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.
‘Exploding’ Bike Lock
When a thief tries to move your bike, they’ll be shocked by an explosion that sounds like a 12-gauge shotgun, which should draw attention (and also possibly the cops). After dropping a deuce in their shorts, they’ll high-tail it for the hills. That’s the concept behind Bike Mine ($71), which literally straps a shortened 12-gauge blank and firing mechanism to your bike.
‘Whole Family’ Trike
The Taga 2.0 claims to be the best family bike ever made (starting at $600). And while that’s a bold claim, a lot of folks are buying it. It’s raised more than $1 million in just a couple days on Kickstarter. What sets it apart? Three wheels, a customizable child carrier, and even a water gun are among a host of out-of-the-box design elements.
‘Dehumidifier’ Inside Your Jacket
Among the strangest ideas we’ve seen, the Dry-Active device (from $125) is “the world’s first wearable dehumidifier.” No, we’re not making this up. The wearable moisture-management device sits on your back under a jacket as you’re active, taking in sweat and “drying” with fans while you’re on the move. Seeking more than a half-million dollars to launch, the Dry-Active device is a Kickstarter hail-mary of a goal.
Carbon-Fiber Racks, Panniers
It looks like Tailfin has built a better bike rack (and sacks) with its ultralight carbon-fiber rack and panniers (from $140). Using super light materials and re-thinking traditional rack design, the brand came up with a solution to carry gear on road bikes that weighs in at less than half of traditional designs (875 grams for a complete rack/pannier setup).
Foldable Wagon Is A Suitcase, Furniture
Olsen’s Multi-Purpose Wagon (from $214) is a soft-side hauler that packs down into a suitcase. Somewhat oddly, it also can re-configure into a table and chairs. It is marketed toward family use, although we’re not sure when it would be helpful for a wagon to pack down into a suitcase. Certainly unique!
Based on the “original san-dal,” footwear company Vivobarefoot gives a nod to the past with these sandals (from $144), handmade by the Ju/’Hoan San community in the Kalahari Desert. The project is meant to help revive the ancient skill of sandal-making. The production run will be limited to just 1,500 pairs a year.
Brooks Anniversary Bags And Saddles
Iconic saddle-maker Brooks England celebrate its 150th anniversary this year and has released a line of commemorative bags and saddles for the occasion (prices vary). The saddles have copper-plated frames with hand-hammered rivets and black leather, and are available in five models. The Pickwick Pack uses copper accents to set it apart.
Modular Camera Bag
Pack-maker Black Ember released this photography pack, the DSLR-CASE ($79), which can be worn alone or as a waist pack. It’s modular, so it can quickly attach to the brand’s Citadel backpack. The combination is designed for photographers heading out for a trip who need to carry a variety of gear, including a DSLR rig.
All-Natural Marshmallow ‘Dandies’
Who doesn’t love making s’mores? While the beloved combination hasn’t changed since the original 1927 Girl Scouts recipe, maybe it’s time some of the ingredients did. Dandies All Natural Marshmallows ($5) aim for the same taste and consistency, without the ingredient list that reads like a chemistry project. These use natural, vegan ingredients.
‘Cecil The Lion’ Commemorative Bag
Launching on Kickstarter today is a pack dedicated to the lion that made headlines across the world after being shot by a Minnesota hunter and dentist in 2015. The pack is called the Cecil (starts at $200), and it looks like a solid leather and canvas pack for day use. The media hype surrounding Cecil the lion was nuts (the dentist has been cleared of all charges). The brand is trying to bring back some attention on the lion via a commemorative pack.
Deluxe Floor Pump
The Silca Superpista is one of the more lux bike pumps on the market. For $235 it better be! But for cyclists with fat wallets, or for friends who want to buy the cyclist who has everything a really nice gift, the Superpista elevates the humble floor pump to the level of jewelry. A full aluminum and brass construction carries a lifetime warranty.
DIY Dog Leash
You could tie knots. Or, use almost any rope to create a dog leash with Lead Hearts ($12). They are a small rope-gripping plastic device that allows for many configurations of dog leads. It’s a creative way to re-purpose old ropes, and makes for a clean finish on the leash.