A peek at emerging products from the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
Monitor Fitness And Sleep
Take a holistic approach to hitting fitness goals. Polar releases the $180 A370, a continuous heart-rate monitor that tracks both activity and sleep patterns. It aims to improve both workouts and rest for better health.
Sometimes, all you need is a knife. That’s according to Leatherman, which launches the Juice B2. This foldable has one serrated blade and one straight-edge, each 2.2 inches long. Folded in the pocket, the $25 Juice B2 takes up 3.2 inches and weighs 1.3 ounces. We tested the minimal Leatherman knife line and found them a good value.
Stealth-Light Hunting Boots
Illuminate the path ahead without tipping off game; these prototype hunting boots have special lights built in. High Beam Shoes announced hunting boots with UV lights that light up animal territory markings, and red and green lights that show the way without alerting animals. The boots will be available later this year and cost about $150.
Durable Campus Pack
For trekking across campus or traveling abroad, Granite Gear built the stand-up, roll-top Cadence pack. The water-repellent pack has three compartments with multiple organization pockets, a padded laptop sleeve, and 22-liter capacity. And at $90, students can still afford textbooks.
Sometimes the best place to hide is in plain sight. Vollebak expands its Relaxation Hoodie line, designed to let you see out without letting others see in. According to the brand, it’s ideal for taking naps (anywhere) or “getting in the zone” before a competition. The $285 hoodie also comes in full-ninja black.
Women’s Lightweight Trekker
Trail run, hike, and explore with Foresake Acadia. The $67 Acadia (formerly $90), has traction as its focus, with lugs that angle forward along the outsole, and a siped rubber heel to prevent slipping.
360-Degree Garmin Camera
Capture immersive, 5.7K video from every direction with Garmin’s latest camera. Announced this week, the $800 VIRB 360 is waterproof, has four microphones, and works with most virtual-reality headsets. The VIRB can also capture 15MP spherical photos and will be available In June.
Convertible Cooler Pack
Bike to the BBQ with groceries, snacks, and beer on your back. Alite’s Cooler Pack holds up to 28 liters and sports a removable waterproof liner that fits a six-pack. The $100 pack has a divider to carry and keep food and beverages separate, and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Explore the open ocean or record fun in the backyard pool with 4K video. BIKI claims its underwater drone is the first underwater robot with a reconfigurable tail fin (cute!), automatic obstacle avoidance, balance, and return-to-base. The BIKI syncs to your phone with an app and is available on Kickstarter for about half off its $1,024 retail price.
Rooftop ‘Monsoon’ Bag
Heading off-road for your next camping adventure? Don’t cram your vehicle with gear, stuff it in the waterproof Front Runner Monsoon Bag on your vehicle’s roof-rack system. The $149 Monsoon Bag has up to 90 liters of storage.
Glass Travel Mug
Use this water bottle if you’re worried about the health effects of plastics or metals. We haven’t seen many travel mugs made of glass, for obvious reasons. But Meshbottles addresses health concerns with these made-in-the-USA milk bottles, and non-plastic mesh sleeves and caps. The brand claims its 16-oz., $25 bottles are durable and long-lasting.
Artificial Intelligence Remote
The $250 Arsenal remote attaches to your camera and syncs with your smartphone, allowing you to take shots from up to 100 feet away. Plus, the Arsenal has learning algorithms to assist with lighting, color balance, and other settings. It can reference a database of thousands of images to help perfect your shots. Available with discounts on Kickstarter.
Carry and store up to 200 lbs. of gear along any sort of terrain. The Real Wheel is a pull-along tote that doubles as a table and storage solution. Stuff gear on or inside of the large steamroller-like wheel, and take it across sand, gravel, or grass. It goes live on Kickstarter in June.
Expandable Travel Pack
Pack and organize all your stuff with the Travel Pack’s 20 pockets and 20L-30L expandable storage. The water-resistant NOMATIC Travel Pack converts from backpack to briefcase configurations, has RFID-blocking security pockets, and wrap-around zippers. It’s live on Kickstarter now for $179 and up.
Nothing says “man the grill” like a heavy duty apron, and 5.11’s TactiGrill Apron should fit the bill. It has adjustable neck and waist straps, and big pockets to hold tools, spices, or maybe a beer. Aprons also come in handy for dirty jobs like waxing skis. This $70 model hits the market soon.