With A ‘Spine’
The Vertepac is a whole new take on backpack systems. It’s so new it’s not even on Kickstarter yet, but the initial images and press info are intriguing. The streamlined frame system holds bags of different sizes. The brand claims weight is well distributed over the body. It’s out-the-box design gives us pause. Learn more, or pre-order now.
The BIY 2 Bike Kit claims that, using its system of jigs and pre-cut bamboo, you can build your own bike in just a few hours. The brand has some super fun designs, and this could be a great summer project for dad to do with a kid, or maybe for scouts or others looking to tinker in the garage. Get started for about $250.
Wild Travel Coffee Maker
Just watch the gif and ponder this funky new coffee press. It’s called the Pascal Press. It’s basically a travel mug that allows high-quality coffee to be brewed on the go. It even isolates the coffee grounds from the brewed liquid so that there is no chance for over-brewing. Looks pretty slick, and it will be coming to Kickstarter soon, so keep your eyes open.
No More Wet Butt!
With a side zipper, waterproof fabric, and padded bottom, Zipshorts are made for sitting. Padded, waterproof shorts that zip over other layers seem crazy simple, but it’s a great idea we can see applied to lots of outdoors activities. Get yours for about $54.
‘Fully Automatic’ Bike Lock
The I Lock It bike lock is fixed to your frame. It locks and unlocks automatically with a bluetooth connection. It won’t secure your bike to anything, but makes it impossible to ride. We see it as an interesting idea, but it probably won’t keep your bike safe in most big cities where someone can just pick it up and walk away. It’s also pricy at more than $100.
Want a seriously tough flannel as American as you? Well, here’s a new option. Pladra says years of testing went into the design of these plaid flannels for men and women. They have animal print accents and look pretty sweet for hanging around the campfire. Premium manufacturing comes at a premium price. Get yours for $120.